What to Pack for Albania – Your Ultimate Albania Packing List
Last Updated on April 27, 2022
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Albania is a beautiful country situated in the Balkans, with a vast history submerged in religious, cultural, and ethnic traditions.
Ever since I started blogging about my experience as a tourist, and now as an expat residing in Albania, I have had numerous requests on writing a blog post on what to pack for Albania.
Since Albania, like other European countries, has a varied climate throughout the year, a packing list for Europe in September would differentiate from a packing list for Europe in November.
This article will familiarize you with the packing must-haves for your Albanian packing list no matter what the season, and some season-specific items.
📚 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!)
Albania is situated to the northwest of Greece and borders the Adriatic and Ionian Seas.
The climate on the Albanian coastline is Mediterranean, whereas, Albanian highlands boast a continental climate.
Albania’s geographical location vastly influences its climate and temperature gets affected by the coastal region and by the Albanian Alps.
The coastal region in Albania experiences warm temperatures, particularly hot summers, with mild winters.
The Albanian Alps are relatively colder and it rains much more heavily in the Alps than on the coastal side of Albania.
Summer in Albania begins around the end of June and continues till September.
The summer months can get pretty hot and dry, with the temperature shooting up to 40 degrees in some months.
The Albanian sky is clear during the hotter months and there is minimal rain in the coastal region. Summer in the Albanian Alps is rather dry and relatively comfortable than in the coastal region.
Autumn in Albania is short and starts towards the end of October.
The autumn season lasts for not more than a month and it can get rainy in some areas, but cold enough for people to avoid the beach.
Winter in Albania begins in November and the temperature can become freezingly cold and humid.
January is presumably the coldest month and Albania’s mountainous areas can experience a lot of rain during winter.
The best time to visit Albania depends on how you plan your itinerary.
The spring and autumn seasons are relatively cool and less crowded, thus perfect for visiting Albanian cities like its capital, Tirana.
However, if you’re planning a trip to the Albanian Alps and go for a hike, then going to Albania during the winters would not be optimum.
It is also relatively cheaper to visit Albania during winter but you won’t be able to visit the beaches or do hiking.
If you gravitate more towards museums and cultural aspects of Albania, then visiting in the colder months might be a good option, but those who prefer exploring the beauty of Albania might want to visit during spring.
Know what to pack for Albania so you can be prepared for any unexpected Albania weather on your trip!
As the climate is similar throughout the region, this is also a helpful general Balkan packing list, as well.
What should I pack for Albania?
Packing for Albania depends on what your itinerary is and what season you prefer to go in.
Nonetheless, this article will guide you on the travel essentials for Albania with season-specific items as a general packing guide for the Balkans region.
Solar-powered battery packs are optimum for a trip to remote areas where the power supply might dwindle a bit, such as the Albanian Alps.
Though you might get lost in the captivating beauty of the Albanian Alps, you still don’t want to physically get lost.
This is why I recommend taking a solar-powered battery pack along with you to Albania.
Since Albania has a Mediterranean climate, some areas might get more sunlight than others, and having a solar-powered battery pack would be the best item for your essentials list.
If you’ve zero clue about tech devices, I recommend you opt for the Blavor Solar-powered Wireless Charging Bank. It is perfect for travelling, hiking, camping or even visiting the beach.
Blavor’s technology incorporates fast charging for most flagship smartphones and has a compact design – making it convenient for carrying around.
One of the most important luggage items you need for a trip to Albania is a backpack.
Albania’s lush green mountain valleys, trails, and hills will make you want to hike or take a stroll. Even if you’re not a hiker, it’s preferable to take a backpack with you to Albania.
The sidewalks will not always be smooth and carpeted, the jagged surface might wear off your duffel bag or suitcase and make it difficult to be carried.
In that case, I recommend carrying a backpack with you for carrying essential items like your camera equipment, a water bottle, or even a change of Albanian clothes.
My Theth to Valbona hike would have been incomplete without my backpack.
I kept all of my essential items in the backpack and the extra clothes and other stuff in the duffel bag which I left at my accommodation when hiking.
I recommend the 30l foldable backpack by Zomake. It is a lightweight and compact bag with one main compartment, two front pockets, two pockets on the side, and external attachments.
This backpack has enough space to carry your camera, tripod, water and even clothes. It is made up of a thick material that is water-resistant and perfect for hiking or camping.
