ALI DEMI | LAPRAKE | DON BOSKO | STACIONI I TRENIT | YZBERISHT | KOMBINAT | RRUGA ELBASANIT | QYTETI STUDENTIT | SELITE | PAZARI I RI | VORRI I BOMIT & XHAMLLIKU | KINOSTUDIO – OXHAKU – FRESKU | SAUK | TIRANA E RE | 21 DHJETORI | KOMUNA E PARISIT | BLLOKU | LUXURY LIVING IN TIRANA
Ali Demi is one of the original Tirana neighborhoods.
In the last 30 years, the main commercial activity in the area was based at the Electrical Market, (now moving to Shkoze, closer to Mount Dajti) that’s why you will find referrals to that point very often.
Other important points here are the Bektashi World Centre, the Continental Hospital (private) as well as the secondary school and sports field, named after the WWII hero Ali Demi. The General Police Headquarters is located here as well.
The neighborhood of Laprake is located close to what used to be “Eagle” Roundabout (Sheshi Shqiponja) and is easily accessible by the main road, Rr. Dritan Hoxha via the Tirana e Re bus. This neighborhood is also close to the new Regional Bus Station (under construction) for buses heading to Albanian cities in both the north and south of Albania – this can also be reached by the “Tirana e Re” bus line.
If you are a foreign citizen looking to apply for residency in Albania you will become familiar with this neighborhood, as it is home to the immigration office where you will apply for your permit. This office (Albanian Border and Police) is on Rr. Rexhep Preza.
Laprake is also a sprawling neighborhood well known for its labyrinth side-streets off the main roads. Heading down one of these streets near Don Bosko and along Rr. “Hysni Gerbolli” there is Laprake’s gem, a coveted second-hand market that sells clothes and shoes.
Laprake is also home to the ex-Military Hospital, (“Spitali i Traumes”, which is the public hospital in Tirana that deals with trauma emergencies) and to the American Hospital.
Neighborhood Fun Fact: The former airport of Tirana is in Laprake, now it operates as a helicopter field and is known as Lapraka Airfield or Tirana Aerodrome.
Don Bosko is a lively neighborhood, inundated with cafés, restaurants as well as fruit and vegetable markets!
The church, school, and training center are the most iconic buildings in the neighborhood of Don Bosko. Don Bosko residents have access to a beautiful spacious park perfect for a stroll.
Vizion Plus is the name locals call the dense residential area of high rise apartment buildings, after the TV Station with the same name which is located in the area.
Also, The International Christian Private School GDQ is located in the Don Bosko. This area of Tirana is a short walk from Zogu i Zi and is accessible by different buses, including Tirana Re and the Ring Bus. To access a bus directly into the neighborhood of Don Bosko hop on the Laprake bus.
Lastly, Don Bosko is home to a well known traditional hotel & restaurant called Bujtina e Gjelit. This iconic eatery boasts fabulous surroundings along with a swimming pool for the hot summer months that Tirana is known to have!
Neighborhood Fun Fact: Don Bosko gets its name from the Catholic school and Vocational Training Centre that was established there by the Don Bosko clergy in the 1990s.
This neighborhood is merely a 10-minute walk along Blv Zogu I from central Skanderbeg Square. It is known as Stacioni i Trenit (Train Station) and gets its name from the city center train station that was once located there. Although the train station no longer exists, its association with the area is so well known that its name lives on!
Though there may be no train service to this neighborhood anymore, there is the beautiful New Boulevard with its wide cycling lanes and footpaths making it ideal for an evening stroll with friends or a morning run!
The neighborhood and its surroundings are known by most residents by a number of different notable buildings. In order to get your bearings in the neighborhood, it is useful to become familiar with these well-known reference points. Hipoteka (the government office that deals with property documents, deeds, etc) recently relocated to Tirana Business Park on the way to the airport. This area will continue to be called this name for who knows how long. Nearby, on Rruga Jordan Misja is located, Prison 313, another useful point of reference for the location.
The Organic Shop in Tirana, which stocks local organic products, fruit, veg, dairy, and meat goods is in this area as well. You also find here the Post Office Tirana Zp 5/1 – 1057, which holds parcels and this is where you need to pick them up. The other location is the Post Office at Komuna e Parisit.
Yzberish neighborhood is located on the outskirts of Tirana, close to the new outer ring overpass that allows drivers to bypass the city.
The neighborhood is known for the collection of factories located there, it is home to beer, flour and meat factories. Due to this high concentration of industries, a new and lively residential suburb has emerged.
The area of Yzberish has undergone huge development in recent years and there are many new high rise apartment blocks, which have resulted in a neighborhood packed with bars, shops, restaurants, and markets.
One thing that is very evident in Yzberish is the number of families with young children. Evenings in Yzberish are lively! As an area of Tirana that offers large and newly built apartments at lower rates than those neighborhoods closer to the city center, it has become a popular area for young families.
