Tirana, the capital of Albania, is a colorful and chaotic place. Although it’s not the first choice for tourists who either go to the seaside or the Accursed mountains, Tirana is a true find off the beaten path.
And here are top things to see and do in Tirana;
See Skanderbeg Square
This is Tirana’s central square famous for its statue of Skanderbeg – Albanian national hero. The square is also home to other famous landmarks such as the National History Museum and the National Theatre. Dëshmorët e Kombit is a major boulevard which starts from the Skanderbeg Square and hosts many buildings in Italian architectural style. It’s nice for a stroll and it will lead you to another famous landmark – Mother Teresa square.
Climb the Clock Tower and Visit Et’hem Bey Mosque
One of the oldest landmarks in Albanian capital. You can climb the tower for nice views of the city center. Mosque is built in 1821 and is famous for its interesting interior.
BUNK’ART is Tirana’s new museum and one of the most popular attractions. It consists of two parts. BUNK’ART 1 showcases the daily lives of Albanians during the communist regime, while the BUNK’ART 2 reveals the secrets of Enver Hoxha’s police. There are also other historical exhibitions.
National Historic Museum and the National Art Gallery
National Historic Museum is the prime spot for learning about Albanian history. Museum exhibits items from the ancient times to the Hoxha’s regime. On the other side National Art Gallery exhibits mostly modern art from Albania and abroad, but also the country’s socialist realism.
Tirana’s pyramid is a famous tourist attraction. It used to be a museum dedicated to Enver Hoxha built in 1987. Now it’s a derelict building filled with graffiti on which kids and tourists like to climb and take photos of. In the past it also hosted a disco club called The Mummy.
Blokku (The Block)
This neighborhood is widely known for its cafes, restaurants, boutiques etc. and is mostly visited by young Albanians. The former residence of Enver Hoxha can be found here.
Albania is the land of bunkers. You’ll find them at many places in the city as well. After leaving the Warsaw Pact, Albania constructed nearly 700,000 bunkers across the whole country. As they’re difficult to be destroyed many locals decided to get creative and paint them in different colors. Postblokku which is located just across the Parliament offices features an original bunker and a fragment of the Berlin Wall.