Tirana has caught up with the rest of us and now boasts more or less everything the modern shopper requires, much of it for sale in modern shopping centres. A more authentic Albanian retail experience can be had in the cheap and cheerful neighbourhood shops staffed by grinning proprietors, many of them more concerned with where you’re from and if you have a husband or wife than what you want to buy. Around the Pazar i Ri market, the bustling streets cater to singular tastes such as bicycles, second-hand clothes and furniture.
Until fairly recently, Tirana’s shopping centres were predominantly upmarket affairs pandering to the sophisticated tastes of the city’s fashion-conscious wives and girlfriends. This all changed with the opening of TEG, a massive complex on the edge of the city reminiscent of any shopping centre found in Western Europe.
Anyone with a cardboard box, a few packets of cigarettes and a square metre of pavement is effectively a market trader in Tirana. Whenever it rains, people will appear as if by magic, armed with a clutch of umbrellas.
Tirana's bookshops rarely offer many English-language titles, with the two listed here the main exceptions.
Gifts & Souvenirs
The best souvenir shopping is in Kruja, where shops are full of jewellery, antiques and knickknacks. In Tirana, the Pazar i Ri market has good souvenir options and kiosks at the southern end of Rr. Barrikadave sell Albania mugs, dolls and bunker ashtrays. Albanian cheese and other foodstuffs also make excellent gifts if you can get them home without eating them all on the plane.
Before the arrival of the large shopping centres, Rruga Myslym Shyri and surroundings used to the the go-to place for fashion - and it still offers a decent clothes shopping experience.
Flowers & Plants
The following places provide services rather than goods to buy. Memory cards or battery chargers can be found at Neptun.