Tirana Walking Tour
I really enjoy guiding the Tirana Walking Tour. During the Tirana Walking tour, I will introduce you to the hightlights and landmarks of Tirana in only 4 hours.
Why should I go on a Tirana Walking tour? The Tirana Walking tour is a great way to explore Albania’s capital city. In only 4 hours, you will see the highlights and landmarks of Tirana. Including, the pyramid of Tirana, Skanderbeg Square, the National history museum and the clock tower. You will also visit some of favorite places of the locals, like the New Bazaar food market and Murat Toptani Street.
Tirana is still a relatively unknown capital city within Europe. Yet it has so much to offer! You can explore Albania’s recent communist history, get a great view of the city from the Clock Tower, explore the local food market and explore Albania’s coffee culture. Are you ready to explore the hidden gems in Albania’s capital city?
Tirana Walking Tour Details
The Tirana Walking Tour is a private tour of all the highlights in Tirana. During the tour, you will get an introduction to the main landmarks and sightseeing attactions in only 4 hours!
The Tirana Walking Tour starts at the National History Museum on Skanderbeg Square. On our walk through the city, you will see some of the most famous landmarks, like the Clock Tower, the National History Museum and the Et’hem Bey Mosque.
We will also walk through the main government street, where you will see the Presidential Office and the Pyramid of Tirana.
But there is so much more to see! Some of the favorite spots of the locals in Tirana are the New Bazaar Food Market, which has lovely cafes and local products like honey. And another local hidden gem is the Murat Toptani Street, which is a pedestrian street with lovely cafes. In the Murat Toptani Street, you will truly see Albania’s coffee culture!
Moreover, a subject that cannot be avoided is Albania’s recent communist history. We will visit the Blloku Area, which used to be restricted during the communist regime, as it was exclusive to communist party elite.
We will pass by the former residence of the dictator Enver Hoxha. And you will also see the Pyramid of Tirana, which was designed by the daughter of the dictator after his death.
For the Tirana Walking Tour, you have a choice between a morning or afternoon departure. And you will have a private tour guide, who can customize the tour to your personal interests. You will also receive personal recommendations of where to eat, drink, or shop in the city.
During the tour, we will pass by all the most important museums and explain what there is to see inside. Please note, we will not enter all the museums, due to the limited time.
I am an Albania Tour Guide, who organizes 1-day, 2-day or multiple day private tours in Albania. I arrange your transportation and I am your English speaking guide. So that, you get to experience the most beautiful places in Albania!
Kind regards, Manon
Tirana Walking Tour Itinerary
The Tirana Walking Tour itinerary, gives you a great overview of all of the highlights in Tirana. And the best part is that you will get a full introduction to Tirana in only a few hours!
You can let the private tour guide know, what sparks your interest most and you will get personal recommendations for a great time in the capital city of Albania.
Tirana Walking Tour itinerary
The National History Museum
The National History Museum is a landmark in Tirana. It is the largest and most well-known museum in Albania. And it is located on the central Skanderbeg Square in the middle of Tirana city.
The National History Museum is a traditional museum, which displays the history of Albania from Illyrian times until today.
Above the museum’s entrance there is a massive mosaic called “Albania”, it shows the heroes of Albania throughout history. The mosaic was made during the communist regime, therefore, it shows the working class heroes, in line with communist ideas.
Inside, the museum there is a series of galleries. Starting with the archaeological statues, mosaics and colums from the Greek and Roman times.
The museum also has a disturbing gallery about those who died and were imprisoned during the communist regime from 1944 – 1991.
Moreover, there is a gallery of icons made by the Albanian painter Onufri. And a replica of the massive sword of Skanderbeg, who was the military hero, who fought against the Turkish Ottoman invasion. Entrance fee not included in the tour.
Skanderbeg Square is the central square of Tirana. The square is surrounded by the most important buildings in the country, like the National History Museum, the Clock tower, the Palace of Culture and the Et’hem Bey Mosque.
The square connects to the main government road, with all the important government and parliament buildings.
The square is named after Skanderbeg, who is Albania’s national hero. Skanderbeg was a military commander, who reunited the Albanian tribes to fight against the Turkish Ottoman invasion. There is a large statue of Skanderbeg on his horse on the square.
Skanderbeg square was originally by three Italian architects: Florentano de Fausto, Gherardo Bosio and Armando Brasini. But it was remodeled recently as a pedestrian square with greenery, plants and stones from the different regions in Albania.
Et’hem Bej Mosque
The Et’hem Bej Mosque is an iconic monument in the center of Tirana. The mosque is located on the central Skanderbeg Square next to the Clock Tower.
