General Information Tirana SEED

General Information
Tirana, the capital of Albania, is known for its colorful Ottoman-, Fascist- and Soviet-era architecture. Pastel buildings surround the city’s focal point, Skanderbeg Square, which is named for its equestrian statue of a national hero. On the square’s north end is the modernist National History Museum, covering prehistoric times through Communist rule and the anti-Communist uprisings of the 1990s. In this city, old and new collide.

Since shaking off its communist cloak in the early 1990s, Tirana has essentially become an entirely different city. It transformed from gray, functional architecture and other unexciting urban characteristics into a city filled with lively pedestrian streets,

lively festivals, colorful buildings,excellent museums, and beautiful green parks.
One of the first things to do in Tirana is to take a walking tour. A walking tour will help you make sense of the city. Not only in terms of direction, but it will give you a great understanding of its people, culture, and history.
The tour will begin at Skanderbeg Square, which is the main boulevard.
Many of the best things to do in Tirana are situated in, or around, the square. This includes the National History Museum and Palace of Culture.
You’ll visit some of the top Tirana attractions, including the Skanderbeg Statue a national hero, and the Et’hem Bey Mosque.
Located on one side of Skanderbeg Square, the iconic Et’hem Bey Mosque dates from the 18th century and is one of the top things to see in Tirana. It was closed under communist rule as it prohibited all religious practices but reopened as a place of worship in 1991.
Walk across the Tanners’ Bridge
When deciding what to see in Tirana, we suggest a fun little landmark in central Tirana Tanners’ Bridge, which dates from the 18th-century Ottoman time. It’s one of the few remaining Ottoman structures in Tirana. Constructed in the vicinity of the Tanners’ Mosque, it used to be part of the much-used St. George Road, the link between the city and the highlands to the east.Originally spanning the Lanë River, the bridge was kept as a monument after the river was redirected. Plus, you can still walk across it! It’s a beautiful historic highlight in a city that’s modernizing at a lightning pace.
The Tirana Mosaic (Albania Mozaiku i Tiranës) is a landmark in Tirana,Albania
It is believed to have been part of a 3rd-century Roman house, referred to by local archeologists as the Villa rustica ‘. Later, in the 5th and 6th centuries, a Paleo-Christian Basilica was built around this site. It was declared a cultural monument of the first category in June 1973.
The ruins of this Paleo-Christian Basilica were discovered in 1972. In 2002, some other objects were found around the ruins of the house, and today they form the archaeological complex in Tirana. It is the only archaeological monument within the city.Some of the ancient mosaics discovered at the site that feature diverse geometrical patterns and depict poultry and fish. It was re-opened to the public on 23 January 2010.
As well as being one of the most beautiful places to see in Tirana, you’ll also find some great Tirana attractions and landmarks here. This includes the Presidential Palace and Royal Gardens to the east, and the Zoo and Botanical Gardens to the west.
New Bazaar
One of most incredible things to do in Tirana was to pull up a chair at one of the lovely cafes in the New Bazaar and partake in some people-watching with a coffee. The market buildings boast substantial glass windows and roofs, allowing as much light as possible and making the various stands more vibrant than ever. This, of course, also means that the market is open on rainy days, too, now.
The New Bazaar was originally built in 1931 and was recently renovated in 2016, making it one of the most popular Tirana attractions.

Go here for fresh fruit, veggies, fish, meats, raki, and regional Albanian wine. Around the market, you’ll find bakeries, coffee shops, and restaurants where you can sample delicious,

traditional Albanian cuisine

Surrounding the market are bakeries, cafes and restaurants, all housed in beautiful buildings. If you’re wondering where to go in Tirana to experience local life, this is it.

The Bunk’Art Museum
On this communism tour of Tirana, you’ll learn all about the people who shaped Albania’s history and visit some of the main Tirana attractions of the era.

One of the things to do in Tirana, and when visiting any city, is to learn about its past. As part of the tour, you’ll explore Bunk’Art2, (the sister museum to Bunk’Art1), which provides fascinating stories from communist times, as well as information about the secret police – the Sigurimi.

In the 1980s, no fewer than 170,000 bunkers dotted the Albanian countryside and towns. Nowadays, most of the remaining ones are Albania attractions, monuments, and historic landmarks, but one particular one has become a museum.

The Bunk’Art Museum is one of the top things to do in Tirana. Located near the Deshmoret, a Kombit Boulevard, at the base of Mount Dajti, this mixed art and history museum showcases the troubling communist past of Albania.

It’s a city that completely owns its sometimes dark and gruesome past, to ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated. This is the main message of Bunk’Art2 and it’s utterly captivating.

Stroll along Rruga Murat Toptani
If mountain hikes are not your cup of tea, you can opt to go for a walk along Rruga Murat Toptani instead. A pedestrian street lined with trees, shops, and restaurants, it’s a great place to spend a hot summer afternoon. In winter, on the other hand, this is the location of an atmospheric Christmas market.

Take a walk through Blloku
You’ll take a walk through Blloku, the neighborhood where members of the communist party used to exclusively live. Here, you’ll enjoy a coffee break in one of the cafes, and see the villa of Enver Hoxha, the former dictator of Albania.

One of the best places to visit in Tirana is the Grand Park and Artificial Lake located within.

This is a must-see in Tirana. Get your daily dose of exercise with a walk around the park, or grab a coffee in one of the many shaded cafes.

