What to See in One Day in Tirana

What to See in One Day in Tirana [Best 1 Day Itinerary!]

Written By: author image Kyle Cash
author image Kyle Cash
Kyle is the writer behind The Travel Runner. He’s a full-time traveler and adventurer who’s visited over 20 countries, including places like Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, and Albania.

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Wondering what to see in one day in Tirana, Albania? Don’t miss this itinerary! Explore the city’s landmarks and enjoy an amazing visit to Albania’s capital.

Imagine the allure of a European city without the massive crowds.

That’s Tirana, Albania.

Past crashes into the present and effortlessly merges into one another. History, culture, architecture — there’s so much to see and do it can feel overwhelming.

It can also feel like there’s not possibly enough time to see everything you want in one day!

But I’m here to tell (and show) you there is!

And with this one-day itinerary, you’ll see the top things to do in Tirana, the capital city of Albania.

So, let’s dive into it.

Map of Tirana

Map courtesy of Wanderlog, an itinerary planner on iOS and Android

Is one day in Tirana enough to see everything?

Yes, one day in Tirana is enough to see the top attractions in the city.

24 hours in Tirana isn’t a lot, but you can have an activity-packed day to ensure you see it all.

Remember that Tirana is a relatively small city, so you can get from place to place quickly. Whether walking, taking public transport, or hiring a taxi, you have multiple options to get around quickly.

Tirana's cityscape

One of the most important questions is what you want to do.

There are tons of options, from museums to restaurants to nature. So planning out the attractions that interest you most will help make your time in Tirana much more enjoyable.

With that said, here are some of the best things to do while you’re in Tirana:

  • Skanderbeg Square: This is the heart of Tirana and a great place to start your day. You can see the statue of Skanderbeg, the National History Museum, and the Et’hem Bey Mosque, all within walking distance.
  • Bunk’Art 1&2: This museum is located in a former nuclear bunker and provides a fascinating glimpse into Albania’s communist past.
  • Blloku: This trendy neighborhood was once reserved for high-ranking officials during the communist era but is now home to some of the city’s best bars, restaurants, and shops.
  • Mount Dajti: If you have time, take a cable car up to the top of Mount Dajti for stunning views of the city and surrounding countryside.

While you won’t be able to see everything in one day, you can knock out many of the top attractions in the Albanian capital.

So, let’s dive into your one-day in Tirana itinerary.

👉 Wondering if you should visit Tirana?: Is Tirana Worth Visiting? Here Are 11 Reasons to Visit Now!

What to see in one day in Tirana: An itinerary

I spent three weeks in Tirana, so I had plenty of time to explore what is and isn’t worth seeing.

Most people don’t have that kind of time. So, I’ve condensed the best into the perfect one-day itinerary for you here 👇.

Morning: Head to Mount Dajti ⛰️

Don’t miss one of Tirana’s best nature areas to start your day.

Mount Dajti National Park is located northeast of the city center and has an impressive entrance via a 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) cable car ride! 🚠

Getting to the cable car from the center of Tirana requires a 20-30 minute drive. You can take a public bus or taxi to the station near Bunk’Art 1. The bus station is near Skanderbeg Square, next to the Clock Tower.

From there, buy a cable car ticket for around 6 euros.

You can pay more to get your ticket, and any activities at Mount Dajti, like mini golf, are included.

Then, enjoy the cable car ride up to the top, which takes around 15 minutes and gives you panoramic views of the entire city.

Picture from the Dajti Ekspres
Minus some etched graffiti, the ride is beautiful!

Make sure to have your camera ready for plenty of pictures!

Once at the top, you can play mini golf, take children to the adventure park, or enjoy a drink at the rotating bar! It’s a great place to spend a few hours simply enjoying yourself before you head back to the city.

Where to eat in the morning

Depending on whether you eat before, during, or after your visit to Mount Dajti, you have a few options.

Afternoon: Tour the museums in Tirana 🏛️

After you’ve taken in the views from Mount Dajti, it’s time to head back down to the city and spend the afternoon touring some of Tirana’s museums.

If it’s summer, this is the perfect way to escape the sweltering heat in Tirana.

The National Museum of History is a great place to start. This museum gives you a deep look at Albania’s entire history and culture. So you can get a zoomed-out view of the events that have influenced Albania the most.

Next, head to Bunk’Art 2, next to the National History Museum. This museum gives you an interesting glimpse into communism in Albania’s past during the reign of communist leader Enver Hoxha. Interestingly, this former nuclear attack bunker was converted into a museum. So it’s a unique and hands-on look that’s worth the time.

Last, head over to the House of Leaves.

Enver Hoxha and his government used this house as a center for spying for almost 50 years! It’s a sobering look at the tactics used to target and spy on Albanian citizens and keep tight control of the country.

Browse the many displays, listen to audio recordings, and deeply examine the dark past Albania has suffered.

Just be sure you don’t snap any pictures. Or the workers will sternly and kindly tell you to put your camera away.

If you have extra time, head to the Grand Park of Tirana or the Pyramid of Tirana.

Enjoy some nature and shade right in the heart of the city and watch local Albanians going about their daily lives for some great people-watching in the park. And the Pyramid is another interesting piece of Communist history in Tirana.

