Is Albania Safe? The Truth About Safety in Albania

Last Updated on April 3, 2023


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Is Albania safe?

This is the top question I get asked again and again now that I live in Albania.

Is Albania a safe country? Is Albania dangerous for tourists? Is Albania safe for American tourists? The questions may get more specific, but they always revolve around Albania travel safety.

Is Albania safe, rising hill populated with terracotta rooftop buildings and green areas with trees leading up to tall rocky mountain ridge and peak under a blue sky

Unfortunately, for many people, the only understanding of an Albanian is the Croatian actor who plays the mobster and bad guy in the movie Taken. And that is simply not accurate!

This country is a lot safer than any other European countries I have visited, and with so many unique things to do in Albania you have all the more reason to ignore the undeserved negative reputation.

So I’m here to talk about if Albania is a safe country to visit or not. Is Albania unsafe? No! Is it safe to go to Albania? YES!

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How dangerous is Albania?

Albania seems to be misunderstood. The last civil unrest in Albania was in 1997; civil war broke out when a government pyramid scheme failed, and many Albanian families lost everything.

But since then Albania has been rebuilding. Poverty has been sharply decreasing since the 1997 catastrophe, and the country’s GDP has been steadily increasing as well.

War is also something Albania has been free from for many years. In terms of conflict against others, Albania has not been in any since WW2.

How safe is Albania for tourists?

As a tourist, I have been living in Albania for a while now, and think I have a good grasp on safety here. I haven’t had one incident of feeling unsafe and I have not been in any trouble at all here.

In fact, its been the complete opposite. If you compare Albania to other European countries, I would put Albania as one of the top safest.

Don’t let rumours of bad things about Albania put you off: Albania is safe, and visitors are most welcome. Is Albania tourist friendly? Yes!

I have been in Albania for the high-season and the low-season when I am literally the only tourist in Saranda.

Sure, I get weird looks like, “what the hell are you still doing here?”, but despite the lack of other tourists, I never have to wonder “is Saranda safe?”. I feel completely comfortable and safe always.

📚 P.S. Grab access to my Travelling Albania Guide to get a comprehensive insight into more places to visit in Albania (including secret spots that are not recommended in the usual guides!)

Is Albania a dangerous country for crime?

Crime in Albania is also not an issue for visitors, as the Albania crime rate is very low.

Pickpocketing is practically non-existent and so is other petty crime against tourists. Albanians will always make you feel welcome and safe.

So, in terms of the understanding of tourist’s safety, Albania is way ahead compared to a lot of other countries I have experienced. Is Albania safe for tourists? Definitely.

Is Albania a safe country, person in summer clothes and sunglasses sitting on low stone wall looking out across vast blue ocean with island and coastline in the distance under blue sky with clouds
Is Albania safe to visit? I have always thought so!

Is it Safe to Travel to Albania Right Now?

So, is Albania a safe country to travel to right now? Yes, most definitely. Safety in Albania is not a concern at all for tourists or locals.

And not only is it incredibly safe and welcoming, it’s such a wonderful country that I think you SHOULD travel to Albania right now, or at least as soon as possible.

If you’re wondering where to go for your next destination, I will vote for Albania every single time!

Of course, if you are worried, you can always double check Albania news just before you book. But as someone who has lived here for many years, I can confidently say Albania is safe to visit!

How do locals feel about Albania safety for tourists?

Albanians also have a powerful sense of honesty and are incredibly welcoming people. They will offer you food and drinks on arrival, and any help you need they will always be willing.

They will treat you as part of their family. This is one of the best Albania hidden gems.

The only argument I have had with Albanians is when I try to pay for my coffee but they will never let me!

Are Albanians Dangerous?

Only if you try and stop them from paying for your coffee!

I’m pleased to report that Albanians are charming, friendly, helpful and incredibly welcoming.

In all the places I’ve been to, the social climate in Albania is that guests should be treated as family. You’ll be offered food, drink, entertainment and much more.

The hospitality I’ve received from complete strangers here is so warm it can become a little overwhelming sometimes – just say yes, and let yourself be spoiled!

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Is Albania safe for travel? There’s not much information about it online

For a modern-day traveller, often people rely on the internet to gather information about their next visit.

The internet is saturated with guides but when it comes to Albania there is hardly any information.

This is one reason, in my opinion, why people get nervous about coming here and start asking “is it safe to travel to Albania”, “is Albania a dangerous place”; because they have no idea what to expect.

That, my friend, is the charm of Albania. You never really know what to expect … but in a good way!

If you’re not a relaxed person when it comes to travel, and you are wondering “is it safe in Albania?”, then it may be a little difficult for you, but you will end up loving it, I’m sure.

How safe is Albania for tourists, stone path lined by low stone walls underneath a shady canopy of a thin green leaning tree with bright sunshine spilling through the leaves

Is Albania Safe to Travel Alone?

As someone who has chosen Albania as their country of residence, I always heartily recommend Albania holidays to everyone.

But there’s a big difference between a group vacation and a solo outing, so people often ask me: is it safe to holiday in Albania on your own?

And the answer is yes, Albania is a very safe place to travel solo.

Albanians are very friendly and welcoming by nature, and whether you’re hitting up the main cities or hiking through the countryside, you’ll feel right at home.

Still wondering is it safe to travel in Albania on your own? Well, after you meet more and more Albanian people on your trip, you’ll start to feel like you’re part of one huge family!

Is Albania safe for solo female travel?

I have travelled as a solo female through Albania and can confirm it’s totally safe to do so.

As a blonde-haired fair-skinned traveller, I do often get looks of curiosity and amazement on why I picked Albania.

It is totally harmless and in the end, most people are just curious as I look very different from any other person here.

Is it safe to visit Albania as a solo female? That’s another yes from me!

Is Albania a Safe Place to Live?

As a New Zealand native, I had to ask myself a few questions before I committed to moving to a new country.

Top of my list to begin with was, is it safe to live in Albania?

I can confidently report that I’ve experienced no dramatic safety concerns whilst living in Albania!

Albanians are very accommodating to foreigners, and they made it very easy to settle into a southern Albanian lifestyle.

Whether in built up areas or out of the way spots, you’ll feel safe living here.

🛌🏼 Click to check out the best accommodation in Albania here.

How Safe are the Different Parts of Albania?

Of course, no country is a monolith, so you might be wondering, is Albania safe for holidays everywhere in the country?

So, I’ve highlighted a few of the most popular destinations below that I get most asked about in terms of safety.

1. Is Tirana Dangerous?

As the capital city, and often a visitor’s first introduction to Albania, many people worry about what to expect in Tirana and whether or not Tirana is dangerous.

But fortunately I can confidently say that it is not dangerous! As a major city, it can be a bit busier in Tirana than other cities, and so a little less welcoming.

However, just because not every Albanian in Tirana immediately welcomes you into their lives, doesn’t make it dangerous! The crime rate in Albania is very low and this holds true in Tirana.

I have gone all over the city as a solo female traveller and never worried for my safety.

Like any major city, you should exercise caution, especially if travelling by yourself.

Don’t go anywhere you’re unfamiliar with by yourself at night, don’t flash large amounts of cash, don’t go home with strangers.

That having been said, I have been out to many of the bars in Tirana by myself at night and never felt unsafe.

Unfortunately, like many major cities, pickpocketing sometimes happens on public transportation. But, it is significantly less common in Tirana than other European capital cities.

2. Is Saranda Albania Safe?

Since I live in Saranda, I get asked a lot “is Saranda safe for visitors?”

And all I can say is yes! I have lived in Saranda for several years and never once felt unsafe anywhere in the city.

I have been out by myself at all times of the day and night and never been met with anything but kindness from Albanians.

Not only is Albania safe to live as whole, but I consider Saranda one of the safest cities in the country. Of course, that might just be my own personal bias after living here for so long!

Is it safe to travel to Albania, person in summer dress standing atop hill covered in small green trees overlooking coastline next to blue ocean
No need to worry about “is Albania safe to travel” – it is!

3. Is Ksamil Safe?

As one of the most popular cities to visit in Albania, many potential visitors ask me: is Ksamil safe? To which I always answer a resounding yes!

Ksamil is a well loved family destination within Albania for a reason: it is incredibly safe and the crime rates are virtually non-existent.

Additionally, many of the beaches even have sections of relatively shallow waters, which are safe from younger children to swim and play in.

Really, no matter what angle you look at it from, Ksamil is just one of the safest places to visit – in Albania, or anywhere!

4. Is the Albanian Riviera Safe?

In addition to Saranda and Ksamil, people are anxious to know generally, is the Albanian Riviera safe?

And much like the two aforementioned cities located within the region, the Albanian Riviera as a whole is very safe.

Whether you plan to visit or move here, safety is something you don’t need to worry about! The crime rates are low, the people are incredibly friendly and welcoming and always willing to help.

Since it is popular with tourists, this region is relatively easy to get around – even hitchhiking! Yes, I have hitchhiked as a solo female traveller around the Albanian Riviera and felt safe!

Is Albania a Peaceful Country?

It’s true that Albania has been through some difficult times.

But in recent years the country has gone from strength to strength, rebuilding and prospering at a pretty fast pace.

The Albania of today is a very peaceful country, and the Albania safety ranking is considered very high in the eyes of most other countries.

In fact, Albania is thought to be one of the least dangerous places in all of Europe!

So, is Albania a safe country to visit?

Absolutely.

Do not be fooled by misconceptions from people who have never travelled here.

If you ask a traveller that has been and experienced Albania “is Albania a safe place to visit?”, I’m sure you will get the same response as what I have just said.

Of course, there are bad people in Albania, but there are also bad people everywhere around the world.

I have been absolutely delighted by the Albanian hospitality; it’s one of the top reasons why I love it here so much!

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Frequently Asked Questions

✅ How safe is Albania for travellers?

Albania is very safe for travellers; crime is rare in Albania, and the locals are very hospitable and friendly.

✅ Is Albania safe at night?

In addition to being one of the safest countries in general, Albania is also one of the safest and least dangerous of the Balkans countries at night.

✅ Is Tirana safe for tourists?

Tirana has good public security; there is some petty crime, but no more than in other capital cities around the world, and in Tirana it is rare against tourists.

✅ Is Albania a safe country to live in?

I have lived in Albania for years and I can tell you that it is absolutely a safe place to live.

✅ Is Albania safe for solo female travellers?

Yes, Albania is safe for solo female travellers. In fact, you will be welcomed, offered assistance and looked after very well by local Albanians, just as I was!

✅ Why is Albania dangerous?

It isn’t! Albania has not been considered dangerous for many years now. Today, it is a welcoming and thriving tourist destination.

Tell me below if you would love to come to Albania or if you are considering visiting next summer!

If you are visiting, make sure you read my ultimate Saranda guide and if your still not convinced then maybe read my 9 reasons why you need to visit Albania.

I also have a practical guide to getting around the country with lots of valuable advice when it comes to transport!


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The Comments

  • Kasia
    December 9, 2017

    Albania has been on my radar a lot lately. Starting to really consider it

    • Alban
      > Kasia
      April 4, 2019

      Great because Im from Albania I was just looking for nice comments ;]

  • Nathan Aguilera
    December 10, 2017

    I loved Albania! I spent nearly a month there this year and I agree with everything you said! In fact, I can’t wait to go back.

  • Marvi
    December 11, 2017

    With the several terror attacks anywhere in the world lately, it’s good to know that traveling to Albania is safe, even off season.. 🙂
    I love knowing that Albanians are honest and very welcoming.. It’s such a good trait for locals to have.. 🙂

  • Danijela
    December 11, 2017

    So true, people tend to embrace prejudices so easily. Albania is just one example, one of many. But that’s why I’m always glad to stumble upon posts like yours. 🙂
    Glad to hear that you’re having such a nice time and that you feel safe there. I can only imagine what it’s like to try to pay for your coffee over and over again, hehehe. 😀 I know the custom, it’s similar to the whole region of Balkans actually.

