Tirana, Albania’s capital, is known for its vibrant Ottoman, Fascist, and Soviet-era architecture. Skanderbeg Square, named after an equestrian statue of a national hero, is surrounded by pastel buildings.
Do you want to explore the best places to visit in Tirana? Then you are at the right place. In this article, we discuss the beautiful places of Tirana.
- Et'hem Bey Mosque
- Sky Tower in Tirana
- Blloku District in Tirana
- National Gallery of Arts
- Mount Dajti and Cable Car
- The resurrection of Christ Orthodox Cathedral
- House of leaves
- Pazari I Ri-New Bazaar
- Reja- The Cloud
- Bunk Art
- Syri I Ciklopit
- Tanner bridge
- Grand park
- Petrela Castle
- Scanderbeg's Square
Et’hem Bey Mosque
This mosque from the 18th century is next to the clock tower. It has a significant role in Albania’s modern history. It was closed during Communist rule because religion was prohibited, but it reopened illegally in 1991.
The authorities did not intervene, marking a watershed moment at the end of authoritarian communist rule. Albania now has religious freedom, with people of all faiths coexisting peacefully. It was closed during communist rule and reopened in 1991. Before entering, visitors must remove their shoes.
Sky Tower in Tirana
It is located in Tirana’s heart, near one of the most attractive areas known as “Blloku,” but its elegant structure provides the commodity of a relaxing and tranquil stay. Sky Hotel offers modern rooms with spacious bathrooms designed to provide hotel-like conditions. Sky Hotel is constantly changing, renovating, and expanding its capacity by providing clients with an additional 20 rooms, totalling 53 cosy rooms. The Sky Restaurant, located at the hotel’s entrance, serves a buffet breakfast. The Hotel Bar is warm and elegant, where you can enjoy craft ice cream.
Blloku District in Tirana
This is an upscale and trendy Tirana neighbourhood that most tourists will visit at some point. Numerous cafes and restaurants are opening in Tirana’s Blloku District, and you can also see the former Albanian dictator and communist leader Enver Hoxha’s house.
This would most likely be the most popular Tirana tourist attraction if the general public were allowed inside. Perhaps the Albanian tourist board will open this building as a museum one day?
National Gallery of Arts
The National Gallery of Art, established as a gift to the country, is a centre for visual art, education, and culture. Our collection of over 150,000 paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, photographs, prints, and drawings spans Western art history and highlights some of humanity’s most outstanding achievements.
This is a must-see collection of communist-inspired propaganda art! Some of the paintings and works of art appear almost cartoonish, depicting images of valiant citizens hard at work. Another museum where photographs are not permitted is the National Gallery of Arts (which is a massive shame). A visit here provides valuable insight into the operation of a state propaganda machine.
Mount Dajti and Cable Car
It is one of the best tourist places to visit in Tirana. Dajti Ekspres is the Balkans’ longest cableway!” The 15-minute cable car ride takes you to the top of Dajti mountain, where you can participate in various fun activities, including a tree-top adventure.
When you reach the summit, you can take in all the scenic views your eyes can take or hike along some of the paths in the national park area.
The resurrection of Christ Orthodox Cathedral
The Resurrection Cathedral is an Albanian Orthodox church located in the heart of Tirana. It is one of the Balkans’ largest Eastern Orthodox churches. It was officially opened on June 24, 2012, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the revival of the Albanian Orthodox Church . The cathedral complex includes the cathedral, the Nativity chapel, the bell tower, the residence of the Holy Synod, the cultural centre, a library, two other chapels, and a small museum.
House of leaves
This is one of Tirana’s most exciting places to visit. The House of Leaves is the city’s newest museum. Here you can learn about the national intelligence service and the terrifying history of its occupation by Germans during World War II. After the war, the Albanian government reclaimed the ability to spy on Albanians during communist times and convict them of political crimes. Visiting the House of Leaves is one of the most astonishing things to do in Tirana!
