Albania Travel Guide 2024 – Everything You Need to Know

Last Updated on March 1, 2024

Albania Travel Guide for First Timers: Everything You Need to Know!

This Albania travel guide is updated every month to give you the best and most up-to-date information on travelling Albania.

Not only that but I’m also a full-time resident on the ground and run the leading Albania travel blog so you get everything from a local perspective.

As Albania’s tourism is slowly increasing the demand for information is increasing too.  Unfortunately, as tourism is still so new, it can be hard to come across factual and up-to-date information. 

For example, bus timetables can change with a click of the fingers, and the only people who would know would be the locals.

Therefore, I have created this full Albania travel guide with all the information you need if you plan to visit Albania for the first time, or the next time! 

💾 Albania is full of beautiful surprises.

I have lots of great information for you to use during your travels to Albania so make sure you bookmark this page so you can come back to it again and again.

Here’s your full Albania Travel guide!

Why should you trust my information?  I have lived in Albania since 2017, so I have a great knowledge of the dos the don’ts, the best local spots to visit and the ones you should avoid! 

Also, I have an extra local insight as my partner is Albanian.

Every month, I try to update this Albania travel guide, sometimes more often as new information comes up or as I explore new places.

If you like this Albania travel guide, then go grab a physical copy of my 170+ page comprehensive downloadable Albania guide here. 

Read more: 11 lessons I have learned from living in Albania

Where is Albania?

Great question, and one that I’m often asked when talking to foreigners outside of Albania.  Where the heck is Albania?!

Albania lies in South-Eastern Europe.  Its neighbours are Greece to the south, Montenegro to the north and Kosovo and Macedonia to the east(ish).

Albania sits on the coast of the Adriatic Sea and is home to some of the best beaches in Europe.

Some of the best beaches are found in the Albanian Riviera which stretches from the city of Vlora (Vlore in Albanian) and the popular tourist city of Saranda (Sarandë in Albanian), where I have lived for 5+ years.

Albania Travel Guide for First Timers: Everything You Need to Know!
You can get to Albania in many different ways and we go through all of them in this Albania travel guide!

How to get to Albania

Albania can be reached in many ways by air, bus and ferry.

Flying to Albania

There is one international airport which is Tirana International airport, also called the Rinas International Airport or Nënë Tereza.

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There is another currently being built in Vlora but who knows if/when that will be finished.  I’ll keep you updated!

Flights in and out of Tirana can be expensive, however, Wizz Air and Ryanair have started a service which means sometimes you can grab budget-friendly flights to and from Tirana throughout the year which is great news for tourism.  Check the latest prices and availability of flights to Tirana here.

Overland from Greece

You can easily catch a bus from Athens to Saranda. 

It takes about 9 hours and costs around €35.  You can also catch a bus from Ioannina which stops at Gjirokastër from there you can catch a bus elsewhere in Albania.

I have caught this bus a dozen times.

If you take snacks and download some entertainment on your phone, it’s not that bad. They do also stop a few times for snacks, lunch and coffee so it really isn’t that bad.

Ferry from Greece

Another incredibly easy way is Corfu!  The island of Corfu is only a 25-minute ferry ride from Saranda.

The prices and times will vary depending on the season. You can find them here.

If you do decide to catch the ferry, especially in the summer, make sure you book a few days before because they can get booked fast and you may miss out.

Corfu does direct flights to a bunch of other European countries.  If I want to fly to the UK I will fly out of Corfu as EasyJet does cheap and direct flights from there!

This can be a great way to get to Albania with a quick stopover in Corfu. 

Usually, you will have to stay in Corfu the night depending on when your flight is but it’s a good excuse to explore the island as it’s very beautiful too.  Check the prices and availability of flights to Corfu here.

Read more: How to get from Corfu to Saranda

Overland from Montenegro

If you’re coming from Montenegro there are buses between Kotor and Podgorica to Shkodër and Tirana. If you want to head towards the south, you will have to change buses in Tirana.

Overland from Macedonia

There are 3 buses from Skopje to Tirana (8:10am, 8:45am and 9pm).  Please check with your accommodation that these are still the times that the bus leaves as in the Balkans bus timetables frequently change!

