Tirana is the capital and the largest city of Albania. Tirana became Albania’s capital city in 1920 and has a population of 600,000, with metro area population of 763,634. The city is host to public institutions and private universities, and is the centre of the political, economic, and cultural life of the country. More details can be found at the Wikipedia article.
Hostels & Hotels
Tirana offers a wide range of hostels and hotels which makes it easy for you to choose based on your budget. Availability shouldn’t be a problem, but as always when it comes to booking and travelling, the sooner you make your arrangements, the better. Here is a small list of choices that we propose. Please know that the DOiT organizing team is not affiliated with any of the businesses below.
Tirana Backpackers Hostel (website: tiranahostel.com)
Milingona Hostel (description from hostelworld.com)
To and from the airport
There is a shuttle bus running from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. that takes you from the airport to the city center (and vice versa) for 250 ALL (approx. 2€).
Otherwise, a taxi service is available 24/7 (see below) that can pick you up from your location (or drop you off at any location) and drive you to the airport for 2500 ALL (approx. 18€). There is no need to book a taxi in advance. Website of the airport: tirana-airport.com
The fastest way to get around is by taxi. Public transportation is not always reliable and doesn’t run after 8 or 10-11 p.m depending on the line.
The best taxi service in town is SpeedyTaxi. You can reach them by phone and order a cab through these numbers: +355 4 2222 555 (fixed line) and +355 69 64 222 11 (mobile).
Costs for taxi are are not too expensive in general raging from 2-5€.
Note: Do not enter to a taxi without a taximeter!
You can use also bicycles, Ecovolis offers this service for you. They can be found in many angles of the city: Train station, Taiwan complex(center of the city), Artificial Lake.
The Lek (Albanian: Leku Shqiptar; plural Lekë) (sign: L; code: ALL) is the official currency of Albania.
Official exchange rate can be found at bankofalbania.org (sidebar of the website).
In general the rates are more ore less like the following:
> EURO/LEK: 141.2
What to visit
> National museum
The National Historical Museum (Albanian: Muzeu Historik Kombëtar) in Tirana, is the country’s largest museum. It was opened on 28 October 1981 and is 27,000 square metres in size, while 18,000 square metres are available for expositions. The gigantic mosaic appearing at the main entrance is entitled The Albanians.
> National art gallery
The National Arts Gallery of Albania (Albanian: Galeria Kombetare e Arteve) has a fund of over 4,000 works of art by Albanian and foreign authors, spanning seven centuries of Albanian cultural heritage. Website: gka.al
> Stroll around the main boulevard (Bulevardi Dëshmorët e Kombit), which has the Polytechnic University of Tirana on one end and the Scanderbeg Square on the other. During this walk, you will pass by the Palace of Congress, The Pyramid, different governmental buildings, such as the offices of the Council of Ministers and the Townhall of Tirana, the Palace of Culture and National museum.
> Et’hem Bey Mosque and climb on Clock tower
Where to eat
> Era – a restorant that is famous for serving also traditional Albanian dishes (website: era.al, in the Blloku area)
> Artisti – small artsy cafe’ with a great selection of food. Address and review: inyourpocket.com
> Pastarella – perfect for Mediterranean cuisine and fish
> Gourmet – new age cuisine
Where to have a drink
The place/area to go out is the so called “Blloku area”. If you ask around everybody knows it and will be easy to find.
> Radio, located in the Blloku area. More details here
> Tea Room
> Nouvelle Vague
– Hello –> Ç’kemi (read: chkemi)
– How are you? –> Si je? (read: Cee ye?)
– What’s you name? –> Si quhesh? (read: Cee chuhesh?)
– I want to go to –> Dua të shkoj tek (read: Da tuə shkoy tek)
– How much does it cost? –> Sa kushton? (read: Sa kushton?)
– Thank you! –> Faleminderit! (read: Faleminiderit)
– Cheers! –> Gëzuar! (read: Gəzuar)
* In the Albanian alphabet, each letter corresponds to a spoken sound and you would write everything just as you hear it.
* The letter Ë/ë represents the same sound as the German Ö/ö.
Open Labs is a non-government, not-for-profit organization, based in Albania, which promotes free libre open source initiatives since 2012. Open Labs has organised more than 60 evens in Albania and abroad. The organization structure is community based.
If this is the first time you are visiting Tirana we have prepared a quick guide for you. Discover the most famous attractions of our city with our selection of guided visits and things to do by clicking here!