If you plan on doing any hikes in Albania, you’ll be glad you brought this backpack along!
Even if you’re carrying a backpack, you still need the main bag for carrying all your non-essential items like clothing, shoes, and hopefully Albanian souvenirs after departing from the bazaars.
You don’t need anything over-the-board kind of huge, this 28-inch Samsonite Andante duffel bag would be just the right luggage to carry.
This duffel bag has a main compartment, along with two pockets on the sides and a compartment below the main one for shoes and wet clothing.
There are two runners on the bottom, ideal for carrying around when walking long distances.
Overall, it is a sturdy bag with a lot of space for carrying all of your items and definitely what to pack for Albania if you want to bring back lots of cool souvenirs and/or gifts.
It feels controversial and unrealistic to think of leaving your house without a pair of earphones or headphones, let alone go on a trip without one of these.
Try taking a busy subway without one of these and you’d realize how crucial they are for an overseas trip.
Whether you’re on the plane, trying to edit your next YouTube video or planning to vibe to some music while waiting for your bus or train in Albania, headphones are a must.
I love the RHA Trueconnect wireless earbuds. It offers Bluetooth connectivity and are sweat- and water-proof, perfect when you’re hiking or taking a walk in one of Korca’s bazaars.
With a 5-hour playback time and a case that stays charged for up to 20 hours, these headphones are perfect for when you might find yourself stuck in a remote location in the Albanian Alps without a charging facility.
These travel cubes are essential for organizing the stuff inside your suitcase instead of just tossing everything in.
It allowed me to separate my clothes from shoes and other items like extra camera equipment and shoes.
Apart from the organisation, because they are so compact and light, you can maximize the space inside your suitcase and pack everything you need on your trip to Albania.
I recommend these nylon travel cubes, they come in a set of 8 with varying sizes and shapes.
It is essential to have one of these as they are water-repellent and the mesh cover helps in keeping the inside ventilated.
The best thing is that these travel cubes are lightweight and functional for a hiking or camping trip and can easily fit inside a duffel bag or backpack.
I used these to keep my Albanian clothes separate from my camera gear and souvenirs. It also gives you a perspective on which items are necessary for the trip and which aren’t.
As a travel blogger, you obviously cannot go without a camera or any type of audio-visual recording device.
Although flagship smartphones do offer great options for photography and videography, nothing beats a professional camera to capture high-resolution images or record breathtaking videos.
I use the Sony Alpha A7III 4K UHD mirrorless camera.
It comes with a 28-70mm lens kit and if you buy it from here, you would also get a camera bag, extra battery, a cleaning kit and a 32GB SD card along with a case.
The 35mm full-frame technology of this mirrorless camera captures light efficiently with significant noise reduction.
It is a good camera if you are serious about creating content while travelling, as it does offer features of professional calibre.
From a price point of view, I think it’s worth investing in and perfect for accompanying you on your trip to Albania.
Whether you’re hiking from Valbona to Theth, or strolling through the bazaars of Korca, staying hydrated while doing medium to intense physical activity is necessary.
And as a foreigner in Albania or any other country that you’re travelling to, it is better to keep water purification tablets at hand rather than risking drinking water that could give you a trip to the hospital.
Although most accommodation places in Albania and restaurants would have clean drinking water, taking precautions never hurt anyone.
Whenever I travel, I make sure to stack up on water purification tablets by Ef-Chlor. It comes in a box of 100 tablets and is safe for keeping in your luggage when travelling.
Water purification tablets are widely used by humanitarian relief organizations, the military and many travellers.
Within 30 minutes of dropping one tablet, the water is ready to drink and these can also be used in boiled or filtered water.
I highly recommend investing in these as they are cost-effective and easy on the environment and your body.
Summer Packing List – What to pack for summer in Albania?
Like most of Europe, it gets pretty hot in Albania during the summers as it has a Mediterranean climate.
The temperature, on average, reaches 29°C (84 °F), which can be pretty hot for those of you visiting from colder regions.
So the best clothes to wear in Europe in June are going to be a bit lighter and fast-drying.
It can be challenging if you plan on hiking during the summer in Albania or visiting the beach. Luckily, it isn’t difficult to beat the heat if you know what to pack for Albania.
With the following packing must-haves, you will be prepared for enjoying a relaxing summer getaway in Albania.