  • Dany
    December 11, 2017

    I so hate the stereotypes and the way people seem to spread lies without even realizing how much they can hurt a country with those! You’re right to say there isn’t much online about Albania, I wonder why? Even your pictures are so beautiful, I’ll have to add it to our bucket list!

  • Samantha Sparrow
    December 11, 2017

    This is such a helpful post, as it is somewhere I’d like to explore but like many have worried about my safety. It’s interesting to hear that pickpocketing is practically non-existent as so many cities we would consider very safe like Barcelona has a real issue with that. I’m also blonde and fair skinned and get looks/comments all the time so it is something I am used to!

  • Gabriela@IamFoodieTraveler
    December 12, 2017

    I can’t really say I know must about the country, but what I can tell you for sure is that I noticed how you emphasize the fact that there is not much “petty crime against tourists” .
    Again, don’t get me wrong, probably my knowledge about Albania is similar to those you called out as “Taken” fans, but Albania is not known worldwide as the country with the most pickpockets, but rather for the mobsters as you call them.
    On the other hand, I am really happy you are enjoying your stay there and that you are happy and by promoting this post, I hope the perspectives we have about Albania to change soon.

  • Jennifer Melroy
    December 13, 2017

    So many places around the world are misunderstood. I feel like a lot of Western cultures consider everywhere else to be unsafe and crime ridden. It’s not. Yes there are parts of the world that have major crime problems, but there are only a handful of these that are actually dangerous.

    I have found the locals in non-super touristy places to be amazing. I think its because they have seen the money tourists can bring in and they want me to enjoy their country and then share that with others so they can come and spend money.

  • Siddhartha Joshi
    December 14, 2017

    It’s so weird that one movie could do so much damage to the country’s reputation…and thank you for busting the myth! Since you’ve been there for over 4 months, I can certainly trust you on your assessment…

  • Hazel Tolentino
    December 13, 2017

    I met someone from Alabania and that’s when it got into my radar. True enough that people easily jump into the stereotypes and prejudices and the world is safer than how it used to be! Mainstream media choose to broadcast the negatives and we, people, as part of our human nature tend to look at a nation based on a single news that we stumpled upon. but I am glad that you are having the time of your life there! Enjoy!

  • Nathalie Salcedo
    December 15, 2017

    Good to know that Albania is safe to go with. This is something traveller really look into consideration 🙂 thanks for this.

  • MOUMITA TARAFDAR
    January 18, 2018

    your site is very helpful. Must read before planning my next holiday plan

  • Noel Ong
    April 11, 2018

    I have been told that the northern part towards Kosovo like Kukes is unsafe. Is this true? I am thinking of taking a trip there.

    • Drita
      > Noel Ong
      October 11, 2018

      I’m from Kukes, i’m born and grown up there. Kukes is one of the most safest towns in Albania. It’s a small town, well organized and structured, the nature is brilliant, clear views and fresh air. There is a lake, sometimes they say its compared to Switzerland of the Lake view. The people are so honest, and Kukes is mentioned for the real men who keep their word, there is no chance to not show respect to new visitors. If you planning to move there, you better contact someone who can accompany you and show the town around and visit some really good villages around (mostly for showing the villages around, ‘cos the town is small and you can visit yourself). Some places really have to be seen, the nature is amazing. There is no case of harming the tourists, or steal or lie. NEVER happened. Enjoy Albania!

  • Anthony
    April 23, 2018

    I visited Albania last summer, first we went to the eastern part, city of Pogradec by the ohrid which in my opinion is such a little piece of heaven on earth. Then after we did the south with amazing views and beaches. Food is amazing and so cheap. Lunch with drinks for two is no more than $25. We met lots of tourists and foreign travelers especially in Saranda, the city that borders Greece. Did we feel safe?? I can surely say I felt safer than here in New Jersey.
    We are looking forward to our next visit in early June, we gonna do the northern part, Shkodra, Theth and Valbona valley. See you there guys

  • Liljana
    May 1, 2018

    Hi! I’m an Albanian and just wanted to clear smth.to everybody. Someone in the comments mentioned the mobsters. It is true Albanian mobsters are quite famous, but there is a catch. They are not in Albania. They are where the Big money is.( which means in the West). In Albania they only spend their money, they don’t do anything there. If they have a problem with each other( which happens sometime) they solve their problems without involving other people, let alone tourists. It is true pickpocketing, mugging or things like that I never hear it. Be careful from gypsies, they are the only ones who might steal and beg for money. Albanians don’t do this type of crime, it’s very humiliating in our culture. Prejudices run deep. In Rome someone on the bike tried to snatch my bag, but nobody puts Italy as a dangerous country. The film “Taken” has done a considerable damage to Albania’s reputation, despite the fact that it was played in Paris.

