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Tirana
Tiranë

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Tirana is located in Albania
Tirana
Location of Tirana within Tirana District
Coordinates: 41°19′48″N 19°49′12″E / 41.33°N 19.82°E / 41.33; 19.82
Country  Albania
County Tirana County
District Tirana District
Borough 11 Municipal Units
Founded 1614
Government
 - Mayor Edi Rama (PS)
Area
 - Total 41.8 km2 (16.1 sq mi)
Elevation 110 m (361 ft)
Population (2008-September-01)[1]
 Density 14,746/km2 (38,192/sq mi)
 - Municipality 726,547
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 1001-1028[2]
Area code(s) 04
Car Plates TR
Website www.tirana.gov.al

Tirana (Albanian: Tiranë or Tirana) is the capital and the largest city of Albania. Modern Tirana was founded in 1614 by Sulejman Pasha. Tirana became Albania's capital city in 1920.

The Municipality of Tirana lies on the river Ishëm, about 20 miles (32 km) inland and is located at (41.33°N, 19.82°E) in Tirana District, Tirana County. Tirana's average altitude is 110 meters (361 ft) above sea level and its highest point measures 1,828 m (5,997.38 ft) at Mali me Gropa. The city is on the same parallel as Naples, Madrid and Istanbul and on the same meridian as Budapest and Krakow. In addition to Ishëm, the Tiranë river also runs through the city, whereas the Lanë river, running through much of the city, is a brook. The city also contains a total of four artificial lakes: Tirana Lake, Kodër-Kamëz Lake, Farka Lake, and Tufina Lake.

Contents

History

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Antiquity

The area now occupied by the city of Tirana has been populated since Paleolithic times[3] dating back 10,000 to 30,000 years ago, as evidence by tools that were found near Mount Dajt's quarry terrain, as well as inside the Cave of the Pellumba. Tirana's precincts are some of the earliest regions in Albania to be inhabited. Various remains discovered in fortresses, churches, villages, and during urban constructions in and around Tirana provide evidence for continuous activity throughout much of human history. The oldest discovery in the area of Tirana was a mosaic with several other remains, found at the Fountain of Shengjin near a medieval temple. A castle, possibly called Tirkan, was built by Emperor Justinian in 520 AD and restored by Ahmed Pasha Toptani in the 18th century. The area had no special importance in Illyrian and classical times. In 1418, Marin Barleti, an Albanian Catholic priest and scholar, referred to this area as a small village.

Ottoman rule

Tirana's Bazaar seen in a postcard of 1902

The records of the first land registrations under the Ottomans in 1431-32 show that Tirana consisted of 60 inhabited areas, with nearly 2,028 houses and 7,300 inhabitants. The 1583 census records show that Tirana had 110 inhabited areas, with 2,900 houses and 20,000 inhabitants. Süleiman Pasha Mulleti (or Sulejman Pashë Bargjini), a local ruler, established the Ottoman town in 1614 with a mosque, a commercial centre and a hammam (Turkish sauna). The town was located along caravan routes and grew rapidly in importance until the early 19th century.

During this period, the mosque in the centre of Tirana, the Et'hem Bey Mosque designed by Molla Bey of Petrela, began to be constructed. It employed the best artisans in the country and was completed in 1821 by Molla's son, who was also Sulejman Pasha's grandnephew. In 1800, the first new comers arrived in the settlement, the so-called ortodoksit. They were Vlachs from villages of Korçë and Pogradec who settled around the area of today's Artificial Lake of Tirana.[4] Later, they started to be known as the llacifac and were the first Christians to arrive after the foundation of the town. In 1807, Tirana became the center of the Sub-Prefecture of Krujë-Tirana. After 1816, Tirana languished under the control of the Toptani family of Krujë. In 1865, Tirana became a Sub-Prefecture of the newly created Vilayet of Shkodër and Sanjak of Durrës. The Albanian language started to be taught in Tirana's schools in 1889. The patriotic club "Bashkimi" was founded in 1908 while on 26 November 1912, the national flag was raised in agreement with Ismail Qemali. During the Balkan Wars, the town was temporarily occupied by the Serbian army, and in 1914-15, it took part in uprising of the villages lead by Haxhi Qamili.

Capital city

St Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral.

On February 8, 1920, Tirana was chosen as the temporary capital of Albania, which had acquired independence in 1912, by the Congress of Lushnja. The city retained that status permanently on December 31, 1925. From 1920 to 1924 Tirana experienced attacks from the army of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and the forces of Zogu at the Shkalla e Tujanit (Step of Tujan). The first regulatory plan of the city was compiled in 1923 by Eshref Frashëri, and completed by the Geographic Institute of Florence.[5] Durrës Street was opened in 1922 and called Nana Mbretneshë (Mother Queen). Many houses and surrounding properties were demolished to make way for it. In 1924, Tirana was the center of the Revolution of June lead by Fan S. Noli. Since 1925, when they were banned in Turkey, the Bektashis, an order of dervishes who take their name from Haji Bektash, a Sufi saint of the 13th and 14th centuries, made Tirana their primary settlement. The city was the venue where the Pact of Tirana was signed. The existing parliamentary building was raised in 1924 and first served as a club for officers. It was there, in September 1928, that King Zog I was crowned King.