Without any doubt, the number one item, regardless of what type of climate or weather your travel destination has, is sunscreen.
Sunscreen is essential for any time you decide to expose yourself to the harshness of the sun’s UV rays.
As there are many gorgeous reefs along the Albanian Riviera, I would strongly encourage a reef-safe sunscreen to ensure they will be here for generations to come.
In fact, many countries are now banning sunscreen that is not reef-safe, so while Albania has not yet done this, it is worth investing in regardless.
Unfortunately, many sunscreen products advertise as reef-friendly, but as this isn’t regulated, it is up to us as consumers to confirm the ingredients.
To do this, the product cannot have any toxic substances from the HEL list. The more natural the product, the more likely it is to be 100% reef-safe.
As an added bonus, because reef-safe sunscreens are typically more natural, they are usually great for sensitive skin types.
My all-time favourite reef-safe sunscreen is the Kokua Sun Care SPF 50, which is made with just 7 all-natural ingredients.
Kokua Sun Care lasts for up to 80 minutes, meets all the requirements for sunscreen ban laws around the world, and is a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
This is important because it means that it protects your skin’s surface and inner tissues from UVA and UVB rays – both of which are harmful.
This sunscreen is super water-resistant and easily rubs in just like lotion.
Visiting Albania in summer means you have to take along anything and everything that can protect you from roasting your scalp in the sun.
Nothing works wonders like a good hat. A lightweight straw hat with a wide brim would be perfect for your trip to Albania.
I like the Debra Weitzner wide brim, a straw hat that is UPF 50.
As an added bonus, this hat is made out of high-quality and eco-friendly straw and is foldable so that can fit in your luggage easily, without distorting the original shape.
The wide brim style looks cool and protects against harmful UV rays, whether you’re at the beach, strolling under the sun or out for a boating adventure.
It also comes with an adjustable lanyard that is perfect to keep the hat in place against strong strides of wind. And the best part is that it comes in two sizes, medium and large.
I would recommend investing in a good straw hat even if you’re not planning to visit Albania in the summers.
This hat adds a nice flair to any summer or spring outfit while protecting your hair and scalp from the sun.
Did I tell you that Albania has a beautiful coastline by the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Sea in the north?
The Albanian Riviera with its vast and beautiful beaches is perfect to cool down if you’re visiting in the summer.
Of course, if you plan on making a trip to the beach, then you need swimwear, even if you’re not planning on diving into the sea.
My personal favourite is this floral print bikini set with a halter triangle tying option for the top and bottom pieces.
It is a two-piece set, but you can always get a matching sarong. This bathing suit set is made of stretchable and breathable material with removable chest pads.
There are plenty of colour options available, and you can mix and match the top and bottom pieces if you like to add your flair.
Adding a matching sarong to your Albanian bikini ensemble would just amp up your beach outfit.
Though it is completely fine if you don’t want to add a sarong to your bikini, with Albania’s heat and humidity at the beach, a sarong would keep your legs from unnecessary sun damage and tan.
I like this tie-dye sarong that is more than 60 inches long and can completely cover your legs.
It is made up of breathable material and can be worn as a shawl, a cover-up for your swimsuit, or even a top.
A day by the Albanian Riviera or resting by the pool at your hotel, I always recommend packing swimwear.
You can opt for a pair of swimming trunks like these. They come in a range of prints and colours and are great for surfing, or swimming.
These swim trunks have an elastic waistband and two velcro pockets at the back.
You don’t have to worry about covering up your chest as it is common for Albanian men to wear swim trunks at the beach.
Just be aware that complete nudity is not widely acceptable in Albania by the locals.
A travel-sized towel is great for trips, whether or not you’re planning to visit the beach or stay by the pool.
Though many hotels and guesthouses will offer you one, it is best to carry your own when there is not a free towel available.
Trust me, you might have to rent a towel at some places where it’s not offered.
I don’t recommend packing a huge fluffy towel as that would just take up all the space and you might not even need that.
Try to get one of these Bay Laurel Turkish beach towels that come with a travel bag.
This one is perfect for a day at the beach as it prevents beach sand from sticking to its surface. It is lightweight and compact enough to be tucked away in your luggage.
What I love about this Turkish beach towel is its amazing quick-dry feature.
You don’t have to wait for hours before you put it away in your luggage to move to the next destination.
Since it dries up pretty fast, you can go without washing it for a couple of days without having to bear the stench of a damp towel.
