Where to Stay in Tirana in 2023 (Best Areas and Places) – Goats On The Road
If you’ve booked your trip and are wondering where to stay in Tirana, then look no further than this post. Tirana is a fantastic and fairly big city, filled with excellent things to see and do.
There are lots of interesting historical monuments, sites, museums, and shopping opportunities to enjoy, as well as plenty of culture to soak up from the many, many cafes in Tirana.
I spent a month in Tirana, exploring the various neighborhoods and learning about this amazing city. It’s one of my favorite cities in Europe and somewhere I intend to return to again soon. If you’re wondering where to stay in Tirana, read on for my recommendations.
Best Areas to Stay in Tirana
Quick Look: Best Areas to Stay in Tirana
Tregu Cam: Best Place To Stay in Tirana for Your First Time
When considering where to stay in Tirana for the first time, look no further than Tregu Cam. It’s the best place to stay in Tirana for newcomers, as it’s perfectly located to access the best that Tirana has to offer.
Tregu Cam is close to Skanderbeg Square, which is right in the middle of the city. There are some excellent things to do in Tregu Cam, including some of the best museums. It’s also within easy walking distance of all the other neighborhoods on this list, if you wish to explore further.
In Tregu Cam, you’ll find plenty of cafes, bars, and restaurants, as well as some amazing, historical architecture. Be prepared to find more travelers here, however, as thanks to its popularity, it’s one of the busier places to stay in Triana.
Let’s take a look at some of the best options for where to stay in Tirana city center in Tregu Cam.
Best Places to Stay in Tregu Cam
There are some lovely places to stay in the center of Tirana. Here, you’ll find international hotels as well as some cool, and cost-effective boutique options. Below are some of my favorite choices for Tregu Cam:
1. Night Inn Tirana: The Night Inn Tirana is perfectly located in the heart of Tregu Cam and only 750 meters from Skanderbeg Square. It’s a clean, modern hotel with everything you need for a short stay in Tirana.
2. AJ Apartments: If you want more space, then AJ Apartments is an option. Modern and cozy, this studio apartment has great views over the city and a small balcony for early-morning coffees.
3. A Flower in Tirana: For a larger, more traditional apartment with all the mod-cons, check out the A Flower in Tirana apartment. It is located only 450 meters from Skanderbeg Square. This 3-bedroom apartment has a beautiful balcony and bags of character.
5 Top Things To Do in Tregu Cam
As one of Tirana’s most central neighborhoods, Tregu Cam has plenty of things to do nearby. Here are some of my favorites.
1. Skanderbeg Square: The epicenter of Tirana, Skanderbeg Square is a large open square right in the center of the city. It’s an excellent place to head to and enjoy a drink at one of the many cafes and bars that surround it, or even catch a show or concert.
2. Bunk Art 2: Bunk’Art 2 is a museum located close to Tregu Cam. Hidden below ground in one of the hundreds of thousands of bunkers across Albania, it gives a graphic insight into the role the secret police played during the Communist Era.
3. Take a Walking Tour: This half-day tour is one of my favorite things to do in the city, as it explains what life was like in Tirana during the Communist Era and how life has changed since. It’s also an excellent way to learn your way around; especially if you’re not visiting for very long.
4. National History Museum: To go even further back in Tirana’s history, check out the National History Museum. It’s located in Skanderbeg Square and comprises 8 different pavilions. Each pavilion describes a different period of Tirana and Albania’s history.
5. House of Leaves Museum: The House of Leaves Museum is considered to be the equivalent of the Stasi Headquarters in former East Germany. From here, the Albanian National Intelligence Service conducted many of its operations, including eavesdropping and spying on civilians during the Communist Era.
Where to Eat and Drink in Tregu Cam
As one of the most central places to stay in Tirana, Tregu Cam has many food and drink options to choose from.
1. Proper Pizza: I absolutely love Proper Pizza and it’s somewhat of an icon of pizza in Albania. They serve delicious pizzas at affordable prices with some original and out-there toppings. It’s a great choice for pizza lovers.
2. Toptani Castle: Located near Bunk’Art 2, Toptani Castle is a small pedestrianized walkway within the city walls themselves, that is packed with various bars and restaurants. The settings are charming, and you’ll find some amazing food and drink options here. Tartuf Shop is one of my favorite restaurants in Tirana.
3. Hemingway Bar: The Hemingway Bar is an institution in Tirana. It boasts over 300 different types of rum along with an unbelievable amount of other spirits to make any cocktail you can imagine. It’s cool and trendy and has jazz music playing most nights. It’s a fantastic place to start your night off right.
Blloku: Best Area in Tirana for Nightlife
Blloku is hip and lively and is one of the best areas to stay in Tirana. It has a fascinating history and, during the Communist Era, was closed to the public. During this time, only members of the ruling Communist Party were permitted to live there.
Nowadays, it’s much more open and is one of the coolest neighborhoods in Tirana. It’s packed full of boutique shops, trendy cafes, and amazing restaurants.
It’s also the best place to stay in Tirana for nightlife thanks to its cool cocktail bars and glamorous nightclubs which make for the perfect night out in the city.
If you want great food and drink stops on your doorstep, as well as great nightlife, then I highly recommend considering Blloku when deciding where to stay in Tirana.
Best Places to Stay in Blloku
Blloku is one of the most popular Tirana neighborhoods and is home to some fantastic places to stay.
1. Metro Hotel: One of the best Tirana hotels near nightlife spots, Metro Hotel is perfectly located in the heart of Blloku. The Metro Hotel is modern, has an on-site bar, and serves breakfast every morning. Free bikes are also available for guests to explore one of the best neighborhoods in Tirana.
2. Blloku Unique Apartments: For a beautiful apartment in Blloku, check out this amazing space. It’s tastefully decorated, super cozy, and features a gorgeous little balcony with views over Blloku.
3. Vanilla Sky Boutique Hostel: This incredible hostel needs to be seen to be believed. It’s one of the best places to stay in Tirana for backpackers. This unique Vanilla Sky Boutique hostel is definitely a favorite, and I recommend trying to book a room with a balcony for amazing views.
5 Top Things To Do in Blloku
Blloku is packed with fun things to see and do and has the bonus of being close to the center of the city which makes exploring Tirana easy.
1. Visit Komiteti Cafe: Komiteti Cafe is a museum and a bar all in one. It’s packed full of fascinating artifacts and items from the Communist Era. You’ll feel as though you’re stepping back in time while sipping on a raki cocktail.
2. Take a Communism Tour: Blloku could be seen as the heart of communism in Tirana (being the exclusive neighborhood of communist party members). This half-day communism tour focuses on that period of Albania’s history and provides an excellent insight into life in Blloku and Tirana during this time.
3. Visit Enver Hoxha’s Former Residence: Take a stroll to see the former residence of the communist dictator, Enver Hoxha. The interior isn’t open to the public, but the building remains impressive. You can also get a feel of what life was like in communist times from the street where the residence is located.
4. Go Bar Hopping: If you want to fully embrace the incredible nightlife in Blloku then how about joining an organized bar crawl? You’ll be guided from bar to bar and provided with drinks at various stops as you enjoy VIP access to some of the coolest bars in Blloku. It’s a great way to meet people and explore Blloku at night.
5. See the Checkpoint Monument: The Postblloku, or Checkpoint, Memorial is a small memorial to the country’s political prisoners who suffered under the communist regime. It’s located near Enver Hoxha’s former residence and is included on the communist walking tour.
Where to Eat and Drink in Blloku
You’ll be spoiled for choice in Blloku with some of the coolest bars and restaurants in the city. Here are some of my favorites:
1. Radio Bar: The Radio Bar is another unique bar in Blloku that’s filled with memorabilia from the Communist Era. This time, as the name suggests, predominantly radios! Cool vibes and delicious drinks await in this little gem. There’s a cozy interior and a nice space out the back for some alfresco drinks.
2. Era: Era is in the heart of Blloku serving local cuisine. You can try some local and authentic Albanian food with a modern twist. Sharing boards to start, and big main courses make this an excellent option in Blloku.
