READ THE FULL ITINERARY: 1 MONTH – THE BALKAN COAST
Tirana — Better by bike
Tirana is Albania’s Capital City.
I spent 2 nights at Mosaic Hostel
The staff at the hostel were very friendly. Melissa, the receptionist, always helped me out with everything I needed.
Tirana gets extremely hot in August. I was literally sweating all day long so just to warn you: carry water and bring a hat with you- this is a must!
What I loved about Tirana was the view from the highest part of the city. I was surprised how well organised the city is for cyclists: there are cycle paths pretty much everywhere you go.
One thing you can do is hire a bike from your hostel. At my hostel, a good mountain bike could be rented for 500 LEK all day.
With all that said, here are some top recommendations for Tirana:
- Explore the historic city centre by bike;
- If you have time, go up to the Dajti Mountain;
- For the best view of the city go to Lapidario (by bike for a good workout);
LUNCH AT THIS PLACE:
- Teg Zgara e Tirones (traditional Albanian Food)
DRINK & NIGHTLIFE:
- Radio Bar;
- Nouvelle Vague;
- Izzy living;
- Silver Spoon;
All of these are bars and pubs frequented by locals which not many tourists know about. I happened across Radio Bar By chance. I was the only tourist in there, plus the girl behind the bar couldn’t even speak English, but I love finding these kinds of places where you get a better understanding of the culture and lifestyle in other countries.
I had lunch at Teg Zgara e Tirones : with 10 Euro, I had a big Albanian lunch composed of meat, salad and some house speciality – just so yummy!
It was time for me to change country, and the morning after I left Albania in direction of Montenegro.
You can take the bus from Tirana to Montenegro easily from a bus station. If you stay at same hostel as me, is about 15 minute walk to this station.
Just to warn you, I did not have a great experience at this bus station.
TIP: DO NOT BUY TICKETS ON THE INTERNET FOR THIS TYPE OF JOURNEY: buy it directly at the station.
This was my mistake. I bought ticket online and when arrived at the bus station nobody could recognise the ticket, bus wasn’t there at the time mentioned on the ticket and they kept sending me from office to office, it was hard to communicate and at the end, I had to buy another ticket again.
If you happen to depart from this International bus station in Tirana, buy ticket at the station and NOT online!
The bus will take you to Podgorica from Tirana in about 5 hours.
It is a long journey, so make sure you have some music or a book to read, unless you fall asleep 😉