1. Albania borders with Montenegro (north), Greece (south), Kosovo (northeast) and the Central Republic of Macedonia (northwest). The western part of the country has access to the Adriatic Sea, while the Ionian Sea is in the southwest. Tirana is the capital of Albania, a country called “The Country of Eagles and Bunkers” (Albanian name of country: Shqipëria= country of eagles). The capital of Albania can be visited all year long, due to its mild Mediterranean climate. The center of Tirana is best to walk on foot. Photo: roughguides.com, gazetametro.com, lajmi.net
2. The central city square is so called „The Skenderbei Square“ (Giorgio Kastrioti, the Albanian hero, who defended Albania from the Ottomans, was later named Skenderbei amed after the famous Albanian cognac) is the area where the monument is located, ie Statue of the Knights. This square was built in 1614 when Sulejman Pasha Bargjini built the first mosque, bakery, hamam (Turkish bath) and opened several shops. In this square is the Edhem-bey mosque (legacy from the Turkish period).
3. The National History Museum dates back to 1981, the building of the Opera and the National Library are in the main square, while the government buildings on the opposite end of the 1930s, the time of King Zog’s rule.
4. During World War II, occupied Italian fascists by Albania and Tirana. Due to the military parade in honor of them, a boulevard led from the main city square (Bulevar of the People’s Martyrs) was made.
5. The unusual district of Tirana is the famous Block of the Enver Hodz rule (it was in power since the end of the Second World War until 1985 when it passed away), made for communist rulers at that time meant luxury and fun. Today it is part of the city with cafes, hotels, restaurants and shops. Closed for traffic. There is now a new Albanian consumer society.
6. Albanians are excellent hosts and are striving hard to get better.
7. Shopping centers in Tirana are: QTU, CITY PARK and CASSA ITALIA.
8. When you arrive in Tirana, it is a good idea to visit nearby places, for example the beautiful city of Skadar (98 km from Tirana), Drač-the largest Albanian port on the Adriatic Sea, Saranda’s favorite and popular seaside resort, and the southernmost town on the Adriatic coast.
9. Accommodation is easy to find using the internet (eg http://www.booking.com), we recommend Alpin Hotel (firstname.lastname@example.org), near the Skenderbeum Square (a simple hotel, which features a coffee shop on the ground floor of the hotel, price overnight stays with breakfast for two is 30 euros with taxes, free parking is in front of the hotel (Mrs. Angelina, the host is always there for you and all your queries are solved with smile.) All rooms have smaller balconies, coffee / coffee in the room, price is 1 HP / 0,50EURO). In front of the hotel there are numerous stores, supermarkets, pharmacies,…etc.
10. Albania and the capital city of Tirana have been completely unknown to us for years, and in the last couple of years, the situation has changed drastically. This country of eagles and bunkers has long been “closed” in every sense of the word. In Albania, for years it could not even enter or exit, and even beyond it, it could not even fly. Many historians say that Albania has better underground infrastructure than on the ground (bunkers were built all over the country during the dictatorship of Enver Hodz, connected to underground corridors). To convince the quality of the bunker construction, Enver Hodža thrown grenades on them, while the engineers / designers were in bunkers. If bunkers withstood a grenade attack, engineers who survived, if not, sought new engineers. In a country of 3 million people, 600,000 bunkers were built.
11. The flag of Albania is a black eagle – the first symbol of the state. Bunkers are the second symbol of the state. They are located all over the country, dating back to the time of Enver Hodza’s rule. Enver Hodža was born in 1908 in Girokastra (Gjirokastër), a town in the south of Albania. His father, a cloth trader, traveled Europe, and the greatest influence on Hodža was his uncle, Hisen Hodža, a militant fighter for Albania’s independence. Hisen Hodža also fought against the repressive governments that came after independence. Enver Hodža was the supreme leader of Albania and the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Labor from the end of the Second World War to his death in 1985. The Prime Minister of Albania was from 1944 to 1954. He was studying for a while in France to return to Albania where he taught at school prior to entering politics. Hodžin’s idol was Stalin, and when he himself came to power, he tried to copy Stalin, closing all boundaries and abolishing the Albanian population in an outward-looking situation in every sense. He argued that Albania was completely self-sufficient in supplying food, having success in industrialization, electrification, eradication of illiteracy and illness. However, after the collapse of the communist government and the opening of borders with the outside world, the opposite picture has been shown in relation to what the Albanian authorities have so far claimed.
• Albania: 3.5 Million Residents
• The Capital – Tirana (about 600,000 st., However, it is estimated that this number is about one million inhabitants. Interesting fact: Tirana was proclaimed the capital as of 1920.
• Currency: 1 Euro = 140 Albanian Lek
• International Dialing Code for Albania: +355
• Emergency: 17
• Police: 19
• Bank working hours: 07-15 h
For more information, please visit http://www.albaniatourism.eu.