Overland from Kosovo

If you are coming from Kosovo there are regular buses from Pristina to Tirana.  Then if you want to visit other places around Albania you can go to the regional bus station and catch a 2nd bus to wherever you want to go.

Boat from Italy

You can catch a boat from Durres to Bari and Ancona. 

There are several crossings per week but it’s best to contact the ferries themselves as crossings and prices change from month to month.

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If you can weirdly transport yourself to Albania using time travel then I don’t have any information for you, but congratulations, that’s an awesome skill to have!

Albania Travel Guide for First Timers: Everything You Need to Know!

Recent History of Albania

Albania’s history is beyond fascinating compared to some other countries in the world. 

From 1941 to 1992 Albania was under the strict communist regime of the leader Enver Hoxha. 

Everything was controlled, from food to housing and jobs.

Some compare it to North Korea, but only those who lived through communism will know. 

There were labour camps where political prisoners were sent if they said something that the communist leader did not like. 

The prisoners built the infrastructure that Albania sees today.

After the collapse of communism, Albania saw itself as a democracy.

Unfortunately, in 1997 the government collapsed after a dodgy pyramid scheme. 

Over 2/3rds of the population invested their life savings into this scheme which meant most people lost everything they had worked hard for all those years.

The civil unrest saw a lot of anger and violence from the citizens of Albania, many fled from the country for a better life.

The civil unrest went on for 6 months and when visiting Albania, you will see for yourself that Albania is still recovering.

There is still a lot of corruption within government sectors today. It seems every day there is a new person whose corruption has been exposed.

Albania Travel Guide for First Timers: Everything You Need to Know!

Ancient history of Albania

Many only discuss communism and the civil war as the history of Albania but the real history dives way older than that. 

If you move to Albania, you will find yourself in many conversations with locals about ancient Albania and the Illyrians who many believe are older than the ancient Greeks.

There is so much that hasn’t been uncovered and publicized about Albania’s ancient history.

The ancient site of Apollonia which is in Fier and is a popular site to see if anyone who loves ancient history, is less than 5% excavated.

One of the biggest ancient graves have been found near Korca in 2018 which archaeologists believe are more than 5000 years old!

Butrint National Park is also a great UNESCO site to visit if you want to learn more about the rich history in Southern Albania.

Read more: 5 Best Albania UNESCO Sites to Visit

Albania Travel Guide for First Timers: Everything You Need to Know!

Language of Albania

Shqip is one of the most fascinating languages I have come across and one of the hardest to learn (in my eyes!).  It’s an Indo-European language that relates to no other language in the world, it has its own roots.

The North and South speak different dialects.  In the south they speak Tosk, and, in the north, they speak Gheg.

Usually, the two different parts can understand each other a little. 

I found myself in a hostel in Kosovo with a girl from the north and a girl from the south and they were speaking English together because they could not speak Albanian together!

The younger generation in Albania mostly knows some English as they are taught in school.  The older generation you will find speak none such as the adorable Albanian grandmothers.

You don’t have to worry about the language barrier when you travel to Albania as you can always get past it with some English and sign language.

If you really want to impress the locals when you come to Albania it’s a great idea to learn a few words.  Albanian people love it when people try and speak the Albanian language. 

It’s always met with a smile and a little giggle.

  • Pershentdejte – Hello
  • Faleminderit – Thank you
  • Gazuar – Cheers or Salut!
Albania Travel Guide for First Timers: Everything You Need to Know!

Capital of Albania

The capital of Albania is Tirana. 

There’s a lot to see and do in Tirana and it’s fast becoming a tourist mecca of trendy cafes and bars and a great place to learn about the recent history of Albania.

I have a full Albania travel guide on the best things to do in Tirana as well as my recommendations on restaurants and hotels below.

The capital city is a great place to base yourself while doing the odd day trip around the local area because there’s SO much to see in this part of the country. Click here to read about the best daytrips from Tirana.

Read more: 19 best things to do in Tirana

Albania Travel Guide for First Timers: Everything You Need to Know!