Monarchy and war

The former building of Tirana's Municipality.
Fascist era building now used as the Ministry of Interior

The center of Tirana was the project of Florestano de Fausto and Armando Brasini, well known architects of the Benito Mussolini period in Italy. The Royal Palace (Palace of the Brigades), the Town Hall, the government ministry buildings, and the National Bank are their work. Dëshmorët e Kombit (National Martyrs) Boulevard was built in 1930 and named "Zogu I Boulevard". In the communist period, the part from Skanderbeg Square up to the train station was named "Stalin Boulevard". In 1939, Tirana was captured by Fascist forces. In November 1941, Enver Hoxha with other Albanian communists founded the Communist Party of Albania. The town became the center of the Albanian communists' in mobilizing the people of Tirana to fight against the Italian fascists and later Nazi Germans, while spreading ideological propaganda. The town was liberated after a fierce battle between the Communists and the people of Tirana against the German forces, on November 17, 1944. The Nazis eventually withdrew and the communists seized power.

Under communist rule

Enver Hoxha's mausoleum

Following the communist takeover, the city experienced a significant period of development. In terms of urbanization, the city witnessed the creation of socialist-styled apartment complexes and factories. In the 1960s, the historical identity of the city faced a critical moment as the central square was redesigned. As a result, a number of buildings of cultural and historical significance were demolished to make way for the formation of present-day Skanderbeg Square. The Old Bazaar used to be located near the modern Palace of Culture. The National Historic Museum was built on the grounds of the former building of the Municipality of Tirana, which was destroyed in the 1960s. The building that used to house the Parliament of Albania during King Zog's reign was turned into a children's theater and named the Dolls Theater.

Politically, a number of high-profile figures visited the city. In 1959, Soviet president Nikita Khruschev came to Tirana, and he laid the first brick on the foundations for the new Palace of Culture. In 1964, the Premier of the People's Republic of China, Zhou Enlai, met with Enver Hoxha. In 1985, Tirana served as the venue for the ceremonies after Hoxha's death. Four years later, Oskar Fischer, Minister for Foreign Matters of the German Democratic Republic, visited Tirana.

Transition period

The post communist period is described to have been the worst one in terms of the urban development of the city. Tirana experienced a chaotic development as high rise buildings started to be constructed without planning, and illegal structures rose on public areas. New informal districts started to form around the city as internal migrants gathered from around the country. During this period Tirana was transofrmed from a centrally planned economy to a market oriented economy. All the builidings and the apartaments were denationalized. A modern water-supply system and electrical-supply system was build during 1992-1996. These systems form the backbone of the modern Tirana.

Rebirth

The rehabilitation in the area around Lana river

The city experienced radical changes at the turn of the millennium. In 2000, a massive political campaign began to beautify and to liberate public space, which was previously occupied by illegal commercial establishments. The campaign, called Return to Identity, included the transformation of river banks, of parks, and of other public structures to their state before 1990. The overall infrastructure has improved as considerable number of roads have been reconstructed. More parks and squares have also been built giving Tirana a more "European" look. Common spaces between apartment buildings have been targeted by a subsequent campaign in bringing back green spaces and a vast number of illegal buildings have been demolished. It is observered that some existing green spaces are used for the construction of skyscrapers and multi-functional centers. Apartment buildings are being built on grounds of former residential houses. Tirana's mayor, Edi Rama, has led an initiative to paint the façades of Tirana's buildings in bright colours, although interiors of those building are still falling into ruins.[6][7]

There are future regulatory and building plans for Tirana. Some of them include: Skanderbeg's Square Rehabilitation, The Zone of the Lake, Priority Zone "E", etc. Tirana has still a lot of problems. A lot of tall buildings have been built during 2000-2010 without any plan and there's still no urban plan for the entire city.

Climate

Tirana has a typical Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot and dry summers and cool, wet winters.

Climate data for Tirana
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 19
(66)
22
(72)
26
(79)
28
(82)
33
(91)
37
(99)
38
(100)
40
(104)
35
(95)
31
(88)
25
(77)
22
(72)
40
(104)
Average high °C (°F) 12
(54)
12
(54)
15
(59)
18
(64)
23
(73)
28
(82)
31
(88)
31
(88)
27
(81)
23
(73)
17
(63)
14
(57)
Average low °C (°F) 2
(36)
2
(36)
5
(41)
8
(46)
12
(54)
16
(61)
17
(63)
17
(63)
14
(57)
10
(50)
8
(46)
5
(41)
Record low °C (°F) -8
(18)
-8
(18)
-4
(25)
-1
(30)
3
(37)
6
(43)
11
(52)
10
(50)
5
(41)
1
(34)
-3
(27)
-7
(19)
-8
(18)
Precipitation mm (inches) 135
(5.31)
152
(5.98)
128
(5.04)
117
(4.61)
122
(4.8)
86
(3.39)
32
(1.26)
32
(1.26)
60
(2.36)
105
(4.13)
211
(8.31)
173
(6.81)
Source: BBC Weather Service:Tirana 2010-03-18

Demographics

As of September 2008, the city's urban population was officially estimated at 616,396.[8]

In 1703, Tirana had about 4,000 inhabitants and by 1820 the number tripled to 12,000. The first census, conducted in 1923 (a few years after Tirana became capital city of Albania) showed a total population of 10,845. During the 1950s, Tirana experienced rapid industrial growth, and the population increased to about 137,000 by 1960. After the end of communist rule in 1991, Tirana experienced its fastest population growth as people from rural areas moved to the capital in search of a better life. In 1990, Tirana had 250,000 inhabitants, but the large-scale influx since then from other parts of the country has increased the population to well over 800,000.

