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What started as a photo-sharing app is now the world’s most famous social network and a must-have for every travel photographer. Instagram became a kind of guide for travelers who want to find exceptional and unusual spots in a city, which sometimes can’t be found in traditional guide books. Finding the most Instagrammable places in a city is on the top of many travel bucket lists. And Tirana will not disappoint you.
The huge building designed by a group of four architects including Enver Hoxha’s daughter and son-in-law, is one of the landmarks of the Albanian capital and a favorite hang-out spot among students and children. The massive Pyramid, which over the years served as a temporary base for NATO forces during the Kosovo War, a nightclub, Top Channel headquarters, and a space for events, is to be revitalized and transformed into a multi-functional centre for culture, art and technology.
The Grand Park of Tirana, which includes the artificial lake, is the lungs of the capital city. This beautiful large green space, located at the end of the Blloku district, is at its best during spring, when the trees bloom, and fall, when everything is colored in warm shades. Families love to spend their free time here, not only because it’s one of the best places to take a long walk, but also because it is home to the largest amusement park in town.
One of the most Instagrammable spots in Tirana is the colorful Pazari i Ri, or New Bazaar. This large food market was transformed two years ago and today is a must-see for every traveler. Walk around the market’s area to admire the new building façades and fun architecture of the neighborhood. Then, enjoy some fresh seafood in one of the many surrounding restaurants.
Reja, aka “The Cloud”, is one of the coolest photography places in Tirana, located just in front of the National Gallery of Arts, in the centre of the city. Designed by the Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, this structure has gradually become one of the symbols of the Albanian capital and one of the most popular spots for cool selfies, too.
The largest square in Albania is home to several ideal Instagram spots: the Carousel, the National Historical Museum, the Et’Hem Bey Mosque and, of course, Skanderbeg’s statue, which represents the most famous Albanian national hero of all the times, Gjergj Kastriot Skënderbeu. To capture a nice bird’s-eye-view shot of the square, climb the Clock Tower, which offers great panoramas.
Tirana may not have the same type of type of beauty as some other Eastern Europe capitals, but it definitely has its own charm. The town is very colorful mainly due to plenty of street art works painted by some of the most famous local and international artists. This June, Tirana will host the second edition of MurAl Fest, a festival dedicated to street art where street artists will paint empty buildings in various areas of Tirana. Most of the murals are now located in the Blloku district: so keep your eyes open while visiting this vibrant neighborhood.
During the communist era, Albanians built hundreds of bunkers throughout the entire country. The two most notorious ones were turned into museums and quickly became some of the most visited spots in Tirana. BunkArt is a huge underground bunker built in the outskirts of the capital, while BunkArt2 is located right in the heart of Tirana. Visit both if you have time.
Opened last December, Kalaja e Tiranës is the new gastronomical, cultural and artistic hub of the capital. As such, it quickly became one of the most Instagrammable places in Tirana, too! Once here, you can opt to visit private art galleries, enjoy a fresh smoothie in one of the cafés, buy some local products in the boutiques or eat traditional tasty Albanian food at the restaurant Luga e Argjendtë.
The Tanners’ Bridge is the only example of an Ottoman bridge that is still visible today in Tirana. While hidden between modern buildings and hotels, it remains in very good condition. Located a 5-min walk from the Tirana Promenade, it is easy to find. If you are into old architecture, this is the right place for you!
When you are in Tirana and have extra time, don’t forget to spend a day in the outskirts of the capital. Mount Dajti is the best option to relax and enjoy nature. During springtime, flowers cover the mountain, but in the fall when everything is orange and red, Mount Dajti is definitely at its most beautiful and photogenic. You can bet on plenty of amazing photos for your IG account!
By: Francesca Masotti
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