Planning a trip to the Balkans and Albania this summer? Discover in which district to stay in Tirana!
When you go to the Balkans, you are visiting one of the cradles of European culture. It is best to plan your accommodation ahead of your trip to avoid any disappointment. Tirana, the capital of Albania, is located in the center of the country and is surrounded by mountains and hills. It has a population of 726,547, and the metropolitan area has a population of nearly one million. Founded in 1620, Tirana is the country’s leading industrial and cultural center. The era of the communist dictatorship is apparent, although, since its shift to democracy, the city has been described as frenetic, lively, and pleasant to visit. Your stay in Tirana will not be a chaotic, congested, and polluted experience as many would lead you to believe.
Renting accommodation to sleep in Tirana will be affordable for all budgets. Nevertheless, some neighborhoods are gentrifying. Modernization is taking place in Albania and is driving up the cost of local living. Here is where to stay in Tirana.
The city center of Tirana is a ball of historic buildings, squares, small parks, and crowded boulevards. The city center extends north of the banks of the Lana River and offers many tourist attractions, including the pyramid of Tirana, a relic of the madness of the Enver Hoxha regime. Above all, take the opportunity to visit the Bunk’Art, Enver Hoxha’s anti-nuclear bunker, built in secret between 1972 and 1978. Today, it is an underground museum that allows visitors to relive the harsh living conditions under the dictatorship and the challenges of the Cold War through exhibitions that combine the country’s history and modern art.
The visit, which is presented in chronological order, begins in 1939 with the Italian occupation and ends in 1991 with the fall of the communist dictatorship. Do you like history and culture? The National Historical Museum should be an essential part of your stay in Albania, especially if you choose to stay in Tirana. The museum is the largest museum in Albania, retracing Prehistoric, Greek and Roman, Medieval, and Albanian Renaissance periods. When you leave, enjoy Skanderbeg Square, an important gathering place that combines styles from the Italian fascist regime, the Soviet Stalinist era, and the Ottoman Empire.
A former district reserved for the political elite during the communist dictatorship from 1945 to 1991, the Bloc is the trendiest district in Tirana. Young people gather there to go out in the evenings and socialize. There is, therefore, a high concentration of bars amidst residential buildings. You will also find many luxury shops, cafés, and restaurants as well as nightclubs. Drinks are not expensive, and the colorful facades are a prime place for street art.
There are many hotels in Tirana and the Bloc, and of course, you can also choose to stay with locals (via Airbnb). To the south of the district, there is a 289-hectare green space surrounded by a large lake. The Grand Park of Tirana, known as “Parku i Madh“, is ideal for a relaxing break away from the noisy boulevards of the city center. If you are young, this is probably the best place to stay in Tirana.
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