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  • 20 Must Visit Attractions Albania

20 Must-Visit Attractions in Albania

what tourist attractions are in albania

At only 11,100 square miles (28,748 square kilometres) and with a total population of just under three million people, Albania might be small, but it’s certainly not lacking in things to do and see. From the stunning beaches of the Albanian Riviera to gorgeous archaeological sites, Albania will not disappoint you. Here’s a list of the top 20 must-visit attractions in the country.

Albanian riviera.

The Albanian Riviera is, with the capital city Tirana, the most popular place in the country. The reason is that it is just amazing: long sandy and pebble beaches lapped by turquoise water, and lovely coastal hamlets with small Orthodox churches, cobblestoned streets and flowers everywhere. The best places to visit are Dhërmi, Drymades beach, Vuno, Qeparo and the seaside town of Himara .

Albanian Riviera

1. BunkArt in Tirana

Art Gallery, Museum

Bunk Art 1

2. The UNESCO town of Gjirokastër

Archaeological site, Bazaar

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3. Berat, the City of a Thousand Windows

Architectural Landmark

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4. The old city of Kruja

Bazaar, Museum

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5. Porto Palermo Castle

Archaeological site

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6. Lively Saranda

Natural Feature

beach-1730242_1280

7. Theth: rugged beauty

8. the untouched peninsula of karaburun, vlora.

Historical Landmark

9. Llogara Pass

Forest, Natural Feature

llogara_pass_vlora_albania

10. The City of Serenades, Korça

korce-104662_640

11. Syri I Kalter

Syri i Kaltër

Nestled between the towns of Saranda and Gjirokastër there is Syri I Kalter, one of the most spectacular natural spots in Albania. It is a natural spring, more than 50 metres deep, where locals swim in the hot summer days.

12. Valbona Valley National Park

Park, Natural Feature, Forest

valbona_albania

13. Butrint Archaeological Park

Archaeological site, Museum, Park

Butrint_Albania_basilica

14. The lake town of Pogradec

15. dardha, the top ski destination in albania, 16. the stunning lake koman, 17. the cultural capital of albania, shkodra, 18. the largest amphitheatre in the balkans.

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19. The city of Apollo, Apollonia

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10 Best Places to Visit in Albania

By Alex Schultz · Last updated on October 3, 2023

Still very much off the beaten path, year-on-year Albania is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination thanks to its stunning scenery, interesting historic sites, and welcoming people. Isolated and shut off from the world for so long, Albania emerged from communist rule in 1991. Nowadays, visitors are invariably surprised at all that it has to offer; beautiful beaches lying alongside breathtaking mountain ranges and glittering lakes.

Thanks to its long and interesting history, Albania’s cities and scenic countryside are full of amazing old castles, Roman ruins, and Ottoman-era mosques and buildings, which make the country fascinating to explore. With picturesque towns such as Gjirokaster and Berat for visitors to enjoy, there is always something new to see and do.

The now colorful capital, Tirana, is full of monuments and museums offering a look at the country’s communist past. A fascinating country, now is the time to visit the best places in Albania, as word is quickly spreading about what this hidden gem has to offer.

10. Dhermi [SEE MAP]

Dhermi

With its welcoming turquoise waters and beautiful beaches that stretch into the distance, the gorgeous scenery of Dhermi is where many young Albanians head to in the summer. It is also home to some pulsating nightlife.

Located on a mountain slope overlooking the sea, the town boasts some stunning sunsets. Grabbing a drink at one of its numerous bars and restaurants while watching the sun go down is a lovely way to spend an evening.

While there is a fun and festive atmosphere about the place, with lively beachside bars blaring out music, there is more than enough beach to go around; you can always find a peaceful spot to simply kick back and enjoy the scenery of the Albanian Riviera.

9. Durres [SEE MAP]

Durres

Once the capital of Albania, Durres is located not far from Tirana on the country’s coastline. It is a very popular destination, which means that it can get a bit crowded during the summer.

With one of the largest ports in the Adriatic, the city is a bit stuffy and over-developed, although there is a nice stretch of beach for visitors and locals alike to enjoy. Along the seafront, there are lots of restaurants selling delicious fresh seafood.

Fought over for millennia by the Bulgarians, Greeks, Venetians, and Ottomans, among others, its wealth of historic sites entices just as many people as its beaches. The spectacular Roman amphitheater and fantastic archaeological museum are the undoubted highlights.

8. Sarande [SEE MAP]

Sarande

With its stunning location on the Ionian Sea, Sarande is blessed with year-round warm weather, sparkling waters, and a relaxed way of life.

While the seafront is a bit over-developed with its line of identity-less apartment blocks, there are lots of nice parts of Sarande to walk around, and loads of bars, restaurants and souvenir shops on offer.

In addition to the ancient ruins found in town, Sarande’s surroundings are full of historic sites and natural beauty, making it a great place to use as a base to explore the region.

7. Shkodra [SEE MAP]

Shkodra

Lying just a stone’s throw away from huge Lake Skadar that straddles the Montenegro-Albania border, Shkodra is a very pretty city to visit. The Buna River runs through town and the Albanian Alps can be seen off in the distance.

The undoubted highlight is Rozafa Castle. Over the course of its history, it has been ruled by the Illyrians, Venetians, and Ottomans, to name a few. The magnificent ramparts and ruins of the castle are fun to explore, and the views over Shkodra are breathtaking.

Although the center of the city has recently undergone extensive renovations, there are still plenty of lovely old buildings and historic sites to be found, such as the Ebu Beker Mosque and Orthodox Cathedral. The Historical Museum showcases just some of the region’s rich history and heritage.

With so much beautiful countryside surrounding Shkodra for visitors to explore, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

6. Berat [SEE MAP]

Berat

Widely regarded as one of the prettiest cities in the whole of the Balkans, Berat is known as ‘the Town of a Thousand Windows,’ as so many windows peer out at you from the front of its hillside buildings which are so tightly clustered together.

Located on a hillside, there are a number of Ottoman-era mosques and Byzantine churches scattered about town. One of the best views of Berat is from across the banks of the Osumi River which runs through it.

While simply wandering around Berat is a lovely way to spend the time, the town also has a great 13th-century hilltop castle, which is worth visiting for the outstanding views. There are also two interesting museums with some fascinating local costumes and artifacts on display and some splendid 16th-century icons.

5. Himare [SEE MAP]

Himare

With its beautiful setting on the Albanian Riviera, Himare’s sparkling turquoise waters and spectacular hilly coastline make it a great place to head if you’re after some sun, sea, and sand.

While its beaches and peaceful seaside promenade are what most people come for, the historic old town is lovely to wander around; its atmospheric tavernas are full of Mediterranean charm and delicious local seafood.

Perched atop a hill overlooking the old town is a delightful castle, which offers wonderful views over the sea. The nearby mountains also have some lovely trails and viewpoints for visitors to enjoy, while the surrounding countryside is home to spectacular churches and monasteries, such as the Monastery of the Cross and Athaliotissa.

4. Gjirokaster [SEE MAP]

Gjirokaster

Located in the south of the country, Gjirokaster is a delight to visit. Its beautiful old town is perched on the side of a hill overlooking a valley and its winding cobbled streets are full of quaint buildings and historic sites.

With over 500 homes and buildings protected and preserved as ‘cultural monuments’, Gjirokaster is full of wonderful architecture. It is often known as the ‘City of Stone’ due to the distinctive local rooves that can be seen everywhere you go.

Perched above the scenic Old Bazaar is Gjirokaster Castle, reputed to be the second largest in the whole of the Balkans. A fascinating place to visit, the castle has an underground Cold War-era bunker and an Armaments Museum for visitors to enjoy, alongside its impressive fortifications and ruins.

3. Kruje [SEE MAP]

Kruje

Lying just to the north of Tirana, Kruje – or Kruja, as it is known in English – is famous for being the home city of Albania’s national hero Gjergj Skanderbeg. In the 15th century, Gjergj managed to hold out against the Ottomans for 25 years from his base in Kruje.

Known as the ‘Adriatic Balcony’ by locals, the craggy mountain that looks over the city is home to the majestic Kruje Castle, which was once Skanderbeg’s base. Nowadays, there is an interesting museum about the hero as well as a fantastic 15th-century church located within its walls. The panoramic views from the castle are simply spectacular.

The Old Bazaar in the center of town is just as fascinating to walk around. Nestled away amongst its atmospheric streets you’ll find some delightful little cafes and restaurants, alongside the plethora of shops selling anything from souvenirs and artisan goods to antiques and leather products.

A picturesque and peaceful place, Kruje is well worth visiting for its historic sites and beautiful natural setting. The surrounding area is equally enchanting to explore, with its lakes, canyons, and mountains.

2. Butrint National Park [SEE MAP]

Butrint National Park

Home to a number of diverse ecosystems and stunning archaeological sites, Butrint National Park is a popular tourist destination, in large part due to its proximity to the Greek island of Corfu . Many people come to see its majestic blend of history and nature.

Covering a peninsula that is bordered by the huge Lake Butrint on one side and the Vivari Channel on the other, the natural beauty is magnificent; over 1,200 different types of animals and plants reside amongst its scenic wetlands, hills, and islands.

The main attraction, however, is the amazing archaeological site which covers over 2,500 years of history; this includes ancient city walls, remnants of a Roman theater, a Byzantine Basilica and two castles. Wandering around the ruins with the beautiful scenery all around you is a delightful experience. This is undoubtedly one of the hidden gems of what Albania has to offer.

1. Tirana [SEE MAP]

#1 of Best Places To Visit In Albania

Once full of grey, unwelcoming communist buildings, Tirana has transformed considerably since the early 90s. Albania’s capital is now a fun, friendly and festive place to visit.

Full of life, the now brightly colored pedestrian streets showcase some delightful Ottoman-era buildings and Italian architecture that highlights the country’s rich past. There are a number of great museums and art galleries worth checking out. Of particular interest is BUNK’ART, which was once a huge government bunker but now hosts art installations.

While it can be slightly chaotic in the traffic-filled center of town, the scenic Mount Dajti is just a short cable car ride away. With fantastic views of the city below and resplendent nature all around, it’s a lovely place to spend an afternoon.

With endless bars, cafes, and restaurants to be found around the trendy Blloku area, Tirana has a lively nightlife scene. Visitors to this under-visited capital invariably come away impressed at all that the city has to offer.

Map of Albania

Map of Albania

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8 Albania Tourist Attractions: A Guide to Unforgettable Sights

Table of contents, introduction.

Albania , a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the Balkans, offers an enchanting mix of pristine natural landscapes, rich historical tapestry, and vibrant cultural experiences. From the sun-kissed beaches of the Albanian Riviera to the ancient ruins that whisper tales of bygone civilizations, Albania tourist attractions invite travelers to explore its many wonders. With its diverse attractions catering to history buffs, nature lovers, and adventure seekers alike, Albania promises an unforgettable journey through its scenic landscapes, UNESCO World Heritage sites, and lively urban centers.

Albania Tourist Attractions: Historical Sites

Situated in the southern part of Albania, Butrint is a remarkable archaeological site and a UNESCO World Heritage site that offers a glimpse into the area’s diverse historical influences, including Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Venetian civilizations. Visitors can explore ancient ruins, including a well-preserved amphitheater, grand basilicas, and public baths, all set against the backdrop of lush greenery and the tranquil waters of the Vivari Channel.

Berat, known as the “City of a Thousand Windows,” boasts a unique architectural charm with its Ottoman-era houses climbing up the hillside, overlooking the Osum River. The city’s historic district, Mangalem, along with the imposing Berat Castle, offers visitors a journey through time. The Onufri Museum, housed within the castle, showcases the splendid works of the famed 16th-century icon painter, Onufri, adding a touch of artistic heritage to the visit.

Gjirokastër

Gjirokastër, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is celebrated for its distinctive stone architecture and rich history. The city’s fortress, which dominates the skyline, provides panoramic views and houses several museums, including one dedicated to the fascinating history of Albania during World War II. The cobblestone streets and grandiose stone houses of the old town reflect the city’s historical significance and its role in Albanian culture and politics.

Krujë is a historical town renowned for its fortress, which was a major center of resistance against the Ottoman Empire under the leadership of Albania’s national hero, Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg. The fortress complex includes the Skanderbeg Museum, dedicated to the hero’s life and battles, and the National Ethnographic Museum, offering insights into traditional Albanian life and customs.

Albania tourist attractions

Albania Tourist Attractions: Natural Attractions

Albanian riviera.

The Albanian Riviera is a spectacular stretch of coastline known for its crystal-clear waters, golden beaches, and vibrant nightlife and ranks higher among the must visit Albania tourist attractions. From the quaint village of Himarë, with its pristine beaches and local eateries serving fresh seafood, to the more secluded bays near Dhermi, the Riviera offers a slice of paradise for every type of traveler. The drive along the coast reveals stunning vistas of the Ionian Sea, making it a must-visit for those seeking the perfect blend of relaxation and scenic beauty.

Llogara Pass

When it comes to the Albania tourist attractions, Llogara pass is a must visit. It is a mountain pass located along the Albanian Riviera, offering travelers breathtaking views of the Ionian Sea from above. The pass is also a gateway to outdoor adventures, including paragliding, where thrill-seekers can glide over the azure waters and rugged terrain. The Llogara National Park, surrounding the pass, is home to diverse flora and fauna, providing hiking trails for those looking to explore the natural beauty of the region.

Straddling the border between Albania and North Macedonia, Lake Ohrid is one of Europe’s deepest and oldest lakes, known for its crystal-clear waters and diverse ecosystem. The Albanian side of Lake Ohrid, particularly the town of Pogradec, offers tranquil beaches, charming promenades, and traditional restaurants serving local delicacies. The area is also rich in cultural heritage, with ancient churches and archaeological sites dotting the landscape.

Valbona Valley National Park

Nestled in the heart of the Albanian Alps, Valbona Valley National Park is a haven for hikers and nature enthusiasts. The park’s rugged terrain, dotted with traditional villages, glacial streams, and dense forests, provides a stunning backdrop for outdoor activities. The journey to Valbona itself is an adventure, with the ferry ride across Lake Koman offering some of the most spectacular views in the Balkans. Trails in the park range from leisurely walks to challenging treks, leading to breathtaking vistas and remote mountain passes.

Cultural Experiences in Albania

Tirana, the vibrant capital of Albania, is a city of contrasts, where historic landmarks meet modern art and lively cafes. The city’s colorful buildings, street art, and public spaces reflect a youthful energy, while landmarks like the National History Museum and the Et’hem Bey Mosque offer insights into Albania’s rich cultural heritage. The Blloku district, once restricted to the communist elite, is now the heart of Tirana’s nightlife, with trendy bars, restaurants, and galleries.

Traditional Albanian Cuisine

Albanian cuisine is a testament to the country’s rich cultural tapestry, offering a blend of Mediterranean flavors with its own unique twist. Must-try dishes include byrek, a savory pie filled with cheese, spinach, or meat, and tavë kosi, a traditional baked lamb and yogurt dish. No visit to Albania is complete without tasting its fresh seafood along the coast or enjoying a glass of raki, the national spirit, with locals.

Festivals and Events

Albania hosts a variety of cultural and music festivals throughout the year, celebrating everything from traditional folk music to contemporary arts. The Kala Festival, held at the stunning Dhërmi Beach on the Albanian Riviera, offers a unique blend of electronic music and scenic beauty. For those interested in traditional culture, the Gjirokastër National Folklore Festival showcases Albanian music, dance, and costumes in the historic setting of Gjirokastër Castle.

Art and Museums

Albania’s art scene is as diverse as its history, with museums and galleries showcasing the country’s artistic evolution. The National Art Gallery in Tirana features works by prominent Albanian artists, spanning from the 19th century to contemporary pieces. For a deeper dive into Albania’s past, the National Museum of History presents artifacts and exhibitions detailing the country’s journey from ancient times to the modern era.

Albania tourist attractions

Adventure and Activities

Hiking and trekking.

Albania’s varied landscape, from its rugged mountains to serene coastal paths, offers endless opportunities for hiking and trekking enthusiasts. The Albanian Alps, particularly the Theth to Valbona trail, is a highlight for those seeking challenging hikes with rewarding views. The trails not only offer natural beauty but also the chance to explore remote villages and experience traditional Albanian hospitality.

Water Sports

With its extensive coastline and clear inland waters, Albania is a prime destination for water sports. Kayaking in the Karaburun Peninsula allows adventurers to explore secluded caves and beaches inaccessible by land. Snorkeling and diving in the Ionian Sea reveal a rich underwater world of marine life and sunken ruins, while sailing trips offer a leisurely way to experience the beauty of the Albanian Riviera.

