Tirana - a colourful mixture of a city
Albania's largest city, Tirana combines fascinating features of its history in a delightful mixture from ancient Illyrian to Communism. Its architecture, the wonderful Museum, Art Gallery and the city's lively commercial activity evidence a huge variety that is interesting and unusual. Delicious food and nearby attractions make Tirana a worthwhile destination.
Travel at the best time
Tirana has a hot Mediterranean climate with temperatures in summer reaching the thirties with little rain. Expect some snow and rain in winter. To explore the city and its surroundings, choose April to October to avoid the very hot months of July and August. If you are wanting nearby beaches get there before the rush by going in June. If you are heading to the mountains, August is ideal. Tirana's Festivals are becoming a strong feature for travellers, with the Film Festival at the beginning of December and the Jazz Festival generally in July. The Orthodox Easter date varies and is usually between 0 to 5 weeks after Northern European Easter. Easter celebrations and processions are memorable, especially in the older areas of the city.
Plan before you go
As a UK citizen you will not require a visa if your visit is 90 days or less. Check that your passport is valid for at least 6 months from entry date. Recommended vaccines for Albania is Hepatitis A. If you go for a longer stay Hepatitis B is also wise, and rabies should be considered. You will find cheaper prices in Tirana - about around 60% lower than in UK. For approximately 700 lek you can get a cheap meal out and street food cost even less. Try the fresh and traditional sufllaqe, doner, gjiro which cost 200 lek or so.
Tirana's transport and accommodation network
Taxis, found in front of the airport terminal, cost about 2,500 Lek from Nënë Tereza, the international airport and take about 25 minutes for the 17km journey to Tirana. From 1 am till 6 pm Rinas bus runs every hour for about 250 lek. Travel to or from the Port (Durres) you can use the shuttle bus; about 500 lek per person. visitors will find budget accommodation in shared rooms to be around 1400 lek while a single room in mid-priced hotel costs around 4000 lek. There is an accommodation tax for all hotels at about 1000 lek. The buses are slow but good for sightseeing. Approximately 30 lek one way. The "Unaze" buses travel the ring road. If you take a taxi you can get a flat rate of around 250 lek, 300 lek at night. Taxis are metered. The city is very accessible and enjoyable to walk around.