Albania's main economic, political and cultural center – Tirana might be one of the least known European capitals. Tirana is the heart of Albania, and it holds many treasures that deserve to be listed among the places you must visit soon. Vibrant and colorful, Tirana is a place where rich traditional and contemporary cultures merge, a place that will charm you in a completely different way. Colorful facades, lively squares, numerous art and shopping streets, and a dynamic nightlife make this city a perfect destination.
Tirana is a colorful capital full of untapped potential. It has many interesting things to see, and here we bring you 5 reasons why Tirana is worth a visit:
1. Bunkers − museums in Tirana
Albania is known for its bunkers built under the dictatorial regime of dictator Enver Hoxha. More than 173,000 bunkers of various sizes have been built throughout, so you can find them everywhere in Albania − on the coast, in cities and in the hills. Some of the larger bunkers are located in Tirana and today many have been repurposed into museums, restaurants, hotels, etc. The most famous bunkers in Tirana are the Bunk'Art1 and Bunk'Art2 Museums.
2. Skanderbeg Square − the largest square in Tirana
The largest square in Albania covers an area of 40,000 square meters, in the midst of which there is the statue of Gjergij Kastrioti Skenderbe, the Albanian national hero after whom the square was named. It is the main tourist hub of Tirana, surrounded by some of the capital's most interesting buildings, such as the National Historical Museum, National Library, National Bank and the Opera house.
3. Ish-Blloku − hip neighborhood in Tirana
The Ish-Blloku neighborhood, abbreviated Bllok, was once a closed district reserved for highly qualified members of the Albanian political milieu. Today it is one of the favourite places among young people. It is loaded with fancy boutiques, restaurants, cafes and nightclubs. This place comes to life especially in the evening and is definitely an inevitable point if you plan to visit Tirana.
4. Rinia park − Taiwan of Tirana
Built in 1950, during the socialist government, this beautiful park is today a renowned gathering place for young people. In the park there is an entertainment complex called Taiwan Entertainment Centre, which includes cafes, restaurants, a casino and a bowling centre. The main attraction however is the fountain in front of Taiwan, which in the evening provides a special experience with its light show.
5. The pyramid in Tirana
Not very far from Saknderbeg Square you can find Tirana's recognizable pyramid. The pyramid-shaped concrete structure was built back in 1988 to honor former dictator Enver Hoxha. It had had many functions over the years, and today it is abandoned and visibly collapsed. Despite that it is popular among tourists and young locals who climb up the fence to grab a beer and enjoy the view of the city.
These are just five among many reasons to visit Tirana. For example, due to its strategic location, it offers plenty of options for various day trips to the beautiful Albanian coast, known for its crystal clear sea, or to some of the rustic towns like Gjirokaster and Berat.