Below is a detailed account of population development of Tirana through the years:

Tirana's development through the years

Tirana's expansion from 1990 to 2005: Both the population lived areas have doubled
Year Area
(km²)
Population
(inside city limits at that time)
Notes
1431-32 7,300 First land registration under Ottoman Empire
1583 20,000 Census of region of Tirana
1703 4,000
1820 12,000
1901 15,000
1923 10,845 First census of population
1930 8.0 25,079
1937 5.0 35,000
1945 59,900 1957 Regulatory Plan statistics
1950 10.6
1955 108,200 1957 Regulatory Plan statistics
1970 31.0 180,000 From the academic journal, Studime Historike
1985 15.4 200,000
1989 277,567 1989 National Census of Tirana County
2001 610,000 2001 National Census of Tirana County
2009 55 800,000 Civil Status Office of Tirana
The data refers to the numbers published on the official website of the Municipality of Tirana and INSTAT.[9][10]

Health

The largest hospital in Tirana is called Mother Theresa Hospital (Qëndra Spitalore Universitare Nënë Tereza), which is associated with University of Tirana, Faculty of Medicine. The Hospital is a 1,456-bed facility that offers comprehensive inpatient tertiary care to over 12,000 patients annually. The hospital is currently undergoing major changes in infrastructure and equipment.

Culture

"Taivani" one of Tirana's most modern and frequented restaurants. The nightlife of Tirana often surprises the city's visitors[11][12]
Dajti Mountain overlooking Tirana
Petrela Castle near Tirana.
National Historical Museum.
For a detailed list, see the Landmarks section below.

The main cultural and artistic institutions of Tirana are the National Theater, the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania, the National Gallery of Figurative Arts of Albania (Galeria Kombëtare e Arteve), and the Ensemble of Folk Music and Dances. Another cultural event includes performances of renown world composers performed by the Symphonic Orchestra of the Albanian Radio and Television. The city has been a venue for the Tirana Biennale and Tirana Jazz Festival.

Tirana is home to historical and cultural sites:

  • Tirana Castle (Kalaja e Tiranës), the historical core of the capital
  • Church of Kroi of Shëngjin (Kisha e Kroit të Shëngjinit)
  • Prezë Castle (Kalaja e Prezës)
  • Petrelë Castle (Kalaja e Petrelës)
  • Tirana's Mosque of Et'hem Bej (Xhamia e Tiranës)
  • The Center of Tirana, as a monumental ensemble,
  • The Bridge of Tobaccoes (Ura e Tabakëve),
  • Kapllan Pasha's Grave (Varri i Kapllan Pashës)
  • The Clock Tower (Kulla e Sahatit)

Tirana has 8 public libraries, one being the National Library of Albania (Biblioteka Kombëtare), 5 museum-houses and 56 cultural monuments.[13]

Education

Tirana is host to the University of Tirana, Polytechnic University of Tirana, Agricultural University of Tirana, Academy of Physical Education and Sports, national and international academic research institutions, as well as NGOs.

Tirana has seen the creation of a vast number of private academic institutions. They include University of New York, Tirana, Luarasi University, Zoja e Këshillit të Mirë, Academy of Film and Multimedia "Marubi", and many others.

Additional public academic institutions include the Academy of Music and Arts of Albania, the Academy of Sciences of Albania, the Skanderbeg Military University and the Institute of the Ministry of the Interior.

Districts

The Municipality of Tirana is divided into 11 smaller administrative units referred to as Njësi Bashkiake (Municipal Units). These are made up of their own mayor and council, and sometimes are also known as Mini-Bashki (Mini-Municipality).

In 2000, the centre of Tirana, from the central campus of Tirana University up to Skanderbeg Square was declared the place of Cultural Assembly, and given special claims to state protection. In the same year, the area began a process of restoration under the name ‘Return to Identity’. The area to the west of the university, adjacent to Shën Prokopi Park, was formerly reserved for the occupation of important government and party officials. It remains a desirable residential area.

Economy

Tirana is Albania's major industrial centre. It has experienced rapid growth and established many new industries since the 1920s. The principal industries include agricultural products and machinery, textiles, pharmaceuticals, and metal products.

Tirana began to develop in the beginning of the 16th century, when a bazaar was established, and its craftsmen manufactured silk and cotton fabrics, leather, ceramics and iron, silver, and gold artifacts. Sited in a fertile plain, the Tirana area exported 2,600 barrels of olive oil and 14,000 packages of tobacco to Venice by 1769. In 1901, it had 140,000 olive trees, 400 oil mills, and 700 shops. The TID tower at 85 meters is being constructed in the city. It will redefine architecture in Albania.Tirana has also huge trade centers like City Park at 3 km square.