Pazari I Ri-New Bazaar
The “Pazari I Ri” (New Bazaar) neighbourhood near Tirana’s downtown is more than worth a visit. The bazaar was once a jumbled mess of kiosks and stalls and was renovated into a fascinating retro-rustic area. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat, as well as seafood, dairy, and olive oil products, are available, as are all of the flavours that once pervaded Tirana’s old town market.
Reja- The Cloud
Reja is a modern art installation designed by Japanese architect Suo Fujimoto in front of the National Art Gallery. The geometric elements of the setup, as well as the way the structural components intertwine, are reminiscent of a cloud that has just landed in the city. Check it out because this installation is frequently the site of various artistic events.
A Bunker Museum is Bunker Art. The communist dictator’s massive bunker has been converted into a museum. Bunk Art is a museum on Tirana’s outskirts dedicated to the history of the communist army and what happened to Albanians during that period.
You can see Enver Hoxha’s luxury bunker and many other exciting exhibitions here. Bunk Art is one of the best things to do in Tirana, if not Albania!
Syri I Ciklopit
Tirana’s most remote and off-the-grid location. The name of this location comes from a native legend. The hidden lake is so remote that it is not listed in standard guides. Nonetheless, the site is worth seeing because of the breathtaking scenery. The site is worth seeing, especially during the summer when the emerald waters of the wild river basin are in full bloom.
This small park contains a piece of the Berlin Wall, a bunker, and the remains of an Albanian labour camp during the communist regime. During the communist era, tens of thousands of people were imprisoned and sent to labour camps for “political crimes.” Spaç Prison was a labour camp where many people died.
Although it is one of Tirana’s darker activities and may not be as impressive as an outdoor museum, I believe it is worth a look.
This Ottoman-style bridge provided a glimpse of the city in the 18th century. The bridge is located near the Tanner Mosque. This bridge mainly transported livestock and produce from Deber into the city.
The Tirana Grand Park first took shape in the 1950s when an artificial lake was built. It has grown in significance since then by serving as a hub for recreational activities. The park is now Tirana’s most important green space. The park contains a variety of trees, small plants, and small bird specimens. The Tirana Parks and Recreation Agency recently added more spaces and trees to the park. In addition, the open amphitheatre and small harbour in the park were completely rebuilt. The Grand Park is a must-see attraction for visitors to Tirana during the spring and summer seasons.
It is one of the best places to visit in Tirana that draws many visitors. The Castle, a prominent wooden structure that serves as a restaurant, sits atop a rocky hill above the village of the same name. It is triangular in shape and has two observation towers. Although it was initially constructed in ancient times, the current structure dates from the 15th century.
The Petrela Castle is, without a doubt, one of the best historical sites in Albania. This stronghold, located southeast of Tirana on top of a 400-meter-high rock, provides an ancient perspective on the country’s capital. The Castle was built under the Byzantines in the V-VI century C.E. and housed Albanian noble families during mediaeval times.
Scanderbeg’s Square is a popular and one of the best places to visit in Tirana. The Square bears the name of Gjergj Kastriot Skanderbeg (George Castriot Scanderbeg 1405-1468), Albania’s national hero known for his valiant resistance against the Ottoman Empire. A fifty-year-old equestrian statue of Scanderbeg occupies the south side of the Square.
The Square is surrounded by a mix of buildings from various eras, including the Et’hem Beu Mosque (18th century), the National Library (1922), the National Bank of Albania (1938), the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet (1953), the Palace of Culture (1968), and the National Historical Museum (1981). In addition, Tirana’s central Square was wholly renovated in 2017 and transformed into a pedestrian oasis paved with stones from all over Albania. As a result, Scanderbeg’s Square received the CCCB’s “Public Urban Space 2018” award.
Skanderbeg is Albania’s national hero. His claims to fame include severing people in half with a massive sword and standing up to the Ottoman Empire. While sightseeing, you will most likely pass through Skanderberg square several times. When looking for accommodation in Tirana, it makes sense to choose a hotel close to the centre if possible.