Tirana Albania

Tirana, the bargain European city break tipped to be big in 2024

A holiday hotspot is growing in popularity thanks to its cheap prices, amazing landscapes and fascinating history. This is Tirana. While places like Spain and Greece have been among Brits’ favorite destinations for years, one European country has often been overlooked.

Albania is a country that often slips under the radar, despite its fascinating history, amazing natural landscapes and beaches with crystal-clear water. Despite going unnoticed by large swathes of Brit holiday makers, Albania has been growing in popularity in recent years.

While most holiday makers flock to Ksamil, Himarë, and Sarandë on the Albanian Riviera, the country’s capital city of Tirana is also growing in popularity thanks to its affordable prices.

As reported by a team of travel experts at eurochange, Tirana has some of the cheapest beers in Europe, with an average pint costing £2.06.

The travel website, In Love with Albania, lists several different types of national beer holiday makers should sample, including Birra Korca, which is often considered to be the first Albanian beer. Other beers to try include Birra Tirana (a pilsner), Birra Stela and Birra Peja. Not only are the pints cheap, but plates of grub in the city are extremely affordable too.

The travel experts at eurochange have revealed that holidaymakers can purchase a three-course meal for as little as £20.63 per person.

Traditional grub

One of the country’s national dishes is the Tavë kosi – a dish of baked lamb and rice, served with a flavored yoghurt sauce.

Other traditional dishes include Byrek, a savory pie made from thin layers of dough and filled with a variety of ingredients like cheese, spinach and seasoned meat.

There’s also pispili, which is a cornbread packed with leeks, feta, green onions and spinach.

For something a little sweeter, holidaymakers should aim to try Trilece – a baked pudding made from three different types of milk.

Laura Evans-Fisk, head of digital engagement at eurochange said: “Whilst Brits can often snap up some cheaper deals by booking a package holiday, the destinations can be limited to the more popular resorts across Europe. 

“If exploring a lesser-known destination is important to you, booking flights and accommodation separately is often the best way to go. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t still find a bargain deal.”

In addition to the bargain food and drink, there are plenty of things to do in the capital city.

Fascinating museums

One of those places is Bunk’Art 1 – a massive Cold War bunker turned museum.

The communist dictator Enver Hoxha built the huge story underground palace to protect himself and other officials in the 1970s.

The bunker opened as a tourist attraction in 2014. Now it houses modern history exhibitions as well as pieces of contemporary art.

There’s also Bunk’Art 2, which opened more recently, and covers the history of the Albanian Ministry.

Another popular tourist attraction is the Cable Car, which is located just 15 minutes from the centre of the city.

The Dajti Ekspres is the longest cableway in the Balkans, and it gives holidaymakers views across the entire city.

At the summit, visitors will be able to enjoy a bite to eat at the rotating cafe. It is located on the 7th floor of the Dajti Tower Hotel.

Another prime location is Skanderbeg Square, which is the city’s main square.

Ryanair and Wizz Air operate direct flights from London to Tirana, with flights starting from £15 for a one-way ticket.

Flights from London to Tirana take roughly three hours.

Accommodation is also cheap, with overnight stays costing, on average £38 per night, according to the research from eurochange.

Sun Online Travel have found an overnight stay at the Lot Boutique Hotel by Hotels and Preference. It is a five-star hotel located just 400 yards from the city centre, for £42 per night per person.

There are other options too, including a five-star hotel called Hotel Boutique Vila 135, which costs £36 per night.

The local language is Albanian – although staff speaks English at most hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions.

The Albanian LEK is the country’s official currency, with £10 getting 1216 LEK.

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