Winter Sports

Although less known for its winter sports, Albania’s mountainous regions, such as the Dajti Mountain near Tirana and the Valbona Valley, provide opportunities for skiing and snowboarding. The country’s developing infrastructure for winter sports means less crowded slopes and a chance to enjoy the snow-covered landscapes in tranquility.

Eco and Agro-tourism

For those interested in sustainable travel and experiencing rural life, Albania’s eco and agro-tourism initiatives offer a unique perspective. Farms and guesthouses across the country, especially in the northern and southern regions, invite visitors to participate in daily activities, from milking cows to harvesting organic produce. This approach not only supports local economies but also promotes environmental conservation.

Travel Tips on a Budget: How to Travel the World without Breaking the Bank

Conclusion and Travel Tips

Albania’s allure lies in its diversity, offering something for every traveler, from the sun-soaked beaches of its Riviera to the ancient ruins that dot its landscape. As you plan your visit, consider traveling between April and June or September and October for the best weather conditions. Public transportation is available but renting a car provides more flexibility to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations. Accommodation options range from luxury resorts to family-run guesthouses, catering to all budgets.

Embracing its rich history, stunning natural landscapes, and warm hospitality, Albania tourist attractions stand as a testament to the beauty and resilience of the Balkans. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Albania promises an experience that is both enriching and unforgettable.

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Home > 47 Epic Things To Do In Albania (Top Places & Activities)

47 Epic Things To Do In Albania (Top Places & Activities)

Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

Albania may fly a little under the radar, but there are so many places to visit Albania. This list has all of the best things to do in Albania for all kinds of travelers. This travel guide also has tips about the weather, transport, and much more.

Albania Travel Blog_47 Epic Things To Do In Albania

The Balkan region comprises several countries, all rich in culture and traditions and stunningly beautiful, with plenty of outdoor sites for visitors to enjoy. However, Albania is among the most underrated Balkan nations flying under many international travelers’ radar.

That’s a real pity, as there’s a wealth of things to do in Albania, from historic castles and fascinating museums to pristine beaches and wild national parks. Albania has so much to offer; you may struggle to choose just one “best place to visit in Albania.” Get ready to make an extensive list of places to explore…

Skip Ahead To My Advice Here!

Things To Do In Albania You’ll Love

Let’s go through the best of Albania and what to see in Albania !

1. Visit Apollonia

Where To Go In Albania - Temple ruins in Apollonia Albania

On the central Albanian coast, you will find the ancient ruins of a town built by the Greeks in 588 BC. Initially named Gylakeia and later changed to Apollonia in honor of the god Apollo, this ancient Greek city was essential to the Greeks and even had a school for philosophy at one point.

This ancient Albanian site has well-maintained ruins to explore, including temples, theaters, and libraries. The views from this beautiful Albania tourist spot are nothing short of impressive, too.

2. Enjoy Nature In Qafë Shtamë National Park

Named after the Qafë-Shtamë mountain pass, this national park in central Albania lies on the edge of the mountains, just north of the capital, and is stunning. Tall green trees, high peaks, valleys, and rolling hills are ideal for exploring on foot and are also great for photography enthusiasts.

  • Albania National Parks

3. The Tomb Of Sari Saltiks

Sari Saltik was a 13th-century dervish monk considered a saint in the Balkans. You will find his ancient tomb near Tirana, a visit-worthy stop for history buffs.

4. Explore Krujë’s National Ethnographic Museum

Taking the guided tour around this traditional Ottoman house, now a Museum, is undoubtedly worthwhile, where you will get insight into the traditional Albanian life throughout the centuries. Built in the 18th century, the Ethnographic Museum will show you how families worked and lived in Albania during this period. Inside the complex, you will find an old bakery, blacksmith, wine cellar, and many other interesting exhibits.

5. Take In Krujë Castle

Balkan Cities - Kruja castle in Albania

Near the Ethnographic Museum lies one of the best things to do in Albania: the beautiful Krujë Castle, famous for its well-preserved and rather imposing castle, including the Skanderbeg Museum.

Constructed as early as the 5 th or 6 th century, it was the headquarters of Georg Kastriot during the Ottoman sieges, which began in 1444. From this small elliptical castle with no more than 3,000 men , Kastriot effectively repelled multiple attacks and put a serious dent in the Ottoman Empire’s expansion into Central Europe.

His enemies, the Ottomans, called him Iskender Bey. This means as much as Lord or Leader Alexander and is considered a comparison to Alexander the Great himself. The English translation of his name is Skanderbeg. He justifiably became a national hero in Albania, nicknamed the “Dragon of Albania.” Nowadays, a monument dedicated to Georg Kastriot Skanderbeg dominates Skanderbeg Square in central Tirana.

Getting to Krujë Castle from Tirana as a day trip is a piece of cake. It’s relatively small, too, so you should only need a few hours to explore the area. If you’re wondering what to do in Albania, a Tirana day trip to this historically enormously significant castle is a good suggestion.

  • Best Castles In Albania
  • Best Things To Do In Tirana

6. Check Out UNESCO-Listed Gjirokastra

what tourist attractions are in albania

Gjirokastra was voted on the UNESCO list of cultural heritage in the country’s south as it is a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town known as the “city of stone.” As you would expect, Ottoman architecture takes up the spotlight here, many of the old houses built of stone, giving you a window to the past. Unsurprisingly, the city is also known as the “city of stones.”

  • Gjirokastra – The City Of Stone
  • UNESCO Sites In Albania Not To Miss

7. Haggle In The Gjirokastra Bazaar

If you want to grab a few interesting local Albanian souvenirs to take back home for loved ones, this is the ideal place to go. Vibrant but never too busy, you can haggle for your goods and enjoy the bright atmosphere.

8. Educate Yourself At The National Historical Museum

After you have ticked off all of the items on your “things to do in Albania” list and want to learn more about the country, head to the capital and enjoy a few hours in the National Historical Museum, one of Albania’s most famous landmarks. Ideal as cover during a rainy day, the museum is open from 10 am until 5 pm. It’s divided into many pavilions, all focusing on a specific period in time, such as Antiquity, the Renaissance, Independence, and Communist Terror.

If you’d like to get some historical context, there’s no better place to go in Albania than its National Historical Museum. After your visit, you’ll be able to look at many other landmarks in Tirana and Albania with more understanding. It’ll also give you a better grasp of the best places to visit in Albania .

9. Walk Through Tirana’s Grand Park (Parku I Madh)

Grand Park should be your destination if you are seeking a little peace during your city break. Locals often head here for a morning or afternoon stroll, and the whole pace of life here is laid-back and slow. The lake shimmers in the sunlight, and picnic tables and cafes are dotted around for you to chill out.

This 289-hectare park features a sizeable human-made lake and landmarks like the Presidential Palace, the St. Procopius Church, the Botanical Garden, and the Zoo. Additionally, you’ll see several memorials to notable Albanian citizens, including writers and politicians. It’s one of the best places in Tirana to escape the crowds.

  • Where To Stay In Tirana

10. Enjoy Architecture At The Orthodox Autocephalous Church Of Albania

Tirana is home to this stunning example of design and architecture, both on the outside and the inside. Despite its long history, this is quite a modern church, and its architecture is very different from most churches you will have seen.

11. Appreciate Art And Communist History At Bunk’Art

A weekend in tirana_bunkart_tirana

If you’re trying to figure out what to do in Tirana, visiting the Bunk’Art Museum has to be a priority. Located near the Deshmoret, a Kombit Boulevard, at the base of Mount Dajti, this five-floor mixed art and history museum showcases the troubling communist past of Albania.

Exhibits show the daily life of Albanians under the communist regime, while other displays combine the country’s more recent history with contemporary works of art.

  • Best Museums To Visit In Albania

12. Cultural Importance At Skanderbeg Square

THINGS TO DO IN ALBANIA - Skanderberg statue in the center, Tirana, Albania

The square is the main celebration venue in Tirana and Albania , featuring a large lawn, rows of stately trees, and colorful flowerbeds. Named after national hero Georg Kastriot Skanderbeg, who helped stop the advance of the Ottoman Empire into Eastern Europe (see Krujë Castle above), the square is dominated by the Skanderbeg Monument. The monument symbolically occupies the very spot where a Josef Stalin statue once stood.

Around Skanderbeg Square, you’ll find major Tirana attractions like the National Historical Museum, the Palace of Culture, the Et’hem Bey Mosque, the Clock Tower, the National Library, and various ministries.

13. Visit Tirana’s Historic Clock Tower

Next door to the beautiful Et’hem Bey Mosque on Skanderbeg Square, you will find the historic Clock Tower, both designed by the same person. The tower is free to enter and gives you breathtaking views of the entire Tirana city center and beyond.

14. Appreciate Historic Art In The National Gallery Of Figurative Arts

Tirana is home to this beautiful gallery, which looks impressive from the outside but is also highly fascinating on the inside. There are over 4,100 works of art by local and international artists, dating back to the 13th century right up until the modern day.

15. Visit Mother Teresa Square (Sheshi Nene Tereza)

Named after Mother Teresa, who was ethnic Albanian, this square is important in Tirana and another fantastic place to watch the world go by, home to a small mountain and the University of Tirana.

  • How To Spend Two Days In Tirana

16. Take A Ride On The Dajti Ekspres

Without question, a major Tirana highlight and one of the most fun Albania tourist attractions is the Dajti Ekspres. You will ascent more than 800 meters from the city center to Mount Dajti. The 1-kilometer-long ride takes about 15 minutes, making this the longest cable car ride in the Balkans .

A tourist complex boasting restaurants and hotels lies at the top, and the views are absolutely spectacular. This is called the “Balcony of Tirana” for a good reason. If you’re afraid of heights or don’t want to ride the cable car, there’s the possibility of driving  up to the top by car , which takes an hour or longer.

17. Go For A Hike In Mount Dajti National Park

Dajti National Park - National Parks in Albania

Whatever way you choose to travel up Mount Dajti—cable car, driving, or even hiking yourself —it’ll bring you to Mount Dajti National Park. This is one of the most accessible national parks in the Balkans, if not in all of Europe. It’s also one of Albania’s most beautiful places because its location is so exceptionally convenient.

Spend a day wandering out into the mountain ranges just beyond Tirana’s eastern edge. Various hiking trails lead into the forests and along ridges, offering phenomenal vistas, excellent wildlife watching, and—most of all—a great escape from the busy city life below.

  • Hiking In Albania – Best Routes

17. Visit Butrint National Park

Things to do in Saranda - Ruins Butrint Albania

Butrint National Park has 9,400 hectares of stunning nature and is undoubtedly one of Albania’s best places to visit. Given its close proximity to Greece in south Albania, the park is also abundant in historical sites from the Iron Age through the Middle Ages, so it pays to take a guided tour when exploring the park. Several ancient buildings still exist here, although in ruins. There is a basilica, a Roman theater, a late-antique baptistery, and even two castles.

In addition to being home to some of the most archaeologically rich places in Albania, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in fact, the park boasts a wealth of natural beauty. It’s an internationally significant bird area designated under the Ramsar Convention, from salt marshes and freshwater lakes to islands and open plains.

So, as you can clearly see, Butrint National Park is one of the most incredible places to visit in Albania for both history and nature lovers alike.

18. Enjoy A Cycling Tour Of Shkodra Lake

Lake Skadar Montenegro

Swimming, walking, cycling, and simply enjoying nature are all possible in the Shkodra or Skadar Lake area , one of Albania’s most famous places. However, cycling is a great way to appreciate the passing landscapes. Many companies will help you with tours, but you could also hire a bike and head off on your own steam.

  • Most Beautiful Lakes In Albania

19. Take In The Site Of Many Battles At Shkodra

Best Castles In Albania - Old church in Rozafa castle ruins near Shkodra city

Located just an hour and a half north of the capital city, Shkodër (also known as Shkoder) is a stunning city nestled on Lake Shkodra at the intersection of three prominent rivers.

The city is surrounded by countryside and the former site of many battles in the past, including those dating back to Ancient Rome . While Shkodra is a city in its own right nowadays, one of the main attractions is a castle named Rozafa.

Standing in Rozafa Castle’s ruins, high up in the hills above the town, you look down on the quaint town streets and across for a supreme bird’s eye view of the impressively large Lake Shkodra. This is one of the best cities in Albania for a combination of wonderful nature, historical sites, great food, and cultural immersion.

The superb location in north Albania makes this place easy to visit on any road trip through Albania. Spend a day or two here before moving to Tirana or heading north.

20. Visit Cobo Winery In Berat

wine-glasses_albania-travel-blog

With over 100 years of wine-making history, using traditional production techniques, the Cobo Winery is one of the country’s most famous and most visited, located close to Berat . If you can appreciate the occasional glass of fermented grape juice, a winery visit like this is one of the most fun things to do in Albania for you.

  • Best Things To Do In Berat
  • Where To Stay In Berat

21. Alternatively, Head To Nurellari Winery In Berat

Nurellari Winery is the place to go for natural scenery with a wine-related twist. A relative newcomer, founded in 1995, the winery is only half an hour from the center of Berat and is surrounded by the beautiful Tomorri Mountain.

22. Hiking In Northern Albania

Hiking In The Balkans - Beautiful landscape of Accursed Mountains viewed from Valbona-Theth

When you visit Albania , spending time in nature is mandatory. The mountains are as much part of the national heritage than the cities and historic sites are.

There are more than 100 kilometers of marked hiking trails in northern Albania , in the northern portion of the country, taking you through the rugged mountains and wild landscapes. There is a trail for everyone, though, so there is no need to be put off by a seemingly challenging ascent. Just be sure to do your research.

23. Bird Spotting In Divjaka-Karavasta National Park

Birds aplenty live in this fantastic natural park, close to the Albanian Alps and the wetland areas. You can go through a tour company and enjoy a break here or head off yourself; the choice is yours.

24. Explore Theth National Park

What To Do In Albania: Theth National Park - Albania Travel Blog

Situated high in the Albanian Alps in the country’s far north, Theth National Park is a remote region. The best place in Albania for outdoor enthusiasts who will consistently rate it the most beautiful place to go in Albania, home to attractions such as the Lock-in Tower, a working watermill, and the Grunnas Waterfall.

Within the park, its namesake village of Theth is pretty much as remote as a village can get in Europe. It’s accessible only via a 25-kilometer unpaved road, which is impassable in winter. Even in summer, you might need a 4WD vehicle to get there. As a reward, you receive solitude and tranquility amid gorgeous nature.

  • Theth To Valbona Hike

25. Drive The Llogara Pass In Llogara National Park

Llogara National Park lies in the country’s southwest and is the setting of one of the most incredible drives in southeastern Europe. The park’s central feature and attraction is the Llogara Pass, a road that reaches a height of 1,000 meters above sea level—quite impressive knowing that the park lies very close to the Adriatic coast.

You’ll find a collection of restaurants and other services at the top of the pass, offering you a perfect spot from which to enjoy the breathtaking views.

26. Touristic Fun On The Albanian Riviera

Best Hotels In Saranda, ALBANIA - beach

The Albanian Riviera boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and Saranda is a popular spot during the summer months. You can walk around the streets, enjoy the nightlife (although it’s not ridiculous, so it’s great for people who want to chill), and enjoy the picturesque views around you. Forty Saints Monastery in Saranda is also a must-visit.

  • Guide To The Albanian Riviera

27. Marvel At The Blue Eye

Blue Eye Albania - Syri i Kalter or Blue Eye, a natural spring

Located in the south of the country in Muzine, you’ll find a beautiful natural sight called the Blue Eye. It’s a natural spring, and the water is so unbelievably clear that when the sunlight catches it, it turns bright blue, almost like an eye. You can even see bubbles popping up from the bottom, creating a really fantastic sight.

  • Beauty Of The Blue Eye In Albania

28. Enjoy Summer Festivals & Beach Parties

Albania hosts many festivals and beach parties throughout the year, and the South Outdoor Festival is one of the most popular. Held at the end of April into May, here you’ll learn everything about local culture in the beautiful setting of Borsch. Performers flock here to entertain the masses, and it’s a great way to enjoy local cultures and soak up the sun all at the same time.

Speaking of the sun, Albania is also famous for fantastic beach parties, and in Dhermi in June, you’ll find the Kala Music Festival, which gives you the ideal setting to party in the sun. The festival lasts for a week, and it’s super popular.

