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Albania

Best day trips from Tirana

Tirana, Albania - Areal view from Sky tower to Tirana city center at sunset main sights of downtown.

For many years the Albanian capital was associated mostly with its turbulent history of years of suppression under the Stalinist regime. Now, with an immense growth of population, the city is changing rapidly. With a bustling café culture, green areas to walk around and a vivid nightlife, Tirana is attracting more visitors every year.

Tirana is also known as a great hub for day trips. Whether you are in for a full day tour or look for ideas for a quick getaway, our day trips guide will help you navigate among the many excursions available!

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Day trip from Tirana to Krujë

Krujë (in English also referred to as “Kruja”) is a charming, medieval village, once inhabited by the ancient tribe of Illyrians. One of the most popular landmarks is Krujë Castle; it is a citadel of elliptical shape that remained out of reach of the Ottoman Empire during the medieval invasions. It is believed that the Krujë Castle was raised in the 5th or 6th century.

Nowadays the castle hosts a museum, dedicated to an Albanian military commander named Gjergj Kastrioti, also known as the “Dragon of Albania”. On the road to leading up to the Krujë Castle, you will see a section of a 450-year-old bazaar, filled with stalls selling traditional crafts and antiques. Save some time for a relaxed walk around the castle grounds; the well-preserved tower and fortress walls braid beautifully with the rocky mountain tops in the backdrop. Continue the stroll through Krujë Old Town, admiring the stunning pieces of the Ottoman architecture! 

Day trips from Tirana to Krujë are some of the most popular and easy to arrange. The two cities are just 30 kilometres apart. From Tirana, you can find mini-buses for no more than 2 USD for a single one-way ticket. The journey will take about 45 minutes, and the coaches depart from the market area by the main train station. 

Day trip from Tirana to Krujë

Panorama of the city of Kruja in central Albania from the hill with a medieval citadel overlooking modern residential buildings against the backdrop of the mountains.

Day trip from Tirana to Sari Salltik Cave

If booked with a tourist agency, many day trips from Triana to Krujë would include a visit to the Sari Salltik Cave, but also if you are travelling to Krujë on your own, a visit to the cave can easily become a part of your day trip. Sari Salltik is a sacred cave, located near the Krujë Castle, on an almost 1200 meter-tall hill and it serves as the centre of the Bektashi Order. The order practices a form of mystical Sufism spreading teachings of tolerance and open-minded exchange. The Bektashi mosques have no minarets, there is no gender separation and the women do not have to wear veils.

The peak of the mountain on which the Holy Shrine of Sari Salltik is located is accessible by road, but you can also hike if you want to enrich your day trip with some activity and stunning views on your way up the hill. From the centre of Krujë, the round trip up and down the mountain will take you around 3 hours. The path is easy to follow, and besides some parts with stairs, the hike is not overly challenging. On top of the mountain, except for astonishing views of lakes and urban settlements below, you will find a fountain of holy water and Albania’s very first mosque.

Day trip from Tirana to Sari Salltik Cave

Day trip from Tirana to Prizren

Known for its narrow cobblestone alleyways and Ottoman houses, the small Kosovar town of Prizren is located only 20 minutes from the Albanian border; a popular destination for a day trip from Tirana to Kosovo. 

One of the city’s most famous monuments, dating back to the times of the Ottoman occupation, is the Sinan Pasha Mosque well-known for its high minaret. Another must-see is the Kalaja Fortress. On the way to the Prizren Fortress, you will find the remains of the old Church of St. Savior. Prizren is also known for Church of Our Lady of Ljeviš, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is an Orthodox church that served as a mosque until 1911. It is mostly known for its remarkable frescoes in several layers, as parts of the religious artworks were covered and painted over during Turkish rule.

In 2004 the church was damaged, and is still not open to visitors, but can be admired from the outside. Take a stroll around the old town and make sure to taste the local cuisine; the popular barbecue dishes and local pizzas. The best area for food scouting is Shadervan where many restaurants open in the early morning already.

