04/01/2021

What to do in January 2021 in Tirana

It is the first month of the New Year. The pandemic is still around, but with the vaccine coming in Albania, though in small amounts, there are hopes that this terrible Covid era is going to end.  There are still many restrictions due to this situation, so people can’t move freely. People can travel to neighbouring countries such as Kosovo, Macedonia without any request for Covid Tests, but they are urged to respect all the measures each country has in place due to this situation.

Christmas and new year in Tirana

There is a curfew of movement in Albania. From  20.30p.m – 6.00 am people are not allowed to move in the streets without a permission that can be ensured through www.e-albania.al

The cultural events are cancelled, so no concerts or other activities in open spaces. But there are galleries and museums, which will be open during the month. Many activities are held online, in a new trend forced by pandemic situation. Our suggestion for this month is to visit the exhibition of the French photographer Michel Setboun at COD center, government building, “40 years of stories in the land of Eagles”, opened until 20 February 2021.

Where to go in January 2021 in Tirana?

Well, Tirana is full of unexplored outdoor attractions. Even citizens living in Tirana have not visited yet all these places. There are many guides organizing tours around natural attractions in Tirana. Even though in the city there is no snow, in the mountains close to Tirana, you can enjoy the snow, hiking in mountains, organizing picnics around the fires etc.

Christmas and new year in Tirana

Here are our suggestions for January

  • Going to Mount Dajti. This is the easiest trip you can do without a guide. You can take the Cable Car to Mount Dajti, and then to walk around and hike around, enjoying the snow, or having a ride with horses there.
  • Hiking to Mali me Gropa. There are some guides organizing tours to this Mount which is a continuation of Dajti Mount. You cant go by your own, but it is better to have an experienced guide to head you there
  • Going to Shengjergj. Shengjergj village is reachable with a bus from Tirana. Then you can decide to go to Shengjergji Waterfall, or to go to Lepuri Lake and other beautiful places around. In Shengergj you can go even without guide, but it is better to ask locals about the difficulties of the roads if they are good due to rain and snow.
  • Traveling to villages of Tirana. You can go to Baldushk, Preza, Petrela, Peza, Ndroq, Vaqarr etc. All villages have good roads and you can go using Google map apps. In every village you can find good traditional restaurants, enjoying nature and the delicious food.

Christmas and new year in Tirana

 

If you need more information, you can find plenty tips here: http://www.visit-tirana.com/explore-tirana/outside-tirana

Of course Tirana is still decorated, probably until end of January. So walking in the streets, in many bars and restaurants in the main hotspots of the city, is a good thing to do. The bars are all cozy and you can enjoy very good coffee and food with friends in every corner. Have a healthy and happy January from Visit Tirana. Don’t forget to post photos in Instagram of this winter, with the hashtag: #TiranaWinter2021. Good luck!

09/12/2020

What Albanians buy for the New Year

The new year eve is the period where Albanians spent money.  It is becoming a tradition now to buy presents for the new year not only for the kids and family but also for other relatives.

But what Albanians love to buy?

Seasonal gift baskets

This festive season is all about food and wine. So, the first gifts are baskets which are filled with ‘panetone’, sweets, honey, olive oil, chocolates and the most important is Wine or other drinks. Seasonal gift baskets you can find in all supermarkets, but also in special shops for these kinds of products, such as wine, olive oil etc.

What Albanians buy for the New Year

Books and Albums

The second present are books. Even though the highest season for buying books is the November, because of the Book Fair, the biggest in the country, people tend to buy books, albums, cards for the New year. That is why in some book store you can see some offers or sales for the books. The best seller are photo albums and cards.

What Albanians buy for the New Year

Smartphones

Some people tend to spend more for the New Year, probably to do the best gift of the year to make happy their relatives. Smartphones or other electronic devices are also best gifts for this year. There are always some sales for these products during this season

Jewellery and clothes

A good watch or a necklace is always a favourable gift especially among couples. People love to do such presents to their loved ones. It is hardly to find sales in this product, but it is always an option. You can choose to buy even some souvenirs not expensive gifts in this regard

Many people continue to buy some new clothes for the New Year, even though here are not applied big sales like in UK with Boxing day. But there are some sales at TEG, in the main brands and you can profit maybe some good quality clothes.

