In this short article, you will learn the key points about time in Albania. This includes information about the time zone, daylight saving time, operating hours of various establishments and shops, as well as tips and recommendations for tourists planning their vacation in Albania.

Albania time difference
The PCR testing points at Tirana Airport used to operate 24/7, but it’s not guaranteed now. Make sure to check in advance if you need to take a test

Time in Albania: Facts

Summarized and concise:

  • Albania is located in the UTC +1 time zone.
  • Countries in the same time zone include Austria, Montenegro, Croatia, Sweden, Poland, Serbia, Czech Republic, and a couple more.
  • The time format in Albania is the same as ours: displayed electronically in the 24-hour format.
    • The European format, where the first half or the second half of the day is denoted by a.m. or p.m., is rarely used in Albania.
albania stores operating hours
In small establishments, working hours are rarely posted. Here, the Albanian siesta is often observed, but you will learn about it as you go.

Daylight Saving Time Changes

Twice a year, Albania adjusts the clock.

  • During the transition to winter time, the clock is set back by 1 hour on the last Sunday of October.
  • During the transition to summer time, the clock is set forward by 1 hour on the last Sunday of March.

Important to know:

Energy resources in Albania, such as gasoline and electricity, are very expensive. For more information on prices, please refer to this article. Gasoline in 2024 costs 1.8 euros per liter. It is believed that the clock adjustment not only helps the population wake up better in winter but also promotes more efficient use of electricity. In 2009, the Parliament raised the issue of abolishing the clock adjustment, but the local residents had a negative attitude towards this proposal, and it was quickly dropped.

The fact that electricity is very expensive in the country is evidenced by the rare presence of microwaves in Albanian kitchens, even in tourist apartments. For more details about the features of Albanian tourist accommodation options, please read a separate article.

time in albania
In the photo: regular working hours of grocery stores.

Travel Tips and Recommendations

The tips mainly concern the operating hours of different places:

  • Planning to visit a market? Go early to buy the best and freshest products. If the market opens, for example, at 8 a.m., the first vendors will only start setting up at 8. Don’t rush; come at 9. This is normal in Albania.
  • If a store opens with a 5-10 minute delay, it is also normal.
  • For information about fish, grocery, and flea markets, please refer to the article: Markets in Albania.

Useful to know:

However, Albanians, as a whole, are punctual. If they say they will wait for you at 3:00 p.m., they will. There might be slight delays, but they are insignificant. It is not like Zanzibar or the Dominican Republic, where if they say they will come in 10 minutes, it means at least an hour.
  • Most grocery stores operate according to the following schedule:
    • From 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
    • Or from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Bakeries and coffee shops open earlier, some as early as 6 a.m. However, many of them are closed by 6 p.m.
  • Know that in smaller cities, everything opens and closes earlier. In small towns, everything might be closed after 8 p.m.
  • For information about flight duration to Albania and cheap tickets, read the link provided.
  • Also, check out a useful article on how to create your own independent road trip in Albania, with timing, tips, and recommendations.

In conclusion, don’t forget that this country is more suitable for early birds. The nightlife here is quite specific and limited.

Wishing you to never be late and to succeed everywhere you go!

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