Albania

Albania is a small, diverse country located in Southeast Europe on the Balkan Peninsula, boasting an extensive coastline along the Adriatic Sea to the west and the Ionian Sea to the southwest. It is known for its rich history, dating back to ancient times, with a landscape dotted with castles, archaeological sites, and natural beauty ranging from stunning beaches to rugged mountains.

Despite its modest size, Albania offers a unique blend of cultural influences from its time under Ottoman, Italian, and Greek dominion, evident in its architecture, cuisine, and traditions.

Places to visit

Key Phrases

Speak like a local

  • "Mirëdita" - Good morning
  • "Faleminderit" - Thank you
  • "Mikpritje" - Welcome
  • "Ju lutem" - Please
  • "Lamtumirë" - Goodbye

Day plans

Spend a day exploring around

day 1

Exploring Tirana

morning:Start your day by visiting the vibrant Skanderbeg Square for a taste of Albania's history. Then head to the Grand Park for a relaxing stroll. For breakfast, try the traditional dishes at Mullixhiu restaurant.

afternoon:Afterwards, explore the colorful buildings of Blloku district and visit the Bunk'Art 2 museum for a glimpse into the country's past. Enjoy a delicious lunch at Oda restaurant, known for its authentic Albanian cuisine.

evening:In the evening, experience the lively atmosphere of Blloku's bars and lounges, or head to Hemingway Bar for a cozy night-out. 🍸

day 2

Beach Day in Ksamil

morning:Spend your morning relaxing on the pristine beaches of Ksamil, surrounded by crystal-clear waters and scenic views. Grab breakfast at one of the beachfront cafes for a delightful start to your day.

afternoon:Afterwards, take a boat tour to the nearby islands and explore the unique marine life through snorkeling. Enjoy a seafood lunch at Ksamil Fish Restaurant, known for its fresh catches.

evening:In the evening, savor a sunset cocktail at a beachfront bar, such as Havana Beach Bar, and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere by the sea. 🌅

day 3

Historical Day in Gjirokaster

morning:Begin your day with a visit to Gjirokaster Castle, an impressive fortress with stunning views of the city. Then explore the traditional Ottoman houses in the Old Bazaar. For breakfast, try the local pastries at the Old Bazaar Bakery.

afternoon:Afterwards, immerse yourself in history at the Gjirokaster National Folklore Festival, where you can learn about the country's cultural heritage. Enjoy a traditional Albanian lunch at the Cerciz Topulli Square, offering a taste of local flavors.

evening:In the evening, take a leisurely walk through the streets of Gjirokaster and visit the charming cafes for a cozy night-out. ☕

day 4

Outdoor Adventure in Theth

morning:Embark on a scenic hike to the stunning Blue Eye Spring, surrounded by lush greenery and clear blue water. After the hike, enjoy a hearty breakfast at Rruga E Kolit Guesthouse for an authentic Albanian meal.

afternoon:Afterwards, visit the impressive Theth Waterfall and take in the breathtaking natural beauty. Have a picnic lunch by the waterfall, surrounded by the tranquility of the mountains.

evening:In the evening, join a guided sunset hike to Kaprre, offering panoramic views of the Theth Valley, and end the day with a cozy bonfire under the starry sky. 🔥

Albania's Famous Food

Delicacies in Albania you must try!

Tave Kosi

A traditional Albanian dish consisting of baked lamb and rice topped with a layer of yogurt and egg sauce. It is a must-try when visiting Albania and can be found in most traditional restaurants.

Must-Try!

Byrek

Byrek is a popular savory pastry filled with spinach, cheese, meat, or pumpkin. It is widely available in bakeries and street food stalls throughout Albania.

Fërgesë

Fërgesë is a hearty dish made with peppers, tomatoes, onions, and a choice of meat, typically served with freshly baked bread. Look for it in local family-run eateries for an authentic experience.

Attractions in Albania

Nice places to capture memories

Ksamil Beach

Ksamil Beach offers stunning views of crystal-clear waters and picturesque islands, making it a great location for photography.

Llogara Pass

Llogara Pass provides panoramic views of the Albanian Riviera and the Ionian Sea, making it a popular spot for capturing breathtaking landscapes.

Gjirokastër Castle

Gjirokastër Castle overlooks the historic town of Gjirokastër and offers a unique vantage point for capturing the town's medieval architecture and surrounding mountains.

Valbona Valley

Valbona Valley is surrounded by the Albanian Alps and offers stunning views of lush greenery, mountain peaks, and the Valbona River.

Seasonal Advice

Best times to visit and what to expect in different seasons

Spring (April to June)

Spring is a great time to visit Albania, with mild temperatures, blooming flowers, and lush greenery. It's an ideal time for outdoor activities such as hiking and exploring the countryside.

Summer (July to September)

Summer is the peak tourist season in Albania, with warm weather and plenty of sunshine. Expect crowded beaches and lively coastal towns during this time.

Autumn (October to November)

Autumn brings cooler temperatures and beautiful fall foliage, making it a picturesque time to visit Albania. It's a great time for cultural events and food festivals.

Winter (December to February)

Winter in Albania can be cold and snowy, especially in the mountainous regions. It's a great time for winter sports enthusiasts, with skiing and snowboarding popular activities.

Outdoor Activities in Albania

Fun outdoor pursuits

Hiking in the Accursed Mountains

Explore the stunning landscapes and rugged terrain of the Accursed Mountains while enjoying excellent hiking opportunities.

