2 Days in Tirana itinerary: Panoramic aerial view of the city center, featuring skyscrapers, apartment buildings, and mountains in the background.

2 Days Tirana Walking Itinerary: Unveiling the City by Foot

Ready to explore Tirana in 2 days? The following detailed itinerary will guide you through all the must-see hot spots in the capital of Albania.

Tirana is not a typical tourist destination.

For decades, throughout most of the second half of the 20th century, Albania was isolated from the rest of the world.

The communist regime of Enver Hoxha, which governed the country from 1944 to 1992, created a closed economy, ignoring international developments.

However, the situation in recent years bears no resemblance to the past.

Albania is one of the fastest-growing countries, with Tirana, a capital that is being rebuilt, increasingly attracting tourist interest.

A paved city street in Tirana with a tall, oddly-shaped blue skyscraper in the background.

Interesting newer and older monuments, cozy bars and restaurants, a wonderful large park, and a city that impressively increases its number of tourists each year.

Of course, all this so far concerns the tourist center.

Outside of it, many neighborhoods are poorer and more degraded.

However, I never felt unsafe walking them.


How Many Days Are Enough to Visit Tirana, Albania?

A rainbow graffiti on an old building in Tirana's center.

To save time and money, opt for the Tirana, Albania in 2 days.

It will be absolutely enough.

Tirana is a small city, and the attractions are not countless.

Someone can easily tour the city center even in one day.

But to visit a museum, take a longer walk, or enjoy your food with ease, you’ll need two full days.

You may also explore what Tirana, Albania, has to offer in a 3-day visit.

Then you will have enough time for a day trip to Kruja Castle, one of Albania’s most significant landmarks.

Alternatively, for hiking lovers, a great option is a day trip to Gamti Mountain and Bovilla Lake.

On the other hand, if you want to see a typical provincial Albanian town, then just take the bus to Elbasan, about an hour from Tirana.

And if you have more days and it’s summer, then you can travel to Durrës and discover the beaches of Albania facing the Adriatic.

This side has seen significant tourist development, with its mix of benefits and drawbacks.


Is Tirana, Albania Worth Visiting?

A refurbished building in the central square of Tirana, Albania, with impressive graffiti on the side depicting a home library.

If you are looking for something different and are among those who like to discover new destinations, then definitely yes.

Tirana is a continuously developing capital.

Of course, it’s nothing like Rome, Paris, or Athens.

But that’s what makes it interesting.

You’ll have the opportunity to see a city not tailored to tourists.

A city where Europe timidly meets the Balkans and the East.

Next to the new, under-construction impressive public buildings, you’ll see gray apartment buildings with worn facades and small, humble houses.

The old meets the new in a typical neighborhood of Tirana, Albania.

There are nice cafes and well-set wine bars and restaurants in the tourist center.

But there are also old bakeries and modest neighborhood shops in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Tirana is a city with two (or perhaps more) faces, constantly changing.

It’s not all beautiful.

But it is authentic.

Also, it’s very affordable.

Especially if you choose to venture a bit outside the tourist center.

Say yes to making a difference with our 2 days itinerary in Tirana, Albania!


Where to Stay for 2 Days in Tirana, Albania?

An architecturally impressive skyscraper in the city center of Tirana.

To have walking access to all the hot spots of Tirana, choose a hotel in the city center.

The 5-star Maritim Hotel Plaza Tirana is the ideal choice if you love comfort and luxury.

Special design, spacious rooms with all amenities, bar restaurant, spa, gym, and conference center, just 200 meters from Skenderberg Square, the central square of Tirana.

A slightly more economical option, but which will offer you a wonderful and comfortable stay, is the Lot Boutique Hotel, also in the center.

Following the same logic, but with a more pop aesthetic in terms of its design, is the ART Hotel Tirana.

For an even more budget option, choose a studio apartment in the city center, like KONI’s Studio Apartments.


How to Get to Tirana?

People walking next to an Albanian flag at Skanderbeg Square.

The most common way to get to Tirana is by air.

Tirana’s airport is about 20 kilometers from the city center and it’s relatively small.

Don’t imagine something like those of a large European capital.

From here, your Tirana, Albania in 2 days itinerary will begin.

Access to Tirana’s center from the airport is either by taxi or bus.

There’s no metro in Tirana yet.

The cheapest option is, of course, the bus.

In fact, these are tourist buses that have been leased to operate this specific route.

The stop is very close to the airport building exit, but the schedules are quite sparse, hourly.