When should I visit Albania?

I have a full article on the best times to visit Albania below. 

My favourite time is spring because in the south especially, the beach bars start to open, the sun is out and in full swing, and it’s just a little quiet.

Plus if you’re on a budget, then this is a great time before the prices rise in the summer.

Albania has the ol’ Mediterranean climate so during the summer it can get very hot and dry.

Below I go into detail on the pros and cons of travelling at any time of the year.

Read more: The best time to visit Albania

Travel insurance in Albania

If you’re going to travel in Albania, I personally would look into SafetyWing Travel Insurance, you can read more about it here.  They have two great plans whether you are on a budget or want a more comprehensive insurance plan. 

No matter where in the world you are from, or where you are going, they can hook you up with the best deal!

Get an instant travel insurance quote here

Albania Travel Guide for First Timers: Everything You Need to Know!

Albania Holidays and celebrations

1st January – New Year’s:  As Albanians generally don’t celebrate Christmas like elsewhere in Europe and other parts of the world, they go all out for New Year’s!

They usually gift presents and see the New Year in with their family then go out and party until the sun rises.

Apparently, this tradition came from communism as all religion was outlawed and the only holiday that isn’t religious is New Year’s.  So, because of that, Albanians only could celebrate one holiday a year.

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14th March – Dita e Verës (Summer Day): This is one of my favourite days in Albania, as it’s the start of spring, is always a great day!

This is the biggest pagan holiday and an important holiday for Albanians and throughout the Balkans.  It celebrates the first day of the Albanian ancient calendar as well as the end of winter and the start of summer and the rejuvenation of nature.

If you want to celebrate this day then head to Elbasan.  Here is the centre of celebrations with concerts and festivities for the day. People also make and eat ballakume – a sweet cookie.

You will notice people wearing a 2-string red and white bracelet named ‘verore’ which many start to wear March 1st.  After dita e vere is over they then tie the bracelet to a tree for good luck.

28th November – Flag and Independence Day: This is the day that Albania declared its independence from The Ottoman empire.  It was proclaimed in Vlore in 1912.

Only 6 days later the first government of Albania was created and led by Ismail Qemali.

A prominent moment was when Ismail waved the first flag of independent Albania from the balcony of the assembly of Vlora.  This flag was inspired by Skanderbeg’s (a national hero) flag which had been used 400 years beforehand.

29th November – Liberation Day: The day after Independence Day Albanians also celebrate liberation day.

This day celebrates when the country was liberated from Nazi Germany during World War 2.

25th December – Christmas Day: Albanians don’t celebrate Christmas day like other countries.  New Year is more celebrated.

On Christmas day all the shops run as normal and the day continues like any other day.  However, New Year’s is a different story.

Read more: Festivals in Albania

Albania Travel Guide for First Timers: Everything You Need to Know!
Let’s go through some pricing in this Albania travel guide!

Prices in Albania

Albania is an incredibly affordable destination.  This is the reason why many choose Albania as their holiday destination.

You can grab a beer for about €1-2 and a meal between €5-10.  A hostel bed with breakfast and a beer can cost as low as €10 and a hotel room for around €20-50.

There are many great options for all budgets, whether you’re a backpacker and want to stay in the best hostels, are in the mid-range and want nice hotels that don’t break the bank or prefer a more luxurious holiday within these must-stay luxury Albania hotels.

If you want more of an adventure and plan to hike around the country, here are the top campsites in Albania to stay in!

If you are thinking of a more permanent move then you check out my article where I go through the prices of renting, food and utilities.

It’s also helpful if you are just visiting as it gives you an idea of what you should pay for different things.

Read more: Cost of Living in Albania

Read more: Getting a long-term visa in Albania

Albania Travel Guide for First Timers: Everything You Need to Know!

Best places to stay in Albania

There are several accommodation options for travellers coming to Albania. 

In each of my destination Albania travel guide, I recommend the best places to stay in that city or town.

You can book easily through Booking. 

