Kruja CastleKruja Castle

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  • Off the path Explo
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    1.4 / 5
    This castle seems to be quite renown in Albania. Cool Explo however Clément!
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    • Score
      5 / 5
      Good description ant tips!
    • Score
      5 / 5
      Very useful info and cool plan!
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      2 pics...
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This castle has been the headquarter of Skanderberg, the national hero of Albania. Discover its national museum and belvedere.

My experience, Explo description: 

In Kruja, at 32 kilometers from Tirana, and kind of lost in the mountains, you will have the opportunity to discover the castle of Skanderberg. Quite impressive, this castle hosts a national museum. If you want to know everything about the glory of Skanderberg and understand the Albanian passion for this hero, you must go there.

The castle-museum offers a wonderful view on the mountains, city, and lake around. You will also learn many things about Illyrian and Albanian history thanks to an english speaking guide (every hour). But this castle is also full of artist representations from some modern times and communist time. So it's good if you want to have an overview on the past and current Albania.

You might as well go to the Ethnographic museum.

The belvedere isn't accessible from autumn. If you want to go there during summer, just have a look to the stairs. When I went there, they looked like crap and you already have to walk on an old wall before (so you participate in its destruction).

My personal recommendations: 

Take the time to talk with the sellers at the entrance. One of them will teach you a bit about the local history and religion. You might as well buy him a book ^^.

How getting there: 

From Tirana, you can take a bus. It's not easy to find this bus. You must go to the Market close to the train station. You pass through this market, and when you think it's over, you will see a square with many buses. Ask for Kruja, and you will find your bus. It costed something like 200 lek (1€5).

Take care!!! If you want to go back to Tirana, you must ask for when is the last bus. In October, we got "stuck" in Kruja as we didn't want to take a mini-bus to come back. They drive a bit too fast for western European standards...If you miss it and still want to come back, the mini-bus will drive to Fushe-Kruje for 50lek(0,30€) from where you must find a bus or mini-bus to Tirana.

A tip to eat: 

You can eat in the castle, where it is quite touristic so a bit more expensive. But you have a large choice of food, and you can enjoy the view as you are drinking your Albanian beer, wine, or even water.

A tip to sleep: 

There is something like 3 hostel in Kruja. You must spend a night there, as without being cheap, it's also not too expensive.

- The Panorama Hostel offers you a view on the "Old Bazaar", the castle, and the mountains. A double room will cost you 30€, and the rooms look cosy. Breakfast included.

- In the inner city, you have the Grand Hostel - 3 or 4 stars-, where you can find a room for 30€, breakfast included.

- I would advice you to go the hostel next to the previous one. You won't see it directly as it's also a bar-restaurant. The owners are nice, speak a good english, and can make you a good price during the low season. We paid 20€, breakfast included. The view from the room wasnt wonderful, but the breakfast on the terrace made us discover the "new bazaar" which is not done for the tourists, but for the locals.

Useful information: 
Visit duration: 

Museum: around 1h30.

Entry fees: 

Museum: 200lek
Ethnographic museum: ???

Access security: 

Going by walk from Kruja's center town, you must pass through the "Old bazaar". The ground might be sleepy. The castle seems close but it's definitely not when you to walk (it's a real mountain city). Take a taxi (official, or most probably a men who yelled at you: "Taxi! Castle! Taxi!") and you will reach it quite fast and keep some energy for the rest of your day. It's cheap (less than 2€), you'll be happy, the taxi driver too.