Top 10 Things to Know Before Traveling to Albania

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Albania is one of Europe's most interesting countries, as well as one of the nicest, thanks to its modest population of 2.8 million people. It's also a top ... read more...

  1. One of the best things about visiting the Land of the Eagles is that you will be welcomed by the inhabitants wherever you go, from the capital city to the Riviera, from the highlands to historical towns.

    Albania is one of the most welcoming places you'll ever encounter. So don't be hesitant to ask for directions or other information; there will always be someone who can assist you in finding what you're searching for, whether it's lodging, food, or transportation guidance. Many Albanians know English, and tourism is growing in the country and is being embraced as an important element of the economy.

  2. Albania is one of Europe's least dangerous countries. The UK Foreign Office notes that public safety is generally high, with few complaints of crime directed at foreigners or visitors, however pickpocketing does occur. You can come to Albania with children, a loved one, or by yourself (women included) without fear of being attacked, as you could in certain other nations.

    The country is in an earthquake zone, with a 6.4-magnitude quake killing 51 people in 2019. Mamurras, in the country's northwest, was the epicenter, with tremors felt in Tirana. Since the earthquake, life has gone on, and the government has tightened construction standards.

    Despite being closed to tourism for more than 50 years, Albania is a relatively secure place to visit! If the locals appear aloof, it's generally because they're inquisitive as to why you're there. They are, nevertheless, unbelievably polite and hospitable once you get to know them.

    In comparison to the rest of the world, Albania has very little petty thievery. Pickpocketing and other crimes are uncommon, therefore you may feel relatively safe while traveling here.
  3. There's a reason why most tourists go to Albania's beaches: the Albanian Riviera boasts some of Europe's most beautiful coastlines. These pebbly and sandy beaches border pristine waters that may compete with the beaches of Italy, Greece, or Croatia in terms of beauty.

    Drymades, which features beautiful water, live music, and beach bars, and Ksamil, which is part of Butrint National Park, are the nicest beaches on the Riviera. However, beautiful expanses of sand may be found all around the shore. Palasa Beach, which is bordered by steep cliffs and lush hills, and Dhermi Beach, which has a party vibe, are both fantastic places to unwind.

    It is also surrounded by the beautiful Ionian Sea. As a result, it possesses some of Europe's most gorgeous beaches. Yes… All of Europe!The Albanian Riviera is on its way to becoming a popular summer holiday destination, from the Ksamil Islands to the brilliant pebbly shores of Dhermi Beach. With its pure blue waters and picturesque mountain cliffs, it's a marvel Albania's beaches aren't already packed!
  4. The Albanian Riviera and its beautiful beaches are excellent reasons to visit, but the country has much more to offer. The Albanian Alps, as well as the Sharr and Pindus mountain ranges, run the length of the nation.

    Prehistoric mounds, ancient Greek and Roman temples and forts, and medieval bathhouses are among the archeological sites. Lakes and rivers, woodlands, and ancient villages abound in the country, taking your breath away. Albanian vacations should always include ample time for visiting the country's numerous natural and historical wonders.

    Summer in Albania is a real treat because you'll have access to several beautiful beaches. The glistening Ionian Sea will entice you to a spot you probably had never idea existed before visiting Albania.

    Despite sharing a coastline with popular tourist destinations such as Croatia and Greece, Albania's beaches are underappreciated for their stunning beauty.

    Along the coast, Himare and Dhermi are two popular beach towns, while Ksamil in the south is the most popular. The magnificent blue ocean will be on full show here, and you may relax with a drink on one of the numerous overwater decks that overlook the islands.
  5. In comparison to its neighbors, Albanian tourism is quite inexpensive. Without breaking the wallet, you can spend a fantastic week traveling across the country. The capital, Tirana, is the most expensive city, but compared to other Eastern European locations, it is still a bargain.

