Here’s our top suggestions for things to do in Tirana Albania, especially if you are travelling with kids!
Tirana is a popular place to visit in Albania, and for a good reason! As the capital city, it’s filled with history, culture and plenty of things to do.
Albania’s capital city has come a long way in the last few years. What was once a concrete jungle filled with communist-style buildings is now a lively and vibrant city with a growing tourism industry.
Though it doesn’t have the same reputation as some of Europe’s other capitals, Tirana is definitely worth a visit, especially if you are travelling with kids. If you’re not sure what to do or what to see in Tirana, keep on reading!
Here’s our top 16 things to do in Tirana with kids.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase something through a link,
I may make a commission – at no extra cost to you.
Please read the disclosure for more information.
Best Things to Do in Tirana
1. Explore Skanderbeg Square
Skanderbeg Square is the heart of Tirana and the perfect place to start exploring the city.
Recently renovated using stone from all areas of Albania, it’s now one of the largest pedestrian areas in the Balkans.
There are some green areas along the edges and even a shaded section, as it can be pretty hot in the summer.
In the summer, the square turns into a bit of a splash pad or giant fountain, with water spouting up through various spots across the square. It’s a popular place in the evenings as well, even in the cooler months!
The square is named after Albania’s national hero, Skanderbeg, and is home to several important landmarks, including the Et’hem Bey Mosque, the National History Museum, the Palace of Culture and of course, a clock tower.
2. Climb the Clock Tower
In any city, climbing the clock tower is a favourite activity for my boys. This one didn’t disappoint and the view of the square from the top is well worth the climb!
There is a small entry fee to climb the clock tower, but it’s worth it!
3. Visit the National Historical Museum
Located in Skanderbeg Square, the National Museum of History is easy to find – just look for the large mosaic mural.
The museum depicts Albania’s rich history through various exhibits and is one of the most important museums in the country.
It’s a great way to spend the afternoon if it’s raining or to cool off in the summer.
While many of the exhibits are geared more towards adults, there is a section for kids as well.
4. Learn About Albania’s Communist Rule
Albania was under communist rule until 1992.
I really had no idea of their history until we arrived in Tirana and started exploring the city. There are quite Communist monuments and buildings throughout the city, which makes for a really interesting contrast to the other places in Europe.
Although I definitely think it’s important to learn about Albanian history and life under communism, I wouldn’t really say the next few Tirana attractions are an activity for young kids.
At age 4.5, my guys were too young to understand the impact of communism and the importance of these monuments. But they were content to explore the bunkers while I read and learned about Albania’s communist history.
5. Visit Bunk’Art 2
Bunk’Art 2 is one of the most unique museums I’ve ever been to. It’s actually a former nuclear bunker that has been converted into a museum. This is definitely a must-see in Tirana!
*There is another, larger, Bunk’Art Museum located farther from the center of Tirana. It’s near the bottom of the Dajti Ekspres Cable Car. We didn’t have a chance to visit it, but it does come highly recommended!
6. See the Pyramid and Peace Bell
Formerly a museum, the Pyramid was originally designed by Enver Hoxha’s daughter to honour his achievements. Now it is covered in graffiti and is closed off to the public.
In front of the Pyramid is the Peace Bell, which was made from bullet shells that were fired in the unrest of the 90’s. It’s a beautiful bell and a good reminder of Albania’s history.
7. Visit Postbllok Memorial
Postbllok is a memorial to commemorate the victims of the communist regime in Albania. The memorial features a bunker, pillars from a labour camp and a piece of the Berlin Wall.
The memorial is located in a park, which is a great place to let the kids run around and explore.
8. Take a Walking Tour
In many large cities, you’ll find free (or paid) walking tours. I think these are a great way to see the city and learn about things that might not be in your guide book.
We took one of the Free Walking Tours, which was excellent. The 2 hour long tour is led by a local guide and meets at the steps of the Opera house in Skanderbeg Square.
If you’re not a fan of the free walking tours, this walking tour covers many of the main Tirana tourist attractions and includes entrance to the National Historical Museum.
9. See the Cloud
The Cloud is a popular art installation made from white steel rods; it’s supposed to resemble a soft fluffy cloud.
During the summer evenings, it’s home to various performances or cultural activities.
The rest of the time, it’s open for people to wander through, climb up and have a seat. After visiting some of the communist monuments, the Cloud is a great spot to rest and let the kids climb.
10. Walk Rruga Murat Toptani
Rruga Murat Toptani is a pedestrian street that runs through the central part of city. The street is lined with trees and passes the remains of Tirana Castle.
There’s also plenty of shops, cafes, restaurants and the large indoor shopping center. If your kids enjoy riding escalators, this is a good spot to take a break indoors.
