35 Unique Things to do in Albania 2024

Last Updated on November 6, 2023


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I have been in love with Albania since 2017!  It’s a destination that challenges your perceptions and stereotypes and allows you to relax in absolute paradise. 

There are so many things to do in Albania that I could make a list of thousands of things but for now, you will have to settle for 35 of them!

So, what can you do in Albania?

The answers are many and varied! Many adventures in Albania happen spontaneously, as visitors arrive and fall in love with the scenery, the culture, the people and the hidden gems.

Discover unique things to do in Albania, view looking out across wooden suspension footbridge in moderate state of disrepair hanging over river with green trees on the opposite side

There are so many ways to discover Albania, with plenty of well-known and more obscure Albania experiences available.

Some come to find the weird things to do in Tirana, Albania’s capital. Others are just looking for the cool things to do in Albania, or to enjoy some hiking as part of their Albania bucket list.

Whatever your preference, it’s all part of the Albania experience!

If you do want my comprehensive list of things to do, you’ll have to get my guide 😉 I highly urge you to take a trip to Albania at least once in your lifetime to experience all that Albania has to offer. 

If you’re asking yourself ‘What is there to do in Albania’, then here’s your big list of what to do in Albania!

35 of the best things to do in Albania

Fun activities to do in Albania, view of rocky coastline with brown grassy hills next to clear turquoise water
Beach crawling is by far at the top of the list for the best things to do in Albania

1. Visit the other beaches in Ksamil

Ksamil is the most popular beach destination in all of Albania. It’s located in the south of Albania, only a 20-30-minute drive from the seaside city of Saranda.

Tourists flocks here in the month between July and August but I urge you to take a trip in the spring or autumn. 

It’s a lot more beautiful in those times and it’s good to support the businesses in the low season.

Ksamil is popular for a good reason though. It’s extremely beautiful and mirrors paradise. There is more to Ksamil than the main beaches. 

Just north of Ksamil are two beaches which you should stop off at Mirror Beach (pictured above) and Monastery beach. Both are incredible!

Visiting them is one of the best things to do in south Albania.

💡 PACKING TIP: Make sure you bring a good snorkel, water shoes and a fast-drying towel for all of the beach-going you’re about to do!

Find all of Albania's hidden gems, Blue Eye spring with clear water and green foliage surrounding it as well as tree with person kneeling next to it dipping their hand into the water

2. See the blue eye

Also located not far from Saranda is one of the best things in Albania: a natural phenomenon that leaves scientists to this day baffled.

Blue Eye is a natural spring that is over 50 meters deep, except they have no idea how far down it goes and where the spring starts. 

Divers have checked out the blue eye and could only go down 50 meters before having to go back up again. This is a protected site so you shouldn’t go in the water, although a lot of people do.

Visiting Blue Eye is a must do in Albania. However, I urge you to listen to the rules so we can protect natural landmarks like this one!

Enjoy the crazy things to do in Albania, plate of prawns in yellow broth next to plate of fried pieces of squid with a slice of lemon sitting on a wooden table
Not sure what to buy in Albania? How about stuffing yourself with seafood instead!

3. Eat seafood in Sarandë

Don’t worry, foodies, there are plenty of Albania activities involving food, like dining in Sarandë!

Being a seaside city means there should be good seafood, right? Hell yeah! In fact, before moving to Saranda I never ate seafood but now I can say I have tried every seafood there is. 

I highly recommend Fishland which is right next to the fishing docks. The restaurants on this side of the city get the seafood first hence it being so damn good.

You can also go to the docks at sunset and buy seafood from the fisherman there. It’s fresh and delicious.

Restaurants in the city that also have great seafood are Haxhi, Taverna Kapitani, Demi, Paradise and Fish Filipi.

Read more: Saranda Restaurants: The Best Places to Eat in Saranda, Albania

Have you been to the hidden spots in Tirana? View across coastline with green hills and sandy beaches met by still blue waters of the ocean under a clear blue sky
Krorez is one of the most unique places in Albania to visit during your stay

4. Take a boat tour to Krorez from Saranda

One of my favourite things to do in the south of Albania is to take one of the boat tours from the city, to the more secluded beaches of Krorez and Kakome. I recommend Gabby Tours.