Day trips from Tirana to Prizren are best arranged through a travel agency; there are no direct public transport connections between the two cities.

Day trip from Tirana to Prizren

Prizren, Kosovo - Panoramic view on ex-capital

Day trip from Tirana to Durres

Durres is mostly known for its beach (the largest in Albania), but the city is also filled with remarkable cultural and historical sites, among them the Durres Amphitheatre. Even though it was built in 100 AD by Roman Emperor Hadrian, it was not rediscovered until the 1960s!

Fascinating about the amphitheatre is not only its magnificent size but the presentation of the Roman transition to Christianity. Within the amphitheatre you will find a chapel decorated with impressive pieces of wall mosaics of Christian saints, documenting the religious purpose of the amphitheatre.

Another must-see, are the remains of the Durres Castle, consisting of a wall and a tower, often called “The Venetian Tower”. It dates way back to the 5th century and the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I who was born in Durres. It is also recommended to save some time to visit the Roman Baths. The bath complex is located behind the Aleksander Moisiu Theatre on the city’s central square. 

From Tirana you can get to Durres using the public buses; the travel time is only 45 minutes, and the fee is 2 EUR (around 2,2 USD) for a single, one-way ticket. If you want to be sure not to miss any of the major city attractions, we recommend booking a Durres day trip from Tirana with a tourist agency.

Day trip from Tirana to Durres

DURRES, ALBANIA - A saure in Durres. The city is touristic place of Albania.

Day trip from Tirana to Berat

Berat in Albania is a riverfront city, best known for its historic city centre, listed as part of the UNESCO World Heritage. A must-see site is Kala; Berat’s old castle. It is located on the top of a hill and gives beautiful views of the town and a peek inside of the castle walls where a small town was built. Behind the castle, you will see the Holy Trinity Church. Dating back to the 14th century, the church is regarded to be one of the most beautiful religious buildings in Albania.

In the Kala district, you will also find the Onufri Museum that houses remarkable paintings from the 16th century created by Albanian icon-masters. Built on the foundations of an earlier chapel, the church dates back to 1797. We also recommend a visit to the Ethnographic Museum if you are curious to learn more about Berat’s ancient history. The museum is located in an Ottoman house from the 18th century and hosts exhibitions of items and artefacts from ancient times.

Day trips from Tirana to Berat can be booked with agencies online, but you can also reach Berat by (informally operating) minibuses called “furgon”. To go to Berat, take the southbound bus; they depart every 30 minutes between 6.30 AM – 5.30 PM. 

Day trip from Tirana to Berat

Holy Trinity Church, a medieval Byzantine church at the Berat Citadel in Albania

Wine Tasting tour in Alpeta Winery in Roshnik Village

Located only 12 kilometres from Berat is the Roshnik Village. It is a tranquil little town where you can take a laid-back stroll to observe rural life, but the most well-known attraction in town is the Alpeta Winery. The winery tours include a walk through the vineyards and the fields and a visit to the 300-year-old house of the Qyperlinj family who had governmental affiliations and held office during the era of the Ottoman rule.

After learning more about the cultural and historical heritage of the Roshnik Village, the time will come for wine tasting! In the Alpeta Winery, the visitors are introduced to the winemaking processes and get to taste different wines as well as raki (traditional Albanian spirit). The wine tasting is often paired with cheese and fig degustation, so prepare for a well-curated culinary experience!

Make a trip to the Alpeta Winery a part of your day trip to Berat or book a direct tour from Tirana with an agency.

Wine Tasting tour in Alpeta Winery in Roshnik Village

Grapes harvest in vineyard in Tirana countryside Albania

Day trip from Tirana to Shkodra

Shkodra (also called Shkoder) is much different from the Albanian capital. Here you will find calm and cosy alleyways, perfect for a relaxed stroll, a bustling café scene and great areas for biking tours! The town is surrounded by Lake Skadar and mountaintops. Along the lake wind the most popular cycling trails going through Shiroka and Zogaj, the tiny lakeside villages where you can see a nostalgic glimpse of rural Albanian life.