Enjoy panoramic views from Sky Hotel Panoramic Bar & Restaurant
One of the best hotels in Tirana, Sky Hotel Tirana, also houses one of the absolute best restaurants in Tirana. The Sky Restaurant is on the 16th floor of Sky Tower, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, accompanied by incredible views.

On the level above the restaurant is the Sky Panoramic Bar, a fantastic 360-degree bar offering epic sunset and nighttime views of Tirana. On top of that, the bar slowly rotates, so you don’t have to walk around to see the entire city. Just grab a drink and a seat and watch until the bar spins you around.

Explore the Foodie Scene in Blloku
Exploring Blloku is definitely one of the most fun things to do in Tirana at night. It’s the time when this neighborhood really comes alive. There are so many lively bars in this area, you’ll definitely find one to suit the vibe you’re looking for.

For a communist-inspired bar, head to Komiteti, which has some of the best raki available in the city, along with amazing artifacts from the era. Radio Bar is one of the most unique places to visit in Tirana for cocktails with a funky retro feel and great music.

Take a Tour of the Bovilla Lakes
Around an hour’s drive from Tirana city centre lies Bovilla Lake. The lake is in a stunning location, with scenic views, and is an excellent place for spotting wildlife. It’s one of the most beautiful things to do in Tirana, and perfect for keen hikers.

There’s a choice of an easy or more challenging trail. The ‘easy’ trail takes you to the Balcony of Bovilla, where you can enjoy scenic views of the forest, valleys, and the lake. The more challenging trail will take you to the peak of Mount Gamti.

Spend time in the Adrion Library of Tirana
Tirana exploded after the fall of communism with the introduction of Western shopping malls. Still, Adrion bookstore in Skanderbeg Square and across the street from the National Opera is one of the most famous old establishments to have survived these changes.

Adrion, which currently has several offices in the city center and international airport, is the most famous and well-equipped store in the city and offers translations of a long list of Albanian dramas and documentaries and tourist guides and maps to help you plan your trip.

Ride the Dajti Ekspres
Without question, one of the best things to do in Tirana is riding the Dajti Ekspres. The ride takes about 15 minutes and is a kilometer long, making this the longest cable car ride in the Balkans. In that time, you’ll rise over 800 meters from the city center to Mount Dajti.

Shop Local 
In Tirana, you can find a diverse mix of handmade jewelry, cloth bags, tapestries, and other items representing fantastic gifts as souvenirs for loved ones back home. You’ll have no trouble finding trinkets that are small and fit in your travel luggage.
Transport from Tirana Airport (Rinas) to the center of Tirana
The distance between the airport and city center (Skanderbeg Square) is 17 kilometres, this means a journey by car takes approximately 30 minutes.

Public transport
There is no public transportation available at Tirana Aiport. It is, however, possible to travel by airport bus to Tirana (LUNA Travel). Besides, you can take a taxi from Tirana Airport to many destinations in Albania.

Bus services
LUNA Travel operates a bus service between Tirana Airport and the city, every hour in both directions. The bus service is also known as Rinas Express, the bus to the city runs from 07:00 hours to 02:00 hours, the bus to the airport from 06:00 hours to 01:00 hours. The airport bus stop is situated south of the terminal, it is on your left when you walk outside. In the city centre, the bus departs from the bus stop Rinas Airport Bus, behind the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania close to Skanderbeg Square (Sheshi Skënderbej). A ticket costs 500 ALL per person and is available from the driver. The bus ride between the airport and the centre of Tirana takes 30 to 40 minutes. Please consult buses Tirana Airport and website LUNA Travel for more information.
The rate for a single fare is 500 Albanian Lek.
Service Hours:
Tirana – Rinas (Airport) – Tirana
To serve the passengers, there is a regular bus line that offers daily service, from 06:00 in the morning until 24:00 in the evening called Rinas Express, which travels from Tirana to the Airport and back every one hours. The bus is parked in Tirana behind the Palace of OPERA and BALLET. The journey takes 30 minutes.
Service hours:
Tirane – Airport : Every hour from 06:00- 24:00
Airport – Tirane: Every hour from 07:00-02:00 AM
Frekuenca; Every Day
Cmimi: 500 Leke (ALL)

 Rinas Airport Transfer by taxi
The quickest and most affordable way to get from TIA Tirana Rinas Airport into the city centre of Tirana is by taxi. Taxis are located outside the terminal building, as well as at the TIA Tirana Rinas Airport pick up zone. The journey takes about 20-25 minutes and the fare price is aproximately 20 euros.

Hotels near the city center in Tirana
There are many hotels with very good conditions and good prices. Below we are listing some of them:
1. Tirana International Hotel & Conference Center
Located right on the well-known Skanderbeg Square, Tirana International Hotel & Conference Center features elegant accommodation. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property, as well as free parking
2. In Center Hotel (Rruga Bardhok Biba LID Building, 1001 Tirana)
3. Lot Boutique Hotel
4. Hotel Boutique Restaurant Gloria
5. Vila Jasmine
6. Hotel Europa (29 Rruga Myslym Shyri, 1001 Tirana, Albania)
7. The Crown Boutique Hotel & SPA
8. Boutique Hotel Kotoni (Rruga Donika Kastrioti 3, 1000 Tirana, Albania )
9. Freddy’s Hotel (Rruga Bardhok Biba 75, 1001 Tirana, Albania)
You can use to book your rooms!
Albania National currency is the LEK. Most hotels will allow you to settle the bill in euros or LEK, as you prefer.
Currency exchange agencies are everywhere in the city.


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