Albania is a relatively smaller country, which remained neglected by tourists for a long time. Ever since the country came out of the communist regime, it started witnessing an influx of tourists, excitedly exploring every nook and corner of the country. But, if you want to get to know about the country to the fullest, you should visit its museums. This is a perfect way to have an idea of a country’s history and the testing times it had to pass through to reach the stage it is currently at.
Albania has a rich history. And while visiting its pristine beaches should be on your to-do list, you should also squeeze museum tours in your itinerary. Read this article to find the best museums to visit in Albania.
Spending time in cool cafes and taking part in other activities is a good way to explore a foreign country. But, visits to museums will help you better understand the ups and downs a country has faced. When in Albania, make sure that you pay a visit to the following museums in Albania.
Best Museums to Visit in Albania
The first one on our list has to be Bunk’Art. Built as an underground nuclear bunker, the place was a safe space for Enver Hoxha who then thought that his country was vulnerable to possible nuclear attacks.
Hence, he ordered the construction of the bunker that was supposed to protect him during the times of the feared attack. But the bunker wasn’t completed during his lifetime. After his death, the bunker obviously couldn’t serve its original purpose and was later converted into a museum. This place now offers a glimpse into the country’s interesting political journey.
National History Museum
In the heart of the central Skanderbeg Square, Tirana stands the National History Museum. From Paleolithic to communist rule, you will find everything on the important phases of the country’s history. The museum also has the replica of the sword that Skanderbeg used during the fights with the Ottomans.
Marubi National Museum of Photography
In the north of Albania, you will find a beautiful and cozy town called Shkodra. There, you will find this wonderful Maruni National Museum of Photography, which is home to the country’s impressive photography collections. The museum was opened in 2016 and has a large display of stunning works of an Italian painter and photographer Pietro Marubi who fled Italy due to political reasons and settled in Shkodra.
The museum has exhibits of work of the entire Marubi family. In this amazing place, you will find incredible photographs that were shot by Marubi in 1858. These pictures display the vibrant life of Shkodra, several public events that the town hosted, and stunning street scenes.
National Museum of Education
The cultural importance of Korca, a city in southeastern Albania, is hard to ignore. Referred to as the country’s cultural capital, Korca takes pride in being the town who had the first Albanian language school which was opened under the Ottoman Empire in 1887. Inside the building of the school, you will find the country’s National Museum of Education. Here, you will find copies and books that contain the first written text of the Albanian alphabets. It is a great place to visit.
While BunkArt is located on the outskirts of Tirana, you can find another gem, BunkArt2, right in the middle of the city. Although it is smaller than BunkArt, it is still the most visited place mainly due to its easy accessibility.
This amazing museum was built to pay honor to the victims of the country’s strict communist regime. The place also serves as a shocking reminder to the Ministry of Internal Affairs activities during the dictatorial rule.
Museum of Medieval Art
Another gem in Korca is the Museum of Medieval Art. The place is a heaven for art and history lovers. In this wonderful museum, you’d get to marvel at the large collection of items of cultural significance, including, but not limited to, jewelry, textiles, fine metals, stones, etc.
National Museum George Castrioti
Geroge Kastrioti Skanderbeg, the revered hero of Albania, was from the country’s ancient town called Kruja. When the Ottoman Empire advanced to Albania, Kruja, under the leadership of Skanderbeg, resisted the attempt. Everything in the town honors and remembers its greatest hero; hence this museum. Inside this palatial building, you will find jaw-droppingly beautiful paintings that show giant statues of Skanderbeg and other warriors and battle scenes.
National Gallery of Tirana
Another heaven for art lovers, the National Gallery of Tirana is a two-floor big museum that has so many exciting pieces of artwork. In addition to their stunning designs, these art pieces also have a story to tell. Each piece provides some kind of social and political commentary on the values of the country.
Gijrokaster is a small and beautiful town that is a must place to visit when you are in Albania. The cobblestone streets and the stone buildings of the town will create a long-lasting impression on you. This town is also home to the country’s oldest castle. Your visit to Gijrokaster is not completed unless you pay a visit to this stunning place. In the open courtyard of the museum, an annual folk cultural festival is also held. In case your holiday dates match with that of the festival’s, we recommend you attend it.
The Final Word
Many travelers don’t talk about visiting museums. When you have the privilege of visiting a new country, it is best to learn about it as much as you can. Visiting the most-visited places is a good way to explore a country, but the experience that you will receive after spending time in museums is unmatchable. Just imagine how nice it will be to learn about the country’s past in less than an hour. The life-like paintings and the old items of the past let you picture what the country was like several decades ago.