Craft Apartment


When we bought this apartment (in April 2017) it was really falling apart. It had been abandoned, rented out and then left to crumble. This is a historical building and as you know, we do love everything related to history so we decided to bring it back to life!

Check out this amazing YouTube video (filmed June 2021) that we made of the apartment telling the history of its objects and projects!

A Fun Little History:

The Shallvare is the name that locals gave the building at the time of the construction. These are a form of traditional large pants (MC Hammer-style, if you get the reference) which were very fashionable among Ottoman and Albanian men about 100 years ago. Ottoman soldiers used to come to the area to enjoy horse races (apparently there was a hippodrome in the area) and an Ottoman garrison was nearby.

The Communists were still good friends with the USSR in 1951 when the construction started. It ended in 1953. The apartment itself used to belong to the Koleka family and the grandfather was Spiro Koleka (highly ranked among Nomenclatura of the Communist Party of Albania) and one of the rare leaders to have managed to survive Enver Hoxha’s paranoia and fear of best friends and supporters. We know Comrade Spiro enjoyed quality time with his daughter and grandsons in here and his own house was just a few meters on the other side of the Lana river  (in the very private and mysterious area that is still called the Block.) The same gentleman is known to be the grandfather of famous modern artist, orator and politician (as we are writing Prime Minister of Albania) Edi Rama.


It can’t be any better! It’s in the heart of all the action. Within 200 meters we have counted about 15 restaurants (hard to count the number of bars!)  There’s a small selection of products in the shop at the entrance of the building – it’s definitely worth checking out what Bardhi (the owner) brought for customers from the “Magic Mountain” of Tomorri (products like dried fruit, cheese, meat and all sorts of teas.)  There’s a supermarket from which to buy all groceries you might need for a short or long stay in Tirana!

The rest of the services are all within sight: pharmacies, taxi stations, shopping areas, clubs, a post office, exchange offices, etc. All you need to do is check the Shallvare on the map and you will see and understand. It’s only a 5 minute walk to get to Skanderbeg Square, the History Museum, the National Gallery of Arts, Martyrs of the Nation Boulevard, the Pyramid, the Block and all connections to bus stations and the airport shuttle.


The Apartment Itself:

  • on the 4th floor with stairs to walk up
  • 73 square meters total space
  • 2 toilets and showers and WCs
  • beautifully equipped kitchen
  • small balcony on one side where to smoke, dry clothes or simply relax; and another French balcony on the Lana river side facing the Block that has views of Mountain Dajti, the Pyramid and more.
  • 2 sleeping rooms, one of which is easily convertible from a living- into a sleeping-room.
  • 2 single beds that can be attached and transformed into a large double in one of the rooms and 1 couch that can be converted into 2 singles or 1 double (we did try to save some space so this last one is made for people which are no taller than 175 cm! We’re trying to find a solution but for the moment this is what the situation is. Right now it can host up to 4 persons. We will be able to add an extra bed in order to have another person able to sleep in it.)
  • character and charm in abundance (we have done our best to give you good reasons to take pictures of it and to enjoy the time in it and to come back again!)


  • WiFi, Cable TV (in the living room), all linens and towels included, hair dryers, washing machine, fire extinguisher, automatic check in opportunity.
  • Check in time is between 13 – 22 pm and check out is no later than 11 am. Please contact us and see if we can arrange for you to keep the apartment for a few extra hours (should no else be arriving.)


  • Prices will range from 49.0 euros/night for the whole of it during the low season months (mid-November to mid-March) and around 55.0 – 70.0 euros/night during the high season months (mid-March to beginning of November.) We do have a certain flexibility and of course we’re ready to negotiate if you are staying for a long period, if you are a friend or friend of friend’s and of course, if you are nice enough and we like you a lot.)
  • More info upon request of course!

Payment Options: We accept bank transfers, PayPal and we have a debit terminal/POS available at our Castle Kiosk Tourist Office in order to accept Debit, VISA and Mastercard payments (please keep in mind that 5% of the total will be added for the latter option.)  We can also accept cash payments where applicable.