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July 24, 2022
Tirana, Albania
#4630MilesLater

Vera & Çeti

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Things To Do

We’re so excited to share a few of our favorite places to see and eat at in the area with you.
Toptani Plaza

Toptani Plaza

Shëtitorja Murat Toptani, Tirana, Tirana County, Albania

Old castle walls enclosing a wonderful "hidden" street full of restaurants and bars.

Bunk'Art 2

Bunk'Art 2

Street Abdi Toptani, Tiranë, Qarku i Tiranës, Albania
, +355 67 207 2905

In order to understand a country and where the people are coming from, we first have to learn about its dark past and how the country has come to be. Bunk'Art 2 is a nuclear bunker turned museum highlighting the cruel communist regime that clouded Albania for 45 years. The museum will take you through the history of the rise and fall of communism in Albania. Its 24 rooms are divided into topics from how Sigurimi (the secret service) bugged a room or a regular object like a bloom for surveillance to the countless stories of political persecutions. The nuclear bunker itself was built in secret in the 1980s by the communist regime to prepare for a foreign invasion and you can still see many rooms that retain its original purposes like the apartment reserved for the Minister of Internal Affairs and even the decontamination room. The entry fee is 500 LEK per person, but given the quality of the content, it's definitely worth it especially if you want to learn more about Albania.

House of Leaves

House of Leaves

Tirana, Tirana County, Albania
, +355 4 222 2612

The Museum of Secret Surveillance (Muzeu i Përgjimeve të Sigurimit të Shtetit), also known as the House of Leaves (Shtëpia me Gjethe) is a historical museum in Tirana, Albania. It opened in 2017 in the building that served as the Sigurimi's (secret service) headquarter during the communist era. The museum is "dedicated to the innocent people who were spied on, arrested, prosecuted, convicted and executed during the communist regime."

Skanderbeg Square

Skanderbeg Square

Tiranë, Qarku i Tiranës, Albania

Great for a quick stroll in the heart of Tirana! If Tirana is a human body, Skanderbeg Square is probably the central nervous system. This is where all the roads in Tirana lead to. Skanderbeg Square is a large space surrounded by several tourist attractions making it one of the best places to start your journey in Tirana. During the day, it might be a bit empty but once the sunset, the square comes alive with a ton of locals hanging out, socializing among each other, and participating in whatever event that is currently taking place in the Square.

National History Museum

National History Museum

7 Sheshi Skënderbej, Tirana, Tirana County 1001, Albania
, +355 4 222 3977

Located right in the middle of Skanderbeg Square, the museum exterior is decorated with a colorful soviet-propaganda-style mural that is hard to miss. This museum goes even beyond the communist era all the way to when the Albanian spirit and identity was born. The collection in the museum will take you from ancient Illyria to the post-communist era with each room and items labeled in English and aligned in chronological order. You will also learn about the great Albanian hero, Skanderbeg, an Albanian nobleman and military commander who led a rebellion against the Ottoman Empire and how he became the founding father of Albania. The museum entry is 200 LEK per person. The museum opens every day from 9 AM - 7 PM and you can expect to spend around 2 hours if you want to read and understand Albanian history thoroughly.

Enver Hoxha's Former Residence

Enver Hoxha's Former Residence

Tiranë, Qarku i Tiranës 1000, Albania

Unfortunately, this is not open to the public, but you can see it from beyond the gate. Eye opening when you think about the Communist era and think of how the general public lived, and how the communist leader lived.

Et'hem Bej Mosque

Et'hem Bej Mosque

Sheshi Skënderbej, Tiranë, Qarku i Tiranës 1000, Albania

From the outside, it may not seem like Albania is a Muslim-majority country but it is and one of the oldest and most prominent mosques in Tirana is Et'hem Bej Mosque, an Ottoman-era mosque located right in the middle of Skanderbeg Square. The Et'hem Bej Mosque was built in the 19th Century but it was closed down during the communist-regime. Despite it being closed, in 1991, over 10,000 people showed up and entered the premise, marking the beginning of the unraveling of Communism in Albania. The outside may not look like much but the stunning depiction of waterfalls and plants on the frescos in the prayer hall, which is quite rare to see in a mosque, is quite a sight to behold.

Kulla e Sahatit

Kulla e Sahatit

Tiranë, Qarku i Tiranës, Albania

Higher is always better. If you are looking for a place to go up so that you can see Skanderbeg Square and the surrounding buildings from above, the Clock Tower of Tirana is the place to be. For 200 LEK, you can climb up to the top of the tower and you will be able to see the square clearly from all directions. You can see all the colorful buildings around the Square as well as the mountain range that surrounded Tirana.

Pyramid of Tirana

Pyramid of Tirana

Tirana, Tirana County 1001, Albania

The Pyramid of Tirana is a remnant structure from the communist-era where it was initially built as a museum to display the legacy of Enver Hoxha, a long-time communist leader of Albania. After the fall of communism, the place was closed down, turned into many other things until it was abandoned into a condition it is in today. The structure itself is weirdly beautiful with a pyramid-shape exterior built in the style of Brutalism with grey concrete. It is a unique sight to see if you are want to get a glimpse of their brutalism past. The pyramid is currently under reconstruction.

Pazari i Ri

Pazari i Ri

Tirana, Tirana County, Albania

The New Bazaar is a newly renovated market that offers fresh fruits, organic vegetables, as well as souvenirs, local wine, and raki. Around the bazaar, you will find several bars and restaurants for you to eat and drink your night away. Right on this spot, it used to be a very old bazaar during the Ottoman time that forms parts of the Old Town before it was renovated and extended to connect the bazaar with Skanderbeg Square in 2017.

Ceren Ismet Shehu

Ceren Ismet Shehu

Shëtitorja Murat Toptani, Tirana, Tirana County 1001, Albania
, +355 69 386 6665

If you're looking for traditional Albanian food, look no further! Located inside the castle walls, this restaurant is a quick away from the Plaza Hotel. Make sure you come with an empty stomach!

Even More Recommendations

Even More Recommendations

Albania

Here's a link to a blog site with even more recommendations for things to do and see, depending on the length of your stay!

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