If you prefer something more low-key and in the wellbeing niche, Anjunadeep Explorations is an excellent event in June located in Dermi. You’ll enjoy music, but it’s more about health and wellbeing than anything else.

  • 12 Of The Best Festivals In Albania

29. Visit The Ancient City Of Berat

Best Castles In Albania - Travel Blog - Berat Castle

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ancient city of Berat is a top place to visit, known locally as the ‘City of a Thousand Windows.’ The architecture here is impressive, and you’ll see old houses that look like they’re sitting on top of each other with what looks like, as the name suggests, a thousand windows!

The streets are cobbled, so wear comfortable shoes, but it’s a great place to walk around and explore on your own steam.

30. Embrace Nature At Gjipe Beach

Albanian Riviera Guide - Gjipe beach

Many of Albania’s beaches on the Riviera side are busy during the peak summer months, but Gjipe Beach always feels quiet and chilled out. It’s a hidden gem , and it’s so beautiful you won’t believe your eyes. You can find this beach between Dhermi and Himara, and although it takes some effort to get there, it’s more than worth it.

  • Best Beaches In Albania

31. Try Local Foods

Albanian Food - Trilece - Balkan Dessert

Albanian cuisine is genuinely delicious, and trying as many dishes as possible is a must-do no matter when you visit.

Tave Kosi is a famous lamb dish covered in egg, rice, yogurt, garlic, and spices and baked until bubbling hot. This is a particularly great dish to try when the weather is cooling down. However, byrek is a famous dish, whether hot or cold, and you should have street food on your list. This is a filo pastry pie cut into pieces and filled with different things, such as cheese, spinach, meat, or potato. You’ll find this almost everywhere.

Another must-try is tave Mishi, which is another meat dish, but this one is covered in lemon and has a really sharp taste. Of course, you must try raki, the famous alcoholic drink which should definitely be consumed slowly!

  • Best Albanian Cuisine

32. Explore History At The National Historical Museum In Tirana

You can learn more about Albania’s rocky history at the National Historical Museum in Tirana. Several sections inside the museum talk about different parts of the country’s history, including Mother Teresa and the communist era. It’s a sobering place to visit and somewhere that will open your eyes to the horrors the Albanian people have endured over the years.

33. Try Wild Camping

Many places don’t allow you to camp wherever you please, but you can camp on beaches and anywhere else you please in Albania, as long as you’re not trespassing on a person’s private property. Many people camp on wild beaches during the summer months, and you can’t blame them – can you imagine waking up to those types of views?

34. Relax In The Hot Springs

Benja is home to some delightful hot springs that allow you to rest and recuperate in a beautiful setting. The springs date back to the Ottoman era, and thanks to the warmth from the earth’s geothermal activity, the water is always delightfully warm.

35. Swim In Lake Ohrid

Another lake in Albania that belongs on any itinerary is Lake Ohrid. This lake also lies in Albania and Macedonia and is of similar tourist, natural, and historical importance.

Lake Ohrid is among Europe’s oldest and deepest lakes, providing a habitat for a wide variety of animal and plant species, many of which are endemic to the region. Its aquatic ecosystem is critical, so UNESCO protects the lake as a World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve.

  • Getting From Ohrid To Saranda

36. Tirana’s Preze Castle

In the countryside, a stone’s throw from the Tirana city center , you will find the ruins of Preze Castle, dating back several centuries. This 15th-century castle has four towers and is a trendy place to visit, with beautiful views.

37. Winter Sports At Dardha

skiing-albania_albania-travel-blog

When the snow falls in abundance on the high mountains during the winter months, Dardha is packed with local and international visitors. This is a relatively small resort, but certainly one to enjoy, with two ski lifts.

  • What To See & Do In Albania In Winter

38. Visit One Of The Largest Mosques In Albania

Baitul Avval Mosque in the capital is one of the largest in the country and unquestionably the largest in Tirana. The exterior is undoubtedly beautiful, and the neighboring Darul Falah Mission House is also worth exploring.

39. Explore International Nature At The Botanic Garden Of Tirana

Opened in 1964, this part covers 15 hectares and is home to countless species of international and local plants and flowers.

40. Shopping Fun In Tirana

The capital is full of shopping opportunities, but several large malls, including the tree-lined Toptani pedestrian street and the high-end Block neighborhood.

  • What To Buy In Albania

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What to do in albania – hit up the best towns in albania.

Best Castles In Albania - Durrës Castle

Enjoy Durres and its famous amphitheater. The coastal city of Durres boasts a beautiful harbor and renowned arena, which could house around 20,000 people back in the day. It’s the largest surviving Roman amphitheater in the Balkans.

Its coastal location also makes Durres one of the most popular Albania holiday destinations. The city is home to many kilometers of Adriatic Sea beaches, attracting thousands of beach-goers, sunbathers, and other summer enthusiasts.

  • Getting From Tirana To Durres

42. Ksamil Beach & Village

Best Hotels In Saranda, ALBANIA - beach

Ksamil is the perfect Ionian Sea beach escape down on Albania’s southern tip on the border with Greece , the ultimate Albania holiday destination.

Soak up the peace and sun in Ksamil Village . On the Ionian Sea coastline, you will find this tranquil and peaceful village, with a small and quiet beach , plenty of cafes and family-run restaurants, and a true Albanian way of life.

Whether you’re into lounging on a private stretch or mixing it up on a public beach, you can easily rent a sunbed from one of the stylish beach clubs during the day.

There are less than 3,000 people in town, but it can seem like many more than that, depending on when you visit. For true tranquility, opt for the shoulder seasons, especially September and October when the waters are still warm.

And the nearby ruins in Butrint National Park, one of the undisputed top things to see in Albania , is well worth the day trip from Ksamil, making the argument for visiting the village even stronger.

Mountains and valleys surround the capital and a nearby coastline, and as such, it is a very chilled-out city to visit despite its status as the most important city in the country! There is a pavement café feel to the city, with friendly locals happy to sit and chat with you as you take in the atmosphere.

Tirana also boasts a wealth of cultural and historical heritage. If you’re wondering, “Is Albania worth visiting?” a look at the sheer number of landmarks, the vibrant city life, and the incredible culinary scene in Tirana should give you a definite “yes” as an answer.

Modern Day Spa Relaxation In Tirana

A visit to Albania’s capital should encompass a few relaxing spa treatments. If you are looking for a treat during your city break, there are several big-named spas to choose from, usually based in hotels.

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The Best Beaches, Lakes & Rivers In Albania

44. lana river.

The capital has the Lana River running through it, although it is more of a stream than a river. The green landscapes around its banks are ideal for taking a picnic and enjoying the sun during the summer months.

45. Dhermi Beach

Where To Go In Albania - Dhermi

This is one of the best beaches in Albania, and the crystal-clear waters beg you to dip your toe in! There are many bars, restaurants, and hotels to enjoy here for a few nights, and the backdrop is green and mountainous.

The village consists of traditional stone houses and, more recently, wooden and eco-friendly structures built to host numerous tourists without weighing down the ecosystem. The area is also well-known for its many churches, where you can admire ancient cultural treasures. Dhërmi Beach (2.5 kilometers downhill) is more popular than Gjipe and other hidden bays in the area.

Therefore, Dhërmi Beach can get crowded with locals and tourists in the high season. However, there are many secluded bays next to the main beach, which you can reach by walking through beautiful olive groves, a peaceful and quiet wander along the coast.

46. Porto Palermo

Things to do in Himare, Albania - Beautiful coast on albanian riviera in Porto Palermo Albania

Another fabulous beach in Albania is Porto Palermo, a small peninsula topped by a stronghold built by Ali Pasha during the 19th century. This beach also served as a Soviet submarine base during the communist era, and the whole place is so charming that it is often used as a film set.

47. Lake Farka

Just outside the capital, you will find a fantastic place to enjoy water-based fun during the summer months, including relaxing boating and swimming.

This small and beautiful country is packed with attractions, and one visit will probably not be enough. Still, you have to decide – what things to do in Albania will you add to your must-see list?

  • Best Places To Stay In Albania

Where Is Albania?

Albania is located in the west of the Balkan peninsula. It shares land borders with Macedonia, Kosovo , Greece , and Montenegro while being lapped by the Adriatic and Ionian Seas.

As such, it is influenced by its neighbors’ many different traditions and cultures, which converge to create a fantastic blend of Albania attractions. Tirana’s vibrant capital city is the ideal starting point for exploring this small but fascinating country.

Albania’s Climate

Things To Do In Himare, Albania - Sunbathers on the beach in Himare resort, Albania.

For such a small country, Albania has a complicated climate! The weather primarily depends on where you are in the country because there are several small climate changes, mainly relating to elevation and proximity to the coast. But now that you know where to go in Albania , let us help you figure out when to go to Albania.

To sum it up in simple terms, the best time to visit Albania is:

  • Coastal regions have a typical Mediterranean climate, with warm summers and mild, wet winters
  • The interior of the country is mountainous, and the higher you are, the colder the temperatures; however, evenings are generally cool regardless.
  • The lowlands of Albania have mild winters and warm summers, typically Mediterranean. However, the lowlands in the south are usually around 5 degrees higher in temperature than the rest of the region.
  • Rainfall is relatively high throughout the country, apart from the coast

Now that you are no longer wondering what to see in Albania and have a jam-packed list of the best places to visit Albania,  we wish you safe travels.  

How To Get To Albania

Albania is extremely easy to get to these days, with Tirana International Airport receiving flights from all over Europe. You’ll find countless direct flights in the summer months and even in the winter months to some point. If you can’t get a direct flight, it’s certainly easy to get an indirect flight from a nearby city.

Another option is to fly to Corfu, which accepts a large number of international flights, and then get the ferry over to Saranda. Remember to check visa requirements if you’re doing this, as you’ll be crossing a border.

If you’re in mainland Greece, you can take the bus over to Tirana quite easily. There are services every day. You can also take the bus from Skopje in Macedonia to Tirana and other large cities in Albania. Italy also offers connections via ferry, with overnight journeys from Bari and Durres with Ventouris Ferries.

  • Things To Do In Slovenia
  • Things To Do In Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Things To Do In Montenegro
  • Best Beaches In The Balkans

Comments (5)

And the cherry above the torte,paragliding in Albania, Where you can do? Almost everywhere and not restricted area ,and about the tandem paragliding in Llogara Albania,just try to contact Extreme Illyricum wich offer door to door service. Best regards ,Ilir Albania :)

Nice collection of photos in this post!

And what about tandem paragliding in Albania,the wonderful contrast of a 930m takeoff and the deep blue of the sea in the landing area ,wich from technical explain is very safe due to a sea wind For the first time,Extreme Illyricum Aeroclub offer 360°video & flying certificate including in the price , everything you need to do is just contact Extreme Illyricum

SJ, thanks a lot for the article post.Much thanks again. Fantastic.

Thanks for this awesome guide! I used this to help plan my trip – I just got back and had an amazing time!

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Gjipe Beach

The 9 best places to visit in Albania

From the beaches of the Riviera to remote ruins and pretty towns, this is where to go in Albania

Stuart Butler

Albania has been having a moment for a while now. Young people especially have been flocking here for beach holidays that don’t cost an arm and a leg, and it recently solidified itself as the music festival destination in Europe . 

For a trip here, expect Rugged mountains laced with quiet hiking trails, ancient ruins hiding in the shade of trees, stunning beaches ripe for exploration and fast-developing urban centres. Expect tradition, and an air of older and wilder Europe . Up for somewhere new? Here are the best places to visit in Albania. 

RECOMMENDED: 🏖 The best alternative Mediterranean beach breaks 🧳 The most underrated destinations in Europe ☀️ The best beaches in Europe ✈️ Your essential travel guide

Stuart Butler is a travel writer who has travelled extensively in Albania.  At Time Out, all of our  travel guides  are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our  editorial guidelines . 

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Where to go in Albania

Tirana

1.  Tirana

The capital of Albania, and the only place that genuinely feels like a city, Tirana isn’t overwhelmed by its recent repressive history. Instead of hiding away the Communist-era interrogation centres and prisons, city authorities have transformed them into darkly fascinating museums, art galleries and memorials – and then surrounded them with an ever-changing cast of hipster bars and restaurants. At weekends, ride the cable car up Mount Dajti to join the locals for a spit-roast lamb lunch with a view down over the city.

Berat

2.  Berat

Beautiful Berat is a town of two halves. Down on the river bank houses are clustered up tight against the side of a forested hill, their windows bouncing sunlight off the water. Take the steep climb up towards the summit of that hill though and you’ll arrive at Berat’s other – and much older – half. A restored medieval gateway leads into the Kalaja, or fortress, where wildflowers sprout from crumbling walls and a clutch of centuries-old churches and mosques have been turned into museums.

Ksamil

3.  Ksamil

Albania’s quintessential beach spot. Although far from undiscovered, Ksamil – which sweeps around a series of low, wooded headlands and encompasses a number of still glistening bays, beaches and small islets – is something special. Mass tourism, fuelled by visitors from neighbouring landlocked countries, has dramatically changed the Albanian coastline in recent years, but Ksamil retains the laidback magic that first attracted people to the Albanian Riviera. And, of course, the seafood is excellent.

Gjirokastër

4.  Gjirokastër

The story of the small hill town of  Gjirokastër , in southern Albania, stretches back at least 2,500 years – with some of the treasures from this great antiquity carefully laid out in the town’s small museum. Most people today though come here to see the 600 or so stunning Ottoman-era manor houses that dot the town and surrounding hillside, some of which are open to visitors. The pretty-but-touristy centre of town ( Gjirokastër is a favourite with bus tours on a day trip from Corfu) is all cobbled streets, arty cafes and less arty souvenir shops.

Butrint

5.  Butrint

Arguably the most impressive historical site in Albania, Butrint is an ancient Greek city of sunflower-yellow stones and rocks. Some of the ruins here – the theatre, Forum and public baths in particular – are extraordinarily well preserved, but just as much pleasure is to be had poking about the lesser-known ruins. To add to the wonder of the site, the whole complex is beautifully situated under shady woodland and on the shores of a quiet coastal lagoon.

Shkodër

6.  Shkodër

The large town of Shkodër, which lazes on the side of a lake a short way back from the sea, doesn’t make it onto many Albanian itineraries. Yet, with its pastel-painted buildings and elegant squares, it has a distinctly Italian ambiance. Add to this an abundance of history and culture and you have yourself a perfect city break. The city boasts some of Albania’s best museums (such as the Marubi National Photography Museum, which covers the history of photography in Albania, and the Site of Witness and Memory Museum, which outlines Albania’s recent Communist past), a large fortress complex, some excellent restaurants – and yes, the Italian influence extends to dinner – and long, sandy beaches just a short drive away.

The Albanian Alps

7.  The Albanian Alps

The Albanian Alps, otherwise known as the Accursed Mountains, are anything but cursed. The valleys of these soaring mountains are filled with meadows, pastures and lakes in vivid greens, while beautiful, traditional stone villages dot the region. The slopes, which are thickly forested and turn a fiery red and orange in autumn, lead to summits that are licked in ice and snow for months on end. Its fabulous hiking country and numerous day and multi-day trails snake around the slopes, the most celebrated being the three-nation Peaks of the Balkans Trail, which traverses neighbouring countries Kosovo and Montenegro.

Apollonia

8.  Apollonia

Far from anywhere, and little known to most foreign visitors to Albania, the ruins of the ancient Illyrian city of Apollonia are a huge 2,500-year-old complex of half-buried walls, mosaics and pillars, spread across olive tree-dotted hills. The theatre and the administrative centre still retain great grandeur, and the treasure-stuffed museum is well worth a visit. Away from the main ruins, one of Apollonia’s biggest draws is its feeling of quiet solitude. Come for the history, stay for the tranquility.

Gjipe beach

9.  Gjipe beach

The forty-five-minute cliffside walking trail to Albania’s Gjipe beach starts from beside the thick stone walls of the Saint Theodore Monastery. T he religious start is appropriate: as soon as you set eyes on this small, white-pebble beach, set below cliffs at the mouth of a wooded gorge, you’ll think you’re in Mediterranean beach heaven. The atmosphere at Gjipe remains low-key and development mercifully limited. There’s a seasonal beach café and, a short way up into the gorge, a basic camping area. Come in June or September and you might have it all to yourself.

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The Crazy Tourist

Home » Travel Guides » Albania » 15 Best Things to Do in Tirana (Albania)

15 Best Things to Do in Tirana (Albania)

Visiting Albania’s capital you’ll delve into the past and present of a country that has seen intense turmoil since it was founded in the 1600s. Tirana has disintegrating soviet-era buildings, brand new projects and proud historic monuments side-by-side, while the wonderful upland scenery that bounds the city to the east calls for exploration.

Each monument has its own complicated and emotionally-charged story to tell, whether it’s about 20th-century oppression or daily life in Tirana in Ottoman times. And if things get too hot in the summer you’re free to cool off in the Adriatic sea, which is an easy drive away.

Let’s explore the best things to do in Tirana :

1. Piramida

Piramida

It might seem strange to start with a derelict building, but the Piramida is unique. It’s an unforgettable and culturally-significant building from 1987, completed not long before the fall of communism.

It was intended as a museum to honour the country’s despotic dictator Enver Hoxha who ruled from 1944-85, but naturally these plans were torn up after 1990. Now it’s at the crux of a debate on how to deal with the period after the Second World War, when Albania suffered 45 years of isolation.

Some want to see it restored as a monument to that period, while others want it torn down. In the meantime it remains unused, except by graffiti artists and skaters.

2. Dajti Ekspres

Dajti Ekspres

This cable-car is a fun family day out and a superb introduction to the city, taking you up by gondola to the dramatic mountain on Tirana’s eastern edge.

The cable-car spans a kilometre, making it the longest in the Balkans, and rises more than 800 metres up the mountainside. The journey will take about 15 minutes and at the top there’s a tourism complex with restaurants and hotels.

Of course the view over the city will be memorable, but there are also year-round activities on the table, including trekking and horseback riding in summer, and skiing in winter.

3. Skanderbeg Square

Skanderbeg Square

This is where Tirana’s premier monuments are all assembled, including the Clock Tower, Et’hem Bey Mosque and the National History Museum. It is named after George Castriot, an Albanian national hero, credited with halting the advance of the Ottoman Empire into central Europe.

There’s a monument to Skanderbeg in the square, which occupies the spot where a communist-era statue of Josef Stalin once stood. The architecture surrounding the square is neo-renaissance, and there’s a large lawn with flower beds to round off the stately atmosphere.

Skanderbeg is the city’s main venue for popular celebrations, such as 100 years of Albanian Independence in 2012.

4. National Historical Museum

National Historical Museum, Tirana

One thing’s for sure – Tirana and Albania have a very complicated past. So if you need a point of entry this is the place to get some context.

The museum is organised by pavilions, each covering a different period in the region’s history, from ancient times up to the 21st century. The most valuable in terms of archaeological wealth is the Pavilion of Antiquity, where there’s a great collection of almost 600 items spanning the late-Palaeolithic to the early-Middle Ages.

The most treasured exhibit is the Beauty of Durrës, which is from the 4th century BC and is the most cherished ancient mosaic in the country.

5. Dajti Mountain National Park

Dajti Mountain National Park

In Europe it’s unusual to find a national park right on the doorstep of a capital city, so don’t pass up the chance to venture out further into the mountain range that forms Tirana’s eastern boundary.

If you want to really get out and experience the natural scenery here, take the trail that connects Mount Dajti with Mount Tujani, which rises to 1,580 metres. This peak is the highest in the park and can be scaled on foot if you’re a regular hiker.

The view from the top is what the effort is for, not least because it includes the vast water reservoir, Lake Bovilla. Surrounding this lake are sheer cliffs that also provide some excellent climbing walls.

6. Et’hem Bey Mosque

Et'hem Bey Mosque

This place of worship was completed in the early-19th century and is one of the city’s top landmarks.

At the fall of communism it was the site of one of the most remarkable events in Tirana’s recent history, when on the 10th of January 1991 10,000 people gathered to practise their religion, against the decree of the authorities who had banned Islam for almost half a century. In the end there was no police interference and the event marked a turning for religious freedom in Albania.

The outer walls of this mosque are unusual  as they depict idyllic scenery such as forests and waterfalls, which aren’t normally permitted in Islamic art.

7. Grand Park

Tirana's Grand Park

Just south of the prestigious Blloku district is Tirana’s Grand Park, which is the city centre’s top spot for fresh air and a bit of exercise. It covers 230 hectares and encloses a large artificial lake.

Famously the Presidential Palace can be found here, which was originally designated as a residence for King Zog I, but was completed just a few years before communism. There are also tombs to several Albanian national heroes in the park, among them politicians, writers and philosophers.

Throughout the year you can find people fishing on the lakeshore, which indicates the improving water quality, while outdoor swimming is available in summer.

8. Clock Tower

Clock Tower of Tirana

One of the city’s most photographed landmarks, especially when it’s illuminated at night, the Clock Tower goes back to 1822 when it was completed by the court poet Haxhi Et’hem Bey. You can scale the tower’s narrow spiral staircase free of charge and take in the lovely vistas of Tirana’s city-centre.

One of the curious features of the tower is its clock, which has been altered several times in building’s history. The first was a Viennese design, which was replaced by a German-style timepiece which was destroyed in the Second World War.

After that there was one with Roman numerals that came down in the 70s in favour of the current Chinese clock.

9. Rruga Murat Toptani

Rruga Murat Toptani

A pedestrianised street in the centre of Tirana, Rruga Murat Toptani is a handsome promenade between the Parliament Building and the National Art Gallery. The name of this popular artery comes from the Toptani Family, who held sway in Ottoman Albania from the 1700s right up to the Second World War.

The street is especially grand in summer when the twin rows of plane trees offer shade from the sun.

Along the route you can admire some of the city’s old fortifications, dating to the time when the Toptanis vied for control of Tirana with other powerful local families.

10. Tanners’ Bridge

Tanners' Bridge

This minor attraction is from the 1700s and is a fascinating fragment of Tirana’s Ottoman history, giving an impression of how the city went about its business in the years after its foundation.

These days it’s a humble stone pedestrian bridge, but when it was built it was the main route for farmers to bring their livestock into the butchery and leatherworking district. Today the Lanë River that the bridge used to traverse has been redirected, so the bridge is kept as a monument.

From the bridge you can also see the Tanners’ Mosque, which was constructed by the Tanners’ guild in the 1700s.

11. Cave of Pellumbas

Cave of Pellumbas

If you need to see more of the Mount Dajtit National Park that looms to the east of the city, spend a day around the village of Pellumbas. Here you can take hikes and scramble your way up to a beautiful natural monument.

There’s a trail from the village that meanders through the mountains for two kilometres before you get to a cave packed with stalagmites and stalactites, but also with evidence of human activity going back than 300,000 years.

It descends 350 metres into the mountainside, and during the Second World War made a refuge for the villagers of Pellumbas.

12. Bunk’Art

Bunk'Art

This extraordinary attraction puts Albania’s recent past into perspective. Bunk’Art is an underground bunker that was constructed for Tirana’s communist-era politicians and military top brass in case of nuclear war.

What’s astounding is the scale and detail of the shelter: It’s set over five stories, and has more than 100 different rooms including a meeting hall with 200 seats.

The goal of the attraction today is to help people come to terms with a troubled period in the country’s history, but will enthuse people who enjoy Cold War-era  installations and communist design.

13. Preza Castle

Preza Castle

Northwest of the city is this 15th century fortress that stands high over the village of the same name. It was built and belonged to the feudal Thopia family whose estates covered the area between the Shkumbin and Mat Rivers.

In its day the structure would have been an outpost built to defend the area against bandits. The pentagonal-shaped castle’s value now lies in its intact walls and towers, including a clock tower that was installed in the 1800s.

From the battlements you’ll get far-reaching panoramas over the plain, out to the city of Tirana and the mountain range behind it.

Durrës

There are buses every half an hour to this Adriatic port city , which is replete with Roman and Byzantine heritage.

The first place to go is the amphitheatre, which is from the 2nd century, was once able to seat 20,000 and is the largest in the Balkan region. It was hidden to the world for more than a millennium before being rediscovered in 1900.

What really adds to the site is the small chapel attached to the building, which has fantastic early-Christian mosaics and frescoes depicting saints.

A great combination is this Full-Day Trip From Tirana to Kruja and Durres

15. Spille Beach

Spille Beach

In the summer things can really heat up in Tirana, but a day at the beach is just an easy car trip away. This one is three kilometres-long and sits just south of Durrës.

It’s wide enough that you can find some room at any time of year, and if you’re visiting with little ones you’ll be able to let them paddle in the gentle and shallow surf with peace of mind.

Spille bears all the hallmarks of a European beach resort, with restaurants, sports facilities and more, but the prices for stuff like refreshments, chairs and parasols are way more reasonable than you’ll find in more famous beach destinations.

15 Best Things to Do in Tirana (Albania):

  • Dajti Ekspres
  • Skanderbeg Square
  • National Historical Museum
  • Dajti Mountain National Park
  • Et'hem Bey Mosque
  • Clock Tower
  • Rruga Murat Toptani
  • Tanners' Bridge
  • Cave of Pellumbas
  • Preza Castle
  • Spille Beach

Wander-Lush

21 Things to Do in Tirana: The Best of Albania’s Quirky Capital City

Having spent a week or more in every capital in the Balkans , I can confidently say that Tirana is one of my favourite cities in the region.

Tirana has an alluring aesthetic that combines old Ottoman, nouveau Mediterranean and straight-up contemporary architecture.

Brimming with colourful apartment blocks, cool cafes and first-rate museums, it is the perfect introduction to Albania and the ideal size for an action-packed, 2-3 day city break.

An ancient stone monument under a modern building in Tirana, Albania.

I have visited Tirana twice now: First in 2019, and again this autumn. This guide brings together my favourite things to do in Tirana – both essential and off-beat – plus my food and drink recommendations, day trip suggestions, and general travel tips.

Note: If you’re planning a short stay in the city, I also have a one-day Tirana itinerary . It is a little out of date, but I will be refreshing it soon. For the time being please refer to this guide instead.

Please note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission if you make a purchase by clicking a link (at no extra cost to you). Learn more.

Tirana essentials

Where to stay: Hostel Nena Semi (budget-friendly); Hotel Boka (mid-range); Sar’Otel Boutique Hotel (boutique); Konak Skanderbeg Square (apartment).

Top-rated city tour: One-day City & Food Tour combination tour with a local breakfast, lunch and snacks.

Alternative city tour: ‘The Truest Face of Communism’ private Tirana tour with lunch.

Travel insurance for Albania: I used HeyMondo Insurance on my recent trip to Albania. Use my affiliate link to save 5% on your policy .

Rent a car in Albania: For my Albania road trip, I used Local Rent to hire a car from a local vendor. Check prices here on the Local Rent website .

  • Where to stay in Tirana

Our recent visit to Albania was bookended with two separate stays in Tirana.

When we first arrived, we spent four days in the Pazari i Ri (New Bazaar) neighbourhood. This area is central but with a local feel, excellent food options nearby, and a nice vibe thanks to the big produce/antiques market.

Colourful apartment buildings painted pink and yellow in downtown Tirana, Albania.

When we returned to Tirana, we stayed in an apartment just off Skanderbeg Square . This area is a lot busier, but its close proximity to public transport (including the airport bus) makes it perfect for a short visit to Tirana.

I am also very fond of the Blloku neighbourhood, located over the river. This area has excellent restaurants and bars, and is a great choice if you want to indulge in Tirana’s nightlife. This is where we stayed on our first trip to Albania back in 2019.

A blue apartment building in Tirana with colourful laundry hanging out front.

Hostel: Hostel Nena Semi is located on the edge of Blloku, close to Tirana’s best restaurants and bars. Both the mixed dorms and common outdoor spaces are beautifully designed.

Mid-range hotel: Hotel Boka has tidy rooms in front of Pazari i Ri (New Bazaar), walking distance from great cafes and restaurants and a short stroll or bus ride from Skanderbeg Square.

Boutique hotel: Sar’Otel Boutique Hotel in the trendy Pazari i Ri neighbourhood has well-designed rooms and a great breakfast.

Apartment: Konak Skanderbeg Square has two well-appointed apartments with balconies and a shared kitchenette. The location off the main square is terrific for sightseeing.

How to move around Tirana

Tirana is a compact city. The centre is flat and walkable , meaning you can reach most of the main attractions on foot. As a bonus, the roads and sidewalks are mostly in good condition. There is a lot of construction going on in Tirana at the moment so you will find that some areas are a bit trickier to navigate.

For travelling further afield, the Tirana city bus system is very simple to use. Buses are numbered but usually referred to by the district they terminate in – for example there’s the Porcelan bus and the Qyteti Studenti bus.

Single-use paper tickets cost 40 LEK per person .

A blue Tirana bus ticket.

Buses routes are not linked to Google Maps – we found a map online (just Google ‘Tirana bus routes’ for the PDF). Departures are regular enough that you don’t really have to plan ahead (aside from the airport bus, which runs every hour).

To use the buses in Tirana, simply board through any door then grab a seat or find a spot to stand. Tickets are purchased on board with cash (correct change preferred, but there is always change available). The attendant will come to you.

5 quick tips for Tirana

1. Use the Tirana Airport bus to get to the centre. If you’re flying in/out of Tirana, the 24-hour city bus is by far the most convenient transit option. Tickets cost 400 LEK. Alternatively, you can book a private airport transfer . More tips here in my Tirana Airport arrivals guide .

2. Cash is still king in Albania. Card is widely accepted at restaurants, bars, hotels and shops in Tirana and other major cities. Always check the final total before you pay. Cash is absolutely still required for markets, taxis and smaller venues.

3. Every ATM in Albania charges a withdrawal fee. The lowest we could find was the American Bank of Investments, which charges 500 LEK (compared to 600-650 LEK for Tirana Bank and most others).

4. Pick up a Vodafone SIM. Vodafone has the best coverage in Albania and competitive prices. We skipped the tourist package and paid 2,000 LEK for 30 GB of data (valid for 30 days) plus an additional 200 LEK for our SIM.

5. Tirana is an overwhelmingly safe city. Even for solo female travellers. Street crime is rare, and there are no ‘no-go’ neighbourhoods. Mind your belongings, avoid walking late at night, and exercise common sense caution. English is widely spoken.

Map of Tirana things to do

Click here to open a Tirana map that I created to help you navigate the city.

Essential things to do in Tirana

1. immerse yourself in albanian history at bunk’art, one of europe’s most unique museums.

Portraits line the walls of a bunker at the Bunk'Art 2 Museum in Tirana, Albania.

Bunk’Art is arguably Tirana’s most popular tourist attraction. I think its reputation as one of Europe’s most unique museums is well deserved, hence why I’ve put it here at the top of my list.

Bunk’Art is actually two separate museums. Bunk’Art 2 is located in the centre of Tirana, just off Skanderbeg Square. Bunk’Art 1 lies on the outskirts of the city. Both are worth visiting, but in my opinion the original Bunk’Art 1 is more impactful.

To begin with, the entrance to Bunk’Art 1 through a long tunnel is much more dramatic. The scale of the 1978-built bunker is also more impressive: 106 rooms arranged over five floors, big enough to house politicians and approximately 700 members of the nearby military regiment in the event of a nuclear attack.

It is the only bunker in the country with a full-sized underground congress hall, a concept borrowed from the North Koreans. It also had sleeping quarters for Enver Hoxha (although the dictator never spent a night here).

Red velvet seats arranged inside the underground congress hall at Bunk'Art 1.

Both Bunk’Arts deal with Albania’s communist period, but the subject material differs slightly. Bunk’Art 1 examines the country’s time under Fascist Italy, WWII and the German invasion, and the post-liberation Albania of the 1990s. Bunk’Art 2 focuses on the secret police and Sigurimi.

I personally found the latter to be more emotive and more challenging to consume. Bunk’Art 1 is no walk in the park, but it is slightly more objective and historically based versus Bunk’Art 2, which takes a more personal, anecdotal approach.

Gas masks on display at the Bunk'Art Museum in Tirana.

Tip: If you choose Bunk’Art 1, then I also recommend visiting The House of Leaves . Similar to S-21 in Phnom Penh , it is set inside a former interrogation facility and looks at the Sigurimi in detail.

Despite the name, Bunk’Art is definitely more of a museum than a gallery – though there are a few tasteful contemporary art pieces towards the end of the exhibition.

It is huge and there is a lot of text to take in. You need at least two hours for Bunk’Art 1. Also keep in mind that it’s cold down there – around 16 degrees Celsius – so you should bring a light jacket . I also found it quite humid.

Entrance to Bunk’Art costs 700 LEK per person . Combination tickets for Bunk’Art 1 and Bunk’Art 2 are available for a discounted price.

For an additional 100 LEK, you get access to the audio guide app – but you need to bring your own headphones . In my opinion, there is enough signage (in English) to get by without the guide.