Expect a 30 – 45 minutes journey to the center.

The clock tower, decorated with red heart balloons, in the center of Tirana, Albania.

The ticket is very cheap: you buy it upon boarding from the bus driver and can even pay in euros if you haven’t exchanged money yet.

On the other hand, if you prefer your convenience, you can use a pre-booked taxi.

The service I use in these cases is Welcome Pickups.

Alternatively, for more freedom, you can also rent a car.

Using Rentalcars.com is the recommended solution in this case as it compares all the car rental companies and returns the best prices.


Which Currency Does Albania use?

Although Albania’s official currency is the LEK, many shops accept euros or dollars, and some also accept credit cards.

But carrying some LEK is still recommended for convenience.

However, don’t exchange money at the airport.

You’ll find better rates in the city center.


Tirana in 2 Days Itinerary: from History to Hipster

The recommended route for your first day


1. Skanderbeg Square

Panoramic view of the Skanderbeg Square with people walking by.

Why: The central square of Tirana will pleasantly surprise you with its modern appearance and size.

It resembles a square in a modern European capital.

Large, paved with marble, clean, and well-maintained, it is surrounded by imposing old and more modern public buildings, such as the Opera & Ballet Theatre and the National Historical Museum.

In the center stands the statue of Skanderbeg, the national hero of the Albanians, who, according to Albanian history, united the Albanian principalities in the 15th century and fought against the Ottomans.

The statue of Skanderbeg at the cental square of Tirana Albania.

One of the square’s attractions is the Clock Tower, 35 meters high.

When built in 1822, it was by far the tallest building in the city.

You can reach the top by climbing 90 steps.

The square is surrounded by small gardens and other buildings, and most buses for other neighborhoods or areas outside the city depart from here.

It usually has a lot of people and is an ideal starting point for your itinerary in Tirana, Albania in 2 days.

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2. Et’hem Bey Mosque

The intricately painted walls inside the impressive Et’hem Bey Mosque.

Why: An old mosque, a distinctive monument of the Ottoman period, on Skanderbeg Square.

If you have never visited a mosque, it is an ideal first acquaintance.

If you have visited the emblematic mosques of Turkey or other Muslim countries, it will seem very small.

And indeed, it is, but that’s also its beauty.

The Et’hem Bey Mosque is a small gem inside with wonderful decor.

Constructed in the early 19th century, it impresses with its Arabic motifs.

One of them claims the mosque has given Tirana eternal beauty, as the Hagia Sophia has to Istanbul.

Of course, they do not compare either in size or in splendor.

But it certainly warrants a visit.

Remember to remove your shoes at the entrance.

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3. Bunk’Art 2

The entrance to the must-see Bunk’Art 2 museum in Tirana.

Why: A wartime bunker transformed into one of the most interesting museums in Tirana.

If you must visit one museum in Tirana, it is definitely Bunk’Art 2.

Of course, there is also Bunk’Art 1, an even larger bunker turned museum, but it is located further from the city center, at the foothills of Dajti Mountain.

Bunk’Art 2 is next to Skanderbeg Square and is very accessible.

It was the bunker of the Ministry of Internal Affairs during the communist period, built from 1981 to 1986.

It was built to protect state officials in case of a chemical or nuclear war.

Now, it serves as a museum focusing on the action of the then Ministry of Internal Affairs and the political police during the communist regime, the infamous Sigurimi.

A story of persecutions, surveillances, tortures, and deaths underground.

Wander through the 24 rooms and the small apartment made especially for the Minister.

Get to know a part of the recent history of Albania and the authoritarian regime of Enver Hoxha.

Visiting Bunk’Art 2 is definitely a must in the Tirana, Albania in 2 days itinerary.

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4. Shetitorja Murat Toptani

People enjoying their coffee at an outdoor café.

Why: The most beautiful pedestrian street in the center of Tirana.

Exiting Bunk’Art 2, you will encounter Shetitorja Murat Toptani.

It is a pedestrian street with shops and street vendors that will lead you to the Castle of Tirana.

An absolute tourist hot spot that also resembles a European capital.

Modern buildings, gardens, cafes, and restaurants.

However, the walk on Shetitorja Murat Toptani won’t take long.

If you want, of course, you can sit at a cafe and relax.

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5. Tirana Castle

People crossing a pedestrian road at Tirana Castle.

Why: A tourist hot spot that, to be honest, doesn’t resemble a castle.

It could be the continuation of Shetitorja Murat Toptani.

