If you want to experience the typical local atmosphere with the most well-known Albanian songs at night, this is the first place where to make a reservation at. Apartment 197 is a coffee and night bar in Pejton Neighbourhood, close to the Newborn Monument. I had noticed the spot because I had seen a young girl painting the cover of the patio every day for a week and turning it into a beautiful splash of vivid colors and art. The patio was the reason why I decided to try it out the first time, but the live music and the atmosphere I experienced inside is why I keep going back during my nights out.
The music is mainly Albanian classics, but they do not shy away from some Bella Ciao and Felicità sometimes too. Whichever song they play, it is most certainly going to keep you up on your feet all night with a drink in one hand and tissue paper in the other. Yes, you read that right – a tissue paper! In our traditional dance, Vallja, in the absence of shamia (a piece of cloth), tissue papers are the next best thing. Since you will probably find people dancing an easy version of Vallja, you should absolutely join in and they will be more than happy to have you along and teach you the right steps (Lift your right foot, put it down, make one step, lift the left foot, put it down and repeat!!). Enjoy!