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    Car hire in Tirana at the best prices

    One of the least-visited places in the whole of Europe, Tirana is slowly opening up to tourism following fifty long years of relative isolation. Notwithstanding, the city boasts an extraordinary historical and cultural wealth enhanced by the friendliness and bucolic charm of the local people.

    Inhabited since prehistoric times, Tirana today is a fascinating place with a visible living past, a fact particularly evident from an abundance of relics of the old regime. Located at the crossroads of ancient Rome and the Byzantine Empire, many other conquerors have passed through this fascinating city, including the Ottomans and the Venetians who left many interesting traces of their rich cultures.

    With soaring peaks, hidden valleys and some of Europe’s most arrestingly beautiful landscapes, Albania is a country known for its immense natural beauty. Indeed, it’s a land of imposing snow-capped mountains and sparkling lakes interspersed with mile after mile of rolling corn and sunflower fields.

    Today's visitors find themselves awestruck by Tirana’s startling assortment of Byzantine churches, mosques, monasteries and old Ottoman-style bridges and monuments, while the city’s cuisine is equally surprising and very popular for its Mediterranean, Turkish, Balkan and Italian influences.

    Founded in 1954, Auto Europe provides quality car hire at the cheapest prices in 180 different countries, with over 24,000 pick up and drop-off points available all over the world. To choose your car hire in Tirana quickly and easily, use our state-of-the-art booking engine to enjoy the best rates available online today or call our reservation specialists who are there to serve you 7 days a week on +441233225114.

    How's the traffic in Tirana?

    Driving in Tirana can bit a bit daunting at first as cars seemingly jostle for position on the roads although traffic in the inner city tends to move along quite slowly. Drivers tend to use their car horns to announce their presence rather than demand right of passage but things are gradually improving as the city eases itself gently into the 21st century. Please note that many of the standard rules apply when driving your rent a car in Tirana, such as driving on the right-hand side of the road and local speed limits are 50 kph (31 mph) in built-up areas, 90 kph (56 mph) in rural areas and 110 kph (68 mph) on motorways. Likewise, mobile phones can only be used whilst driving with a hands-free device and everybody travelling in the car must wear a seat-belt. It's also worth noting that there are no toll roads in Albania, so there's never any need to worry about finding change for the toll booths! It's worth remembering that roads in more outlying areas might be in a state of disrepair and power-cuts can happen frequently, plunging the area into total darkness, so be warned, plus there's very often the possibility of snow blocks and/or flash flooding, particularly in winter and especially in the more mountainous areas. For more information about visiting Tirana and other parts of Albania by car, please see our Albania driving guide.

    Where can I park my car hire in Tirana?

    Tirana has a growing number of safe and well-situated car parks in the city centre, notably the Rogner Hotel, Kalaja restaurant car park and the large parking area behind the Palace of Culture. Many of its main tourist attractions are situated in and around the centrally-located Skanderbeg Square, so it's best to park your car hire in Tirana in one of those and explore the city on foot. Tirana Parking at Rruga Deshmoret e 4 Shkurtit west of the square is a first-choice parking area, along with the Rruga e Dibrës car park just north of the National Theatre. East of Skanderbeg Square lies the Toptani Shopping Centre where numerous shops and a multi-storey car park can be found.

    Tirana Airport

    Opened in 1957, Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza (Mother Teresa) is located in the town of Rinas just 17 kilometres north-west of Tirana. Designed by Malaysian architect Hin Tan of Hintan, the main terminal building comprises a full range of on-site passenger services, such as 12 individual shops, three bars and a restaurant. Other amenities include a business lounge, first-aid booth, lost and found services and free Wi-fi. Today Tirana Airport handles around 3 million passengers each year and caters for an increasing number of major airlines, including Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, Blu-express, British Airways, Lufthansa, Olympic Airways, Transavia, Turkish Airlines and Wizz Air.