Bunk’Art 1 is open every day from 9.30am until 4pm . To get there from the centre, take the Porcelan-bound bus from the stop on Friendship Park behind Skanderbeg Square (see the location here on the map ) and alight in front of the museum entrance. The trip takes 20-30 minutes.

Bunk’Art is close to the Dajti Express cable car lower station, so most people combine it with a trip up the mountain (see #17 on this list below). Local pizzeria Mix Pizza is a nice spot to grab an easy lunch nearby.

2. Scale the new Pyramid of Tirana

The new white Pyramid of Tirana framed by trees.

After years of being cordoned off and decades of lying in a state of disrepair, in October 2023 the Pyramid of Tirana officially reopened to the public. I was lucky enough to be there for the launch.

The unofficial symbol of Tirana, the original Pyramid was built in 1988 as a museum for Enver Hoxha. It served its intended purpose for a mere three years before it was converted into a conference centre, then a NATO base, a radio station, and finally a nightclub.

Today the Pyramid of Tirana has been completely remodelled and returned to the people. It is completely unrecognisable compared to the old Pyramid I saw back in 2019 ( here are some photos ).

Aerial view of the Tirana Pyramid, a refurbished landmark with colourful buildings around it.

The choice of new materials is very interesting – white on white stone, plexiglass and metal. It is all clean lines and transparent surfaces.

Climbing the old Pyramid was considered rebellious. The new Pyramid flips that idea on its head and encourages the public to interact with it. The structure is completely covered with stairs and open gangways.

A man dressed in a suit summits the stairs at the newly refurbished Pyramid of Tirana.

Admittedly there is not much of a view from the top, but you can spot the new mosque and a few other landmarks.

Colourful cube-shaped buildings teetering at all angles surround the Pyramid and will eventually house businesses. Inside, the Pyramid holds offices and work spaces for the youth education organisation TUMO .

The Peace Bell, a giant metal bell, hangs from a concrete platform in front of the Pyramid of Tirana.

The Peace Bell (above left) is a monument fashioned from 20,000 bullet cartridges collected by children during Albania’s civil unrest in 1997. It has been left in place, adjacent to the Pyramid, but it no longer hangs over a concrete water feature like it did in the past.

3. Explore Blokku, Tirana’s former communist quarter

A concrete bunker stands at the Postblloku checkpoint in Tirana.

Blloku or ‘the Block of Leadership’ is a compact riverside neighbourhood that faces onto the river on the western side of the Pyramid.

During Albania’s communist period, it was a restricted area purpose-built to house senior government officials. Ordinary citizens were prohibited from walking the streets or frequenting any of the businesses within Blloku’s heavily guarded borders.

When communism fell, there was a kind of cultural rebellion and a mad rush to reclaim Blloku as part of the city. A huge number of cafes, bars, boutiques and nightclubs moved into the old villa houses, transforming the once tightly controlled zone into one of Tirana’s most lively (and affluent) precincts. How’s that for comeuppance!

Enter Blloku from the western side via the Postbllok Memorial and checkpoint (pictured above). This sculptural ensemble is dedicated to the victims of the communist regime, and features an original bunker, an art piece made from concrete pillars from the Spaç labour camp , and a fragment of the Berlin Wall.

On the next block, you will spot Enver Hoxha’s former residence , a two-storey modernist villa with a small garden and fountain. The house is suspended in time, blinds drawn and furniture still visible through the big windows, as if no one quite knows what should become of it.

Enver Hoxha's former residence in Blloku, a villa house with stone pillars and a fountain out front.

There are some interesting pieces of architecture just beyond Blloku’s limits: The Palace of Congress , Mother Teresa Square (below left) and University of Tirana campus (below right) are a short walk south.

Mother Theresa Square, a large open square with coloured pavement in Tirana.

Continue west to visit the Tulla Culture Center , and take a detour down the narrow back streets to see painted apartment blocks, street art, and the famous rainbow mural at Wilson Square .

4. Drink at a quirky communist-themed bar, one of the best things to do in Tirana at night

A cocktail with cucumber slices on a table at a cool bar in Tirana.

Some of Tirana’s best bars are located inside the Blloku district. Interestingly, a few of them are communism-themed, decked out with relics from the 1980s and old propaganda posters.

On our first visit to Tirana, I enjoyed sifting through the artefacts on display at Komiteti . This famous cafe-bar-museum now has branches around Albania.

On this trip we visited Radio Bar , a cosy space with retro decor (including, you guessed it, lots of vintage radios). The cocktails are excellent – we both had the Tirona Mule with Black Eagle vodka, ginger beer and lime.

Propaganda posters decorate a trendy bar in Blloku, Tirana.

Illyrian Saloon is another popular bar in Blloku while for food, I recommend Salt Tirana (international cuisine), Era (Albanian fare) and Spaghetti Western (burgers). You can find more Tirana restaurant recommendations in the next section.

5. Cross the Tanner’s Bridge

A woman walks across the Tanner's Bridge in Tirana, an ancient stone bridge with a half-moon shape.

Tirana is bisected by the Lana River, which is more of a narrow canal. To travel between the main part of the city and Blloku, you must cross any one of a number of bridges.

The Tanner’s Bridge must have stretched over the river at some point, but not anymore. Today it is pushed back from the water’s edge in a bit of an awkward position, but people still seem to use it on their daily commute to access the buildings behind the boulevard.

One of the oldest structures in Tirana, the arched stone bridge was built by the Ottomans in the 18th century as part of a trade route. Farmers and tanners used the footbridge to transport their livestock to the city’s leatherworks and butcher shops – hence the moniker.

We encountered many more half-moon Ottoman bridges and aqueducts like this one on our drive around Albania .

6. Do a lap around Skanderbeg Square (but don’t climb the Clock Tower)

Statue of Skanderbeg atop his horse on his namesake square in Tirana Albania.

Named after Albania’s national hero , the military commander who led a decisive rebellion movement against the Ottoman Empire, Skanderbeg Square is the heart of Tirana. Refurbished in 2018, it covers more than 10 hectares, including a huge 40,000-square-metre esplanade in the centre.

As you move across the massive plateau, you’ll notice slight variations in the colour of the stone underfoot. That’s because the paving – a giant tapestry of sorts – has been pieced together with different types of granite and travertine sourced from every corner of Albania. The square is slightly pitched so that on hot days, water can be pumped across the paving to cool it off.

Everything you see – from the stone to the soil and the trees planted on the periphery – was sourced locally in Albania.

Stone squares in a rainbow of colours on the pavement at Skanderbeg Square in Tirana.

Some of Tirana’s most important buildings and landmarks are dotted around Skanderbeg Square. At the southern end, there is an equestrian statue dedicated to Gjergj Kastriotit (AKA Skanderbeg). Behind him, Parku Europa is a small greenspace with a grouping of government buildings on its edges. To the east, there is City Hall and Bunk’Art 2 , and to the west, the Resurrection of Christ Orthodox Cathedral .

At the south-western corner, the Bank of Albania (Banka e Shqipërisë) – my favourite building in Tirana – is a fine example of Italian Rationalist architecture (more on that below).

The stone sign for the Palace of Culture in Tirana.

The eastern flank of the square is dominated by the Palace of Culture , a multipurpose hub that contains the Opera and Ballet Theatre, a library, cafes and a branch of the lovely Adrion Bookstore. Its cornerstone was laid by Nikita Khrushchev in 1959.

The National Historical Museum steals the show with its 565-square-metre mosaic panel. It retells the history of the nation through different protagonists.

A giant mosaic in Tirana depicts different characters from the nation's history, led by a woman.

In November 2019, the mosaic was badly damaged by the earthquake that struck northwestern Albania. A team of experts embarked on the massive task of restoring it piece by piece, unveiling the renewed mosaic in May 2023. What is really cool is that some of the five original mosaic artists were invited to work on the project.

Close-up of the Tirana mosaic.

The museum itself is scheduled for a much-needed overhaul. There are other museums in Tirana that are more worthy of your time (Bunk’Art but also #9, #10 and #11 below).

Two of Tirana’s oldest monuments, the Clock Tower (Kulla e Sahatit) and Et’hem Bej Mosque – described by author Ismail Kadare as “two feeble and decrepit old friends” – are dwarfed by the new apartment buildings that surround it. Still they staunchly hold their positions side by side on the south-eastern corner of the square.

While I definitely recommend taking the time to go inside the mosque (see below), I don’t recommend paying to ascend the Clock Tower. The view from the top is underwhelming and in my opinion, it’s not worth the ticket price nor the climb.

For the best city views of Tirana, see Observator Bar (number #19 on this list).

7. Go inside the painted Et’hem Bej Mosque

The painted prayer hall inside the Et'hem Bej Mosque in Tirana.

Completed in the early 1820s, the Et’hem Bej Mosque is the only surviving structure from a complex of buildings that once defined Old Tirana. Two more mosques and a bazaar have been lost to time, but this house of worship managed to survive both conflict and communist suppression.

More than half of Albanians ( around 57% ) follow Islam, yet for me Albania is more about the Orthodox churches than the mosques. Et’hem Bej is an exception – it is one of very few heavily decorated mosques and because of this, it is a must-see in Tirana. Restored in 2019, both the interior and exterior are richly decorated with frescoes.

A bicycle parked in front of the old mosque in Tirana.

The mosque is open to the public at set hours from 9am-12pm and 2pm-3.30pm every day except Friday. On Fridays , the mosque is only open for a short window after prayers, from 2.30pm-3.30pm. Visitors are required to dress modestly and remove their shoes before entering. Women must cover their hair – remember to carry a scarf with you.

8. Stop by the new Namazgah Mosque

The new Namazgah Tirana Grand Mosque at dawn.

Soon to be the biggest mosque in the Balkans , the Namazgah Mosque or Great Mosque of Tirana was nearing completion at the time of my recent visit. It will have a capacity of 4,500 people, quite an upgrade from the Et’hem Bej Mosque, which holds fewer than 100 people.

The mosque is absolutely monumental and has a huge footprint. Four minarets spiral 50 metres high, and the central dome reaches 30 metres tall.

The new mosque is located close to the Tanner’s Bridge.

Museums in Tirana

9. make an appointment to go inside the bank of albania, a masterpiece of italian rationalist architecture.

The Italian designed Bank of Albania building on Skanderbeg Square in Tirana.

Back to Skanderbeg Square and one of the best things to do in Tirana if you’re a fan of architecture like me.

The handsome Bank of Albania building was designed by Italian architect Vittorio Barrio Morpurgo in 1938, when Albania was ruled by King Zog I and aligned with Mussolini’s fascist Italy. (A year later, Italy invaded and annexed Albania, driving Zog into exile.)

I find this period of history and its monuments fascinating. There are some very interesting examples of Italian Rationalist architecture in Albania , including the main bank in Korca . Tirana’s landmarks from the period are the most impressive.

With its cash desks closed, the bank has been off-limits to the public for many years. But you can get inside by visiting its small money museum. Having heard about the interior mosaics, I was desperate to get in. I hadn’t made a mandatory online appointment, but security took pity on me and assigned me a guide. I spent an incredible 60 minutes inside the bank!

The original Venetian glass mosaics are definitely the highlight. Friezes depict Albanian life and industry – pressing wine, cropping fields – and are a bit faded, but still absolutely splendid. The rotunda-shaped teller room where they are located has booming acoustics and must have been very atmospheric when it was full of customers.

Mosaics inside the Bank of Albanian building depict different images of industry.

The Bank of Albania Museum has two exhibition halls located in the new section of the building, which was completed in 2015 based on the original architect’s sketches. The first room contains old teller desks set up with calculators and typewriters – every single piece of equipment being sourced from Italy. Downstairs, there is a great display of old coins and communist-period banknotes. Final stop on the tour is the vault where the gold ingots are kept.

To visit the Bank of Albania, you need to make an appointment at one of the allotted times on the website (currently Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9am, 11am or 2pm). When you arrive, use the back entrance, leave your passport with security, and lock everything away before you enter. No phones or cameras are allowed.

My guide offered me her iPhone to snap a few pics. I also got a fun souvenir to take home: An Albanian bank note with my face printed on it.

10. Tour the fascinating Women’s Museum

Exhibition of toys, household objects and old posters at the Albanian Women's Museum in Tirana.

The Women’s Museum is another small and lesser-known museum in Tirana. Founded by journalist-activist Elsa Ballauri, it is located inside a suburban apartment from the 1960s – which in itself is very interesting to see.

Elsa has curated a collection of archival photographs, antiques and everyday trinkets, with everything tied back to the role of women in Albanian society. Many of the objects on display – including a piano, considered an ‘enemy object’ by the communists, and a ‘House Book’ used to keep track of the family’s visitors  – belonged to Elsa’s grandmother.

I personally found the second room, which explores women under communism, the most interesting. Original ration cards and photos of food lines really drive the reality of the situation in Albania a few short decades ago home.

An archival black and white photo depicting a group of women in Tirana in the 1970s.

Elsa is a fascinating and passionate person. Call or email her ahead of time to organise your visit. The entrance to the museum is on the courtyard-side of the building. Follow the sign up the stairs, and knock on the apartment door.

The 500 LEK entrance fee includes a guided tour of the exhibition courtesy of Elsa herself, plus a chocolate and a coffee if you have time to sit and chat.

11. Walk in the footsteps of Ismail Kadare, Albania’s national author

The Kadare House Museum, a living area set up with documents and photographs related to the life and work of Ismail Kadare.

Booker Prize-winning author Ismail Kadare was born in Gjirokaster but spent much of his adult life in Tirana. One of his apartments, where he lived with his family for 14 years, has been transformed into a small house museum.

I will be honest: I knew very little about Ismail Kadare before I arrived in Tirana, and I still haven’t read any of his books. If you’re a fan of his novels then a pilgrimage to his apartment is a must. And even if you don’t, you will still find it interesting.

Black plaques document the novels of Ismail Kadare at his house museum in Tirana.

That’s because Kadare is much more than an author – he is a keen observer and a window onto Tirana and Albania. Old photos of the city interspersed with poignant quotes from his novels adorn the walls of the old study and living room. Visitors are invited to pull open the drawers of the sideboard to discover tidbits from the city’s history.

The Muzeu Kadare is also a love letter to the apartment building itself, with architectural blueprints and floor plans incorporated into the exhibition. With so many of Tirana’s old blocks at risk of demolition, it’s an important reminder of the stories and histories these buildings hold.

The Muzeu Kadare is open from 10am-5pm Tuesday to Friday and 10am-2pm Saturday . Entrance costs 500 LEK .

Alternative things to do in Tirana

12. search for street art in tirana.

Mural of a woman dressed in traditional clothing on the side of an office building in Tirana, Albania.

When I first arrived back in Tirana I was blown away by the number of large-scale street art pieces I could see from the bus window. Tirana has always been a colourful city thanks to its painted apartment buildings, but it has really upped its street art game in the past few years.

Several street art festivals have been staged in the capital since 2018, bringing international and local artists to Tirana to do their thing.

A piece of street art in Tirana, Albania feature an old-school coffee vendor.

The New Bazaar neighbourhood and Student Quarter seem to have the highest concentration of murals. You can literally find paintings on almost every block, including in the very heart of the city.

A contemporary Picasso-inspired mural on the side of a building in Tirana depicting a woman with blue skin.

One of my favourites is located just off Skanderbeg Square: ‘Mother’s Care’ by German artist Case Maclaim (who has also made his mark in Batumi in Georgia).

A street art mural in Tirana depicting a young girl with her mother's hand draped over her shoulder.

The striking piece by Franko Dine pictured at the top is located on the north-facing side of a building on Zogu I Avenue.

This street art map is incomplete, but it’s a helpful starting point if there are particular murals you want to track down.

13. Photograph the Tyrbja e Kapllan Pashes

An ancient stone tomb on a street corner in Tirana Albania with a modern building arcing over it and a small tree nearby.

This frame perfectly captures the synergy between old and new that makes Tirana such a cool city. I had seen many versions of this photo online and was keen to recreate it myself – after a few failed attempts, I think I finally managed to get a photo I am happy with!

The octagonal stone structure is the Tyrbja e Kapllan Pashes or Kapllan Pasha Tomb, a 19th-century tomb built for the first ruler of Tirana (his remains have since been repatriated to Istanbul ). It represents the legacy of the Sylejman Pasha Mosque, which stood on this spot until it was destroyed in WWII.

The new construction, the 5-star Plaza Hotel, arcs over the tomb and has been designed to accommodate and accentuate the monument.

