What It’s Like Living in Albania As a Tourist
Last Updated on April 24, 2022
This site contains affiliate links for products and services we recommend. Read my disclaimer for more information. If you make a purchase through these links, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a small commission (for which I am very grateful).
Nearly every day I have to slap myself that I am living in Albania. This is a country that I knew nothing about at the start of 2017, but have since committed fully to Albania life.
Now as I sit here overlooking the ocean, I thought it would be the perfect time for a little life update and tell you guys what is Albania like to live in, and why I chose to move to Albania over all the other amazing places I’ve visited.
Moving to Albania was one of the best decisions I ever made, and I encourage others to do the same if they can.
But like anywhere, living in Albania has pros and cons, so I have included some of the downsides, as well!
So, what is it like to live in Albania? Is Albania a nice place to live? Is albania safe? Keep reading to find out!
📚 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!)
Why I Chose to Live in Albania
I fell in love with Albania in March 2017 when I took an overnight road trip with some people I met in a hostel in Kotor, Montenegro. We decided on a spontaneous trip to Albania.
By the time we got to the north of Albania – Shkodër it was late afternoon and we were excited for some Albania travel.
We checked into our hostel (The Wanderers, the best hostel!) and for €5 we got a bed, a beer, and free breakfast, I couldn’t believe it.
It was almost like we had transported ourselves to Asia where the prices are incredibly low.
We then went out for a meal we ordered a table full of different dishes plus wine and it cost no more than €6 or €7 each. What was this place?
If you haven’t already noticed Albania’s prices are outrageously cheap compared to the rest of Europe, especially for tourists.
A hostel will cost you next to nothing and neither will your meals. It’s the perfect place if you want to explore somewhere that’s affordable.
And it isn’t just visiting, the general cost of living in Albania is lower than most of Europe. This isn’t the only reason I chose to move to Albania, but it definitely didn’t hurt!
🧳 MUST-HAVE: Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have travel insurance. I recommend either SafetyWing or World Nomads.
Example of Prices in Albania
For reference, 1 USD ≈ 110 LEK
- A loaf of bread – 50-100 LEK
- Souvlaki – 180 LEK
- A draught beer – 150 LEK
- A Greek salad – 300 LEK
- 1.5 litre of raki (the local homemade spirit) – 600 LEK
- Byrek – 50 LEK
- Single Expresso – 50 LEK
- 7-hour bus ride – 1300LEK
what is life like in albania?
When I decided to live in Albania, I choose a city called Saranda, which is along the Albanian Riveria. I don’t consider it as a city, though, because it’s super small.
This is the best place to live in albania in my opinion! It’s a fantastic base because it has an abundance of good restaurants, pumping nightlife in the summer.
From Saranda, there is also good transportation throughout Albania and onwards to Athens or Corfu (Greece).
If I am catching a flight to Europe I will catch the ferry over to Corfu (which takes half an hour), as flights are normally cheap and easy to get from there.
One of my favourite things about living in Albania actually is how easily I can travel around this part of Europe.
I found an apartment to rent in Sarana right on the beach and about a 15-minute walk if I want to be right in the heart of the city.
Where I am located now is lovely because it’s a little quieter than if I was to live in the city and the beaches are nicer here.
To live in Albania I pay €150 per month for rent and then €80 on top of that for power, water and fast WIFI.
All together that’s €230 a month for my own space right on the beach, which are my ideal Albania living conditions.
A beachfront spot is perfect for me because, according to studies, living by the beach is where you are the most creative, and as a blogger, I need my creative juices to be flowing always!
You could say my lifestyle in Albania is literally better for this blog.
Update 2022: I am still living in Albania, but now live 1 minute from the beach in a 2/3 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment and still pay €150 per month!
You can read my full guide on the cost of living in Albania.
👡 PACKING TIP: Looking for the best shoes for travelling? I highly recommend getting a pair of Chaco’s – They are my favourite!
Is Living in Albania Safe?
“Is Albania a safe place to live?”
This is probably the number one question I get asked about life in Albania. There are a lot of misconceptions about Albania and its safety.
Albania is not full of gangsters, sex traffickers and mafia walking around on the streets.
