If you think you know Albania, think again

This addictive country has a myriad of faces. In the rugged north, the Alps are so fierce they're 'accursed', while the south enjoys one of the least known and most beautiful coastlines in all of Europe. Tirana is filled with craziness, from its traffic to its nightlife, but on its doorstep are mosques, citadels, Ottoman architecture and a stunning dose of medieval Balkans. The real surprise of Albania is the people. Their warmth to strangers is infectious and you’re bound to find yourself swapping stories over a glass of raki or three.

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Albania travel highlights

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At a glance

Best time to visit Albania

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Further reading

Albania travel FAQs

Tipping isn’t mandatory in Albania but it’s common to round up the bill in a restaurant and a tip of 5-10% for good service will always be appreciated.

Albania’s cities and tourist centres have plenty of Wi-Fi hotspots and internet access is available in pretty much all hotels. Outside of the major towns, access is less reliable but most towns will have an internet café.

Mobile phone coverage may be limited outside of major centres. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your carrier if you wish to use your phone.

Albania’s toilets are usually of the flushing kind, but don’t be surprised if you come across the occasional squat toilet. Expect to pay a small fee when visiting public toilets.

Cup of coffee in a cafe = 100 ALL
Beer in a bar or restaurant = 200 ALL
Simple lunch = 300 ALL
Dinner in an inexpensive restaurant = 750 ALL

Tap water may not be safe to drink in Albania. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, bring water purification tablets or ask your leader where filtered water can be found.

Only the major hotels in Tirana accept credit cards and outside the capital they’re unlikely to be accepted. Be sure to carry multiple methods of payment.

ATMs are becoming more and more common throughout Albania. In most towns you should have access to a machine. Always be prepared by having enough cash just in case.

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

  • 1 Jan New Year's Day
  • 2 Jan New Year Holiday
  • 3 Jan New Year Holiday
  • 14 Mar Summer Day
  • 22 Mar Nevruz Day
  • 16 Apr Catholic Easter
  • 16 Apr Orthodox Easter
  • 17 Apr Catholic Easter Monday
  • 17 Apr Orthodox Easter Monday
  • 1 May International Worker's Day
  • 25 Jun Lesser Bajram /End of Ramadan
  • 26 Jun Lesser Bajram /End of Ramadan Holiday
  • 1 Sep Greater Bajram /Feast of Sacrifice
  • 19 Oct Mother Teresa Beatification Day
  • 28 Nov Flag and Independence Day
  • 29 Nov Liberation Day
  • 8 Dec National Youth Day
  • 25 Dec Christmas Day

Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Albania go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/albania/public-holidays

Responsible Travel

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Woman drinking from re-usable water bottle

Top responsible travel tips for Albania

  1. Be considerate of Albania’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
  2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.
  3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
  4. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!
  5. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
  6. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
  7. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
  8. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.