Hotels, motels and where to sleep
Restaurant, taverns and where to eat
Cultural (and not so cultural) events
Interesting information and useful tips
Description of Tirana
Tirana (Tiranë, Tirana) is the capital of Albania
and the largest city in the country. It was founded by the Ottoman
Turks in 1614 by order of Suleiman Barggini. After gaining
independence from the Turkish Empire, the capital was moved here.
The turbulent and interesting history of the country left its mark
on the architecture of the city. Muslim, Christian and Communist
buildings form a common ensemble of the city.
founded in 1614, but the region itself has been constantly inhabited
since the Bronze Age. Like most of Albania, this area was inhabited
by several Illyrian tribes. Later it was annexed by Rome and became
an integral part of the Roman Empire after the Illyrian Wars. The
heritage of that period is still evident and is represented by the
Mosaic of Tirana, which has survived from that time. Further, in the
5th and 6th century, the Paleo Christian Basilica was built in the
region. When the Roman Empire was divided into east and west, its
successor, the Byzantine Empire took control and included the
construction of Petröl Castle under Justinian I. Until the 20th
century, the city did not matter when Lushnius Congress proclaimed
it the capital of the country after the independence of the country
in 1912 . It increased in size and population only in the 20th
Geographically, Tirana is located in the center of
the country, surrounded by mountains and hills, with Dite in the
east and a small gorge in the north-west, which overlooks the
Adriatic Sea. Due to its location within the Tirana Plain and close
proximity to the Adriatic Sea, the city is influenced by the
Mediterranean seasonal climate. It is the 3rd wettest and eighth
sunny city in Europe with 2544 hours of sun per year.
important city, Tirana is considered the economic and cultural
center of Albania, due to its significant location and importance in
the areas of finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts,
international trade, education, services, research and health. All
the largest companies in the country, the media and academic
institutions have their headquarters in the city. Tirana is also the
seat of the Albanian government, the residences for the work of the
president and prime minister of Albania.
Destinations in Tirana
Tourist information office,
Rruga Ded Gjo Luli (just north of Skanderbeg Square (behind the
National Historic Museum)). open M-F 11:00-16:00 (as of 2013). The
English-speaking staff are very helpful and can provide maps and
directions to hostels/hotels etc. Also free copies of "Tirana in
your Pocket" guide, which includes vital information about bus and
National Historic Museum (Albanian: Muzeu Historik
Kombëtar), Skanderbeg Square (northwest edge of the square), ☎ +355
4 2223446. Tu-Su 10:00-17:00. The main museum in Tirana, it is in
the center of the city, easily recognizable because of a huge mosaic
standing on top of its front facade. It contains many artifacts
ranging from ancient times through Hoxha's regime. Repeated looting
in the 1990s has robbed the museum of many artifacts, but it remains
the best place in Albania to learn its history. The history between
1944 and 1991 is not yet covered but there is a harrowing exhibition
about Albania's gruesome labor camp system during that time. There
is enough information in English to follow the exhibition and there
are guided tours in English from time to time. - Antichity pavilion,
the exhibited objects start with the Late Palaeolithic and ends with
objects pertaining to the first part of the Middle Ages (4th–7th
centuries). Middle Ages Paviilon, the visitors have the chance to
learn about the economic, social, political and cultural development
of the Albanians, who have preserved their typical characteristics,
also resistance against the ruling of Byzantines, French, Turks and
Serbs. National Renaissance Pavilion, express a clear view of the
economic, political and cultural development of Albania from the
beginning of the 19th century. Pavilion of Independence, start with
the activities of the National Government of Valona and the
organization of the Albanian independent State. Iconographic
Pavilion, in this section the visitors has the chance to know great
masters of the Albanian iconography. Ethnographic Pavilion, in this
pavilion are introduced the traditional garments of the various
Albanian regions (19th and 20th centuries). Pavilion of the
Anti-Fascist War, in this pavilion the vicissitudes of the War of
Vlora (1920) are introduced followed by the events of 1920s and
1930s and of the fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini. 200 lek.
National Art Gallery (Galeria Kombetare e Arteve), Bulevardi
Deshmoret e Kombit, ☎ +355 4 222 6033. W-Su 9:00-19:30. 13th century
pieces, modern art, socialist art. 200 lek.
Archaeological Museum of Albania (Muzeu Kombëtar Arkeologjik),
Sheshi Nënë Tereza (Two block west from Qemal Stafa Stadium), ☎ +355
4 222 6541. This museum features ancient artifacts from Illyrian to
Roman and Hellenic times featuring wonderful mosaics, Roman statues
and illustrative maps.
Natural Sciences Museum of Albania (Muzeu
i Shkencave Natyrore), Rruga e Kavajës. This museum features the
fauna and geological composition of Albania.
(Mozaiku i Tiranes), Blloku pallateve Partizani, Lagja nr. 9 - Rruga
Sandër Prosi (1.3 km W). - The mosaic was discovered following
excavations for an apartment complex. Various artifacts point to the
presence of a village in the area thousands of years ago. This is
the only archaeological site in Tirana!
