Albania

Capital Tirana

Population 2,886,026

Area 28,748 km2

Key facts

Albania is a country located in Southeast Europe, on the Adriatic and Ionian Sea. It is bordered by Malta to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, North Macedonia to the east, and Greece to the south.

Albania has a population of about 2.9 million people. The official language is Albanian, which is a member of the Indo-European language family. The majority of the population speaks Albanian, but there are also significant communities of speakers of other languages, including Greek and Macedonian.

Geographically, Albania is a diverse country with a varied landscape. It has a long coastline on the Adriatic and Ionian Sea, and it is also home to a number of mountains, including the Albanian Alps and the Korab Mountains. The country has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters.

Albania has a rich history and culture, with influences from a number of different civilizations, including the Romans, Byzantines, and Ottoman Turks. It is known for its beautiful beaches, mountainous terrain, and cultural sites, including ancient ruins and cultural landmarks.

In the EF English Competency Index (EF EPI), which assesses the language proficiency of non-native speaking countries, Albania was ranked 39th out of 100 countries in 2021.

The national currency in Albania is Albanian lek (ALL). The lek (lek) is subdivided into 100 qindarkë.

With today’s currency rate, 1 EUR is worth 115.1 ALL and 1 USD is worth 106.3 ALL.

Albanian
Banknotes

Lek200Lek500Lek1000Lek2000Lek5000

Albanian
Coins

Lek1Lek5Lek10Lek20Lek50Lek100

Check with your bank before your trip to find out if there are any fees for using your card abroad. Some banks do not charge fees when you use a foreign ATM or pay in foreign currency, but others may charge a fixed cost for each transaction or allow a limited number of free withdrawals. The travel card provided by Wise.com, Revolut or Monose might be an excellent option to cut down on transaction fees.

Ookla® Speedtest The average fixed internet speed in Albania is 68.31 Mbps and mobile is 53.12 Mbs.The global average is 150.61 Mbps and 97.08 Mbps respectively.

ATM Density When compared to the world average, Albania has less ATMs.31.42 ATMs per 100,000 people.The global average is 41.24.

SIM Registration In order to purchase a SIM card in Albania, a passport or ID is required as identification.

Socket types

There are 2 socket types used in Albania. Type C is a popular socket type throughout Europe (except the United Kingdom), Russia, and certain Asian countries.

Type C 230 V, 50 Hz  Type F 230 V, 50 Hz  

The sockets’ shapes and voltage differ from country to country and a travel plug adapter may be required. Portable devices, such as phones, notebooks or tablets, usually handle the entire range of voltages used across the world (110-240V).

Public holidays

In the year 2023, Albania will celebrate 12 national public holidays.

Date Holiday name
January 1, 2022 New Year’s DayViti i Ri
January 2, 2022 New Year’s DayViti i Ri
March 14, 2022 Summer DayDita e Verës
March 22, 2022 NowruzDita e Sulltan Nevruzit
April 24, 2022Moving holiday Easter SundayPashkët Ortodokse
April 25, 2022Moving holiday Easter MondayPashkët Ortodokse
May 1, 2022 May DayDita Ndërkombëtare e Punonjësve
October 19, 2022 Mother Teresa DayDita e Nënë Terezës
November 28, 2022 Independence DayDita e Pavarësisë
November 29, 2022 Liberation DayDita e Çlirimit
December 8, 2022 Youth DayDita Kombëtare e Rinisë
December 25, 2022 Christmas DayKrishtlindjet

Tourism

Albania is a country with a rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty, making it a popular destination for tourists from around the world. There are a wide variety of sites and landmarks that attract visitors to Albania, including heritage sites, natural landmarks, and beautiful cities.

One of the most visited heritage sites in Albania is the ancient city of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage site located on the southwestern coast of the country. Butrint was once an important port city in the Roman Empire and is now home to a number of ancient ruins, including a theater, a temple, and a basilica. Visitors can explore these ruins and learn about the history of the city, as well as take in the stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Another popular destination for tourists in Albania is the city of Gjirokaster, known for its well-preserved Ottoman-era architecture. The city is home to a number of historic buildings, including the Gjirokaster Fortress, which dates back to the 13th century. Visitors can take a tour of the fortress and learn about the history of the city, as well as explore the narrow streets and colorful houses that make up the Old Town.

In addition to its heritage sites, Albania is also home to a number of stunning natural landmarks. One of the most popular is the Blue Eye, a natural spring located in the southern part of the country. The spring is known for its crystal clear water and stunning blue color, which is caused by the reflection of sunlight on the bottom of the spring. Visitors can take a dip in the spring or simply enjoy the beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.

