9 Reasons Why You Should Visit Albania

Last Updated on September 19, 2022

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Between Montenegro and Greece lies a hidden paradise that, more often than not, people miss or don’t even know where it is on a map: Albania

Albania is a place often misunderstood. This is a real shame because there are many amazing reasons to visit Albania.

9 Reasons Why You Should Visit Albania, person standing outside large square stone building with four-sided pointed bell tower standing in grass field with mist-covered mountains in the distance

Questions I often get are “should I go to Albania?” or “Why go to Albania?”

Albania is honestly really special. I immediately fell in love with Albania. Its landscapes are vast, the people are friendly and I felt safe at all times.

📚 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!)

So, why travel to Albania? If you explore Albania, you will be amazed at how much there is to see and do and how beautiful it is!

Here are 9 reasons why you should visit Albania

1. The most beautiful beaches in Europe

Albania has some of the most beautiful beaches I have seen in Europe and even the world.

The best part? Although the Albanian Riviera is probably the most popular place to holiday in Albania the crowds are nothing compared to other parts of Europe.

When you visit Albania, head straight for the Rivera and explore some of the hidden paradises that are waiting to be discovered.

With crystal blue water, white sand beaches and cheap beer, you will be happy with your decision to come here instead of Corfu where you will pay triple the amount.

Beaches like Ksamil, Dhermi and Borsh are great ones to visit.

In fact, all of the beaches between Ksamil and Vlora are incredibly beautiful (which is where the Albanian Riviera is located).

There are usually bus links between the beach villages but don’t expect to find a timetable online. You are better off to ask a local and go with the flow.

Here is a list of the top most beautiful beaches in Albania – tried and tested!

Discover why travel to Albania is so worthwhile, smiling woman standing in covered outdoor market
One of the best reasons to visit Albania is to meet the friendly people!

2. The people are incredibly friendly

While travelling the world I have met some really lovely people but Albanians stood out to me.

From 20 men yelling and running after the bus that I was just about to miss to the locals welcoming me and telling me they are happy I picked Albania to travel around, every single person I met was friendly.

Even though a majority of people who I asked directions didn’t speak a word of English they always lead me to someone who did or gave me recommendations on where to visit in Albania, etc.

The Albanian people are really helpful and have great hospitality too. Trust is extremely important to Albanians so you can count on them if you ever need something.

They are also very generous! And the more you explore Albania and get to known Albanians the more you will experience this.

Expect to be treated like a queen and given endless amounts of Rakia (equivalent to moonshine) when you visit 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!

3. Albania has many beautiful castles and historic sites

If you plan to travel in Albania, don’t just visit the beaches!

There are UNESCO heritage sites, beautiful castles (especially Ali Pasha!) and ancient forts dotted all around the country.

Butrint has Roman ruins dating back 2000 years ago along with Berat and Gjirokastra, which also have UNESCO sites that you should definitely include in any Albania holiday.

Make sure to explore Albania this year, olive green car parked next to one of many trees lining smooth dirt road

4. The history is fascinating

Albania went through some tough shit, there’s no other way to say it, and actually, they are still suffering a lot from their past.

The country was under a tight communist rule for 47 years. During that time, Albanians were controlled with just about everything.

It was the first all atheist country in the world in 1967 as all religion was banned in the communist era.

If you want to learn more and gain a better understanding about history then don’t forget to go the National History Museum in Tirana – one of the top things to do in Tirana.

Despite this rough past, Albania is such an amazing country to travel around. Anyone looking to visit somewhere unique, beautiful and full of history, should book a holiday in Albania.

It's time to answer the question "why go to Albania?", large ornate building with wooden doors and wooden window covers with wooden bench and bicycle sat outside in the street

5. It’s got character, lots of character

Out of all the places I travelled to in Europe I say Albania has the most character. I don’t think I have laughed to myself more times than I did during my travel in Albania.

Visiting the town of Shkoder I felt like I had travelled back in time. You will feel like this all over as you explore Albania.

You really have to be prepared to go with the flow and not have much planned for your visit to Albania.

If you are trying to research when a bus is, or how long it will take, I would stop now.  Just ask the locals, it’s the best way.