Bunk'Art (Enver Hoxha's Underground Bunker), Rruga
Teki Selenica. W-M 09:00-18:00 during summer, 09:00-16:00 during
winter. This is the underground bunker of Enver Hoxha featuring Cold
War exhibits turned into an art gallery, with many corridors full of
art works to admire. The most famous works of Albanian art are
available here to witness and observe. 500 lek.
Bunk'art 2. This
bunker was the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' and mixes a bit of art
with an interesting exposition about the building of a paranoid
Stalinist dictatorship through systematic spying, arrests and
torture. A small app can be downloaded to enhance the experience
with VR. 500 lek.
House of Leaves (The Museum of Secret
ZETA Center for Contemporary Art. M-F
11:00-18:00, Sa 11:00-14:00. a non-profit exhibition space founded
in 2007. With its 150 m² area on the second floor of a mixed
residential and commercial building at Abdyl Frashëri Street No.7 in
the Blloku area of Tirana (zona Libri Universitar: between Santa
Margherita Wine Shop and LC Waikiki Store), ZETA functions as an
autonomous cultural venue for contemporary visual arts, including
painting, sculpture, photography, video, installation, sound, and
performance. Besides exhibitions, ZETA also hosts educational
programs, workshops and discursive events, in cooperation with local
and international partners. Over the last twelve years ZETA has
significantly contributed to the vitality and dynamics of
contemporary art scene in Tirana, most notably with regard to young
Albanian artists. Free entrance.
Justinian or simply Tirana Castle remains (Albanian: Kalaja e
Justinianit, Kalaja e Tiranës), Shëtitorja Murat Toptani. This is a
castle in Tirana. Its history dates back before 1300 and is a
remnant from the Byzantine-era. The fortress is the place where the
main east-west and north-south roads crossed, and formed the heart
of Tirana. About all that's left of the fortress above ground is a
6-m-high Ottoman-era wall, covered in vines. The recently uncovered
wall foundations were incorporated into the pedestrianised Murat
Toptani Street, while a mosaic commemorating the 100th Anniversary
of Albania's Independence was unveiled near the Albanian Parliament.
History of Tirana
The discovery of the Pellumbas Cave within the surrounding area
of Tirana shows that ancient human culture were present in Albania
that dates back the Paleolithic period. Nonetheless the oldest
discovery within the urban area of Tirana was a Roman house, which
has been later transformed into an aisleless church with a mosaic
floor, dating to the 3rd century, with other remains found near a
medieval temple at Shengjin Fountain in the eastern suburbs. A
castle possibly called Tirkan, whose remnants are found along Murat
Toptani Street, was built by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and
restored by Ahmed Pasha Toptani in the 18th century. The area had no
special importance in Illyrian and classical times.
mentioned in 1418, one year after Ottoman conquest of the area, from
Venetian documents as "...the resident Pjeter, son of late Domenik
from the village of Tirana...". Records from the first land
registrations under the Ottomans in 1431–32 show that Tirana
consisted of 60 inhabited areas, with nearly 2,028 houses and 7,300
inhabitants. In 1510, Marin Barleti, an Albanian Catholic priest and
scholar, in the biography of the Albanian national hero Skanderbeg,
Historia de vita et gestis Scanderbegi Epirotarum principis (The
story of life and deeds of Skanderbeg, the prince of Epirotes),
referred to this area as a small village, differing "Small Tirana"
and "Big Tirana". It is later mentioned in 1572 as Borgo di Tirana.
According to Hahn, the settlement had already started to develop
as a bazaar and included several mills, even before 1614, when
Sulejman Bargjini, a local ruler, built the Old mosque, a small
commercial centre, and a hammam (Turkish bath). This is enforced by
oral sources, that two earlier mosques existed 300-400m from the Old
Mosque, toward today's Ali Demi Street. Mosque of Reç and Mosque of
Mujo were positioned on the left side of Lana river and were older
than the Old Mosque. Later, the Et'hem Bey Mosque, built by Molla
Bey of Petrela, was constructed. It employed the best artisans in
the country and was completed in 1821 by Molla's son Etëhem, who was
also Sulejman Bargjini's grandnephew. In 1800, the first newcomers
arrived in the settlement, the so-called ortodoksit. They were
Vlachs from villages near Korçë and Pogradec, who settled around
modern day Park on the Artificial Lake. They started to be known as
the llacifac and were the first Christians to arrive after the
creation of the town. After Serb reprisals in the Debar region,
thousands of locals fled to Tirana. In 1807, Tirana became the
center of the Sub-Prefecture of Krujë-Tirana. After 1816, Tirana
languished under the control of the Toptani family of Krujë. Later,
Tirana became a sub-prefecture of the newly created Vilayet of
Shkodër and Sanjak of Durrës.