The mosque’s construction was started by Molla Bey in 1790. But the mosque’s construction was only finished three decaded later by Molla Bey’s son “Haxhi Et’hem Bey” in 1820.
During the communist regime, the mosque was closed, because religion was not permitted. However, on the 18th of January 1991, the Et’hem Bej mosque was re-opened without permission of the government and 10.000 people attended. This event is seen as the rebirth of religious freedom in Albania. It also symbolizes the nearing end of communism in Albania.
The Et’hem Bey Mosque is the only surviving mosque from the eight mosques that were built in Tirana in the 18th and 19th century. It has beautiful murals and frescoes of trees, waterfalls and bridges. These motifs are very rare in Islamic art.
The Clock Tower is a monument and landmark in Tirana. It is located next to the Et’hem Bey Mosque on the central Skanderbeg Square.
The Clock tower was built by Haxhi Et’hem Bey, who was architect during the Ottoman Empire. And it was completed in 1822. For many years, it was the tallest building in the capital city.
In 1928, the tower was extended by 5 more meters, to 35 meters of height. And a balcony and Venetian roof were added on the top.
The Clock Tower is open to the public in the morning. You can climb the spiraling staircase to the balcony on the top, for an amazing view of Skanderbeg Square and the center of Tirana.
Bunk Art 2 Museum
Bunk Art 2 is a museum in a large underground-bunker in the center of Tirana. Inside the bunker, you will be explained about the role of the police and security services during the communist period in Albania. It is a fascinating museum about the disturbing communist regime. Entrance fee not included in the tour.
House of Leaves: Museum of Secret Surveillance
House of Leaves is a villa, which was the headquarters of Albania’s secret service Sigurimi during the communist area. Now, the former HQ has been converted into a museum which displays the bugs, monitoring equipment and wiretapping telephones. The museum gives you a fascinating insight into Albania’s secret service during the communist regime. Entrance fee not included in the tour.
New Bazaar Market
The New Bazaar Market (in Albanian: Pazari i Ri) is a lovely food market, close to the center of Tirana. On the market, you can buy local products, like fruits, honey, handicrafts and homemade food. There are many lovely terraces surrounding the market, where you can enjoy a cup of coffee in the sunshine.
Toptani Shopping Center
The Toptani shopping center is a mall in the city center of Tirana. The highlight is the top floor, where there is a selection of coffee houses and restaurants with panoramic views across the city.
Tanners’s bridge is a beautiful stone bridge from the Ottoman period. The bridge was built in the 19th century and it is well-preserved. You can walk across the old bridge and look down at the river below.
Fortress of Justinian
The Fortress of Justinian is also known as Tirana Castle. In the Byzantine era, the castle was in the centre of the city. It was located at a central point, where the main east-west and north-south roads crossed. Today, you can see the 6 metre high remaining wall, of what was once a thriving castle. The wall has been incorporated in the pedestrianized Murat Toptani Street, which leads to the main government road.
Murat Toptani Street
The Murat Toptani Street is a lovely pedestrian street with beautiful plane trees and many terraces. Along the street, there is a 6 metre high wall of the Fortress of Justinian. The Murat Toptani Street leads to the “Boulevard of the Martyrs of the Nation ” with all the Parliament Buildings.
Boulevard of the Martyrs of the Nation
The “Boulevard of the Martyrs of the Nation” is a wide street with many Parliament buildings. Along the street, you can see the Pyramid of Tirana, the National Archaeological Museum, the Presidential Palace and the National Art Gallery. The boulevard was designed by the Italian architect Gherardo Bosio.
National Arts Gallery
The National Arts Gallery shows Albanian paintings from the early 19th century until today. The Albanian Art is unique, because during the communist regime, the government censured the art. Artists needed to create art, that idealised the communist dictator Enver Hoxha. Moreover, some of the “inappropriate” art, is also shown, for which the artists went to prison. Entrance fee not included in the tour.
Pyramid of Tirana
The pyramid of Tirana is a landmark in Tirana, but it has a very controversial history. The pyramid was initially a museum about the former communist dictator Enver Hoxha. It was designed by Enver Hoxha’s daughter and his son-in-law. And opened to the public as a museum about Enver Hoxha, three years after the death of the dictator.
However, after the fall of the communism, it started serving a series of purposes. It was a conference center, then a NATO headquarters during the war in Kosovo, then a TV channel headquarters and a night club.
It was meant to be demolished in 2011, but the Albanian public protested against demolishing the pyramid. Although the pyramid is a reminder of the communist regime, it is still a piece of their history, however dark that history may be.
