10 Must See Things in Tirana Albania

Who I am
Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

More than a tourist destination, Albania is a nation known for sad historical events, the most recent date back to the s. Even today it is possible to notice the signs of those dark years, but what is surprising is the ability shown by his people to restart and renew themselves.
Symbol of this rebirth is Tirana, a city that, unlike what many believe, is not alone full of tourist attractions, but also offers the visitor neighborhoods with trendy restaurants and clubs to enjoy. Tirana is therefore a very lively and young city, a fantastic economic destination easily accessible from Italy, located just 30 kilometers from the sea. Here you are 10 things to see absolutely in Tirana.


  1. Scanderbeg Square
  2. Clock tower
  3. Et'hem Bey Mosque
  4. Pyramid of Hoxha
  5. St. Paul's Cathedral
  6. Trendy Blloku neighborhood
  7. House of Leaves - Museum of the Secret Services
  8. Bulevardi Deshmoret and Kombit
  9. Central market
  10. National History Museum
  11. User questions and comments

1 - Piazza Scanderbeg

For many years the stage of the communist regime, the square is dominated by the large statue dedicated toAlbanian hero Scanderbeg who defeated the Ottomans. Before it was shot down by the crowd in 1991, there was also a monument dedicated to the dictator Enver Hoxha. They also overlook the square some institutional buildings (that of the town hall and some ministries), whose facades are painted in ocher and burgundy colors. In the eastern part stands the minaret of one of the oldest mosques in the city, considered one of the most important cultural monuments, which saved it from being destroyed by the communist regime in the late s.

  • Where it is: full historical center - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free

2 - Clock Tower

It is one of the main symbols of the city, also known as Kulla and Sahatit. You can see it in Piazza Scanderbeg, it is in fact in the immediate vicinity of the mosque of Et'hem Bey. You can climb to the top, from which you can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view on the city. Its construction began in 1821 and ended thanks to the financial help offered by the wealthiest families of Tirana. In fact, it is part of the Muslim tradition that the richest families reserve a tenth part of their annual earnings to finance public works or charities. As a modification to the original design, the Tower was further increased in height by 35 meters in 1928 and installed on top the watch from Germany.

  • Where it is: Scanderberg Square, next to the Et'hem Bey mosque - Get directions
  • Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 9:00 to 13:00 and from 16:00 to 18:00
  • € 1,00

3 - Et'hem Bey Mosque

This wonderful mosque is, with good reason, considered the most beautiful in all of Albania. Built in 1789, it is finely decorated on the outside and richly on the inside, where there are representations of landscapes and natural elements, unusual in Islamic art. During the communist period it remained closed for years, to be reopened (without authorization!), In 1991, by a crowd of people "armed" with Albanian flags: this gesture of protest was the prelude to the fall of the communist regime.

  • Where it is: Scanderberg Square - Get directions
  • free admission always, with the exception of prayer times
  • Free

4 - Pyramid of Hoxha

Built to be the mausoleum of the eternal rest of the dictator Enver Hoxha, was designed by the daughter and son-in-law. Opened in 1988, however, it performs the function of youth cultural center, a recreation and convention center, is also home to a television station.

  • Where it is: at the intersection of Bul Bajram Curri and Dëshmorët e Kombit - Get directions
  • always open
  • Free, free visit

5 - St. Paul's Cathedral

It is a building that, at first glance, can be mistaken for a hotel rather than a Cathedral. The exteriors are very simple, the interiors with a triangular plan a very unique architecture. To observe carefully is the drawing that appears on one of the windows, depicting Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II.

  • Where it is: Bul Zhan D'Ark - Get directions
  • always open
  • Free, free visit

6 - Trendy Blloku neighborhood

This is the neighborhood that most represents the rebirth and renewal of the city. Its lively character makes it the favorite destination of young people, thanks to the trendy restaurants, bars and clubs, shops. Here once lived the officials of the communist regime and access to the neighborhood was forbidden to the rest of the citizens, a prohibition clearly highlighted by a security cordon. To date, the district represents in an excellent way the desire of Tirana, but also of the whole country, to be an active part of Europe.

  • Where it is: between bulevardi Bajaram Curri in the north, rruga Sami Frashëri in the west, rruga Abdyl Frashëri in the south and rruga Dëshmorët and 4 Shkurtitest - Get directions
  • always open
  • free

7 - House of Leaves - Museum of Secret Services

It is located in the center of Tirana, in an otherwise anonymous building. Maybe that's why it once housed the headquarters of the country's communist secret service, called Sigurimi. Today, however, the building has become a museum, dedicated to the Secret Services, which allows you to learn a little more about a truly obscure period of Albanian history. In fact, many innocent citizens have been spied on, arrested, tried and sentenced as well as executed, because of the communist regime. The building also housed the Gestapo, during the occupation of the country in the Second World War. At the Museum equipment used to spy on suspects is exhibited, also quite advanced equipment, but visitors can also access the wiretapping rooms and the dark room for developing photographs.

  • Where it is: Deshmoret Street and 4 Shkurtit - Get directions
  • every day from 9: 00 to 19: 00
  • 700 ALL (about € 5,20), free on the last Sunday of each month

8 - Bulevardi Deshmoret and Kombit

It is a large avenue that leads to the National Art Gallery and is dedicated to martyrs and combatants. Designed by the architect Gherardo Bosio and built during the Italian occupation of the country, it is one of the most important streets of the city and houses some important buildings, such as banks and universities.

  • Where it is: the boulevard intersects with another boulevard, Bajram Curri Boulevard, near the Rinia Park - Get directions
  • always open
  • free

9 - Central market

The Central Market is the colorful and typical market of the city, where you can immerse yourself and get a taste of the true soul of Tirana. You will be able to buy typical products and have a taste of traditional smells and flavors.

  • Where it is: Rruga Shenasi Dishnica - Get directions
  • every day from 8: 00 to 14: 00
  • Free, free visit

10 - National History Museum

In business since October 1981, it is the largest museum in the city and one of the most significant in Albania. Here it is possible to know much of the history of the country, thanks to the more than 3.600 artifacts that belong to its cultural heritage. The external facade is covered with a magnificent mosaic which depicts the entire history of the country, from Illyrian origins until today.

  • Where it is: Sheshi Skënderbej 1 - Get directions
  • every day from 9: 00 to 19: 30
  • full 300 lek (about € 2,15)

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