Yzberish is serviced by its own bus Yzberish / Dogana and is also accessible by the orange Kombinat / Kinostudio bus which stops by the entrance road to the neighborhood beside the private hospital, Spitali Amerikan 3.
Kombinat is a suburb of Tirana that is located on (Rruga e Nroqit) the old road to Durres. It is located approximately 6 kilometers from the center and is serviced by the Kombinat/Kinostudio bus line.
Kombinat used to be home to the former textile combine named after Stalin, and to the former glass factory. Kombinat, similar to Yzberish, has seen huge development in recent years, it has a number of new apartment blocks and is packed with bars, shops, markets, and restaurants. “Garibaldi Square” is a notable reference point in Kombinat. If you continue on the road along Kombinat in the opposite direction of the city you will reach Vaqarr, an area of Tirana where one of the city’s largest cemeteries and the new modern landfill are located holding the same name, “Sharra”.
Neighborhood Fun Fact:
Many of the residential buildings that exist in Kombinat were built in the late ’50 to house factory workers during the communist period.
Elegant and quiet, but at the same time trendy and busy by night, it steals your heart with its old villas and their colorful gardens, turned to fancy hotels, pubs, and restaurants.
This is a part of Tirana that offers a wide range of delicacies; both Albanian cuisine and international delights accompanied by the traditional hospitality Albanian natives are famous for!
If you stop at the intersection with Rruga “Mustafa Matohiti”, there are more than 10 opportunities to choose from, be it for your weekend nights-out or just a drink & lovely food at any time of the day.
Some important embassies are located here: that of the USA, Netherlands, Spain, Iran, Italy (Ambassador’s residence as well).
Also, important institutions as the Albanian RTSH – Radio Televizioni Shqiptar (National Public Broadcaster), Shkolla e Baletit, Liceu Artistik (School of Arts), the Linguistic Highschool, the State Faculty of History and Philology, the private University “Luarasi” are based in the neighborhood.
This area is located on the East side of Rruga e Elbasanit, surrounding the student’s dormitories.
It was built in the early 60’ as a campus for students coming from all over the country to study at the public University of Tirana. Soon after the unrest in all Eastern Europe shook the communist countries, “Qyteti i Studentit” became the heart of the uprising protests against the Albanian totalitarian regime.
Nowadays, there are still hundreds of students inhabiting the Campus, but since conditions need to improve, many of them choose to rent units and rooms elsewhere in the city.
Selite is one of the outskirts of Tirana, located on the Southwest side of the city center.
This area is mostly populated with smaller residential units such as single unit or double unit housing. The part nearest to town is quite known for its high-end villas with small yards. Pricing can be quite high since only executives have been able to rent these villas thus historically paying what the landlords have asked for. These high-end units were built after 1990.
The rest of Selite is quite a regular Tirana suburban area with basic housing mostly occupied by local owners. There is a lower population density in this area and fewer services. Selite has direct access to the Ring Highway connecting to TEG as well as to the Tirana-Durres highway.
Built in 1931, Pazari i Ri served as the main market after the old one was demolished in 1959 (to be replaced by the Palace of Culture).
Renewed in 2016, after almost a year it reopened with a totally fresh and lively look, though keeping some elements of the old-world appeal. Traditional and modern food restaurants, crowded but friendly cafés, create a warm and cheerful atmosphere. Tourists, families, old and new friends meet or walk around, enjoying drinks and mouthfuls of delicious kebabs, sweets, ice cream, sip Turkish coffee, tea, as others shop for meat, dairy or look through the farmers’ markets for fresh and dried fruits, vegetables, spices, souvenirs and more.
It holds within a few famous smaller areas as Selvia, Mujo, and Kodra e Kuqe (reaching out to Stacioni i Trenit) that still preserve old houses typical of the city. One of the oldest monuments of this part of Tirana is the Tanners Bridge
They say that a long time ago, Shaban (Bami), an ancient inhabitant of that area, was the first to be buried there.
Through decades it turned into a cemetery with well-definite Muslim, Christian, and foreign sectors, until the ’70s, when it was completely destroyed to build prefabricated buildings that accommodated hundreds of families moving from other areas of the city. Other construction from socialist architecture took over the territory and a new sub-neighborhood was created called Xhamlliku, (Glass Windows) because of the large windowpanes from a few shops in what we call today Sheshi Jozef Shtraus (Josef Strauss Square – named after the charismatic former Bavarian minister-president who determined a new diplomatic era between Germany and Albania)
This area is always busy and noisy and one of the things to notice all year through is elderly men crowding the benches playing chess or domino, an old tradition that continues today. Next to Xhamlliku, on its northern part is located in Tirana’s main medical center, the University Medical Centre “Mother Theresa”.
KINOSTUDIO – OXHAKU – FRESKU
From the city center heading towards Mount “Dajti”, Rruga “Xhanfize Keko” takes you to the area named Oxhaku (you can’t miss the tall chimney) and then to the “Ministry of Culture” (former National Film Studio, aka Kinostudio), now surrounded by the private TV channels like TV Klan and Ora NEWS.
