Tirana Introduction Walking Tour, Tirana

Tirana Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Tirana

Tirana has an eventful history. The city has been a part of the Ottoman Empire, suffered through World War II, endured rule by a communist regime, and worked through the disorder of the 1990s after the collapse of communism. The landmarks of Tirana reflect these turbulent times. On this tour you will visit an elegant Ottoman bridge, historic buildings dating back to the nineteenth century, the former residence of communist leader Enver Hoxha and more. Spend a few hours discovering the most popular sites of Tirana.
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Tirana Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Tirana Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: Albania » Tirana (See other walking tours in Tirana)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 Miles
Author: rose
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Skanderbeg Square
  • National History Museum
  • Skanderbeg Statue
  • Et'hem Bey Mosque
  • Clock Tower of Tirana
  • Bunk'Art 2
  • Murat Toptani Road
  • Tirana Castle
Skanderbeg Square

1) Skanderbeg Square (must see)

Skanderbeg Square is the main plaza of Tirana, named in 1968 after the Albanian national hero Skanderbeg. A Skanderbeg Monument can be found in the plaza.

In March 2010, works began to transform the square into a pedestrians and public transport only area. A new fountain would use rain water as its water supply, while a two-meter high pyramid would be built and leveled with a 2.5% slope throughout the square.

In September 2011 it was decided that the earlier plan will be scrapped. Instead, the use of the square by all motor vehicles will be restored through the construction of a narrower road segment around the center of the square including bicycle lanes.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
National History Museum

2) National History Museum (must see)

The National History Museum (Muzeu Historik Kombetar) in Tirana is Albania's largest museum. It was founded on October 28, 1981. Construction of the museum required the demolition of the former Tirana Municipal Building. The gigantic mosaic that appears at the main entrance to the museum is entitled 'The Albanians'. The National History Museum has rooms dedicated to the following: Antiquity, Medieval, Rilindja Kombetare, Iconography, Culture of Albania, Albanian Resistance in World War II, and Communist Genocide.

***A not-to-miss place to learn more about the communist history of Tirana and Albania, is the National Museum of History, the largest museum in the country, It has a special pavilion entirely dedicated to the communist crimes during the regime. The pavilion displays photos, documents and objects belonging to the period, from 1944 to 1990, and is very interesting. A special section is dedicated to the religious victims during those years: In 1967 Albania was declared the first atheist country in the world, and in the following years many religious sites, mosque, churches and monasteries were demolished. ****PH***
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Skanderbeg Statue

3) Skanderbeg Statue

The Skanderbeg Statue is located on Skanderbeg Square, Tirana's main square. The sculpture depicts Gjergj Kastrioti (1405-1468), who was also called Skanderbeg. He is a national hero of Albania, famous for successfully defending his native land for more than two decades from the Ottoman Empire. The sculpture was built in 1968.
Et'hem Bey Mosque

4) Et'hem Bey Mosque (must see)

The Et'hem Bey Mosque is located in the center of the Albanian capital of Tirana. Construction started in 1789 under the direction of Molla Bey, and it was finished in 1823 by his son Ethem Pasha (Haxhi Ethem Bey), great-grandson of Sulejman Pasha. Under the totalitarian regime of the Socialist People's Republic of Albania, the mosque was closed. On January 18, 1991, despite opposition from communist authorities, 10,000 people entered the mosque carrying flags. This was at the onset of the fall of communism in Albania. The frescoes of the mosque are still life paintings of trees, waterfalls and bridges, a rarity in Islamic art. Tours of the mosque are given daily, although not during prayer service.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Clock Tower of Tirana

5) Clock Tower of Tirana

The Clock Tower of Tirana, or Kulla e Sahatit in Albanian, was built in 1822 by Haxhi Et`hem Bey, who also oversaw the construction of the Et'hem Bey Mosque. The tower has a spiral staircase with 90 steps. The structure is 35 meters high, and until 1970 it was the tallest building in Tirana. The clock tower originally had a bell from Venice that marked the time every hour. In 1928 the Municipality of Tirana purchased a new German clock to replace the Venetian one. The clock was destroyed by bombs during World War II and was replaced in 1946 with a Roman numeral clock from a church in Shkoder, Albania. In 1970 the Roman numeral clock was replaced by a Chinese clock. The tower underwent renovation in 1981 and again in 1999. Access to the top of the tower has been available free of charge since 1996.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Bunk'Art 2

6) Bunk'Art 2 (must see)

Bunk'Art 2 occupies an area of ​​1,000 square meters and consists of 40 rooms, which present the history from 1912 to 1991 through facts obtained from the State Archive and the Ministry of Interior. From room to room, the story unfolds with the creation of the first Gendarmerie, the Zogist Kingdom Gendarmerie, the People's Police, to continue with the barbed wire camps, to prisons, internments and deportations. A separate room is dedicated to the way foreigners who were in our country during the dictatorship were intercepted.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Murat Toptani Road

7) Murat Toptani Road

A pedestrianised street in the centre of Tirana, Rruga Murat Toptani is a handsome promenade between the Parliament Building and the National Art Gallery.The name of this popular artery comes from the Toptani Family, who held sway in Ottoman Albania from the 1700s right up to the Second World War. The street is especially grand in summer when the twin rows of plane trees offer shade from the sun. Along the route you can admire some of the city’s old fortifications, dating to the time when the Toptanis vied for control of Tirana with other powerful local families.

Tirana Castle

8) Tirana Castle

Fortress of Justinian or simply known as Tirana Castle is a castle in Tirana. Its history dates back before 1300 and is a remnant from the Byzantine-era. The fortress is the place where the main east-west and north-south roads crossed, and formed the heart of Tirana.

About all that's left of the fortress above ground is a 6m-high Ottoman-era wall, covered in vines. The recently uncovered wall foundations will be incorporated into the pedestrianised street.

The old Castle of Tirana, converted into a small bazaar for visitors. It is full of bars and restaurants and it's style is unique, when you walk through it gives you a feeling like you're walking in another city, completely different from other places of the capital. Also in this shot is captured clearly the daily crowded avtivity and the vivacity of this place.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

Walking Tours in Tirana, Albania

Create Your Own Walk in Tirana

Create Your Own Walk in Tirana

Creating your own self-guided walk in Tirana is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Communist Heritage Sites

Communist Heritage Sites

For the first 25 years of Albania’s post-communist history, the last thing people wanted to be reminded of was the political repression and economic hardship they had so recently succeeded in getting rid of. Recently, however, national and local authorities have begun to invest in conserving some of the more notable communist sites and curating them so that Albanians and visitors can learn about...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles