How to Find an Apartment to Rent in Saranda, Albania

Last Updated on May 13, 2024

I get so many emails from people asking how to find an apartment to rent in Saranda (mostly 3-6 months) so I decided to write this article to hopefully give you some insight on how to get a good/affordable one.

Please note: I am unable to help you personally find an apartment, all of my tips and knowledge are within this post.

Don’t book online

It seems strange to say that since I work online and usually refer you to book online but in Albania, this is not the case.  Usually, when you book online (Airbnb/booking) you will be paying a nightly fee, not a monthly fee.  And even if on Airbnb they give you a monthly rate it is always more expensive. 

I have been astounded by the number of people who are paying through the roof for an apartment here, because they should be affordable but when tourists book online it definitely is not.  It is similar to the price you would pay elsewhere in Europe.

So, if you shouldn’t book online how should you book?  I highly suggest you book somewhere for a week before you come and network to find an apartment.  

The best option is to ask any locals you get talking to if they know of an apartment to rent.  Ask waiters, restaurant managers EVERYONE! Look for signs around the city that advertise apartments with phone numbers. Locals will almost always know someone or even have one themselves. The other option is to talk to other expats in the Expats in Saranda Facebook group and ask if they have any recommendations.  

There are more apartments than there are people in Saranda specifically (sometimes it feels like 1:4). However, even if there are a lot of apartments, it’s sometimes hard to find apartments that the locals want to rent for a longer period. 

It’s common for the landlords to not want to do a rental contract because of taxes. It’s up to you whether you take that risk or not. If you’re paying a large amount upfront or a deposit, and you don’t have a contract in place, then that’s up to you.

I highly highly recommend networking, talking with expats and asking about their experiences with certain people before you agree to anything. Unfortunately, there are many rental scams so ALWAYS ALWAYS network.

How to Find an Apartment to Rent in Saranda, Albania

If you want somewhere affordable then don’t stay where the tourists are

In Saranda there is the center, then two sides of the city – the local and the tourist side.  I live on the local side and don’t often bump into tourists in my elevator at all.  You are always going to be paying a lot more by living where the tourists live. 

It’s okay if you are wanting a short-term rental but if you want to stay a bit longer and really experience Saranda from a local perspective, then I recommended staying on the other side where I am currently based. 

For example, for my apartment, I pay 150 euro and on the other side, I know someone who paid 700+ euro.  That’s a HUGE difference. Now, bear in mind I secured my apartment in 2018 and expats were not common in Saranda at all. It was uncommon for expats events and there was really only a handful of expats living in Saranda.

In 2022, as I’m updating this post, there is a MUCH BIGGER expat scene which is awesome, however, that means that landlords are really taking advantage of being able to charge more. For locals, it’s still common to get an apartment for 150-250 euro per month, it’s entirely possible.

For a foreigner, you’re going to have to do some digging, actually get to know the locals and make connections before you come across an apartment for that low.

There are a number of people trying to charge ONLY expats 350+ euros for average studios and apartments, this is abnormal and the local Albanians would never pay that. Unfortunately, this only makes things harder for Albanians when foreigners happily pay these prices. It drives the prices up for the Albanians whose average salary is not going up with the prices.

You now may expect to pay 200 euros plus, but if you’re lucky you may come across a rare apartment for 150. This will not include power, water and wifi usually. I pay all of that separately.

How to Find an Apartment to Rent in Saranda, Albania

Expect to pay double (even triple) in July and August

During the summer season, you are really going to struggle to find someone who is willing to give you a good monthly rate. I find even if their apartment is empty they would rather wait for someone to book a per night rate than you give them a month’s rent.  Expect to pay double for these two months and to find it a little harder to find an available one for a long length of time.

Negotiate

Albanians are very good at negotiating, so you should be too.  The first price they usually give you is inflated. Last year I looked at multiple apartments and the prices were too high for what everyone told me.  I waited and got an Albanian to negotiate with them for an apartment and managed to get it for half the price of what he was first quoting me.

How to Find an Apartment to Rent in Saranda, Albania

Be flexible

Don’t expect to lock in an apartment months before you rent it.  The Albanian culture is very relaxed and most things happen last minute.  You have to be patient when it comes to finding and looking for an apartment.  You can almost always find an apartment to rent within 1-2 weeks of arriving here (depending on when you come and who you meet of course!).

Rent longer for cheaper prices

If you say you want to rent for over 2 months you most likely will always get a cheaper price than if you say you want to book for a month and see what happens.  I paid 2 months rent upfront then I paid monthly.  Now I have a different apartment, but I just pay monthly (as I rent off a friend of a friend).

How to Find an Apartment to Rent in Saranda, Albania

Research beforehand

Research is key to not getting ripped off!  Talk with multiple locals who live here.  They will be able to tell you the prices you can expect.  Don’t just talk with one person, talk with many.  Hopefully, this post on the cost of living will also give you an idea of the prices here in Saranda.

When looking for an apartment:

Ask lots of questions like:

-Does this place come with Wi-Fi?  If not, is it okay if I set it up myself?

-Is this apartment furnished? (most come with furniture, but some don’t so be aware of that)

-Is the rental price include water, power, Wi-Fi?

-Do I have to pay more than one month’s rent in advance?

-Is the price you have given me the same in July/August (if you’re renting before the season and want to stay through those summer months).

– Who is the best person to contact if something goes wrong?

– Would you like to create a contract?

It’s all about who you know!  Here in Albania it really is about networking.  Therefore, I advise you to book somewhere for a week and spend the week looking. 

If you have any other questions, then let me know by commenting below and I will try and answer them for you.

Other articles you will love:

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The Comments

  • Golden Triangle Tour With Ajmer And Pushkar
    September 13, 2018

    Wow! What a great tips and detail you shared with us. Thank you so much for sharing a wonderful post and experiences.

  • Diane
    September 14, 2018

    Thank you! Do you have any tips for renting with a cat? Also, I noticed every country is so fussy about rabies vaccinations, even for a harmless indoor pet. What do expats do about traveling to different countries without subjecting Fluffy to a lot of unnecessary vaccinations, just to get the paperwork?

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Diane
      September 21, 2018

      Hey there! So, I don’t think renting with a cat would be any problem here. People are only really strict with dogs so I think you would still be able to find something easily for you and your furry friend! Are you from Europe? I know for my dog I have a Europe pet passport so as long as he’s up to date with all his vaccinations he can travel anywhere with that. Hope that helps!

  • Cecilia
    September 19, 2018

    What about buying an apartment? We will visit Saranda again next week staying at Kodra again, local side. We are really happy about it and will have a closer look this time. Also, getting another Eglo lamp from the local lampstore in city centre. We bought two in August and would love to have another one. Im happy as a child about seeing Saranda again.

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Cecilia
      September 21, 2018

      Hey Cecilia, That’s great news. To be honest, I don’t have enough information about buying a house here and I wouldn’t want to give you an misinformation. I have heard that you should triple check the official papers when you buy a house as many people after communism just grabbed land and houses and some still to this day don’t have ownership papers. 🙂

  • Europe Tour
    September 19, 2018

    I love reading your blog, I follow closely all the tips, Thanks for sharing these tips, so that we can have the best tour. Glad to read this post and really very useful it is. I wrote home one of the tips for my next trip.

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Europe Tour
      September 21, 2018

      Thanks for reading 🙂

  • Taylan
    October 27, 2018

    Hi Anita,
    I am the fan of Albania. I visited Tirana and Durres several times. At the end I retired and I am thinking about long-term. Would you tell me what is different about Tirana and Sarande? Which do u advice?
    Thanks a lot!

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Taylan
      November 9, 2018

      It really depends on what you’re into. As you know already, they are two totally different places. In the winter Saranda is very quiet but for me this is perfect as I like quietness! In Tirana there are a lot more options and more expats, more to do in the winter etc. But if you love being by the beach then pick Saranda!

  • Petra
    February 23, 2019

    Thank you for this post, it’s very helpful! Do you think these tips apply to other cities too? I’m looking into moving to Tirana, and would hope to bring my rabbits as well, but I can imagine landlords wouldn’t be too happy to accept pets? I don’t know, I feel like maybe people are more strict in the capital?

  • Lance
    March 10, 2019

    Hi Anita,

    You mention a tourist side and local side in Sarande. Which side is which? If we are looking to move there for a year, where should we look?

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Lance
      March 10, 2019

      Hi there, there is a photo within this post stating which side is which, please let me know if can you see it! I live on the more local side which I love on and off season. The tourist side is super busy during the summer months but it’s completely dead which is worth noting! This is why I like living on the more local side as there’s a constant stream of people. I would recommend you check out both sides when you come to get the feel of both and see what you prefer!

  • Erick Tsiknopoulos
    March 22, 2019

    I’m thinking about moving to Saranda…. But not sure exactly when. If I came there in May/June, would it be more expensive to get a longer term place because of the tourist season in July and August? I’m hoping to stay 6 to 12 months there. I would want to stay on the local side, and looking for a 2-3 room apartment.

    Also, do the houses there have indoor heating for the winters?

  • Patrick Hogan
    April 4, 2019

    Hi Anita, I am traveling around the Mediterranean looking for a new home. I will be staying in Ksamil from April 10 through May 16th. I am a 62 year old male, retired. I was looking just across the waters from you in Pescara, Italy but I am becoming more interested in Saranda based on your information plus the fact a US Citizen ban stay for up to a year. do you think apartments will be available in Mid May for a 6 months lease?
    Thanks for all of the info you post, it sounds interesting. Take care.

    • Adriana Fernandez
      > Patrick Hogan
      February 7, 2022

      I’m s retired 62 years old. USA citizen. I want to stay one year. But lately i heard the law is changed. Trying to verify the info but no one knows anything!!!! Can someone help me on this???. adrianaf2525@gmail.com

  • Rita
    April 9, 2019

    Hello, I read that as an American citizen I can stay up to one year without a visa, would you happen to know if I can work there as well. I keep getting conflicting information and not sure what to believe.

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Rita
      April 17, 2019

      Yes, that’s correct and yes, you’re allowed to work too.

  • Cecilia
    May 16, 2019

    Thank you for this post, since I couldnt find any affordable longterm rent online…
    I want to look up Albania the coming week since Im on Corfu at the moment.
    Are there any smaller beach places you reccomend?
    Im not a city person, still need beach and supermarket in walking distance
    ?

  • Mike
    May 28, 2019

    Anita, Can you share your thoughts and experiences regarding safely?

  • Angela
    June 4, 2019

    Hello,

    I’ve recently come across your blog in my search for information about Albania, and it’s rather awesome! Thank you for what you’re putting out there! It’s certainly inspired my boyfriend and I to pursue a long-term trip to Albania (we’ve been considering it for about a year now, but it’s become much more real now)! From what you’ve written, and from what I’ve found online in my research about Sarande in particular, it does seem pretty difficult to find an apartment in the summer, which is when we’re planning to come (actually, in about a month, we intend to fly there). How well do you think we might fare when it comes to finding a reasonably priced place for July and August (with extensions beyond)? We don’t currently know anybody there, though networking definitely seems like the way to go. If you have time please reply! Either way, love your blog!

  • Czeslaw Karaban
    June 6, 2019

    Hi Anita, we are retired couple living in Ukraine and looking for a winter retreat for about three to four months to a warmer place. I wonder what is the climate from December to March in Saranda and prices for a decent furnished apartment. Thank you for your info in advance, Czeslaw

  • Judy
    October 14, 2019

    Hi! We are Americans traveling around Europe right now. We are looking to come to Albania in mid to late November to stay for a few months. Love all the advice you provide. Would you be willing to meet with us and/or introduce us to a local to assist in finding an apartment?

  • Toni Cacioppo
    October 15, 2019

    Hi, Anita! I’m finally taking the plunge and moving to Albania 8 November! How has your internet experierience been around Saranda? I teach online and require fast, reliable internet! When I visited in April, it seemed as if the internet was out more than on!

  • Caroly
    October 18, 2019

    Hello….thanks for some great information. I am planning to arrive mid January and need long term… I found a place on airbnb .. For 460 US for on bedroom .. Is is close to beach with vases view ..Is this to much ..

  • Caroly
    October 18, 2019

    I shpul

  • Carolyn
    October 18, 2019

    My finger aren’t working tonight…I meant to say with a sea view…

  • Coco
    February 5, 2020

    Excellent advice in this post, thank you so much for writing it for us, it’s very helpful.
    I am from Australia and wanting to move to Albania to kick off my online business.
    I have read online that I am only allowed to stay 90 days in any 180 day period.
    Do you know of anyway to be able to extend this or obtain another visa for a longer stay?
    Thanks so much!

  • Taj Trip India
    April 17, 2020

    Very nice information, your blog is awesome l thanks for sharing such a nice information .

  • Jason
    August 6, 2020

    Hi Anita,
    Thanks for the informative blog! We are looking to move to the Sarande area in the next month and would loveee some help with contacts for a good apartment. Is there anyone you can recommend off hand? Also, it would be wonderful to meet up as well when we arrive and go for a swim;)

  • Kyle
    August 13, 2020

    Hi there, it looks like long term rentals can be leased for around $450 a month with water views; is this normal, or a scam?

    Thanks!

  • Dinara
    August 31, 2020

    Dear Anita, thank you for giving so many helpful tips! Could you Please recommend an area/neighbourhood to rent in Saranda for a year, not too close to tourist area and yet comfortable and safe enough to live with a teenage child? We plan to arrive in a couple of weeks.
    I appreciate your time and help.

  • Frank Westby-Gibson
    September 3, 2020

    Hi Anita – We are Americans living in Capri, Italy and Malta. We are headed for Saranda next week and may end up choosing Saranda as a long-term alternative to Malta. Love the work you are doing and would like to connect with you in Saranda. I’m a composer (movie scores and compositions for my albums and concerts). My wife, Lana, has written three books and is a possibilities coach.