In 1889, the Albanian
language started to be taught in Tirana's schools, while the
patriotic club Bashkimi was founded in 1908. On 28 November 1912,
the national flag was raised in agreement with President Ismail
Qemali. During the Balkan Wars, the city was temporarily occupied by
the Serbian army and it took part in uprising of the villages led by
Haxhi Qamili. In August 1916, the first city map was compiled by the
specialists of the Austro-Hungarian army. On 8 February 1920, the
Congress of Lushnjë proclaimed Tirana as the temporary capital of
Albania, which had gained independence in 1912. The city retained
that status permanently on 31 December 1925. In 1923, the first
regulatory city plan was compiled by Austrian architects. The centre
of Tirana was the project of Florestano Di Fausto and Armando
Brasini, well known architects of the Benito Mussolini period in
Italy. Brasini laid the basis for the modern-day arrangement of the
ministerial buildings in the city centre. The plan underwent
revisions by Albanian architect Eshref Frashëri, Italian architect
Castellani and Austrian architects Weiss and Kohler. Modern Albanian
parliamentary building served as a club of officers. It was there
that, in September 1928, Zog of Albania was crowned King Zog I, King
of the Albanians. Tirana served as the venue for the signing,
between Fascist Italy and Albania, of the Pact of Tirana.
In 1939, Tirana was captured by Fascist forces appointing a
puppet government. In the meantime, Italian architect Gherardo Bosio
was asked to elaborate on previous plans and introduce a new project
in the area of present-day Mother Teresa Square. A failed
assassination attempt was made on Victor Emmanuel III of Italy by a
local resistance activist during a visit in Tirana. In November
1941, two emissaries of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ),
Miladin Popović and Dušan Mugoša, managed to call a meeting of three
Albanian communist groups and founded the Communist Party of
Albania, of which Enver Hoxha would shortly emerge as the leader.
The town soon became the center of the Albanian communists, who
mobilized locals against Italian fascists and later Nazi Germans,
while spreading ideological propaganda. On 17 November 1944, the
town was liberated after a fierce battle between the Communists and
German forces. The Nazis eventually withdrew and the communists
From 1944 to 1991, massive socialist-styled
apartment complexes and factories began to be built, while
Skanderbeg Square was redesigned with a number of buildings being
demolished. For instance, Tirana's former Old Bazaar and the
Orthodox Cathedral were razed to the ground for the erection of the
Soviet-styled Palace of Culture. The northern portion of the main
boulevard was renamed Stalin Boulevard and his statue was erected in
the city square. Because private car ownership was banned, mass
transportation consisted mainly of bicycles, trucks and buses. After
Hoxha's death, a pyramidal museum was constructed in his memory by
Prior to and after the proclamation of
Albania's policy of self-imposed isolationism, a number of
high-profile figures paid visits to the city, such as Soviet leader
Nikita Khrushchev, Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and East German
Foreign Minister Oskar Fischer. In 1985, Tirana served as the
ceremonial venue of Enver Hoxha's funeral. A few years later, Mother
Teresa became the first religious figure to visit the country
following Albania's long declared anti-religious atheist stance. She
paid respect to her mother and sister resting at a local cemetery.
Starting at the campus and ending at Skanderbeg Square with the
toppling of Enver Hoxha's statue, the city saw significant
demonstrations by University of Tirana students, demanding political
freedoms in the early 1990s.
Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza
(Rinas International Airport TIA IATA), Airport Rd Rinas (17 km from
the centre of town. Rinas Express operates 06:00-18:00 an hourly bus
from the airport to Skanderberg Square (behind the Opera) and vice
versa. The bus costs 250 lek. A taxi to the centre costs 2,500 lek
and takes 20–25 minutes. merrTAXI.com, 0800 55 55 (toll free) and
Airport Taxi Express offer transportation to and from Rinas
International Airport.). - Airport facilities include free wifi and
an Adrion press shop. Beside the baggage carousel in arrivals
there’s an ATM, a currency exchange office and the airport’s tourism
information desk. - The following airlines offer service to/from
Tirana: Adria Airways (Ljubljana), Austrian Tyrolean Airways (Vienna
Airport), Belle Air (Ancona, Athens, Bari, Bologna, Cuneo, Florence,
Forli, Genoa, Heraklion, Milan-Malpensa, Milan-Orio al Serio, Parma,
Perugia, Pisa, Pristina, Rhodes, Rimini, Rome-Fiumicino, Trieste,
Venice-Treviso, Verona, Zurich), British Airways (London-Gatwick),
Lufthansa (Frankfurt Airport), Olympic Air (Athens, Thessaloniki),
Turkish Airlines (Istanbul-Atatürk).
