All roads in Tirana lead to Skanderbeg Square, centrepoint of the city and, therefore, the nation as a whole. Marked at its southern end by an equestrian statue of national hero Skanderbeg, who led the ultimately unsuccessful resistance to fifteenth-century Ottoman invasions. The imposing National History Museum sits at the north side of the square and is worth a quick visit, particularly for its coverage of Hoxha’s concentration camps..

Heading clockwise around the square you’ll find the Palace of Culture, which houses the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet. Then comes the pretty Et’hem Bey Mosque, which was closed off during Communist rule; one sunny day in 1991, thousands flocked here to make use of their new-found religious freedom. Right next door is the tall clock tower, which can be climbed for views of the square.

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Albania features

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7 things you didn't know you could do in Albania

7 things you didn't know you could do in Albania

Albania often doesn’t get the kudos it deserves. The country still suffers from the echoes of its Communist past: few people travelled in or out for decades d…

26 Oct 2016 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
An Instagram journey through Albania: 11 beautiful pictures

An Instagram journey through Albania: 11 beautiful pictures

During two weeks researching in Albania for the Rough Guide to Europe on a Budget, Web Editor Lottie Gross took over our Instagram account to document her trav…

16 May 2016 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
10 reasons why you need to visit Tirana

10 reasons why you need to visit Tirana

Albania’s capital used to regularly top lists for Europe's worst city. Decades of Stalinist rule left Tirana grey and grim, lacking in both infrastructure and…

27 May 2015 • Garth Cartwright insert_drive_file Article
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