Tirana – 4 Places you Need to Visit in Albania’s Capital
Albania is a country that has gone through quite a lot since its founding in the 1600s and the scenery within its capital, Tirana, is highly reflective of that. On the streets of Tirana, you will find proud ancient monuments, disintegrating buildings and new modern structures all side by side with each other. Towards the east of the city lies scenery that is much more green in nature yet equally enthralling to explore.
Each of these places has its own tales to tell but with so many to see, we want to help narrow them down for you.
National Historic Museum
As we stated in the opening paragraph, Albania and Tirana have gone through a lot over the years. If you want to learn more about that tumultuous history, then there’s no better place than the National Historic Museum. The Museum is divided up into pavilions with each one covering a different period of history within the country, from ancient times all the way up to the 21st century.
Out of all the exhibits available, the most popular and cherished one is the Beauty of Durrës, an ancient mosaic from 4 century BC. The pavilion with the greatest archaeological value is said to be the Pavilion of Antiquity, wherein lies a massive collection of near 600 items that range from the late-palaeolithic era to the late middle ages.
Dajti Ekspress is a cable-car line that will take you up to the top of Dajti mountain. It’s a great way to get an amazing view of the city and the journey of riding in a gondola up the mountain is exciting in and of itself especially for families. This cable-car line goes for a kilometre which makes it the longest one in the Balkans. It also reaches an elevation of 800 metres up the mountainside.
The whole journey takes about just 15 minutes and awaiting you at the top of the mountain is a tourist complex with some great restaurants and hotels to grab a delicious meal from. While the view is definitely amazing, there’s a lot of other fun stuff to do at the top of the mountain, from trekking to horseback riding to skiing, fun activities await no matter what time of the year you visit.
Completed in 1822 by court poet Haxhi Et’hem Bey, the Clock Tower remains to this day as one of Tirana’s most iconic landmarks. It’s quite a lovely sight especially when illuminated at night and by scaling the tower’s spiral staircase, you can take in some wonderful views of Tirana’s city centre.
The clock on this tower has been altered many times throughout its long history. It started out with a Viennese design which was then replaced with a German design. The latter style clock was, unfortunately, destroyed during World War II and its replacement was a clock with Roman numerals. That too was replaced in the 70s with the current day Chinese style clock.
Dajti Mountain National Park
A national park evokes the images of this vast land of nature in all directions, a stark contrast with the image of a modern city. Yet, in Tirana, there exists a national park right at the city’s doorstep. This beautiful mountain range forms Tirana’s eastern boundary and is a thrilling place to explore.
The trail connecting Mount Dajti with Mount Tujani is probably the most scenic route you can take. Mount Tujani is the highest peak in the park though it can be fairly easily scaled especially if you’re an experienced hiker. The reward at the end of the path is truly breathtaking, a grand view that includes the beautiful Lake Bovilla and its surrounding cliffs.