According to VAULTEDWATCHES, the city of Tirana is located in the central part of Albania, where it is part of the joint thirty-six districts. As the capital, Tirana has fulfilled an important function for many years. From 1920 to be exact. From that year on, the government of Albania was brought to Tirana and associated government buildings were put in order. Before 1920 Lushnjë was the temporary capital. The Balkan country and also the city of Tirana has a long and turbulent history. In the year 1614 the city was founded under the guidance of the Ottoman Sulejman Pasha. From that period on, a kind of center was set up with mosques, bathhouses and market places. He called the city ‘Tehran’. The Balkan Wars brought much misery to Albania and brought an end to Ottoman rule. This was followed by the First World War, the Second World War and finally the Cold War. The dictatorship came to an end and freedom was on the horizon around 1992, which then briefly caused Albanian anarchy in 1997. The country clearly needed to find a new structure. And that has now been achieved. Tourism has therefore not been present in Tirana for very long. Politics is now in calmer waters and slowly but surely the country and the city of Tirana is scrambling to become a new tourist destination. The city has a rich past to offer with various monumental sights.
Top 10 Things to Do in Tirana
The stately Skanderbeg Square or ‘Sheshi Skënderbej’ is the heart of the Albanian city of Tirana. This generously sized square is named after the national hero Skanderbeg. As a passionate warrior, this folk hero gathered troops around the fifteenth century and launched the attack in the pursuit of freedom. The first success was against the Ottomans. In Skanderbeg Square you can now admire the equestrian statue of the national hero Skanderbeg, who was actually born Gjergj Kastrioti. In this beautiful square you will also find a number of government buildings, the town hall, the culture palace ‘Pallati i Kulturës’, the Et’hem Bey Mosque and the National History Museum ‘Muzeu Historik Kombëtar’.
The Bunk Art War Museum is located on Rruga Teki Selenica, north-east of the city of Tirana. The Bunk Art museum paints a clear picture of the communist military history in Albania. The bunker lets you relive a piece of war history, which comes across as very realistic. For example, various chapters are discussed, including the heavy regime, repression, security and politics. In addition, there is of course also room for the liberation and in the years after, you can take a look at an officer’s room, a socialist house and the house of the Albanian communist politician Mehmet Shehu.
#3.National History Museum
On the facade of the National History Museum in Tirana you can see a picture of a group of people who briefly symbolize the history, wars and ultimately the freedom of Albania. This beautiful mosaic work of art bears the name ‘The Albanians’. In the National History Museum, all these episodes from the history of Albania are discussed in detail. And the life of the ordinary citizen is also an important part. The museum goes back to prehistoric culture and proceeds in systematic order to the present.
#4.Et’hem Bey Mosque
Towards the end of the eighteenth century, the construction of Et’hem Bey Mosque in Tirana started. The order came from Molla Bey, a grandson of Sulejman Pasja. The former General Sulejman Pasha is seen as the founder of Tirana. The Et’hem Bey Mosque is now one of the oldest buildings in Tirana. After Enver Hoxha proclaimed Albania the world’s first atheist state, the doors of the mosque and other religious buildings were closed. Only after 1991 were the doors reopened and restorations could start. Visitors can now visit the Et’hem Bey Mosque on Skanderbeg Square as a museum.
#5.De wijk Block
The most beloved and popular part of Tirana is located in and around the Blloku district. The history of the city tells that the Blloku district was usually closed to the citizens. The stately villas mainly housed high-ranking politicians and the house of the communist leader Enver Hoxha was also located here. Things are a lot more relaxed here now. The Blloku district is now known as a nightlife area and is very popular with both residents and tourists. The many cozy terraces, cafes, restaurants and trendy boutiques provide a particularly pleasant atmosphere. Despite the new use of the district, remnants of the past are still visible. Think of the Pyramid of Tirana and the many gray residential complexes. Several initiatives have since been shown that have given the Blloku district its current popular status. Think of the ubiquitous painted facades that brighten up the city. This initiative comes from Edi Rama, a painter who eventually became the Prime Minister of Albania.
#6.The Pyramid of Tirana
The Pyramid of Tirana on the Rruga Papa Gjon Pali II is a legacy of the past. It was built around 1988 on behalf of Hoxha’s daughter as a museum, in which her father’s legacy could be exhibited. The museum did not exist for long, since the fall of communism took place in 1991. This also marked the end of the museum in the Pyramid of Tirana. Later the building was used as a NATO base and then it became vacant. Despite the fact that several plans have already emerged, the empty Pyramid of Tirana is primarily a cultural meeting place of the beloved Blloku district.
#7.National Archaeological Museum
The ‘Muzeu Arkeologjik Kombëtar’ was founded around 1948 as an archaeological and ethnographic museum. It was not until 1976 that it was renamed the National Archaeological Museum. In terms of location, the southern square ‘Sheshi Nënë Tereza’ was chosen, where the University of Tirana is also located. The National Archaeological Museum of Tirana offers an excellent collection of artifacts, art and other materials found from different eras. The Archaeological Museum of Tirana is divided into several museum rooms, each covering an era. The museum is filled with about two thousand exhibits consisting of approximately seventeen thousand objects.
One of the most famous tourist attractions of Tirana is the Dajti Ekspres. A cable car near the War Museum BUNK’ART takes you to the top of the Dajti mountain in about fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, you can enjoy an amazing view over the Albanian city of Tirana and the mountainous surroundings. Once at the top you are in the Dajti Mountain National Park. You can visit the Dajti Tower and Dajti Adventure Park, have a bite to eat in the ‘Ballkoni Dajtit’ restaurant, take beautiful walks, cycle, climb or paraglide. There is plenty to see and experience.
The eighteenth century Tanner’s Bridge is a pedestrian bridge near Tanner’s Mosque. The bridge over the small river Lanë was an important access road to the trade center of Tirana at the time. In this part of the district were many butchers and leather processing companies. After the restoration around 1990, the bridge is only accessible to pedestrians. In the immediate vicinity of Tanner’s Bridge are other special attractions, including the amusement park Parku 7 Xhuxhat and Muzeu I Besimit.
In the lively Blloku district you can visit the Sky Tower of Tirana. The tower is part of the Sky Hotel which was built in 2000. In addition to the hotel and restaurant, residential apartments and offices are also located here. In the high-altitude revolving restaurant you can enjoy an excellent meal, a tasty drink and above all a magnificent view over the city of Tirana.