Back in the city centre, you will find Shkodra’s picturesque old town. Despite the brutal past of the Soviet regime, the city centre remains charming and calm, with pastel-hued building facades and cosy cafés. If you are looking for unique souvenirs, do not forget to stop by the local bazaar

If you are looking for a remarkable spot to watch the sunset from, we recommend going up to the Rozafa Castle. From the city’s historic fortress, you will see the peaks of the Albanian Alps, and it is a great getaway from crowds and traffic. It is best to arrive one or two hours before sunset to guarantee enough time to explore the site before dusk.

Day trips from Tirana to Shkodra are best arranged as a guided day trip booked through an agency; there are direct buses between the two cities, but the journey takes 3 hours each way.

Day trip from Tirana to Shkodra

Rozafa Castle rises imposingly on rocky hill in Shkoder city, Albania

Day trip from Tirana to Gjirokastra 

With narrow, cobbled streets, Ottoman houses and a bustling Old Bazaar known for handmade carved wood pieces and handwoven rugs, Gjirokastra (also known as Gjirokastër) is a popular destination for a day trips from Tirana. Explore the atmospheric city centre, and treat yourself with a local pastry served with a cup of special ‘Mountain Tea’ or traditional, stone-ground coffee.

Do not miss the Gjirokastra Castle! The fortification dates back to the medieval times and was expanded during the Ottoman rule, the bus has since then undergone several renovations, most recently in the early 2000s.

We also strongly recommend visiting the Gjirokastër Ethnographic Museum. The institution is built on the site of the Albanian communist dictator Enver Hoxha’s birth; the building was erected in 1966 after the original building of Hoxha’s birth was damaged by a fire. Gjirokastra Ethnographic Museum brings back the traditional Gjirokastra lifestyle. Learn more about local arts and crafts, the meaning behind patterns on local tapestries and clothes and have a look at items and artefacts that used to belong to wealthy 19th-century merchant families.

With no direct bus connections between Tirana and Gjirokastra, we recommend booking the tour with a tourist agency. Coaches from Tirana go through Kakavia, and including the transfer time, the one-way journey would take more than 6 hours.

Day trip from Tirana to Gjirokastra 

Gjirokastra Castle Albania unesco World heritage sightseeings

Day trip from Tirana to Skopje including Lake Ohrid

One of Europe’s deepest and oldest lakes, Lake Ohrid was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, and it is a popular stop for tours from Albania to Skopje, the Macedonian capital. With a broad offer of water tours, it is a great way to add a refreshing and fun stop to your day trip from Tirana to Macedonia.

In Skopje, take the chance to walk over the many bridges over the Vardar River, beautiful views of the city guaranteed! The most well-known is the Art Bridge; it is a pedestrian-only bridge, lined with statues of famous Macedonian artists and musicians. The bridge leads up to the National Archaeology Museum, make it a stop on your Skopje trip too!

Do not forget to visit the Kale Fortress either! It has crowned over Skopje since the 6th century but was partially destroyed during the Ottoman occupation. Today only 121 meters of the fortress wall and 3 watchtowers remain intact. The fortress is situated at the highest point in the city and provides great views of Skopje and the Vardar River.

Tirana and Skopje are almost 300 kilometres apart; instead of using public transportation, we recommend renting a car, and if you do not feel comfortable driving on your own, look for guided day trips online!

Day trip from Tirana to Skopje including Lake Ohrid

Sveti Jovan Kaneo Church on Lake Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia

Recommended day trips from Tirana

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Best day trips from Tirana

Best day trips from Tirana

Best day trips from Tirana

Article written by:

Hi, my name is Samantha, Finance Managing Guru by day, Travel Blogging Enthusiast by... well... day too! Haha! Travelling King is the destination hotspot for the wannabe traveller! Showcasing affordable, luxurious getaways for the budget conscious! With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!