Here are some quick links to destination, hotel and activity guides that will be helpful during your stay in Albania:

Tirana travel guides

Saranda travel guides

Ksamil travel guides

Berat travel guides

Northern Albania travel guides

Southern Albania travel guides

Albania Travel Guide for First Timers: Everything You Need to Know!

What it’s like to travel to Albania

Travelling in Albania is something you may have never expected. 

Many expect Albania to be dangerous, not friendly and ugly but people are surprised that none of those is true.

Albania is safe for tourists.

The Albanians are some of the friendliest and most welcoming locals in the world.  They will treat you like one of their own.

Albania is far from ugly. The pristine beaches, mountains and people confirm that. Albania tourism is thriving!

When you travel to Albania, you shouldn’t plan too far ahead.  Everything is flexible, from bus timetables to itineraries.

I would suggest having a rough plan but the option to be a little flexible with it.

Read more: 35 Unique Things to do in Albania

Albania Travel Guide for First Timers: Everything You Need to Know!
If there’s one thing that should be included in an Albania travel guide, it’s Theth!

Where to go in Albania

Albania is full of scenic, historic and interesting places to visit. 

You can see the article below which goes into detail of the best places to visit including tourist and local spots which most tourists don’t even know about.

The best beaches in Albania

My favourite part of Albania are the beaches.  It’s what made me fall in love with Albania in the first place.

I have tried and tested just about all the beaches in Albania and all the beaches located within the Albanian Riviera.

Below you can check out the ones I recommend visiting.

Read more: 17 of the most beautiful beaches in Albania

Albania Travel Guide for First Timers: Everything You Need to Know!

Holiday Itineraries for Albania

Below you can read how to spend 1 week in Albania and how to spend 10 days exploring the country! You can get more holiday itineraries in Albania by purchasing my itinerary pack here.

Read more: How to spend 1 week in Albania

Read more: South Albania Itinerary: 10 Days in the Albanian Riviera!

What to pack for Albania

If you’re stuck on what to pack for your trip to Albania, check out my Albania packing list before you start jetting off on your holiday!

Otherwise read below for my must-have top picks for any holiday.

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Facts about Albania

There are many interesting things to learn about Albania. 

I have included them all in the article below.  Click to check them out!

Read more: Facts about Albania

Health and safety in Albania

Is Albania safe?  This is such a popular question and one of my most viewed articles on Albania answers just that and goes into detail (read below).

Yes, Albania is a safe country to travel whether you’re a family, couple or a solo traveller (female and male).  Petty crime like pickpocketing is non-existent.

You will notice that Albanians have the best hospitality, maybe in the world!  Everyone is very helpful and if you’re very stuck in a situation there will most likely always be someone to help you.

If any other Albania travel guide tells you otherwise, they’re wrong!

The only thing you have to watch out for is taxi drivers as most of the time they will try and charge you 2 or 3x the regular price.

Read more: Is Albania safe?

Wi-Fi in Albania and getting a sim card

Believe it or not, I have found Albania to have better Wi-Fi than in New Zealand. It’s fast and reliable.

As I now live in Albania, I have a Wi-Fi router which was free to set up and cost me 2000 lek per month.  Most accommodation options and restaurants will have Wi-Fi.

If you would like to get a sim card you can do so at any of the Vodafone shops around.  There’s one at the airport if you fly into Tirana. 

They will get you set up on a local sim fast and easily.

For under €10 you can get 5MB of data and I have found that you will most likely get another 5MB free!

Can you drink the water in Albania?

I wouldn’t recommend drinking the water in Albania.  The water throughout the country has high levels of chloride and heavy metals. 

I used to drink the water myself but noticed after a couple of months I started to experience bad stomach pains. 

Then, I found that none of the locals drink the water, that’s when you know to not drink it!

Albania Travel Guide for First Timers: Everything You Need to Know!

Cultural norms in Albania

Staring: In Albania, it’s totally normal and encouraged to stare.  You may find at the start it might be a bit uncomfortable, but you will have to get used to it!

I have had old men stop in the middle of the street to just stare at me.  Nowadays I just try and laugh and give a good old stare back!

Expressing: Albanians are very expressive.  They love to move their hands when they talk.