...But is better to donate

But remember this festive season is all about donation, sharing what you have with other people. If you want to buy new clothes, take your oldest one, or what you don’t want to wear anymore, and give them to people in need. It will be good not to spend in luxury, but make possible that a poor family you know, or living close to you, to have enough food in the table. If everyone donates some money and food to the people in need, they also will feel the best festive season ever.

04/12/2020

New Year’s Eve tradition in Albania

The dinner for New Year’s Eve is really a long tradition for Albanians. Differently from other European countries who celebrate Christmas in family, for Albanians the New Year's Eve dinner is the most important one.

New Year day in communism...

During the dictatorship regime, the Christmas Day, had no meaning, since Enver Hoxha established an atheist state. According to state archive the last Christmas wish, dated back in 1966, in a document which shows a telegram from the Head of Orthodox Church of Albania wishing Christmas to the Head of Albanian Catholic Church. We didn’t celebrate any religion day for more than 40 years. The most festive day of the year was the 31 st  of December.  Parents would  gets some toys for their kids, the shops were full with different foods we couldn’t find other time of the year.

The housewives took one day off to clean the house washing everything from curtains, blankets and carpets. The conversations in those days were all about how people progressed with cleaning buying and cooking. By cleaning and buying some small extras for the house, people were wishing and hoping that the  New Year would find them happier and in a better living conditions. 

It was related  also to another tradition on the first days of January, Albanians visited the houses of each other, relatives and neighbors, to wish Happy New Year.  In the morning you would visit your relative’s house, in the afternoon or the next day they would come and visit you. It was a competition feeling, who would offer more sweets, drinks, dried and fresh fruits and deserts. 

This festive day has to do more with the Food.  The food preparation started a week before the New Year with cooking the Bakllava (the traditional desert for New Year).

 traditional desert for New Year
Cooking the Bakllava, Source: Instagram-alta_group_albania

We recall that atmosphere of preparing for the big night, everyone was running to shops, to buy all food they could, and every family aimed at having a richer meal than previous year.  People invited each other, to have more relatives around the table, and to wait the New Year altogether. Albanians have been poor, but with a big heart, so no one was alone that day. People were also optimistic and always liked to project the coming year as more prosperous one.

Traditional food

The traditional dish has always been the baked or roasted turkey. People served it in different ways but the most favorable is with “Pershesh” (baked corn cake all mashed). But other areas for example in Gjirokaster prefer ‘meat pie ’, or  different lakrors. The people living close to sea or lake, prefered the fish or seafood. But most of them put in the table different kinds of meat, baked or cooked with plenty of side dishes. The table should be full with salads, desserts, drinks, and fruits, even in the families with few members.

Traditional food in Tirana
Traditional Food

People would dine and watch the special TV programs with music and humor that were prepared nationally with  actors from each city of Albania. The program lasted after midnight and then the public TV would show an exclusive movie until 2-3 in the morning. There was only one Public TV Channel. 

But this tradition is changing. Now families are cooking enough for themselves, serving the dishes they like most, for example sea foods, salads, or cold dishes or new recipes. There are still many families preserving  the tradition, which we really like. Nowadays it is trendy to celebrate the New Year in different restaurants, who are offering delicious menus. 

01/12/2020

What to do in December 2020 in Tirana

Tirana is shining in December. The Christmas lights are lightening up everywhere in squares, shops, streets. The atmosphere is fantastic and people are staying outside enjoying the festive season. Children are the happiest in this period. They love the lights, the Christmas tree, but the most of all they love the gifts and presents from parents, from different festive activities involving Santa Claus etc

Christmas and new year in Tirana

What is the best thing to do in December 2020 in Tirana?

2020 is an unusual year, due to pandemic, whereas gathering for more than 10 people are banned. Therefore citizens are encouraged to stay mostly home, or to strictly respect social distance where they go outside or in other places.