You can also hike to the beaches which have to be one of the best things I’ve ever done in Saranda! 

Check out these things to do in Albania in April, stone castle with red Albanian flag looking out over valley with winding river and forested areas with buildings and fields scattered throughout under a blue sky

5. Visit Shkoder – Cultural capital of Albania

Located right in the north of Albania is the city of Shkoder. It’s known for being one of the oldest cities in the Balkans. The hiking nearby is some of the best in the world! 

The lake nearby is the largest lake in southern Europe. If you love nature and then I highly recommend basing yourself here. Exploring Shkoder is one of the best things to do in north Albania!

🛌🏼 Click to check out the best accommodation in Shkoder here

6. Try raki

With all the stuff to do in Albania, you’ll need to take a break and grab a drink, and you haven’t really experienced the Albanian culture until you try a glass of raki.

It’s the local moonshine that nearly every family in Albania makes themselves. Beware: it’s strong. It can sometimes reach up to 60%! 

You can get a small glass of Albanian raki in a café for the price of an expresso (50lek, 37 euro cents) and make sure you never shot it.

Although the taste is very overwhelming, you will probably want to traditionally it is sipped.

When in a café, if you order another raki, the waiter will always bring it in the new glass but pour the raki into the glass you were using previously.

This is because they believe that if you drink the raki out of a new glass then it means you will have a new relationship (meaning breaking up with your current).

Try all the best Albania experiences, three plates of meat, vegetable salad and creamy dip on a table inside a restaurant

7. Eat a meat grill plate

Along with a raki make sure you order a meat plate. Albanian food is simple but delicious. Everything is fresh and not filled with those icky perspectives. This also means that the meat is top-notch! 

My favourite restaurant in Saranda is Laberia. The chef is the master of a meat plate. I also recommend his pork pancetta, it’s delicious.

8. Experience Albanian nightlife

My first experience of an Albanian nightclub was not what I expected, I didn’t really have any idea what to expect actually. If you compare it to nightlife in the UK or USA, then it’s totally tame. 

The locals usually just stand around drinking at tables rather than dancing erratically and questionable (like me). This means when you go, expect to be stared at.

From personal experience, you get used to it and learn not to give a damn. Despite the more relaxed night-out attitude, the bars are still some of the most cool places in Albania!

Try out these cool things to do in Albania, road winding between tall hills and rocky mountains covered in green foliage under a cloudy blue sky

9. Hitchhike at least once

Despite Albania having all these stereotypes, it’s a safe country – safer than most other European countries in fact.

Hitchhiking is one of the most popular ways to get around. You will see locals do it as well.

The best thing? You usually don’t have to wait for more than 10 minutes to get a ride somewhere.

Albanians are extremely friendly, and they love to talk to tourists, even if they cannot speak English you somehow manage to communicate. 

I used to hitchhike to the clubs in Saranda in 2017, always a lot of fun!

🧳 MUST-HAVE: Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have travel insurance. My #1 recommendation is SafetyWing!

10. Wine tasting in Berat

Believe it or not, Albania has some great wine. It’s one of the hidden gems of Albania. There are 3 wineries in the town of Berat which you must check out.

At Cabo, you can order a tasting platter of wine and you also get some cheeses all for a very reasonable price.

Make your new list of the best things to see in Albania, white fronted buildings with terracotta roofs arranged in tiers running up a rocky hill under an azure blue sky
Visiting Berat is one of the best things to do in Albania

11. Visit the UNESCO town of Berat

Berat is also called the town of one thousand windows. The Ottoman-style houses in the old town are spectacular. Berat is a small place but a very quaint one at that.

There are great restaurants and lots of things to see in Berat. For fewer tourists and very pleasant weather, consider visiting here if you’re looking for things to do in Albania in April.

Where to Stay in Berat

📌 If you are looking for a traditional homestay, I highly recommend staying at Guest House Panorama. The view is incredible as well as the service and the breakfast in the morning!

