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Balkan Odyssey Part 6: Tirana Accommodations
Despite being the capital of the poorest country in Europe, Tirana has a surprisingly decent selection of places to stay. As a service for those of you who may consider venturing here, I've spotlighted four great hotels for four separate budgets.
One of the most expensive and classiest hotels in Tirana with singles running upwards of 210 euros. The hotel is perfectly located just on the edge of the trendy Blloku district and is walking distance to all the main tourist sites. The lobby was full of Italian tourists when I stopped by--some of the only tourists I saw in all of Tirana during my trip.
Yes, someone actually named a hotel after the hit song by the Eagles. This is where I stayed while in Tirana despite not wanting to do so because of the cheesy name. Nonetheless, it is a decent, clean hotel with higher standards than I expected for Albania and a location just around the corner from the city's central square. The best amenity, however, is that the hotel is almost right next door to Serenata--the best Albanian restaurant in Tirana. Singles are 50 euros but be sure to request a room that doesn't face the blood-curdling minaret--otherwise you'll be woken up every morning at 4 a.m.
The Stephen Center
This is an American missionary center that also doubles as a hotel and restaurant. The restaurant has American-style comfort food for starving expats and a clean friendly interior. The small six-room hotel upstairs is more of a hybrid between a bed & breakfast and a normal hotel. The staff is extra friendly staff, although I never did get a response to emails I sent requesting a reservation. Slightly further from the center of town than the above hotels, but still walking distance. Singles 30 euros.
Tirana Backpacker Hostel
Located in a classic, 1940 two-story house just outside of the Blloku, Tirana's only hostel has a couple of dorm rooms in which travelers can crash for just 12 euros a night. The young owners cracked a beer for me when I showed up and we spent a few hours just chatting away. Very, very good people. The hostel also serves as a headquarters for Outdoor Albania, the country's first outdoor travel agency which specializes in trekking, rafting, kayaking, climbing and pretty much any outdoor activity you can think of. firstname.lastname@example.org