Bus times change often but are usually reliable. Check out my post on Albania bus timetables.

The country has a charming personality. To sum it up, one of my favourite sayings while I was there was, ‘aye?’ with a confused look on my face.

It will sometimes feel as though you’re travelling in the old days but that’s one of the huge positives about travel in Albania.

If you visit Albania, don’t expect your trip to be boring!

🛌🏼 Book accommodation in Albania

6. It’s super affordable

This has got to be one of the top 3 countries when it comes to affordability. Expect to purchase a litre of wine for a couple of euros or a main meal for only a few.

If you’re on a budget, visit Albania! It is the perfect place to visit for those on a shoestring budget.

But if you’re not on a budget, you will live like kings as you explore Albania!

For example, a bed at a hostel can cost 5-10 euros, with breakfast! – Check out my review of the best hostels in Albania.

Also, another great thing is the portion sizes. Let’s just say you get value for money. Travel in Albania is heaven for your pocket!

Should I go to Albania this summer, large blue lagoon surrounded by dense green foliage and large trees bathed in warm sunlight

7. Natural beauty

From rolling mountains and beautiful beaches along with bright colourful waters, it’s no wonder people from all over the world travel to Albania for the outdoors.

Albania is a paradise for nature lovers. Most of Albania is filled with mountainous territory giving it marvellous views and many natural wonders.

When you visit Albania, one site which is not to be missed is called the Blue Eye, or Syri i kaltër in Albanian. It’s located in the South, not far from Sarandё.

This natural spring is a phenomenon that still cannot be explained. It’s extremely colourful but be warned, the water is super cold.

In the north there are beautiful hikes, in the south, there are beautiful beaches – you really have everything for the perfect holiday in Albania!

🧳 MUST-HAVE: Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have travel insurance. I recommend either SafetyWing or World Nomads.

8. It’s a safe travel destination

There seems to be a misunderstanding about safety in Albania and unfortunately, a majority of that comes from the movie ‘Taken’ and other Hollywood films.

Let’s get this straight, Albanian people are not off the set of the movie ‘Taken’.

They are extremely humble and trustworthy people so please stop associating Albanians with the sex traffickers from the movie.

There are bad people everywhere in the world, no matter which country you go to. This should not deter you from visiting Albania!

I felt a lot safer during my travels in Albania than I did in other popular European cities. As a woman travelling alone I never felt uncomfortable.

I went to an Albanian club and never once felt objectified or was groped as I have been in other European, American and New Zealand clubs.

Hitchhiking in is extremely common Albania transport method with both locals and tourists and sometimes the only way to get from A to be B if you want to get off the beaten path.

I wrote an extensive article on safety in Albania if you want to know more.

Where in the world should I travel? Albania. Person in sunglasses taking selfie while swimming in large body of blue water with islands in the background under a clear blue sky

9. Albanians love foreigners!

Albanians welcome you with open arms and open hearts, that’s when you know it’s a great travel destination.

“Where are you from?”, is a popular question expect when you travel around Albanian.

When I stated “New Zealand” their faces lit up with happiness, joy and a little confusion at times. Yes, New Zealand is a long way.

So if you’re ever wondering, “Where in the world should I travel that loves foreigners?” Albania is a safe bet!

🚗 Travelling Europe by car? For the best prices on car hire in Europe, opt for Europcar.

Update: I live in Albania now, that’s how much I loved it! You can read my whole post on what it’s like living in Albania for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I go to Albania?

Yes, absolutely! Albania is one of the most unique countries in the world and definitely one of my favourites! You will definitely fall in love if you visit Albania!

Why travel to Albania?

There are so many amazing things to see and do in Albania no matter what kind of traveller you are. Albania is full of beautiful beaches, great hikes, fascinating history and so much more!

Is Albania good for tourists?

Not only is Albania a great tourist destination, but Albanians are very fond of foreigners and meeting new people. Plus, there are plenty of fun touristy things to do in Albania – especially if you love the beach or history.