Environment

The city suffers from problems related to overpopulation, such as waste management, lack of running water and electricity as well as extremely high levels of air pollution from the 300,000 cars moving around the city. The problem is exacerbated by aging infrastructure. Despite the problems, Tirana has also experienced a very rapid growth in the construction of new buildings.[14] In recent years pollution has worsened as the number of cars has increased by several orders of magnitude. These are mostly older, diesel cars that pollute much more than the newer models in circulation elsewhere in Europe. Additionally, most of the fuel used in Albania contains larger amounts of sulfur and lead than that allowed in European Union countries. In recent years pollution from construction has become a major concern for the inhabitants of the city. Another peril to the city comes from untreated solid waste. The National Park (former Saint Prokopius Park), a vast forested park in the outskirts of the city, has some effect on absorbing CO2 emissions. Tirana is cleaned by government workers everyday, and trees have been planted around many sidewalks. Mayor Edi Rama has promised that he will plant 100,000 more trees in Tirana. He has claimed that by 2012-2014 Tirana will have the cleanest air in the Balkans. This will increase Albania's life expectancy. So far over 2000 trees have been planted.

Media

Tirana is the media hub of Albania. The city is home to the headquarters of the Albanian Radio and Television (RTSH), Albania's public broadcaster, and national commercial broadcasters such as Top Channel and TV Klan. Numerous radio stations operate in the capital, the most notable being Radio Tirana, followed by commercial Top Albania Radio and Plus 2 Radio. Tirana is home to the publication of a vast number of dailies: Shqip, Zëri i Popullit, Shekulli, Gazeta Shqiptare and Koha Jonë being the most famous.

Notable people

Below are some of the most notable personalities born in Tirana or that spent most of their lives in Tirana:

Sports

Tirana is the major centre for sport in Albania. Tirana's football clubs are the biggest in Albania. Tirana has two stadiums, Qemal Stafa stadium with a capacity of 20,000 people. This is the main and biggest stadium in Albania. The second stadium is Selman Stermasi stadium which can hold 11,000 people. The Tirana sportive infrastructure is developing fast because of Municipality and MTKRS investments. From 2007 Tirana Municipality has build up to 80 sport gardens in most of Tirana neighbourhoods.

Transport

SH 2 - Tirana's Overpass from Durrës

Municipal, national and international transport links have developed over recent years as demand has increased. Until recent years, overland connections through Greece and Montenegro have had various problems with bureaucracy or security. The following section is liable to change and is only indicative.

Bus

Local transport within Tirana is by bus or taxi. Group taxis (known as 'furgons') running multiple passengers operate on many pre-determined but unofficial routes and departure times are dictated by when sufficient passenger numbers justufy running costs. Coach and minibus services also run, again according to demand, to the coast and northern and southern Albania from different locations in Tirana. International coach services connect to Greece, via Korçë or Kakavije, to Kosovo via the new Durres-Morine highway, and to the Republic of Macedonia via Struge.

Rail

There are regular passenger services to Durrës and Pogradec, via Elbasan. The railway station is north of Skanderbeg Square, in Boulevard Zogu I. There are no international passenger services, although there is a freight-only railway through Shkodër to Montenegro (though this is currently disused).

Air

Tirana International Airport Mother Theresa (Nënë Tereza in Albanian), also known as Rinas Airport, was reconstructed in 2007. It is located 15 kilometres northwest of the city, off the road to Durrës. Airlines using Rinas include Albanian Airlines. Flights run to Athens, London, Rimini, Bari, Genoa, Rome, Bologna, Munich, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Vienna among other places. It is one of the biggest airports in the region. Several foreign airlines also serve Rinas Airport: Alitalia (from Rome and Milan), British Airways (from London Gatwick Airport), Austrian Airlines (from Vienna), Adria Airways (Ljubljana), Jat Airways (Belgrade), Malev (Budapest), Olympic Air (Athens), Hemus Air (Sofia) and Turkish Airlines (Istanbul). In summer there is a direct charter flight from JFK, New York.

Sea

Tirana uses the port city of Durrës that is only 36 km distant from the capital. Passenger ferries from Durrës sail to Trieste, Ancona, Otranto, Brindisi, Bari, Lecce, Genova (Italy), Zadar, Dubrovnik (Croatia), Maribor, Koper (Slovenia), Gdansk (Poland), Bar (Montenegro), Corfu (Greece), etc.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Tirana is twinned with:[15]

