Tirana Albania Colorful Buildings

Tirana Albania’s colourful and creative capital

We left behind the peaceful Lake Ohrid, and heading towards the busy, noisy, colourful and lively Tirana, Albania‘s capital.

When we got to the border between Macedonia and Albania, I was a bit worried about my passing, as I was the only one without a passport, just with an ID card, and Albania is not in the EU. But everything was ok, and I got over this stressful moment and enjoyed the trip afterwards.

The mountain scenery of Albania is beautiful: rocky, green, wild, majestic. It made me think about the Carpathian mountains, actually and got me a bit homesick for a moment.

Arrival in Tirana Albania

In Tirana, we were taken by surprise by all the traffic and noise. Ana, who was driving, found it quite tiring, and slightly annoying at times. Apparently, being a woman driver made her a very interesting traffic participant. Therefore all the male drivers on the street would lean over their steering wheels or their windows to stare at her. It was funny in the beginning, but a bit disturbing after a while.

Eventually, we found a place to park the car (quite difficult to find a spot). While the guys went looking for accommodation, we had a really good coffee and rested a bit in the shade on some random terrace.

The hostel we were looking for no longer existed, but the new owner still rented rooms, at a higher price than the offered quality, and he didn’t have the best manners, either. But we were tired, Ana didn’t want to look for another parking spot and we didn’t know where else to look in the area, either. So we decided to stay, unpack and go see the actual city a bit.

Discovering Tirana, Albania

We ended up visiting the National Museum of History, which was very interesting. And we passed by the former residence of Enver Hoxha, a well-known historic building in Tirana. Then we walked a bit more on the streets, staring at all the buildings.

tirana albania travel

Images © Ana Maria Gavrila

Why Tirana is so colourful

Towards the end of our trip, when I was in Dubrovnik (Croatia), I met a girl in a hostel. She was an artist and told me that Tirana used to be a grey city, and got repainted like this in order to lower the crime rate. And guess what: it worked!

Would you visit Tirana?

Considering the traffic and the lack of parking spaces, would you dare to drive?

 


Quick guide on Tirana – Part 1 of 2

Go ahead to Part 2 and discover where to drink a good cocktail in Tirana.

what to visit

 

What to see

The National Museum of History in Tirana
Open from 10.00 to 19.00 (from Tuesday to Saturday) or from 09.00 to 14.00 (Sunday).
Tickets cost 200 lekë for adults and 80 lekë for students.
Address: 1 Sheshi Skënderbej, 1000 Tirana, Albania
Tel. 554-222-3446 | Website

Former residence of Enver Hoxha
Address: Rruga Ismail Qemali, 1000 Tirana, Albania

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