Throughout, the years many plans have been presented to refurbish and re-use the pyramid. Whilst in the meantime, the pyramid has been looted for materials and covered in graffiti. The pyramid remains in a bad state, while it awaits its new purpose and some necessary maintenance.
The Presidential Office is at the end of the “Boulevard of the Martyrs of the Nation” street. The building is the official workplace of the president and it houses all the staff of the president.
National Archaeological Museum
The National Archaeological Museum displays the Albanian treasures, that were found during archaeological digs. The museum opened after the Second World War. It displays pieces from the pre-history until the Middle Ages. The museum is at the end of the “Boulevard of the Martyrs of the Nation” street. Entrance fee not included in the tour.
Grand Park of Tirana
The Grand Park of Tirana is the central park in the city. The park has a large lake with beautiful paths and running tracks by the lake front. There are numerous playgrounds for children. And lovely coffee houses with a lake view.
The Blloku Area is the coolest and most vibrant area in Tirana. In the past, the area was used by the communist government and closed off to the general public. Nowadays, it is an area with many restaurants, clubs and coffee houses. If you want to go out at night, you will enjoy Blloku.
Enver Hoxha’s Former Residence
The three-story villa of the former communist dictator Enver Hoxha is in the middle of the Blloku Area. The villa is left just as when the dictator died in 1985. In the past the whole Blloku area was sealed off from the public and only accessible for party elite and their families. Enver Hoxha’s residence is visible from the street, but closed off for the public.
Tirana Walking Tour highlights
During the Tirana Walking Tour, you will get an introduction to all the hightlights and main sightseeing attractions of Tirana.
Some of the sightseeing attractions in Tirana are landmarks, like the National History Museum, Skanderbeg Square, the Et’hem Bey Mosque and the Clock Tower.
Other highlights are only known amongst the locals, like the New Bazaar Food Market and the Grand Park.
Throughout the Tirana Walking Tour, you will get a great overview of Tirana. And please make sure to let the private tour guide know your interests, so that the tour can be taylored to your preferences.
The National History Museum in Tirana
The National History Museum is a landmark in Tirana. It is set on the central Skanderbeg Square in the middle of the city. You can recognize the National History Museum by the massive mosaic on the front of the museum, which shows Albania’s heroes.
If you visit the museum, you can expect a classical museum. There are galleries with objects, which tell Albania’s history from Illyrian times until today.
Inside the museum, you can see the archaeological treasures from the Greek and Roman empire. The sword of Skanderbeg, an Albanian national hero, who defended the Albanians against the Ottoman Turkish invasion.
And there is a new gallery about the terror, imprisonment and murders during the communist regime. Entrance fee is not included in the tour.
Pyramid of Tirana
The Pyramid of Tirana is a very controversial building and it is a landmark for Tirana. The building was originally designed as a museum about the former dictator Enver Hoxha. However, the communism ended shortly after.
Afterwards, the pyramid started serving several purposes. It was a convention center, then a NATO headquarters during the Kosovo war, a television station and a night club.
There was discussion about demolishing the pyramid, but the Albanians wanted to keep the pyramid, because it is a piece of their history.
Many plans for repurposing have been presented, but until this day, it still awaits it’s new purpose.
Grand Park of Tirana
The Grand Park of Tirana is a great place to relax and get away from the busy city. The park is located at the end of the main government street called Boulevard of the Martyrs of the Nation (In Albanian: Dëshmorët e Kombit Boulevard).
The Grand Park is mostly known for the beautiful artificial lake. Around the lake, there are several recreational areas, like playgrounds, a running track, restaurants and cafes. You can rent bike or a buggy to ride around the artificial lake.
There is also an open-air theater in the park, where cultural events are held in the summer.
The Clock Tower of Tirana
The Clock Tower is a landmark in Tirana. The 35 meter high tower stands at the edge of Skanderbeg Square.
The Clock Tower was designed by an architect called Haxhi Et’hem Bey during the Ottoman empire and it was completed in 1822. However, in 1928 an additional five meters was added on the top with a Venetian roof and the viewing balcony.
In the morning, the Clock Tower is open to the public and you can climb the spiral staircase to the top. On the top of the tower, there is a little balcony, from where you have a fantastic view of Skanderbeg Square and the city center of Tirana.
What is included in the Tirana Walking tour?
- Introduction tour of Tirana
- Private tour guide
- Local guide: receive recommendations for where to eat, drink, or shop in the city
- Free city map of Tirana
What is excluded from the Tirana Walking tour?