The Municipality will not organize concerts, activities or fairs in Skanderbeg Square. People will miss this year the Christmas market, the hot coffee and chocolates in the square, the bars and children playgrounds. The main square will be quieter this year, even though people tend to make photos close to the biggest Christmas tree or in other festive installation.

Best things to do

Walking amid lights: The best thing to do is to walk in the lightening streets of the city. The most beautiful areas are: Skanderbeg Square, Pedestrian Street Toptani, Myslym Shyri Streets, Blloku Area, etc

Christmas and new year in Tirana

Shopping: Shopping malls such as Toptani, Teg, QTU, CityPark, Megatek etc are beautifully decorated and offering good sales during the Festive Season. Also they are organizing some entertaining shows, giving presents, organizing competitions etc. The best presents are souvenirs, books, toys for kids, clothes, wines etc

Cooking

Cooking is the most preferred thing to do during this season. It is cold outside, so let’s enjoy the warm inside, trying to cook some delicious meals for the family. Also enjoying a cup of chocolate close to the fireplace, reading, or watching a movie. Don’t forget to cook something more for your neighbour in need of for other vulnerable people you know

Christmas and new year in Tirana

Helping

This is the best time of the year to look after others. You are buying many festive things, spending for decorations, for presents, while there are many people outside suffering, or are alone. You can help donating clothes, food, toys for kids, blankets etc. Do something to make everyone  enjoy this festive season.

Happy Christmas and New Year!

30/11/2020

Winners of #TiranaAutumn2020

Visit Tirana organized the 17th social media photo contest in Instagram with hashtag #TiranaAutumn2020.

More than 400 photos were posted during 3 months, from 1 September to 30 November 2020.

Various autumn photos around Tirana were posted. Autumn colors, golden, yellow and red adorned out city. 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 2020.

1. Rozana Xhaferaj

TiranaAutumn2020

2. Armida Plumbi

 

3. Hysen Xhebexhiu

TiranaAutumn2020

17/11/2020

Tirana's Liberation Day

Tirana celebrates today the 76 anniversary of City Liberation. It was the day when the National Liberation Forces won the war against the German invaders. Every year, the Municipality of Tirana  organizes activities in honor of the martyrs in the Liberation War of Tirana by placing floral wreaths at the ‘Unknown Soldier’ Monument. There are still some veterans remembering that day.

Activities on National Liberation Day of Tirana

History

The war for Liberation of Tirana lasted 2 months, and 19 days interrupted and intensive fight for the liberation of the capital. The final attack began on the morning of November 16, where Forces of Brigade 1 occupied the ‘House of Officers’, Clock Tower, Theater, and so on. Brigade VIII forces stepped forward in Kavaja Street and met with the right wing of Brigade I, narrowing even more the ring of enemy siege in the center of the capital.

Activities on National Liberation Day of Tirana

On the morning of November 17, 1944, after 19 days of hard war the capital of Albania, Tirana, was freed. The overwhelming operation for the liberation of Tirana was prepared and developed in the context of the general crackdown of “UNÇSH’ army on the liberation of Albania. It was the continuation and the culmination of the general offense. The liberation of the capital had great political and military significance. He crowned the victory of the Anti-fascist National Liberation War; Caused great losses and delayed the withdrawal of German forces. The head of anti-fascist National Liberation Front was the former dictator Enver Hoxha. But the history said that the fight for liberation of Tirana was directed by former prime Minister during dictatorship Mehmet Shehu. 

Activities on National Liberation Day of Tirana

17th November of 1944 was a very happy day for all the citizens of Tirana that time. There are some photos showing people celebrating the victory together with partisans.

The fights countinued in other cities and the whole country was liberated in 29 November 1944. 

Activities on National Liberation Day of Tirana

05/11/2020

What to do in November 2020 in Tirana

November is the month of national pride and glory. The historic month of the true heroes of Albania. Nevethless this year, there is no gathering and no festivity. So the best suggestion is to go in the nature and stay healthy. 

That to do in Novemmber 2020 Tirana

28th November is the biggest day of our nation. 28th November 1912 is the day when Albanians from all over Albania, united in Vlora, declared the Independence of Albania.

29th November is the day of the Liberation of Albania, one of the most important moments in the history of our country.