📌 If you’re a backpacker, make sure you go stay at Berat Backpackers.It’s the best hostel in Berat!

Immerse yourself in the ultimate Albania experiences, front of street level cafe in Gjirokastër with wooden chairs and tables outside of wooden doors with glass windows and colourful textiles

12. Visit the UNESCO town of Gjirokastër

Gjirokastër is a beautiful little place and a UNESCO site. Visiting this town is one of the best things to do in Albania in summer. It’s one of the hidden gems Albania has to offer!

You could spend at least a couple of hours walking around the castle exploring the tunnels (one of the best Albania secret places!), seeing the weapons and getting the best views of the city.

If you can make sure you stop over at least a few nights in Gjirokastër. I love the old town, cobbled streets and the friendly people. 

Where to stay in Gjirokastër

📌 If you’re looking for a great accommodation option, I recommend Boutique Hotel Musée or Hotel Bebej Tradicional – both are traditional houses that are highly recommended if you want to have a traditional Albanian experience.

📌 If you are wanting more of a hotel vibe, then take a look at Kerculla Resort. This is one of the best accommodation options in Gjirokastër, equipped with a view over the city and an outdoor pool!

📌 I can recommend staying at Stone City Hostel if you’re looking for a good backpackers. The hostel is beautiful! 

Take part in some fun activities in Albania, forested peninsula surrounded by winding blue river with green fields and grassland

13. Visit Butrint National Park

This UNESCO site shouldn’t be missed on your travels to Albania. Butrint is an archaeological site dating back to the prehistoric ages.

The site was home to a Greek colony, a Roman city and a bishopric. It’s well worth a look and is surprisingly in good condition. 

You also get a fantastic view of the castle tower. Visiting Butrint is one of the most popular things to see in Albania.

Experience some of the secret places in Albania, statue of man sitting holding his head while kept in small metal cage on the ground with tiny water bowl and place

14. Learn about communist times at Bunk Art 1 & 2

Whilst you’re in the capital and wondering the best things to do in Tirana, make sure you visit both Bunk Arts.

Bunk Art 1 is located just outside of the city and gives you an insight into what communism was like for the Albanians.

Not only that but you get to look inside Enver Hoxha’s luxury bunker. Obviously, it was never used, but still interesting nevertheless!

Bunk Art 2 was home to the bunkers made for internal affairs. Exploring it is one of the most unusual things to do in Tirana.

Both are super interesting and give you a real look into the dark times of communism. These are by far the best museums to visit in Albania.

15. Take part in an Xhiro

Every night in most locations you may notice around sunset time a lot of people walking the main boulevards and streets, this is called Xhiro.

It’s the best time of day to catch up with your friends and neighbours

Many towns shut off the roads for the pedestrians too. It’s an Albanian tradition!

Discover the fun stuff to do in Albania, view of hillsides leading down to coast with blue water and mountains in the distance under a cloudy blue sky

16. Drive the coastal route from Saranda to Vlore

This coastal drive is highly recommended by me! You will be blown away by the scenery and trust me, you will want to stop a least one million times to take pictures.

This drive has got to be in the top 3 I have ever experienced. 

Just be careful, as driving in Albania is super hectic. Read my guide on the Albania Riviera to see where I recommend stopping on the way!

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

17. Visit the waterfalls in Bugove

Not far from Berat is one of the most beautiful waterfall trips you shouldn’t miss out on. Click for tour companies that do daily trips to the waterfall and other interesting sites along the way.

It’s a great way to see the Albanian countryside and see something unique.

Discover Albania this year, aerial shot of coastal town with many tall apartment buildings next to sea which stretches out into the distance

18. See Saranda from above at the castle

Okay, the castle isn’t that impressive but trust me, the view is. For me, it’s the most impressive view of Saranda.

You also get a panoramic view all the way to Ksamil and then towards the mountains too – it’s one of the best things to see in Albania! 

Prepare your camera because you will get some epic shots. There’s a restaurant at the top so you can enjoy the view with some food or raki.

If you’re wondering what to see in Albania, a Saranda sunset should be on your list!