3. Artigiano: Artigiano, meaning “artisan” in Albanian, is a superb Italian restaurant in Blloku. The food is of great quality and is really delicious. The pizzas are fabulous, and the salmon and shrimp strozzapreti was one of my favorite things to eat in Tirana. Expect refined vibes and good service.
Zona 1: Coolest Place to Stay in Tirana
Zona 1 is where I stayed during my time in Tirana, and while I might be biased, I think it’s the best area to stay in the city, particularly for couples.
It’s a really cool area, and I especially loved it because it’s close to Pazari i Ri, or the New Bazaar – a fantastic market where locals sell fruits and vegetables as well as oils, jams, and honey. Surrounding the bazaar are some lovely bars, cafes, and restaurants which sprawl out of the market onto the main road.
At night, it’s all lit up by fairy lights and is full of people enjoying the balmy Tirana evenings. Despite the hustle and bustle, I was still able to retreat to Zona 1 and enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.
Best Places to Stay in Zona 1
In my opinion, Zona 1 is the best neighborhood in Tirana. Here are some of my recommendations:
1. Hotel Boka: The Hotel Boka benefits from an incredible location. It’s right in among the cafes and restaurants of the New Bazaar, so if you want to be close to the action, this is a fantastic choice. It’s a lovely hotel with traditional furnishings within walking distance of the main attractions of Tirana.
2. Spacious 2-bed Apartment: I love this spacious but homely 2-bed apartment in Zona 1. You’re within walking distance of the main Tirana attractions, and it has a beautiful balcony where you can enjoy views of the city and mountains with your morning coffee.
3. Tirana Way Apartments: The Tirana Way Apartments are perfect for a couple visiting the city for a long weekend. It has brand-new furnishings and everything you need for a perfect stay. The location is also fantastic for exploring the neighborhoods of Tirana.
5 Top Things To Do in Zona 1
Zona 1 is very close to the center and to Tregu Cam, so there are lots of things to do here.
1. Visit Pazari i Ri: Wandering around the New Bazaar, or Pazari i Ri, is one of my favorite things to do in Tirana. There are so many fantastic cafes to grab a morning caffeine fix, a drink, and some food in the evening. Alternatively, you could take a food tour which explores this area a little more.
2. Drink in Cafe Culture: The cafe culture around Zona 1 is amazing. It’s a very cosmopolitan area, with many people enjoying coffee throughout the day and evening. One of my favorite coffee places is The Green Zone. The staff there is also lovely.
3. Eat at a Zgara: Eat like a local in Zona 1. There are some fantastic Zgaras, which are local grill houses. It’s a great place to grab a cheap bite and meet some residents of the area. Don’t be surprised if the raki comes out at the end of the meal.
4. Visit Tanner’s Bridge: Tanner’s Bridge is an 18th-century Ottoman bridge. It was where the butchers and leather shops were located, which is how it gets its name. It’s an important symbol of Tirana’s cultural heritage as an example of the development of the city at the time.
5. Visit Dajti and Bunk Art 1: These aren’t within Zona 1, but you can get the bus from Zona 1 to both of these attractions. Bunk Art 1 is my favorite museum in Tirana that’s based in an old Cold War Bunker. Getting the cable car to Mount Dajti is also fantastic for beautiful nature, views, and hikes, and is a must for those who love the outdoors.
Where to Eat and Drink in Zona 1
Zona 1 has some fantastic places to eat, both local and international.
1. Oda: Oda is my favorite local restaurant in Tirana. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but it has the most beautiful walled garden inside, where they usually have musicians playing local music. My advice is to order as many of the dishes as you think you can manage, as they are all amazing. Make sure you arrive hungry!
2. Pizzeria Bell 1: Based on the main road, just outside the New Bazaar is this cute little pizza place. You can get pizza or ciabattas, and they’re really fresh and flavorful. The Pizzeria Bell 1 also my favorite place to get an Aperol Spritz and enjoy the warm evenings.
3. Bar Trattoria Logu: The Bar Trattoria Logu is a little hidden away, but it’s a total gem. The food is traditional and very homey. I recommend trying the moussaka. The owner and waiters are super friendly and welcoming, too.