You can get any travel towel but I just really like this one because it dries up fast and has its travel bag.
It highly depends on your travel itinerary what type of shoes you should be carrying, but a pair of sandals would be perfect to take along.
Of course, if you’re planning on hiking, do take a pair of joggers or running shoes with you, but a nice pair of sandals or flip flops would be best if you want to visit the beach or the spa at your hotel.
I like the Wayfarer sandals whether I want to visit the bazaar or try Albanian coffee at the nearby cafe.
I prefer the ones that have a non-marking outsole as that just gives more grip and a smoother ride.
My personal choice is the Chaco Women’s Wayfarer Sandal for their commitment to giving back to the community and premium quality leather, but you can opt for any other brand if you like.
Just like a pair of sandals would do the job for women, men can opt for a pair too.
Doesn’t matter if you would be walking on the beach or exploring all the unique things to do in Tirana, a good pair of sandals would suffice.
The brand Chaco makes these double-strapped Z1 Classic sandals for men.
Just like the Wayfarer, these sandals have a non-marking rubber outsole that affirms your grip and gives a smooth walking experience.
The straps on the shoe are adjustable for a strong and comfortable fit, so you’ll feel supported no matter how much walking you plan on doing.
Chaco takes its social responsibility very seriously, thus I recommend this brand to everyone and is a must for what to pack for Albania.
You might think what’s the need for sunglasses if I am already taking a straw hat to the trip, but sunglasses can generally be good if you’re visiting Albania in the summers.
Even if you are wearing a wide brim hat, your eyes might still be on the brink of getting fried by the harmful UV rays.
Whether you are at the beach or sightseeing in Albania, a pair of good-quality sunglasses is a must.
The thing about sunglasses is that they come in a variety of designs and shapes, and the only thing I would recommend is going for the ones with UV protection.
Apart from that, do check the lens quality and whether or not the frame suits your style or facial structure. You can check out eyewear by Sojos.
They have a range of sunglasses, frames for prescription wear and blue light blocking frames.
While travelling Albania, I do not recommend drinking the tap water.
Many travel guides will tell you it’s safe, however, I know from living there that the locals do not drink it.
I recommend carrying around your water bottle that you can fill up at the natural springs when you come across them though.
Especially if you are planning on visiting the Northern areas of Albania, and taking a trip to some of the remote Albanian villages or even hiking, you need to carry a flask of some kind.
Since I already recommended that you carry water purification tablets, might as well take your water bottle along.
I prefer the SurviMate filtered water bottle that holds up to 650ml of liquid. It has an advanced purification system, perfect for travellers.
The build quality is up to par as it has a medical-grade fibre membrane and PP cotton, along with coconut shell activated carbon beads that are optimum for filtering water that’s inside.
The bottle itself is BPA-free and prevents odour or heat from destroying the liquid inside. The filter is replaceable but can be used to filter 1500 litres per year.
Definitely a sturdy companion for your trip to Albania and also has a small compass on the top to aid you during your hiking adventures.
This is what to pack for Albania whether you want to hike or just museum hop in the city. Your own water bottle will save you money AND it’s eco-friendly!
It might seem unconventional, but you should invest in this camping hammock. It comes in two sizes – small and large – fit for one and two persons, respectively.
The hammock is made up of parachute nylon and the large size can hold up to 226 kg.
The material is sturdy enough for carrying around on your travelling expeditions as it is easy to clean, dust-proof, and tear-resistant.
It comes with a small bag that you can store in inside your travel luggage.
Since it has its adjustable loops and straps, you don’t have to carry around a pair of rope or hooks to hang it on a tree, nor do these straps harm the trees.
I find it pretty useful when hiking or camping as you can catch a quick breather in one of these, provided there won’t be a lot of cafes or resting stops available in remote villages of Northern Albania.
So if you’re planning to take a hike when in Albania, do invest in one of these hammocks.
From maxis to cute summery dresses, I always keep a few sundresses in my luggage.
Your travel itinerary doesn’t have to call for an occasion to wear one of these, it’s just a nice addition to your Albanian clothing items for the trip.
Some people think that Albanian women are conservative about their dressing, while they do prefer modest clothing, a light and airy sundress does no harm.
When I was first travelling through Albania, I had two to three sundresses that could be easily transitioned for a fall or spring outfit with a little bit of layering.