    Our plan is to initially stay in a hotel while wee get our bearings and then seek a long-term let. A lunch date with you would be a real treat for us, soplease let us know if you could work us in.

    We do have a question about Corfu – Saranda. We plan on flying Napoli to Corfu and then ferry across but we can’t find a definitive answer as to whether there are any restrictions. We have a US passport and a Malta residence card. If you can point us in the right direction to get an answer re: travel restrictions, it will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for all you are doing to help people expand their lives.

    Kind regards, Frank.

  • Linda slasberg
    October 30, 2020

    Do you need to speak the language??

  • Moi
    December 14, 2020

    If you have found a decent area to with good and cheap apartments by now, please reply! 🙂

  • Bill
    February 8, 2021

    Hey there fellow Kiwi
    I’m in Bulgaria at moment but have to leave for 3 months from 1 March. Going to Greece for about 3 weeks…..but been looking for a nice rental apartment with all services, in Sarande near sea and supermarket….not up in the hills…..(prefer full kitchen…..not just a bench hotplate!)……from 22nd of March for two months……..can afford up to €450 per month. Air bnb and booking.com are far too expensive……think you might find something for me?
    I’m a 68 year old retired Kiwi……Wellington and Hutt Valley my home turf.
    earnie.bill1953@gmail.com
    Cheers
    Bill

  • Ehsan
    February 24, 2021

    I’m coming to Albania and plan on being there for 2-4 weeks. Any recommendations on a rental? Or or anyone you know?

  • Dee
    March 9, 2021

    Hello, Anita!
    My husband and I are in Saranda now, and have been talking with people that we meet about finding an apartment. We saw two apartments, but they asked for a much higher rental price than you are paying!

    We have a short-term AirBnB near the Taverna Liberia restaurant right now, and want to find a long-term apartment soon. Do you know anyone renting an inexpensive apartment? Than you so much-

    Your website is awesome, by the way!
    Dee & CJ

  • Izabella Dima
    July 1, 2021

    Hello Anita,

    Such useful tips, thank you very much! ❤️
    I’d like to know if AC is needed during the summer or a fun would be enough? I found a few nice apartments, but apparently they don’t have AC

    Thanks a lot once again!
    Izabella

  • Paul Fine
    July 5, 2021

    What would I expect to pay for either a studio or 1 bedroom apt for two months September & October possible November .with sea view? Where more locals live than tourists?

  • amedeo grasso
    August 4, 2021

    Hi Anita, on october we will start our adventure in Saranda for a long time. Really we are finding may difficulties to rent an apartment. No one site of properties agency show a list o apartment. I hope the group will be helpful. Thank you from all of us for your advises.
    Regards Amedeo

  • Tara
    August 31, 2021

    what a lovely blog and thanks! I’m thinking about staying in Saranda for half a year to a year as an american tourist ( i hope it’s still allowed). I have a question about home heating system in a winter as I know coastal towns get really cold in a winter time in Greece and Turkey, so i assume it is no different for Albania. And my second question will be about a pet-rabbit. Do albanian owners allow pet rabbits and also how’s the rental situation happens in terms of a contract (do we need to sign a lease?) . Thanks a lot and maybe see you there! 🙂

  • Craig
    September 11, 2021

    Hi there, nice piece, Im just wondering is it the same thing for Tirana? Many thanks…

  • Santeri
    May 22, 2022

    Very helpful, thank you!

  • Rosemary
    July 16, 2022

    Thank You for being so candid.

  • Mary
    February 1, 2023

    Thank you so much for this helpful information. I am hoping to spend 3 weeks in Albania in late May/early June. You have encouraged me! Mary

  • Belinda
    February 9, 2023

    Thanks Anita, so helpful! Is there an online expat community I can join? I am thinking of heading over in April.

  • Gladys Deegan
    March 3, 2023

    Where is the best place to stay in sanders while looking for somewhere more permanent thanks

  • Jean Paul
    March 5, 2023

    Thanks for the tips.
    Cordially

  • Michele B
    March 12, 2023

    Hi Anita, can you tell me which is the local side in Sarande. I always rather live with the locals than tourists. Planning on coming next year. I’m confused as it all looks touristy along the promenade. Thank you
    Michele

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Michele B
      March 13, 2023

      Hey Michelle! The side which is less touristy is called Kodrra 🙂

  • Steve Simpson
    May 15, 2023

    Very interesting article,great advice .

  • Max Thomsson
    July 2, 2023

    Hi, I’m moving to Sarande in September and I’m looking for a good host who can provide me with a nice apartment in a local area. Do you have someone you can recommend?

  • David Webb
    October 26, 2023

    Thank you

    Just reading this has helped me a lot.
    My wife and i are looking too fly out of Aus 01/11/23 Albania
    I’ll take your advice on booking a week then looking else where.

    Regards
    David