A Pocket Guide to Tirana

Steer clear of European crowded capitals and head off to Tirana to explore an alternative and creative destination. This Balkan city dances to its own distinctive beat roused by an energetic, young population intent to make the Albanian capital a name to know. Tirana, with its compact city center packed with innovative restaurants and cool cocktail bars, as well as distinctive neighborhoods such as Pazari i Ri and Blloku just a stone’s throw from the Grand Park, is a lesser-known destination that deserves more attention.


Getting off the plane at the Tirana International Airport, the first things to do is to reach Tirana’s city center. Jump on a Thirr Taxi, an eco-friendly taxi company that offers services from and to the airport/Tirana or other Albanian towns. You can choose between Hyundai Kona Electric 2023 models, known for their spacious design, accommodating up from 3 to 5 passengers, or Volkswagen ID.4 electric cars, a versatile option designed for the comfort of 4 passengers with extra space for luggage.

©Thirr Taxi

Wandering through Tirana reveals a treasure trove of bizarre cultural sites, restaurants, bars and eclectic architecture celebrating Albania’s history, culture and future. Skanderbeg Square with the National History Museum, Opera, Clock Tower and Et’Hem Bej Mosque is the starting point for exploring Tirana. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit BunkArt2 and the House of Leaves, two museums that efficiently show visitors how Communist-era police persecuted the regime’s opponents.   

©Valter Zhara

In the former communist borough of Blloku, there are cute cafes that joyously celebrates the local coffee culture, and across the city, great restaurants can be found in surprising spaces. The coveted market Pazari i Ri is the place to be for foodies; farmers sell organic Albanian products as fruits, vegetables, mountain teas, Turkish coffee and raki. The place also includes seafood and meat markets, a recreation space, bars and restaurants. 


The city’s cathedral of contemporary architecture, Piramida, is worth a visit for its origin story alone. The structure started as a mausoleum of Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha. Since the fall of the communist regime, the building was variously used as a radio station, a nightclub, a conference venue, a broadcast centre and, during the 1999 Kosovo War, a base for NATO. Today, the pyramidal architecture has been dramatically transformed into a new kind of cultural hub.

©Mulaj Hotel

Book a room at Mulaj Hotel, a contemporary outpost in the centre of Tirana, where highlights include minimalist design, smartly designed rooms and beautiful views over some of Albanian capital’s most important landmarks. The hotel is located a few steps from the Piramida. Mulaj Hotel is a stylish set-up that offers travellers a hub in which to work, play and relax.

©Thirr Taxi

Continue the explorations in the outskirts of Tirana. Grab a Thirr Taxi and go straight to the BunkArt1, one of the coolest places to visit in Europe. This museum, housed in a bunker to accommodate the Communist leader Hoxha in the event of attacks, hosts photographs, documents and items of the Communist-era. Looking for something more to explore? Then, take a gander up to the Dajti National Park. This green haven with forests, mountain paths and an adventure park for adults and children can be reached in 20 minutes by taxi. The perfect place to end your trip.

Find out more about Thirr Taxi
Website: Thirr Taxi
Instagram: @thirrtaxi