Day 1: One day trip through Tirana
Stop At: National Archaeological Museum, Sheshi Nene Tereza, Tirana 1001 Albania
Located in the center of Tirana, in the "Skanderbeg" square, the National History Museum is the largest in Albania for its historical faces. There is a dominant façade, thanks to the mosaic known as "Albania", a work of art featuring heroes that can provide historical milestones, with the emphasis being placed on the other class. Inaugurated in 1981, it took three years to work until the museum opened, where today about 5 prison buildings are preserved to change into several pavilions.
The Antiquity Pavilion has become one of its most endowed pavilions, with nearly 400 objects from the Bronze Age. The undisputed masterpiece of the pavilion's evaluation rooms is the mosaic "Beauty of Durres", which dates back to the 20th century. IV BC, and is now with pebbles of possible forms. "Dea e Butrinti" is just one of the most popular objects of discovery in Albania, where classic art comes in all its splendor.
The Medieval Pavilion has two halls, where visitors are introduced to the organization and care of social care from the 20th century. VI to XV. From the exhibition of this period stands out the Epitaph of Glavenica of the century. XIV, watched with gold thread in silk by the monk Savia on the order of George Arianit. Some other objects you will come across here are handicrafts, coins of Albanian principalities, Arbëresh emblems, etc. The National Renaissance Pavilion is better for the Independence Pavilion, and more wishing for its awareness and proclamation of the state of Albania in 1912.
Iconography pavilion with a collection of par 65 icons of the century. XIV-XIX, is practiced by the masters of religious art of painting such as Onufri, his son Nicholas, Onufri Cypriot, Constantine Shpataraku, David Selenicasi, Constantine the Athenian Zografin etc. Another pavilion is adjacent to the Ethnography with over 250 objects, or that of World War II. There are 200 relics of markers or notes of war that will best hold the Anti-Fascist War Pavilion. Finally, one of the newest pavilions in the museum, the Communist Genocide pavilion, can be used in May '44 -'91, which holds over 130 objects, and offers as a documentation of a dark period that does not need to recover this more.
Duration: 2 hours
Stop At: Great mosque of Tirana, Tirana Albania
The mosque of Tirana is a monument of historical values, which in harmony with the Clock Tower form a monumental complex of values for our city, presented to every visitor who enters the city of Tirana.
The mosque was started in 1794 by Mulla Bey. The construction period lasted until 1821, which was completed by Mulla Bey's son Et'hem Bey. The interiors consist of a Dome-covered Prayer Room, a porch and a minaret. Interior lighting is done through 5 windows on each page, set in three rows. There is only one port of entry on the north side. In front of the entrance gate there is an additional prayer area including the east side. The porch rests on a plinth whose stoneware was made a little later, around 1940
Duration: 20 minutes
Stop At: Pyramid of Tirana, Tirana, Albania
Its construction began in 1986 and ended in 1988, serving as a museum in Hoxha's legacy until 1991.
It was inaugurated on October 14, 1988 as the museum of dictator Enver Hoxha. This structure was designed as eagle wings, a symbol of the nation itself, but visible only as such from above. From a passer's point of view it resembles a pyramid. A group of architects led the design of Enver Hoxha's daughter and son-in-law.
Known in everyday jargon as the pyramid, it took place on Boulevard Martyrs of the Nation, one of the city's most neuralgic spots.
After 1991 it became a conference and fair center.
The Pyramid of Tirana will become the largest center for young people, mainly focused on digital education, information technology culture and the arts, culture and vocational courses or other youth spaces.
Duration: 20 minutes
Stop At: Bunker 1944, Andon Zako Cajupi, Tirana 1001 Albania
It is located in the City Center of Tirana and since 2005 it is a touristic attraction for Foreign Tourists. There we will see the structure of the Bunker build during Communism Time and Also we will explain the history beyond those Bunkers .
Duration: 15 minutes
Stop At: Mother Teresa Square, Bulevardi Dëshmorët e Kombit, Tiranë, Albania
This square, located at the end of Boulevard "Martyrs of the Nation", in the southern part of Tirana, was designed by Italian architect Gherardo Bosio in 1939- 41. Bosio designed the Imperial Boulevard (today Boulevard of the Nation) which ended at the square. "Piazza Littorio" today "Mother Teresa" square.