Station. Since September 2013 temporarily closed. Tirana has no
international train connections. As of September 2013, the Tirana
Train Station was temporarily moved to Kashar while a new
multi-modal station is constructed in Tirana. The Kashar station was
renovated and opened in May 2015. Passengers arriving at Kashar
should walk to the main road, cross the footbridge and wait for the
bus Vorë-Tiranë. The trains are operated by HSH sh.a. (map
here), (HSH Official Site)
from the following cities: Durrës (100 lek, one hour, 8 daily),
Shkodra (160 lek, 3.5 hours, twice daily), Elbasan (200 lek, 4
hours, 3 daily), Vlorë (210 lek, 5.5 hours, twice daily and only in
the summer) and Pogradec (350 lek, 4 hours, twice daily -
discontinued in 2012). Even though train services are poor, when
compared to West Balkan standards, they may be more frequent,
cheaper, and more scenic than taking the bus. Taking the train to
Elbasan is not recommended: the four hour trip makes a large detour
via Durrës (not very scenic) while Elbasan is only 35 km away from
By bus & van
In anticipation of the construction of the new
Multi-modal Terminal near the Kamza Overpass at the entrance of
Tirana, the Municipality of Tirana has opened several temporary bus
terminals mainly along Dritan Hoxha St and Student City to regulate
the chaos of public transport between towns in Tirana:
Temporary Bus Terminal for Southern Albania & Durres-bound lines,
Sheshi Shqiponja, Rruga 29 Nentori (near Eagle Square at Ali Bakiu
St.). All Southern Albania except Southeastern Albania-bound lines.
Temporary Bus Terminal for Southeastern Albania-bound lines, Qyteti
Studenti, Rruga Arben Broci (Student City at the Tirana Parking
public parking). All Southeastern Albania-bound lines including
Elbasan, except Southern Albania and Durres-bound lines.
Temporary Bus Terminal for Northern Albania-bound lines (Terminali
Autobuzave Zona Veriut), Rruga Dritan Hoxha (Across from Asllan Rusi
Sports Center). Service to North Albania towns.
Terminal for Kosovo and International-bound lines, Pallati i Sportit
Asllan Rusi, Rruga Dritan Hoxha (behind the Asllan Rusi Sports
Center at the Tirana Parking public parking space). Kosovo and
International-bound lines including the Balkans, Italy, and Greece.
Rinas Express airport bus stop, ~Skanderbeg Square (behind the
Palace of Culture (Opera) east of Skenderbeg Square), ☎ +355 69
2054002, +355 69 2098908. Depart every hour 06:00-18:00. tickets
cost 250 lek and the trip takes ~45 minutes.
Buses can be used
to reach Tirana from other cities in Albania and internationally.
There is daily bus service from Turkey, Serbia, North Macedonia,
Athens (Greece) and multiple services per day to Pristina (Kosovo)
and other cities in Albania. Schedules change frequently so check
the latest info in your place of departure.
Macedonia, buses come from Skopje, Ohrid and Struga. Departure time
from Tirana: 15:00 and 17:00.
From Montenegro, take a bus or
taxi to Ulcinj, then take a bus or taxi to Shkodra in Albania,
crossing the border at Muriqan. Buses leave Shkodra frequently for
Buses and furgons (minibuses) are generally the best
method for travelling within Albania, but they are not in the best
of shape. There are few bus companies; many are operated by
individual drivers. Bus lines have schedules, but are often delayed
until the coaches are full or at the whim of the driver.
international bus stations are far from the centre so it may be
worth taking a taxi to the bus stop to save time and energy and
avoid getting lost.
To calculate and book your
journey you can use the Taxi Trip Calculator by MerrTaxi Tirana,
which is the biggest taxi company in Albania, operates 24/7 in the
capital city and they always use meter. To call a taxi use the
national toll-free phone number 0800 5555, or the international
phone number +355 67400 6610.
Your hotel can also arrange a
taxi to the border but it is usually more expensive. For example, a
taxi from Tirana to the Macedonian border, a distance of 110 km (70
miles), will take 2½ hours and cost about 9000 lek with MerrTaxi
Tirana. A metered Macedonian taxi from the border to Struga is €10
and to Ohrid about €16 (1000 denars) but you might get it for less
if you haggle. The trip takes 15 minutes to Struga and 25 minutes to
Ohrid (July 2018). Passport control will take about 30 min.
Tirana is not a port, so you can't get there directly by
boat. There are, however, reasonable sea routes from Italy (from the
ports in Bari, Trieste, and Ancona) to Durrës, the nearest port to
Tirana from where you can take a bus or mini van to Tirana. You
could also rent a car or take a taxi and be in Tirana in about 20
Public transportation in Tirana consists of a number of
intra-city bus lines. A single trip cost 40 lek (there are only
single tickets available) (2016) and tickets are sold in the bus by
a conductor. Buses marked 'Unaze' are for the ring road and travel
in a loop around the city centre. There are also lines serving
suburban shopping centers and Tirana Airport.
A useful web
and Android application regarding Tirana's public transportation
such as lines, directions, times and costs can be found at Tirana
Bus Stations. An Android application is also available for download
The city centre is small enough to be explored through
walking. Walking is a rewarding experience, but beware that there is
no continuity in sidewalk width, construction material or condition.
