Noor-one of the coolest places in Tirana

‘Noor’ is that kind of bar that invites you to get cozy and warm in cold winter days. It is that place that inspires you even on rainy days, and on summer evenings where the terrace becomes very vivid.

Noor-one of the best bars bistros in Tirana

Noor is a bar and bistro, located in the heart of Tirana, near the shopping center "Toptani". With a pleasantly furnished modern ambience with traditional elements, Noor invites you for a breakfast, business lunch or aperitif with friends in the afternoons.

Noor-one of the best bars bistros in Tirana

If you like to look outside, the terrace environment is just for you, from where you can see, Toptan Palace, Abdi Toptani Street, and the multi-storey building of Maritim Plaza.

When you want a piadine or good Italian pastas, do not look further but go to ‘Noor’.

Noor-one of the best bars bistros in Tirana

The menu starts with antipasto, Italian piadine and delicious pasta. Every Wednesday and Thursday, is the day of aperitifs and "finger food". While on weekends you can enjoy a brunch with different specialties.

Noor-one of the best bars bistros in Tirana

Here you can enjoy lunch with your colleagues, you can combine the "business lunch" with your favorite dishes.

What makes a good place besides good food, modern and cozy environment? Definitely the service of the staff, for which it is worth noting that Noor’s staff is very friendly and professional.

Noor-one of the best bars bistros in Tirana

 You know the feeling when you find a place and you can’t wait to show it to your friends, this is the same feeling when we found out about Noor. Can’t recommend this place so much.


Best restaurants in Tirana

Albanian culinary is getting a high reputation around the world for its unique flavour and delicious recipes. Many bloggers are writing articles about our traditional cuisine, praising the traditional recipes which are a mix between Albanian, Turkish, Greek and Italian culinary . The best restaurants are located in Tirana, where you can always find a good place to eat almost in every corner or street of the city. Visit Tirana is promoting the city every day and we know well what are the best things to do here, so if you are visiting Tirana these days and need some hints about the best restaurants, here are our suggestions:

Gambero Gourmet

If you are looking for fine dinning restaurant in Tirana, then head to Gambero Gourmet, the place where you will get a superb culinary experience and service.

The first quality of the products, the latest word of technology used in the kitchen, the desire of the chiefs of the kitchen to bring you the best of you but not only, very reasonable and economical prices accompanied by over 140 different walnut labels make up the luxury of really in Gambero Gourmet.


Ballkoni i Dajtit

If you want to eat with a view go to Ballkoni i Dajtit, located on the top of the Dajti mountain. It is the last stop of “Dajti Ekspres” Cable Car. The restaurant offers a comfortable interior where you can dine and enjoy a wonderful view over Tirana. From there you have the city in the palm of your hand. Traditional and Mediterranean cuisine is offered here with a variety of choices. The restaurant is stylish, modern, comfortable and of course very warm and attractive for customers. If you visit Tirana, don't miss Ballkoni Dajtit!

UKA Farm

If you need to try the best of farm food, in a rural area, go to UKA Farm. Try the best wine and the tasty food and for sure you will come back. Uka is situated in Laknas, 15 minutes far from Tirana, close to Tirana International Airport. This two acres farm includes the restaurant, vineyard and the winery where the family produces its wine. The open air restaurant is set in the middle of a farm and provides a unique opportunity to taste and enjoy the local favor.

Uka Farm

Season Restaurant

Season Restaurant can tell by its name that you can go there and find the best dishes of each season.

This modern restaurant is located in the newly renovated area Pazari Ri (New Bazaar) offering freshly wood baked pizza, a selection of beverages and tasty dishes. The cuisine it’s mostly Italian, where you should go for pasta and pizza. The restaurant location at one of the oldest neighborhoods of Tirana, New Bazaar has preserved some traditional elements in the painting and pillows of the couches.

Season Restaurant


Hotel Colosseo Restaurant

Looking for somewhere to enjoy a romantic treat, or a group night out? Hotel Colosseo Resturant is the perfect place to relax, for lunch or dinner. Enjoy the tasty lunch and dinner menu from midday to 11 pm.

Tuck into a satisfying menu: seafood variety, classic Caesar salad, pasta and risotto, fresh fish and meat cooked with love from the Chef.