Some highlights from the city center of Tirana are:

  • Et’hem Bey Mosque. Stands out as one of the most impressive mosques in Tirana.
  • National Museum of History. Get a macro-view of Albania’s history.
  • House of Leaves. A dark look into communist history in Tirana and the Albanian secret police.
  • Bunk’Art 2. A former nuclear bunker turned into a museum.

Where to eat in the afternoon

There are tons of great food options near the center of the city. Some of these will be repeats, but that’s because they were the best I found. So here are a few I recommend:

Evening: Explore the city center 🚶 

As the evening approaches, the center of Tirana starts coming alive.

And that’s why I recommend this as the perfect time to do a walking tour.

A travel guide will take you to many of the spots you visited, and they’ll take you to some of the hidden attractions in plain view.

You can also finish up in Skanderbeg Square, where Albanian families come to spend the rest of the evening.

From there, you can wander through the pedestrian streets of Blloku.

Blloku is a popular area for bars, restaurants, and nightlife. So, if you’re looking for excitement, this is the place to find it. Plus, some of the best restaurants in the city are hidden here.

So, enjoy food and drink and reflect on a well-spent day in Tirana!

Where to eat in the evening

Where to Stay in Tirana

If you plan to spend one day in Tirana, finding the right place to stay is crucial.

The good news is that there are plenty of options. So nailing your location is even more important so you can quickly get around to all the sights.

Luxury Accommodation

Lucky for you, there are plenty of 5-star hotels in Tirana.

If you want to spend your night in luxury in Tirana, you can’t go wrong with the Arté Boutique Hotel.

It’s the perfect place to relax, with elegant rooms and suites, a spa, and a nice bar to grab a drink when you end the day.

Best of all, it’s just a few minutes walk from Skanderbeg Square, so you can start exploring quickly.

Another option is the Lake Drive Rooms & Apartments.

It has an on-site spa, so you can get out and relax, and the rooms are luxurious enough for you to enjoy your evening.

Mid-Range Accommodations

Now, if you still want some luxury but don’t need all the pampering, there are a few mid-range accommodations to choose from, such as:

Both hotels offer a bit of luxury at a fair price, so you can’t go wrong with either one.

Budget Accommodations

If you’re on a tight budget, don’t worry. Tirana has you covered as well!

The top option is the Tirana Backpacker Hostel, which offers dorm-style rooms and a communal kitchen that is enough for one night.

Another option is to check Airbnb.

I stayed in hotels and Airbnbs, and I got a decent discount on Airbnb by searching a bit.

Plus, you get a more authentic experience of what it’s like to live like a local!

Regardless of where you choose to stay, book in advance to ensure availability and the best prices.

How to get to Tirana

If you plan to visit Tirana, the capital of Albania, you’ll need to know how to get there.

Fortunately, there are several options for traveling to Tirana, whether you’re coming from within Albania or from another country.

By plane

Tirana Airport Nënë Tereza (TIA) is the main airport in all of Albania, not just Tirana.

There are direct flights to Tirana from many European cities, including:

  • London
  • Vienna
  • Rome
  • Athens
  • Istanbul

There are other, smaller airports around Albania, but Tirana is the main airport you’ll fly into.

By bus

You can easily reach Tirana by bus if you’re already in Albania.

There are regular bus services from most major cities in Albania, including:

By car

You can rent a car and drive to Tirana if you prefer to drive.

Albania has a good network of roads, and the drive from most major cities in Albania to Tirana is relatively easy.

However, you should have a valid driver’s license, preferably international.

Frequently asked questions

What are some hidden gems to visit in Tirana?

If you want to explore some lesser-known places in Tirana during your one-day visit, consider checking out:

  • Bektashi World Center
  • Preza Castle
  • Grand Park of Tirana

These hidden gems offer a unique glimpse into the history and culture of the city.

Are there any free attractions to see in Tirana?

Yes, there are several free attractions to see in Tirana.

You can visit the following:

  • Skanderbeg Square
  • Et’hem Bey Mosque
  • National Library

You can also wander around the city and explore the vibrant street art scene.

What should I know before visiting Tirana, Albania?

Before visiting Tirana, it’s essential to know that the official currency is the Albanian Lek, and 500 Lek equals around $5.

Also, English is not widely spoken, so learning a few Albanian words doesn’t hurt.

It’s also important to be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings close to you, especially in crowded areas. While Albania isn’t dangerous, keeping your wits about you is still wise.

Last, tipping isn’t expected, but rounding up the bill is appreciated.

Is it worth getting a tour guide for a one-day visit to Tirana?

While it’s possible to explore Tirana on your own, getting a tour guide can enhance your experience and provide valuable insight into the history and culture of the city.

A knowledgeable guide can help you navigate the city and maximize your one-day visit.

That way, you can fit in all you can quickly. After all, a local guide will know the best places to visit on a trip to Tirana.

So, considering a guide is never a bad idea since you’re tight on time.

Ready to see Tirana in a day?

Hopefully, this itinerary gave you the perfect guide for what to see in one day in Tirana.

One day isn’t much in the city (and I’d recommend a few more days if possible), but it’s enough to see the main attractions and get a feel for what makes Tirana unique.

If this itinerary helped you, let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear about your plans for Albania travel and how you plan to spend your time there.

author avatar
Kyle Cash Owner
Kyle is the writer behind The Travel Runner. He’s a full-time traveler and adventurer who’s visited over 20 countries, including places like Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, and Albania.