    Tirana International Airport Mother Teresa (TIA)
    Address: Rinas, Tirana, Albania
    Phone: +355 4 2381 800
    Website: Tirana International Airport

    What to do in Tirana

    A mix of Western Europe and old Russia, as well as some intriguing Middle Eastern flavouring, Tirana has bravely overcome its troubled past to stand proud as one of the most treasured and sought-after cities in Eastern Europe. Vibrant and cosmopolitan, Albania's modern, bustling and above all thriving capital is brimming with bars, restaurants, cafés, museums, galleries and tourist hotspots, with a host of other sightseeing opportunities a short drive from the city.

    • Skanderbeg Square: Very much the centrepoint of Tirana, this vast square is set around a striking 11-metre-high monument dedicated to Skanderbeg, an Albanian nobleman, military commander and all-round national hero. Surrounded by the National Opera, National Museum and National Bank, Skanderbeg Square is the first port of call for most first-time visitors to the city.

    • Presidential Palace: Located south of downtown Tirana, this lavish former royal residence (now known as the Palace of Brigades) is open to the public at weekends. Besides the building itself, which without doubt is one of the most impressive in the whole of Albania, it is also popular for its extensive gardens dotted with fountains, sculptures, paths and flower beds.

    • New Bazaar: Located on Avni Rustemi Square, a short walk from the city centre, the New Bazaar is the best place in Tirana to buy fresh produce, including vegetables, fruit, seafood and meat. Besides being a popular meeting place, it is a regular venue for fairs, concerts and open-air theatre.

    • National History Museum: Portraying the country's long and very turbulent history, the National History Museum located on Skanderbeg Square is divided into eight different sections. Themes include the Middle Ages, Independence, Communism, Fascism and Mother Theresa, the most famous of all Albanians.

    • Et’hem Bey Mosque : Located in the heart of downtown Tirana, Et’hem Bey Mosque was founded at the end of the 18th century and was one of the few religious buildings to be spared during the country's widespread destruction. It's worth seeing for its wonderful Islamic frescoes and painted ceilings.

    • National Gallery of Arts: South of Skanderbeg Square, the state-run National Gallery of Arts houses a vast permanent collection as well as regular temporary exhibitions by both Albanian and international artists. The complex also consists of a large library with over 4,000 books and magazines available to locals and tourists alike.

    Best day trips with my car rental in Tirana

    Tirana is the perfect base from which to explore the best of Albania. The country is blessed with an abundance of fascinating sights and attractions, many of which are of immense historical interest. Driving is without doubt the best way to get around Albania, one of the world's least discovered and fastest-emerging tourist destinations.

    Shkodra

    The largest city in the northern half of the country, Shkodra is considered to be the cradle of Albanian culture. Boasting a rich heritage in the areas of art, photography and music, the city is famous for its series of imposing mountaintop castles that once helped shield Western Europe from the surge of the Ottoman Empire. Dating back to Roman times, the main castle, Rozafa, is mostly of Venetian origin and today forms part of a protected archaeological park.

    Berat

    The 2,400-year-old museum town of Berat bears witness to the coexistence of various religious and cultural communities throughout the centuries. It features a magnificent castle, known locally as the Kala, most of which was built in the 13th century although its origins date back to the 4th century BC. The citadel area harbours many 13th-century Byzantine churches, as well as several mosques built during the Ottoman era which began in 1417.

    Butrint

    Inhabited since prehistoric times, Butrint over the centuries has been the site of a Greek colony, a Roman city and a bishopric. After a period of prosperity under Byzantine administration, followed by a brief occupation by the Venetians, the city was abandoned in the late Middle Ages after marshes formed in the area. The present archaeological site is a repository of ruins representing each period of the city’s development.