Sidewalks frequently end abruptly, have large holes or are very
narrow. Pay attention while walking or you may end up spraining your
ankle or falling in a hole. Street names are subject to change, so
locals rarely know them. It is advised to learn a to navigate via
landmarks instead of addresses or street names. You can orient
yourself using the Lana River and "Dëshmorët e Kombit" street, which
roughly bisects the central part of Tirana into four sections. At
this intersection of the Lana River and Dëshmorët e Kombit is very
recognizable "Pyramid" and "Taiwan Center".
ecovolis bicycle sharing program was launched in 2011. Bicycles can
be rented from a number of locations at Rinia Park and along
Deshmoret e Kombit Boulevard. A full day ride costs 100 lek. The
system is not electronic in that you must interact with a
salesperson. Bicycles should be returned to the station of origin.
Ecovolis also offers bikes for longer 24/7 rents at the shop. For
all other bike equipment or repair, Rruga Qemal Stafa is Tirana's
unofficial "bike street" with lots of little, inexpensive bike
There are combined bus and bike lanes on some main
streets. However, cycling in the street can be quite dangerous as
lanes are narrow or occupied by parked vehicles (but car drivers
have become more careful during the last years). Bike only lanes
however are located on Skanderbeg Square, Deshmoret e Kombit
Boulevard and on sidewalks along Lana River and Kavaja Street. As of
2013, renting a bike is not possible on weekends.
A ride across town should cost 400 lek during the day, 600 lek at
night. Negotiate a price before entering. merrTAXI offers authorized
taxi reservation: 0800 55 55 (toll free within Albania).
Speed Taxi: This taxi company is also a good taxi company which has
taxi fare meters, so you are sure that they won't charge you a
random price. Speed Taxi's number is: +355 4 2222555
taxis have a list with fare prices inside the vehicle. During the
day flag-fall starts at 250 lek (as for MerrTaxi) and 300 lek during
the night or holidays.
Most informal taxis or irregular ones
do not use the taximeter. You can negotiate the price before
entering the cab, or ask them to use the taximeter and save money.
Parking is a major problem. Driving offers an unique
experience in Tirana for those willing to brave it. Driving
aggressively and seizing opportunities will help you get around at
normal pace. Timid and passive drivers should avoid driving in
Tirana as they will likely be frustrated.
The city still
misses road signs with directions (for example how to get out of the
city). In case you have troubles just ask people (don't show them a
map because Albanians are not used to seeing maps and even policemen
don't know how to handle a street map.) Also, keep in mind that the
word "car" sounds identical to the Albanian word for "penis" so do
not be surprised if you get stared at if you say it. "Auto" or the
Albanian word, "makina" are suitable stand-ins.
in Albania are available from multi-national firms such as Hertz,
Avis and Europcar, and can be booked online. However, local
companies often have cheaper rates, examples include Noshi
Rent-a-Car and Albarent.
Budget options in Tirana are hindered by a government
1000 lek per-person tax levied on all the hotels.
Hostel, Ground Floor, 75 Bardhok Biba St (200 m from the National
History Museum), ☎ +355 4 2266077. Rooms are passable, usually with
ensuite. No true dorm rooms. WiFi. €35 for a double.
Hostel-Albania, Rruga Kavajes 80, ☎ +355 69 674 8779.
Briker, Rruga e Barrikadave (close to the centre (5 min walking)), ☎
+355 4 2229543, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Clean, safe, nice
private rooms with private bathroom and shower, well maintained,
friendly, all of the staff spoke English, they take credit cards.
Double/Twin: €40 .
Star Hotel, Rruga e Dibrës, 73 (from
Skanderbeg Square walk past the Tirana International Hotel, it'll
take one minute), ☎ +355 42231950, +355 696415459, e-mail:
email@example.com. Clean, safe, private rooms with private
bathroom and shower, well maintained, friendly, staff speak English.
Double/twin: €30 .
Hotel Viktoria, Rruga e Elbasanit (2 km
south), ☎ +355 69 5406986, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newly renovated (June 2011) and family-owned hotel, situated in a
new residential area that offers quietness and fresh air. Sgl: €22;
Dbl/Twin: €34; Tpl: €44; Quad: €54.
Tirana Backpackers Hostel,
Rruga Elbasanit 85/Rruga e Bogdanëve (0.5 km W of Skanderberg
Square). Small hostel, with just 25 beds, in a beautiful villa built
in 1940. Dorms are spacious and well lighted, back garden. Bikes can
be rented for city tours. Dorm bed: 1,770 lek.
Rinas (15 km North of Tirana). Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00.
The hotel is on a ten minute walk from the Tiranë airport terminal
building, very convenient for early departures or late arrivals.
While there are hotels even closer to the airport, this hotel
provides very good value for its price. €25 (single).
Hotel, Square Avni Rustemi, ☎ +35542250630. A small hotel in central
Tirana with a 24-hour front desk and friendly staff. Modest buffet
breakfast is included in price. If arriving by plane, catch the
Rinas Ekspress airport coach (250 lek) which terminates behind the
Opera, 500 m from the hotel. €23 single.
