Tirana is notable for its architecture, and in recent decades that has involved the brilliant repainting of old communist-era buildings in bold pop art colours to revitalize the city. Much of this is due to Edi Rama, a former artist who was mayor of Tirana at the time, and is now Prime Minister of Albania. During his mayoral tenure in the early 2000s, he hit on repainting old buildings as a cheap and cheerful way to boost city life.
Of course, this story is not all rosy – Rama’s critics have called it window dressing, and there is an ongoing debate in Albania about the future of older buildings – particularly with communist-era buildings being torn down with little consultation these days. Rama is now more focused on nudging Albania towards the EU, but the painted buildings are an amazing sight still.