Sheshi Skënderbej


Sheshi Skënderbej is the best place to start witnessing Tirana's daily goings-on. Until it was pulled down by an angry mob in 1991, a 10m-high bronze statue of Enver Hoxha stood here, watching over a mainly car-free square. Now only the equestrian statue of Skanderbeg remains, and the 'square' – once Tirana's most popular meeting point in the decades where 99% of people were forced to get around on foot – is now a huge traffic roundabout.

Early evening is a particularly nice time to come here. Buskers strum a few tunes and vendors sell popcorn and balloons as the locals stroll and chat.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Tirana attractions

2. Et'hem Bey Mosque

0.05 MILES

To one side of Sheshi Skënderbej, the 1789–1823 Et'hem Bey Mosque was spared destruction during the atheism campaign of the late 1960s because of its…

3. Palace of Culture

0.06 MILES

To the east of Sheshi Skënderbej is the white stone Palace of Culture, which has a theatre, shops and art galleries. Construction of the palace began as a…

4. Bunk'Art 2


The little cousin to the main Bunk'Art, this museum, which is within a communist-era bunker and underground tunnel system below the Ministry of Internal…

5. National History Museum

0.11 MILES

The largest museum in Albania holds many of the country's archaeological treasures and a replica of Skanderbeg's massive sword (how he held it, rode his…

6. Clock Tower

0.12 MILES

Tirana's 35m-tall clock tower was completed by Ottoman architects in 1822, and it was for years the tallest building in the capital, sounding a bell every…

7. House of Leaves

0.15 MILES

This grand old 1930s building started life as Albania's first maternity hospital, but within a few years the focus turned from creating new life to ending…

8. Statue of the Unknown Partisan

0.18 MILES

The socialist realist Statue of the Unknown Partisan, just off Sheshi Skënderbej, seems to be aiming his weapons at the Parliament building (1924) down…