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Albania
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Nightlife

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Weather & best time to visit

10°
Saturday, 03.12.2016
18:00 UTC

Phone calls & Internet

Telefonieren & Internet, Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide

Shopping in Tirana

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Good to know

City map Tirana

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    Good to know

    Tirana – a brief overview

    Nestled beneath craggy mountains, Tirana is Albania’s booming capital, a city that is just starting to realise its potential. It blossomed when Albania broke free from its communist ties in the 1990s, repainting buildings in vibrant colours to symbolise its revitalised optimism. Its streets had a makeover too, with pedestrianised boulevards, open-air cafés, chic boutiques and hip nightclubs.

    Not that it buried its past; you can still discover some impressive historic monuments, reflecting the blend of European and Ottoman influences that have left their mark on Tirana. Most of all though, Tirana today is a fun place to visit, with a lively entertainment scene and a dynamic cultural agenda.

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    Top 10 sights in Tirana

    ListMap
    Albanien, Tirana, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide, Enver Hoxha Pyramid

    Skanderbeg Square

    Sheshi Skënderbej
    1001 Tirana
    Albania
    Show on map

    The strategic heart of the city and popular meeting place, this imposing square is named after 15th-century national hero George Skanderbeg, whose mounted statue stands in the middle. Flanking the square are the city’s main museums, galleries, mosque and clocktower.

    National History Museum

    Sheshi Skënderbej
    Tirana
    Albania
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sat 1000-1700
    Sun 1000-1400

    Highlights of this, the biggest museum in Albania, include the huge sword of swashbuckling hero Skanderbeg, and 16th-century icons painted by Onufri, one of the country’s best-known artists. Its main collection spans the region’s history, from prehistoric times up to the communist era.

    Et’hem Bey Mosque

    Sheshi Skënderbej
    Tirana
    Albania
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0800-1100

    This lovely little mosque overlooking Skanderbeg Square is the oldest survivor of eight mosques built in the city at the end of the 18th century. Check out the impressively painted interior dome and frescoes covering the walls and portico.

    National Gallery of Arts

    Bulevardi Dëshmorët e Kombit
    1001 Tirana
    Albania
    Tel: +355 4 222 6033
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Wed-Sun 1000-1800

    This small but well laid-out museum is devoted mostly to Albanian art from the 19th century to the present. Its permanent collection covers themes such as daily life and political commentary; in particular look out for stunning works in the style of Albanian socialist realism.

    Fortress of Justinian

    Rruga Murat Toptani
    Tirana
    Albania
    Show on map

    Dating from some 800 years ago, Byzantine times, this castle formed the original heart of Tirana. Little remains above ground today except for 6m-high walls, now partly built over by a cinema and nightclub.

    Congress Building

    Bulevardi Dëshmorët e Kombit
    Tirana
    Albania
    Show on map

    Another symbol of the former dictatorship, this austere building was designed by Hoxha’s daughter and son-in-law. Part of the exclusive Blloku quarter, former enclave of Communist Party leaders, it is now open to the public and hosts an important national song contest.

    Archaeological Museum

    Sheshi Nënë Tereza
    Tirana
    Albania
    Tel: +355 4 222 6541
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 1030-1430

    This large collection, spanning prehistoric times up to the Middle Ages, is impressive (and free). It includes Roman statues and mosaics, jewellery and weaponry.

    Martyrs Cemetery

    Rruga Dr Shefqet Ndroqi
    Tirana
    Albania
    Show on map

    This atmospheric site contains the graves of 900 victims of WWII, and an enormous statue of ‘Mother Albania’. It also has stunning views of the city below and surrounding mountains.

    Academy of Arts

    Bulevardi Dëshmorët e Kombit
    Tirana
    Albania
    Tel: +355 4 222 5488
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Various

    Part of the University of Albania, this is the country’s leading performing arts institution, hosting a year-round programme of classical concerts and other shows, with a modern indoor theatre and amphitheatre.

    Pyramid

    Rruga Papa Gjon Pali II
    Tirana
    Albania
    Show on map

    This infamously ugly but iconic building was built as the mausoleum to the former dictator Enver Hoxha Museum. Now graffiti-scrawled and crumbling, its future remains uncertain.

    Good to know

    Country information

    Country overview

    Friendly, tolerant people, fascinating Ottoman cities teeming with history, magnificent mountain scenery and charming villages: Albania is a varied destination offering many pleasures.

    Geography

    Albania is bordered by Montenegro and Kosovo to the north, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the southeast. Italy lies across the Mediterranean to the west; at its narrowest point, close to where the Adriatic and Ionian Seas meet, Italy and Albania are only 75km (47 miles) apart. Albania’s highest point is the summit of Mt Jezerca (2,693m/8,835ft), in the Dinaric Alps in the far north.

    The largest lake in the Balkans, Lake Shkodra, straddles the border between Albania and Montenegro; in the southwest, Lake Ohrid is shared with Macedonia and the Prespa Lakes between Albania, Macedonia and Greece.

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 3011405

    Population Density (per sq km): 105

    Capital: Tirana.

    Language

    The official language is Albanian. Greek is widely spoken in the south of the country, and some state schools there use Greek as the medium of education. Many Albanians speak Italian; some also know French or English.

    Currency

    Lek (ALL; symbol Lek). Notes are in denominations of Lek5,000, 1,000, 500, 200 and 100. Coins are in denominations of Lek100, 50, 20, 10 and 5.

    Electricity

    220 volts AC, 50Hz.

    General business opening hours

    Civil servants work Mon-Fri 0830-1300 and then 1430-1800 (finishing earlier on Fridays). Private companies tend to keep more traditionally Albanian hours, from 0800 or 0830 to 1500. Offices are closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

    Public holidays

    Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2016 – December 2017 period.

    Note

    Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given below are approximations.

    During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Lesser Bairam (End of Ramadan), Muslims fast during the day and feast at night and normal business patterns may be interrupted. Some disruption may continue into Lesser Bairam itself. Lesser Bairam and Greater Bairam (Feast of Sacrifice) may last up to several days, depending on the region.

    2016

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2016
    Spring Holiday: 14. March 2016
    Nowruz (Persian New Year): 22. March 2016
    Good Friday: 25. March 2016
    Easter Monday: 28. March 2016
    Orthodox Easter Sunday: 01. May 2016
    Labour Day: 01. May 2016
    End of Ramadan: 07. July 2016
    Feast of Sacrifice: 13. September 2016
    Beatification of Mother Teresa: 19. October 2016
    Independence Day: 28. November 2016
    Liberation (at the end of World War II): 29. November 2016
    Christmas Day: 25. December 2016

    2017

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2017
    Spring Holiday: 14. March 2017
    Nowruz (Persian New Year): 22. March 2017
    Good Friday: 14. April 2017
    Orthodox Easter Sunday: 16. April 2017
    Easter Monday: 17. April 2017
    Labour Day: 01. May 2017
    End of Ramadan: 26. June 2017
    Feast of Sacrifice: 02. September 2017
    Beatification of Mother Teresa: 19. October 2017
    Independence Day: 28. November 2017
    Liberation (at the end of World War II): 29. November 2017
    Youth Day: 8. December 2017
    Christmas Day: 25. December 2017

    Enjoy

    Nightlife in Tirana

    ListMap

    Tirana has a flourishing cultural scene, with a wide choice, from trendy bars to arty cafés to heaving nightclubs to highbrow classical recitals.

    As with its hotels and restaurants, Blloku is the most popular place to go.

    E7E

    Jul Variboba 2
    Tirana
    Albania
    Show on map

    Choose from live music or poetry, or just snuggle up with a cappuccino on the couch in this cosy arts café.

    Checkpoint Charlie

    Brigada Tete
    Ish Blloku
    Tirana 1000
    Albania
    Show on map

    Join the nightly party scene in this lively pub in the heart of Blloku.

    Public House

    Rruga Ibrahim Rrugova
    1515 Tirana
    Albania
    Show on map

    From poetry to nightly live rock music, this friendly bar offers a popular eclectic mix.

    Love Street Bar

    Rruga Abdyl Frashëri Pall. 3/3
    Tirana
    Albania
    Show on map

    Tirana’s arty set are drawn to this colourful cocktail bar like moths to a candle.

    Lollipop

    Rruga Pjetër Bogdani 32
    1001 Tirana
    Albania
    Show on map

    This hot dance club plays loud hip hop and house music and attracts big-name international DJs.

    Enjoy

    Restaurants in Tirana

    ListMap

    Blloku, south of the Lana River, is Tirana’s trendy hub, with the best restaurants, shops and nightlife.

    The Taiwan Complex also has many places to eat, as well as casinos and 10-pin bowling.

    Padam

    Rruga Papa Gjon Pali II
    1001 Tirana
    Albania
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    For a special night out, this elegant restaurant has some of the city’s best French-Italian cuisine.

    Green House

    Rruga Jul Variboba 6
    Tirana
    Albania
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Tirana’s trendy young crowd flock here for gourmet Mediterranean cuisine.

    Era Restaurant Pizzeria

    Rruga Papa Gjon Pali II, Vila 11
    Tirana
    Albania
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Dine on delicious Italian and Albanian cuisine in this airy restaurant with outdoor tables.

    Serendiville

    Rruga Liman Kaba 30
    Tirana
    Albania
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    This Tex-Mex restaurant serves up great food, plus cocktails and even live Mariachi music.

    The Tea Room

    Bulevardi Gjergj Fishta
    Tirana
    Albania
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    From cheesecake to tapas, a glass of Chianti or a cup of tea, this café covers all the bases.

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    Calendar of events

    Rockstock Music Festival

    June 2016
    Website

    Venue: Tirana University of the Arts plaza

    Around 50 bands rock Tirana for three nights each June. Big-name Albanian acts old and new hit the stage, along with the odd famous name from overseas (Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice has previously headlined). Rockstar wannabes can pick up tips and instruction at special workshops.

    Atlantid Beach weekends

    June – August 2016
    Website

    Venue: Atlantid Beach, around 40km northeast of Tirana

    Tirana hipsters escape the city heat on summer weekends to party at Atlantid Beach. An eco camp of handmade tents provides a place to sleep, while entertainment involves everything from yoga, canoeing and stargazing to film screenings, video installations and DJ sets. It’s run by non-proft artistic group Tirana Ekspres.

    Tirana International Guitar Festival

    14 – 17 September 2016
    Website

    Venue: Tirana University of the Arts

    Guitar music lovers are in for a treat during this four-day festival. Internationally renowned guitar players and up-and-coming musicians gather for a terrific series of concerts, masterclasses and competitions. It’s a great chance to hear world-class guitar playing from established artists and future stars.

    International Human Rights Film Festival Albania

    26 September – 1 October 2016
    Website

    Venue: Kinostudio

    Recognising that human rights violations are still a reality in today’s Albania, this specialist festival aims to raise awareness of human rights issues through film. Both documentaries and fictional films portray subjects relevant to Albania such as child trafficking and health care.

    Tirana International Film Festival

    3 – 11 November 2016
    Website

    Venue: Millennium Cinema (most events)

    Feature-length, short and TV films are under the spotlight at Tirana’s week-long cinematic celebration, with entries coming from leading Albanian and international directors. Aside from the main competition, fans can settle down with their popcorn and enjoy retrospectives, seminars and masterclasses.

    Tirana Book Fair

    9 – 13 November 2016

    Venue: Palace of Congresses

    Literature lovers crowd Tirana’s popular book fair, where around 100 stalls are packed with everything from bestselling Albanian thrillers to political memoirs to top-rated international titles. Local authors are out in force too, plugging their latest novels and signing books for fans.