Every country in this world has its share of bad people but living in Albania, I haven’t met any yet. I feel safer living and travelling here than in most western European countries.
The tourist crime rate here is very low. Albania also has a code of Besa which is the highest ethical code and roughly translates to ‘to keep the promise’.
Albanians are very loyal people and if they see tourists they feel it is their duty to keep them safe and feel welcome.
For these reasons, I have never felt unsafe living in Albania, and consider Albania travel very safe.
You can read my full guide on safety in Albania.
Not only is Albanian life very safe, but Albanians are very kind and helpful. There have also been multiple occasions where Albanians have helped me tremendously.
When I arrived in Tirana in April, I needed to catch a bus down to Saranda. There were about 15 men asking where I was going.
When I yelled Saranda they all look worried and as I looked up, the bus was pulling onto the highway.
All of them started yelling at the bus driver to stop, some even stood in front of the bus, one man picked up my (huge and heavy) bag and another waved me to come hop on.
Another time when I was catching the overnight bus from Athens to Albania I sat next to an Albanian lady who insisted on feeding me.
She pulled out toasted sandwiches from her bag and even though I said no thank you, she grabbed my hand and insisted I eat it.
Then at around 1 am, we had a stop near the border. She noticed that I was running low on water so she went into the shop and bought me a new one. How sweet is that?!
Instances like these happen nearly every day and it’s a big part why I love living in Albania so much.
Is Albania nice? I think experiences like these speak for themselves!
Not only that, but as a digital nomad this is an affordable place to base myself and it’s not part of the Schengen zone. I can stay here for 3 months at a time.
When I decided to move to Albania, I went to my local Saranda police office to apply for Albanian residency and stay longer. Immigration in Albania isn’t impossible to navigate, but it isn’t easy.
If you’re planning on moving to albania from USA, you can technically stay here for up to a year without a visa!
Disadvantages of Moving to Albania
As I said before, I would discuss living in Albania pros AND cons. There are many reasons to visit Albania, but like anywhere, there is a downside to living in Albania.
There have definitely been struggles to moving to Albania.
In addition to my visa process, another downside is that food is very limited in variety. Yes, you will find an abundance of Greek food, Italian and obviously Albanian food!
But if you’re craving something spicy or even just a burger, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find one unless you’re in Tirana.
But I feel like that’s a small price to pay to live in such an untouched and beautifully raw destination like Albania.
So, is albania a good country to live? Yes! Absolutely, but like anywhere you live, there will be trade-offs.
🎫 TOP TIP: Looking for tickets to some of the best shows, activities and passes? I highly recommend booking via Viator for the best prices and deals!
Is Albania a Good Place to Retire?
Albanian life is slow-paced, relaxed and it’s probably my favourite place I have lived in so far as it’s so different from anything I have experienced.
There are even a number of expats who decide to retire to Albania. If you have money, the quality of life in Albania is much higher for most expats than it would be at home.
Thus retiring in Albania is an attractive option. Especially as it is much more affordable to buy property in Albania.
Tirana and Saranda are two of the best places to live in Albania. So it’s not surprise that they are popular choices to move to for expats in Albania.
However, it is of course possible to live elsewhere. Living in Albania is a great option for old and young.
🛌🏼 Click to check out the best accommodation in Albania here
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! I get asked is Albania safe all the time, but in reality, it is possibly the safest country I have ever been to. Albanians are extremely friendly and will go out of their way to help you. I have never felt unsafe here.
Definitely. In fact, Albania is probably my favourite place that I’ve ever lived.
Life in Albania is easy. It is a slower paced life than a lot of other countries, and very laid back. When people ask me “what’s Albania like” I usually just say “very relaxed.”
If you have any other questions about how to move to albania, me in living in albania as an expat, or about life in Albania feel free to leave them below! I promise, moving to Albania doesn’t need to be scary!
Other articles you will love:
- Lessons I learned from living in Albania
- Incredible Cities in Albania to Explore
- How to Hire a Car in Albania (Everything You Need To Know!)
- Albania Itinerary: 1 week in Albania (7 days)
- The Best Summer and Music Festivals in Albania
Love this article? Pin it for later!