 This year we have 108 anniversary of Independence and 76th anniversary of Country's Liberation

Tirana Liberation Day (17 November)

76 years have passed since the day of the liberation of the Albanian capital, Tirana. On this day, 127 martyrs sacrificed themselves who fought for an ideal where their biggest dream was the freedom of the country and the people.

That to do in Novemmber 2020 Tirana

Online Book Fair

The Tirana Book Fair for this year is not taking place in the "Palace of Congresses" as it was the tradition, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During these days, publishers, writers, poets, translators, readers and people of culture meet for book discussions, presentations of new titles, but also debate tables, live stream, or in physical environments, respecting all the conditions of security.

Exhibitions

 The exhibition "November 23" comes to the artistic life of Tirana, as one of the important activities in the field of visual art. In the collective exhibition, 28 painters through compositions address current events, daily themes, human relationship with nature, etc. About 50 different works are presented in this exhibition which is one of the longest lasting in our country.

That to do in Novemmber 2020 Tirana

You can find photo or painting exhibitions open during the month and for more information, you can see them on our events page.

Where to go

November is the month where the place is covered by the fallen leaves of the trees and a wonderful landscape is created. The nature walk is perfect for the days of November. We recommend you to go out of town and explore the villages around Tirana that have a stunning view and fresh air. 

Also the ideal place for a pleasant day, wonderful nature, stunning autumn photos is Dajti Mountain which offers many facilities to make your day even more beautiful. You can take the cable car and look at the autumn nature and have a ride at Dajti Adventure Park.

Don’t forget to post your photos of Tirana and participate in the photography contest on social media with the hashtag # TiranaAutumn2020. The competition will end on November 30th.

Take care

Covid19 is still here. Keep the social distance, escape from crowds and stay in nature. Wash your hands and be careful in order to stay clear from the infection.  Always be informed at https://new.shendetesia.gov.al/

02/11/2020

Tirana Photo Festival 3rd edition concluded greatly

Tirana Photo Festival held its third edition on 23-31 October 2020.

It is the biggest event of photography in Albania due to its massive participation. The festival comprises of photo competition. This year three contest were announced: 1. #GreenTirana Contest with photos from the capital 2. “A Photo for life” with photos from Albania 3. Photo series with work from professional photographs. The competition ran in social media channel of Tirana Photo Festival  https://www.instagram.com/tiranaphotofestival/  and lasted from May-September.

Tirana Photo Festival

The event is organized by DMO Albania, a Destination Management Organization and supported by Municipality of Tirana and Fujifilm Albania. The aim of the event is to promote tourism through the art of photography by engaging mainly young people.

The jury of the festival was led by well-known photographer Mr. Roland Tasho and other photographers like Gent Shkullaku, Albert Cmeta and Armand Sallbanda.

The awarding ceremony was organized at the stairs of National History Museum in the Scanderbeg square due to Covid-19 in order to respect the distance.

Tirana Photo Festival

Deputy Mayor of Tirana Municipality, Mr. Andi Seferi as well as other personalities of culture and representatives of Fujifilm Albania.

The winners of Green Tirana were:

Sonila Hyseni, 1st prize supported by Tirana Municipality 100,000 Leks

Merli Hafizi 2nd prize supported by Tirana Municipality 50,000 Leks

Valter Zharra 3rd prize supported by Tirana Municipality 30,000 Leks

 

Tirana Photo Festival

The winners of “A Photo for Life’ with photos from Albania

Telvisa Hysi  1st prize supported by Fujifilm Albania, gets a  XT-20 Fuji camera 

Ilir Shyti  2nd prize supported by Fujifilm Albania gets a XF10 Fuji 

Granit Temaj 3rd prize supported by Fujifilm Albania, gets a instax camera

Tirana Photo Festival

Klaudio Spirollari, won "The most voted by public" supported by Instax Emotions 

 Encouraging Prizes:

 Sabian Hasani supported by Irisoft Education, a free Photoshop course, 250 Euro 

 Klevisa Lici  supported by Irisoft Education, a free Photoshop course, 250 Euro 

The exhibition hostes also foto series from professional photographers, Rozafa Shpuza, Roland Beqiraj and Arber Xhafa. The Exhibition was opened from 23-31 October and saw many visitors despite the pandemic. According to Museum employee, on average 50 people a day would visit the exhibitions. 

