Is your travel preparation in full swing? The Albania travel tips from this article will save you some money. But if not money, they will definitely save your time and help you have more enjoyable experiences during your vacation.

Albania Travel Tips
In Albania, there is a safe, hospitable, and very welcoming atmosphere in every part of the country.

Albania Travel Tips

Next, there will be many practical tips for tourists in Albania. Some are specific to this country, while others will be useful in any travel and always handy.

What to take to Albania?

I won’t write about obvious things. I’ll mention those items that you may not have in your luggage, but they won’t be unnecessary.

Warm socks

  • Warm socks or slippers.
    • In Albania, there is no central heating or hot water supply. Furthermore, in 95% of apartments and rental accommodations, there will be tiled floors. Those who are always cold will suffer, especially if they travel in spring and autumn when it tends to be cooler indoors.
    • Usually, there are enough warm blankets, so sleeping won’t be cold, but walking around the apartment can be uncomfortable.

Long phone cable

  • A three-meter charging cable for your phone and a small power strip.
    • This item is useful in any travel, in general. I don’t even know how I lived without it before. But in Albania, it is particularly relevant.
    • You settle into the apartment, and the power outlet is usually in the farthest corner of the room.
    • I like to lie on the bed and surf the internet, check my email. But without a long cable, you’ll be sitting on a chair in the corner. And if there is a power outlet in a convenient place, there’s only one, and there are two of you.
    • A three-meter cable and a power strip will cost around 2-3 euros online. Buy it once and forget about it.
    • If you have many gadgets with you, you can even bring your own extension cord or power strip.
what sockets in Albania
These are the power outlets in Albania, just two millimeters wider in the distance between the contacts than ours. Apply a little more force, and you’ll fit your plug into the Albanian socket.

Coral shoes

  • Coral shoes. If you have them at home, bring them with you. They don’t take up much space, but they are very useful.
    • You can wear them in the apartment instead of slippers.
    • And, in general, they will be useful for:
      • all pebble beaches in Albania, such as Saranda, Ksamil, Dhermi, and Himara. The list of the best beaches in Albania.
      • they are necessary at the hot springs of Benje and in the Langarica Canyon. It won’t be easy without them.
      • all waterfalls where you plan to swim. The bottom there is rough.
      • and simply for crossing a mountain river on foot when trekking in the mountains. You’ll encounter this several times per hour.

Chocolate

  • A tip for any trip. I always bring several bars of our national chocolate or other sweets with me. In Albania, this is particularly relevant.
    • I check into an apartment or a guesthouse in the mountains and give it as a gift to the owners. It doesn’t cost you anything, but they really appreciate it, and not every guest does that.
    • You immediately create a good impression with them.
    • And their level of hospitality is so high that in most cases, they bring you a small present in return. It could be a jar of grape jam, homemade wine, a welcome shot of rakia, or a bag of ripe pomegranates and a juice squeezer.
    • It’s also an excellent gift for any kind of assistance or service. On my last trip to Albania, my tire started deflating, and I went to a tire service where they inflated it, checked for punctures, and refused to take any money. Well, a chocolate bar was a great gift. They appreciated it, and it wasn’t expected.
    • Continuing the topic of gifts: when you rent a car, after all the paperwork is signed, the car is inspected, and the keys are handed over, give a chocolate bar to the manager. I know that most people fear the car return process and expect scrutiny for every minor detail. Remember, a chocolate bar at the beginning will make the car return process easier in the end.

Mosquito repellent for the power outlet

  • The situation with mosquitoes in Albania is not critical. They exist, but seasonally. However, a single mosquito can ruin your entire night.
    • Having such a repellent won’t hurt.
    • Once you check-in, plug it into the power outlet immediately, and let it be there 24/7.
    • Albania doesn’t have malaria mosquitoes, and overall, the mosquito population is low. But under certain weather conditions, their numbers increase significantly, causing problems.
what to take to albania
Walking barefoot in this canyon is very uncomfortable. Your sneakers will undoubtedly get wet, but coral shoes are perfect.