The best time to head to this spot for a photo is in the very early morning before cars and taxis start congregating in front of it.

14. Take an evening xhiro on Toptiani Street & walk through the Fortress of Justinian

An old gate to the Castle of Tirana.

The xhiro is an Albanian tradition – it basically involves walking (and gossiping) your way up and down a pedestrian street at dusk. The whole city gets in on it, making it a golden opportunity for people-watching and street photography.

Toptani Street is Tirana’s main pedestrian mall and appears to have been designed specifically for xhiro-ing. The wide, paved street has coffee shops, juice bars and ice cream parlours at regular intervals lest you need to refuel along the way.

Stop off at The Cloud , a public art installation by Japanese artist Sou Fujimoto. It looks magical when lit up at night.

This is a good time to mention that the collection of communist statues (including giant effigies of Stalin and Lenin ) that once stood behind the National Art Gallery have been relocated while the building undergoes renovation. Two of the statues depicting Hoxha and a miner hoisting an axe are hidden behind The Cloud . The statues of Stalin and Lenin stand in the garden at the former prime minister’s residence in Blloku. The area is off-limits to the public, but the statues can be seen through the gate.

Tourists gather in front of the Etham Bej old mosque in Tirana at night.

At the eastern end of Toptiani, the Byzantine-era Tirana Castle or Fortress of Justinian has been transformed into a dining and nightlife precinct. Walk through one of the historic gates to enter the inner sanctum: A pedestrian zone lined with fancy wine bars, classy restaurants, and gift boutiques that stay open until late. Porcelain Studio Seferi sells beautiful ceramics and tableware hand-painted with traditional Albanian motifs.

I don’t necessarily recommend eating inside the fortress, however – see my restaurant recommendations in the next section.

15. Browse the New Bazaar (Mercado Pazari i Ri)

A man rides his bicycle past the covered glass market hall at Pazari i Ri, the new bazaar in Tirana, Albania.

Tirana’s New Bazaar or Mercado Pazari i Ri is both a marketplace, and the name of the district it engulfs. It occupies several city blocks immediately to the east of Skanderbeg Square. As I mentioned earlier, we stayed in this neighbourhood on our recent visit and really enjoyed the vibe.

The main part of the New Bazaar is an open-air hall covered by a glass A-frame that reflects the colourfully painted buildings adjacent. Stalls sell bundles of thyme, bay laurel and chamomile, packets of mountain tea, loose-leaf tobacco, spices, dried fruits, and in autumn, pomegranates, figs and grapes. There are bottles of raki in every flavour, kitchen utensils whittled from olive wood, woolly socks, and other souvenirs.

Kitchen spoons carved from olive wood for sale at the New Bazaar market in Tirana.

Around the edge of the market there are small shops selling artisan food products plus a few bakeries and restaurants. The little byrektore called Albjon 1994 serves up some of the best burek in town – crispy and chewy, the spinach version reminded me of a really good paratha.

As you walk through the market, look for the antique wooden door frozen in a glass case. It belonged to the Hatibi family home, built in 1932 where the New Bazaar now stands. The restored Kokonozi Mosque has a pretty interior with floral frescoes inside its dome.

16. Go antiquing

A vintage clock on display at a flea market in Tirana, Albania.

There are a couple of excellent antique shops in and around Pazari i Ri that are fun for a browse. Dyqan Antikuare & Artistike inside the New Market peddles a vast collection of old cameras, books, communist-era memorabilia and bric-a-brac.

On the next block, Antikuare Kruja (below right) is a small shop packed to the rafters with antique carpets and kilims, textiles, wooden instruments, painter’s canvases, old clocks, radios, and more.

A jumble of antiques at a vintage shop in Tirana featuring an old bust of Lenin.

Wander the narrow Rruga Shenasi Dishnica to see the informal shops selling old bicycles, furniture and household items. This street is a world away from the New Bazaar and has some very old, very beautiful houses – keep an eye out for the ancient wooden doors with their Hand of Fatima knockers.

17. Ride the Dajti Ekspres cable car, hike to the viewpoint & urbex at the abandoned hotel

An abandoned hotel painted canary yellow with old frieze sculptures in the mountains above Tirana.

A side trip to Dajti Mountain from Tirana requires the better part of a full day. If you have a spare day in Tirana and you’re keen to break from the urban jungle and get some fresh air, then I highly recommend it.

The Dajti Express , a 4,354-metre-long cable car, ferries visitors up and down the mountain. Its lower station is located on the northeastern side of the city, close to Bunk’Art 1 (get there using the same bus as described above).

The 20-minute gondola ride is very steep and quite thrilling, with panoramic views of Tirana all the way up.

A view of Tirana's apartment blocks from the Dajti Express cable car.

Once you reach the top, I recommend ditching the tourism complex and heading out into the hills.

Behind the station there is an abandoned hotel (or pioneer palace?) with interesting sculptural friezes on the front. We found it deserted and the rooms overturned.

A white frieze depicting a boy scout on an abandoned hotel in Tirana, Albania.

Behind the hotel, you will see the beginning of a marked trailhead for the Col of Qershia hike, an easy 1.5-kilometre walk to a spectacular lookout point. It starts with a steep scramble but quickly flattens out to a flat, completely shaded path.

A sign warns hikers not to cross into a military zone on a hiking trail at Mount Dajti.

I managed the hike with zero fitness and lightweight sneakers. Follow the red-and-white painted flags and make sure you don’t accidentally wander off into the adjacent military zone.

Foodie things to do in Tirana

18. bask in tirana’s coffee culture.

Two slices of cake and two coffees on the counter at a hip cafe in Tirana.

Albania takes the Greek kafenio tradition to another level. For every old-school coffee shop where gents gather to play checkers, there is a hip cafe packed to the rafters with young people.

The traditional beverages of choice are Italian-style espresso (ekspres) and Turkish coffee (kafe turke). I drank a minimum of four coffees per day during my month-long stay in Albania and literally never had a bad cuppa.

My favourite cafe chain in Albania is Sophie (I like their chocolate brownies). Hana Corner Cafe (pictured above) is an independent cafe close to Blloku that serves mouthwatering cakes (we tried the peanut butter cheesecake and the lime pie). Arrive when they open at 10am to claim a slice – they sell out fast.

A few notes on coffee etiquette. Most cafes in Tirana have table service and serve coffee with a complimentary glass of water. More up-market cafes such as Cafe Botanica on Skanderbeg Square (another favourite of mine) charge extra for a bottle of water. The waiter will leave the check on your table along with your drink. Tipping is customary (10%).

19. Sip a cocktail & drink in the views at Observator

A sky bar in Tirana with a pair of binoculars and outdoor seating.

With the bar at Sky Hotel closed for renovation, I was searching for another bar in Tirana with a view. Walking distance from Pazari i Ri, Observator Wine and Piano Bar has reasonably priced drinks and most importantly, an excellent panorama from its 14th-floor, open-air terrace.

The decor inside is a bit dated, but the outdoor area is slick. There are glass barricades but they only reach so high, thus you can still get a good photo of the city centre with Mount Dajti in the distance.

A view of Tirana city at dusk.

It’s interesting to look directly down on the apartments with their colourful awnings and external staircases.

Observator is open until midnight daily . Use the office building elevator to access the 13th floor, then take the stairs. I recommend arriving an hour or so before sunset to save a seat outside. Note that there is a dress code after 5pm (no shorts, tracksuits, tank tops or slippers).

20. Sample Albanian wine at Vena Vinoteka

A bottle of Lundra chardonnay sitting on a wooden table at Vena Vinoteka wine bar in Tirana.

With a 3,000-year-old history of viticulture that likely began with the Ilyrians, Albania is considered an Old World Wine Country . This sweet wine bar and shop on the fringe of Blloku is the ideal place to sample wine from Albanian vineyards outside Berat and Leskovik .

Vena Vinoteka opens bright and early at 8am for breakfast . We rocked up before midday and weren’t sure if a wine tasting would be appropriate… Staff were warm and welcoming, letting us try three different local wines before pouring us two big glasses of Lundra Chardonnay and serving a generous antipasti board (bread sticks, olive tapenade and pickles).

A sign in front of a wine shop in Tirana with arrows pointing to different wine regions around the world.

The shop has a huge selection of bottles both from Albania and the rest of Europe. When you buy a glass, you get a 30% discount on the bottle to take home.

21. Eat farm-to-table at Fustanella Farm on the outskirts of Tirana

Rows of olive trees stretch into the distance at a farm-to-table restaurant in Tirana, Albania.

Agrotourism, farm-to-table and slow food is all the rage in Albania at the moment. We experienced some of the country’s best eating in the emerging slow-food capital, Permet , later in our trip. You can find restaurants that adhere to this philosophy in Tirana too, with Mullixhiu being the most well-known.

Fustanella Farm is a rustic farmhouse-style restaurant located 30 minutes by road from Tirana centre in the village of Petrelë. We stopped here for lunch on the first day of our road trip en route to Berat. If you don’t have a car, you can reach the restaurant by taxi.

A cat lies on a woven chair at Fustanella Farm in Tirana.

The setting amongst rolling green hills is absolutely sublime. Georgia has got me accustomed to looking out over vineyards – this time it was cabbage patches, olive groves and pomegranate trees that dominated the view from the balcony.

Seasonal offerings change so frequently, the menu is hand-written only in Albanian. Our lovely waiter patiently translated everything for us. We settled on a beetroot and orange salad, homemade byrek, hummus, and potato croquettes. Even the house bread and herb butter was divine.

Blue and white china plates on a restaurant table in Albania.

The kitchen at Fustanella Farm opens for lunch at 12.30pm. Reservations are recommended , especially in summer.

Where to eat & drink in Tirana: My favourite Tirana restaurants

Along with Fustanella Farm, Vena Vinoteka and the other eateries already mentioned, here are a few more food suggestions for Tirana. You can find all these locations pinned on the Tirana Map linked at the top.

Era Blloku – Our best traditional Albanian meal in Tirana. I recommend the meatballs with pistachio and yogurt, and the Kosovo sausage.

Shije Fshati – Taste of the Village – Another cute, traditional restaurant with all the classics. I love their crispy cornbread dish served with ayran yogurt and olive oil.

Zgara Te Pazari – A local grill joint near Pazari i Ri with yummy meatballs, shish and beer on tap.

Pasta e Basta – For authentic Italian-style pasta.

Spaghetti Western – Juicy burgers, BBQ and Tex-Mex, if you’re in the mood for something a bit different.

Byrek Special Luani – This local favourite byrektore opens early at 6.45am and is perfect for a quick, affordable breakfast.

Fabrika – Delicious gelato and ice cream on Zog I Boulevard.

Where to go next: More ideas for Albania

  • The best things to do in Albania , a travel wish-list
  • My ultimate road trip itinerary for 2 blissful weeks in Albania
  • Guide to Berat , the castle city
  • Guide to Gjirokaster , the stone city
  • Guide to Dhermi , a beautiful coastal village
  • Guide to Korca , the cultural city
  • Guide to Lin , a beautiful small town on Lake Ohrid
  • Guide to Qeparo , a semi-abandoned village on the riviera
  • Guide to Leskovik , a hidden gem in eastern Albania
  • Guide to Valbona National Park , hiking in the Albanian Alps
  • The best beaches in Albania , tips for the Albanian Riviera
  • Many more guides coming soon!

Stone buildings in Gjirokaster Old Bazaar, Albania.

Albania Travel Guide

Discover insider tips, itinerary inspiration, and all the best things to see, do and experience in Albania!

Albania Essentials

My favourite resources and tools for planning a trip to Albania.

Find affordable flights to Albania

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Find the perfect accommodation

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More from Albania

  • 21 awesome things to do in Albania
  • The perfect Albania itinerary
  • 22 essential travel tips for Albania
  • One day itinerary for Tirana
  • Guide to the Valbona Theth hike
  • Things to do in Gjirokaster
  • Things to do in Berat
  • Things to do in Korca
  • Best beaches in Albania
  • How to visit the Albania Blue Eyes
  • 21 best things to do in Albania
  • 22 useful travel tips for Albania

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love this read,thank you,tirana is now on my bucket list.

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Kalemi Travel

15+ Best Tourist Attractions in Albania

Albania is a beautiful country located in southeastern Europe that is becoming more and more popular by the year. The Albanian tourist attractions are the perfect blend of culture, nature, and history , and the country has something to offer to everyone.

Just like the country itself, the Albanian language is pretty unique , and not all foreigners can get the hang of it. No worries, though; even if you know just a few basics, you’re good to go! 

Where is Albania Located?

Albania is located in the Balkans and bordered by Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Greece; thus, it’s home to various cultures and traditions .

The best time to visit Albania depends on the type of vacation that you’re looking for. If you’re interested in a hot summer holiday, the months of July to August are the peak of the season in the Albanian Riviera , where you can enjoy all the best beaches in Albania.

On the other hand, if you want to wander around and explore all the attractions that the cities in Albania have to offer, it’s best to visit during the months of November to February or during the spring, from March to late June. It’s when the cities are not that crowded, and the weather is just perfect.

How to Get to Albania?

You can get to Albania either by plane, car, or bus. Let’s go through each of these options: 

Most tourists come to Albania by plane, as it’s the most convenient way, although a bit more pricey than the others. There are two airports in this country, one in Kukes and one in Tirana, but almost all tourists come through the Tirana National Airport, “Nene Tereza.”

You can fly to Albania directly from various countries, including Germany, Italy, Turkey, and more. However, there are no direct flights to Albania from the U.S., so if you travel from there, you’ll have to book a layover flight.

If you are up for a long drive, buckle up for a road trip! You can enjoy the journey at your own pace and make stops if you want to. The quality of the main roads is pretty good, and you’ll see many helpful road signs along the way.

This way, you can enjoy some of the breathtaking landscapes of the country, from one city to the other.

You can also hop on a bus to Albania. There are many countries that have bus lines available to Albania, like Greece, Germany, and Bulgaria. You have to book your seat in advance, though, to avoid facing any problems on the day of the trip, as the buses can get packed very quickly.

15+ Tourist Attractions in Albania

Let’s dive into our list of the top Albania tourist attractions for a visit to remember:

Berat

Also known across Albania as “the city of a thousand windows,” Berat is one of the oldest cities in Albania . You can see a blend of Ottoman and Albanian architecture in the buildings, making them very unique. The city is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Berat has a lot to offer, from the many historic sites to the fun little cafes and amazing restaurants. It’s a very put-together city, meaning that you can see a lot in just a day. One of the most visited attractions in Berat is definitely Berat Castle, with its mighty walls standing tall for thousands of years.

#2. Bunk'Art

albania tourist attractions

One of the most interesting tourist attractions in Tirana, Bunk’Art, is the perfect place to go if you’re a history buff .

Visiting this unique bunker is an experience not to miss. It’s a five-story structure with long tunnels and different rooms for every period of history. This place takes you back in time and allows you to experience some fragments of Albania’s past. 

#3. Albanian Riviera

Albanian riviera

If you’re up for long days at the beach under the hot sun , the Albanian Riviera is the perfect place for your next vacation. It lies along the southwestern coast , and it’s home to some of the best beaches in Albania , from Ksamil Beach to the heavenly Palasë.

During peak season, which is in the months of July and August , the whole area is packed with tourists, and the prices might get a bit higher . Most tourists choose destinations such as Ksamil or Dhermi for their vacation, which are some of the most beautiful places in Albania in summer.

#4. Gjirokastra Castle  

Theth

Standing proud and tall on a hill overlooking the city, Gjirokastra Castle is the second-largest monument in the Balkan region. You cannot miss this attraction if you’re visiting the beautiful town of Gjirokastra, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site .

The castle is said to be built around the 12th century, and it used to serve the function of a prison during the years of communism. Nowadays, it has turned into a very impressive museum, with much to see, like the Bektashi Tomb , the Artillery Gallery , or the Clock Tower .

The views from the viewpoints of the castle are absolutely amazing , with the stunning valleys and mountains standing in front of you. 

#5. The Blue Eye

Apollonia

Next on our list is the amazing Blue Eye in Saranda. It’s one of the top Albania tourist attractions in the summertime as it’s the perfect place to freshen up.  The Blue Eye, Albani a, is a totally natural cold-water spring , at least 50 meters deep.

You can get there by bus from the city of Saranda, and you have to pay €0.5 to see the Blue Eye. The area is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day , but make sure to get there in the morning hours, as it gets pretty crowded later.