Pier @ The wind behind me
Very well written and catching post. It makes makes me want to visit Albania.
Anita Hendrieka> Pier @ The wind behind me
Thank you 🙂 I hope you come to visit Albania soon!
Sam Goddard> Anita Hendrieka
How fast is the high speed internet?
Thanks in advance.
Anita Hendrieka> Sam Goddard
I’m unsure of the numbers but here in Albania I have faster and better quality than in New Zealand and I pay 1/5th of the price! Hope that gives you a good idea 😉
Teela> Pier @ The wind behind me
Hello, this is a good read. I would love to travel and visit Albania one day. What is the cost in USD you do not note that. So like what is your rent if you used USD.
Thank you for sharing
Anita Hendrieka> Teela
Hey there, the best thing to do is use a converter as the price depends on what your currency rate is at the time! XE is a good currency converter 🙂
SUPER interesting. I’ve wanted to visit Albania since I went to Croatia like 15 years ago. It’s even better than I thought! Super cool move.
Living in Albania sounds amazing! I was hoping to visit on my travels earlier this year but didn’t quite make it that way – will definitely make sure it’s on the ‘must-visit’ list when I am back in Europe soon! x
Hi Anita, great post and well done on taking the plunge. A friend of mine and me are coming to Saranda next Friday and plan to visit Butrint & Blue Eye from there and travel to Tirana on Saturday. Do you know the easiest way to travel. I saw there was a Riviera bus via Durres but not sure if it is running. We would love to go by train but I hear this may be hit and miss. Any insight you have will be fabulous. Wilbur.
Anita Hendrieka> Wilbur’s Travels
Hey, thank you for reading 🙂 That’s amazing, I hope you love Saranda. Yes, there are local buses running from Saranda to Butrint and Blue Eye. To the blue eye, you will need to catch the bus that goes towards Gijrokastor. On the way back you will need to hitchhike though as its never sure when the buses come back through. You can also catch a taxi which is much easier and for a very good price (they will wait at the blue eye and then take you back) as soon as you are limited in time. To Butrint there are buses every half an hour leaving from Saranda and a ticket costs 100lek. Don’t catch the Riveria bus, it’s over-priced! There are a few buses to Tirana, including an overnight one. I think the ticket is about 8-10 euro if I remember correctly. There are no trains here unfortunately so it’s all buses! If you are confused on times just ask a local as they will know exactly when they leave etc, especially as it’s the end of the season and bus times may change a little. Have fun!
Wilbur's Travels> Anita Hendrieka
Thanks Anita, we will put it into practice tomorrow. Wilbur.
Nice article. I have been in Tirana 2 years ago, when we crossed the Balkans towards Greece. I can confirm that food is super cheap and people are nice. It was surprising to see all the last decades at the same place (’50s, ’60s, etc until now).
PS. One correction though. Albania doesn’t have an ocean but a sea.
Nina | Lemons and Luggage
I really enjoyed my recent trip to Tirana. You are so right about how friendly and honest the people are, they’re a big part of why I loved Tirana so much: http://www.lemonsandluggage.com/blog/eight-reasons-tirana-is-my-favorite-city-in-the-balkans-so-far
It sounds like you’re living a great life over there. I live in Athens, and I would say it’s similarly difficult to find international food here, but it’s a big city, so in Saranda it’s even more expected, I guess. Slowly, slowly there is more variety here though and even some vegan places. I like that you wrote an honest post about the pros and cons, and I always try to do the same when I write about Greece: http://www.lemonsandluggage.com/blog/whats-it-like-in-athens
I visited Albania August 2016 and am constantly missing its beauty and the people. Reading your post makes me want to move there!
Wonderful story !
For one like me and my family who will travel for the first time, to spend one week at Hotel Paradise Beach (Vlore), what would you advise us ? Do we need to have local currency upon us, or it is enough to have our credit cards ? I’d like to meet people to tell us more about Albania, to take us and show Vlore etc. etc. Who is eager to meet us between 17 – 24 august 2018 ???
I’ll appreciate anyone’s experience that may assist us.