You’ll find it on your right hand, and it might be hard to recognize as a castle.

Yet here, in the 14th century, was built the Castle of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian.

But in 1832, Mehmed Reshid Pasha destroyed it, so today only a 6-meter-high wall remains.

Although without historical interest, the site has turned into a meeting point for tourists and locals.

Passing through the gate of the wall, you’ll find yourself in an area filled with cafes, expensive – by Albanian standards – restaurants, clothing boutiques, and tourist shops.

It’s beautiful, though very touristy.

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6. New Bazaar

Women checking products at the New Bazaar of Tirana, a great addition to your 2 days itinerary.

Why: A covered public market full of fruits, vegetables, and local traditional products.

The area feels more Eastern.

Here too, you are in a tourist zone, being just a few hundred meters from Skanderbeg Square.

Don’t think that locals shop here at these prices.

However, the city’s color in this neighborhood is more authentic and less illustrative.

And if on Rruga Shemsi Haka (the bazaar street) things are more touristy, a little further out shows the real picture.

A few meters away from the touristy restaurants, on the surrounding streets, you will see poorly maintained apartment buildings, junkyards, and cafes.

This contrast is often encountered in Tirana and certainly has its interest.

For now, wander around the market and the alleys, shop for local products, ceramics, and embroidery.

And don’t forget to bargain for a better price.

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7. Pyramid of Tirana

The Pyramid of Tirana: A landmark of the capital city of Albania.

Why: A landmark of Tirana from the communist era that has been renovated.

Crossing the other side of the Lana River, which crosses the city, you’ll find yourself at the famous Pyramid of Tirana.

It was constructed in 1988, in memory of the communist leader Enver Hoxha, who had died three years prior.

An impressive pyramid-shaped structure, which was then considered the most expensive building in Albania.

Initially, it served as a museum for Hoxha.

However, with the fall of communism, it changed various uses and was eventually abandoned.

In recent years, however, it has been renovated, acquiring a new look.

Climb the stairs to the top of the pyramid, and you will have an impressive view of Tirana.

You can also visit the interior, where the renovation has added several pop elements and color to the once austere construction.

At night, it is illuminated and becomes even more beautiful.

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8. Blloku

A square at Blloku, the most trendy neighborhood in Tirana.

Why: The area where the heart of Tirana’s nightlife beats.

The first day in Tirana must conclude with food and drink and Blloku is filled with nice restaurants and bars.

For years after the fall of communism, it was quite an infamous area.

However, in recent years, it has evolved into Tirana’s trendiest neighborhood.

Clothing boutiques, shopping of all kinds, colorful graffiti on the walls, cafes, and pastry shops.

Your Tirana in 2 days itinerary must include a stroll through Blloku, especially for dining and drinking.

You’ll be surprised by the quality and variety of options available.

Gourmet restaurants, international cuisine, wine & cocktail bars, Italian trattorias, pizzerias, and burger restaurants.

Everything has its place in Blloku.

Here the setting is distinctly European and Western-style.

You can eat exceptionally well at quite affordable prices, though naturally, it’s quite expensive for the average resident of Tirana.

People chatting and having a great time in a cozy vinoteca in the center of Tirana.

If you want to combine a nice wine with a variety of cheeses and cold cuts or a bruschetta, try Vena Vinoteka Tirane.

A small but very atmospheric wine bar with a wide selection of wines.

If you love high gastronomy, innovative flavors, and luxury, head to Salt.

For lovers of Mexican and Argentine cuisine, El Gaucho is a must-visit.

And for cocktails, Nouvelle Vague Tirana is your destination – colorful, funky, and with very interesting cocktails.

2 days in Tirana itinerary: the interior of the cozy cocktail bar Nouvelle Vague.

And like this, the first day of your Tirana, Albania in 2 days itinerary comes to an end.

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Day 2: Fresh Air and Local Flavors

The recommended route for your second day


9. Grand Park of Tirana

The Grand Park of Tirana lake, featuring ducks in the water and people sitting on a platform at the shore.

Why: A wonderful park with a large lake in the heart of Tirana.

I truly didn’t expect Tirana to have such a park.

The Grand Park of Tirana is an oasis in the city center.

What better way to start your second day in Tirana than with a walk in such a park!

In the middle of the park stands a large artificial lake.

On one side, you’ll find cafes and some restaurants, but it’s better to start walking through the park.

Plenty of greenery, trees, picturesque paths, bike lanes, playgrounds, an outdoor gym, and kiosks with various snacks.