Hotel Colosseo Tirana

Elite Palace Restaurant

With a fine Mediterranean cuisine, the restaurant of Elite Palace is on those places that once you try, it’s hard to forget the experience. Located in an uphill overlooking Tirana, this a perfect place to get out the buzzling capital and enjoy some time in the serenity of nature. This restaurant isn’t just about having a lunch or dinner, but to dine with style. The charming decoration with gold and white makes you feel like dining in a royal palace, not to mention watering-mouth and art food served here. And the best is that prices are very reasonable.

Elite Palace Hotel Tirana


Info about Covid-19 in Albania

Information you need to know before travelling to Albania. What are the measurements and actual situation regarding Covid-19. The Ministry of Health announced updated movement restrictions in April 11th. 

There will be a daily curfew from 22:00 to 6:00am. Bars, restaurants, fast food, and other similar activities are prohibited from operating between 20:00pm and 6:00am, except for delivery services. Public movement is restricted during these hours except for work reasons, health care emergencies, or urgent needs. The e-Albania portal must be used for special permission to move during this time.

All travelers coming from different states from ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel.

  • Albania has confirmed more than 107,000 cases of COVID-19 within its borders.
  • Commercial flights returned to Albania on June 15, 2020. As of December 22, the Albanian government suspended all flights to and from Great Britain until further notice. 
  • The Ministry of Health announced that the movemant restrictions will continue the same. There will be a daily curfew from 8:00pm to 6:00am. Bars, restaurants, fast food, and other similar activities are prohibited from operating between 8:00pm and 6:00am, except for delivery services. Public movement is restricted during these hours except for work reasons, health care emergencies, or urgent needs. The e-Albania portal must be used for special permission to move during this time.
  • The Ministry of Health reopened all direct civilian air traffic to and from Great Britain.

— Public administration will telework; except for those providing essential services under strict security protocols.

— Wearing a mask in public areas, indoors and outdoors, for any individual 11 years old and above is mandatory.

— Preschools and kindergartens reopened.

— All cultural events and other large public gatherings in Albania are cancelled indefinitely.

— Professional sporting events have resumed, with no spectators allowed to attend.

— Malls and shops are open with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

— Hairdressers and dentists are open with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

— Restaurants and cafes are open.

— All indoor activity centers reopened.

— Beaches are open.

— Outdoor exercise is permitted.

— Libraries and museums are open.

— Public transportation has resumed.

— All maritime and air borders have reopened.


COVID-19 Testing:

In Albania PCR and/or antigen tests are available for foreign citizens. Test results are available within 72 hours.

Public Health Labs:

Currently, in order to be tested for COVID-19 by the Albanian public health authority one must have symptoms and a recommendation from the public health authority’s family doctor.  However, private testing labs will perform a test for a fee, and no symptoms or a doctor’s recommendation is required (see details below).

If you have an Albanian social security number you also have an assigned public health family doctor.

To learn who your public health family doctor is, call the IPH green line at 0-800-4040 to find out.

Tests are free of charge if done by the Albanian Institute of Public Health (IPH).

Private Labs:

Individuals can also arrange private testing by going to a private testing lab.  No symptoms or doctor’s order is required to arrange a private test, and no advance appointment is necessary.

According to the Albanian Ministry of Health and Social Protection, there are six private labs authorized to perform SARS-CoV-2 testing for administrative issues:

— American Hospital Laboratory (Tel: +355 4 222 5640)

— Biocheck Diagnostic (Tel: +355 4 242 7025)

— Genius Lab (Cell: +355 69 303 3026)

— German Hospital International (Cell: +355 67 200 4282)

— Intermedica (Tel: +355 4 220 0600)

— Noval Diagnostic (Cell: +355 68 804 2045)

— SALUS Lab (Cell: +355 68 205 3180)

The average cost for testing is: (PCR = 8,500 ALL or 85 USD) – (Antigen = 4,000 ALL or 40 USD). 

Hard copy letters of test results are provided within 24 to 72 hrs.  You can choose another method of delivery (e.g.: email or text) with the individual labs.

Stay home and contact the Albanian National Medical Emergency line at 127 if you believe that you have contracted the COVID-19 virus.

Wait for guidance before going to a medical facility.

More information can be obtained by calling the national green line at 0-800-4040 to find out.

Visit the website of the Albanian Ministry of Health and Social Protection and the Institute of Public Health for additional information.

For information on limited humanitarian exemptions, please review the following page “Covid-19 Testing Required for U.S. Entry”.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information:

The government of Albania has approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use.

Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.


Mass vaccination for the elderly has begun in health centers and centralized vaccination centers across the country. In the last 24 hours, 11,487 vaccinations have been performed with a combined calendar, for teachers, the elderly and health personnel.
Since the beginning of vaccination, a total of over 78 thousand doses of COVID vaccine have been administered.
31,645 vaccinations were given to health personnel and support staff, 26,158 vaccinations to the elderly and 20,582 vaccinations to teachers.
According to the age group, based on the national vaccination plan, initially follows the age group +85 years and +80 years who will be vaccinated in their health centers, while the age group +75 years and descending to +70 years, will be vaccinated in centralized vaccination centers.
The vaccination process is being carried out according to all safety and quality parameters by trained vaccination teams.

Visit the website of the Albanian Ministry of Health and Social Protection and the Institute of Public Health for additional information.


What to do in April in Tirana

We are living in difficult times, but this doesn’t mean we cannot enjoy life. The revitalization of nature comes as a message to cherish life with what is offered to us. That is why, Visit Tirana editors write monthly articles with recommendations on what to do on a specific month.

Weather gets warmer in April; the sunny days invites you for a walk or a picnic under the blooming trees.

COVID-19 updates

Before planning to visit Tirana, Albania get information from your embassy and information about COVID-19 situation. The Ministry of Health announced updated movement restrictions in March 25th. There will be a daily curfew from 20:00 to 6:00am. Bars, restaurants, fast food, and other similar activities are prohibited from operating between 20:00pm and 6:00am, except for delivery services. Public movement is restricted during these hours except for work reasons, health care emergencies, or urgent needs.

Art and Culture

For art lovers, museums and galleries are open and welcome visitors. Visits should be in line with coronavirus protection rules. You can see the new events here.

While theaters continue to show performances weekly livestreaming on their Facebook channels.

Happy Easters!

April 2,3,4 are the dates marked for Catholic believers who celebrate the resurrection of Christ. Every year, they  attend the Catholic Easter services at St. Paul's Cathedral in Tirana.



Nature activities

Weather is ideal for hiking, biking or a picnic with the family. The Artificial Park Lake is the most frequented as there are more facilities and a playground for children as well as reactive areas. While Farka Lake Park remains less crowed and you can quietly enjoy nature.

For those of you who are passionate about nature trips, climbing and hiking in the mountains, we have a list of natural places in Tirana.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Visit Tirana (@visit_tirana)

Do not forget to participate in the Instagram photo contest #TiranaSpring2021, post photos of spring in Tirana.

Stay safe and enjoy April in Tirana!


La festa di Nowruz in Albania

Nowruz  è una ricorrenza tradizionale persiano che si festeggia anche in Albania, in particolare dai credenti della setta Bektashi. Il termine Nawrūz  significa  "nuovo giorno" e  ricorre ogni anno in concomitanza con l’equinozio che indica l’inizio della primavera. Noto anche come  capodanno persiano, Nowruz è celebrato da centinaia di migliaia di persone in tutto il mondo, specialmente in Medio Oriente e nell’Asia centrale e meridionale.

Il giorno di Sultan Novruz è legato al compleanno di Imam Ali a Kaaba. In questo giorno tutto è rianimato, c'è speranza, risurrezione per tutta l'umanità. È un nuovo giorno in cui tutti sperano in un futuro migliore.

Il Giorno di Nowruz Day in Albania

"Nevruzi" deriva dal persiano e significa "Nuovo giorno", mentre "Sultan" è il titolo alto che indica l'importanza di questo giorno. La festa di Sultan Novruz è arrivata in Albania insieme alla fede di Bektashi nel XV e XVI secolo. Nel ventesimo secolo è diventata una festa nazionale.