19. Eat pizza until you can’t anymore!

This is definitely one of the most fun activities in Albania, because Albanians are amazing at making pizza!

I’ve had some of the best pizza in my life here. A lot of Albanians have worked in Italy and brought back the skills to make the perfect pizza.

Explore the hidden spots in Tirana, view of gorgeous valley with river winding through lush green forest and tall rocky mountains tipped with snow leading off into the distance under a cloudy blue sky

20. Take a hike in the mountains

Wondering what to do in north Albania? I recommend enjoying a hike through the beautiful Albanian outdoors!

Albania has some extremely beautiful hikes, especially in the north. One of the most popular and beautiful hikes is from Theth to Valbona.

The best way is to base yourself in the northern city of Shkoder and plan your adventure from there. Just make sure you have some good hiking shoes!

There are a lot of fabulous hikes & Tirana day trips you have to check out if you’re only checking out the capital during your holiday. So many hidden gems in Albania!

Read more: 5 Best Hikes in Albania – Hiking in Albania 101

Have you tried these unusual things to do in Tirana? Stone clock tower sitting atop stone fortification on top of a hill next to large town with sloping green hills and mountains in the distance under a thick bank of clouds

21. Spend a few hours exploring Gjirokastër castle

Gjirokastër Castle was one of my favourites in Albania. You are simply given free rein to the castle. You can climb on the tanks, go through the underground tunnels and climb just about anything you see. 

I would highly recommend coming here late afternoon and watching the sunset over the city and mountains. You get the most amazing panoramic view of the city.

22. Paragliding from the Llogara National Park

If paragliding through the sky is on your bucket list, Albania has got you covered, because one of the most exciting activities in Albania is paragliding in the Llogara national park.

It’s not the first thing to do in Albania that people think of, but it sure is fun!

The national park itself is beautiful and the drive will blow you away. So if you’re wondering what to do in Albania in summer, take it one step further and see it from the sky!

Find your favourite Albania experiences, mannequin wearing traditional Albanian dress holding wicker basket
Make sure you pick up some cute Albanian souvenirs during your trip too!

23. Learn some of the language!

So, what language do they speak in Albania? Well, the Albanian language is called Shqip and it’s one of the only languages in the world that has no relation to any other language!

From an English speaker, trying to learn Albanian is a challenge.

Many words have no translation at all. In fact, when I have asked people to translate something they say it’s just a feeling and cannot be translated. I guess I will never know what they said!

I really love the language and regularly refer it to a ‘badass’ language.

Enjoy the beach while finding things to do in Albania in summer, small sandy beach with various tents and parked vehicles next to white surf and turquoise waters surrounded by rocky hills covered in green trees

24. Spend the night on a beach

Some of Albania’s hidden gems are the many beautiful hidden beaches along the Albanian Riviera, which I highly recommend you take advantage of and camp out for a night!

Beaches are perfect hidden places in Albania for camping; it’s a popular thing to do in the summer as the nights are not so cold.

It can get to over 40 degrees in Albania in the summer, so beach camping is sometimes essential to escape the heat of your home!

One of the best camping spots is Gjipe beach.

25. Visit the raki bar in Tirana

Komiteti is my favourite bar in Tirana mainly because they serve an abundance of different flavoured raki! From blueberry to honey, there are lots to try.

Drinking here is one of the most unique things to do in Tirana!

If you don’t like the taste of a regular Albanian raki then you might prefer some of the ones here that have been flavoured to taste sweet or savoury.

If you’re not a raki drinker, you should still come to hang here as it’s a unique bar filled with ancient knick-knacks!

Travel to the cool places in Albania on a budget, cobbled street with old well surrounded by park benches and small trees with line of buildings and outdoor tables and chairs

26. Drink Korca in Korca

Korca (the beer) is produced in Korca so it only seems fair to try it while you’re there right?! You can drink beer for a pittance here.

Not only that but Korca is a nice little place to explore. There is also some good hiking nearby.

Where to stay in Korca

📌 Two accommodation options that I highly recommend staying at are Hani i Pazarit Boutique Hotel and Vila Eden Boutique Hotel.

