|Tirana is a city of extreme contrasts. A donkey-drawn cart pulls up along side of a top-of-the-line Mercedes. A muslim cleric sings out the morning prayers as a spandex-clad woman enjoys her morning run. A cow looks up from grazing to notice a major traffic jam downtown.
While Tirana was founded in 1614, it remained a small backwater town until urbanization efforts began in the 1951. Today, it's a bustling city of more than 600,000 residents. The city is centered on Skanderbeg Square, where you can find a number of museums, hotels and transportation around and out of the city.
Forget about driving. Street signs and traffic lights almost entirely absent from the city. Traffic snarls are common. And road maps are entirely useless even if you manage to find one. The compact design of the city makes exploring by foot easy.
Next: Breathtaking and bizarre sights on the road to Gjirokaster