Tirana, the capital of Albania, is an extremely colorful town: here you have Turkish pomp, Italian lightness, and Soviet weight. Ready to explore every nook? Then rent a car and follow a pre-planned route. Whatever your preferences in architecture, take a walk along Skanderbeg Square, take a look at the Ethem Bey Mosque and the Museum of National History. If you want to see spectacular places, you should go on excursions to the Berat Fortress, look at the bunkers and take a walk through the Drilon National Park. A separate chapter of the trip is a visit to delicious restaurants. Whatever you go to, try the tyrant stew with vegetables and meat, seafood dishes, kebabs. The most popular place to buy new clothes and souvenirs is Block Block.
Tirana International Airport Mother Teresa's name ( Tirana Mother Teresa International, Airport then ) - download scheme
The car rental service at Tirana Airport is provided by the companies: Hertz, Europcar, Avis, Eurocar, Albania Airport Rent a Car, Enterprise, Ara Auto Rental, Sixt. Car rental desks are located in the arrivals hall. Near the airport, 2 parking zones are equipped. The first 7 minutes of parking are free.
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Tirana is famous for its parks, so when you come here, first go to the Big Park. This is a real oasis for relaxation, it is from here that you can start your excursion program. There is a botanical garden with a zoo where you can spend time with children, and a lake where you can go fishing or sunbathing. Walking, you will notice many interesting buildings: monuments dedicated to historical events, the Presidential Palace, the Orthodox Church of St. Procopius. By the way, the park is often used as a cultural platform where city events are held. Watch the poster or ask locals so you don’t miss anything interesting.
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You can continue your journey through Tirana by going on a rental car to Skanderbeg Square. The first thing that catches your eye is a monument to the national hero Skanderbeg, who became the leader of the anti-Ottoman Albanian uprising. Walking around the square, it is worth visiting other attractions: the National Museum, the Opera House, the Haji Efem Bay Mosque, as well as visiting government buildings.
Shëtitorja Murat Toptani www.galeriakombetare.gov.al
The best place to discover Albania is the National Gallery of Fine Arts. Here are collected about 4000 works of local and foreign artists located in 6 rooms. The works are distributed by the period of creation, so, for example, getting into the first hall you can get acquainted with canvases dating from the period up to the first half of the 20th century, in the sixth - the works of the last two decades are presented. The gallery also has a library that contains valuable materials on the history and theory of art.
Rruga Deshmoret e 4 Shkurtit orthodoxalbania.org
One of the brightest architectural structures of the city is the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ. The complex consists of a cathedral, a bell tower, the residence of the Holy Synod, a chapel, a cultural center. Appearance is very unconventional for an Orthodox shrine. The exterior is complemented by bright ribbons of glass, bas-reliefs, columns, and the facade does form a huge bow. Such a non-standard approach symbolizes the cycle and the infinity of time.
You can get to know the history of the country closer by going to the National History Museum. Over 8,000 exhibits reflecting the history of Albania, dating back to the Paleolithic era, have been collected in 8 pavilions. Visitors are attracted by artifacts from the tombs of Selk, the pavilion of iconography and the Middle Ages. Those who prefer to learn about the interesting facts of the modern period should look into the pavilions of Albanian anti-fascism and independence. To get to the museum, rent a car.
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18 kilometers from the city is the famous Petrel Castle, built during the reign of Emperor Justinian. The massive structure, located on a rocky hill, survived earthquakes, attacks of enemies and has survived to this day almost in its original form. The castle is built in the shape of a triangle, equipped with two kind of towers, and around it is a picturesque olive grove. Interestingly, it was from here that in due time the sister of the famous warrior Skanderbeg took responsibility to fight against the Ottoman Empire and give orders to start a fire. After strolling through the historical sites, drop by the castle restaurant and try traditional Albanian dishes.
Bunkers are considered a business card of Albania. The experimental bunker was built in the 50s of the last century, and after numerous shellings with the chief engineer inside survived, over the next 25 years about 70 thousand of such structures were rebuilt. The purpose of construction is the deployment of artillery firing positions. Mass building took place during the reign of Enver Hoxha, after his death they tried to find other uses: in some they equipped cafes, in others - storage facilities, warehouses, and cattle stalls. Interestingly, the bunkers still managed to be used as intended during the conflict in the 90s of the last century, and when the crisis came, the locals used them as a dwelling. Bunkers can be found not only on the streets of the cities of Albania, but also on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, in the mountains and fields.
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In a rented car, travel 25 kilometers from Tirana to the place where the funicular departs to the national park on Mount Daiti. Having risen to the top, hold your eyes on the panoramas of the city and its environs - they are incredible. Walking through the mountainous territory, you will feel the breath of fresh air and recharge with positive energy. Be sure to explore the ancient fortresses and dine in one of the restaurants. By the way, hotel complexes are equipped here, so if you wish, you can stay for a few days in the national park.