📦 PACKING TIP: Don’t leave home without a solar powered battery pack so you can keep your devices connected at all times.

Your guide to things to do in north Albania, outdoor structure on stone platform in park area
Your guide for what to do in north Albania, stone entrance to underground bunker with stone steps leading down from the street

27. Look at the open-air museum in Tirana

It’s not exactly one of the hidden spots in Tirana, nor is it the most impressive open-air museum, but I think it is worth a look!

In the small park, there are remains of the Berlin wall, a bunker and remains for a labour camp that was used during communism. 

If you want some more information about what to do in Tirana – including some of the actual secret places in Tirana – then read my ultimate guide here.

Try out these cool things to do in Albania, large object painted to look like large ladybird with painted red wings with black circular spots and smiling face sitting in green field

28. Look in a bunker

It might seem like one of the more crazy things to do in Albania, but bunker tourism should not be overlooked!

During communism, there were over 600,000 bunkers built here, and for no reason at all. They were never used.

Albania was a peaceful country. Most have been destroyed or are crumbling but some have been turned into hotels and even tattoo parlours! (But don’t ask me about tattoo prices in Albania!)

During your travels you will come across many bunkers I’m sure! Make sure you look inside. The bunkers are the real landmarks of Albania.

Add these things to do in Albania to your Albania bucket list, aerial view of small sandy beach next to rocky outcrop and clear blue seawater
Lukove is an Albania hidden gems

29. Visit paradise

Just north of Saranda, there are some amazing beaches which include Lukove and Kakome.

You will find the best local beaches to hang out in with crystal clear waters and not too many people – and it’s one of the best activities to do in Albania!

These might be the best things in Albania, view of the sea from rooftop terrace with leafy green tree next to railings
Enjoy these fun things to do in Albania, small backstreet with stone cobbles and stone walls covered by canopy of green vines on a bright sunlit day

30. Stay in the old part of Himare in the mountains

Himare is a sleepy coastal town famous for its beautiful beaches and relaxed vibe.

I highly recommend staying up in the hills, next to the castle to wake up to the most magnificent view of Himare and the coast, it’s super beautiful!

Where to Stay in Himare

📌 If you’re looking for a good property to stay in, I would recommend Mana Vita or Himara Hostel if you’re a backpacker! 

31. Visit the monastery of the 40 saints in Saranda

This monastery was built in the 6th century and has a fascinating and sad history. The legend goes that the monastery was named after the 40 saints who were jailed here.

The soldiers were being forced to change their religion however, they refused so they were tortured and left to die in the monastery. 

I recommend spending a few hours here taking in all the site has to offer as well as the amazing views from the top. This is one of the best things to do in Albania in my opinion!

Discover these things to do in Albania in summer, closeup of small white cup of coffee sitting on white saucer on top of stone wall

32. Drink expresso with the locals

Drinking coffee is an important part of the culture here. All-day long you will see the locals having their daily coffee/s.

It’s extremely affordable as well. An expresso in the likes of Saranda will cost 50-70 lek (0-.38 –0.54 euro cents).

33. Go to the second-hand markets in Tirana

The second-hand markets all over Albania are amazing. If you’re a lover of second-hand clothes, then you will be in heaven here! 

The second-hand markets in Tirana are the best. So many options and very cheap. There are lots of different markets scattered around the city, my favourite one is by the old train station.  

34. Get a tattoo

During my time in Albania, I have managed to gather 5 tattoos. My small tattoos have cost a total of 2000 lek each. 

Looking for fun things to do in Albania? There is a guy who does tattoos out of a bunker in Shkoder! 

Just stay at the Wanderer’s hostel and ask one of the staff how to get there.

Visit the Charming Half-Abandoned Village of Old Qeparo, one of the best things to do in Albania, stone buildings and stone walls with church bell tower and green trees under a cloudy blue sky
Visiting Qeparo is one of the top things to do in Albania

35. Visit OLD Qeparo

This beautiful town is located next to Borsh. It’s a village which is half-abandoned as after communism fell and the villages fled Albania. You can read more about the village here.