Komuna e Parisit: Best for Families
Komuna e Parisit is the best place to stay in Tirana for families because it’s right next to the Grand Park of Tirana which is a fantastic place to explore with the kids.
It’s also next to Blloku, so it’s also a great place to stay in Tirana for foodies that wish to escape the business of the busier neighborhoods.
Best Places to Stay in Komuna e Parisit
Here are a few fantastic places to stay in Komuna e Parisit:
1. Moncafe Boutique Hotel: If you’re looking for a bit of a luxurious stay, the Moncafe Hotel is a good option. The Italian breakfast is exquisite, and the rooms are modern and sleek. It’s also within walking distance of the park and Blloku.
2. Pleasing Place Apartment: This fantastic little apartment is great for those looking for a budget option. It’s nicely decorated and feels cozy. It also conveniently houses a car rental office on site (it’s part of an apartment block), which is handy if you want to take some day trips.
3. Square Inn Luxury Penthouse: Square Inn is incredible. It’s modern and luxurious, and it features the most amazing roof terrace. Watch the sun go down and enjoy the views of the city without having to step outside. It’s a beautiful option.
5 Top Things To Do in Komuna e Parisit
Here are some of the best things to do in and around Komuna e Parisit:
1. Grand Park of Tirana: Go for a leisurely stroll or jog around the beautiful Grand Park of Tirana. This lovely park is one of the most relaxing parts of the city and is also home to the Presidential Palace. There are plenty of cafes dotted around to enjoy a drink in the shade.
2. Artificial Lake: The lake is located within the Grand Park of Tirana. You can do a lap around the whole lake, which is mostly shaded under the trees. It’s a popular place with locals, and you’ll see people walking their dogs or jogging here. On the waterfront is a row of restaurants and bars where you can enjoy a drink in beautiful surroundings, right on the water.
3. Visit the Amphitheater: Newly renovated, the Amphitheater is a brilliant place to go in the summer. There are often shows, concerts, and films being shown here, and there are a few cafes and bars close by to stop in before or after your visit.
4. Visit a Bakery: There are some incredible bakeries in this neighborhood, so you should definitely treat yourself to something sweet while you’re here, or at least marvel at all the homemade cakes and smells. My favorites are Caka’s Bakery and Pasticeri Nefeli 2.
5. Treat yourself to a Spa: On the outskirts of the park lies Ritual Spa, one of my favorites in the city. It’s the perfect place to visit for a treatment after a few days of exploring the city. It’s super relaxing, and the treatments are divine. I highly recommend the Coconut Package.
Where to Eat and Drink in Komuna e Parisit
Located just on the outskirts of Blloku, there are some fantastic bars and restaurants in Komuna e Parisit:
1. Musicbooks: Musicbooks is a super fun bar that’s great for people who are looking to meet people. The food and drinks are excellent (try the Mexican food), but their themed nights, including piano music and game nights, are so much fun.
2. Wonderbites: Wonderbites is one of the few places that serves burgers, pizza, and sushi and does them all SO well. For incredible, fresh, and flavorful sushi, this is the place to go. I personally love the truffle burger; it’s amazing.
3. Kometa Cafe & More: For the best cocktails in the neighborhood, go to Kometa. There’s a super cool vibe, and the outdoor area is so relaxing. The pizzas are wonderful here too.
21 Djetori: Where to Stay in Tirana on a Budget
21 Djetori is one of the most popular Tirana neighborhoods for backpackers and those looking to travel on a budget.
It’s located right in the heart of Tirana, close to both Skanderbeg Square and Blloku. It’s an excellent base to explore both the historical and cultural sights, as well as the food and nightlife.
Most of the best cheap places to stay in Tirana are found in 21 Djetori which is located at a busy interchange in the center. Although it can be quite busy during the day, its location and the variety of accommodation options more than makeup for this.
Best Places to Stay in 21 Djetori
21 Djetori is one of the most popular places to stay in Tirana due to its central location and low prices. Here are some of my favorite spots:
1. Mondial Hotel: Topping the list of accommodations in the area, Mondial Hotel is a 4-star hotel boasting a sun terrace with a bar and a rooftop pool. The rooms are tastefully decorated, and the building itself is grand and attractive. A beautiful place to stay close to the center.