Finally, Albania is home to a number of beautiful cities that are worth a visit. The capital city of Tirana is known for its vibrant nightlife, cultural attractions, and delicious food. Other popular cities include Berat, known for its historic architecture, and Shkoder, located on the shores of Lake Shkoder and known for its beautiful beaches and outdoor activities.

One unique thing that visitors can experience in Albania is the country’s rich cultural traditions. From traditional music and dance performances to local festivals and celebrations, there are plenty of opportunities to experience the unique culture of Albania. Visitors can also participate in outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing, and rafting, or simply relax on the country’s beautiful beaches and enjoy the stunning natural surroundings.

What hotel chains are present in Albania?

There are no Mariott hotels in Albania.

The Hilton hotel chain operates in Albania.

There are no IHG hotels in Albania.

The Best Western hotel chain operates in Albania.

There are Radisson hotels in Tirana.

The Accor hotel chain operates in Albania.

Local delicacies and must-try foods and drinks in Albania

The food in Albania is influenced by a variety of cuisines, including Italian, Greek, and Turkish. This blend of cultural influences has resulted in a diverse and delicious culinary scene, offering a range of dishes and drinks for tourists to try.

Some of the most popular food and drinks that tourists can try in Albania include:

  1. Burek:
    A savory pastry filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables.
  2. Tavë kosi:
    A lamb and rice dish baked in a clay pot with yogurt.
  3. Fasule:
    A bean and sausage stew often served with bread.
  4. Qofte:
    Grilled meatballs made from a mixture of minced meat and spices.
  5. Byrek:
    A savory pastry similar to Burek, but with a thinner crust and filled with cheese, spinach, or other ingredients.
  6. Baklava:
    A sweet pastry made with layers of filo dough, nuts, and syrup or honey.

In terms of alcoholic drinks, Albania is famous for its raki, a strong, clear spirit made from grapes or other fruit. Raki is often enjoyed as an aperitif before a meal or as an after-dinner drink. Other popular alcoholic drinks in Albania include beer, wine, and cocktails made with locally produced spirits.

Overall, Albania offers a wide variety of delicious food and drinks for tourists to enjoy, with many unique dishes and flavors influenced by the country’s diverse cultural heritage. Whether you’re looking for savory meat dishes, sweet pastries, or refreshing drinks, Albania has something for everyone to enjoy.

What fast food chains are present in Albania?

The McDonald’s chain does not operate in Albania.

The KFC chain operates in Albania.

The Burger King chain does not operate in Albania.

The Subway chain does not operate in Albania.

The Domino’s Pizza chain does not operate in Albania.

The Starbucks chain does not operate in Albania.

Weather

What is the climate like in Albania?

The weather and climate in Albania vary depending on the region. Albania has a Mediterranean climate, which means it has hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters.

In the coastal regions, the weather is typically mild and rainy in the winter months, with temperatures ranging from around 10°C (50°F) to 15°C (59°F). In the summer, the temperatures can reach up to 30°C (86°F) or higher, with high humidity and little rainfall.

In the mountain regions, the weather is cooler and more variable. The temperatures in the winter can range from below freezing to around 10°C (50°F), and in the summer, the temperatures can range from around 15°C (59°F) to 25°C (77°F). The mountain regions also receive more precipitation than the coastal regions, with snowfall common in the winter months.

Overall, the weather in Albania is generally mild and pleasant, with hot summers and mild winters. However, it can be quite variable, with fluctuations in temperature and precipitation depending on the region and time of year.

When is the best time to visit Albania?

If you’re planning to visit during the summer or winter months, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to experience some of the most popular festivals and cultural events that bring people from all around the world to this beautiful country.

One of the most highly anticipated events in the summer is the “Rozafa Castle Festival” which takes place in the city of Shkoder in July. This three-day event celebrates Albanian culture and history through live music, traditional dance performances, and delicious local cuisine. If you’re a fan of folk music, this is definitely an event you won’t want to miss!

Another popular summer event is the “Festival of Flowers” held in the city of Kruja in August. This festival celebrates the beauty of nature through displays of colorful flowers, as well as traditional music and dance performances. It’s a great opportunity to experience the unique culture of Kruja and immerse yourself in the beauty of Albanian nature.

In the winter, the “Festival of Lights” in the city of Durres is a must-see event. This festival, which takes place in December, celebrates the holiday season with a stunning display of lights, as well as traditional music and dance performances. It’s a great opportunity to experience the holiday spirit in Albania and enjoy some of the country’s most beautiful sights.

What is the weather like in Tirana?