Nowruz  in Albania

La dittatura comunista in Albania,  chiuse nel 1967 tutti gli oggetti di culto, compresi quelli della fede di Bektashi. In Albania il Giorno di Novruz, la festa più importante del Bektashi, è stato proclamato festa nazionale nel 1996. La setta Bektashi si spostò in gran parte nel sud del paese. I Bektashi sono  diffusi in anche in Kosovo e  Macedonia, dove, accanto ai sunniti, costituiscono la popolazione albanese di fede musulmana.

il Giorno di Nowruz Albania

A nord est di Tirana, si trova  Il Centro Mondiale dei Bektashi e presenta una vasta e notevole tekke con un accattivante museo nel seminterrato e un piccolo gift shop dove i visitatori possono acquistare vari souvenir del Bektashi. La tekke è adornata da cima a fondo di mosaici marmorei in una varietà mozzafiato di colori e motivi. L'ordine Bektashi è una setta di dervisci che fonde elementi del pensiero prevalentemente Shia e Sufi, in un'unica mescolanza di fede islamica e filosofia.

Bandito rapidamente dalle autorità ottomane nel 1862, l'ordine Bektashi riemerse più tardi, nel XIX secolo, solo per essere messo di nuovo fuorilegge da Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, immediatamente dopo la fondazione della Repubblica turca nel 1923, evento che ne determinò lo spostamento del quartier generale in Albania nel 1925.

Il Centro Mondiale dei Bektashi

La restaurazione finale del complesso religioso fu ultimata l'8 settembre del 2015, in presenza dei capi di tutte le comunità religiose albanesi e dei rappresentati delle comunità islamiche provenienti da qualsiasi altro luogo nei Balcani, in Europa ed oltre. L'Albania è famosa in tutto il mondo per la propria tolleranza religiosa.


Summer Day, a unique festive day of Albania

14 March is a unique festive day in Albania, not known or celebrated elsewhere. Locals call it Summer Day, even though it is celebrated in the first days of spring. Summer day was the first day year of an ancient calendar of Albanians, a day celebrated centuries before the birth of Christianity. It was celebrated by March 1st of the Julian calendar, the first day of the New Year (according to the Gregorian calendar, "March 14").

Summer Day in Tirana

It started to be celebrated massively in all over the country only the last decade, but its roots are deep in the ancient time in the city of Elbasan.  Now every year on March 14, Albanians celebrate Dita e Verës (Summer Day), the country's largest pagan festival. People celebrate the end of winter, the rebirth of nature, and a rejuvenation of spirit among Albanians. Although the epicenter of this festival is around Shkumbin region in Elbasan, the festival is widely celebrated in Tirana. In 2004, Summer Day became an official holiday in Albania. On this day and even since March 1st, many people usually wear a traditional bracelet called Verore (a word derived from summer) made of two thin braided strings usually red and white. At the end of the day, the bracelet is hung on a tree branch for good luck, and is believed that birds use it to build their nests.

The history

Dita e Veres is one of the oldest traditional day mostly celebrated in Elbasan. This festival origin is tracked to the temple of the Mountain Muse (Zana Malit) that was built near the city of Shkumbin (Elbasan). Muse was the goddess of hunting, forests and nature and she would come out of her temple only on March 14, which marked the beginning of the summer. This legend was passed from the generation to generation, and Summer Day festival is known for its unique cultural heritage and traditions. This popular celebration was a tradition that today identifies the city of Elbasan, known for special cultural traditions. It is a community wide event, with families often exchanging the traditional Ballokume, a sugar and corn flour cookie. Each family has its own recipe, considered a source of pride.  Some decades ago people went to Elbasan to celebrate this day, but now it became a national festival. In every city, people celebrate the end of winter in very festive atmosphere and the tradition of cooking ballokume now is expanded from north to south of Albania.

Summer Day, a unique festive day of Albania



Street Party in Tirana


Winners of #TiranaWinter2021 photo contest

Visit Tirana organized the 18th social media photo contest in Instagram with hashtag #TiranaWinter2021.

More than 500 photos were posted during 3 months, from 1 December 2020 to 28 February 2021.

Various winter photos around Tirana were posted, from rainy days to sunny and cold were the most submitted photos. On February 14th, Tirana was covered in snow after three years and people were excited and posted a bunch of photos on Instagram. Amateur and professional photographers posted their photos on Instagram using the hashtag of our contest.