The buildings surrounding this square had various administrative functions, wanting to be summed up in an entire political and sports complex. Such were: "Casa della Gioventtu Littoria Albanese" (G.L.A) - today it is the rectorate of the University of Tirana and the Archaeological Museum. The GLA is a complex building. It is composed of a "U" shape, which gives the ability to organize both sides of it. Opposite it was the "Casa del Opera del Dopolavoro Albanese" (O.D.A) - today the University of the Arts and the center was the "Casa del Fascio" or "Palazzo Littorio" - today the Polytechnic University. The University building as the last element of the boulevard is characterized by heavy structural monumentality but also clear and clear lines.
The square bears the name "Mother Teresa" in honor of the Albanian Catholic nun
Duration: 30 minutes
Stop At: Grand Park of Tirana, Rruga Herman Gmeiner, Tiranë 1000, Albania
Tirana Artificial Lake Dam was built in 1957-1958. It is a homogeneous (soil) dam with a dam volume of 110 000 m³.
Its base is semi-rocky. The height of the dam from the crown to the lowest excavation point is 17m. While the crown length of the dam is 600m.
The dam has created a reservoir at normal level 117.25 m equal to 2 560 000 m³ of water. The surface of the water mirror is 356 000 m².
Tirana Artificial Lake Watershed - has an area of about 5 km² and lies in the southern part of the city of Tirana, about 2 km from its center. It is contoured by the Sauk hillside range. The slope ranges from about 5% minimum to about 40% maximum to about 20% average slope about 20%. The Lake Watershed is partly forested and partly arable. at a quota of 330 m, with an average quota of about 170 m.
Duration: 1 hour
Stop At: Bunk'Art 1, Rruga Fadil Deliu, Tirana 1001 Albania
This fantastic conversion – from a massive Cold War bunker on the outskirts of Tirana into a history and contemporary art museum – is Albania's most exciting new sight and easily a Tirana highlight. With almost 3000 sq metres of space underground spread over several floors, the bunker was built for Albania's political elite in the 1970s and remained a secret for much of its existence. Now it hosts exhibits that combine the modern history of Albania with pieces of contemporary art.
Just arriving at the bunker is quite an exciting experience, as you go through a long, dark tunnel in the hillside that leads you to the entrance on the side of a still-active Albanian military base. Once you're inside the bunker itself, you can wander through the furnished rooms intended for the communist elite as they faced the invasion that so terrified them. Elsewhere you'll find a very detailed history of modern Albania, beginning with the 1939 Italian invasion and ending with the overthrow of communism. The display arguably brushes over the true horrors of Hoxha's Stalinist regime, while at least recognising them, are some fascinating documents and photographs, including a video of Enver Hoxha's 1985 state funeral. Other highlights include the enormous Assembly Hall, the main social centre of the bunker, as well as the private chambers of other senior officials.
Duration: 2 hours
Stop At: BunkArt 2, Rruga Abdi Toptani, Tirana Albania
THIS UNDERGROUND LABYRINTH IN THE HEART OF THE CAPITAL HIDES A DARK PAST
An excellent re-imagining of a Communist-era nuclear bunker, Bunk’Art 2 museum and art space reflects Tirana’s initiative to use culture to celebrate the birth of a new era, whilst remembering its solemn past. The unearthing of this underground tunnel in the center of Tirana, echoes the uncovering of ancient ruins in any of the world’s most fascinating historical cities. Each discovery like this breathes new life into a city, recalling times past – marking the end of one era, and the beginning of a new. Bunk’Art 2, at approximately 1000 m2 in size, is the second of two nuclear bunkers in Tirana that has recently transformed into an interactive artistic space. Located on the main block of ministerial buildings in the city’s center, this underground shelter was hidden from the public eye until to its recent unveiling in 2015. Secretly built from 1981-86, beneath the Ministry of Internal Affairs along the city’s main boulevard, the underground structure was given the code name ‘Objekti Shtylla’ (Object Pole) in order to keep its construction undetected. This structure was held as a “great accomplishment” by the Communist regime, which speaks volumes of their overwhelming, and ultimately unnecessary, focus on the protection and isolation of the country from “imperial powers.” In fact, this tunnel represents one of the last installments of Enver Hoxha’s paranoid ‘bunker project’ in Albania during the 1970s. The movement involved the creation of more than 700,000 bunkers across the country, and an even larger underground tunnel at the edge of the capital, which is now Bunk’Art 1. During the construction of Bunk’Art 2, its dome, which marks the entrance to the museum, was damaged by groups who saw it as a “glorification” of the dictatorship. The decision was made not to repair the damage, and in doing so, cemented its place as part of Albania’s historical memory. The journey through this tunnel unmasks the pathological isolation and paranoia of the long 45-year period. Each of its 24 rooms recount stories of the political persecutions of approximately 100,000 Albanians from 1945-1991, the creation of Sigurimi (the state security) during Communism, and exhibitions showing the state’s means of persecution during this dark period of history. For an even more in-depth look at these methods, you can also visit The House of Leaves Museum. The journey nicely concludes on the boulevard facing the setting sun, aptly symbolizing the idea that all tyrannical regimes eventually end, in the ancient world and ours. In Albania, it is precisely the re-imagining of a space like Bunk’Art 2 that signifies the birth of a new era.