Frequently asked questions

✅ Is Albania good for tourists?

Yes, absolutely! Albania is fast becoming a mecca for tourists around the world. If you’re concerned about the safety in Albania then read this post here.

✅ Is Albania cheap or expensive?

Travelling to Albania is very affordable and one of the cheapest countries to visit within Europe. In saying that, this will depend totally on your perception of what’s cheap or not. For a better idea of prices, read this.

✅ How many days do you need in Albania?

I would recommend at least 10 days. There is so much to see and do here, from mountains to beaches, history and rich culture. I can guarantee you won’t get bored here.

If you’re visiting Albania for the first time, I hope that this list will be a helpful guide to finding your way around.

These are just some of my favourite places and ideas on what to do in Albania for any type of traveller, so there’s something here for everyone!

If you’re looking for a comprehensive travel guide to Albania going deeper into all of these locations and more, then grab my guide to travelling Albania!

Have fun exploring this beautiful country – I can’t wait to see all the amazing photos from your trip!


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The Comments

  • Ryan Biddulph
    May 4, 2018

    Brilliant places Anita! I hear you on visiting places in autumn. Prettiest months of the year all around the world, in places with 4 seasons. The colors of the trees are mind blowing. Love it.

    Ryan

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Ryan Biddulph
      May 25, 2018

      Thanks for reading Ryan!

  • Ludvig
    May 21, 2018

    Thank you so much for the detailed and very nice to read guide of Albania. I would really like to read and see more of this country from you!

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Ludvig
      May 25, 2018

      Thanks for reading! 🙂 There will be lots more Albania articles coming soon

  • Zainab
    October 23, 2018

    Thank you Anita for your helpful information, I would love to visit Albania in the winter and mainly would like to go for hiking and skying, so what you recommend for me as a solo traveler?
    Any suggestions or if there is a companies i can join them to for the hike?

  • Poppy
    November 1, 2018

    Omg… this post makes me want to go ASAP! Thank you <3 BTW found your blog from the GGG facebook post!

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Poppy
      November 9, 2018

      I’m glad! Yay, great to connect 🙂 Hope you can come visit Albania soon

  • Nadia
    November 2, 2018

    This is a really helpful list- Albania looks amazing but I’ve been struggling to prioritise sights and finalise an itinerary

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Nadia
      November 9, 2018

      That’s fantastic! I have itinerary guides coming soon so watch this space!

  • Jen
    November 2, 2018

    Loved this! Albania is so high on my list of places to visit!

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Jen
      November 9, 2018

      I hope you can visit soon! There is so much beauty in Albania to be seen <3

  • Arrien
    November 29, 2018

    Hello Anita, Great list of things to do.

    We are going to Albania in June for one week. We are travelling with 6 guys around 37 years old. We are currently planning the trip, but we are not sure about the following. Should we visit the north or south of Albania. Or is het possible to visit both, without spending a lot of time in the car.

    Hope to hear form you soon.
    Arrien

  • Ardi
    December 22, 2018

    Hi Anita! I’m actually Albanian but immigrated to the US when I was very young so I barely got to explore Albania and it’s so nice that it seems you have bonded with the country and culture so well. Not many people know Albania even exists let alone know so much about it. I was wondering if you happened to be Albanian? Do you speak the language at all? I know that outside of Tirana most people don’t speak English at all.

    Lastly, I really would love to go to Albania one day and truly see it, so thank you so much for this extensive list!

  • Phillip
    June 2, 2019

    Hey Anita! Any recommendations on specific shops and/or cities to get tattoos done in Albania? My wife and I are traveling and want to get some new ink!

  • caitlin nally
    July 17, 2021

    Hey there, thanks for these guides! Me and my boyfriend are backpacking through Albania in a few days from Corfu to Saranda and I was wondering what route you would suggest ending up on Croatia ? Would love to visit beruit and want to experience Albania fully!

    I will leave my email just in case you would like to get in contact

  • Magali
    December 24, 2023

    Nice blog thank you 🙂 do you Still have the name of the place you get tatoo?
    Thank 🙂