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If you are a true hunter for historical sites, include in your tourist itinerary a visit to the ancient ruins of Butrint, which are located 150 kilometers from Tirana. Virgil also claimed that the city was founded by Trojans, but there is no authentic evidence of this. In the conservation area, it is worth visiting the ruins of the acropolis and theater dating back to the 3rd century BC, a wall decorated with mosaics depicting birds, animals, Greek inscriptions, as well as a glimpse of the local baths. The altar of Dionysos, the nymphaeum, the temple of Aesculapius, “The Gate of the Lions”, “Wall of the Cyclops” deserve no less attention. By the way, the reserve is located near the coast, so after the tour you can safely go to the beach.
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The construction of the Rosafa fortress is associated with a cruel legend. In the III century BC, three brothers decided to build a massive defensive structure. Everything they did day after day was destroyed the next day. Then they made a bet with higher powers: the brothers imprisoned the left side of the body of the wife of the younger brother, and left the right so that she could feed and nurse the child. So that the victim of a brave girl forever remains in history - a fortress was named in her honor. Today, tourists inside the defensive structure can inspect the water tanks with vaults, towers and loopholes, and climb the roof terrace. There is also a museum where objects that were used during the Turkish occupation, ceramics, Illyrian coins are presented.
Rruga Abdyl Frasheri | Blloku artigiano.al
Early breakfast lovers in Tirana should check out Artigiano. The restaurant from 7 a.m. opens its doors to visitors and delights with its gastronomic masterpieces. The menu has a large selection of Italian and Albanian dishes. Salad with burrata, sandwiches, ravioli with ricotta and spinach, freshly squeezed juices will surely be appreciated by every tourist. In addition, guests will appreciate the quick service and attentive staff. To get to the restaurant for the opening, rent a car.
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If you prefer healthy food or just can't decide what you would like to eat for lunch, head to À la Santé. Here you will be pleased with a wide variety of dishes from different cuisines of the world, including vegetarian, and, of course, average prices. It is worth trying quinoa with shrimp, mussels, steak, wine. In fine weather, it is especially pleasant to sit on the veranda. Helpful waiters will help you quickly make a choice and organize a beautiful table setting.
Bulevardi Zhan D'Ark | Pas Ministrise Se Jashtme www.facebook.com/Melograno-168610740014592
Restaurant Melograno - Doomed to become a loved one. Here you will be warmly welcomed, escorted to a free table, talk about new products and give recommendations on the account of standing dishes. Pasta, appetizers / seafood appetizers, a lamb cooked according to a signature recipe are beyond praise. By the way, wine lovers will surely appreciate the wide range. The restaurant has an open kitchen, so that, having looked at the cooks, you can see what is being prepared. As a bonus to incredibly delicious dishes - large portions.
Rruga Qemal Guranjaku www.facebook.com/Fishop
If you are a lover of fish and seafood in a rental car, head to Fishop. It is worth trying pasta, shrimp with garlic sauce, sea bass carpaccio, squid rings, shrimp salad, fried fish. This is one of the few restaurants where you can try first-class cooked octopus. Homemade wine or juice can be ordered as a drink. The restaurant is cozy and spacious, you can drop by for a family dinner or have a quick meal alone before the tour.
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Are you looking for a stylish place for evening gatherings with delicious snacks and beer specialties? Brauhaus is perfect. The advantage of the bar is average prices and a central location. Incendiary music plays in the background (live on weekends), and the atmosphere is conducive to dancing and a good mood. The institution works until late at night, so you can slowly enjoy the ordered goodies and a fun atmosphere.
If you are looking for a comfortable hotel at a budget price, opt for Hotel Millennium. It is located in the center of Tirana, with windows overlooking the pedestrian zone. The rooms are cozy and spacious, all family members will be able to comfortably stay here. Hearty breakfasts are served in the restaurant, and staff carefully preserves several servings, even if you are late. The administrator can not only quickly check into the room, but will also give recommendations on the account of spectacular places in Tirana.
If you plan to travel by renting a car, Lot Boutique Hotel with free parking is a great option. The apartments are spacious, cleanliness is maintained daily. The windows offer views of one of the main streets, while due to good noise isolation, extraneous sounds from the street are not heard. There are many restaurants and bars near the hotel. The staff is helpful and helpful, will help in solving any problems.
The Plaza Tirana is an elite hotel for true connoisseurs of comfort. The rooms have a stylish interior: they are clean and homely. The central location offers a lot of opportunities for tourists: you can arrange a gastronomic tour of the delicious establishments or walk around the main attractions. After a busy excursion program, you can relax at the spa procedures, and get a boost of vitality at the fitness center.
Hotel Boutique Kotoni is a popular choice for travelers because of its convenient location and friendly staff. Near the hotel there are delicious places with different cuisines. The rooms are equipped with stylish Italian furniture, and each guest will surely appreciate each guest. Family apartments are available for couples with children. For every occasion, the hotel is equipped with all amenities: a conference room, a fitness center, and a spa.
If you are looking for a reasonably priced accommodation option, Hotel Brilant Antik will do just fine. The rooms are cozy, the interior is made in traditional national motifs. The staff is friendly, plus, speaks several languages, so there will be no problems with understanding. After a hearty breakfast, you can go sightseeing, and in the evening drop by the hotel bar for a glass of your favorite drink. The hotel has free parking in case tourists plan to rent a car.
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© Anastasiia Voloshina, 2017