Anita Hendrieka> Doru Varlan
Hello Doru, Thanks for reading 🙂 Yes, you will need local currency (LEK) as credit cards are not widely accepted. It’s still very much a cash society. Hope you have a great time on your first trip to Albania!
I’m an open water swimmer and I’m looking for a coastal town in Albania so I can train a lot, but not have to spend a fortune. What places in Albania would you recommend? Does anyone play water polo there? How are the roads for cycling? Thanks, Matt
Anita Hendrieka> Matt
All of the coastal towns in Albania are inexpensive. Saranda is the most expensive seaside city in Albania but even then it’s incredibly affordable. I haven’t heard of anyone playing water polo there but maybe I am wrong! A lot of people cycle around Albania. The roads are pretty good, the drivers are what you have to watch out for 😛
Linda> Anita Hendrieka
How would you say family life is there? I have a husband and two little kids and often consider resettling somewhere else in the future. Is it a family friendly type of place?
That’s such a helpful article – thanks so much Anita! We are currently considering to stay in Albania for a while after Romania and Croatia so the fact that I found this post now is perfect. If you don’t mind me asking, how did you find your apartment? Paying less than 300 Euro a month seems too good to be true, haha.
All the Best,
Silas Potter> Lisa
I am curious how to find one in this price range as well!
Anita Hendrieka> Lisa
Hey Lisa, I always find my apartments by asking locals and getting them before or after the busy season (July, August) as during the busy season apartments are double the price. If you get them online or through a real estate agent you will be paying a lot more. It’s better to rent an Airbnb for a week and whilst you’re there to ask as many people as possible and make some good contacts!
That was very nice 🙂
What about the pollution levels in albania ?
Anita Hendrieka> dhruv manocha
The pollution levels are not something you have to worry about. Of course, in the capital Tirana, there will be some pollution from the transport but it’s no different to most cities in Europe.
I plan on moving to durress in oct any info for how to ship clothes or any thing ? Thankyou for your artical i enjoyed it you are right so beautiful and i plan on marrying aman there do you know those laws?thankyou
Hi! I hope all is well and that youre enjoying your stay.
As ive been doing some research, ive found that i may want to live there. Havent had the chance to travel yet (so anxious to do so!). I have been looking into private schools since i do have 2 young daughters (grade school aged)- so far Tirana has what im looking for. Do you have any advice or where to look concerning education for children? This would be a major determining factor, if and/or when i decide to make Albania our new home.
Thanks in advance 🙂
Anita Hendrieka> Frankie
Hello Frankie, thanks for reading! As I don’t have children myself I cannot comment on the education here, but there are two great Facebook groups which you should join as there are a lot of families on there that regularly talk about education in Albania. The groups are both called ‘Expats in Albania’. Hope that helps!
Met you very briefly as you were leaving the Hairy Lemon last Thursday and plan to return very soon.
Would love to meet you and share a beer,
Is it possible to get in contact with you? I currently live in South Korea teaching but am American. I will be leaving here soon and want to continue teaching but online. I am seriously considering Albania, and after seeing your post, knowing the prices and the good air quality, I think your area is one I would like to live in! Is the WiFi pretty good there? Able to get organic or atleast good quality produce? Fruits veggies. If you are able to email I would be so happy. email@example.com
Hello! I am planning on moving for close to a year hopefully to near your current location based on your blog, and my own personal research. I would love to be able to ask you some questions! If you’re willing to chat, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Anita Hendrieka> Silas
Hey there, Yes feel free to email me on email@example.com I am happy to answer your questions over there 🙂
Mike Smart> Anita Hendrieka
I’m highly impressed with this your rightup and I would like to have my 2019 holiday in Albania.
I will send you mail for personal talks. Thanks
That was a great read, thanks for writing! Definitely at least Tirana on my travel schedule.
Thanks for the nice blog. I’m planning to visit Albania in October & stay there for about a year if possible.
I won’t be working there. I was wondering how I can transfer money for my living expenses. Can I open a bank account there as a tourist? I’ll appreciate any info you can give me. I live in California.