 Top 3 photos were chosen to be part of Tirana Photo Festival 2021.

Arend Rrada

Ardis Hasa

Luljeta Mustafaj


Women's Day in Tirana

8 March is the International Women´s Day and is celebrated differently all over the world.

#ChoosetoChallange for International Women's Day 2021. "A challenged world is an alert world," the International Women's Day website says. "We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality."

What are International Women's Day's origins?

The earliest observance of a Woman's Day was held in New York on February 28, 1909, and was organised by the Socialist Party of America. A year later, at the International Women's Conference in Copenhagen, Socialist representatives proposed that there be an International Women's Day, inspired by the demonstration in New York. The delegates agreed that an international day should be formed as part of a strategy to promote equal rights for women and women's suffrage. It was celebrated for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19, 1911. Two years later, in 1913, it was proposed that the date be moved to March 8 and it has been celebrated on this day ever since.

Womans Day in Tirana Albania

Albanian women are celebrating Woman’s Day in different ways. Some are organizing protests for more rights, some are celebrating their achievements through online forums or events to praise the Successful Women. The rights of women in Albania are improved. We have good representation of women in Government and Parliament, but still there are many problems women here are facing. Domestic violence, trafficking of women are still problems in Albania, also the inequality of pay etc. But the culture of protests is not so popular in Albania.

This Day is used more to celebrate, so is a Festive day. For Women in Albania, 8 March is more like a Freedom Day, a day off from their family obligations and duties, a day when they can celebrate without their husbands, only in others women company. The usually have a lunch or dinner at a restaurant where they can also dance. But with the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no celebrations and most events will be virtual.

Womans Day in Tirana Albania

So if you are in Tirana on 8 March, don’t be surprised if you see big groups of women, wondering to find a good restaurant, having flowers in their hands, or gathered in bars especially around the center of Tirana. This is their day. Restaurants are making their offers, special menu, and invite musicians to entertain women.

Womans Day in Tirana Albania

The shoppers are so happy as well, because the presents should be special for this day. People spend money to buy the best gift to their mother, sister, wife, or daughter. In fact we confuse the Woman day with Mother Day, so the first in line to get a present or flowers are the mothers. For many years for Albanians, “Woman day” is also the “Mother’s Day”, since we don’t have other special day for Mothers, as other countries do.  

Womans Day in Tirana Albania


Top 10 photos of winter in Tirana

Visit Tirana organized the 18th photography photo contest on Instagram, # TiranaWinter2021. The competition was open for 3 months, from December 2020 until February 28, 2021. Professional and amateur photographers participated in the competition with photos taken during the winter season in Tirana. Over 400 posts with the hashtag of our contest from which were selected 10 best photos.

See the gallery below:

Arend Rrada

Andia Tafa

Duli Kasmi

Hysen Xhebexhiu

Ardis Hasa

Luljeta Mustafaj

Rozana Xhaferaj

Valter Zhara

Florjan Jaupaj/p>

Nertil Zhuri


What to do in March in Tirana

Spring has sprung in Tirana! Time to enjoy sunny days and the blossom of this lovely month in the liveliest capital Tirana. Admire the long walks amid blooming trees in Grand Park of Tirana, Kavaja Street, Xhamlliku and Lana River.

Albanians celebrate 4 special days on March: 7 March -Teacher’s Day, 8 March- Mother’s Day, 14 March “Summer Day” and 22 March “Nowruz Day”.

7-8 March “Teachers and Women's Day”

7-8 March have always been seen as festive days. Since the communist regime, 7-8 March were two days celebrated widely for all Albanians. The first one, is 7 March, the Teacher’s Day, related with opening of first Albanian School in Korca in 1887. On this day pupils and students give flowers to their teachers as to show their gratitude.  

In Albania the 8th March was mostly celebrated as Mother’s Day not Women's Day. It was a day to buy gifts to mothers and grandmothers, and to thank them for raising us. But now has changed. It is celebrated as International Women’s Day. Many women celebrate with their colleagues, others protest for better life and opportunities.

