Tirana Flights:

Flights to Tirana

image of TiranaSituated in central Albania is the city of Tirana, Albania’s capital and largest city. It’s a pleasant mix of old and new, offering a variety of tourist attractions that will suit most tastes.

Flights to Tirana International Airport Nene Tereza (meaning Mother Theresa) (airport code: TIA) are available from South Africa in either 1 or 2 stop varieties, depending on the airline. Turkish Airlines makes a stop in Istanbul, and Lufthansa connects in Munich. Both Egyptair and South African Airways’ flights to Tirana go the same route through Cairo and Athens. Ethiopian Airlines goes another way altogether, through Addis Ababa and Rome. The airport is 11 kilometres outside of the city, and is usually just called the Rinas Airport.

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The Tourist Attractions of Tirana:

Tirana was founded as a city by the Ottoman Empire in 1614 though there have been people living in the area for far longer than this. Growth of the city began with the building of a mosque and a Turkish bath, and much of the Ottoman era influence can still be seen in Tirana today. This and more provides an assortment of tourist attractions that make Tirana an interesting place to visit.

Skanderbeg Square

Known in Tirana as Sheshi Skenderbej and in English as Skanderbeg Square, this square has long been considered the heart of Tirana and it features two of the city’s best known landmarks: Et’hem Bey Mosque and the Clock Tower. The mosque was started in 1789 and took until 1823 to complete. The architecture of the outside doesn’t give you any indication of some of the beautiful internal features, and when prayers are not taking place you can tour the mosque to see intricate frescoes that decorate its interior.

The Clock Tower (Kulla e Sahatit) is directly adjacent to the mosque so you can easily visit both of Tirana’s major landmarks at the same time. The Clock Tower has become a kind of national symbol for Tirana since it was constructed in the 1820s and it’s very popular with tourists today because you can go inside the tower and see some great views over the square and beyond.

You’ll also find the National History Museum on Skanderbeg Square and this makes a good attraction if you’re interested in finding out more about the history of Tirana and Albania as a whole, tracing the history of occupation from ancient times through to the present day.

More Landmarks in Tirana

Though Tirana does have some older architecture the city also features striking new, modern and contemporary architecture too. The Tirana International Centre of Culture is one such example. It’s housed within a building named Piramida, and not surprisingly it’s shaped like a pyramid!

Another older building just 15 kilometres from the centre of Tirana is Petrela Castle. The castle and town of Petrele are definitely worth the visit as you’ll see some great scenery and views of the surrounding countryside from the castle, which is one of the best preserved in Albania.

When Should You Visit?:

Tirana essentially has a Mediterranean climate so this means the city remains mild to hot throughout the year. Summer is the popular time to visit (between May and September) as temperatures are higher and rainfall is low. You can still enjoy a visit to Tirana at other times of the year but from October onwards there’s more rainfall, peaking in November.

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