September 25-28, Tirana, Albania

Attractions

The monument of G.K. Scanderbeg, the national hero of Albania, is located in the busy Scanderbeg square.

Also in this square, you can find two other religious and historical objects: the Mosque of Ethem Bey (1798 – 1823) and the Clock Tower, which is 35 meters high and built on 1830. From the Clock Tower’s top, visitors observe a wide view of Tirana.

Other monuments to visit in Tirana are “Ura Tabakeve”, built in the first half of XIX century and the “Mother Albania” monument at the Cemetery of Martyrs Nations.

We recommend a walk in the Grand Park in the southern part of the city. It extends over an area of 55 hectares with an artificial lake included. The Tirana Grand Park has a variety of plants, and you can find about 120 kinds of plants, decorative shrubs, and flowers of various colors.

Don’t forget to have a look at several Tirana museums and artistic / scientific institutions, including:

  • National Historical Museum
  • Archeological Museum
  • Museum of Nature Sciences
  • Opera and Ballet Theatre
  • Drama and Variety Show
  • Gallery of Fine Arts
  • International Center of Culture
  • Palace of Congress and Exhibition Halls

Dajti mountain

For a short trip by car about 25 km east of Tirana, there is the Dajti Mountain national park, rich in diversity of flora and fauna. It offers numerous opportunities all year round for excursions and recreation. There are large areas of unspoiled nature in the slopes of the mountain, which attracts many visitors to the region in all seasons.

As a relaxing and popular destination, the mountain can be reached through an Austrian-built express cable car. The cost for up and down the cable car is 700 ALL (one ride takes more than fifteen minutes, so it is worth the cost even if you don’t stay atop the mountain). To get to the bottom station of the cable car, take the bus line “Qender – Linze” that starts east beside the Skanderbeg place behind the mosque. In the bus, tell the conductor “Teleferik” and he will show you the station to get out of the bus. From there, it is a short five minute walk guided by direction signs (the cable car is closed on Tuesdays). In the top station of the cable car, there is a hotel and a tourist agency offering various activities like horse riding, trekking, excursions, sky sports, skiing, and more.

The area has a limited number of hotels and restaurants, but it is great for taking a breath of fresh air, mountain sports, or to just get out of the city for a while. The Pellumba Cave in the area is worth a visit. Don’t forget to visit the spectacular Erzeni Canyon along the Erzeni River, south of the park near the dam. Unfortunately, litter is becoming a problem on Mount Dajti. This detracts from the experience somewhat, but the beautiful scenery still makes the trip worthwhile.

Petrela village

Also we recommend you a short tour in Petrela village with its fortress. One of the most interesting places near Tirana, located 15 km southeast of Tirana, Petrela is known as a dwelling-place as early as back 2000 years ago in the ruins of the Illyrian town of Presqopi. The town is supposed to be used as a residential place for the Illyrian King, Glauk. The most interesting object is the medieval castle, rising on a rocky hill. This castle has been under the command of Mamica Kastrioti, the Scanderbeg sister, and was a member of the bale-fire system for the Kruja Castle during Ottoman rule.

The area around Petrela offers a unique landscape of broken hills covered by olive trees.

WHAT TO VISIT

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 meters in size, while 18,000 square meters are available for expositions. The gigantic mosaic appearing at the main entrance is entitled The Albanians.

Website: mhk.gov.al/

National Art 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) and you will find 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 the National Museum.

Et’hem Bey Mosque and the top of the Clock Tower

Take a walk or rent a bike at the artificial lake, close to the University of Arts and the Polytechnic University.