Tirana provides a perfect base for day trips. Serving as Albania’s capital and its largest city, Tirana was first inhabited during the Paleolithic era, but was founded in the 17th century as the present-day city by the Ottoman general Barkinzade Süleyman Paşa. As Tirana held a strategic location between Eastern and Western Europe, this helped it grow quickly into an important administrative and commercial trading center. Bordering the mountains and the sea, it became a popular destination for Albanians. By 1920, it was declared the capital of Albania.
Today, its main sights are concentrated in the area around the Mother Theresa and Skanderbeg Squares. This also includes the Archaeological Museum, the National Art Gallery, and a few Ottoman-era buildings and socialist monuments from its time under Communist rule. You may also wish to see the walls of the Justinian Fortress, which is the last remains of the Byzantine fortifications, and the early-19th-century clock tower which offers splendid views over the city’s center.
For custom luxury travel and tours to Tirana, please contact one of our travel experts, or read on below for more information about where to go and when, along with our Insider's Guide.