Tirana is the capital of Albania and it’s known for its beautiful colors. When someone travels to Albania their first encounter will be Tirana. As the only airport in Albania is located near Tirana. However, choosing a trip from Tirana to somewhere else might be a bit difficult as one is not sure what to visit first. Below we have made a list of the best day trips from Tirana for everyone who travels to Albania by plane.
We start this trip in Tirana to drive towards Kruja. Where you’ll experience a step back in medieval history by visiting the castle and Scanderbeg Museum.
Kruja is one of the most important towns for the Albanians because during the 15th century it withstood successfully to at least 3 major sieges by the Ottoman Empire.
The medieval hero Gjergj Kastrioti called “Scanderbeg” is considered not only by Albanians as a symbol of resistance and savior. But also by ottomans who believed that a supernatural force dwelled in him.
Therefore after his death, they destroyed his tomb and took parts of his bones to keep them as a charm for good luck. Walk in the Old Bazaar full of old shops that sell traditional handmade items.
Next is Tirana where as you walk around the Scanderbeg square, you’ll see an interesting complex of buildings. Moreover, these buildings reflect the periods that have influenced Tirana’s architecture.
Only the Clock Tower and Et’hem Bey Mosque remain reminders of the city’s Ottoman past.
The communist government left its own footprint by destroying the Ottoman Bazaar. Next, the Et’hem Bey Mosque, where you’ll learn about the difficulties the clergy made it face especially after 1967 when freedom of religious expression was a crime.
The mosque, built in 1821 by Et’hem Bey, is in typical Turkish style.
Continue to King’s Palace and National Martyrs Boulevard. Here you’ll get to know a piece of the daily life of former dictator Enver Hoxha. Visit the bllok and the pyramid that represent the communist rule.
Once you get to the city we will take you to Berat Castle which dates back to 4rth century BC. There you will learn that Berat was invaded three times by the Ottomans, Romans, and Bulgarians. Only to become later on a big principality under the rule of Albanian noble family of Muzaka in the 14th century. Visit the castle as one of the most marvelous sights of the city. It is one of the biggest inhabited Castles and has many Byzantine churches, as well as some mosques built during the Ottoman era which began in 1417.
Our walk in the castle will take us to the Onufri Museum which is set up inside the Cathedral “Assumption of Saint Mary ” renovated in the 18th century. Besides the beautifully carved Iconostasis you will admire as well the icons of the renowned Albanian painter “Onufri”. As we drive down to the city center we will visit the medieval center. Where is located the King Mosque, and the Helveti Tekke.
Meanwhile, learn about the interesting cohabitation of two religious groups close to one another. The next stop is in the old quarters of Mangalem and Gorica that connect with each other by the Gorica Bridge over the Osumi River. Both quarters take pride in their architecture and the rare shapes of the houses.
We start our journey from Tirana, and we drive towards the beautiful city of Shkodra to discover it’s beauty and story. Shkodra where we will visit the Rozafa Castle and the beautiful streets where the famous Albanian promenade happens.
After your tour of the castle, you will visit the museum. The museum will shed light on every stone and ruin you have visited so far.
In addition to the story of the castle, the museum showcases artifacts from the Hellenistic and medieval periods up until World War I.
Then you will see the famous pedestrian road of Shkodra. After your tour in Shkodra, we will drive back to Tirana.
Visit one of the most famous attractions of Beautiful Albania, the thermal baths located in Benje Permet, is a must-see in a day trip when traveling Albania.
The waters with their beautiful blue color and the warmth are so amazing you will be left speechless. Located near one of the last wild rivers of Albania, river Vjosa these thermal baths are great for your health. Moreover, they are divided into different baths and they offer qualities for the body and face.
Meanwhile, they are completely healthy but probably if you have heart diseases you should consult your doctor beforehand. A stone bridge arcs over the river with beautiful blue and green waters with steam.
Moreover, you are traveling there from the noise of the capital of Albania. And you will get to see amazing mountain ranges. However, that is not all, you will get to see the amazing Gorge of Kelcyra, the fantastic views of high mountains of Trebeshine and Nemerce laying on top of each other overlooking the beautiful Vjosa River.
Moreover, the trip will take you to one of the oldest and prettiest churches in the area, the Saint Mary Church. Located in the village of Leuse this church is ancient and very well preserved. It is one of the places you should visit if you ever travel to Albania.
Ohrid is named after the lake, and it has been many years considered as the Jerusalem of Balkans for the many churches it consists of.
It must be remembered, that you can see the churches are spread all around the city so you can choose whichever you would like. One of the most beautiful and important churches is St Sophia. A Byzantine church that holds historical importance.
During the Ottoman period, they converted the church into a mosque.
Meanwhile, it is a beautiful city with picturesque views, monuments, and houses. The region is under UNESCO heritage protection. While Ohrid’s bazaar is a must to see in the city, the street where it’s located is named after St Clement.
The old town of Ohrid dates back to the Ottoman period, and it consists of cobblestone narrow streets. Here you can see what the city looked like in the past.
Explore the harbor area and the many churches that dot the town, including St. Sophia, St. Clement’s Church of the Holy Mother of God Most Glorious, and St. Pantelejmon.
Prizren itself is a stunning city with a lot of churches and mosques. A historical place set on the banks of River Bistrica and the slopes of Mountain Sharri
We visit the Fortress over the town hill, (appropriate footwear recommended). Next, we visit the Museum of the League of Prizren. Also another important landmark for the locals and at the same time a tourist destination. It is the Mehmet Pasha Hamam, an old Turkish bath. Next, we will take a walk through Carshia e Vjeter, and admire old architectural buildings such as Sinan Pasha Mosque, St George Orthodox Cathedral, and many traditional small shops.
Visit the colorful city of Tirana.
Immerse yourself in the beautiful views of the city. Visit the National History Museum of Albania. Meanwhile there, learn about Albania’s history and tradition. Get to know the communist part of Tirana by visiting Bunk’art 2. Find yourself in the middle of the Scanderbeg Square from where you can see the Et’hem Bey mosque. The Et’hem Bey Mosque is one of the oldest buildings in Tirana that dates back to 1821. Built during the Ottoman invasion, the mosque is of outstanding beauty.
While, on Scanderbeg Square, learn how the square has changed its view many times during different political changes. Observe the tiles that come from every corner of Albania. Even though, Tirana is one of the most modern as well as antique cities in Balkans. It is known for its street art, which dominates through every corner of the city. Also, the colorful buildings, tasty food, beautiful coffee shops, and a not so ancient pyramid dominate through the city. Tirana will leave you breathless.
Take a break from Montenegro and travel in a comfortable vehicle to see beautiful Albania. Do not miss this chance.