Albanians are also very loud.  Most of the time they are just having a conversation but sound like they are arguing.

The headshake: In some parts of Albania, they will shake their head side to side for a yes and up and down for a no.

They also shake their head side to side when they are listening in a conversation.  It can get very confusing, especially if you’re asking a question and the answer is yes but their head is saying something else.

Grunting: Upon my observations, while living in Albania, I have noticed that Albanians grunt a lot.

In fact, I have listened to a whole conversation once with just grunting and noises instead of words.  Super interesting.

Communication: If you want to know about how your weight is doing, ask an Albanian.  Don’t be offended if Albanians say that you look thin or fat.

Weight is not something that’s a taboo subject to them.  I still struggle with this if I’m honest.  Although, when I’m having a skinny day, it’s the best confidence boost.

Dress:  you’re welcome to wear whatever you like during your time in Albania.  The women make a big effort when it comes to dressing up.

They love to wear big high heels and dresses that I would only wear once in my lifetime, to the local club.  I always feel underdressed at a club or sometimes even walking down the street.

The older men usually wear suits, yes suits!  Just for having a coffee!  Pretty impressive huh.

You may notice that most of the older women in Albania are wearing all black. There is a reason for this.  This is to pay respects to loved ones that have passed.  They usually wear this for as long as 10-20 years after that person has passed away.

Greetings: Albanians will usually greet you with a kiss on each cheek or a handshake.

When older women greet younger women, you will normally get a million kisses, a pinch on the cheek and squeezed until you can’t breathe.

Dating:  Some families still arrange marriage but nowadays this not common at all.  Sometimes the family will be open to their son/daughter dating a foreigner.  I have only heard from one girl I met that it was a problem for her, and she wasn’t accepted into the family.

From personal experience, I have an Albanian boyfriend and his family have welcomed me like I’m their daughter.

However, dating is not really something that Albanians do.  But saying that, if you’re looking for an Albanian boyfriend you will easily find one.

If a single man goes out with a single woman, it’s usually considered that they are together.

So, ladies, if you do go to dinner with a man make it clear that you want to get to know each other and going for dinner doesn’t mean you’re boyfriend and girlfriend.

Men generally don’t like women who have dated many other men in that city/town too.

Albanian men will do anything for their girls and can usually be quite possessive.  They will get jealous easily if you do have guy friends.  Don’t take offence to this though, it just means they care and they will openly tell you that.

Gender roles:  Albanian women generally look after the house and the men work for the family.

This is how most families work in Albania but today it’s now common for women to be working too.  Gender roles are still very much prominent in Albanian society.

As unemployment in Albania is very high, a lot of men will sit in coffee shops for much of the day.

Albanian flexy time:  If someone says to meet at a particular time it usually means at least half an hour after that.  It’s considered polite to be late.

Even Dr/dentist appointments are merely suggestions.  No wonder nothing gets done in Albania quickly.

Albanians don’t like commitment so arranging things ahead of time probably won’t end well.

Superstitions in Albania

I’m currently constructing an article on Albanian beliefs.  In the south, there are many things that Albanians believe in.  For example:

  • If you have finished a glass of raki and you order another, the waiter will pour the raki into the cup you are already using.  They will never give you a new cup.  This is because if you change the cup, you can lovers!
  • You may notice stuffed toys hanging outside houses/apartments.  This is to ward off bad spirits.

Corruption in Albania

I try to be very honest in this Albania travel guide when it comes to corruption. Unfortunately, corruption in Albania is still alive and well. 

It’s not something that you really have to think about unless you do something that’s illegal. 

Corruption is slowing down though if you compare it to five years ago, or maybe it’s that you just can’t see it as obvious anymore.

Things are slowly changing for the better.

Albania Travel Guide for First Timers: Everything You Need to Know!
Let’s go through driving in this Albania travel guide because there are some things you ought to know!

Driving in Albania

If you visit Albania it can be a great idea to hire a car in Albania. That way you will see more of the country and get to stop at all the great hidden spots most tourists would completely miss.

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When it comes to driving in Albania, it should come with caution as signs and road laws seem to be merely suggestions for Albanians.

Speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, overtaking on blind corners etc is very common. 

When driving in Albania always drive with caution and beware of all sides of the car as people can and will overtake you without your knowledge.

You MUST put your lights on when driving in Albania. 

There is a law that states it.  Whether the law is followed through, that’s another story.  Better to leave them on than not.

Another thing that they are very tough on is always carrying your drivers’ license. 

Albanians can be put straight into jail if they don’t have their license on them when an officer asks.  This applies to foreigners.

I have had friends who didn’t have their licences on them and it was a horrible experience.  There was a lot of shouting, taken ‘hostage’ in a police station and a huge hassle! 

So please, always carry your licence.

Read more: How to Hire a Car in Albania

Albania Travel Guide for First Timers: Everything You Need to Know!

Religion in Albania

Talk to just about any Albanian and they will tell you that religion doesn’t matter.  They don’t care what you believe in, it’s your choice.

Albania is a Christian country, then after the Ottoman empire, it became predominately Muslim. 

However, during communism, all religion was banned so it became the first atheist country. 

Nowadays many online articles say that the Albanian population is predominantly Muslim, which is somewhat untrue.

If you do come across someone who is a Muslim you probably won’t even notice because pork is eaten, alcohol is drunken, and no one follows any sort of rules.

Drone flying in Albania

You can fly your drone everywhere except near Tirana airport of course and military spaces. 

As of now, there are no laws on drone flying in Albania.

There was speculation that there was, but my partner has personally checked with officials and you can fly anywhere that’s not airspace.

Albania Travel Guide for First Timers: Everything You Need to Know!


I have a full article on transportation below!  The most popular way of getting around is by public transportation which only consists of busses.

You can also hire a car if you feel comfortable enough to drive.

Backpackers quite often hitchhike through the country which is completely safe.  Albanians often hitchhike themselves so it’s very common.

Read more: Getting around Albania

Read more: Albania bus timetables

Albania Travel Guide for First Timers: Everything You Need to Know!

What to eat in Albania

There are many delicious foods you should try during your time in Albania.  Albanian cuisine is fresh, healthy and very delicious.

They use a lot of olive oil, white (feta) cheese and eat lots of fruit. 

Albania also does great Italian food. Many Albanians moved to Italy after communism and the civil war, and brought back their skills of Italian pizza and pasta. 

Greek food is also readily available.

In the south and along the coast of Albania they eat a lot of seafood.

What I love about Albanian food is that everything is fresh and comes from the local garden, so you always feel full and amazing after a meal!

Read more: 39 Delicious Albanian Dishes to Try!

Albania Travel Guide for First Timers: Everything You Need to Know!

What to drink in Albania

Raki is the national drink.  It’s an alcoholic spirit which can be between 20-80% and the dangerous thing is, you never really know how strong it is.

Many families brew their own raki.  You will see old men with their glass of raki with their morning coffee.  They use it for health and to ‘keep strong’.

They also use raki in hospitals as a serializer for wounds. 

If you have a cough or cold, someone will probably recommend that you drink Raki.

Albania also has its own beer.  There’s one called Korca and one called Elbar.

There are also some delicious Albanian wine and great wineries to visit in Albania. 

There are 3 around the town of Berat.  My favourite is Çobo.  You can go there for a tasting and for €14 taste 4 wines and a little food platter with olives, cheeses and bread!

Join my travelling Albania Facebook group!

I have created a group on Facebook called ‘Travelling Albania’.  It’s a great group where we help each other with any questions you may have about travelling or living in Albania.  Make sure you join below!

🌍Join the Facebook group here

If there’s something else that you didn’t find in this Albania travel guide then let me know in the comments so I can be sure to add it!

I try to create as much new and valuable content for this Albania blog as possible.

Other Albanian articles you will love:

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Albania Travel Guide for First Timers: Everything You Need to Know!

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The Comments

  • Fredelinda
    March 8, 2019

    Great article. I have Albanian friends .I have always been interested in visiting Albania. In depth guide!

