Tirana: One of Top Five European Cities to Enjoy the Holiday Spirit this Year - Into Albania

Tirana: One of Top Five European Cities to Enjoy the Holiday Spirit this Year

As so many other locations in Europe remain closed off to travelers, Tirana switches on the dazzling atmosphere for wonderful end-of-the-year celebrations.   

Skanderbeg Square. Photo from Tirana Municipality.

It seems that Albania is ideal not only as a hot summer spot but as a heartwarming, welcoming winter holiday destination! The end of this tumultuous years finds world travelers who hope to spend their holidays in Europe all but stranded. With most of Europe closed off to world travelers, as a result of a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases during the fall and winter seasons, the capital of Albania becomes one among 5 European Cities You Can Visit This Christmas Despite the EU Entry Ban.

Decorations on Skanderbeg Square and main boulevard. Photo by Gent Onuzi.

Albania’s capital leads the way in one of the most surprising, if not inspiring, winter holiday lists to date. According to the informative European news portal, Schengenvisainfo.com, travelers don’t have to despair as the unlikely combination of cities such as Croatia’s Zagreb and Dubrovnik, Turkey’s Istanbul and Russia’s St. Petersburg, is here to help. With most of Europe off-limits, this may be exactly the right time to get to see these uniquely magical cities.

 “Germany, France and other EU countries may be known for their Christmas markets, but other places like Albania, Turkey, and Russia, celebrate Christmas in a whole different level.”

The Christmas Tree and Clock Tower (by Et’Hem Bey Mosque) of Skanderbeg Square. Photo by Edi Vata.

Tirana’s many decorated squares, full of lights and festivities, are some of the best alternatives for all those itching to travel and celebrate the end of 2020 somewhere new. As a capital characterized by a multiplicity of religions, existing in total harmony with one another, Tirana offers a safe haven for travelers of all creeds, offering them all infinite choices of celebrating the end of the year as they wish. As such, the capital embodies the very spirit of the holidays, gathering people from different countries and religions.

 “Often called ‘the last beacon of religious tolerance in Europe’, Albania is a country of religious harmony, and all religions live together, not only without disturbing one another but also by celebrating each-others important religious dates.”

The dazzling but cozy atmosphere of Albania’s capital includes Christmas lights on the tree-lined kilometers-long main boulevard of the city, culminating, from both ends, in the center on Skanderbeg Square where a gigantic tree brings everyone together. No decisions have yet been made on whether the traditional Christmas markets will be organized this year. This, however, does not take anything away from a festive atmosphere that welcomes all travelers to join in.

Skanderbeg Square. Photo from Alvaro Tal Cual.

It is important to note that though no negative COVID-19 test is required to enter the country, there are health screening procedures in place at airports and other points of entry.

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