I ve been staying in Saranda for the month of September and want to go back for one year starting in October maybe we can prospect together i am living for the moment in Brussels 49 years old travelagent i won t be xorking there neither hope to hear from you Jürgen
How difficult is it to learn Albanian? I know it’s not related to any other languages–except to ones that are dead. If one doesn’t speak Albanian, what other languages are helpful to know? I’m fluent in English (my native language) and German, but I don’t know how much of a help they’ll be.
Hi, I am coming too Albania in September an I am planning living there as a retired voice actor,Filmmaker.
It would be great too net work with you.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iam from the southern California and I need too live near the water like you.
I draw my creative energy that way too.Dwight
Anita, Thank You so much for sharing information. I am looking to move in for a month or two in Albania near the beach in October/November 2018. Maybe You or somebody else know something good to rent like in this article, under 300 euros per month? I am looking to rent a studio or a private room near the beach, or something even better :-). At the moment I am looking nice place to relax but at the same time I want to start working online, still early days, also my interests are self development/spirituality/raw foods/holistic living/relationships/fashion… Also I like laugh, have a fun and explore a new things.
Have a great time everyone! Jurate, email@example.com
Anita Hendrieka> Jurate
Hello Jurate, Yes, I know of one studio which I rented for those months last year which is right on the beach, about a 15-minute walk to the center. If you’re interested then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will give you his details. I paid 150 euro for this studio apartment and it’s beautiful!
I ve been staying in Saranda for the month of September and want to go back for one year starting in October maybe we can prospect together i am living for the moment in Brussels 49 years old travelagent i won t be xorking there neither hope to hear from you Jürgen
Hi Anita, thanks so much for your take on Albania! I’ve been searching for months for a good alternative for myself and hubby from South Africa. I have a fee questions… Are there job opportunities for people like us, 50 and 57 years old, eith very little cash to start?
Anita Hendrieka> Karen
Hey Karen, thanks for reading 🙂 I guess it depends where you go. If you plan to live in the capital of Tirana then I’m sure you could try pick up something like teaching or working in the embassies. There are two good Facebook groups called ‘Expats in Albania’. You could ask on there if anyone knows of any job opportunities.
Can you tell me the best resource for renting locally (as opposed to paying premiums through sites like Airbnb)?
Anita Hendrieka> Jack
The best option is to rent an airbnb for a week and ask as many people as you can when you get here. There are tonnes of rentals available in the off-season. This post might help: https://anitahendrieka.com/find-apartment-to-rent-in-saranda-albania/
Great article! Very informative. How is the medical care and cost there?
Anita Hendrieka> Dani
Extremely affordable. I had a wisdom tooth extracted for 15 euros.
Hi! I’m considering moving to Albania for longterm – possibly Sarande – and I have a couple of questions! Firstly, and most importantly: finding an apartment! I’m a little nervous about showing up with nowhere to live, so I thought I’d book an airbnb to begin with, but the question is, for how long? How long does it take to find an apartment? Is it hard to do? Should I book my airbnb in Sarande or in Tirana if I am looking for an apartment in Sarande? The second question is just about winter, and again, how that will affect how easy it is to find an apartment. If you have any contact details of estate agents that would be wonderful! Thanks so much, and for your blog! Emilia
Anita Hendrieka> Emilia Fuller
Hello Emila, I have written a guide on how to find an apartment in Saranda here: https://anitahendrieka.com/find-apartment-to-rent-in-saranda-albania/ Hopefully that should be helpful for you 🙂
I Ioved your post about my country. If you come to Tirana I would love to offer a coffee/ raki with you.
Anita Hendrieka> Merita
Thank you for thr kind offer Merita <3
Wonderful article! You mentioned that your internet connection was good. The possibility of slow internet was one of the things really holding me back from visiting. Do you happen to know what the actual download, upload, and ping speeds were for the internet in Saranda? Thanks so much for writing this article, Anita!
Loved what you wrote about Albania. My girl and I travel around a lot mostly in Asia. So now it’s time for Europe.I was hoping to get a place to stay as a base that was cheap enough that I could keep and come back to and of course I thought about Sarande and Vlore as well as Kotor in Montenegro and Split in Croatia or even Dubroadnick. Sarande looks beautiful but so does Kotor etc. I read you went to Kotor and maybe most other places I mentioned so, why Sarande Please compare if you would.
