Official language: Albanian
Time zone: UTC+2 (summer), UTC+1 (winter)
Currency: Lek (ALL)
To see the city from the different perspective, the best way is to enter a tower clock built in 1811. Get prepared for climbing 90 steps.
If you are fascinated by the ancient history, make sure to go for a trip to the cave Pellumbas, that is located out of town. It has the oldest, dated back to Palaeolithic, traces of humanity.
Grand Park is a favourite place for rest for citizens of Tirana. Check out why they like that spot so much. Take a blanket and sit by the huge lake. At every season, it is beautiful there.
The city, that for a hundred years has been the country’s capital, was established at the beginning of the 17th century. At that time, the Suleiman Pasza Bargjini ordered to build there many buildings of public use. Some of them enrapture to this day. The real development of the city is dated at 1900, when Tirana became officially the capital of Albania. After the war, in times of Enver Hoxha, monumentalism started to reign in architecture. The new style was born – called gigantism of Hoxha. What is interesting, a house in the city’s centre, where Hoxha used to live, is no different than other. Still it is being guarded by the army forces.
One of the most interesting building is the Palace of Brigades, that originally supposed to be the residence of king Zog I, that escaped the country after the break-out of the Second World War, without finishing the construction. Italians, that were occupying the country, completed it. The name Palace of Brigades was given to it later, when a brigade of Red Army took it away from Italians. Today, it is the official Presidential Palace. What is interesting, bas-reliefs inside weren’t destroyed by the communistic regime, but covered with clothing. Thanks to that, we can still admire them in almost intact state.
Tirana is the city of festivals. Their huge diversity means everyone can find something for themselves. Each year on 14th March there is organized Dita e Vernes, a Day of Spring, the biggest pagan holiday celebrated in the whole country. Every year takes place also the International Film Festival, during which the most interesting foreign and local projects are shown. There is also the Jazz Festival, the Festival of Guitar Music or the Albanian Festival of Wine.
For shopping go to the district Pizari i Ri (New Bazaar). The name of one of the oldest districts of the city, refers to square, on which bazaar was operating. To this day, you can buy there everything that this area is famous for – fresh fruits and vegetables, perfect crayfishes, fishes or meat. It isn’t lacking things, that tourists most eagerly bring from Albania – local wines. In town houses surrounding the square you can find local bakeries with delicious baking.