Continuing on to Qesarake, once a village outside Tirana is now turned into one of Tirana’s neighborhoods known as Fresku, (named after a local Large restaurant). This area is full of multi-story buildings and busy cafés, where density is becoming quite important lately.
The Porcelani line bus goes through all the neighborhood and takes you very close to Bunkart1 and then almost 5 min walk to the cable car station, Dajti Express. The road from here continues to reach Mt. Dajti park and after onto Shengjergj.
The area is well serviced by buses, many of them heading to TEG pass through the village of Sauk. This suburb of Tirana is home to the International Veterinary Hospital in Tirana, the Police Academy, Farka Lake, and more.
Winter or summer, you should take the time to visit Farka Lake, around which has been constructed a pathway, making it perfect for a leisurely stroll, a cycle, or a pleasant run in the fresh air. During the summer, evenings at Farka are lively, there are a number of bars and restaurants around the lake, and water sports activities often take place on the water.
This lake is located about a 15 minutes drive from the city center, in case you cannot drive, you can always access it with the Farka bus line, starting from the station on Rruga e Elbasanit, by the University of Economics.
Coined the New Tirana neighborhood is a popular area to live in due to its history as well as the proximity to Tirana Park & the Artificial Lake.
It is the South-Western part of the center of Tirana, bordered by the main Boulevard and Lana River, two urban references for the city of Tirana. The main boulevard stretches from South to North and Lana from East to West, their crossing creates a division of the city center.
Neighbourhood Fun Fact:
The area started developing in the 30’ of the last century, during King Zog’s regime, when the Italian plan for the city center architectural makeover took place. Soon after the communist regime (1945-1992) came into power, the buildings that date back to the ’50s were added using Soviet architecture, for example, Pallatet “Shallvare” and later “Pallatet Agimi” (“Sunrise Buildings” for which the political prisoners were the main labour force) following “Pallatet 1 Maji” (1st of May Buildings) accordingly named after symbolism of the communist propaganda.
21 Dhjetori is perhaps the busiest and loudest intersection in the city of Tirana! This area is very close to the city center and a short walk to Bllok.
From 21 Dhjetori towards the center Skanderbeg Square, along Rruga Kavajes, is Rruga Skenderbej which is home to many large embassies, including the British, German, French, Greek, Chinese embassies.
If you travel along Rruga e Kavajes, in the opposite direction, you will find the local tax office (Drejtoria e Përgjithshme e Taksave dhe Tarifave Vendore) alongside the Municipal Police Headquarters. This area is commonly referred to as Globe, after the large electrical and appliances store that is located here. Across from the Globe store is a large indoor second hands clothes market that is open every morning to the afternoon.
If you travel west from the 21 Dhjetori intersections along Rruga “Muhamet Gjollesha”, you will reach Zogu i Zi and the Ring Centre shopping center.
Travel east from the “21 Dhjetori” intersection and the bridge is the shopping street, Rruga “Myslym Shyri”. In this same area, you will find also clothes and a miscellaneous market named Tregu Çam.
Neighborhood Fun Fact:
Another noteworthy highlight in this area is the Mosaic of Tirana, a historical landmark dating back to 300 A.D!
This area developed after 1990, and it has become a popular place to live for locals and expats.
Located west of “Tirana e Re”, this area takes its name from Rruga “Komuna e Parisit”, which is one of the roads crossing this whole neighborhood, North at River Lana & South reaching the Ring freeway.
Kristal Centre shopping mall is located here, the Olimpic Park, the Aquadrom. This area has easy access to the Grand Park & Artificial Lake.
It has direct access to the new Ring freeway, the highway circulating the city of Tirana, still to be completed. This area has a high density of apartment buildings most of which are available for rent.
One of the most important sub-areas of “Tirana e Re” is Blloku, today the entertainment district of Tirana, was once an isolated area.
Around 300,000 m2, this area was fully isolated & secured by military forces until 1990, since it was the designated residential area for the whole political elite including leaders and highly ranked members of the communist party.
With the collapse of the regime this area, once “tabu” and inaccessible by the vast populations, became the place to go! This makes the area quite noisy for residents today, however, people are still fascinated with Blloku, which holds some of the highest real estate prices in Tirana to rent or buy.
LUXURY LIVING IN TIRANA
While there are a lot of ‘hot’ areas mostly in Tirana e Re and Blloku that host affluent apartments to live in the city of Tirana, the most luxurious living accommodations are offered behind TEG.
These brand new gated communities with luxury villas have been mainly built to offer 3rd world comfort to families of expat executives coming into Tirana to work for large international organizations or for large private companies. New complexes pop up every few months so this is not a fixed list.
The following are some of the most well-known residences. Refer to our trusted Realtors list for more info on renting a unit here