Today the sun in Tirana, rises at 6:46 AM and sets at 5:02 PM. The climate of Tirana may be categorized as a Mediterranean (Csa), according to Koppen’s classification system.

TodayFeb 5Partly cloudlyLow: -1.2°C (29.84°F)High: 6°C (42.8°F)
MondayFeb 6Partly cloudlyLow: -3.6°C (25.52°F)High: 4.6°C (40.28°F)
TuesdayFeb 7SunnyLow: -3.2°C (26.24°F)High: 6.7°C (44.06°F)
WednesdayFeb 8SunnyLow: -2.9°C (26.78°F)High: 7.7°C (45.86°F)
ThursdayFeb 9OvercastLow: -1.7°C (28.94°F)High: 8.1°C (46.58°F)
FridayFeb 10OvercastLow: 1°C (33.8°F)High: 10°C (50°F)

Weather data for Tirana (capital city) by Open-Meteo.com

Transport

How easy is it to get around Albania by train?

The rail network in Albania is relatively small, covering a total of approximately 600 kilometers of track. The network is not very dense, with only a few main lines serving the major cities and towns in the country. Albania is a relatively poor country, and as a result, the rail network has not been heavily invested in and has not undergone significant modernizations in recent years.

There are no high-speed railways in Albania, and the trains operate at relatively slow speeds. The most popular connections are between the capital city of Tirana and the cities of Shkoder, Durres, and Elbasan. These trains are relatively inexpensive and offer a convenient way to travel between these major cities.

The reliability and quality of train service in Albania has been a source of complaints for many passengers. Trains are often overcrowded and can be unreliable, with delays and cancellations being common. The stock is generally not modern, with many of the trains being old and in poor condition.

Overall, the rail network in Albania is limited in scope and not particularly well-developed. While it does offer a convenient and affordable way to travel between the major cities, it is not a particularly reliable or modern mode of transportation.

How easy is it to get around Albania by car?

Getting around Albania by car is generally quite easy, as the country has a relatively well-developed road system. The road network consists of a mix of national roads, regional roads, and local roads, with the national roads being the most important and well-maintained.

The most important expressway in Albania is the A1, which runs from the capital city of Tirana to the city of Durres on the Adriatic coast. The expressway was completed in 2010 and has greatly improved travel times between these two cities. There are plans to extend the A1 further south to the city of Vlora, which would improve access to the coastal region of the country.

The A1 expressway is a paid road, with tolls collected at designated points along the route. Other roads in Albania are generally free to use, although some local roads may have small fees for maintenance or other purposes.

In terms of road maintenance, the roads in the cities of Albania are generally well-maintained, with smooth surfaces and good signage. However, the quality of the roads in rural areas can vary, with some being in poor condition or poorly marked. Overall, while the road system in Albania is generally quite good, it is always advisable to exercise caution when driving in any unfamiliar area.

Railways There are passenger trains operating between some cities.

Subway Systems There is no subway system in any city.

Taxi Apps Unfortunately neither Uber nor Bolt are available in Albania.

Car Rental Avis , Sixt , Hertz are all available in Albania.

Road Connectivity Index (2016)  With a score of 3.4, Albania is placed 111th out of 129 nations.

Driving Side In Albania traffic is right-handed.

Safety

Theft Occurrence Rate  152.00 thefts per 100,000 people in 2020.The global average is 544.

Road Traffic Casualties 11.70 deaths per 100,000 people in 2019.The global average is 16.71.

Travel Advisory Level (U.S. DoS)  Level 2: Exercise increased caution. 

Emergency phones in Albania

112 Police
112 Ambulance
112 Fire police

Sources

Smoking & Alcohol

Smoking ban Inconsistent or only partially enforced smoke-free laws

Cananbis legality Both recreational and medicinal use of cannabis is prohibited.

The products are only for your own use or consumption, or as a present for members of your household. They may not be imported for commercial purposes under any circumstances.

Alcohol allowance

  • 1L of distilled beverages and spirits of an alcoholic strength by volume exceeding 22% ABV; non-denatured ethyl alcohol of 80% ABV and over
  • 2L of distilled beverages and spirits, and aperitifs with a wine or alcoholic base, tafia, sake‚ or similar beverages, of an alcoholic strength by volume not exceeding 22% ABV; sparkling wines, liqueur wines: two liters, or a proportional assortment of these different products
  • 2L of still wines two liters
  • 10L of beer

Tobacco allowance

  • 200 cigarettes, or 100 cigarillos (cigars of a maximum weight of three grams each), or 50 cigars, or 250 grams of smoking tobacco
  • or a proportional assortment of these different products
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