Shopping in Albania
What's foreign travel without shopping? Shopping in Albania, thankfully for both locals and foreigners, is in the wake of a retail revolution. New malls and shopping complexes are coming up, in addition to the local shops, and in the last few years Tirana has become a shopper's delight.
The cifteli and sharki are traditional musical instruments that became popular since they were used in bands during the Second World War, and are good buys.
For great tips on the best place to pick up a bargain, see our Tirana shopping guide below. Our Albania shopping guide offers some great ideas for souvenir shopping across the country. After a day of shopping in Tirana, sit down and savour a meal at one Tirana's appetising Albanian restaurants.
Tirana Shopping Guide
The best way to go on a shopping spree is on foot, since the city centre is small. Tirana is a great shopping destination for Italian shoes that are easily 30 % cheaper than in other European cities, and available in great variety. Slowly international brands are entering Albania, most of these you can buy in the one of the shopping centers like Casa Italia, QTY or City park. All above shopping centers are situated at the highway, and can be reached by car or with one of the free buses, which depart from the central Scanderbag Square in Tirana. However, if you want to make a cool style statement, all of your own, then shop for great variety and bargain prices in the areas of the Bllok district and in the shops along the Rruga Myslym Shyri.
The retail revolution of Tirana started with the QTU Centre, which opened in 2005, along the Tirana-Duress highway. The huge complex, with its supermarket, underground parking and free shuttle bus service from the town centre, was a new experience. Then in early 2006 came Galeria, a four floor shopping extravaganza that was more fun and personal. The location of Galeria in the centre of the town made it a more intimate destination. Judging by these malls' popularity, it is just a question of time when Tirana and other Albanian cities will be swamped by shopping complexes. Of the other Albanian cities, Vlora already has a shopping mall.
On your visit to Albania, look for the local items that you can take back home. The cifteli and sharki are traditional musical instruments that became popular since they were used in bands during the Second World War, and are good buys. Also look for pipes and embroidered items, such as tablecloths that are adorned with motifs typical of the Zadrima village. You will find these items all over Albania, but Tirana and the Kruja bazaar are the more popular destinations.
In Tirana, the souvenir shops on the Barricadave and Luigj Gorakuqi streets are good. Some of the better hotels also have souvenir shops, though these may be costlier. Go for the silver and copper articles, figurines, carpets, ceramics and wood carvings. Shops remain open all through morning, with a siesta from 3 pm to 5 pm. You will find many shops open even on Sundays.
Shopping Centres in Tirana
This shopping complex spurred the retail therapy phenomenon for Albanians and tourists. Located inside the European Trade Centre, Galeria is centrally located and is a four-floor, air-conditioned complex housing 70 shops, cafes and bars. This is an exciting hangout and a shopper's delight. There is also a Conad supermarket in the ground floor of the same complex for groceries and household necessities.
The Sheraton Hotel has a mall attached to it. You can sit at the café, indulge yourself at any of the Mexican, Italian and Asian restaurants, shop for your supplies at the supermarket, or designer labels in the upmarket shops and check out the latest models at the Chinese car showroom JiangLing.
This is an upmarket mall that houses expensive and branded retail outlets. A good place for shopping, if money is not an issue. The Illy Café is a nice place to relax.
The Qendra Tregtare Univers (QTU) is on the Tirana-Durres highway, west of Tirana, and you can take a free shuttle bus from the National Museum in Tirana. The buses ply every 20 to 30 minutes, between 8 am and 10 pm. The 13,600 square metre shopping area has restaurants, a bar, a Euromax supermarket and electronics store, and other branded showrooms housing Mango, Hilfiger and Vodafone. There are 30 shops in the complex. Look out for the QTU sign once you pass the Shkodra turning, on your way from Tirana.
Opened its doors just before Christmas in 2009. Also this shopping center can be found west of Tirana, on the highway going to Durres. The center host several international brands like Beneton, Intersport, Guess, Mis Sixty, Energy, Killah, Gstar, Replay, Diesel and many others. On the 2nd floor there is a big skating ring and the center organizes different events in the weekends.
Tirana East Gate (TEG) is Albania's newest shopping mall that has opened in Novemeber 2011. It is located only 4 km away from the center of Tirana. You can take a free shuttle bus that leaves every 20 minutes from the center of Tirana starting from 9 am. There is a big veriety of shops, Carrefour hypermarket, modern coffee places, and an outside playground in TEG.
Rr. 13 Dhjetori
Tel: 069 263 00 39
[view on map] AG Gallery
RR. 13 Dhjetori
Tel: 068 231 00 84
[view on map]
Rr. 13 Dhjetori
[view on map] Souvenir Xama
Rr. Marin Barleti
Tel: 068 294 15 14
Rr. Oso Kuka
[view on map] Prodhime Kelmendi
Rr. Branko Kadia
Tel: 069 234 39 08
Art Studio Peter Vukaj
" Luigj Kurakuqi " StreetTirane, Albania
Tel: + 355 (04) 2-26-43-79
[view on map] Mulliri i Vjeter
"Pjeter Budi" Street, Pallati Classic Construction
Tel: + 355 (0) 68 20 21 740
[view on map]
Neranxi Dry Fruits
" Muhamet Gjollesha " Street Tirana, Albania
Tel: + 355 (04) 2-25-24-49
Albania Top Suvenir
" Myslym Shyri " Street Tirana, Albania
Tel: + 355 (0) 68 20 82 240
" Sami Frashri " Street Prane Shkolles "Edith Durham" Tirana, Albania
Tel: + 355 (04) 2-27-17-49 - Fax: + 355 (04) 2-27-15-50