Duration: 1 hour
• Lunch: Below there is a detailed description of the Menu
Accommodation included: Overnight at Gjuta Hotel a 4 start Hotel
Day 2: explore the suburbs of Tirana
Stop At: Petrela Castle, Rruga Durishtit, Petrele 1034 Albania
Petrela is one of the places where the tradition is centuries old, which proves not only the castle but also the centennial houses. Although Petrela is one of the most attractive municipalities in the area, the residents' satisfaction with various socio-cultural activities is at very low levels and very high dissatisfaction. Services for young people, the elderly, socio-cultural and sports activities are almost absent.
The only youth activity is football, as the municipality has free playgrounds that need to be regulated. There is a cultural center in Petrela in the municipality, which serves as a meeting place and various community gatherings, but without any specific cultural-artistic activity. The building needs to be reconstructed and the municipality set up a program for its operation. One of the most important activities that took place in August is the Festival Fair, "Cultural Heritage Days". This event is supported by the Ministry of Culture in an effort to revive and promote the rich folk and ethnographic values of the area.
Duration: 2 hours
Stop At: Mount Dajti, Rruga Abdyl Frasheri Nr 3 Albania
A FANTASTIC ESCAPE JUST A STONE’S THROW FROM TIRANA
When visiting the capital city of Tirana, you may find yourself dreaming of a swift exit to someplace a little more green and peaceful. Well, look no further than the gorgeous natural surroundings of the iconic Dajti Mountain.
This picturesque mountain enhances and frames the landscape of Tirana, and best of all is just a 15-minute cable car ride from the city. The ascent itself is something to be savoured with stunning views as you reach the top. Once at the top, you are immersed in a spectacle of luscious natural colours, that will leave any visitor feeling nourished and reinvigorated after some busy days in Tirana. It’s hard to believe that such peace and quiet exists mere minutes from the capital.
All Aboard the Dajti Express.
Reaching an elevation of 1,613 metres and crossing an area of 294km2, the Dajti Express offers the shortest and the most gorgeous ride to a panoramic view showcasing Albanian nature in all of its natural splendour. Upon arrival, you’re greeted by a meadow of beech forests as you step off the Dajti express onto the terrace. If you choose to forego the minibus ride to the peak of the mountain then you will be rewarded with a pleasant stroll through forests made-up of beech, oak, cherry, and black pine trees. An experience to fully detach you from the urban life of Tirana you left behind. And just for this moment, you are at one with nature!
For the more active types, The Dajti Park offers horseback rides amongst other forms of outdoor activities. And for the families, an adventure park opened just a couple of months ago and has swiftly become the main attraction for those mountain-goers with kids.
Something for Sightseeing.
During sunset, the high vantage point offers a rare spectacle that is Tirana’s shimmering lights. Enjoy a breathtaking view from the restaurant Ballkoni i Dajtit, where a warm, cabin-like atmosphere awaits you. Enhance the view and your experience by sipping on Albanian wine, and sampling exquisite traditional Albanian food. It all sounds rather romantic, right? Well, perhaps the whole experience could be likened to an Albanian version of ‘La La Land’. You may even feel the spirit and music of the evening and find yourself dancing much like Gosling and Stone above the twinkling city lights of Tirana. As you’re brought back down to earth and descend the mountain, this sensory experience will last long after your trip is finished.
If you’d rather skip the cable car and hike up the mountain, you can find a trail map here that can be your guide. For information on planning your trip, please visit the official official Dajti Express website. For a more personal perspective, click here and here to get some tips from these savvy travel bloggers.
Duration: 3 hours
• Lunch: Below some info:
Accommodation included: Overnight at Gjuta Hotel Tirane.
A 4 Start Hotel