01/10/2020

What to do in October 2020 in Tirana

What to do in October in Tirana

Cultural activities are coming back in Tirana, after a long time ‘silence’ due to pandemic. October is always a busy month with events, conferences and fairs and this year will be the same.

Tirana Photo Festival is the biggest yearly event of photography. It is happing in Tirana, but the festival is a national event, inviting people from all over the country to apply. This year, the organizers of Festival, DMO ALBANIA, announced three photo contests: Foto Single, theme: A photo for life; Foto Series with the theme: Hope and #GreenTirana, dedicated to Tirana. The event will be held at National History Museum, on 23 October 2020. An exhibition with 100 photos will be open for a week, and some workshops, forums with photographers will follow. There are big awards for the winners of this festival, mostly amateurs, young people who are the best promoters of the beauties of this country.

Tirana Photo Festival

Other activities happening this month are: jazz Fest 2020 at Rinia park, Different Trains Festival on 2nd October, a great concert Covivere on 6th October at Amphitheatre, Lake Park etc

Autumn Tirana

See here all the events happening in October in Tirana. Museums and galleries are open during all the months. At National Art Gallery in the main hall you can find the Open Archive, the best works in years from the well-known Albanian artists. Gallery 43, is one of the best galleries in Tirana where you can buy a great paint.

 

Where to go

October is the month where one of the pleasure is to walk amid fallen leaves in the city. The rain season has started, but it is still warm to go out for a walk in fresh air. The October is perfect month for walking, hiking, and traveling outside the city. We strongly recommend to all citizens in Tirana, and foreigners to know the villages, to get a bus and to travel in Tirana suburbs. The villages are so close to Tirana, but far the noisy city. There are good restaurants, fresh air, beautiful nature, mountains and rivers, and canyons. We have prepared some tips for villages in Tirana; what to do in Baldushk; what to do in Kashar; What to do in Peza, What to do in Vaqarr;  etc

Autumn Tirana

Stay with a view

Dajti Mountain is always a great place to go, and to enjoy a delicious food with a view. Take the Cable Car at least once in a month to feel above clouds and to have Tirana in your hands. Dajti offers one in one: a good hotel, restaurant, golf field, roller blading, paragliding, hiking etc

Hotels in the city, we recommend Unik Hotel close to the lake, a pleasant stay with the lake view, very welcoming staff, great food from Gambero Restaurant and Pizzeria Pavaroti.

Don’t forget to do photos from Tirana during this season, and post them with hashtag #TiranaAutumn2020. You are always winners with VisitTirana.

Autumn Tirana

31/08/2020

Winners of #TiranaSummer2020

Visit Tirana organized the 16th social media photo contest in Instagram with hashtag #TiranaSummer2020.

Around 400 photos were posted during 3 months, from 1 June to 31 August 2020.

Amateur and professional photographers posted their photos on Instagram using the hashtag of our contest.

TiranaSummer2020

Top 3 photos were chosen to be part of Tirana Photo Festival 2020.

  1. Oltjana Tagani
  2. Xhulio Hoxha
  3. Rozana Xhaferaj
28/08/2020

What to do in September in Tirana! Welcome Autumn

September is the month when we say goodbye to the Summer and welcome the season of Autumn- Winter. September is also considered as New Year, since the pupils and students will start the new academic year 2020-2021. The school start in 14 September in all over the country and despite the pandemic, everything is planned to be back to normality again. 

School in tirana

Events

September is warm and with few rains. There are many people using these warm days of September to do continue their vacations. With all the institutions stating the work and their projects, we hope to have a richer cultural life in Tirana also. During the summer, there were very few activities due to the fear of Pandemic.