How cold is it there now in general? Please talk about getting around accessibility. You mentioned that the town itself was about 15 min. Away? You get around by taxi, buss?
Please tell us more and those videos I love! Compare those towns mentioned if you can.
You gave very good information I was looking for
I’m travelling to armenia in February coming and planing to visite Albania in March
Can you advice me
Thanks a lot
I have a question. What do you (personally) do once your 3 months are up? Do you apply for extra time (If so and you have done this can you expand on the process and difficulty of extending your stay?) If not, again what do you do?
I’ve lived in Tirana for three years and fell in love with Sarande last summer on several visits. While I’m in the USA for a few weeks, I’m considering returning and settling in Sarande this time. I’d appreciate if you’d email me with rental information for one person with a nice and well-mannered cat! My plan is to stay for a full year’s lease. Something near the beach would be ideal – one or two bedrooms. Thanks in advance for getting back to me Your blog is positive and cheery. Great!
Hi Anita thank you for your blog it was well written and informative. I am wanting to come to Albania, near Saranda in May, I want to look at how I can get involved in any environmental volunteering while there. I did this work in the UK and in India, I set up a registered charity to do this work in India. Ultimately I want to look at settling in Albania? Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated
Great story! Being of Albanian decent and born in America, I loved the fact you are living in Albania! It is a beautiful country! I will be visiting in August in Sarande. Hope to see you there!
Anita Hendrieka> Qybare Pula
That’s fantastic! As you can tell, I love Albania a lot ;p Have a great summer in Saranda! Feel free to message me closer to the time and we can meet for coffee 🙂
Nice article! I’m living in Ksamil now and I was curious how you found your apartment. The picture of yours looks really nice, if you have any info to pass along it would be greatly appreciated! I’m going to Saranda today to look around. Thanks, enjoy the sun! 🙂
Anita Hendrieka> Owen
Hey Owen, that’s great! I would suggest joining the Facebook group ‘Saranda expats’ and asking about apartments. There are a few people in that group that have/know apartments available to rent for expats 🙂
Great info. Thanks
You have so much interesting information! I’m enjoying reading it and following your links.
I’m visiting Albania in June and renting a car. The route my husband planned goes through North Macedonia, and we’re seeing inconsistent information on whether this would be a problem. Do you know what the rules are now? Thanks very much for anything you can tell us.
Anita Hendrieka> Claire
Hey Claire, thanks so much for the comment! Glad you are liking my content <3
I'm not too sure about the rules from travelling into North Macedonia. Do you mean rules in terms of the car hire company allowing you to go there? or just the safety situation? I would advise joining my Facebook group 'Travelling Albania' on Facebook and maybe ask on there, someone may have been there recently and will be able to tell you more about their experience driving there!
My wife is Albanian and we have been thinking about moving to Albania to raise our two children. We currently live in America, my wife immigrated when she was 14. We both dislike the hustle and the lack of community here. How is living in Saranda during the winter? Also, how easy is it to get good healthy groceries? We were there last year, but I don’t remember if it is easy to get healthy vegetables and meats in the middle of town or if you have to go out to some of the villages. Thanks for keeping this blog updated. Please continue to enjoy Albania!
Thank you very much Anita..
I just started loving Albania. Can you please let me know if how is this place suitable for people from Sub continent, considering the cultural and tropical differences.
Also, how would be the case if we would shift entire family of 4.
Anita Hendrieka> Sandeep Sharma
To be honest, everyone is different. I have a different culture from yours so I cannot comment on cultural differences between you and Albania. The best thing would be to come for a holiday first and see if you like it 🙂
Hi, Anita. Do you find that there is a huge language barrier or is English spoken there at all?
Anita Hendrieka> Hap
The younger generation usually speaks at least a little English so it’s not hard. Just be prepared to do some hand signals, you’ll be fine!
Hello Anita, I am recently retired from the military and researching some areas I might want to visit or live. Is there an area of Albania that you could enjoy living in the alps maybe near a small town but still be close enough to travel and enjoy the sea and some of the larger cities. I just really love mountains and views and some solitude. Thanks for your help. Please feel free to email me with any info also. Thanks again.