    Independence Day

    28 November 2016

    Venue: Dëshmorët e Kombit Boulevard and throughout Tirana

    Red and black flags flutter from cars, rooftops and balconies as Albanians proudly commemorate independence from Ottoman occupation on 28 November. Flag-waving Tirana residents flock to Dëshmorët e Kombit Boulevard to celebrate, buy local crafts and enjoy live theatrical and concert performances.

    Summer Day

    March 2017
    Website

    Venue: Dëshmorët e Kombit Boulevard

    Thousands of people pack Dëshmorët e Kombit Boulevard for this traditional pagan festival marking the start of summer. Although the city of Elsaban sees the biggest celebrations, Tirana gives it a run for its money, with vivid floral displays, concerts, kids’ activities and a craft fair.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.

    Enjoy

    Hotels in Tirana

    ListMap

    Tirana has no shortage of hotels, particularly at the lower, budget end of the spectrum.

    Smarter, upscale hotels are catching up with rising demand, with the biggest concentration in buzzing Blloku.

    Rogner Hotel

    Bulevardi Dëshmorët e Kombit
    Tirana
    Albania
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Despite being in the heart of the city, this hotel is quiet, in spacious grounds, with a tennis court and swimming pool.

    Sheraton Tirana

    Sheshi Italia
    1001 Tirana
    Albania
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    This grand modern block in manicured grounds offers classic comfort with 5-star amenities.

    MonarC Hotel

    Corner of Bulevardi Zhan d’Ark and Rruga George W Bush
    1001 Tirana
    Albania
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    This small boutique hotel is great value, with cosily furnished rooms and a Mediterranean-style restaurant.

    Hotel Brilant Antik

    Rruga Jeronim De Rada 79
    1001 Tirana
    Albania
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    This homely, family-run hotel pampers its guests with organic home-cooked food.

    Nobel

    Blvd. Zogu I
    1002 Tirana
    Albania


    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    Right in the city centre, this small, family-run hotel is a great budget choice.

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Saturday, 03.12.2016 18:00 UTC

    sunny

    temperature


    10°C


    wind direction

    north

    wind speed

    0 mph

    7 days forecast

    Monday

    05.12.2016

    14°C / 1°C

    Tuesday

    06.12.2016

    14°C / 4°C

    Wednesday

    07.12.2016

    15°C / 5°C

    Thursday

    08.12.2016

    15°C / 3°C

    Friday

    09.12.2016

    16°C / 1°C

    Saturday

    10.12.2016

    12°C / 2°C

    Sunday

    11.12.2016

    13°C / 4°C

    Climate & best time to visit Albania

    Albania has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters in the lowlands. In the highlands, snow can fall from November until March; mountain towns are very cold at this time of year.