See also

References and notes

  1. ^ INSTAT
  2. ^ (Albanian) Kodi postar Posta Shqiptare. www.postashqiptare.al. Retrieved on 2008-11-13
  3. ^ As argued by Prof. Dr. Muzafer Korkuti, an Albanian archeologists and researcher. "Tirane si qëndër e Historisë dhe Trashëgimisë Kulturore"
  4. ^ (Albanian) ""Tiranasit" e ardhur rishtaz". Gazeta Shqiptare. http://www.forumishqiptar.com/showthread.php?t=11897. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 
  5. ^ (Albanian) Faja, Agim (2005-11-25). "Historia e Tiranës, në foto të rralla". Tirana Observer. http://www.tiranaobserver.com.al/20051124/histori.htm. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 
  6. ^ "A bright and colourful new style of urban design emerges in Albania". Resource for Urban Design Information. http://www.rudi.net/pages/16989. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  7. ^ Pusca, Anca (2008). "The aesthetics of change: Exploring post-Communist spaces". Global Society 22 (3): 369–386. doi:10.1080/13600820802090512. http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a794006280~db=all~order=page. 
  8. ^ (Albanian) Statistika 2008 - 9 mujori Municipality of Tirana. www.tirana.gov.al. Retrieved on 2009-01-04.
  9. ^ (Albanian) Population statistics of the Municipality of Tirana
  10. ^ (Albanian) Population projections from INSTAT
  11. ^ http://www.tirana.gen.al/nightlife.php
  12. ^ http://en.arrivalguides.com/guide.php?dest=TIRANA&lang=en&part=barsandnightlife
  13. ^ (Albanian) Statistikat 2007 Municipality of Tirana. www.tirana.gov.al. Retrieved on 2008-07-20
  14. ^ Cameron, Rob (3 December 2004). "Tirana: Where the streets have no name". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4062429.stm. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab "Twinning Cities: International Relations" (PDF). Municipality of Tirana. www.tirana.gov.al. http://www.tirana.gov.al/common/images/International%20Relations.pdf. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  16. ^ "Barcelona internacional - Ciutats agermanades" (in Spanish). © 2006-2009 Ajuntament de Barcelona. http://w3.bcn.es/XMLServeis/XMLHomeLinkPl/0,4022,229724149_257215678_1,00.html. Retrieved 2009-07-13. 
  17. ^ "Sister Cities". Beijing Municipal Government. http://www.ebeijing.gov.cn/Sister_Cities/Sister_City/. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  18. ^ International Relations. Municipality of Tirana. www.tirana.gov.al. Retrieved on 2008-01-25.

Notes:

a.   ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo. The Assembly of Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence on 17 February 2008, a move that is recognised by 65 of the 192 UN member states and the Republic of China (Taiwan), but not by other UN member states. Serbia claims it as part of its own sovereign territory.

External links

Coordinates: 41°19′34″N 19°48′58″E / 41.326°N 19.816°E / 41.326; 19.816


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Balkans : Albania : Tirana
A view of downtown Tirana from Skytower
A view of downtown Tirana from Skytower

Tirana is the capital of Albania.

Understand

Sulejman Pasha Bargjini, a native feudal lord from Mullet, established the city in 1614. His first constructions were a mosque, a bakery and a hamam (Turkish sauna). On February 8, 1920 Tirana was made the temporary capital by the Congress of Lushnja, and it was made the permanent capital on December 31, 1925.

Tourists usually find Tirana a beautiful and charming city, with a lively night life. Tirana suffers from pollution problems, mainly due to the rapid increase in cars in the city. Tirana is subject to power outages almost daily. Tirana is a noisy city as the lack of power and lack of traffic lights have cars navigating by honking their horns. However, They are completely closing the central square to autos soon which will make the center of town even more pedestrian and tourist friendly.Tirana is undergoing a major renovation from its communist days. Many of the ugly dull buildings have been repainted, but a lot of work is left to be done. The average citizen speaks little English.

Get in

By train

Tirana has no international train connections. You can only reach Tirana by train from the following cities: Durrës (55 lek, one hour, 8 daily), Shkodra (120 lek, 3.5 hours, twice daily), Elbasan (160 lek, 4 hours, 3 daily), Vlorë (210 lek, 5.5 hours, twice daily) and Pogradec (245 lek, 4 hours, twice daily). Even though train services are very poor, when compared to West Balkan standards, they may be more frequent, cheaper, and more scenic than taking the bus.

Intercity buses near Tirana's main stadium
Intercity buses near Tirana's main stadium

Buses can be used to reach Tirana from other cities in Albania and internationally. There is daily bus service from Turkey, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, and Athens, Greece and multiple services per day to Pristina, Kosovo and other cities in Albania. Schedules change frequently so check the latest info in your place of departure.

From Montenegro, take a bus or taxi to Ulcinj, then take a bus or taxi to Shkodra in Albania, crossing the border at Muriqan. Buses leave Shkodra frequently for Tirana.

Buses to and from Kosovo depart from downtown (behind museum where one also can find buses to Rinas airport)

Buses and furgons are generally the best method for traveling within Albania, but they are not in the best of shape. There are few bus companies; many are operated by individual drivers. There are no set schedules for domestic buses - coaches depart when they are full, or at the whim of the driver.

There are no bus stations for inter-city buses; they stop at unmarked street corners. You will likely have to ask the locals where exactly the stop is, even for international bus lines. Some are far from the center so it may be worth taxing a taxi to the bus stop to save time and energy and avoid getting lost. Pickpockets are an issue on the buses.

By plane

Tirana is served by Mother Teresa Airport (TIA), 17 km from the center of town.

