An Informative article for tourists about shopping and stores in Albania. You will learn many interesting details and be prepared for it when you arrive in Albania. Actually, there is nothing supernatural here, but there are differences from our stores.

all about stores in albania in tirana
All grocery stores look more or less like this

Stores in Albania: Varieties

First and foremost, the author is referring to grocery stores where you, as a tourist, will be buying groceries.

It is important to know:

In Albania, there are virtually no large supermarkets like Carrefour or Auchan. There are literally only two large supermarkets in the entire country, both in Tirana and both on the outskirts.

Food stores in Albania are represented by two types:

  • These are convenience stores. There are many of them, and they are everywhere. In the country, there are three main network players, each of which has hundreds of stores:
    • Big market – a local retailer and probably the most popular with the largest network.
    • Spar – a European supermarket chain. It is believed that the quality of products here is the worst, but the prices are the lowest. I agree with that.
    • Conad – objectively the most expensive grocery stores. They position themselves that way. However, the quality of products and the range of products are the best.

It is useful to know:

Why do Albanians care so much about the quality of products? In the country, any use of GMOs in any form is prohibited by law. That’s why there isn’t even a McDonald’s in Albania. KFC restaurants are represented by a single restaurant in the center of Tirana. There are even more interesting facts available at the link.
shops in Albania
The most common supermarket in Albania
  • The second type of stores is minimarkets managed by local residents. Each of these stores has its owner.
    • The sizes of such stores are usually 5 by 5 meters, or even smaller.
    • They only sell the most essential goods:
      • Water, beer
      • Grains
      • Canned goods
      • Household chemicals
      • Personal hygiene products
    • There is no perishable products, no refrigerators here.
    • There are no price tags either.
    • You cannot pay with a card.
    • Such stores are popular in remote areas of the country as well as in the outskirts of cities in residential areas.

General points about stores

  • Usually, in grocery stores, there are no fresh vegetables. They are bought at vegetable stalls, which are available everywhere.
    • But some Conad and Big Market stores do have vegetable sections, but that’s more of an exception.
    • And the mentality of the locals: they buy all fruits and vegetables only at the market and vegetable stalls.
    • Read about Albania’s fruits in this article.
shopping in Albania
Such vegetable stalls are available everywhere.
  • In all chain supermarkets, you can pay with a card. By the way, in Albania, it’s rare for cards to be accepted anywhere. Here, 90% of transactions are cash-only. But in stores, you can pay by card.
    • Be prepared that some stores have a minimum threshold for card payments. Often it’s 1,000 lek (10$). If your purchases are below that amount, they will ask for cash.
    • It’s not everywhere, but it happens. The reason is the very high bank commissions for sellers with non-cash payments.
  • The operating hours of chain supermarkets vary, but the absolute majority operate according to the schedule:
    • From 7 am to 10 pm
    • or from 8 am to 11 pm
    • However, small private minimarkets can operate until one or two in the morning.

Also, be prepared for the fact that:

  • There are no broiler chickens in the country; all chickens are free-range, skinny, yellow, and poorly plucked.
  • If you’re traveling with children, baby food (and baby products) is sold not only in stores but also in pharmacies. Read all about vacations in Albania with a child.
  • If fresh vegetables and fruits are rarely sold in stores, every supermarket will always have a wide selection of bulk cheeses.
albania without gmo
There are no normal broiler chickens as we understand them here. Only organic-free-range chickens, like in the photo

Shopping in Albania: Shopping Malls

There are not many huge shopping malls in Albania, as we are used to in our country. Only one. You shouldn’t expect fantastic shopping with great prices in Albania.

  • Global brands are only represented by mass-market brands:
    • Zara
    • Bershka
    • H&M
    • and so on, nothing extraordinary.
  • The prices for all of this are quite high. There are no outlets or big sales here.
  • Global brands don’t strive here because the country’s population is less than 3 million, and Albania is one of the poorest countries in Europe. The purchasing power is relatively low
  • Those who can afford shopping fly or sail to neighboring Italy.

Interesting fact:

The country is poor, salaries are low, but almost everyone here has the latest iPhones. If you don’t have an iPhone in Albania and a Mercedes, life is considered wasted.

The largest and only real shopping mall in Albania is called TEG.

  • It is located 8 km outside of Tirana’s city center.
  • There is a free shuttle from the city center.
  • Opening hours: 10 am to 9 pm daily.
  • Official website:
mall and shopping in Tirana
Toptani Shopping Mall in central Tirana

There are also a couple of shopping malls in Tirana located near the main square. They are smaller in size but still offer something.

  • Ring Shopping Mall
    • Coordinates: 41.332379, 19.803862
  • Toptani Shopping Mall
    • Coordinates: 41.327189, 19.822305

All the shopping malls I mentioned are on the Travel Map in the header of this guide.

Markets in Albania

I’ll be brief since there is a comprehensive article about markets available through the link.

There you will find information about:

  • Vegetable markets
  • Fish and meat markets
  • The flea market in Tirana

But in general, here are a few common points for those who are too lazy to read it:

  • Albania is not the East, and the markets here are not like Eastern bazaars.
  • Nobody pays any attention to you. No one will insist you come to their stall. They don’t care about you.
  • Prices here are fixed, but they might give you a discount or an extra tomato if they like you.


Learn two or three words in Albanian; it will greatly endear the locals to you. Learn everything about the Albanian language for tourists here.
  • What’s pleasant is that in Albania, they don’t see tourists as walking wallets. Prices for you are exactly the same as for locals. Nobody will overcharge you.
  • If the market’s opening time is listed as 8 am, don’t rush to go at 8. Most likely, they will only start setting up at that time. Learn all about time in Albania.
albania shopping
Classic Albanian market

Stores in Albania: Travel Tips

There isn’t much to say, really. Don’t expect anything extraordinary from shopping in Albania. The selection is not vast, and prices for global brands can be steep.

If you have an extra day in Tirana and the desire to go shopping, visit TEG. Locals do it that way. Families come here, especially on weekends, with the whole family. There are places to eat, leave your child, and, of course, the largest selection of stores in the country.

In conclusion, shopping and stores in Albania are not the primary reason why tourists come here. Nevertheless, I wish you find what you’re looking for at an excellent price!

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