Tirana is not a well-known destination among tourists in Europe. The capital of Albania is still unspoiled by tourists and has a unique charm with lovely landmarks. Those who manage to get here will be spoiled with fantastic food, low prices, and lush nature. The prices are outrageously low, and therefore it makes a perfect spot for backpackers and those who want to travel on a small budget.
Tirana is the ideal place for those who enjoy discovering new places, as this is not the ”typical” destination that tourists are looking for. The Albanians are such amazing, kind and friendly people that will treat you with warm hospitality. I’ve met some amazing people when traveling through Albania, especially the elder who always wanted to help and talk even though they didn’t speak English!
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Here are the Top 6 Things to Do in Tirana!
Visit Skanderbeg Square
Skanderbeg Square is the heart of Tirana, and also an attractive and lively meeting place for the locals. You just have to visit this square while in town, as it is one of the most popular things to do in Tirana. This beautiful Square is surrounded by some of the most important sights of the city, including; the Georg Kastriot Skanderbeg statue, the clock tower & Et´hem Bey Mosque, national museum, palace of culture and the Skanderbeg Monument. Great place if you want to see the locals in action!
Stroll around Parku Rinia
Parku Rinia is the central park in Tirana that offers both green nature and kiosks for those who are looking for something to eat. The most popular attraction in the park is the Taivani complex, with excellent restaurants, cafés, a bowling hall and a lovely artesian fountain by the entrance.
Every year on March 14, this park is hosting the summer festival, which is a pagan celebration to mark the end of the winter and celebrate the rebirth of nature. This festival is one of the best things to do in Tirana during the summer.
During things festival, this particular park transforms into a lively spot with both music and laughter, as the traditional circus show presents some of the most talented performers, acrobats, and magicians in Albania.
Climb the famous Clock Tower
When you’re strolling around central Tirana, make sure to stop by the famous clock tower that is situated right next to the Et´hem Bey Mosque. The clock tower itself is in my opinion nothing special, but it is worth 20 minutes of your time to climb to the top of the tower. Up there you will get a beautiful view of the city. The stairsteps are pretty steep and narrow, so it’s not something for older travelers or those who are claustrophobic. The best part – it’s free of charge!
Hike Mount Dajt
Mount Dajt is the highest peak of the country and also a famous national park of 3,300 hectares. For those who love to hike and enjoy a stunning view of nature, then a day trip to Mount Dajt is a must! If you’re only looking for the view, then you can also get up there with the help of the Dajti Ekspres Cable Car or drive up to the park. Mount Dajt is an important place for the big mammals of Albania, such as wolfs, foxes, rabbits, brown bears, wildcats, and wild pigs.
Take a nice hike or a lovely ride with the cable car up to the top and enjoy the tranquility of Albania! Mount Dajt is one of the best things to do in Tirana for those who love to be out in the wild and enjoy a beautiful view.
Eat Albanian food at Oda Restaurant
Oda Restaurant is a hidden gem when it comes to Albanian cuisine in Tirana. Here you can taste delicious traditional dishes to low prices. The restaurant is not located right in the heart of Tirana, but it is worth the walk to get there!
I loved the concept of that you share all the food with your friends and family, which makes this perfect if you are two persons or more, so you can try several of their lovely dishes. A must is to try their stuffed eggplant (my favorite), lamb meat, beans and the cheese cream together with their homemade bread!
A visit to this restaurant is something that you have to do while you’re in town, as it is no doubt one of the top things to do in Tirana.
Go on a Day Trip to Kruja Castle
Kruja is a perfect day trip from Tirana for the whole family. It’s a lovely old castle with an old tower that is overlooking the town and the lush green nature of Albania. Stroll the grounds and around the museum to learn about the fascinating history which includes the national hero Skanderbeg, who dominated both the history and the castle.
You can easily get there by a furgon (minibus) for under 2 USD from Tirana. With the furgon you will be dropped off in the center of the city, which is just a short walk from the castle. On your way up there, you will walk through a small market with lovely shops that are selling souvenirs, hand made rugs and antiques.