Baron Tirana, Rruga Elbasanit (near Mother Albania Statue, Qemal
Stafa Stadium, and University of Tirana), ☎ +355 4 2467649. Meeting
facilities include conference rooms, a ballroom, and banquet
facilities. single €35; double/twin: €50; triple: €55; Quad: €65.
Hotel City Tirana, Rruga Ismail Qemali, Nr8/1, ☎ +355 4 2247799,
fax: +355 4 2247799, e-mail: email@example.com. Family-owned
hotel with exquisite service. single €34-€50; double €75.
Meg Klaus, Hotel Meg Klaus (in a courtyard, street off Rr.Mine
Peza), ☎ +355 4 2239214, fax: +355 4 2259236. 11 rooms. TV, air-con
and bathroom worked fine. No restaurant (and no breakfast included)
but a hotel bar. Some staff had trouble speaking English. singles
€30, doubles €40.
Hotel Airport Tirana, Rinas
Tirana International Airport Mother Teresa (near the Rinas (Tirana)
Airport), ☎ +355 48300190, fax: +355 4 48300191, e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org. Grand hotel with every modern amenity.
Sgl 8,850 lek; Dbl 11,800 lek.
Hotel Brilant Antik, Rr. Jeronim
De Rada, No. 78 (Just across the Parliament), ☎ +355 4 2251166,
e-mail: email@example.com. Excellent rooms and helpful staff.
€70, breakfast included.
Hotel Grand, Rr. Ismail Qemali 11
(close to the centre). A small, 3-star standard hotel. single €120;
Hotel Mondial. Prestigious 4-star hotel. 28 rooms.
Also a bar and a restaurant.
Hotel Theranda, Rr. Andon Zako
Cajupi, Villa 6 & 7 (two minutes from the centre, Blloku District),
☎ +355 4 2273766, fax: +355 42 273689. Boutique hotel. single €70 to
€100; double/twin: €90 to €130.
President Hotel. Small hotel in
the Bllok area.
Rogner Hotel Europapark, Bulevardi Deshmoret e
Kombit. Part of the Rogner chain of hotels, this modern hotel is
located where the headquarters of the communist party were planned
to be built before the fall. Very luxurious. Beautiful gardens and
an outdoor swimming pool that is always freezing. The comfort has
five stars. Security is unsurpassed. single €152 to €176 +tax;
double/twin: €170 to €201 +tax.
Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Sheshi Italia (Near the stadium). One
of Tirana's largest, and most modern hotels. single from €161;
double from €216.
Tirana International Hotel (In Skanderberg
Square). Centrally located, this hotel was built during communist
times and has recently changed hands. There are plans for drastic
changes in its appearance, and it still remains one of the major and
best hotels in Albania. If you have the time have lunch on the
covered balcony of their one restaurant, the food and service is
excellent. Weekend: Single: €60, Double: €70; Weekday: Single: €112,
Xheko Imperial Hotel Tirana, Rr. Deshmoret e
4 Shkurtit. 48 luxurious rooms, equipped with all the modern
amenities. Restaurant with Albanian traditional cuisine.
Food is generally inexepensive in town, even in the more upscale
places. The Italian influence is everywhere and most places will
offer pizza and/or pasta along more elaborate dishes. A good rule of
thumb is that the priciest or fanciest places rarely are the best
ones, particularly in the Blloku.
restaurant, Rr. Luigj Gurakuqi (Past Sheshi Avni Rustemi towards
Skanderbeg Square), ☎ +355 4 2249541. noon-late. Situated inside a
Tirana traditional house, this restaurant features delicious
traditional cuisine. 500 lek.
Sofra e Ariut, Nd. 54 H.1 Njësia
Bashkiake Nr. 1, Rruga e Elbasanit, (inside Tirana's Big Park), ☎
+355 4 2372904. Specializing in traditional Albanian cuisine, the
interior is decorated with traditional ornaments.
Tironës 2, Rruga e Kavajës (From Skanderberg square walk ten minutes
west along Rruga e Kavajës. It will be on your right), ☎ +355 69 948
4792. 09:00-23:30 every day. Good traditional Albanian cuisine with
massive servings. Mains 200-700 lek.
and roadside vendors throughout the city sell foods such as
sufllaqe, doner, and gjiro for less than 200 lek. Also try the local
AFC fast food restaurant serves a lot of
things and you can have a lunch or a dinner there.
Big Bite fast
food restaurant, Rr. Abdyl Frashëri 16 (in Blloku). 24hrs. good
taste of Albanian fast food.
Mr.Chicken fast food restaurant,
Rr. Abdyl Frashëri (in Blloku). 09:00–24:00. good taste of Albanian
fast food. Freshly cooked rotisserie chicken
Gjiro Kamara fast
food restaurant, Rr. Abdyl Frashëri (in Blloku, next to Slovenian
Embassy), ☎ +355 4 225 6513. Good taste of Albanian fast food.