People walking and relaxing in the Grand Park of Tirana.

Everything here is well-maintained, clean, and in the right measure.

I loved it.

I grabbed a natural juice from a kiosk and walked for hours.

You can also have a picnic or sit at a quaint restaurant within the park.

Don’t miss it!

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10. Dajti Mountain

The cable car station to Dajti Mountain.

Why: The neighboring mountain of Tirana is just a breath away from the city for hiking in the forest.

After your day began with a nature-loving note, let it continue that way.

Dajti Mountain, at whose foothills Tirana is built, awaits you.

After your walk in the Grand Park of Tirana, take the bus from Skanderbeg Square and head to the cable car station.

As you ascend the mountain, look back at the view.

The entire city of Tirana spreads out beneath your feet.

Where the cable car leaves you, there’s a cafe and a horse farm.

However, I would recommend bypassing them and starting your hike on the mountain.

Nothing here is touristy.

Tall trees, quiet roads, and the tranquility of nature.

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11. Albanian Dinner

Fërgesë and tavë kosi, typical dishes of Albanian cuisine, served in clay dishes.

Why: Try the local cuisine in its most authentic version.

Returning to the city, it’s time to satisfy your hunger by eating Albanian traditional delicacies.

To be honest, whenever I hear “traditional cuisine restaurant”, I run the other way.

Most times, such restaurants are entirely touristy.

Their food, to put it mildly, bland.

However, in Tirana, the opposite occurs.

There are many small, cheap, and humble taverns or cafes that indeed serve local specialties at very low prices.

One of them is Bar Trattoria Logu.

Two pasta dishes and two glasses of red wine on a table with a white and red square tablecloth in a trattoria.

A small tavern, next to the New Bazaar, in the city center.

Simple decor, checkered tablecloths, and frames with old photos on the walls.

They barely spoke a few words of English.

There, I tried tarator, similar to Greek tzatziki with cucumber, yogurt, and dill.

And the popular fergese: cheese, peppers, and tomatoes mixed with flour and baked in the oven.

Generally, Albanian cuisine has strong Turkish influences and partly Greek.

The menu also includes byrek, a fried pie filled sometimes with cheese, sometimes with spinach, and sometimes with meat or sweet pumpkin.

Also, try dolma, a classic Turkish cuisine dish: vine leaves stuffed with rice, lamb meat, onions, and herbs.

But the most traditional specialty is tave kosi: pieces of lamb slowly cooked in a pot mixed with rice and a yogurt sauce that are gratinated in the oven.

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12. Albanian Dessert

Delicious Albanian baklava at the famous Pastiçeri Reka in Tirana.

Why: After all that tasty food, why not treat yourself to something sweet?

Pastiçeri Reka awaits with its irresistible desserts.

Specifically, it’s a chain of pastry shops in Tirana with various sweets, from syrupy desserts to pastries and ice creams.

It’s famed for its pistachio ice cream.

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Beyond Tirana: Two Day Trips

Panoramic view of Skanderbeg Square, with people walking around. A key highlight for any 2 days itinerary in Tirana.

With this sweet note, your Tirana, Albania in 2 days itinerary comes to an end.

If you have more days at your disposal, I recommend taking a day trip to Kruja Castle, one of Albania’s most significant landmarks.

Alternatively, for hiking lovers, a great option is a day trip to Gamti Mountain and Bovilla Lake.

Both tours are highly rated and offer immersive experiences in Albanian nature.

Lastly, for more travel ideas, be sure to check out my ‘Around The World’ section.

Make Your Trip Easier

Accommodation
I always book my accommodation with a reliable service like Booking.com. Besides their price guarantee, you can rest assured that you will have 24/7 support in the event of any problems with your hotel. Always make sure you read reviews from other guests before booking.

Airport Transfer
If you want to get to and from the airport with peace of mind, I recommend pre-booking your taxi with Welcome Pickups. Their flat rate is a few euros more expensive than random taxis, but they are totally worth it. They use local English-speaking drivers, wait for you at the arranged meeting point, even if your arrival is delayed, and introduce you to the city along the way.

Flight
Don’t forget to use Skyscanner before booking your flights, as it compares different airlines to provide the cheapest and fastest solutions. Moreover, you can save a lot of money if you are flexible with your dates.

Travel Insurance
Nobody wants to think about all the things that could go wrong on a trip. However, these things can happen, so do not miss taking out travel insurance: SafetyWing is the one I use as its plans are affordable and can save you a lot of trouble.

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