So, should you visit Albania? Absolutely! Albania really made an impression on me and I am so happy to be sharing 9 reasons why you should come and visit Albania too. I could name about 100 more! I loved it so much that I plan to visit Albania multiple times this year to see more of the country as I still have so much more to see and experience in Albania

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The Comments

  • The Walking Map
    June 2, 2017

    Haven’t been yet, but 2 & 9 make me more likely to go.

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > The Walking Map
      June 3, 2017

      It is such a beautiful country! 🙂

  • wearenodes
    June 3, 2017

    Going to Albania this summer, super excited!

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > wearenodes
      June 3, 2017

      Have an amazing time! You will love it there 🙂

  • titi81
    June 3, 2017

    Although I live in Greece which is next to Albania, I have never visited. Friends can confirm what you are saying, the friendly people, the affordable destination and the historic cities. A destination I am planning to visit soon.

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > titi81
      September 9, 2018

      Fantastic! I hope you get the chance to visit soon 🙂

  • Gabriela
    June 3, 2017

    I went to Albania last year, and I loved it! Hoping to go back when it’s summer (I was there in autumn and it was getting quite chilly already).

  • Mel and Mrcus
    June 4, 2017

    To us, Albania has always had such a negative image but it looks beautiful, from the architecture to the natural beauty of the beaches.

  • gokulr27
    June 4, 2017

    More the offbeat it gets, more the merrier. This country seems perfect for an introvert like me.

  • Carola
    June 4, 2017

    Good list! Unfortunately, I have so far only spend 1 night in Tirana. But I’d love to go back to explore Albania fully.

    Happy travels!

  • Aleah | Solitary Wanderer
    June 4, 2017

    The line about the movie Taken is spot on. I never considered going to Albania before because of it haha But I’m definitely going within the year, right after Montenegro. 😀

  • Nisha
    June 6, 2017

    What a time for me to read this. We have plans of going almost there and our plans does not include Albania 🙁 We turn to Croatia from Montenegro. The photos make me feel that I need to visit during my next visit to that region.

  • Sandy N Vyjay
    June 6, 2017

    Albania looks so enchanting. The landscapes look so bewitching. Would love to head over there and commune with lovely nature out there.

  • Ryan Biddulph
    June 7, 2017

    These genuinely look like the most gorgeous beaches in Europe Anita. Dreamy! Thought I was looking at images of Fiji for something.


  • Meg Jerrard
    June 8, 2017

    You have me convinced! It sounds like Albania is a perfect destination for tourism, I’m surprised that it hasn’t taken off as one of the major destinations in Europe. Though I guess if it was inundated with crowds that may take away from it’s appeal and start to affect it’s natural beauty as we’ve seen happen in other places. It’s great to hear that the people are so warm and welcoming – it’s interesting that when we hear about a country we literally know nothing about, we treat it with suspicion about whether or not it’s safe. Jumping to conclusions, especially about places like this, means we miss out!

    I hope I can visit Albania soon – thankyou for introducing me!

  • Trisha Velarmino
    June 16, 2017

    I think we often fall for the innocent ones. A place where innocence and serenity lies. I always feel some sort of pride and unexplainable fulfillment whenever I get to see places that are not common for people.

  • Hazel Tolentino
    June 17, 2017

    I think Albania is one of the precious secrets of Europe and that’s why it’s on my list! And you just persuaded me more!

  • Joan Torres - Against the Compass
    July 16, 2017

    In my country we used to call the North Korea of Europe and, before the dictatorship, very few people knew about this country! I am not surprised to see what you say about the beaches… This is a south Mediterranean country, hence the landscape shouldn’t be very different than the one you find in Greece, Spain, Italy or Greece. And yeah, its because must be very empty compared to its neighbors! I still have to discover more of Europe. I am from Europe myself but I’ve seen more than Asia and Africa than Europe itself. Another destination to put in the bucket list. Cheers!

  • Olivia Mitchell
    April 3, 2018

    I’m heading to Albania next month, it sounds amazing! 🙂

  • Lucy Ivanoff
    August 2, 2018

    just booked our flights to Albania this September, partly as a vacation, partly as an exploration of a place to live in the future. I hope to get to meet you and buy you lunch or dinner while there so we can grill you for information. Please get in touch!