Kolonat Fast Food, Sheshi Italia (in Bllok, near Nene Tereza Square,
At National Archaeological Museum), ☎ +355 42382202. M-F
09:00-22:00, Sa 08:00-14:00 and 16:00-20:00. Albania's version of
McDonald's. Specializes in burgers and pizza. Also on Blv. Bajram
Curri, and on Rruges Elbasanit. 500 lek for sandwich, fries, and
Marion Restaurant (Mensa Marion), Rruga Pjeter Budi,
Tirana University student's campus (E 1 km), ☎ +355 66 2083399.
08:00-23:00. Budget self service restaurant in the Central Campus.
Very popular among students. Under US$10 per meal.
Gloria, Rruga Qemal Stafa. Excellent food (Italian and Albanian)
with good service.
King House restaurant, Rruga Deshmoret e 4
Shkurtit (at Bank of Albania), ☎ +355 4 2255559. Combination of
excellent Albanian and Italian food. Always very popular with expats
Yamato restaurant, (Blloku). A more formal
restaurant than other Blloku eateries, children-friendly Yamato has
a big selection of Japanese foods prepared by a Filipino chef.
Gurra e Perris, Mali Dajtit (Dajti Mountain) (after
you get off the cable car, restaurant's micro-buses will take you
directly to the restaurant), ☎ +355 68 2060720. Traditional
restaurant in a marvelous place, with fantastic view of the city.
Fresh meat, fresh trout (you can also catch it by yourself there).
Bar Restaurant Patricia, Rruga Fortuzi (Going up the
Durresi Street turn right at the Ministry of Education, - near the
school Jeronim De Rada), ☎ +355 4 2228372. 09:00-24:00. A fancy and
comfortable restaurant. Its specialty is the Italian food. 1000 lek.
Vila 12, Rr. Mustafa Matohiti in front of Birrila's building, ☎ +355
4 2250633. 11:00-23:00. A gourmet fish restaurant that has some very
fishy combinations indeed. The chef likes to experiment; try the raw
fish with radish, grapes and strawberries, or the potato-cake with
cod and mozzarella. Thankfully there's also traditional grilled fish
and lobster. The hot choc fondant cake is a worthy dessert.
Juvenilja Castelo, Sheshi Italia (close to hotel Sheraton, at the
Big Park,), ☎ +355 68 2022802. 24/7. Mainly serves Italian and
Albanian food. A 5-star restaurant. 1000 lek.
Raki is Albania's national alcohol; try Boza for something
non-alcoholic, the most famous of which is Pacara Boza, ☎ +355 69
2481122. 1 bottle of 1.5 l ~ 100 lek.
Sky Tower Rotating Bar.
(Rr. Ibrahim Rugova) This is a must! The rotation is a bit jerky and
may leave you slightly seasick.
Blloku is the main nightlife spot
in the city.
Grand Cafe, Blloku. Frequented by elites of the
city for a good cup of coffee.
Lizard, Blloku. There is often
live shows performed by bands from all over Albania, when prices for
drinks drop a little. Lizard is known for the cocktails their
experienced bartender prepares.
Shakesbeer Bar, Blloku. Good
place offering beers.
Converse, Charls, Steel Wings (Bikers
club), Unit, Mos Fli. Clubs in Blloku frequented by die hard rock
and metal fans.
Brauhaus (Brauhaus Shallvare), Shallvare (Pallati Tuborg), ☎
+355689044286. 13:00-23:00. Brauhaus (Shallvare Brewpub), Rruga
Reshit Çollaku 38, Tirana (Parku Rinia, Shallvare), ☎ +355 4 223
7955. 11-00. The first brew pub in Tirana, Albania, with beers
(Blonde, Rose, Dark, Bock) brewed few meters away from the seating
tables. Fermented in open view tanks and poured from tank, fresh
into the mug, unfiltered and unpasteurized without added CO2 or any
adjuncts. Live music €1 a beer. 1.
Some of the most popular events are Summer Day
celebrations in Mid-March, and Independence Day festivities on
November 28. Recently, a number of prestigious festivals have become
a tradition in the city's calendar of events:
International Film Festival (Tirana Film Fest). This annual film
festival held at the end of November and beginning of December
highlights the work of ethnic Albanian artists.
International Contemporary Art Biannual (Tirana Biennale), ☎ +355 69
2069011. This biannual art festival features the best of
international contemporary art. It was last held in 2009 at the
historic Hotel Dajti building.
Tirana Jazz Fest.
Rally Albania, Mother Teresa Square, ☎ +355 4 2231 586. The event
features an international competition in the rough Albanian
There are plenty of ATMs accepting
Cirrus/Maestro and Visa around the city (and there is one at the
Adrion International Bookshop, Palace
of Culture, Skanderbeg Square (Center), ☎ +355 4 223 5242.
08:30-21:30. Magazines and newspapers from around the world. English
Unique, Rruga Ibrahim Rugova,
Blloku. This shoe shop has fancy shoes such as Dsquared, Fendi, and
Kiosques, Rr. Barrikadave and Rr.
Durresit (North of Sulejman Pasha Square and across from the Tourist
Info Center). Souvenirs.
Food & market
Central Market (Pazari i ri),
Sheshi Avni Rustemi. daily early morning. Fresh fruit and
vegetables, as well as traditional cooking utensils.