2. Central Studio Apartment: A good value studio apartment located in 21 Djetori. Guests can enjoy free WiFi and air conditioning, making it the perfect base to explore the city.
3. Sunny Balcony Apartment: For a bit more space, Sunny Balcony provides – as the name suggests – a lovely little balcony overlooking the center. Air-conditioning, WiFi, and a fully equipped kitchen round off a great place to stay in Tirana.
5 Top Things To Do in 21 Djetori
21 Djetori is perfectly located between some of the most popular places to visit in Tirana. It’s within a close walk of both Blloku and Skanderbeg Square, and within easy reach of all the other neighborhoods on this list. Here are some options to explore from 21 Djetori:
1. Youth Park: This 30-hectare public park is located right in the center of Tirana. It’s a super popular place to visit, day or night. At night, the lake lights up, and you’ll find lots of vendors selling ice cream and cafes selling drinks to enjoy.
2. Et’hem Bej Mosque: The Hajji Et’hem Bey Mosque was built in the early 1800s and closed during the communist rule. It re-opened in 1991 and has been an important place of religious worship in the center of Tirana ever since. Tours are given daily.
3. Take a Cooking Tour: If you really want to get to know the history and culture of Tirana, then check out this excellent cooking tour. You’ll start at a local market to collect your ingredients before learning to make some of Albania’s most traditional dishes such as Sheqerpare (traditional butter biscuits).
4. Visit Lake Bovilla: If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Albania’s capital, then consider this awesome hike up nearby Mount Gamti. With transfers from your accommodation, you’ll head to Lake Bovilla before taking a moderate hike into the mountains to enjoy stunning views over Bovilla Lake.
5. Go Shopping: If you’re staying in 21 Djetori, then you’re close to another great mall in Tirana. LC Waikiki is a modern and air-conditioned mall that’s perfect for escaping the heat in the high season. It has over 60 stores as well as places to eat and drink.
Where to Eat and Drink in 21 Djetori
As a busier part of Tirana, there are some fantastic local food options in 21 Djetori:
1. Tek Zgara Tironës: Tek is a brilliant, local zgara (grill house) serving deliciously soft meat and big portions. You’ll find a traditional BBQ menu here, with meat, salads, and grilled vegetables aplenty. The service is highly rated, and it’s a great value place to eat.
2. Opa: Opa specializes in Greek street food and is another option for a wallet-conscious quick bite. The pitas and gyros are delicious, and there are lots of vegetarian options. It’s popular with locals and travelers alike.
3. Oborri: For something a little more upmarket, try Oborri. A beautifully decorated restaurant and cocktail bar, it serves incredible food all day. Later in the evening, try one of their amazing, classical cocktails in a picturesque setting.
FAQs About the Best Areas to Stay in Tirana
Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about where to stay in Tirana.
Tregu Cam is great if you’re staying a short time and want to explore. Blloku is perfect for nightlife and restaurants, and 21 Djetori is an excellent base for more budget-conscious travelers.
Generally, any of the central neighborhoods are safe neighborhoods in Tirana. I recommend staying in one of the 5 neighborhoods in this article, simply because they are best placed for exploring. Further out of the center, you’ll have to walk further or battle the busy traffic of Tirana.
Blloku is a super safe neighborhood in Tirana because it’s popular and busy day and night. There are also a lot of tourists that stay here. That said, all the neighborhoods in this article are perfectly safe.
For shopping, I recommend Tregu Cam or 21 Djetori. Both are close to popular shopping malls and within easy reach of boutique shops.
If you love nightlife and great food, Blloku is the best option. If you want to experience more local culture, I love Zona 1. For budget-conscious travelers, head to 21 Djetori.
I recommend at least 3–4 days in Tirana to experience some of the best things to do in this amazing capital.
I hope this post helps you plan where to stay in Tirana, and get a flavor of what the different neighborhoods in the city are all about.
One thing is for sure, wherever you stay in Tirana, you’re guaranteed to eat some excellent food, drink up some amazing Albanian culture, and stay busy with all the fantastic things to do in this brilliant city.