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Fredelinda
      March 10, 2019

      Thank you for reading! 🙂

  • Kael
    March 23, 2019

    Thank you for all your insight into Albania! You are living the dream! I find myself drawn to this area of the world more and more.

    Question: my partner and I will be in Athens in May and would like to travel along the coast north. I appreciated your post about taking the bus to Sarande (and this one about renting a car in the Albania). Have you ever seen/heard of the possibility of renting a car to drive from Athens/Sarande through Montenegro to Croatia? Thanks!

  • Georgie
    May 4, 2019

    Hi there! Thanks for a great and informative read. I’m also a fellow kiwi and my partner and I are about to cross from Corfu to Albania! I was curious as to where this new market is in Tirana you spoke of? Google maps hasn’t provided me much insight. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks!

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Georgie
      May 7, 2019

      Hey Georgie, the market is called ‘Pazari i Ri’ in Albanian 🙂

  • Maxime
    May 5, 2019

    Hi Anita!

    I have a question I hope you’ll be able to answer. I’m visiting Albania this August with my boyfriend. We plan on backpacking through the country. I’ve read and heard that Albanian people tend to be quite racist towards black people. My boyfriend is black so this concerns me. Can you tell me more about racism in Albania?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Maxime
      May 7, 2019

      Hey Maxime, Thanks for your comment! I’m glad that you have chosen Albania as your holiday destination. To be completely honest, I have heard both positive and negative stories about racism in Albania. As I don’t have any personal experience myself I don’t think I am equipment to answer that question, but I highly recommend joining my Facebook group ‘travelling Albania’ and asking in the forum as there might be people in there who have had some personal experiences! 🙂

  • Ingrid Danielsson
    May 9, 2019

    Hello! I travel to Albania all the time since I know a lot of Albanian people there. So very very much to explore and I do that both with my Albanian friends and with Swedish tourists who I bring to share it with.
    I should say that the water is very clean and the best possible to drink, at least in the northern regions like Dibra and Tropoja. You can fill your bottle with cold fresh water directly from the mountains at a lot of places along the road, even around Gjirokastër in the south. Also when you buy coffee you often get a glass of water. Don´t be afraid to drink that! I guess only in the biggest cities you should be better off buying your water, which is very cheap but sadly do contribute to the plastic bottle consumption.

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Ingrid Danielsson
      May 17, 2019

      Hey Ingrid, yes you’re right! If you can get water straight from the mountain then it’s amazing! Unfortunately nearly all over Albania, it’s not advised to drink water from the tap. There have been tests done in Tirana and Saranda by people I know and they have come back unsafe to drink. I try to get water from the local spring just of Saranda but unfortunately, I do have to buy most of my water when I can’t get there 🙁 Hopefully, Albania can provide fresh drinking water from the tap for their citizens soon!

      • klodi
        > Anita Hendrieka
        August 13, 2022

        In my native town Tepelena, we drink from the tap, is good.

  • Amber Richards
    June 5, 2019

    Albania is such an amazing country and often underrated! I’ve been there twice and will go again as soon as I can – great places!

  • Shawn
    July 10, 2019

    Hi Anita – thanks for the wonderful guide. Regarding driving, is it expected to have an international driving permit, or a regular drivers license (in my case the US) okay?

    Trying to avoid a situation like the one you mentioned!

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Shawn
      July 15, 2019

      Hey Shawn, yes as you are from the US you will need an international drivers license. You can only use your own license if you are from the EU 🙂

  • Allegra
    August 2, 2019

    Anita, thank you, thank you, thank you! Your guide is helping me a lot!! The information is very valuable. Next week I’ll be there, yuhu!

  • Hub
    August 3, 2019

    Hey!! Major thanks for this guide! You helped me a lot!! Although, I always thought Kukër airport is international too, no?


    • Hub
      > Hub
      August 3, 2019

      Kukës ****

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Hub
      August 6, 2019

      Yes, there is but as far as I know they do not do commercial international flights. I read somewhere that they might start opening it to some low-cost airlines in autumn 2019

  • Thomas Mills
    October 3, 2019

    Hello, thank you for this wealth of information! I have been fascinated with Albania for years. However, I need your advice, I am in Croatia now, looking into traveling through Albania. But I am concerned about road conditions, and running buses, especially after the recent earthquake. Would you advise me to try this trip, or avoid it for the time being?
    Thank you for your time and consideration!

