Travel to Albania | Essential Tips for a Memorable Trip!

Traveling to Albania is underrated and often avoided because of safety concerns.

Well, let me tell you that, if you’re traveling the Balkans, skipping Albania would be a HUGE mistake!

In this brief article, you will find why you should add Albania to your travel itinerary and everything you need to know about Albania for planning your next visit: Visa, currency, language, hotspots, safety, and anything in between 🙂


Planning to Visit Albania?

Let’s Get you Ready for your Trip!



Albania is a tiny and extremely budget-friendly country located in the Balkans, Eastern Europe.

The country, which is increasingly attracting more and more tourists every year, has an immense variety of experiences to offer: idyllic beaches, charming nature, pictoresque hiking-trails, mouth-watering food and, on top of all, welcoming and friendly locals.

If you like travelling off the beaten track, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and approach something truly different from all the others EU countries, Albania is definitely the place to go!

In the following paragraphs, you find all the info you might need to plan ahead your visit, travel Albania safely and make the most out of your trip!

Let’s dive right in! 😀

1. Entering in Albania

albanian flag - visa and documents tips to travel to albania info 2


  • EU-UK-USA-UAE and citizen with a multiple-entry Schengen Visa can travel Visa-Free for 90 days 


  • Bring your passport, you need at least a blank space and three month of validity
  • All International Driving Licenses are accepted
  • EU Citizens can enter Albania without Passport (just with ID Card) for a maximum of 90 days (Visa-Free)



  •  You don’t need a Passport if you’re an EU citizen. You need to bring your ID card (although the passport might be helpful if you plan to visit nearby Balkan countries).
  • Check if you’re eligible for Visa-Free Travel or Visa-on-Arrival: Click Here

  • If you’re not eligible, or you want to stay more than 90 days, you can apply for an E-Visa: Click Here
  • If you arrive by car you Need Green Card Insurance: the “Green Card” that you will be asked for when you cross the border of Albania is simply a green paper that certifies that you are covered for accidents in Albania. If your insurance doesn’t provide it, you will need to buy one at the border (≅ 50 euros).

2. Safety in Albania

safety in albania - travel to albania tips for 2023 2024 2025


  • Despite the old stereotype, Albania is a safe and welcoming country
  • Reports of Crime targeting specifically Foreigners are rare
  • On the opposite, Albanians value tourists and love to help them!
  • Like Everywhere, is it important to use common sense against petty theft


  • In rural areas, roads are in poor conditions (respect the speed limits!)
  • Always check the safety of your rental equipment (car, ski, boat, or anything in between!)
  • Albanian drivers are crazy, so drive slowly and keep your eyes on the road!




  • The Safety Phone Numbers in Albania are: Ambulance (127), Fire (128), and Police (129)
  • If you Self-drive, or prefer to travel during the Day: the street lighting in Albania is still underdeveloped and outside of main roads you might find several potholes. If you travel during the day you can better enjoy the Albanian natural scenery while avoiding potential risks.
  • Don’t drink water from the Tap: although water is drinkable in some cities, it is generally considered unsafe to drink (especially for tourists not used to it!). Drink bottled water instead.
  • Use Common Sense to avoid petty theft: travel in a group, keep your items in front, be mindful of your surroundings, and avoid walking alone at night… I know it’s the usual advice you hear for every travel destination, but using Common Sense is the main rule you should follow to stay safe 99,9% of the time! 😉 
  • Stay alert on public transport: Most crime reports happen on trains or buses, while organized crime/mafia gangs run pickpocketing scams in the most popular tourist areas. Keep your eyes open (but don’t over-stress!).
  • Ask locals for Tips to visit the surroundings: if there are some dangerous neighborhoods (like there are everywhere!) locals know it better. If you happen to chat with someone (at the hotel, on the street, bar, etc.) ask them for safety tips: they will be happy to help you both stay safe and get the best experience of your time there!
  • Know the Costs of Goods, Attractions, and Services before you Travel there: Albania is cheap, but like everywhere there are tourist scams. Get an idea of the prices in Albania to estimate what you should be paying for the things you need (check Numbeo).

3. Money in Albania

currency LEK for albania - money tips to travel in albania - cash vs credit cards


  • Official Currency is the Albanian LEK

  • Exchange Rate is 1 Euro ≈ 120 LEK
  • You can obtain LEK only in Albania, by official exchange agencies


  • Credit cards are accepted in major cities and larger businesses

  • Small business, taxis and street vendors are often cash-only (be sure to have some on you)



  • Enter Albania with some liquid cash: for not having to run around looking for an ATM like crazy the moment you enter
  • Have always some cash with you: you never know when your credit card won’t get accepted (happens quite often!)
  • Euros get “sometimes” accepted in the main touristic hotspots (Tirana, Sarande, popular beaches etc.) but don’t count on it 😉
  • Download the free app XE Currency Converter (iOS, Android) to have an offline currency converter always with you (if you’re traveling the Balkans, believe me that it will save your mental sanity, thank me later! )
  • Exchanging Money is cheaper than Withdrawing it: Albania is not a member state of the European Union, and thus the EU transparency laws for banks do not apply here. By withdrawing money or paying with credit card, you might end up paying 4-5Euro fees per transaction. Exchange cash in agencies to avoid those huge fees (not all banks have hidden fees, but many!)
  • Exchange Agencies are Cheaper than Banks: To get the best exchange rate, prefer exchange agencies (they charge around 1%) compared to banks (5-7%), and like everywhere in the world, avoid exchanging at the airport where fees are higher.
  • Spend or Exchange all your LEK before you leave: LEK cannot be exchanged outside of Albania, so be sure to use them all up or exchange them before you leave the country 🙂
  • If you Smoke or Drink Beer, you will love Albania! You can get a large beer in a bar for less than 2 Euros and Cigarette are 40% cheaper compared to Western Europe.

4. Transportation in Albania

rent a car in albania - tips to travel to albania and move around


  • There are only 2 international airports in Albania


  • Coaches from the Airport are usually modern and comfortable
  • Except for those, public transport is still underdeveloped and chaotic 
  • Self-driving is the best way to visit Albania and reach the hidden gems away from touristic hotspots





  • Main Airports are well connected to nearby cities: both the Tirana Airport and Kukes Airport are well-connected by modern couches to reach the cities nearby.
  • Download Maps.Me for an Offline Map: visiting a new country, especially outside of the EU, might mean not having your mobile data straightaway. For this reason, I suggest you to install the free app Maps.Me (iOS, Android) on your smartphone and download the entire map of Albania. In this way, you’ll never get lost, even without an internet connection! 🙂
  • Rail conditions are poor, limited, and service is unreliable.
  • Albania is not huge, and you can drive it all in few days: If you’re planning a roadtrip (which from my experience I can 100% recommend you!), you’ll be happy to know that you can reach all parts of Albania in just a few hours. Driving the main road from the far-north to the far-south takes approximately 7 hours.
  • Self-driving opens up unique and remote places: be it reaching the charming Cape of Rodon, climbing up to the hidden Blue Eye of Theth in the far-north or simply beach hopping on the Albanian Riviera away from the masses, self-driving is the way to experience Albania to the fullest. Furthermore, Car rental in Albania is cheap, easy and convenient.
  • Local buses (called “furgons”) are basically wild vans: local “buses” in Albania are wild to say the least. For sure an experience though! Normally, these privately-owned vans do not have schedules nor fares, they just have a sign in front saying where they are going: you just need to raise your hand and, if they have space to cram you in, they will stop. They are dirt-cheap yeah, but unsafe and hardly ever on time. Good for small rides, but not the best solution to make the most of your time in Albania!
  • Drive Careful and Respect the Rules! If you self-drive, remember to always switch on traffic lights (mandatory), respect the speed limits (there are a lot of police controls!), always have with you your driving licence and the vehicle documents, don’t drink when you drive (the limit is 0.0, so not a single drop of alchol should be in your blood while driving in Albania!).
  • Traffic in Albania can be crazy: Be extra careful to other drivers and their manouvres. Check the weather forecast before you move and be prepared for sudden rainfalls (especially in fall and winter). Be aware that, although roads have been rapidly improving in recent years, you might find several potholes (especially in remote areas). All in all, keep an extra eye on the road, don’t over-stress and enjoy the Albanian organised chaos! 🙂

5. When to Travel to Albania?

albania when to visit tips 2


  • Albania enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with hot/dry summers and mild/wet winters.
  • The warmest month to visit is July, while the coldest is January.

  • In the mountains, the temperature can go slightly below 0° in wintertimes
  • On summer heat waves, sometimes temperature can peak at max. 40°C


  • The Hiking/Cycling season in Albania is April – October
  • The Best months for hikes are Apr-May and Sep-Oct (good temperature, less tourists, cheaper prices)
  • To Enjoy the Coast, the best months are May-September
  • Mild-seasons are great to avoid the summer heat and the winter frost



  • Spring is a great season to Visit Albania! In the months from March to May, the Mediterranean nature blossoms in Albania. During this period, the mountains get covered with flowers and you can attempt the first dives on the seaside. Temperature can still get chilly at night (bring a warm jacket!), but are mostly enjoyable during the day and ideal for sightseeing, hiking and cycling.
  • Summer is the High-Season, touristy and Hot! In summer is when the tourism runs at full speed in Albania. Temperatures are mostly enjoyable, but can peak to 40°C during certain days (especially in recent years!). Prices are slightly higher, but still awesomely cheap compared to most of Europe. Summer is the ideal time to enjoy a holiday on the beach, or to visit the mountains for finding relief from the heat.
  • Autumn is the Best Season! September and October enjoy comfortable temperatures and less tourism. If you plan to hike a lot (and you should!), these are the best months to enjoy the beauty of Albania. Moving toward November, days get shorter and be sure to check the weather forecast before starting your daily tripsas heavy downpours can come very fast: be prepared!
  • Winter (Dec-Feb) is Low Season: the Albanian mountain roads get covered in snow and frost, temperatures drop in all the country and in general nature takes its annual break. Said that, winter is still a great month if you plan to visit Albanian cities or rural towns, just be sure to bring warm clothing to stay cozy! 

If you would like more info about the best months to visit Albania, I can also recommend you to check out this in-depht article from Bookmundi 🙂


6. Interacting with Locals in Albania

albanian traditional market - albania travel tips - customs and traditions


  • Albanian is the official language of Albania and sounds like nothing else in the world (it’s incredibly unique!)
  • 60% of the people speak Albanian-Only
  • The remainer population can speak Italian, Greek or English (mostly the younger generation)


  • Smoking inside is forbidden everywhere but not strictly enforced
  •  You are not expected to Tip. If the service was good though, leave a 10% or round up to the nearest LEK note to make the server very grateful!
  • Shaking your head in Albania means “yes”, and nodding or tipping your head means “no”. 



  • Be mindful in your behavior to not hurt anybody’s belief: Roughly 2/3 of the Albanian population are Muslim, while 1/3 are Christian. Most people in general are non-practical and easygoing, but still, try always to be respectful of their religions!
  • Respect the Smoking Ban! 40% of Albanian Smoke: cigarettes in the country are cheap and many Albanians smoke. Although smoking in public places is banned, don’t be surprised to see Albanians smoking in closed spaces (the ban is not strictly enforced). As a tourist though, it’s preferable respecting rules to avoid any problems.
  • Learn how to Shake your Head and say Yes or No: for the elder generation, shaking the head means “yes” while nodding means “no”. Fun isn’t it? Even more, fun though, is that the younger Albanian generation tends to follow the western customs of nodding for “yes” and shaking for “no”. Add on top of that, that yes is “po” and no is “yo”. The mad confusion recipe is served! ;D
  • Albanians are curious and Like to Talk to Foreigners: Don’t Be Afraid! Albanians value tourists and are often curious to ask you where are you from and what are you doing in Albania (even if they don’t speak English!). Don’t be afraid, just interact and be polite: you might make new friends in no time! 😉
  • Learning a few sentences in Albanian can bring you a long way: of course, you don’t need to learn Albanian to travel in Albania; but surely learning a few key sentences might help you to travel smarter and make some locals proud of you! Here are some useful ones.

7. Food in Albania

albanian byrek - travel to albania food tips


  • Their Albanian cuisine is a mix between Italian, Balkan, and Greek Cuisine, which means DAMN TASTY!
  • Fërgesë, Byrek, and Tarator are the 3 specialties you must try in Albania
  • The most drunk spirit is Turkish Raki (40°), surely a strong punch!
  • Tasty food and affordable prices make Albania an awesome foodie destination!


  • Traditional Street food is fantastic and you can get stuffed for 2-3 Euro (we loved it!)
  • You can eat in cheap restaurants for less than 5 euros!
  • Premium restaurants have the same prices as inexpensive restaurants in western Europe




  • You will Find lot of Turkish and Greek Food: kebab, yogurts, roasted lamb, souvlaki, spices… being in Albania you’ll surely notice the strong influence of Greek/Turk Cuisine!
  • Surprisingly, a pizzeria is always nearby: Italy ruled over Albania almost a century ago by now, but the Italian influence is still present in every city, village or town. If you need a break from Balkan Cuisine, look around and likely you’ll spot a pizzeria close to you.
  • “Coffee” in Albania means “Espresso”: the local standard for coffee is a short espresso, coming from the Italian Coffee Culture. If you want a Turkish or American Coffee instead, be sure to make it clear before ordering.

8. Top Places in Albania you Should Visit


Here after you find the best hotspots to visit during your travel in Albania. Just above this paragraph I left you an useful map to localize them and plan your itinerary. 

As you can see, the points of interest are spread all over Albania, and that’s why I believe the best way to visit the country it’s self-drive, either by coming with your RV/auto from abroad, or by visiting a cheap Albania Car Rental and get a local car once you land. 

1. tirana - traveling to albania tips


Capital and most vibrant City in Albania.

2. Saranda - Traveling to Albania must see

2. Sarande

The Southern-Most City in Albania.

3. berat in albania - hotspot to see


Among the Top7 Europe’s Best Small Towns.

4. Gjirokastra - visit albania travel


The “Silver City” lost in the Mountains.

5. shkruder - albania to visit


Cultural and Vibrant City in the North.

6. apollonia albania to travel - roadtrip


Spectacular Ancient Greek Temple Ruins

Albanian Riviera - Himare - Visit Travel to Albania Tips


Gorgeous seaside Location for Summer

8. llogara national park and pass - visit travel in albania


High Mountains and Stunning Views

blue eye of theth albania to see travel albania tips


A deep-blue small lake in the mountains.

10. komani lake in albania - travel to albania tips


Clear light-blue waters and green nature.

Tips for Traveling to Albania – Conclusion

beautiful albania - where to travel to albania tips

Here we are at the end of our article for today.

I truly hope you got all the essential info you might need to plan your next visit to the beautiful country of Albania and make the most out of your upcoming trip!

After talking about how to enter in the country, how to stay safe, how to move around, when to travel, money tips, custom, food and hotspots; all is left is giving you my last very personal advice.

If you ask me to tell you something about Albania, I’d say you this:

“Be ready to be surprised. Expect the unexpected. Be mindful of your surrounding, but do not stress yourself excessively. Open yourself to a different way of life and Albanians will reward you with a welcoming smile and friendship. Albania is one of those countries that, by not being overflooded with tourists, still can offer a “true” travel experience filled with a sense of mistery and genuine discovery. Be grateful and enjoy your journey!

As every time, I ask you to let me know if the article as been useful to you in the comments below (it motivates me a lot to write more! 😉 ). In the same way, let me know if you have other tips that you would like to see added to the article or you find some mistakes (can always happen too!) 🙂

I wish you a life full of happiness and happy travels!

See you in the next article! 😀



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  1. Liliana

    Thanks for this interesting article Dani!
    I am planning my trip to Albania soon and I found this really helpful! Sharing it with my friends!

    Great work 🙂

  2. Liliana

    Thanks for this interesting article, Dani!
    I am planning my trip to Albania soon and I found this really helpful! Sharing it with my friends!

    Great work 🙂

    • Dani

      When are you gonna be there Lili?? Maybe we will be there too 🙂

  3. Stela Boattrips

    Grazie di aver condiviso e visitato il nostro paese, se hai piano anche quest’anno facci sapere abbiamo tanti spot da farti scoprire


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