I work remotely as well and am considering moving to Albania for a year. I noticed you also work remotely and wanted to ask about any issues you experience with power outages and/or internet connection. I read a few articles online about how power outages are common, but those articles where a bit outdated. How would you describe your experience here?
Thank you and I appreciate the help!
Anita Hendrieka> Kayla
Hey Kayla, you may experience the odd power outages in the winter when there are storms but I haven’t noticed anything alarming or unusual 🙂
Thank you for the great post. I am an Albanian living in Germany for three years now. Sadly, here Albania has a somehow bad reputation and the first question that people ask me is as always about mafia and safety. Hence, thank you so much for sharing your experience, helping in the promotion of Albania and cut down stereotype-based judgments.
Thanks and all the best! Eri
How about living in Saranda october to april in terms of the weather and temperatures?
What about heating in apartments and practical things like that?
Anita, thank you so much for enlightening the world as to this wonderful country. My question is for a single woman in the country. Not regarding safety but rather regarding the degree of sexism that exists. Living in Sarande is doubtless better than inner country but can you shed some light on this please?? I mean, how would it compare to say, Sicily? I am contemplating a move that area of the world but I don’t think I could take being treated as a lesser day in and day out. Thoughts?
Anita Hendrieka> Tigerlilee
Thanks for your comment. In Saranda, I don’t have to deal with sexism. I’m not sure how it compares to Siciliy as I have never lived there but I don’t think you will notice sexism in Albania as a tourist. Gender roles do play a role in Albanian society, however. You will see mostly men in the coffee shops and the women usually stay home to clean and cook. Saying that, that is changing too. But as a tourist, who also has an Albanian boyfriend, sexism doesn’t come into my life. My boyfriend and I are treated equally. You can always come for a holiday and see for yourself how you are treated 🙂
Gail Dawson Gray
Anita, what a thorough and encouraging look at Saranda. Thank you so much! I’m American and plan to move to Saranda soon. I have a question about pharmacies in Saranda. I need to take some daily medication and am wondering if I will find a doctor to prescribe and then a pharmacy to fill the prescription.
I’m thinkink of making Albania my home. I was considering Sarandë but I’ve been told that in winter time it becomes a ghost town. What are your thoughts? People tell me that it’s better to choose Tirana and maybe go to Sarandë during summer time.
My name is Mathew and after this Corona Virus disaster I plan to not only visit the Adriatic Coast from Zadar, Croatia to Saranda, Albania BUT to choose a place along the way that best fits me to move to. I see youre based in Albania and so any help, advice and info would be gratefully received. Im a single 41 year old Englishman who loves good weather, sports and a relaxed way of life.
I am a Canadian and wanna move to Albania by the end of the year. Saranda looks great. Would I be able to find a studio/room for a 100 Euro?. Thanks.
Franta Dopil> Azar Alex
Hi Alex, I own such a studio in the center of Saranda. If you are still interested.
How do you go about finding affordable housing in albania? Sarande or Tirana. I only speak english is that going to be difficult?
Albania sounds very nice, but how welcoming of people of color there? Some other parts of Europe are welcoming and some are not.
How is life like there in the “covid world”? I am considering going to Albania to spend a month or longer, since I can work remotely anywhere. Are places open, can you go out walking, see anything, are the beaches open, any thoughts? Would you recommend it? Thanks!
Franta Dopil> Linman
Hi Linman, it is fantastic here. I have been here for a month working remotely for my company. I drove here from Western Europe without any issues (via Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro). I got a One Communication service (20 GB for 800 LEK) and the speed is OK. Nobody from my company could tell that I am not working from my country. The weather has been great. On top of that, you get incredible fruit, vegetables, fish & stuff to live a very healthy life here (and it is very very cheap). My neighbor from Sweden complains that living here is a bit boring. In my case, I do not want to go back to my country anytime soon.
This post is super helpful! Thanks for sharing.
I’m considering moving from the US. There are many places to consider. I am in my 60’s, have health care coverage and retirement income. I’m getting too old to endure the US anymore. I love my country…well, what was my country. But I dont recognize it anymore. So, is it possible to relocate to Albania permanently? Would it be necessary to apply for citizenship? Any insight would be helpful.
