The first thing everyone visit and remember from Tirana is “Skanderbeg Square” and Skanderbeg Monument. Tourists maybe don’t know much about our hero. They want to understand why Albanian is so proud of him and his wars against Ottoman Empire. If you are in Tirana as a tourist, and are interested to know more about this noble man and his history, we recommend a drive to Kruja city to visit the Museum of Skanderbeg there. It is just 50 minutes distance from Tirana, and for sure you will come back full of knowledge about history of Skanderbeg, the hero of Albanians.
Kruja is a very popular tourist city and is easily reachable from Tirana. The city was the centre of Albanian resistance against the Ottomans under our National Hero Scanderbeg. He kept the Ottoman armies from crossing into Western Europe for 25 years, thus earning the title “Athleta Christi” (Champion of Christ) awarded by the Pope of the time. We will visit the Skanderbeg Museum and a rich Ethnographic Museum with almost all items being original from the end of the 19th century. You can also walk through Kruja’s famous Bazaar full of traditional handicrafts and souvenirs. Don’t leave without buying very old souvenirs from this authentic bazaar.
After the visits in Kruja, we return to Tirana to take a tour around the capital where the majority of monuments and cultural sites are situated. You can go and visit the National Museum to complete your knowledge about whole history of Albanians. In the same spirit of the ottoman period you can also visit Kaplan Pasha Tomb, and the Et’hem Beu Mosque, in the center of Tirana, which are cultural monuments protected by state. We suggest you to visit an old characteristic house of Tirana which happens to be also the house of a famous Albanian painter. We will visit the old sitting room with an inside ottoman style balcony and fireplace where many of the paintings have been displayed. We can finish this tour on ottoman history, with a dinner to Oda restaurants, where everything is inspired by that time. The food there is delicious.