Rana e Hedhun

Picture a cozy, warm corner near the fire during a cold winter day, sipping some hot cocoa and reading your favorite book. That’s Dardha during the winter— a magical place waiting to be visited .

Dardha is a small yet very panoramic village near the city of Korca. It’s a perfect destination for skiing or hiking in Albania , contributing to the growth of Albania tourism in the winter. There are many ski slopes perfect for beginners and professionals , and you can find the necessary equipment at the ski center.

Dardhe means “pear” in Albanian, and the town got this name because of an old legen d. According to it, when the first inhabitants of the village were asked where they were, they said “at the place under the pear tree,” referring to a big pear tree in the area.

#7.    Durrës Amphitheatre

Gjirokastra

Durrës,   one of the oldest cities in Albania , holds major historical and cultural significance . A great example of this is the Durrës Amphitheatre, built in the 2nd century BC . To this day, it’s one of the most beautiful Roman amphitheaters , and it was discovered only in 1966 by archaeologist Vangjel Toci.

The central arena is surrounded by several staircases that could hold up to 20,000 spectators. You can even visit the tunnels below the amphitheater , where you can see frescoes and decorations.

If you want to see the Durrës Amphitheatre, you can do so every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. , with a ticket costing €3 .

#8. Valbona National Park

Valbona National Park

Surrounded by mountains and amazing greenery, Valbona National Park is a nature lover’s paradise . The Park is situated in Tropoja, in the north of Albania . It is named Valbona thanks to the Valbona River flowing through the valley .

The river is almost 50 kilometers long and has one of the fastest currents in Albania.

There are a lot of guesthouses around the area that you can stay at that offer delicious meals made with fresh and natural ingredients . Many hikers use Valbona Valley as their starting point for their hikes to the other surrounding mountains, a s there are some amazing scenic trails along the way. 

#9. Skanderbeg Square

Skanderbeg Square

Skanderbeg Square is the epicenter of Tirana , with some of the most important buildings in Albania surrounding it , like the Palace of Culture, the Bank of Albania, and the Tirana City Hall. The Square links together many parts of the city, and on a usual day wandering around Tirana, you’re sure to pass by.

The whole Square is paved with materials coming from every city in Albania , representing the unity and harmony of the country.

If you’re visiting Tirana during the winter holidays, you’re in luck. Skanderbeg Square is the top destination for tourists every winter evening , as it gets beautifully decorated with lights, carnival games, and an amazing Christmas tree. 

#10.    National History Museum

albania tourist attractions

The most important museum in Albania , the National History Museum, was opened in 1981. Since then, the museum’s only goal has been to emphasize and provide thorough knowledge about Albania’s history to the public.

There is a total of 6,200 objects for exhibition on the premises, belonging to different periods of time. The museum is located in Skanderbeg Square, right in the heart of the city, so it’s pretty hard to miss while wandering around.

It’s open every day until 7 p.m., and a ticket costs about €5 . 

#11. Kruja Castle

Kruja Castle

Standing proud on a cliff above the town, Kruja Castle is one of the biggest monuments in the country . It’s the perfect example of Albanian perseverance and strength , even during the country’s darkest times.

Even when the Ottoman forces ruled most of Europe, the castle managed to remain free, thanks to the National Hero of Albania, Gjergj Katriot Skanderbeg , who was born in Kruja. Only after Skanderbeg’s death did the castle fall into the reign of the Ottoman Empire.

Inside the castle, you can visit the National Museum of Skanderbeg , featuring exhibits about the hero’s life, from his achievements to his personal life. 

#12. Butrint National Park

Butrint National Park

If you’re a history buff, then visiting Butrint National Park should be at the top of your list . It’s amongst the most important historic sites in the c ountry while also being a UNESCO World Heritage Site . The park is located in south Albania —in the Vlora County.

Archaeologists say that what has been discovered until now is only 15% of what lies underground . So far, they have managed to excavate a Roman Theater, a Roman Forum, a temple, and Roman Baths, which were some of the most important structures in the Roman civilization used for socializing, bathing, and relaxing.

The entrance fee is about €9 , and the park is open every day until 7 p.m .

#13. Cyclops Eye

Cyclops Eye

Cyclops Eye is nestled between the rocks in the village of Krrabe just outside Tirana. This natural spring is about five meters deep and a perfect place to freshen up after a hot day.

Getting to Cyclops Eye requires some walking , starting from Krrabe. It’s a bit of a challenging terrain, but the destination is absolutely worth it. Hundreds of tourists visit this attraction each year, enjoying every moment of the adventurous journey it takes to get there. 

#14. La ke Koman

Lake Koman

Lake Koman is situated in the north part of the country , near the Valbona National Park. This is an artificial lake created in the 1980s when the power station was built on the Drin River.

Even though it’s an artificial lake , it’s still one of the most beautiful landscapes in Albania, surrounded by wild and beautiful nature. You can take ferry rides for the most amazing views. 

#15. Llogara Pass

Pogradec

If you’re driving to the Albanian Riviera, you’ll pass through Llogara Pass, one of the most impressive roads in the country . It’s the highest peak of the road from Vlora to Saranda , and the views are just breathtaking.

Many tourists make a stop when they reach Llogara Pass to admire and soak up the stunning landscape in front of them. South of the Llogara Pass, you can find the Palasë Beach, which is used by many as a parachuting landing area.

Tips for Visiting Albania

Here are some helpful tips you should keep in mind when you visit Albania :

  • Safety . Albania is generally considered a safe country for tourists. Nevertheless, you should take the usual precautions, like keeping a close eye on your belongings and avoiding dark areas alone at night.
  • Cash Vs. Card. Most places in Albania take payments in cash, like big restaurants, hotels, and some supermarkets. However, it’s good if you keep some cash on you all the time. The currency in Albania is the Albanian Lek, but some businesses also take the Euro.
  • Weather . The climate in Albania is Mediterranean, so pack depending on when you’re visiting. If you’re visiting during the summer, pack light clothing, but also take some jackets with you, as the evenings can get chilly.
  • Transportation . The main cities, like Tirana, Durrës, or Elbasan, have public transport, but it’s not always the best choice, especially in the summer, when the buses are hot and too crowded. If you’re planning on staying for a while, renting a car would be a good option.

Travel with Kalemi Around Albania

#1. tirana walking tour.

The Tirana Walking Tour is a must-do while visiting the capital, as it provides you an in-depth look at the city, with countless places to see. You’ll meet with your guide in Skanderbeg Square, and from there you’ll visit Et’hem Bey Mosque, the Clock Tower, and The New Bazaar, where you’ll get to spend time like a real local.

Next you’ll visit the castle of Tirana, which has turned into a nice outdoor complex, with lots of bars, restaurants, and shops. Of course,  you can’t do a Tirana Walking Tour without visiting Blloku, the most famous neighbourhood in the city, which was previously an exclusive neighbourhood for the leaders of the communist regime.

Want to experience Tirana Walking Tour?

Want to experience Tirana Walking Tour?

Tirana Walking Tour

Tirana Walking Tour

#2. multi-day unesco tour in albania.

This 4-day tour is sure to be loved by every history buff out there, exploring various culturally and historically significant towns, like Gjirokastra, Berat, and Butrint. In Gjirokastra, our first UNESCO town, you’ll get to visit the Old Bazaar, as well as Zekate House, one of the best representations of the tower-houses of Gjirokastra.

Your next stop will be Butrint and the beautiful Blue Eye, one of the most wonderful places you’ll ever get to visit. Moving on to the second UNESCO site, Butrint National Park, one of the most important archaeological site sin the country.

Next you’ll visit the historical town of Berat, which is also the third UNESCO site of this tour. You can see the castle of Berat, one of the oldest castles in Albania, as well as the Byzantine Churches and Ottoman mosques.

Want to experience the Multi-Day UNESCO Tour?

Want to experience the Multi-Day UNESCO Tour?

Multi-Day UNESCO Tour

Multi-Day UNESCO Tour

#3. full-day tour, durres and kruja: a historical getaway from tirana.

This tour will take you back to the medieval times of Albania, letting you explore the beautiful towns of Kruja and Durres. The journey starts in Tirana, from where you’ll get to Kruja, to visit Kruja Castle. It’s known for being the base of Skanderbeg during the war against the Ottomans.

Next you’ll visit the Gjergj Kastrioti Museum, where you’ll learn all about the National Hero’s history and how he became so significant. Durres is the last stop, with its big amphitheatre and the Venetian Tower, both very popular tourist attractions.

Experience the Full-Day Tour Durres and Kruja a Historical Getaway from Tirana

Experience the Full-Day Tour Durres and Kruja a Historical Getaway from Tirana

Full-Day Tour Durres and Kruja a Historical Getaway from Tirana

Full-Day Tour Durres and Kruja a Historical Getaway from Tirana

#4. full-day tour from tirana to gjirokaster, blue eye and saranda.

If you’re looking for a tour that combines history, culture, and a little seaside adventure, this is the one for you! The first stop of the trip is Saranda, which offers a picturesque ride along the Riviera. Next you’ll get to visit the freshwater spring of the Blue Eye, one of the most magical natural phenomena in Albania.

The final stop is the welcoming town of Gjirokastra, where you can visit the Old Bazaar, Gjirokastra Castle, and the house-museums along the cobblestone streets. Gjirokastra is one of the best preserved medieval cities, also being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Want to experience the Full-Day Tour?

Want to experience the Full-Day Tour?

Full-Day Tour

Full-Day Tour

#5. kruja day tour from tirana.

The city that represents Albanian pride and strength, Kruja is the center of this tour. First you’ll walk through the Kruja Bazaar, in the narrow cobblestone streets and the old houses, dating back to the Ottoman Empire.

Then you’ll visit Kruja Castle, where the Museum of Skanderbeg is also located. The castle walls are known for isolating the Ottomans and protecting the country, until Skanderbegs last breath. The museum perfectly showcases the National Hero’s role and significance in Albania’s history, with different documents and artifacts.

Experience the Full-Day Tour: Durres and Kruja, a Historical Getaway from Tirana

Kruja Day Tour From Tirana

Kalemi Tours | From Tirana: Kruja Day Tour

Kalemi Tours | From Tirana: Kruja Day Tour

#6. berat full-day tour from tirana.

Your ticket to the times of antiquity, the city of Berat is a perfectly-preserved Ottoman city, highly visited by tourists. This full-day tour will take you to all the city highlights, like the National Iconographic Museum, Berat Castle, and Gorica Bridge.

The entry fees are all included in the tour,  along with the guide proving as much information about each sight as possible. Berat is a city full of interesting history and culture, and you are sure to be left speechless by the amazing Ottoman-architecture houses still standing tall.

Experience Berat Full-Day Tour from Tirana

Experience Berat Full-Day Tour from Tirana

Berat Full-Day Tour from Tirana

Berat Full-Day Tour from Tirana

Faq about albania tourist attractions, #1. why do tourists visit albania.

Aside from the very low prices, breathtaking beaches, and stunning nature, Albania also has countless historical sites and monuments, making it a place for every kind of tourist.

#2. What is Albania rich in?

When it comes to natural resources, Albania is rich in oil, gas, and chrome. Speaking from a different perspective, Albania is home to a large number of amazing beaches, attracting thousands of tourists each summer.

#3. Who visits Albania the most?

Most visitors that come to Albania mainly come from Kosovo, Italy, or England, although people from all over the world have started to come to Albania as well, eager to learn more about this European gem.

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Contact info, +355 698885656, [email protected], sheshi presidenti wilson, tirana, tirana 1019, alb, useful links.

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Outdoors

Tourist shares photo of upsetting scene at secluded waterfall: 'Very embarrassing'

Unfortunately, the display was unsurprising to those familiar with the area.

  • Link Copied!

Unfortunately, the display was unsurprising to those familiar with the area.

Photo Credit: Reddit

A tourist visiting a popular attraction in Albania was disappointed by the scene left by previous hikers.

Redditor u/mpazzzz posted a pair of photos of the Bogove Waterfall near Berat, Albania, in the r/albania subreddit. While the first photo featured a beautiful shot of the "amazing" waterfall, the second showed an unsightly amount of trash that the user said they saw "everywhere."

Unfortunately, the display was unsurprising to those familiar with the area.

Unfortunately, the display was unsurprising to those familiar with the area. Some even said they've seen similar situations at other popular sites.

"Welcome to Berat especially. Remember seeing the castle [seven] years ago and there was so much garbage all around the main castle walls," one user commented . "Very embarrassing as [I] was trying to show it off to family who are not Albanian."

Another stated , "Yes I'm travelling through and noticed that too. Komani Lake, so beautiful, but the edges have floating plastic islands all the way."

This was yet another example of how tourons (a combination of "tourists" and "morons") have an exploitative relationship with the natural world that hinders the connection that other individuals can have with nature. The Bogove Waterfall is a popular hiking destination , so there should be more respect for the area so it can be enjoyed by all visitors.

Watch now: Alex Honnold shows off his new Rivian

This issue is also prevalent at other tourist attractions. For example, another outdoor enthusiast found a similar scene filled with litter at a waterfall in Northern Virginia. The water even has a sewage stench and was ruled illegal to swim in due to possible contamination.

Even as far as Mount Everest, a combination of discarded oxygen containers, food packaging, abandoned tents, and human waste has earned what should be a majestic destination the unfortunate title of the "world's highest garbage dump."

There are actions we can take to mitigate the impact of these upsetting scenes . It's all about leaving no trace and, where possible, leaving places even better than we found them. This might mean packing out all our garbage, joining or organizing clean-up efforts , and advocating for better waste management practices in tourist spots.

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TCD-Newsletter

Must-see attractions in Tirana

what tourist attractions are in albania

Bunk'Art

This fantastic conversion – from a massive Cold War bunker on the outskirts of Tirana into a history and contemporary art museum – is Albania's most…

Skanderberg equestrian statue in Skanderberg Square and the National History Museum.

National History Museum

The largest museum in Albania holds many of the country's archaeological treasures and a replica of Skanderbeg's massive sword (how he held it, rode his…

Albania, Tirane, Tirana. National Art Gallery exterior facade with advertising for photography exhibition.

National Gallery of Arts

Tracing the relatively brief history of Albanian painting from the early 19th century to the present day, this beautiful space also holds temporary…

what tourist attractions are in albania

Bunk'Art 2

The little cousin to the main Bunk'Art, this museum, which is within a communist-era bunker and underground tunnel system below the Ministry of Internal…

House of Leaves

This grand old 1930s building started life as Albania's first maternity hospital, but within a few years the focus turned from creating new life to ending…

what tourist attractions are in albania

Mt Dajti National Park

Just 25km east of Tirana is Mt Dajti National Park. It is the most accessible mountain in the country, and many locals go there to escape the city rush…

what tourist attractions are in albania

Sheshi Skënderbej

Sheshi Skënderbej is the best place to start witnessing Tirana's daily goings-on. Until it was pulled down by an angry mob in 1991, a 10m-high bronze…

TIRANA, ALBANIA - 2013/09/06: Front of Enver Hoxha's former residence in Tirana, Albania. (Photo by Dominic Dudley/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Former Residence of Enver Hoxha

This simple three-storey villa was the home of Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha for decades, and his wife continued to live here for years after his death in…

Petrela Castle

This dramatically set 15th-century hilltop castle, just a short distance outside Tirana, is worth a trip if you're not visiting one of the other better…

National Archaeological Museum

The collection here is comprehensive and impressive in parts, but there's only minimal labelling in Albanian and none at all in English (nor are tours in…

Clock Tower

Tirana's 35m-tall clock tower was completed by Ottoman architects in 1822, and it was for years the tallest building in the capital, sounding a bell every…

Equestrian Statue of Skanderbeg

An impressive monument to the Albanian national hero stands in the middle of this eponymous square/traffic roundabout.