Albania travel tips: Country Specifics

This part of the article focuses more on the specifics of the country and what the regular tourist should be prepared for in Albania. There aren’t many points, just two, but knowing them will greatly simplify a tourist’s challenging life.

  • In Albania, nodding the head affirmatively means NO. And shaking the head negatively means YES. Know this and don’t get confused. It’s very unfamiliar to us and can leave us perplexed.
    • We found a bus to the desired destination at the parking lot: when we asked, “Are we leaving soon?” the driver nodded his head, indicating YES, and smiled. We walked away happily and waited about 20 meters away. The driver approached us after 10 minutes and said that the departure would only be in three hours. Apparently, his head nod meant “no,” that he wouldn’t leave soon.
    • And if you think you should listen further, read an article about the Albanian language. Believe me, if by the end of your trip you can say 3-5 words in Albanian, I’ll applaud you. Usually, people leave without even being able to say “thank you” in the local language.
  • Offline maps app
    • I strongly recommend installing a offline maps app on your phone before the trip. Download the map of Albania and mark all your locations: the apartments where you’ll be staying and all the attractions you plan to visit.
    • You have two options: MAPS.ME or Organic Maps. Both are free, available for Android and iOS, and use the same maps.
    • In case you didn’t know, Albania doesn’t have house numbers. They simply provide the street name. Sometimes, finding the right building is quite a quest. Nowadays, locals share coordinates or a location instead of an address. Without a reliable maps for Albania, it will be challenging.

Advice:

If you want to reach your destinations without problems, forget about Google Maps for the duration of your trip. It is the worst thing you can use in Albania. You can thank me later in the comments.

General recommendations and tips for tourists in Albania

A brief overview of the general situation in Albania is for those who believe it’s dangerous or still a stronghold of socialism. Or for those who have heard about the Albanian mafia.

Today, Albania is much safer than in more than half of the capitals in Europe. The situation in the center of Paris or Madrid is worse than in any part of Albania, even deep in the mountains.

  • There are no migrants here. No one offers drugs in broad daylight in the central square. There are no areas where it is not recommended to go at night. And so on. Albania is absolutely safe for tourists at any time of the day.
  • There are no thefts, and the crime rate is one of the lowest in Europe.

Tip:

Don’t forget that basic precautions are never canceled anywhere.
  • People often write that Albania has terrible drivers and dangerous road conditions. I really want to see those who write that. Yes, there are some issues, but believe me, on our roads, there are far more rude, inadequate, and simply ill-mannered drivers.
  • In Albania, they don’t view tourists as walking wallets. They don’t try to overcharge you, always give change, and the prices at the market are the same for you as they are for the locals. By the way, read all about the markets in the country here. You are genuinely welcomed everywhere in this country.
  • And as a continuation of the previous point: Albanians are hospitable, kind, and helpful people. They will always assist you, give advice, and do it not for the sake of money, but simply because they want to help.
  • Finally, a frequent question is whether it’s safe to drink tap water in Albania. In mountainous regions, it’s possible, but it’s better not to do so on the coast.

In conclusion: I have provided tips for tourists and mentioned the general characteristics. I hope your trip to Albania has become even more understandable. And these tips will help you avoid any situations in advance that, if not take away your money, will certainly take away your time.


Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Albania

  • Flights at the best prices with best discounts
  • Car rental in Albania (cheaper – only by bus):
    • DiscoverCars – a major international resource
    • LocalRent – the leader in the Albanian car rental market. Very low deposits, even in cash.
  • Hotels and apartments throughout the country:
    • Hotellook – compares prices among dozens of platforms and offer you the best one.
    • Booking – large online booking platform.
    • Agoda – even more accommodation options in Albania.
  • Tours, excursions and activities:
    • GetYourGuide – more than 550 tours
    • Viator – 920+ excursions and activities throughout the country
  • Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
  • Internet and Calls:
    • Airalo eSIM in Albania from $4.5
    • DRIMSIM – universal SIM card (or eSIM) in any country in the world.
  • Taxi and airport transfer: Intui.Travel