Did you stop the travelling albania group ?
Your post is a good read. I am planning to visit Albania and would love to connect and network with you.
Thanks for all the info.
I’m an American stranded somewhere out there 🙂 planning to come to Albania in the near future.
Do you know of any whatsapp group around Saranda that I can join to get current info.?
Great, great article and blog. Curious to know are you still living in Albania?
We are a family with 3 kids, considering coming to Albania. We are slow-travel family, on the road on and off for 9 years.
As a Muslim-majority country, do you think Israelis are welcome?
I have really enjoyed reading your blog. You cover everything anyone could possibly want to know and I love the pictures and videos too.
My wife and i have a long term plan to move to Albania, preferably Saranda. However, my wife likes to swim every day and is concerned that there are no indoor pools she might use during the winter. I just wondered if you know of any hotels with indoor pools that might allow non residents to use on a regular basis for a small fee?
Hi are you still living in Albania, a freind of mine told me it’s pretty open over there regarding COVID obstructions, I’m looking for a place to spend long periods of time without COVID restrictions and been controlled
Ian from England
Anita Hendrieka> Ian
Hello, yes I’m still here. There are currently no real restrictions in place. We have a curfew from midnight, however, no one is following it.
Thank you for your amazing guides.
I am currently in the planning stage of escaping Ireland for a few months. I usually live in Malaysia but returned to my home country in November and am dying to get away again.
Albania seems the most affordable option, similar to SEA, and mild climate.
I am hoping to rent an apartment on the beach or close to it with sea views from mid Oct to early Dec. Any recommendations on particular buildings or do you know anyone renting somewhere?
I need good wifi as will be working while there and would like a location close to a supermarket as I have allergies so will be mainly cooking for myself.
Is it safe there as a single woman (my mum’s question!) and is it easy to travel around?
Lastly, am Irish, so of course I enjoy a good night out, are there any lively bars in the city during the winter months?
Thanks again for all your help so far, you really have made me think that Saranda is the place for me!
How is the infrastructure concerning charging of electric cars?
I plan to explore Albania in the coming summer and do only drive electric.
Anita Hendrieka> Niels
That’s a great question. Honestly, I’m not 100% sure since I don’t drive an electric car. I believe there might only be charging ports in the big city of Tirana
I am a Nigerian and i want to come as a Tourist to Tirana Albania, what best way of arriving because i have checked and discovered that there is no Albania embassy in Nigeria. Moreover, i am eligible for applying for Albania E-visa. What are your advices?
Hi, I read your blog a couple of years ago. Glad things are still working out for you in Sarande. I wound up in Vlore, although I like to visit Sarande, I find the city easy to maneuver – and fewer steps! 🙂
You know, the thing about Albania is that once you slow down a bit and let things work out – life is really easy here.
Just stumbled across your blog while researching expat groups in Albania.
I just returned from a 3-week Balkan trip with 12 days spent in Albania. We went from north to south and ended up in Tirana for our flight out.
This country is amazing and you’ve hit the nail on the head with your comments and suggestions.
I loved what I saw so much that I am considering spending 2-3 months there, hence the reading up. I only had a fleeting glimpse of life there and as a tourist, you don’t come into contact with other aspects of daily life.
We spent 2 nights in Sarande but I wasn’t impressed with the beaches. Actually, beach as in one beach, cos all we saw was the city beach. The road that runs to Butrint is high up and it being cold (April), we didn’t seek out any beaches. Are there any sandy beaches there? We only visited Ksamil which was beautiful, but I can imagine, will be a nightmare of tourists in season.
Are there any expat forums you know of that I can join?
Lovely to read that you took the plunge.
Hi! I have recently started investigating Albania as a place for long term living and stumbled across your blog. Your articles have really inspired me and have kept me digging deeper into the country. Thank you so much for your work!
Greats Reads. I’m going back to immerse myself in the culture with the intent of making it my permanent home. Albania is about the people. Good people with big hearts who have suffered many hardships. Go Bless Albania.
I’d look on FB, where most expat groups are living…
Retired military and fireman moving there in May to live. Been traveling the world for the last 11 years looking for my paradise and can’t wait to try this part of Europe.