Changing Money at the early morning
Favorite thing: If you come by bus from Greece or Macedonia you probably arrive around 4 or 5 am somewhere close to Sheshi Skënderbeg (square). The Tirana International Hotel, Sheshi Skënderbej 8 between Muzeu Kombetar and Opera has fairly good exchange rates (135 to the Euro instead of 139 at daytime exchange office rates, October 2014).
- Historical Travel
How to find the objects.
Favorite thing: I have put links to Google Map in my tips to make it easier to find the objects mentioned, when possible to get the right position. The links are marked in italics. Unfortunately Google Map isn't very precise and too often points to other buildings than the wanted one.
Main post office.
Favorite thing: You find the main post office along Rruga Cameria, about 100 m west of Skenderbeg Square. It is open Monday to Sunday, from early morning until about 8 in the evening.
Try the local beer.
Favorite thing: Tirana seems be drowning in low quality international beer labels like Carlsberg and Heineken at the moment, but there is hope.The local Tirana beer is quite a bit better so be sure to ask for that if you want to have a beer while hanging out in Tirana.
That way you also support a local business and a local employer while you are actually tasting a beer that is quite good.
- Beer Tasting
friendly people and great food and Raki
Favorite thing: the people are so friendly and helpfull. If they don't speak English, they will find someone who speaks English and they will help you.
The city is not really beautiful, but the people will make it beautiful! There are only a few tourists, so go now to see Tirana. About ten years it will be spoiled, with many tourists.
To find the way in Tirana is very easy. It's center is small and it's difficult to get lost. You can travel by bus (really cheap) or go by feet. We stayed there for 6 nights, i believe you need 3 days to see the whole city. We have seen other city's as well.
Don't leave before trying Raki. That's not the Turkish Raki, but it tastes like Grappa, from Italy. Raki is the Albanian local alcohol. For a glass you pay between the 0,60-1,20 euro! It tastes like heaven..
The eat al lots of meat, salads and feta. At the markets you can buy all kind of olives, feta and vegetables. They have many restaurants, with local people (most of the times there are only men inside). Pizza is very populair too. And the best of all: they don't have an MC Donalds!! Keep it like that!!
Fondest memory: We rent an appartment at the eight level, with an balcony which had an beautiful view over the city and the mountains.
- Budget Travel
- Food and Dining
10 Euro entry tax
Favorite thing: At the moment most foreign visitors are charged an entry tax of 10 Euros on arrival in Albania.
At the airport in Tirana this is collected at a booth just after passport control. To avoid any complications or delays, please have your 10 Euros with you on arrival.
New source of Tirana Information
Favorite thing: Check out the newest (as of August 08) guidebook to Tirana -- the first one ever published by Thomas Cook Publishing on Albania. It was written by Tim Clancy, an explorer, author and expert on the Balkans. He received some special on-the-ground behind-the-scenes assistance from a Tirana-based US Agency for International Development economic development project. The local team with that project provided Tim with some special tips on sites and attractions, so the results are really interesting for travelers. Definitely worth taking this book with you to Tirana.
You can order it from:
Tirana, Maternity Hospital.
Favorite thing: I have not written down in 1988 what was this building. It looks like some kind of official building. In the front door, there is a guy with a white coat. Then my wild guess is that it is either a hospital or a Sciences University. Who will tell me the truth ?
February 2008: Thanks to VT Brikena that wrote me that this was the Maternity Hospital of Tirana.
Tirana, residential buildings 1988
Favorite thing: The three photos given here show residential buildings. They are not fun but look almost OK. I do not know how they look to day but what I have seen in Shkodra in 2005 was that though there were brand new buildings built, the older one, dating from the communist era, were still there, most of the time in poor condition; I am afraid it would be about the same in Tirana.
- Historical Travel
Favorite thing: This building fascinated me. I wondered if they really were studying UFOlogy in there. You can find it on Zogu Blvd. just north of Skenderbeg square. On May Day there was a huge gathering outside, along with Albanian flags and people with loudspeakers. I liked to imagine that they were out to declare Albania's allegiance and welcome the new alien overlords.
Exclusive tip for camper van lovers!
Favorite thing: If you own or have rented a camper why not visit Tirana (or any other city in Albania) for that matter. FREE PARKING everywhere. No restrictions for camper van locations. You can even park in Blloku-trendy area, if you find a free place, and pay nothing for your stationing... Isn't that cool?!
- Budget Travel
Mother Theresa Square
Favorite thing: This square contains a few points of interest and is only a 15 minute walk from Skanderbeg Square. Here you can find the National Art Gallery, the Archaeological Museum, the Mother Theresa Statue and the Main University Building.
Favorite thing: This is the place to start any exploration of Tirana. On the square is the equestrian statue of Skanderbeg, Et'hem Bey Mosque, the clock tower, the National Historical Museum and the Opera House. From here to the east is the tyrbe of Kapllan Pasha, Statue of the Unknown Partisan and the Statue of Pasha Sullejman. To the south is Mother Theresa Square.
Favorite thing: this pic was taken from the train station main entrace... i didnt know what it means such a pile of rubble just there... and i realize that all the city was that... cahos and a lot of things to do and recover ..such a pitty ..actually when i get off the next day to the north to Montenegro i kept in on seeing things like that around the wholle city
Favorite thing: On the south bank of the tiny river that cross Tirana aka the former Enver Hoxka museum... the Albanian comunist president, designed by Hoxka daughter. Avtually as i could see is a conference center and a disco at evening and by the way just as a slide for kids !