The following airlines offer service to/from Tirana:

Adria Airways (Ljubljana), Aegean Airlines (Athens), Albanian Airlines (Amsterdam, Athens, Bologna, Frankfurt, Istanbul-Atatürk, London-Stansted, Milan-Malpensa, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Prishtina, Rome, Turin, Verona, Zürich), Air One (Milan-Malpensa, Rome-Fiumicino), Austrian Tyrolean Airways (Vienna), Belle Air (Ancona, Bari, Bologna, Cuneo, Florence, Forli, Genoa, Milan-Malpensa, Milan-Orio al Serio, Parma, Perugia, Pisa, Pristina, Rimini, Rome-Fiumicino, Trieste, Venice-Treviso, Verona, Zurich), British Airways (London-Gatwick), Lufthansa (Munich), Malév Hungarian Airlines (Budapest), Olympic Air (Athens), Sky Express (Heraklion), Tafa Air (Berlin-Neubrandenburg, Dortmund, Friedrichshafen, Prishtina), Turkish Airlines (Istanbul-Atatürk)

Rinas Express operates an hourly bus between 6:00am and 6:00pm between the airport and Skanderberg Square. The bus costs 250 lek. A taxi to the center costs around 2,000 lek and takes 20-25 minutes. [1]

By boat

Tirana is not a port, so you can't get there directly by boat. There are, however, reasonable sea routes from Italy (from the ports in Bari, Trieste, and Ancona) to Durrës, from where you can take the train (which comes approximately every two hours) or a bus to Tirana. You could also rent a car and be in Tirana in about 20 minutes. Traveling by boat is a pretty good alternative to traveling to Tirana, especially if you are arriving from Italy.

Get around

By bus

Public transportation in Tirana consists of a number of intra-city bus lines.

By foot

The city center is small enough to be explored through walking.

By taxi

A ride across town should cost 400 lek during the day, 600 lek at night,raffly 4-5 euro. Negotiate a price before entering.

By car

EBRD is lending the Albanian government €14.6 million to work and fix roads in Tirana. Part of the loan will be used to upgrade the Tirana ring road.

Et'hem Bey Mosque & Clock Tower
Et'hem Bey Mosque & Clock Tower
  • Sheshi Skënderbej (Skanderbeg Square). Tirana's city center. The National History Museum, Mosque and clock tower are all right off this square. A statue of Albanian hero Skanderbeg, stands in the square. Planned renovations will make the square a sight to see.The theater of Opera and Ballet, National Theater, Gallery of Figurative Arts, Palace of Congresses, the Natural Sciences Museum etc..  edit
  • Bulevardi Deshmoret e Kombit. Potholed-filled street extending south from Skanderberg Square. This street features many magnificent government buildings.  edit
  • National Art Gallery, Bulevardi Deshmoret e Kombit. 9:00am to 7:00pm. 13th century pieces, modern art, socialist art. 100 lek.  edit
  • Kulla e Sahatit (Clock Tower). 09:00-13:00, 16:00-18:00. Closed Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday. Positioned in the city center, this tower has become a symbol of Tirana. It is one of the oldest constructions in Tirana, built in the 1820's. 10 lek.  edit
  • Et'hem Bey Mosque. 08:00 - 22:00 (summer), 08:00 - 19:00 (winter). Construction of this mosque took about 28 years and finished in 1821. It is considered one of the most beautiful mosques in Albania with very interesting decorations and art-work within it.  edit
  • Martyrs' Cemetery. This is the cemetery where the remains of 900 partisans that fought for Tirana are buried. Here one can also find the 12m statue of Mother Albania (1972). Hoxha was buried here in 1985 but exhumed in 1992 and moved to the other side of the city.  edit
  • National History Museum, +355 4 222 34 46. 10:00-17:00, closed Mondays. The main museum in Tirana, it is in the center of the city, easily recognizable because of a huge mosaic standing on top of its front facade. It contains many artifacts ranging from ancient times through Hoxha's regime. Repeated looting in the 1990s has robbed the museum of many artefacts, but it remains the best place in Albania to learn its history. Harrowing exhibition about Albania's gruesome labour camp system. Not enough English. 300 lek.  edit
  • Petrela Castle. This is one of Albania's best preserved castles, found a short distance south of Tirana.It is known as an ancient settlement 2000 years old and was commanded by princess Mamica, the sister of the national hero, Skanderbeg.  edit
International Center of Culture (former Enver Hoxha museum) know also as Piramida
International Center of Culture (former Enver Hoxha museum) know also as Piramida
  • Mount Dajti. 1,612m high. Offers great views of Tirana. A very relaxing area, mount Dajti can be reached through an Austrian-built express cable car. The view along the route is worth the cost even if you don't stay atop the mountain.A place where one can spend holidays and engage in various activities like trekking, excursions, sky sports,ski etc.The area has a limited number of hotels and restaurants, but it is great for taking a breath of fresh air, mountain sports, or to just get out of the city for a while. Unfortunately, litter is becoming a problem on Mount Dajti. This detracts from the experience somewhat, but the beautiful scenery still makes the trip worthwhile. 500 lek.  edit
  • Piramida (International Center of Culture). The pyramid was built in 1987 according to the design of Enver Hoxha's daughter and was originally a museum of her father. Today it's a venue for many conventions and art events. US president George W Bush gave a speech in front of this building. The building was the most expensive erected under communism, and there are plans for future changes into it. The new designs are worked by architectural firm associated with Hoxha's daughter.  edit
  • Blloku (The Block). This area, prior to the fall of communism, was reserved solely for government officials and was not allowed to be entered by the commoner. Opened to the public in 1991. It has since become the number one spot for Tirana's youth. Among the apartment blocks, one can find some of Tirana's best cafés, shops, and restaurants. The streets, especially in summer afternoons, are filled with Tirana's citizens. You can also find here the villa of the former dictator, Enver Hoxha.  edit
  • Kopshti Zoologjik Tiranë (Tirana Zoo). 09:00 - 18:00. Visiting this zoo is an odd experience; there are few animals but you will see them at remarkably close range. 50 lek.  edit
  • Rruga Presidenti George Bush (Bush Street). This street was named after US President George W. Bush in honor of his recent visit.  edit
Small park in downtown Tirana
Small park in downtown Tirana
  • Grand Park aka Parku Kombetar (and Other Parks), (southern part of the city). People have picnics and have fun, and the natural beauty allows it because of the huge trees, open spaces, and mountains surrounding them. An artificial lake lies in the middle of the Park. It is popular with locals and tourists as a place to walk around and enjoy a lunch or coffee at one of the restaurants or cafés. Over 120 types of plants.   edit
  • Biblioteka Kombëtare e Shqipërisë (National Library of Albania). The library holds over a million books and is known for its ancient collections.  edit
  • Tajvani (The Taiwan). This beautiful place in the heart of downtown Tirana. It includes restaurants, casinos, bars, a club, etc. It is surrounded by a huge lit water fountain with a glowing bridge that reaches to the restaurant, and is an ideal place for all ages. Children enjoy gourmet ice cream and iced European soft drinks, whilst adults and teens can enjoy fun casinos. This is an excellent tourist attraction, and many Albanian celebrities can be found in the area.  edit
  • Tirana International Film Festival (Tirana Film Fest), [2]. This annual film festival held at the end of November and beginning of December highlights the work of ethnic Albanian artists.  edit