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    21 °C

    -10 °C

    23 °C

    -9 °C

    27 °C

    -10 °C

    31 °C

    -1 °C

    35 °C

    3 °C

    38 °C

    7 °C

    42 °C

    8 °C

    39 °C

    8 °C

    39 °C

    3 °C

    35 °C

    0 °C

    28 °C

    -5 °C

    22 °C

    -8 °C

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    143 mm

    132 mm

    115 mm

    104 mm

    103 mm

    68 mm

    42 mm

    46 mm

    78 mm

    114 mm

    172 mm

    148 mm

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    4 h

    4 h

    5 h

    6 h

    8 h

    9 h

    11 h

    10 h

    8 h

    7 h

    4 h

    2 h

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    67 %

    66 %

    65 %

    64 %

    66 %

    59 %

    54 %

    52 %

    59 %

    62 %

    71 %

    69 %

    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ precipitationdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan21 °C-10 °C11 °C2 °C67 %143 mm124.1 h
    Feb23 °C-9 °C13 °C2 °C66 %132 mm104.4 h
    Mar27 °C-10 °C15 °C5 °C65 %115 mm115.1 h
    Apr31 °C-1 °C20 °C8 °C64 %104 mm116.8 h
    May35 °C3 °C24 °C12 °C66 %103 mm108.6 h
    Jun38 °C7 °C28 °C15 °C59 %68 mm69.9 h
    Jul42 °C8 °C31 °C17 °C54 %42 mm411.4 h
    Aug39 °C8 °C31 °C17 °C52 %46 mm410.6 h
    Sep39 °C3 °C28 °C15 °C59 %78 mm68.8 h
    Oct35 °C0 °C22 °C11 °C62 %114 mm117.0 h
    Nov28 °C-5 °C17 °C7 °C71 %172 mm134.2 h
    Dec22 °C-8 °C13 °C4 °C69 %148 mm122.8 h
    year42 °C-10 °C21 °C10 °C63 %1266 mm1107.0 h
    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing code: +355

    Telephone

    City codes: Tirana 042, Durresi 0522, Elbasani 0542, Shkodra 0222, Gjirokastra 0842, Korça 0822.

    Mobile Telephone

    Coverage is good, except in the most remote, mountainous areas.

    Internet

    Almost every sizeable town in Albania has public Internet access, usually via an Internet cafe. Some hotels, especially in Tirana, have broadband connections in the guest rooms; a few have Wi-Fi.

    Enjoy

    Shopping in Tirana

    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    Retro communist badges, flags and similar memorabilia are the must-have items in Tirana, with souvenir shops along Rruga Durresit and Bulevardi Zogu. Blloku and the Taiwan Complex are the best shopping areas, though if you want traditional handicrafts, Kruja, an hour from Tirana, has a bazaar selling everything from carpets to ashtrays.

    Markets

    The excellent daily food market on Sheshi Avni Rustemi has stalls spreading to nearby Rruga Qemal Stafa, which also sell a wide mix of household goods, clothes and furniture.

    Shopping Centres

    Malls have not yet taken hold in Tirana, but there are a couple worth checking out. Tirana East Gate, south of the city centre on Rruga e Elbasanit, has a range of entertainment attractions for the family, as well as international stores. City Park, to the west of the city, on Rruga Mulliri i Vjetër, also has an ice rink and restaurants.

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    Normal Albanian etiquette is for people to shake hands the first time they see each other every day, and then again when they part. Between friends, a kiss on both cheeks is exchanged by men as well as women.

    The usual way to indicate ‘yes’ is by moving the head horizontally from side to side. ‘No’ is usually signalled by a slight raising of the eyebrows, sometimes accompanied by a gentle click of the tongue.

    Albanians usually remove their shoes inside their homes or other people’s houses. If you are visiting an Albanian home, you will be offered a pair of slippers or plastic sandals to wear while you are indoors.

    Smoking is widespread, and it is very unusual to find a non-smoking section in a restaurant, never mind a bar.

    However, smoking is not allowed on public transport, and this ban is almost always respected. On long journeys, the bus or minibus will stop for a cigarette-break from time to time.

    Homosexuality is taboo, although not illegal. Public displays of affection by gay couples are likely to be greeted with some hostility.

    Good to know

    Health

    Food & Drink

    Mains water is chlorinated and is fine for brushing teeth. However, bottled water is advised for drinking, especially outside Tirana.

    Brucellosis and tuberculosis are present in Albanian dairy cattle. Unpasteurised milk and homemade cheese should be avoided; however, in cafes and restaurants the milk is always UHT, and therefore safe.

    Other Risks

    Rabies is rare in Albania, but medical treatment should always be sought following an animal or bat bite.

    Tick-borne encephalitis is spread through the bites of infected ticks; the vaccine is usually given only to forestry workers. Hikers should check for ticks at the end of each day.

    Immunisation against hepatitis B should be considered by those who will be working in healthcare or with children.

    Good to know

    Visa & Immigration

    IATA Travel Centre

    The IATA Travel Centre delivers accurate passport, visa and health requirement information at a glance. It is a trusted, centralized source for the latest international travel requirements. The IATA Travel Centre is the most accurate source available because it is based on a comprehensive database used by virtually every airline, and information is gathered from official sources worldwide, such as immigration and police authorities.

    IATA Travel CentreIATA Travel Centre