14 March- Summer Day

In 14th March we celebrate the Summer Day. It is a unique festival for Albania. It was a festive tradition which was celebrated only in Elbasan area (see the story here), but the last decade it has been spread all over the country. Now 14th March is a public holiday for all Albanians and is a day when we celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It is interesting that we call it ‘Summer Day” and not Spring Day, since the warm days starts very soon in our country, which have 300 sunny days per year.

22 March- Nowruz Day

Nowruz is a Public Holiday in Albania, and is much celebrated, especially by Bektashi believers.  Nowruz (literally "new day") is the name of the Iranian New Year, also known as the Persian New Year.  In Albania Novruz Day, the most important holiday of Bektashism, was proclaimed as a national holiday in 1996.

Art and Culture

For art lovers, they can see exhibitions at the National Gallery of Arts as well as at the COD center, which is inside the Prime Ministry building.

While theater shows will continue to broadcast live stream on Facebook. All theaters in Albania have join together to bring their best performances to the online public. The Opera and Ballet Theater will also continue broadcasting online the best performances.

The International Watercolor Biennale is a very interesting event worth attending. This is the fourth edition and will take place from 13 to 24 March 2021 at the National Historical Museum.

Enjoy nature! There are many beautiful natural places in Tirana where you can enjoy the springtime. For a unique experience we recommend the cable car ride with the Dajti Express to Dajti Mountain.

If you want to explore other places and natural attractions in Tirana, here you will find a list of tours that we organize. The seasonal photo contest # TiranaSpring2021 opens at the beginning of March. You can participate by posting on Instagram photos taken during spring in Tirana.

Be safe and enjoy March in Tirana!


Work begins on Pyramid revitalization project

The Pyramid of Tirana, a notorious building connected to the past, will no longer be like this, as work has recently begun on the transformation of this communist-era building into a multifunctional IT youth center.

Here is how Durham describes Tirana in the 1900s.

The Prime Minister Mr. Edi Rama, the mayor Mr. Erion Veliaj and the US Ambassador in Tirana Mrs. Juri Kim were present to see the start of the transformation.  

This is a very ambitious project that lacked in Tirana which is expected to be finished in 2023. The Pyramid was created as a Musem for the Dictator Enver Hoxha, and was designed by his daughter who was the architect. Having this symbolic it has been the center of debates to destroy this building considering it as a communist symbol. But it is a very rare object, so keeping it, is a reminder of the past, but transforming its role is a fantastic idea, in accordance with the saying: reminding the past, building the future.

The pyramid will serve as a kind of incubator for businesses in the field of innovation, art and creativity. The innovation of revitalizing the center lies in the fact that the TUMO model is a new type of educational experience at the intersection of technology and design. Young people will be given the tools and knowledge they need to achieve their potential and they will be able to develop their learning skills to face the challenges of the 21st century. The TUMO Learning Program consists of self-employment activities, workshops and labs in 14 change programs under the supervision of the best experts from around the world.


How Edith Durham describes Tirana in the early 1900s

Mary Edith Durham, the famous British anthropologist, visited almost all the cities and centers of Albania in the early 1900s. She wrote all her memories and impressions about our country in the book "The Burden of the Balkans".

Here is how Durham describes Tirana in the 1900s.

Tirana (12000 inhabitants), having a good road to the port, is moving towards prosperity. The bazaar was full of villagers dressed in different costumes from those of Elbasan. Tirana was founded in 1600 by a wealthy bey, who named it after a Turkish conquest (named Tirkan) of Tehran in Persia. Today's Beys of Tirana, the Toptanas, who call themselves the descendants of the old Topias, are very famous, not only for the construction of the road that they did at their own expense, but also imported agricultural and Italian machinery to taught the villagers how to use them.

One of them (Murat Toptani) is interested in patriotism and the people mourn him. The land is well worked and rich, the road is good and trade abroad is growing rapidly. All the houses are built between large gardens, filled with cherries, figs, quinces, plums and almond trees which were mostly watered by canals. It is an extremely clean and very picturesque city. The minarets are especially beautiful, colorful and painted with natural views. It's an artist's paradise, and I'm sorry I couldn't stay more than three days. "

 In Tirana there is an elementary/middle school named after Edith Durham.