Buy

There are plenty of ATMs accepting Cirrus/Maestro and VISA around the city (and there is one at the airport).

  • Adrion International Bookshop, Palace of Culture, Skanderberg Square, 235 242. 8:30am to 9:30pm. Magazines and newspapers from around the world. English books available.  edit

Eat

There are many excellent, inexpensive restaurants in Tirana serving all kinds of food (but good luck finding a taco!).

Budget

Small shops and roadside vendors throughout the city sell foods such as sufllaqe, doner, and gjiro for less than 200 lek. Also try the local specialty, byrek.

  • Gloria. Excellent food (Italian and Albanian) with incredible service. Prices are very reasonable.  edit
  • King House. Combination of excellent Albanian and Italian food. Always very popular with expats and locals. Prices Reasonable.  edit
  • Restaurant Paulo @ Hotel Mondial, [3].  edit

Drink

Raki is Albania's national alcohol; try boza for something non-alcoholic, the most famous of which is Pacara Boza, + 355 692481122, [4]. 1 bottle of 1.5 litters~100 lek.  edit

  • Sky Tower, Rr Dëshmorët e 4 Shkurtit, Blloku, 221 666. Rotating bar offers great views of the city. This is a must! The rotation is a bit jerky and may leave you slightly seasick.
  • Spirit Bar @ Hotel Mondial, [5]. Beautiful views of Tirana with a swimming pool.  edit
  • Freddy's Hostel, Ground Floor, 75 Bardhok Biba Street (200m from the National History Museum), [6]. Most rooms contain en suite, air conditioning, and cable TV. Dorm rooms contain only 2 or 3 beds and no bunk beds. Free wifi. Dorm bed: 1,770 lek; Double: 4,700 lek.  edit
  • Hotel Brinker, (close to the town center (5 min walking)), (). Clean, safe, nice private rooms with private bathroom and shower, well maintained, friendly, all of the staff spoke English, they take credit cards. Double: €35.  edit
  • Tirana Backpackers Hostel, Rruga Elbasanit 85 (Near Skanderberg Square), [7]. Small hostel, with just 25 beds, situated in a beautiful villa built in 1940. Dorms are spacious and well lighted, back garden. Dorm bed: 1,770 lek.  edit
  • Hotel Baron Tirana, Rruga Elbasanit (near Mother Albania Statue, Qemal Stafa Stadium, and University of Tirana), (0)4 2467649, [8]. Meeting facilities include conference rooms, a ballroom, and banquet facilities. Single: €35; Double/twin: €50; Triple: €55; Quad: €65.  edit
  • Hotel City Tirana (Hotel City Tirana), Rruga Ismail Qemali, Nr8/1 Tirana Albania, +355 4 2247799 (, fax: +355 4 2247799), [9]. Family-owned hotel with exquisite service. Single: €34-€50; Double: €75.  edit
  • Hotel Meg Klaus, Hotel Meg Klaus (in a courtyard, street off Rr.Mine Peza), +355 4 223 92 14 (fax: +355 4 225 92 36). 11 rooms. TV, air-con and bathroom worked fine. No restaurant (and no breakfast included) but a hotelbar. Some staff had trouble speaking English. singles €30, doubles €40.  edit
  • Hotel Airport Tirana (Hotel Airport Tirana), Rinas Tirana International Airport Mother Teresa Tirana Albania (near the Rinas (Tirana) Airport), +355 48300190 (, fax: +355 4 48300191), [10]. Grand hotel with every modern amenity. Single: 8,850 lek; Double: 11,800 lek.  edit
  • Hotel Brilant Antik, Rr. Jeronim De Rada (Just across the street from Parliament, about 5 minutes walk from Skanderbeg Square.), +355 4 2251166. Excellent rooms and helpful staff. €200, breakfast included.  edit
  • Hotel Grand, Rr. Ismail Qemali 11 (close to the center of Tirana), [11]. A small, 3 star standard hotel. Single: €120; Double: €160.  edit
  • Hotel Mondial. Prestigious 4-star hotel. 28 rooms.  edit
  • Hotel Theranda (Hotel Theranda), Rr. Andon Zako Cajupi, Villa 6 & 7, Tirana, Albania (two minutes from the centre, Blloku District), +355 4 2273766 / 689, [12]. Boutique Hotel. Single: €70 to €100; Double/Twin: €90 to €130.  edit
  • President Hotel. Small hotel located in the bllok area.  edit
