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- Delicious and Cheap Food
Tirana is a paradise for foodies. Many small restaurants are serving local delicacies, that’s where
you can get a delicious lunch made of several different dishes for a price as low as 3the
equivalent of 3-4 Euros. Don’t miss a chance to try fried kashkaval (cheese) or, in case you’re not
vegetarian, order some grilled meat. You can also use the opportunity and have a taste of dishes
characteristic of other countries. Italian cuisine is also trendy in Tirana. If you like to cook, you’ll
enjoy the variety of fresh products you can find in Tirana’s small shops and street markets. Fruit,
vegetables, and meat are perfect. No chemistry, all natural, brought to the stores straight from
Albanian gardens. These kind of organic products are hard to find in other countries, and even if
you do find them, they’ll have the “bio” label which makes them doubly expensive.
The ancient Albanian honour code known as besa is something the nation can be rightly proud of.
Responsible for the survival of almost every single European Jew taking refuge in the country
during the Nazi occupation, “besa” is alive and well and visible in just about every smile and
gesture you will encounter while visiting Tirana.
- The Fascinating History
Tirana is a relatively new capital, established as Albania’s central city in 1925. Before it became
what it’s now, the city went through numerous stages: years of the Ottoman rule, the World War
I, the World War II and period of fascism, then finally turning into the capital and being ruled by
communist forces. It hasn’t been long since the communism finished, but the city is now rapidly
developing. Nevertheless, the evidence of its history is still to be seen all around. Some of the
grey buildings were painted in bright colors, but many remain gloomy. Some streets were
renovated, but many are in a terrible shape. Cars are still a new thing (until 1991 Albanians were
not allowed to own private vehicles), so the traffic is crazy. Exploring Tirana’s history can be a
great adventure, and it’ll help you to understand the city’s current state.
- Interesting Sites to Visit
Tirana isn’t exactly beautiful. It doesn’t have Eiffel Towers or Big Bens. Its architecture is rather
raw, and it won’t steal your heart at first sight. If you give it a chance though, you might find lots
of interesting sites. You can’t leave the city without visiting the Pyramid, a famous, quirky
structure from the communist times. The National Art Gallery has several fascinating exhibitions,
including both modern and older art. You can wander around the Blloku neighborhood, visit the
Clock Tower and the National Historical Museum. There are also several notable sites like
“BUNK’ART” or “The House of Leaves” and also churches and mosques. To rest a bit of the
city’s hustle and bustle, take a walk to the lake and stroll about the city’s largest park located
- The Weather
There’s rarely an evening you’ll be forced to eat and drink indoors and far too many days when
all you can think about is escaping to the cool mountain air of Kruja or the fresh sea breeze at
Durrës. If you love the Mediterranean climate and are bored of the Mediterranean, Tirana and the
surrounding region provides the answers you’ve been looking for.
- The Mountains
The word Balkans originates from an old Turkish word meaning mountains, a patently obvious
fact when you observe the region’s topography. Tirana is surrounded by some stunning mountain
panoramas that don’t even require you to get out of your chair to get the most out of them. If you
do feel like making the eﬀort, Dajti is easily reached.
- Unique and Adventurous City
There’s something about Tirana that makes it unique. As we have mentioned before, it’s not
pretty. No cute little houses, no sparkling canals, no beautiful medieval churches, no Baroque
castles – and yet it’s captivating. Its charm comes from the colorful crowd, from the eccentricity
of architecture, from the mixture of old and new blending into one crazy entirety. You can see
street vendors selling all sorts of surprising stuff on one side of the street and fashionable
boutiques on the other. You can see the representatives of older generation slowly sipping their
coffees in simple cafés and energetic youngsters chatting loudly in fancy bars. Car drivers abuse
the horns making noise all the time, the traffic is insane, streets are full of holes – it’s wild, but if
you have a sense of adventure, you can find this chaos somewhat fascinating. Even if some of the
streets are gray, they seem cheerful when the lights are on in numerous bars, shops, and houses.
Besides, the most important of all that is the temperament of locals, their warmth, humor, and
hospitality – that’s what Tirana’s unique atmosphere is mainly made of.
- For the Café Culture
One of the best ways to experience the authentic spirit of Tirana is to spend some time in a café.
The capital city of Albania has no shortage of gorgeous cafés. Just choose one, order a kafe turke
(Turkish coffee) or an espresso and a pastry, and settle in for a chat with some locals, or watch
the world go about its day through the window. The Albanian love for coffee is being expressed
in obvious ways. Wherever you go in Tirana, you can see plentiful coffee shops, one lovelier than
the other. In central parts of the city, such as the Blloku neighborhood or the Main Square and
surrounding areas, you can find lots of cozy cafés with specifically designed interiors. Some of
our favorites: Komiteti, a café combined with the museum; the Rooms, a cheerful and colorful
place that can easily boost up your mood; a bit hipster-ish, adorable bar called Nouvelle Vague.
As soon as you get out of the center, you’ll find other kinds of cafés, simpler and more old-style,
charming in a whole different way. That’s where locals go to sip their coffees without getting all
Tirana is undoubtedly one of the liveliest towns in the Balkan Peninsula. The city’s nightlife
scene is mainly focused in the Blloku district, the former restricted area that used to be closed to
most people during the communist era. Today Blloku is open to everyone and is the coolest
neighborhood in Tirana with plenty of clubs, cafés and bars frequented by locals, as well as
- TIRANA CARD