Organik, Rr. Vaso Pasha 3 Tiranë, ☎ +355 69 209 9047. M-F
09:00-21:00, Sa Su 09:00-14:00, 17:30-21:00. The shop works directly
with producers and sell local organic olive oil, raki, wine, honey,
and dried herbs.
Citypark Albania, Tirana-Durrës
highway, km 8 (Just beyond the airport turn-off), ☎ +355 4 2376424.
A large shopping centre has some 180 shops, a Mercator hypermarket,
food court, skating rink
Coin department store (Rr. Papa Gjon
Pali II) (ABA Business Center).
Galeria Mall, Blv. Bajram Curri
(European Trade Centre, behind the Pyramid), ☎ +355 4 2254100. Daily
09:00-20:00. More than 50 shops, bars and cafés
Center, Rr. Frang Bardhi, ☎ +355 4 4801028, e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org. 09:00-21:00. Has a Conad supermarket and a
QTU shopping centre (Qendra Tregtare Univers),
Tirana-Durrës highway, km 6 (6.8 km North-West of Tirana), ☎ +355 4
380100. Has a supermarket, electronics store. (+355 4 2380103)
QTU City mall, Rruga Abdyl Frashëri. Daily 09:00-22:00.
Plaza, Sheshi Italia (At the Sheraton hotel). The mall has a café, a
food court, a good little supermarket and several upmarket shops.
Tirana East Gate (TEG), Autostrada Tiranë – Elbasan, km 0, ☎
+355 4 2395000.
Toptani Shopping Center, Rr. Abdi Toptani, ☎ +
355 4 4 4540999, e-mail: email@example.com. Splashy new shopping
mall right in the city center.
It is a good idea to buy a local Vodafone or
ALBtelecom prepaid sim card for staying connected to the Internet.
Prices start at around 600 lek for a calling plan. For slightly over
1,000 lek you can get a calling plan with 5GB or more data traffic.
Additional data is 500 lek per 4Gb, with occasional bonuses. You
must provide a passport to purchase a prepaid SIM. There is a
Vodafone shop at the Nënë Tereze Airport right after the customs.
Main Post Office & Telephone Centre, Sheshi Cameria. M-F
Centre Internet, RR Brigada e
VIII (Look for the yellow sign down the laneway). 24 hours. 100 lek
per hour. edit
Internet Point, RR Deshmoret e 4 Shkurtit, 7. 24
hours. 100 lek per hour.
Gun violence has been
an issue in the nightclub district of Blloku. Extortion (and other
types of crime that relate to slavery) is common in prostitution
areas of Tirana. Unemployment is high for young adults in all areas
of Albania, and there are large networks of available people on the
street to identify, track, and harass tourists across the city.
Drug-related crime and drug traffic also occur, though they are not
as visible in the city as in some remote rural and resort areas
You should take some precautions when walking around the city.
The main advice is to simply watch your step. Although many parts of
the city are maintained, there remain holes and worn-down street
parts. Cars also seem to drive more recklessly than in most European
cities, and assume a right-of-way, so care is needed in crossing the
street. Not even a green light is always a guarantee of safety! Try
to see when the locals cross the street and cross with them.
ABC Family Health Centre. M-F
08:00-16:00. English-speaking doctors. Run by baptists.
Klinika IRMA, Rruga Dora D'Istria, Pall
Triss, Kati 3 (large physician-owned multi-specialty clinic in the
city centre, near Bllok), ☎ +355 4 2243000. M-Sa 09:00-18:00.
English, French and Italian-speaking doctors. Consultation: US$20.
Czech Republic Czech Republic, Rruga Skenderbeg
No. 10, ☎ +355 4 2234 004, fax: +355 4 2232 159.
Egypt Egypt, 1
St. Iskandar Bek, ☎ +355 4 223-3022, fax: +355 4 2232295, e-mail:
Greece Greece, Rruga
Frederik Shiroka, No 3, ☎ +355 4 2274669, +355 4 2274668, +355 4
2274670, fax: +355 4 2234290, e-mail:
Iran, Rr. Mustafa Matohiti no. 20, ☎ +355 4 2255038, fax: +355 4
Italy Italy, Papa Gjon Pali II, n.2, ☎ +355 4 2275900,
fax: +355 4 2250921.
North Macedonia North Macedonia, Rr.
Kavajes nr. 116, ☎ +355 4 223 0909, fax: +355 4 223 2514, e-mail:
Poland Poland, Rruga e Bogdaneve, ☎ +355 4
2234190, fax: +(355) 4 2233364.
Russia Russia, 2, Donika
Kastrioti Str., ☎ +355 4 225-60-40, fax: +355 4 225-60-46.
United Kingdom United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,
Rruga Skenderbeg 12, ☎ +355 4 223 4973, fax: +355 4 224 7697.
United States United States of America, Rruga e Elbasanit No. 103, ☎
+355 4 2247 285, fax: +355 4 2232 222.