If you are planning to spend 2 days in Tirana, this 48 hour itinerary will help you see all the main attractions and more. Discover what there is to see and do in 2 days in Tirana, the capital of Albania.
2 Days In Tirana
It is quite easy to see the main attractions during 2 days in Tirana, such as:
- Clock Tower
- Et'hem Bey Mosque
- Saint Paul Catholic Cathedral
- National Historic Museum
- Pyramid (Climb the pyramid)
- The Block (Blloku)
- Bush Street
- National Art Gallery
- Mother Teresa Square
- Resurrection of Christ Orthodox Cathedral
But before you start planning your Tirana itinerary, there's a few things to know about the city…
Tirana is the capital city of Albania, and seems to provoke strong reactions from people. First time visitors to the Balkans may be shocked and find it all slightly chaotic. More travelled people may compare it to other European capital cities, and find it small and compact.
Personally, I was pleasantly surprised when I spent a couple of days in Tirana. The city centre areas which contained the main tourist attractions seemed orderly, and the traffic was calm when compared to my ‘home town' of Athens!
All the people I met seemed friendly and helpful, and I felt it was one of the safest cities I have visited. There was even a bicycle hire scheme!
How long to spend in Tirana, Albania?
Its compact nature makes 2 days in Tirana about the right amount of time to check off the main attractions. Of course, as with any town or city, when you visit Tirana it deserves as long as you can give it!
How to get to Tirana
Most people seem to include a trip to Albania on a Balkans Road Trip, or backpacking tour around the Balkan Peninsula. Neighbouring countries include Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia.
The easiest way for international travelers to get to Tirana is by flying in from other European cities, as there are no direct flights from the US or Canada. The main airport in Tirana is Nënë Tereza, Airport (IATA: TIA) (sometimes called Rinas Airport), located about 20 minutes from the city center.
How to get from Tirana Airport to Tirana City Center
There are a few different ways to get from the airport into Tirana:
– By Taxi: The most expensive but also most convenient option. A taxi from the airport to Tirana should cost around the equivalent of 20 Euros, depending on traffic and your final destination within Tirana
– By Bus: The cheapest option is to take the airport bus into Tirana. The bus costs the equivalent of 3 Euro and takes around 30 minutes to reach the city center
– By Rental Car: If you are planning on doing a lot of driving in Albania, or in other countries in the Balkans, then renting a car may be a good option for you. Just be aware that Albanian roads can be in poor condition and driving habits are not always the best. Make sure your car rental has good insurance!
What To See And Do In 2 Days In Tirana Day 1
I would suggest that the best way to start your 2 days in Tirana, is by taking a free walking tour. (Payment by tip/donation at the end). It begins at 10.00 am every day outside the National History Museum, and takes about 2 hours.
You could consider this tour a city orientation guide, and is a great way to get your bearings. The guide will you a little background behind the buildings and city.
You will also discover what life was like under the harsh communist dictatorship. Whilst the walking tour will take you to some of the main buildings and attractions, you may still want to visit many of these again in order to take your time inside them.
After the walking tour, you should then take a stroll to Blloku. This is an upmarket area, which has cafes, restaurants, and quite a few other attractions.
It is also an ideal place to stop for lunch. You will find that although some places will serve Albanian fare, there is a big Italian influence. Take a look here for the best restaurants in Blloku, Tirana.
Afternoon in Tirana
After you have eaten and are ready to start exploring Tirana again, your first destination should be Enver Hoxha's House. (Unless you already visited this on the walking tour).
As you will discover during your 2 days in Tirana, Enver Hoxha was the Albanian dictator who ruled the country with an iron fist for many years.
Although his residence was more modest than other communist dictators, it was still very different to how other Albanians lived. At the time of writing, it was not open to the public.
Stroll around Blloku
After that, my suggestion would be to simply stroll around the Blloku area, take a look at the shops, and get a feel for this part of the city.
You could revisit Mother Teresa Square if you wished, or wander out to the Grand Park (Parku i Madh). This is a wonderful park area for walking, jogging, or simply taking some time out to soak up the surrounding nature.
What to do at night in Tirana
After you have left the park, the next destination is the Sky Tower. This is a rotating bar/restaurant, with amazing views out over the city. Tirana lit up at night is particularly pretty, and you will have 360 degree views as the top part of the restaurant turns slowly around.
There is no better way to enjoy a drink or meal! For the rest of the evening, why not try a few of the bars in Blloku?
What To See And Do In 48 Hours In Tirana Day 2
On the second of your 2 days in Tirana, I would suggest making time to see a few of the museums and exhibitions. A good starting point is the National History Museum on Skanderbeg Square. You probably need a couple of hours here to make the most of it.
The National Gallery of Arts is another interesting place to feature. It gives a good insight into communist era propaganda. Just a shame that you are not allowed to take photos!
After visiting here, you might want to try Oda, which is a popular restaurant with tourists, serving traditional Albanian food.
Why not head out from the city for a bit in the afternoon? You can try the Dajti Express Cable Car which takes you up to Mount Dajti. From there, you can enjoy some incredible views, and also hike along some paths. This will give you a taste of the scenic beauty Albania has to offer!
You might like to visit the Blloku area once more for your evening meal and a couple of drinks at night. Along the way, check out the traffic lights on some of the streets. They look awesome!
Funky looking traffic lights in Tirana, Albania. Yes, they do look like lightsabers! #travel #adventure #trip #tourist #holiday #vacation #travelphotography #instatravel #traveltheworld #RTW #travelgram #tourism #travelling #instagood #bestoftheday #bbctravel #instatbn #photoporn #instadaily #Albania #Tirana
Day Trips From Tirana
Tirana is a good place to be based so that you can explore some of the other interesting places in Albania. Here are a few ideas for day trips from Tirana:
– Kruja: A traditional Albanian town that's home to a castle and an old bazaar. It's about an hour away from Tirana by car
– Berat: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Berat is known as the “town of a thousand windows” for its unique architecture. It's located about 2 hours from Tirana by car
– Sarande: A popular seaside resort town on the Ionian Sea. It's about 3 hours from Tirana by car
– Lake Ohrid: Located in Macedonia, this is one of the oldest lakes in Europe and a popular tourist destination. It's about 4 hours from Tirana by car
More Blog Posts About Tirana And Albania
If you are planning a trip to Albania, you might also be interested in the following articles.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post about 2 days in Tirana. Please leave a comment below if you have any other information which may help fellow travellers make the most out of a trip there!
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