  • Ela
    June 6, 2018

    I am so happy that finally someone said the truth for Albania! I am albanian myself and i can’t expain why we have such a bad reputation! Albania is very safe for tourists i can assure you that .it has very cheap prices for hotels and good restaurants .the south is amazing especially Dhermiu and Jala i would compare it with french riviera but awayy more cheaper.the north of Albania its a little bit dangerous for tourists alone they should go in grups and thats fine.the north is paradise .you will Love also Tropoja ,Theth in Shkodra (its a must if you are visiting north of albania) and valbona valley.the capital city Tirana is the best city for night life in EU! best clubs best music you will have a lot of fun!

  • Sanziana Feyer
    June 8, 2018

    Thanks for this! Really wanted to hear it from someone that already visited. I am really considering to visit it as I’ve heard so many things about Albania’s beauty, but I don’t know why it has received a lot of not-safe stereotype lately. Thanks to people like you that break these stereotypes!

    Sanziana
    sannafey.com

  • Franka
    October 21, 2018

    I am Albanian and live abroad and i miss my country so very much . Your article spoke the truth , brought tears into my eyes seeing someone appreciating the way we are as people,honest and welcoming .
    And yes we will always argue about who will pay for the coffee lol .
    We do our best for guests and i hope many more people see Albania for what it is,beautiful and safe.

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Franka
      October 25, 2018

      Aw I am so glad you liked the article, I love your country! Albanians are the best 😉

  • Herbi
    May 16, 2019

    Great coverage! Just a small correction. What happened on 1997 was not a civil war but a civil unrest. There were no armies fighting with each other or anything like that, just a chaotic and mismanaged situation caused by pyramid schemes that was all.

  • Monica
    May 17, 2019

    We are thinking of flying into Tirana and renting a car verses taking a bus to go to Macedonia , do you know if that is possible and what the cost would be?

  • Jack
    December 22, 2020

    I too heard all the negative stereotypical comments about Albania, mostly from people who’d never been there. A few months ago I spent a week there with my wife. Three days in Tirana followed by a four day drive around the south. I can confirm that the people we met were invariably charming, friendly, and extremely helpful. Not a single hint of danger even in a few out of the way places. The scenery is stunning, the food is delicious, and it’s very cheap compared to most of Europe. We loved it so much we’re heading back for a three month stay with a view to possibly relocating there. There are many beautiful places with great food. But what really impressed us and made Albania our number one choice was the genuine warmth of the Albanian people.

  • Karim Ali
    August 1, 2021

    Is it safe to buy a house in Albania ?

  • Ellie
    October 24, 2021

    This post seems very artificial and nothing was said of real value. You can write the same post and insert any country’s name. P.s. can you really know a country after living there for 4 months?

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Ellie
      November 2, 2021

      Hey there, thanks for your feedback. I have lived in Albania for over 4 years 🙂 Have a lovely day

  • Sisley
    November 27, 2023

    Hi nice insight on Albania I will definitely come to visit hopefully this spring with the hopes to live there but I’m very worried about the earthquakes there but do they happen A lot or way less compared to other European countries it’s probably a good idea to live on the 1st floor to make a quick get away 🤣
    Thanks

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Sisley
      November 28, 2023

      Heya! This part of the world is right on the massive fault line so you’re not going to avoid earthquakes unfortunately. They don’t happen too often, however Albania did have a big one in 2019 so it’s totally your decision if you feel comfortable or not living here. Sorry I know it’s not a helpful answer and if I had a crystal ball I could be much more helpful! 😊