The Best Things to Do in Tirana, Albania
Tirana is the next big thing in Eastern Europe. This awesome little capital is making a name for itself and really upping its game in terms of cafes and restaurants. There are lots of great things to do in Tirana and it makes a perfect city break or base for exploring more of the wonderful country that is Albania!
From bizarre communist-era buildings to city views and museums there are so many attractions in Tirana that will keep any visitors busy for a few days. Read on for all the information you need about where to eat in Tirana, accommodation, transport and all the best things to do in Tirana city!
Quick Facts About Tirana
Population: Around 1.5 million
Currency: Albanian Lek (ALL). Around ALL 123 to €1
Language: Albanian. In Tirana most people spoke at least basic English and many of the older generation spoke German.
Connections: Tirana is well connected by bus to Kosovo, Montenegro and Macedonia. You can also fly there from most major airports.
Accommodation in Tirana
We had a really comfortable stay at Central Tirana Apartment. It was very well located, clean and affordable. The hosts were incredibly friendly and helpful and the room had everything we needed to relax after a busy day seeing the sights in Tirana.
We found couchsurfing quite difficult across all the Balkans but if you apply further in advance you might have some luck!
There are also some good hostels in Tirana and it only costs around €6-10 for a bed in a dorm. If you prefer your own apartment have a look at Airbnb
Best things to do in Tirana
This was originally built to house a museum dedicated to Enver Hohxa but after the fall of communism it was abandoned. The building sits in the middle of the city and is one of the most popular things to do in Tirana. It has been used as several other things such as television studios but now it just sits. It’s a funky building but nobody really knows what to do with it. So for now it makes a weird tourist attraction and great slide! Climbing to the top is doable in decent shoes or bare feet. It’s pretty steep though!
LEARN ABOUT ALBANIA’S HISTORY AT BUNK’ART MUSEUM
Another slightly weird but also awesome thing to do in Tirana is head out to an abandoned bunker and learn about Albania’s history. It costs 500L (around €4.50) to enter but this was actually a museum I don’t regret paying for. Some of the rooms are set up with relics from the time of Hoxha including his office and bedroom. There are also a range of exhibitions spanning the last 100ish years in Albania. There’s some random art display’s dotted around too.
The bunker is (obviously) underground and has long dark corridors with small rooms coming off. It’s spooky and a bit chilly. I didn’t love it down there but found it really interesting. Think twice about going if you’re claustrophobic or with young kids.
TAKE THE CABLE CAR UP MOUNT DAJTI
This is right next to BUNK’ART so it makes sense to do both of these in the same day. The Dajti Express Cable Car takes around 15 minutes and has some amazing views of the city. At the top there is a hotel and a restaurant. This is meant to be a good area to hike for the day and enjoy the views. We decided to eat and enjoy the views!
We had a decent meal at the restaurant. It was a little more expensive than places in the city but still Balkan budget prices. A meal for two with drinks cost us €20. We were there quite early to enjoy the sunset views. The Dajti express costs 600L return per person and the last one goes at around 9pm but double check this on their site as it changes depending on the season.
TAKE A FREE WALKING TOUR
A walking tour is a great way to get to know a city and nothings beats free when you’re travelling on a budget! The Tirana tour is really interesting as much of the history is really recent and there are plenty of intriguing places to stop around the city. It’s also great to have a local to ask all your burning questions to like, ‘Why are there bunkers everywhere?!’