EVENTS IN TIRANA

For September there are some activities planned, such as Exhibition at Cod for Ismail Qemali, theatre at Air Turbina and House of Leaves, conferences, and the Nights of Italian cinema, every week at Reja. See updated events in our link: http://www.visit-tirana.com/things-to-do/events

Tours and sightseeing

Since the situation with Covid19 is still problematic, we encourage everyone to continue their activities in the nature during their free time. Now that the hot days are over, walking in nature is the best thing to do. Afternoon walking by the lake, or hiking during weekends in mountains and waterfalls or lakes of Tirana is very inspiring and relaxing. If you want to know all outdoor attraction around Tirana please see our destinations here: http://www.visit-tirana.com/explore-tirana/outside-tirana, or plan your tour here: http://www.visit-tirana.com/explore-tirana/tours-to-tirana/daytrips-in-tirana.

Visit tirana

Tirana Photo Festival

September is the last month of applying for Tirana Photo Festival, the biggest yearly event in Tirana, with three photo contest opened. See here the website of festival: www.tiranaphotofestival.com to know more about the rules of Festival, how to apply and what you win.  One contest is called #GreenTirana, so you can travel everywhere in the city, take a photo a be a winner of fantastic prizes this festival is offering.

Visit tirana


Take care

Covid19 is still here. Keep the social distance, escape from crowds and stay in nature. Wash your hands and be careful in order to survive the infection.  Always be informed at https://new.shendetesia.gov.al/

Visit tirana

29/07/2020

What to do in August 2020 in TIRANA

Tirana is coping with COVID19, and as experts say we are already in the second wave of the pandemic.  The city is living with the disease and all people are going normally to work and living their life. The masks are obligatory in indoor business activities and institutions, but people are wearing them even in open spaces. The number of deaths is increasing and the situation is totally unclear. See the updates every day of the Covid situation in Albania here: shendetesia.gov.al

tours to  Tirana

Tourism is almost halted, but people in Tirana are finding ways to go for small holidays, mostly during weekends outside the city, in villages, or for some days in Albanian beaches. No one can travel outside Albania, the borders remained closed.

What you can do in Tirana

During August we suggest you to stay away from crowded places, and to choose to travel outside the city in nature, in villages, in mountains around Tirana. It is better than going to the beach, which is so close to Tirana. There is a strong relation between green places full with oxygen and low numbers of infected people by COVID. So what we suggest is be part of nature as much as you can, stay in open spaces not indoors. You can do hiking, climbing or picnics, entertain your kids with sports and open air activities. Here are some places where you can go in weekend while you are in Tirana in August outside Tirana . tours to  Tirana

 If you want organized daily tours around Tirana, here are some of them, which we can arrange for you: Daytrips in Tirana

Where to eat

Please avoid indoor restaurants with air conditioner and choose instead restaurants in open spaces in nature. Read before the reviews for each restaurant or guest house, especially regarding about their cleanness and hygiene. Good restaurants and hotels have mentioned their anti-covid measures in their website. Before you stop somewhere, you should see their website, how updated they are, how much they care for the guests etc. You can stop everywhere and possible be infected. There are very responsible businesses and from the other hand there are businesses behaving that nothing is happening. Take care about your health. We suggest more that this period you should eat your own food, organize picnics in nature, or in small parks. Our motto is: Eat Homemade Food during pandemic!

tours to  Tirana

Cultural Activities

The cultural life in Tirana has started, with some activities in open spaces such as Reja installation, and Tirana Amphitheatre and Skanderbeg Square.

Reja has started its own yearly festival, during summer day. Every day at Reja you will see activities, dance, music, painting exhibitions and different artistic performances. You can sit in the ground, take a beer and enjoy the spectacle.

For four days at Skanderbeg Square (4-7 August) you will see at Skanderbeg Square more than 100 best artistic pieces of modern art screening at the square. The spectacle will be visible for anyone. You can keep the distance and enjoy this beautiful performance.

You can still enjoy every Thursday, new Shakespeare monologues, performed by the actors of Metropoli Theater. You can watch them in their social media channels and YouTube.

Museums and galleries are open under strict measures. No open space festivals, but there are some concerts at Amphitheatre with limited number of spectators, mostly to give the atmosphere of music and live at the most frequented area, which is Tirana Big Park.

Enjoy your stay in Tirana, but stay healthy is the first thing you have to do.

 

tours to  Tirana