- Meals and drinks
- Tips and gratuities
- Entrance fees to museums, like National History Museum, Bunk Art 2 Museum, Museum of Secret Surveillance, National Arts Gallery, National Archaeological Museum
At what time does the Tirana Walking tour start?
For the Tirana Walking Tour, you can choose between a morning or an afternoon departure.
- Morning start time: 8:30 AM
- Afternoon start time: 13:00 PM
When you make the booking, you can select your date and then you can choose your preferred start time.
What is the duration of the Tirana Walking tour?
The Tirana Walking tour has a duration of 4 hours.
If you choose for the morning start time. Your tour will start at 8:30 AM and finish around 12:30 PM.
If you choose for the afternoon start time. Your tour will start at 13:00 PM and finish around 17:00 PM.
The Tirana Walking tour is a private tour, so it is completely up to you, how much time we spend at each attraction. And if you like, we can take a break for a coffee along the way.
Is the Tirana Walking tour a private tour?
Yes, the Tirana Walking tour is a private tour. Only you and your family will attend the Tirana Walking tour.
During the Tirana Walking Tour, I am your private tour guide in Tirana.
Since it is a private tour, you will also have the freedom to customize the itinerary to meet your preferences. For instance, we can spend more time at a touristic sight, if you wish to do so.
Can I customize the itinerary of the Tirana Walking tour?
Yes, you can customize the itinerary of the Tirana Walking tour. The Tirana Walking tour is a private tour. Therefore, you will have the choice to customize the itinerary as you please.
For any questions regarding customizing your tour, you can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can book an Albania Planning Session via skype, by clicking this link.
Does the Tirana Walking tour include a tour guide?
Yes, I will be your private tour guide during your Tirana Walking tour. I will personally guide you during the sightseeing in Tirana’s city center.
Since it is a private tour, you will have the flexiblity to customize the itinerary if you wish.
What should I bring on the Tirana Walking tour?
The essential items to bring on the Tirana Walking tour are:
- Comfortable walking shoes
Comfortable walking shoes
During the Tirana Walking Tour, you will explore the city center of Tirana by foot for 4 hours. You will be on your feet for most of this period, therefore, please wear comfortable walking shoes.
During the Tirana Walking tour, you will be exposed to the sun regularly. Some parts of the city will provide shadow, but some of the squares and promenades will be exposed to the sunlight. So be sure to bring some sunscreen for your Tirana Walking tour.
When is the Tirana Walking tour available?
To check the availablity for the Tirana Walking tour, you can press on the Book Now button below.
When you press on the Book Now button, you will first see a description of the tour and itinerary. If you scroll down, you will see another Book Now button, which will take you to a calendar with the available tour dates.
What is the best time to go on a Tirana Walking tour?
The best time to go on a Tirana Walking Tour is year-round.
Tirana’s city center is a lovely place to explore in every season. Even in the winter months, it has a great atmosphere and extra decoration.
What if my preferred date for the Tirana Walking tour is not available?
If you have pressed on the Book Now button, but you could not find your preferred date for the Tirana Walking tour, you can get in touch by email.
You can email me on email@example.com . Please specify the date, number of travellers and the tour you would like to book in the email. Then I will get back to you with a response as soon as possible.
What is the price for the Tirana Walking tour?
You can check the price for the Tirana Walking tour by clicking on the Book Now button below. First, you will see a description of the tour and itinerary and if you scroll down, you will see the tour price per person.
How can I book the Tirana Walking tour?
- Press on the “Book Now” button
- You will see a pop-up with the tour description and itinerary. Scroll down and press “Book Now” at the bottom of the page.
- Select the date of your tour and pick your departure time.
- Select the number of adults and press “Add to Cart”
- Press the “Check-out” button to continue
- You can complete your payment with a credit card, a debit card or with Apple pay.
- As soon as your booking has been completed, you will receive a booking confirmation by email within minutes.
If you have any questions about your booking, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org . And I will personally respond to you as soon as possible.
How late can I make a booking for the Tirana Walking tour?
You can make a booking with me up until the day before the tour starts. Just keep in mind that the Tirana Walking tour may not be available, if you book at the last minute!
Especially, since I lead the private tours through Albania personally, so I cannot take more than one booking on each date.
I recommend booking at least one week in advance, in order to have the best chances of finding availability.
What is the cancellation policy of the Tirana Walking tour?
We will charge a cancellation fee of 100% if booking is cancelled 1 day or less before the event.
Where can I ask a question about the Tirana Walking tour?
If you have any questions about the Tirana Walking tour, you can reach out by email. My email address is email@example.com.
I will personally respond to your email as soon as possible.