Top 15 things to do in Tirana, in a two-day tour

Are planning to visit Tirana or you have already booked your vacation? Here are the top 15 things to do in Tirana. Most of these locations can be reached on foot, but for some others, you need to rent a car. Here’s a guide on how to rent a car in Albania, from local providers. Depending on where you are staying, you can start by visiting Scanderbeg Square.

Here are 15 things to do in Tirana.

1. Sheshi Skenderbej (Skanderbeg Square)

Visit Skanderbeg Square in Tirana

Named after the national Albanian Hero, Skanderbeg Square is the main plaza in the heart of the city. A few meters from the statue of our national here, you will find:

2. Muzeu Historik Kombetar (National Historical Museum)

National Historical Museum in Tirana

You can immediately notice the large mural mosaic, titled: The Albanians, which depicts ancient to modern figures from Albanian history. There are a few pavilions included in the museum, such as the Pavilion of Antiquity, Middle Ages Renaissance, Independence, National Liberation, etc. After visiting the National Historical Museum, within a 2-minute walk distance, you will find:

3. Xhamia e Et’hem Beut (Et`hem Bey Mosque)

Et`hem Bey Mosque Tirane Albania

The Et’hem Bey Mosque, a historical landmark, was once closed by the communist regime but was reopened as a house of worship in 1991. The mosque features a prayer hall, a north-facing portico, and a minaret. The entrance to the square-plan prayer hall is on the north side, topped by a windowless semi-spherical dome. The mosque’s frescoes, both inside and on the portico, depict imaginative landscapes, including trees, waterfalls, bridges, and the Süleymaniye Mosque with its four minarets, reminiscent of those in the Bachelors’ Mosque in Berat.

Next stop:

4. Bunk’Art 2

Bunk'Art 2 Tirane, Albania

Created by Enver Hoxha, the former dictator of Albania, this site is a re-imagining of a nuclear bunker from the communist era. Located in the center of Tirana, it is an underground tunnel approximately 1000m² in size, now serving as an interactive artistic space. This project, code-named “Objekti Shtylle” (Object Pole), was secretly built beneath the Ministry of Internal Affairs. This paranoid creation by Enver Hoxha, intended to “isolate” the country from “imperial powers,” symbolizes the 700,000 bunkers constructed throughout Albania.

5. Toptani Shopping Center

Toptani Shopping Center

If you’re feeling a bit tired after visiting the last four locations, you’ll find the Toptani Shopping Center nearby. It offers a variety of bars and food stands for a quick bite. And why not indulge in some shopping while you’re there?

6. Kalaja e Tiranes (Tirana’s Castle)

Kalaja e Tiranes (Tirana's Castle)

Also known as the Fortress of Justinian, this site dates back to before 1300 and is a remnant of the Byzantine era. It was once a crucial crossroads for east-west and north-south roads. Currently, its three towers are undergoing restoration for touristic purposes. Inside, you’ll find numerous bars and restaurants offering traditional cuisine and more.

7. Pazari I Ri (New Bazaar)

Visit Pazari i Ri

More than just a flea market, this is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Tirana, operating as a bustling grocery marketplace. You’ll find a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits grown locally in the suburbs of Tirana, along with fish, meat, wine, and Albanian Raki. In my opinion, this is one of the top-rated activities among the other 15 things to do in Tirana.

8. Parku I Liqenit Artificial (Artificial Lake)

Liqeni Artificial i Tiranes, Grand Park of Tirana

Also referred to as the Grand Park of Tirana, this public park spans over 289 hectares and is maintained by the Agency of Parks and Recreation. It is the most relaxing place in Tirana, perfect for a morning run or escaping the heat waves of the city.

9. Teleferiku I Dajtit (Cable Car Dajti)

Visit Dajti Cable Car in Tirana, Dajti Express

It’s safe to say that this unique attraction in Albania offers a new perspective on connection and communication. Admission is fairly affordable, costing around 5€ per person, and it is open every day of the week except Tuesday.

10. Ujvara e Shengjergjit (Shengjergji Waterfall)

Shengjergji Waterfall in Tirana

One of the most visited tourist destinations in Tirana is approximately an hour’s drive from the city center. We suggest renting a car from Cria because it offers good prices and no credit card is needed. Public transport is available, but the bus runs only once an hour, limiting your transportation choices. Upon arrival, a stone-marked path will take you to the site in about 15 minutes on foot. Along the way, you’ll see locals picnicking with their families by the river formed by the waterfall.

11. Shpella e Pëllumbasit (Pëllumbas Cave)

Shpella e Pellumbasit Tirane, Pellumbas Cave in Tirana

Among the 15 things to do in Tirana, this is my favorite. Located near the village of Pëllumbas, on the slopes of Dajti Mountain and 500 meters above the Adriatic Sea, this cave stretches 360 meters in length and varies from 10 to 15 meters in width. It is one of the most beautiful caves in Albania and a popular attraction for both tourists and locals. The cave represents a significant part of Albania’s history, with remains of ancient human culture dating back to the Paleolithic era.

12. Muzeu i Armeve (Armed Forces Museum)

Armed Force Museum Tirana, Muzeu i Armeve

A government initiative presented by the prime minister himself, the Armed Forces Museum boasts a collection of weapons and rare artifacts dating back from the era of our national hero Skanderbeg to the present day. Located just a few minutes from the city center, the museum houses over 3,600 valuable items. For weapon and history enthusiasts, the museum offers a fascinating array of exhibits, including everything from crossbows to tanks.

13. Kanionet e Erzenit (Canyons of Erzen River)

Canyons of Erzen River, Kanionet e Erzenit Tirane

Nestled within Tirana County lies the picturesque Canyon of the Erzeni River, a natural wonderland near Pellumbas village. Stretching over a kilometer long, with depths plunging to 120 meters and a width of 20 meters, this hidden treasure showcases nature’s raw beauty. Carved by the relentless force of the Erzeni River against limestone formations, the canyon offers breathtaking vistas framed by Mount Pashkasheshi and Mount Peshtreshi.

14. Syri i Cikllopit (Eye of the Cyclops)

eye of the cyclops, syri i cikllopit tirane

Nestled within the Erzen River valley, about 4 km from Krraba’s center in the village of Skuterrë, lies the captivating tourist destination known as the Eye of the Cyclops or “The Track of the Cyclops.” This hidden gem, tucked away in the Krraba gorge, spans approximately 20 meters wide and plunges to depths of around 120 meters, creating a tranquil lake of emerald water. Legend has it that this lake formed where a colossal beast met its demise, leaving behind a heart-shaped body of water. I would certainly rate this 9/10 if I were going to rate the 15 things to do in Tirana.

15. Liqeni Bovilles (Bovilla Lake)

bovilla lake, lake bovilla in tirana

Situated within Mount Dajt National Park, just south of Shtamë Pass National Park, the reservoir beckons climbing enthusiasts with its surrounding cliff faces and imposing dam. Despite swimming being prohibited in the reservoir, it teems with diverse fish species. Among them are the Schneider and Barbus carp, with the grass carp population thriving due to ongoing fishing efforts. Additionally, silver carp have been introduced to bolster water quality.