Beach hopping along the Albanian Riviera

Discover the beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters of the Albanian Riviera, offering perfect conditions for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.

Visiting the Blue Eye Spring

Experience the natural wonder of the Blue Eye Spring, a mesmerizing natural spring with incredibly clear blue water surrounded by lush greenery.

Exploring Butrint National Park

Immerse yourself in the historical and natural richness of Butrint National Park, featuring ancient ruins, diverse wildlife, and scenic walking trails.

Tipping & Payment

Ensure a smooth experience

Tipping

Tipping is not compulsory in Albania, but it is appreciated in restaurants, cafes, and for other services. A tip of about 10% of the total bill is considered generous.

Payment

In Albania, cash is widely used for small transactions, while credit and debit cards are accepted in larger establishments. It's advisable to carry some cash when visiting local markets or smaller businesses.

Local Etiquette

Tips on cultural norms and respectful behavior

Greetings

In Albania, it is customary to greet people with a handshake, particularly when meeting for the first time. It is also common to exchange pleasantries and inquire about one's well-being.

Respecting Elders

Respect for elders is an important cultural norm in Albania. It is common to show deference to older individuals in both speech and behavior, such as allowing them to speak first and offering them a seat.

Gift Giving

When invited to an Albanian home, it is polite to bring a small gift for the host, such as sweets or flowers. This gesture is seen as a sign of respect and appreciation for the hospitality extended to the guest.

Things to do in Albania

Unique local experiences...

Safety

Safety in this country can vary by region, but it is generally considered relatively safe for travelers. Crime rates are lower compared to many Western countries, although petty crimes such as pickpocketing can occur, especially in tourist areas. It’s advisable for visitors to remain vigilant and take common safety precautions, like securing personal belongings and avoiding poorly lit places at night. Traffic safety can be a concern due to unpredictable driving habits and the condition of some roads. Public transport is generally safe, but it's worth ensuring that you choose reputable services. Political protests and demonstrations can happen, and while they are typically peaceful, it's wise to be aware of your surroundings and avoid any such gatherings. As with any travel destination, understanding local customs and being respectful can also enhance personal safety. Travelers are encouraged to check travel advisories and stay informed about the local situation. Overall, many people find their visits to this country enjoyable and safe.

Nightlife in Albania

The nightlife in Albania is vibrant and diverse, catering to a wide range of tastes and preferences. In major cities like Tirana, Durrës, and Saranda, you'll find a plethora of options, from sophisticated cocktail bars and chic lounges to energetic nightclubs and traditional music venues. Tirana, the capital city, is at the heart of Albania's nightlife scene. The Blloku district, once a restricted area reserved for the political elite, is now a bustling hub filled with bars, nightclubs, and trendy restaurants. Here, you can experience everything from live music and DJ sets to quiet spots for a relaxed evening out. Along the coast, cities like Durrës and Saranda offer a different flavor of nightlife. Durrës, with its beautiful seaside promenade, has many beach clubs and bars where you can enjoy a drink with a view of the Adriatic Sea. Saranda, in the south, is known for its summer party atmosphere, attracting both locals and tourists to its beach bars and open-air clubs. Traditional aspects of Albanian nightlife shouldn't be overlooked either. In several cities, you can find taverns and restaurants that feature live performances of traditional Albanian music and dance, offering a cultural experience alongside your evening entertainment. Additionally, during the summer months, Albania hosts a variety of music festivals and events that draw international crowds. The eclectic mix of venues, music styles, and cultural experiences makes the nightlife in Albania a noteworthy and enjoyable aspect of visiting the country.

Costs of Living

In recent years, the cost of living in Albania has been relatively low compared to many Western countries, making it an attractive destination for expatriates and tourists. Here's a breakdown of various expenses: Accommodation: - One-bedroom apartment in city center: $200 - $400 per month - One-bedroom apartment outside the city center: $150 - $300 per month - Three-bedroom apartment in city center: $400 - $700 per month - Three-bedroom apartment outside the city center: $300 - $500 per month Utilities (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage): - Monthly utilities for an 85m2 apartment: $50 - $100 - Internet (monthly): $20 - $30 Food: - Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $5 - $10 - Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant: $25 - $50 - Domestic beer (0.5 liter): $1 - $2 - Imported beer (0.33 liter): $1.50 - $3 - Cappuccino: $1.50 - $3 - Milk (1 liter): $1 - Bread (500g): $0.40 - $0.70 - Rice (1 kg): $1 - $2 - Eggs (dozen): $1.50 - $2 - Chicken breasts (1 kg): $3 - $5 - Apples (1 kg): $1 - $2 Transportation: - Public transport ticket (one way): $0.50 - $1 - Monthly public transport pass: $15 - $25 - Taxi start fare: $1 - $2 - Taxi per kilometer: $0.50 - $1 Healthcare: - Doctor’s consultation (private): $20 - $40 - Basic medicine (e.g., antibiotics): $2 - $10 Education: - International school fees (annual): $5,000 - $10,000 Overall, Albania presents an affordable living environment, especially in comparison to many other European countries.

Pet sitters in Albania

Relax and unwind while your furry friend enjoys making a new companion!

Continue exploring Albania

Discover local cities, attractions and more!

TiranaDurrësVlorëKamëzFierShkodërElbasanKorçëSarandëBeratLushnjëKavajëGjirokastërPogradec