    Parks are free to visit, and while museums charge admission tickets, the prices are reasonable. When shopping, be in mind that many stores only accept Albanian lek (the local currency), however hotels also accept euros. Because credit cards are not accepted everywhere, bring some cash with you.
  6. If you come across Raki, Albania's national drink, keep in mind that it is a very strong alcoholic beverage! If someone offers you a glass of Raki, you should take it slowly. If it's from a bar, it's possible that it's perfectly safe (although you still need to drink cautiously). However, if it is made with locally produced Raki.

    Are you having a bad day? Consume raki. What's up? Consume raki. Not feeling well? Consume raki. Have a reason to rejoice? Consume raki. Raki is the answer to everything for Albanians, but what exactly is it? Raki is a strong, aromatic liquor created from grape pomace, which is akin to grappa. Aniseed is commonly used to flavor it. It's popular in Albania and the Balkans, as well as Kazakhstan, and it's considered Turkey's national drink.

    During the 14th century, monks in Greece are claimed to have invented raki. Before you gulp it down, remember to say gzuar (cheers).
  7. Many European languages are descended from the Greek, Latin, or Slavic families, but Albanian is not one of them. On the linguistic tree, this ancient language has its own branch. Linguists aren't sure where Shqip (Albanian meaning language) came from, and while certain words are similar to those in Italian, English, and other languages, it's a one-of-a-kind language.

    Albanians are highly proud of their language, so try to pick up a few phrases and impress them. Here are some fundamentals: prshndetje (hello), faleminderit (thank you), mir (it's OK), naten e mir (good night), and mirupafshim are some of the more common greetings (goodbye).
  8. After learning about Albania's history and tourism, you should be aware that getting about is not easy! Of course, renting a car is always an option, but it may not be an expenditure or responsibility you want to take on. If that's the case, we found the system of minibuses, or "furgons," to be really handy during our two-week travel in Albania.

    While there is no defined bus timetable online, it is definitely workable once you get your feet on the ground. Buses run across the country, from Siranda to Tirana, and are an incredibly inexpensive mode of transportation.

    Albania is a thrilling destination. Change your plans and go somewhere else if you don't like going off the usual path. You'll understand if you rent a car here. People cross the road whenever they want, drivers do whatever they want, and animals like relaxing and sleeping in the center of the road. Driving in the country is, without a doubt, a challenge. If you don't want to rent a car, another option is to take the bus across the nation. Traveling in Albania might be difficult because there are no official bus schedules, so be patient and ask locals where the stops are. It is strongly recommended that you to rent a car because buses may not bring you where you want to go.
  9. You might be astonished to learn that there are more Albanians residing outside of Albania than inside. While tourism in Albania is only getting started, the Albanian people are already traveling! Albania's population is under 3 million, which is one of many astonishing facts about the country.

    However, it is estimated that over ten million Albanians live outside of the country. Some of this travel can be tied to the quest for work following previous troubles. Whatever the case may be, Albanians can be found in cities all over the world, from New York to Rome.

    The majority of the population of Albania lives in Tirana, the capital. However, more than 10 million Albanians live outside of Albania, especially in the neighboring countries of Italy, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Montenegro. Many people have relocated to the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, and Turkey.
  10. Albania is a religiously tolerant country, which is one of its most appealing characteristics. Christians, Muslims, and Jews all feel comfortable and accepted in this community. Within a few meters of a mosque, every town has an Orthodox church and a Catholic church. According to the 2011 census, around 60% of the population is Sunni Muslim, 10% Roman Catholic, and 7% Eastern Orthodox, with Bektashi Muslims, various Christians, and other religions also present.

    Muslims make up the large majority of Albanians, accounting for up to 70% of the population. Christianity is the country's second-largest religion, however there are also a lot of atheists.. If you've traveled to more fundamentalist countries, you may not notice it at first, but the lovely call to prayer can still be heard late into the night. Albania's religions are as diverse as its cuisine, culture, and history.

    People discovered it has a large Christian and Jewish population when we visited. As a result, it's not uncommon to have a mosque, church, and synagogue all within walking distance of one other in towns like Gjirokaster. During our visit to Albania, this inviting feature of the country's tourism left an impression on us.

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