    The Albanian Riviera

    Many of Europe's best beaches can be found along the country's southern shoreline in a charming coastal region known affectionately as the Albanian Riviera. Dotted with pretty villages and seaside hamlets, this part of the country's long coastline is a must for bathers looking for an idyllic spot to swim and relax in the sun. Drymades (located near the village of Dhërmi) is one such place, while Borsch offers no less than 7 kilometres of sandy beaches backed by olive groves and imposing mountains.

    Korça

    The largest city in south-eastern Albania, Korça is an oasis of exquisite architecture with many first-rate museums adding to its rich cultural mix, notably the National Museum of Medieval Art and the National Museum of Archaeology. Located within easy striking distance of the Greek border, the city boasts many other must-see attractions, including the magnificent Mirahori Mosque built in 1494 by Iljaz Bey Mirahor.

    Geographic Information & History

    Ideally situated beside the Adriatic and Ionian seas in south-east Europe, and covering a surface area of 28,748 square-kilometres, Albania borders Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Greece at a convenient point to the west of the Balkan Peninsula.

    Tirana is surrounded by the Dajti Mountains on the east, south and west sides of the city comprising a broad area of pine, oak and beech forests, while its interior relief is a picture-postcard of canyons, waterfalls, caves and lakes, thus making the city's outlying region a very pleasant place to visit, especially during the hot days of high summer.

    Tirana has a subtropical climate with hot and moderately dry/humid summers and cool, wet winters with the occasional flurry of snow. Summer temperatures normally reach 30 degrees C and above along the coast, or even hotter in the country's interior.

    The discovery of Pellumbas Cave in the surroundings of Tirana shows that humans were present back in the Paleolithic period. The oldest discovery in the city of Tirana is a Roman house that was later converted into a fascinating 3rd-century church with a magnificent mosaic floor.

    Records from the first land registrations under the Ottomans in 1431–32 show that Tirana already consisted of 60 inhabited areas, with over 2,000 houses and a total of 7,300 inhabitants. For more than 400 years Tirana and the rest of Albania remained under Ottoman rule, but the country's constant efforts finally brought about independence in 1912.

    The country was occupied by Mussolini's forces in 1939, ending the regime of Albania's one and only monarchy after only 11 years. The country was then occupied by the Nazis in 1943 before communist forces took control of the country the following year. For 50 years Albania remained in complete isolation, right up until 1991 when its battle-weary people found freedom that eventually facilitated membership of the European Union.

    How to get around Tirana

    When not sightseeing in your car rental in Tirana, you'll find that the city has a wealth of very affordable public transport options to help you gain quick and easy access to the most important tourist attractions.

    Bus

    Public transportation in Tirana consists of a number of local bus routes which are cheap but not very fast. Buses marked 'Unaze' circumnavigate the city's ring-road and travel in a loop around the main downtown area. There are also routes serving suburban shopping centres, along with Tirana International Airport. There are more than 20 bus routes in total, most of which stop right in the city centre. The main routes go from Kulla Sahatit to Piazza passing many of the main tourist sights like the Cultural Palace, National Museum, National Bank, Rruga e Kavajes and Rruga e Elbasanit. Besides travelling around Tirana, you can catch a bus to many of Albania's other large cities, plus they're a good way of seeing the countryside. Many travellers prefer to use the many private vans that rival the scheduled bus routes operating mostly without schedules or set fares, although you should always consider the condition of the van before choosing to travel in one.

    Train

    The local rail network consists of about 470 km of single track, with trains powered by diesel locomotives. Rail travel is very affordable but considerably slower than other means of transport. The first standard railway line was built in 1947 (Durres-Peqin) and by 1990 train travel was the country's main method of transportation.

    Taxi

    Modern taxis use a meter (generally more cheaper) and can be found all around town. The city's official taxi services have a list of fixed fare tariffs displayed inside the vehicle, although many of Tirana's unofficial taxies don't yet use the taxi meter, which means it's best to negotiate the price before entering the cab.

    Useful links

    Tirana Tourism

    Albania Airport Information

    Albania Travel Information

    Tirana on Wikipedia

    Google Maps Tirana