11. Visit the Grand Park
A perfect place to get away from the busy city, the Grand Park is walking distance from the city center. It’s a popular spot for locals to jog, bike or come out for an evening walk.
The park has a playground as well as bike rentals, an artificial lake with paddleboats and plenty of space to run around. It’s a great spot to cool off in the summer!
12. Relax at Rinia Park
Right in the centre of the city, Rinia Park is one of the most popular places to visit in Tirana. There’s plenty of space for kids to run around, as well as swings and a jungle gym structure.
Also known as the Taiwan, it’s a good spot to relax or have a bite to eat at the cafe. The park is also home to the Tirana sign, for those that like the photo op, but it was closed off for renovations while we were there.
Also on the way are quite a few small playgrounds. These were great to stop at for a few minutes and let the boys get a bit of energy out, before continuing on our walk.
13. Go to the Top of Dajti Mountain
Dajti Mountain is a great place to escape the city and get some fresh air. The Dajti Ekspres cable car takes you up to the top of the mountain, where you’ll have stunning views of the city and surrounding mountains. What kid doesn’t love a cable car?
It’s a fairly long ride up to the top of the mountain, but worth going.
At the top is Mount Dajti National Park, with some kid-friendly activities, including a few playgrounds, pony rides, lots of walking and hiking trails, a great viewpoint and a restaurant that overlooks the city but the highlight for the boys was the bouncy castle and slide. They could have stayed there all day!
Things to Do Near Tirana
14. Explore Durres
One of Albania’s oldest cities, Durres is just a short 30 minute drive from Tirana, which makes for a great day trip. It’s home to one of the largest Roman amphitheaters in the Balkans and part of the Old Town Wall still exist. Walk along the waterfront or enjoy the beaches. It’s a popular spot for locals in the summer months, especially on the weekends.
15. Visit Kruja
Kruja is a medieval city located about an hour from Tirana. Formerly a capital of the Kingdom of Albania and the home of Albania’s hero, Skanderbeg, Kruja has plenty of history to share. Explore Kruja Castle and the Skanderbeg Museum or shop at the bazaar for traditional local crafts.
16. Take a Day Trip to Berat
Another option for a day trip from Tirana is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Berat. The main attraction here is the castle, which is set on a hilltop and offers great views of the city.
We spent a few days there, exploring the castle, crossing the bridges and wandering the narrow streets of the two main quarters. It’s definitely a spot worth visiting!
The day trip is about 7 hours, including travel time to Berat, which may be a bit rushed for families. And to be honest, Berat really deserves more than a few hours of a visit!
Where to Stay in Tirana
We stayed in an apartment close to Skanderberg Square, which was a great location, as it was easy to walk everywhere. There are several hotels in Tirana, but we found many apartments available on booking.com and prefer to stay in these when travelling with kids.
Check for available accommodation here.
Getting Around Tirana
Tirana is a very walkable city and we found that we could walk everywhere we needed to.
Buses run frequently from the main square to Dajti Mountain and the airport. The square is the hub for all buses, including local and regional buses or the airport shuttle.
(Tirana’s airport is the major international airport in Albania and a short 30 minute drive from downtown).
We rented a car for the rest of our time in Albania, but used public transportation in Tirana.
Visiting Tirana with Kids
Tirana is a great city to visit with kids! There are so many things to do in Tirana, both for kids and parents and there are plenty of small play areas to be found throughout the city.
All of the things to do in Tirana that we have listed above are kid-friendly, although some may be more appreciated by the parents.
My kids and I loved our time in Tirana and hope that you do as well!
When to Visit Tirana
The best time to visit Tirana is really anytime of the year!
Spring and early autumn will have the nicest temperatures to explore and it won’t be too hot or too chilly. Temperatures will be warm in the summer but many people will be visiting the beaches and spots on the coast instead of the capital city, so things won’t be too crowded in Tirana.
But there are plenty of things to do in Tirana in the winter too. There are more rainy days (perfect for exploring the museum and art gallery) but temperatures remain above freezing and you can expect averages to be between 10-15°.
If you’re visiting Tirana in December, the Christmas Market lights up Skanderbeg Square and creates a magical festive atmosphere.
How many days do you need in Tirana?
We spent three days in Tirana before heading south to explore Berat and the coast, but we easily could have stayed longer. There are so many fun things to do in Tirana, that we wished we had more time to explore. But even if you only have a weekend in Tirana, that’s plenty of time to explore the city.
If you have any other suggestions on what to do in Tirana, let us know in the comments below!
For more ideas on things to do in Albania, be sure to check out these posts: