The main economic, political and cultural center, Tirana is the beating heart of Albania. After the revival from communism in the early 90s, the Albanian capital is unrecognizable, offering unexpected ideas, lively infrastructure, traditional restaurants and trendy bars. Tirana is not a real tourist town. Home to a growing population, it offers a charm that you will not find anywhere else. Whether it is to visit one of the attractions, to walk in the countryside or spend an evening in the coolest areas of the city, these are, in my opinion, the 10 good reasons to visit Tirana right away.
The unique atmosphere
In this city you will not find the classic beauties of European capital: the pretty little houses, the glittering canals or the medieval churches. Visiting Tirana means discovering all the phases that this city has undergone: Ottoman rule, the First and Second World War, the fascism, until the fall of communism. Exploring the history, you will immerse in a colorful city, where the old is combined with the new in a complementary way. Tirana is chaotic, intriguing, pleasant and relaxing, you will have the feeling that it has remained locked in the past, but at the same time it is accelerating towards the future.
The culture of cafés
Immediately when you set foot in Tirana you will notice the love that these people have for coffee. Watch the old generation slowly sipping their coffee in the simple bars or the young people, who chat and listen to the music in the trendy ones. Cafés appear everywhere, eccentric or old-fashioned, they represent a meeting point for the people of Tirana, an indispensable moment of their daily life.
The legacy of communism
It has not been long since Communism was over, however, evidence of its existance can still be seen around. Instantly strange pieces of architecture such as the Pyramid, a memorial dedicated to deceased dictator Enver Hoxha, or video museums such as Bunk’Art, will make you perceive all aspects of a life during dictatorship: isolation from the outside world, constant surveillance by the secret police, the limitation of individual freedoms, and the life under siege.
The delicious food
The wide and varied gastronomic offers make this city a paradise for gourmets: traditional trattorias, breweries, typical places, street food, high-level restaurants run by chefs. Visiting Tirana means going to the discovery of small restaurants that serve local delicacies at a very low price. The capital offers the possibility to taste also the international cuisine, a high quality one at low costs.
The day trips
Tirana has a central position, very strategic, which allows you to easily reach interesting sites in a day. Setting off in the morning you could take an excursion to the historic town of Kruja, witness of the epic of Skandernbeg or visit Durres, the city on the Adriatic Sea. Transportation is not always fast, but some places are easily accessible by bus.
The evening entertainment program in Tirana is very rich, traditional and international music, dj sets, concerts, live performances and much more. Mainly the most animated areas are concentrated in the city center such as Bllok, but peripheral districts also have several surprises.
Landscapes immersed in greenness
To take a break from the city center and admire one of the best views of the Albanian capital, head to the National Park of Mount Dajti. Located about twenty kilometers from the center of Tirana, it is one of the traditional destinations for excursions. Take the number one bus, get off at Teleferiku stop, and take the Dajti Ekspress that lifts you up to the top of the mountain. The trip is definitely a relaxing break in the middle of nature.
Modern urban design
Modern architectural skyscrapers, buildings that revolve around with a 360 degree view of the city, urban-style bars and restaurants, refined decorations and much more make Tirana not only a tourist attraction but also an investment potential for visitors arriving in the country.
Away from mass tourism
Unlike many European capitals, Tirana is, by and large, out of mass tourism. You can enjoy this city without worrying about the invasion of buses full of tourists or endless files for visiting museums. Despite the intense traffic, visiting Tirana allows you to discover a pleasant and relaxing city, out of the chaos created by too many tourists.
Low cost destination
Not just the favorable Exchange rate, but also the cost of living make Tirana an ideal city to visit. With little money, you can discover the city’s best attractions, enjoy the delicious food or sip some great coffee in one of the city’s most interesting areas.
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