  • Rogner Hotel Europapark, [13]. Part of the Rogner chain of hotels, this modern hotel is located where the headquarters of the communist party were planned to be built before the fall. Centrally located and very luxurious. Beautiful gardens and an outdoor swimming pool that is always freezing.The hotel is located in the centre of hospitality. The comfort has five stars. Security is unsurpassed. Single: €152 to €176 +tax; Double/Twin: €170 to €201 +tax.  edit
  • Sheraton Hotel and Towers, (Near the stadium), [14]. One of Tirana's newest, largest, and most modern hotels. Single: from €161; Double: from €216.  edit
  • Tirana International Hotel, (In Skanderberg Square), [15]. Centrally located, this hotel was built during communist times and has recently changed hands. There are plans for drastic changes in its appearance, and it still remains one of the major and best hotels in Albania. If you have the time have a truly magical lunch on the covered balcony of their one restaurant, the food and service is excellent, the food prices very reasonable. Weekend: Single: €60, Double: €70; Weekday: Single: €112, Double: €124-€142.  edit
  • Xheko Imperial Hotel Tirana, Rruga 4 Shkurti. Tirana, Albania, [16]. 48 luxurious rooms, equipped with all the modern amenities. Restaurant with Albanian traditional cuisine.  edit
  • Main Post Office & Telephone Center, Sheshi Cameria. Mon-Fri: 8:00am to 8:00pm.  edit
  • Center Internet, RR Brigada e VIII (Look for the yellow sign down the laneway). 24 hours. 100 lek per hour 100 lek per hour.  edit
  • Internet Point, RR Deshmoret e4 Shukrit 7. 24 hours. 100 lek per hour.  edit
  • ABC Family Health Center. Mon-Fri: 8:00am to 4:00pm. English-speaking doctors. Run by baptists. Consultation: US$60, Emergency Consultation: US$72.  edit
  • Drycleaning & Laundry, RR Hoxha Tahsim, 068-216-8268. Mon-Sat: 8:00am to 10:00pm; Sun: 9:00am to 1:00pm. 200 lek per large item.  edit
  • United Kingdom, British Embassy Rruga Skenderbeg 12 Tirana, (355) 4 223 4973 (fax: (355) 4 224 7697), [17].  edit
  • United States, Rruga e Elbasanit No. 103, Tirana, Albania, +(355) 4 2247 285 (fax: +(355) 4 2232 222), [18].  edit
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

TIRANA, a town of Albania, European Turkey, in the vilayet of Scutari; 20 m. E. by N. of Durazzo, at the southern extremity of the plain of Kroia. Pop. (1905) about 1 2,000. Tirana is beautifully situated on the border of the richly wooded highlands inhabited by the Mirdite Albanians. It is a picturesque town with a large bazaar and many mosques, gardens and olive groves. It was founded early in the 17th century and was long the see of a Greek bishop, although the majority of its inhabitants have always been Moslems. Kroia, the ancient stronghold of Scanderbeg, is 14 m. north.


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Pierre Emanuel Tirard >>


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Wikipedia

Contents

English

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Tirana

  1. The capital of Albania.

Derived terms

Translations

Anagrams


Albanian

Alternative spellings

Proper noun

Tirana

  1. Tirana, capital of Albania

Bosnian

Proper noun

Tirana f.

  1. Tirana, capital of Albania

Croatian

Proper noun

Tirana f.

  1. Tirana, capital of Albania

Polish

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Tirana f.

  1. Tirana

Declension

Singular only
Nominative Tirana
Genitive Tirany
Dative Tiranie
Accusative Tiranę
Instrumental Tiraną
Locative Tiranie
Vocative Tirano

Derived terms

  • tirańczyk m., tiranka f.
  • adjective: tirański

Serbian

Proper noun

Tirana f.

  1. Tirana, capital of Albania

Cyrillic spelling


Simple English

Tirana (Albanian: Tiranë or Tirana) is the capital city of Republic of Albania. It is the largest city in that country. The population of the city is estimated at 353,400 people (2003). Other people think there may be up to 1 million people who live in the city. Tirana was founded in 1614. It became Albania's capital city in 1920.



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