  • maily
    October 21, 2019

    Hello, thank you for your amazing experience. I will have a 4 day trip to Albania this November and i intend to visit Tirana and Theth. Do you think its a suitable time to enjoy scenery in Theth ? as i am a natural lover, i would love to explore this beautiful place.

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > maily
      November 3, 2019

      Hey there, depending on when in November you visit it will be constant rain or there may be even snow so I’m not sure it is the best time to visit

  • Liene
    March 8, 2020

    Hello! Thanks for the inspiring stories! I do not find any information about grave and burial culture. In each of the countries I visit, I’m visited a some cemetery. I find it interesting to know about other different traditions. What would you recommend to visit?
    Best regards!

  • Joiloe
    December 21, 2020

    Hi FAB information thanks for the Blog after reading it really looks and sounds perfect. I have just started my nomad journey this year but stuck in two countries due to awful Covid situation.
    Albania sounds perfect. Being EU citizen I have read up on the 1 year temporary residence visa which I may apply during my 90 days. Please can you please advise as some requirements are not fully detailed on the government webpage.
    1. Do I need my birth certificate? (as this would take me long time to arrange) or only passport?
    2. I note I need a medical certificate from Armenian Hospital, I am unable to find the full listed details of the tests. What does the health examination entail please? Is it just general health check or a full health screening blood work (what tests) , X Ray etc.
    3. Is it easy to obtain / register for a tax number?
    4. Would I need to start a business LLC in country, to provide support in my application? (even though my online work is still fledgling as I live on savings and rental income)
    5. How long does the process take, normally
    I am plan to travel early January
    Thank you very much

  • Shoshannah
    March 11, 2021

    I would like to visit Albania for the first time as a digital nomad but I’ve heard that there are frequent power cuts. Is that true?

  • bota
    March 21, 2021

    Your blog is a treasure! Thank you so so much. I’m hoping to travel to Albania at the end of this May. Any recommendations on traveling to Albania during the pandemic? Thank you so much!

  • Daniel
    May 3, 2021

    Dear Anita,
    Thanks for all the information about Albania, knowing the conuntry sounds amazing!
    My wife and I want to spend 3 weeks all around the country in July, focusing on the beaches, but I am afraid about the influx of people and covid precautions on them.
    As you live there, how full use to be the albanian riviera beaches during July?
    We would appreciate too your recommendation on “special beach places”.

    Thanks in advance,
    Warm regards!

  • Swarup Kumar
    December 27, 2021

    Read your blog with interest
    Can you advise some acco near prespa lake
    Not in Podugorce
    Or a trip for 3 days from kasmil to Prespa
    Thank you
    swarup Kumar

  • Tammie
    June 14, 2022

    Hi Anita, I just found your blog and am very impressed so far. I find myself with the unexpected opportunity of staying in Finiq near Saranda for a while, and wanted to check in to see whether you have done any posts about crafts and artisans in Saranda and surrounding areas, or at least any coverage of souvenirs unique to the area or wider Albania? My primary interest is in the ethnographic and photographic documentation of traditional skills, so I am researching what potential there may be.
    Also, can you advise me on the importation and use of drones in Albania, and whether places such as Butrint need permits or advance permission? Thanks!

  • Louise Phillips
    January 22, 2023

    Your travel guide to Albania looks amazing. My friend and I are thinking of going to Albania, we are both in our 70’s but are fit and like travelling.
    Can I pick up a hard copy of your guide in UK? I can see Amazon sell it in the US but cannot find it in Britain?

  • David S
    January 19, 2024

    Wow! What a fantastic resource, thank you! I’m a travel writer in Canada, and we’re heading to Albania in autumn – can’t wait to put your advice into practice.

  • Steve Wass
    June 11, 2024

    An absolutely fabulous article. Thanks.