Adults and children climbing up the side of the Pyramid building that housed the former Enver Hoxha Museum, Tirana, Albania, Eastern Europe

Designed by Enver Hoxha's daughter and son-in-law and completed in 1988, this monstrously unattractive building was formerly the Enver Hoxha Museum and…

TIRANA, ALBANIA - JULY 29,2014 - Et'hem Bey Mosque and Tirana Clock Tower. Tirana is capital of Albania.; Shutterstock ID 210373570; Your name (First / Last): Brana Vladisavljevic; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Tirana BiE 2018

Et'hem Bey Mosque

To one side of Sheshi Skënderbej, the 1789–1823 Et'hem Bey Mosque was spared destruction during the atheism campaign of the late 1960s because of its…

Martyrs' Cemetery

At the top of Rr Elbasanit is the Martyrs' Cemetery, where some 900 partisans who died in WWII are buried. The views over the city and surrounding…

Statue of the Unknown Partisan

The socialist realist Statue of the Unknown Partisan, just off Sheshi Skënderbej, seems to be aiming his weapons at the Parliament building (1924) down…

Fortress of Justinian

If you turn up Rr Murat Toptani, behind the National Gallery of Arts, you'll pass the 6m-high walls of the Fortress of Justinian, the last remnants of a…

Tanners' Bridge

A rather incongruous 19th-century stone bridge remains remarkably well preserved in Tirana's modern centre and is one of just a few remnants of Ottoman…

Palace of Culture

To the east of Sheshi Skënderbej is the white stone Palace of Culture, which has a theatre, shops and art galleries. Construction of the palace began as a…

Palace of Congress

An architectural creation by Enver Hoxha's daughter and son-in-law, the square Palace of Congress is on Tirana's main ceremonial avenue. It no longer…

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Elevated city view at dusk, Saranda, Albanian Riviera, Albania

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Travel & Tourism Development Index 2024

what tourist attractions are in albania

The Travel & Tourism Development Index (TTDI) 2024 is the second edition of an index that evolved from the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) series, a flagship index of the World Economic Forum that has been in production since 2007. The TTDI is part of the Forum’s broader work with industry and government stakeholders to build a more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient future for economies and local communities.

Created in collaboration with the University of Surrey and with input from leading Travel & Tourism (T&T) stakeholder organizations, thought leaders and data partners, the TTDI measures the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable and resilient development of T&T.

This edition of the index explores the state of the sector’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic amid an increasingly complex operating landscape, while also highlighting the sector’s potential to address global challenges ranging from environmental degradation to the delivery of socioeconomic prosperity.

The TTDI 2024 results are as follows:

The T&T sector’s post-pandemic growth continues, but its recovery has been mixed and operating conditions have been challenging. While 71 of the 119 TTDI-ranked economies increased their scores between the 2019 and 2024 editions, the average index score is just 0.7% above pre-pandemic levels. Pillar performance across a broad range of economies highlights a rebound in global T&T demand that has coincided with rising global air route capacity and connectivity, improved international openness, and increased demand and investment in tourism-generating natural and cultural resources. However, despite this growth, non-leisure demand is still behind that of leisure, labour shortages are ongoing, and air route capacity and connectivity, T&T capital investment, productivity and other sector supply factors have not kept up with demand. The resulting supply and demand imbalance, combined with broad inflationary pressure, has led to reduced price competitiveness and service disruptions.

In general, the Europe and Asia-Pacific regions and high-income economies in particular continue to have the most favourable conditions for T&T development . Out of the top 30 TTDI scorers in 2024, 26 are high-income, 19 are based in Europe, seven are in Asia-Pacific, three are in the Americas and one is in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The highest-ranked economies in the 2024 TTDI edition are those of the United States, Spain, Japan, France, Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, Italy and Switzerland. Thanks to typical advantages ranging from favourable business environments and open travel policies to well-developed transport, tourism and ICT infrastructure and natural, cultural and non-leisure attractions, the top 30 TTDI scorers accounted for over 75% of T&T industry GDP in 2022 and 70% of GDP growth between 2020 and 2022.

T&T enabling conditions in developing economies continue to improve, but far more is needed to close the sector-enabling gap . Low to upper-middle-income economies accounted for 52 out of the 71 economies that have improved their TTDI scores since 2019. Saudi Arabia (+5.7%, 50th to 41st) and the United Arab Emirates (+4.4%, 25th to 18th) are the only high-income economies to rank among the top 10 most improved between 2019 and 2024, with the remainder being the developing countries of Uzbekistan (+7.8%, 94th to 78th), Côte d’Ivoire (+6.4%, 116th to 114th), Albania (+5.9%, 78th to 66th), Tanzania (+4.5%, 88th to 81st), Indonesia (+4.5%, 36th to 22nd), Egypt (+4.3%, 66th to 61st), Nigeria (+4.2%, 113th to 112th) and El Salvador (+4.0%, 101st to 97th). Moreover, the major emerging T&T economies of Indonesia, Brazil (+3.3%, 34th to 26th) and Türkiye (+3.1%, 37th to 29th) joined China (+1.0%, 9th to 8th) in the top quartile of the TTDI. Nonetheless, despite above-average growth, non-high-income economies account for nearly 90% of below-average index scorers, indicating a need for further investment to close gaps in enabling conditions if these economies wish to increase their share of the T&T market and improve their readiness for future risks and opportunities.

Additional takeaways are as follows:

Increasing ICT readiness and pandemic-era business and labour policies benefit T&T, but more progress is needed on areas such as workforce resilience and equality . Driven by expanded online access, mobile network coverage and digital payment usage, the 7.2% surge in ICT Readiness pillar scores reflects the further digitalization of T&T services. Meanwhile, economy-wide policies implemented during the pandemic may have made it easier for T&T operators to do business. However, the T&T sector’s growth momentum is under pressure from challenges such as tight labour markets (notably in mature T&T economies), declining credit ratings and growing fiscal constraints, as well as concerns about health and security conditions. Labour market resilience and inclusion are also increasingly important for T&T, yet nearly 70% of non-high-income economies’ T&T labour force is based in countries scoring below average for the TTDI’s new Labour Market Resilience and Equality subpillar, which measures aspects such as equality of job opportunities, workers’ rights and social protection.

T&T resources, particularly natural and cultural assets, offer developing economies an opportunity for tourism-led economic development . The distribution of natural and cultural resources is less correlated with country income level than other T&T enablers, with many developing economies with a strong portfolio of natural and cultural resources able to create thriving tourism sectors. However, effectively harnessing these resources requires comprehensive management, promotion and protection strategies, alongside investment in robust infrastructure and ICT readiness. Therefore, despite their potential, many countries have not been able to effectively leverage their rich heritage for T&T growth, with just the top 20 T&T dimension performers – predominantly in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe – surpassing the index average by approximately 90% in 2023.

Despite progress, balancing growth with sustainability remains a major problem for the T&T sector . Increasing average Environmental Sustainability and T&T Socioeconomic Impact pillar scores between 2019 and 2024 reflect broad progress in areas such as energy sustainability and sector contribution to high-wage employment. However, some of this progress, such as reduced sector emissions during the pandemic, is likely to be temporary, while decreasing scores for T&T Demand Sustainability (since 2021) reflect the resurfacing of historical sustainability challenges such as high seasonality and overcrowding as travel demand continues to recover. Furthermore, the results reveal the nuanced economic and social effects of T&T, with the sector being a major source of relatively high-wage jobs in developing countries, while gender parity in T&T employment is a major issue for regions such as MENA and South Asia.

Leveraging the T&T sector to address global challenges

Aside from improving readiness to handle future external global challenges including economic inequality, environmental threats linked to climate change and pollution, technological innovation and global connectivity, the T&T sector can also play a significant role in addressing them.

To fully realize T&T’s potential in solving some of these global challenges, governments and key stakeholders need to proactively shape the sector to become more resilient, inclusive and sustainable for the future. Potential key focus areas, derived from the TTDI 2024 results as well as other research, are:

Leveraging T&T for environmental sustainability by:

  • Providing greater value for nature conservation efforts
  • Leading on the energy transition
  • Driving responsible consumption

Leveraging T&T for socioeconomic prosperity by:

  • Investing in skilled, inclusive and resilient workforces
  • Putting local communities at the centre of T&T development
  • Strategically managing visitor behaviour and infrastructure development

Leveraging T&T for global connectivity and peace by:

  • Increasing travel openness
  • Encouraging cultural exchange between visitors and the local community

Leveraging T&T and technology for positive impact by:

  • Adopting technology for sustainable and resilient T&T management
  • Bridging the digital divide and creating opportunities
  • Ensuring responsible and safe use of technology

IMAGES

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  2. TOP 10 attractions to visit in Tirana

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COMMENTS

  1. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Albania

    4. Dajti Ekspres Cable Car. 1,201. Trams. Located just 15 mins from the centre of Tirana, "Dajti Ekspres" provides it's visitors with an unforgettable experience. Take the 15 minute trip up Dajti Mountain on the longest cableway in the Balkans and enjoy the breathtaking views of the city.

  2. 20 Must-Visit Attractions In Albania

    Once in town, don't miss the BunkArt, a majestic coveted bunker built in the outskirts of the town in the 70s by the former dictator Enver Hoxha. It is the perfect place to visit if you want to learn more about the Communist history of Albania. 2. The UNESCO town of Gjirokastër. Archaeological site, Bazaar.

  3. 15 Best Places to Visit in Albania

    The seaside town of Himara is one of the riviera's best places to visit, while Porto Palermo Beach, Llamani Beach and Filikuri Beach are some of the area's finest sandy stretches, while Drymades Beach is one of the liveliest spots here. 2. Tirana. Source: RussieseO / shutterstock. Tirana.

  4. THE 30 BEST Places to Visit in Albania (UPDATED 2024)

    2023. 2. Bunk'Art 1. 1,149. Military Museums. After the inaguration, in June 1978 by the dictator Enver Hoxha, opened to the public the anti-nuclear bunker built by the communist government. A 5 floor palace underground, with 106 rooms and an assembly hall, now turned into an historical and art center called "BUNK'ART".

  5. Best 9 places to visit in Albania

    4. Dhermi. Best place to go for beaches. If you're looking for a destination where you can lay about, get a sun tan and enjoy a dip in the sea, then you need to visit Dhermi. It's one of the pearls of the Albanian Riviera and home to many summer music festivals, including the Kala festival and ION festival.

  6. 10 Best Places to Visit in Albania (+Map)

    Perched above the scenic Old Bazaar is Gjirokaster Castle, reputed to be the second largest in the whole of the Balkans. A fascinating place to visit, the castle has an underground Cold War-era bunker and an Armaments Museum for visitors to enjoy, alongside its impressive fortifications and ruins. 3. Kruje [SEE MAP]

  7. 21 Special Things to Do in Albania in 2022: The Ultimate List

    21 of the very best things to do in Albania, including adventurous activities, cultural encounters and immersive experiences that will make you fall in love with the Land of Eagles.. Albania has to be one of the most underrated - and most misunderstood - countries in Europe. Stereotypes swirl around the former 'hermit kingdom'.Many of them would have you believe Albania is a dangerous ...

  8. Must-see attractions Albania, Eastern Europe

    The Albanian Riviera. In a picturesque bay just south of Himara, this 19th-century fortress, also known as the Castle of Ali Pasha, makes for an interesting stop-off along the…. 1. 2. 3. Discover the best attractions in Albania including Butrint, Apollonia, and Kalaja.

  9. Top Things to Do in Albania

    Things to Do in Albania, Europe: See Tripadvisor's 241,090 traveller reviews and photos of Albania tourist attractions. Find what to do today, this weekend or in June. We have reviews of the best places to see in Albania. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions.

  10. Top Things to Do in Albania (with Photos)

    Things to Do in Albania, Europe: See Tripadvisor's 240,759 traveller reviews and photos of Albania tourist attractions. Find what to do today, this weekend or in June. We have reviews of the best places to see in Albania. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions.

  11. 15 Best Things To Do in Albania in 2023 (Activities & Attractions)

    Explore the Trendy Neighborhood of Blloku. 7. Visit the City of 1,000 Windows (One of the Best Things To Do in Albania) 8. Visit Durrës. 9. Hiking the Accursed Mountains. 10. Discover Butrint National Park.

  12. 15 Best Places To Visit in Albania in 2024

    The town of Dhermi hosts popular music festivals, including Kala Festival, Turtle Fest, and ION Festival, which attract many backpackers. Further south, the seaside town of Himare is one of the best places to visit in Albania for some of the best beaches in the country. 5. Osumi Canyons.

  13. Albania travel

    Albania's stunning mountain scenery, crumbling castles, boisterous capital and dreamy beaches rival any in the Mediterranean and continue to enchant. Best Places to Visit. Spending Diaries. 01 / Attractions.

  14. 8 Albania Tourist Attractions: A Guide To Unforgettable Sights

    The Albanian Riviera is a spectacular stretch of coastline known for its crystal-clear waters, golden beaches, and vibrant nightlife and ranks higher among the must visit Albania tourist attractions. From the quaint village of Himarë, with its pristine beaches and local eateries serving fresh seafood, to the more secluded bays near Dhermi, the ...

  15. 20 Best Places to Visit in Albania in 2024

    5. Gjirokaster. Gjirokastra is one of the best places to go in Albania if you want to see the country's more traditional side. This small inland city is the other historical city alongside Berat that is recognized by UNESCO for its exceptionally well-preserved character.

  16. 47 Epic Things To Do In Albania (Top Places & Activities)

    Without question, a major Tirana highlight and one of the most fun Albania tourist attractions is the Dajti Ekspres. You will ascent more than 800 meters from the city center to Mount Dajti. The 1-kilometer-long ride takes about 15 minutes, making this the longest cable car ride in the Balkans.

  17. 9 Best Places to Visit in Albania This Summer

    See local Airbnbs. Photograph: Shutterstock. 8. Apollonia. Far from anywhere, and little known to most foreign visitors to Albania, the ruins of the ancient Illyrian city of Apollonia are a huge ...

  18. 15 Incredible Things to Do in Albania for Solo Travelers

    Check out: The Ultimate Backpacking Travel Guide to the Albanian Riviera. 5. Watch the Sunset Over the Ionian Sea. One of the things I often do when I am in the Albanian Riviera is to find a nice restaurant by a cliff and go up there to watch the sunset over the Ionian Sea in the evening.

  19. Top 10 Things To Do In Albania And Where To Stay

    6. The Blue Eye (Syri i kaltër) The Blue Eye is one of top tourist attractions in Albania and extremely popular with tourists. It's definitely a worthwhile visit if you are in the area and all you'll need is 2-3 hours to enjoy everything this natural monument and its surroundings has to offer.

  20. 15 Best Things to Do in Tirana (Albania)

    2. Dajti Ekspres. This cable-car is a fun family day out and a superb introduction to the city, taking you up by gondola to the dramatic mountain on Tirana's eastern edge. The cable-car spans a kilometre, making it the longest in the Balkans, and rises more than 800 metres up the mountainside.

  21. 21 Best Things to Do in Tirana, Albania (2024 Tirana Guide)

    9. Make an appointment to go inside the Bank of Albania, a masterpiece of Italian Rationalist architecture. 10. Tour the fascinating Women's Museum. 11. Walk in the footsteps of Ismail Kadare, Albania's national author. Alternative things to do in Tirana. 12. Search for street art in Tirana.

  22. 15+ Best Tourist Attractions in Albania

    Visit Gjirokaster, Blue Eye and Saranda Now! #5. The Blue Eye. Next on our list is the amazing Blue Eye in Saranda. It's one of the top Albania tourist attractions in the summertime as it's the perfect place to freshen up. The Blue Eye, Albani a, is a totally natural cold-water spring, at least 50 meters deep.

  23. Tourist shares photo of upsetting scene at secluded waterfall: 'Very

    A tourist visiting a popular attraction in Albania was disappointed by the scene left by previous hikers. Redditor u/mpazzzz posted a pair of photos of the Bogove Waterfall near Berat, Albania, in the r/albania subreddit. While the first photo featured a beautiful shot of the "amazing" waterfall, the second showed an unsightly amount of trash that the user said they saw "everywhere."

  24. Must-see attractions Tirana, Albania

    Berat. Discover the best attractions in Tirana including Bunk'Art, National History Museum, and National Gallery of Arts.

  25. Your Global Support Pushes Thai Elephants Toward Freedom

    Your Global Support is Pushing Thai Elephants Toward Freedom. Blog. 27 May 2024. Over 172,000 voices have joined together to demand an end to the cruelty and exploitation of Thai elephants in the tourism industry, calling for immediate government action. We have taken a monumental step in the fight against the exploitation of elephants in ...

  26. Travel & Tourism Development Index 2024

    The Travel & Tourism Development Index 2024 is the second edition of an index that evolved from the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) series, a flagship index of the World Economic Forum. ... tourism and ICT infrastructure and natural, cultural and non-leisure attractions, the top 30 TTDI scorers accounted for over 75% of T&T ...

  27. PDF of Surrey Travel & Tourism Development Index 2024

    of living, favourable visa policies and rich tourism attractions rank among the most attractive for digital nomads, with Spain, Argentina, Romania, the UAE, Croatia and Portugal ranking among the top for attractiveness for this new market.26 11.3% Rise in total UNESCO World Heritage sites among ranked countries since 2019. Despite their rich