Cut off from the world until 1991 under Communism, Tirana is gaining a seat at the world table. With colorful buildings, quirky sculptures, Cold War-era bunkers, and cafes on every block, there’s much to explore in Tirana.
Flying into Albania’s capital from Warsaw, Poland, we spent two days wandering Tirana’s streets. Here’s what all three of us enjoyed, including our six-year-old daughter.
- Curry meatballs from Ballkoni Dajtit, an Albanian restaurant on top of Dajti Mountain with incredible views.
- Nutella crepes from Fast Food Albania, an open-air corner restaurant with doner kebabs, burgers, and more.
- Raspberries from Markata e Fruta Perimeve, a farmers market that sells produce, honey, and Soviet-era memorabilia.
- Tomato byrek from Furrë Buke “Noel”, a popular bakery with to-go pastries.
- Cocktails from Noor Coffee & Fine Food, a two-level bar and cafe with living room vibes.
- Iced latte from Harli Kafe – 9 Katëshet, a large open-air cafe with an extensive drink menu and a limited food menu.
- Lattes from Florum, an inviting cafe inside a plant shop.
- Climb a ropes course at the Dajti Adventure Park, a five-course high ropes and zipline course with an easier course for kids.
- Learn about the Communist regime’s surveillance program at the House of Leaves, a two-level museum about surveillance.
- Ride the Dajti Ekspres, the longest cableway in the Balkans, to Dajti Mountain.
- Visit Bunk’Art One, a five-level Cold War-era bunker that’s now a museum and art gallery.
- If you go to this one, skip Bunk’Art 2 in the city center. It’s much smaller, stuffier, and less informative.
- Wander the streets of Blloku, a neighborhood full of cafes, restaurants, and bars.