When booking summer vacations in Europe, many Americans look to Italy, France, Greece, Spain, and even Croatia. These countries are mainstream and popular tourist destinations for decades now. And while they are all beautiful and worth it destinations; this summer might be a good time to try somewhere off the beaten path and visit Tirana, Albania.
Tirana, Albania is a city emerging from the darkness, writes Travel Off Path. Albania has a violent and troubling recent history that includes revolution, civil war, pyramid schemes, corruption, and more. The country however has emerged from these problems to become a wonderful tourism destination; a place to live, and home base for digital nomads.
A City For Young People
Tirana was named the European Youth Capital of 2022. This special designation from the EU shows Tirana’s willingness to become a hot spot for young people in the region. As a result, the city is undergoing a massive facelift. New buildings are going up every day with some of them being built for the purpose of advancing technological and youth initiatives. For example, the Pyramid of Tirana, a long standing monument to the communist regime that ruled the country, is being transformed into a technology center aiming to educate Albanian youths in coding, design, and more.
Beyond education and work, Tirana’s cafe culture and nightlife is perfect for young people of all interests. Moreover, the city boasts the most cafes per capita of any European city. There’s something for everyone from relaxed coffee shops slinging specialty roasts, to fancy cocktail bars, to the perfect pub for a pint.
What About The Food?
Albanian food is like a cross between the flavorful and heavy pasta dishes of Italy, the simple, subtle Mediterranean dishes of Greece, and the meaty cuisine of the rest of the Balkans.
Do You Like To Be In Nature?
There are parks all over home to soccer fields, playgrounds and outdoor cafes. More specifically, the biggest park is “Grand Park of Tirana” and is home to a massive manmade lake. In the summer months you can see people dotting the shores of the lake tanning, picnicking, and just hanging. There’s a circa 5 mile walking and bike path around the lake as well. It’s a great place to go for your morning run/ride.
Go To A Game Without Breaking The Bank
Speaking of soccer, Albanians are huge soccer fans. Tirana is home to the local club “KF Tirana” and they play at the brand new/state of the art Air Albania Stadium. In the US, going to any sporting event costs a fortune from tickets to concessions its a few hundred dollars to have a good time. But, in Tirana you can go to a game every weekend, sitting in lower bowl good seats for about $5 per ticket.