I like the brand Romwe. They have a range of sundresses for almost every occasion – whether it’s a candle-light dinner by the beach or a visit to the nearby cafe in Tirana.
The right sundress can change your fashion game when paired with the right accessories.
If you’re visiting Albania in the summer season, you have to visit the beach and while you’re at it, a good deep dive into the Adriatic Sea should be on your South Albania itinerary.
Albania has so many snorkelling spots by the coastline along the Adriatic and the Ionian Seas that you have to try out.
To prepare for that, get yourself a snorkel and mask while you prepare items for the trip. This WACOOL snorkelling gear is good for children and adults.
It comes in a universal size that can be adjusted with the head strap and the ribbed design is good for support. The tempered glass in the front ensures maximum visibility and is anti-fog.
If you’re a frequent traveller to beachy areas and love a little trip down into the seabed, then you should invest in some snorkel gear.
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Winter Packing List
From its hilly villages in the north to sunny beaches in the west, Albania has plenty of sidewalks and hiking opportunities, so you might as well get your running shoes ready for your trip to Albania.
Try to get a pair of good running shoes with spikes underneath for a firm grip, before you visit Albania.
Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to break into your new shoes and get comfortable with your hiking dress code.
Timberland has a great variety of shoes for the entire family – from adults to kids.
You can check out their hiking shoe range and find some amazing options.
Since the colder months get a lot more rain than the warm ones, it would be good to pack a raincoat for your trip to Albania.
The Columbia Boys Glennaker Rain Jacket is made up of waterproof nylon and is durable enough to resist anything from a light shower to heavy rain.
An umbrella works fine for any type of weather, not just rain.
Though you should specifically carry an umbrella during the winter season in Albania because it does get rainy, it is also useful against harsh sun rays and winds.
Try to get one of these compact ones that are waterproof and come with a protective case that can easily fit inside your luggage.
If you’re planning to visit the Albanian Alps during the winters, it is better to pack plenty of warm clothing to prevent yourself from freezing to death, not literally.
A nice warm jacket is necessary. Especially if you’re planning on hiking in Albania, a warm jacket is preferable over a thick and long winter coat, because it’s easy to wear and easy to carry.
Of course, you packed your warmest sweaters, jackets, leg warmers and whatnot, but nothing beats the warmth and comfort of a winter scarf.
I would always include this warm scarf in my winter outfits as it keeps my head and neck region warm and adds that extra flair to the outfit.
It’s always nice to have a pair of warm and fuzzy gloves on board when you’re visiting the Albanian Alps.
The winter months can get freezingly cold and you don’t want your hands catching frostbite.
You can get these wool gloves that come with a fleece lining, and promise to keep your hands warm enough throughout the day.
Albanians take their dressing very seriously and while you might find some Albanian women more dressed up than usual, don’t shy away from packing your favourite jeans and t-shirts.
It’s good to pack whatever clothing makes you feel comfortable and for some of us, jeans do the job.
If it gets too cold, you can layer a pair of stockings underneath or thick warmers.
I personally love the brand Lee, as they have a wide range of collections for men and women.
Lastly, a very important item on your packing list is a hairdryer. Though a lot of accommodations in Albania might provide this free of cost, others might not.
It is always better to carry your own. A hairdryer goes a long way than just drying your wet hair, so it is always a good idea to keep one at hand.
You can check out the Ionic Hair Dryer which comes with adjustable nozzles for blowdrying and diffusing.
Its compact size makes it perfect for packing for a trip.
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Frequently Asked Questions
It depends on what time of year you are visiting and where you are going. I would recommend bringing a mix of beach clothes, hiking clothes and some general everyday clothing for sightseeing in the cities. If visiting in the winter, you should bring a coat.
In addition to beach clothes and hiking gear, you won’t want to leave your camera at home! This country is stunning. Pack cubes and a solar-powered charger are also essential.
The best thing to wear in Tirana is what you would wear in any large city while sightseeing: a comfy shirt, trousers, and sturdy walking shoes. Make sure to bring something like a scarf to easily cover your head (for women) and arms if you plan on visiting any mosques.
If you’re planning to visit Albania, be sure to check out all of the items in this article. We have tried to make this guide as helpful as possible for those of you interested in visiting Albania. Be sure to make a trip itinerary before you start enlisting your packing essentials as that depends on the time of year you choose to visit Albania.
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