Travel Tips and Visitors Guide to Albania
Albania is a mountainous country and the one of the smallest
countries of Europe. The residents descended from ancient Illyrians, from the Albani
tribe. Albania is bordered by Montenegro to the northeast and
Kosovo to the northwest, Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south. Its coastline opens to the Adriatic
Sea to the west and the Ionian Sea to the southwest. Its capital city is Tirana.
Culture in Albania
The culture of Albania is majorly influenced by that of the mainland
Greeks especially in the urban locality; nodding one’s head means ‘no’ where as shaking the head means ‘yes’. To
greet someone, handshaking is preferred, though Shoku (Comrade) was used before, which has been long forgotten now.
People dress informally here. Swim suits are meant for the beaches, otherwise women are expected not to dress in a
|Hotel accommodation is available in Albania,
especially in its capital Tirana,
where you can find 5-star holiday accommodation. (Image by
When addressing someone prefix Zoti(Mr) or Zonja(Mrs) before the name
and always remember to carry some gifts when visiting someone, although flowers aren’t much acceptable. The guests
are served with coffee, raki (brandy) or sweets. Smokers don’t have to worry much, but they should avoid it
where they see a sign of Ndalohet Duhani or Ndalohet pirja e duhanit, as 'no smoking' signs.
Travelling within the country
Buses with relatively cheap fares operate in the main cities of the
country or taxis are another choice which provided service for some main hotels. Visit Dajti Mountain and
experience Dajti Ekspres Cable car for an unforgettable 15 minute ride passing through Dajt Oark to reach Tirana.
The route is about 4.2 km long and the ride costs €6.5.Alpha Yachting provides crewed yacht which is a luxury in
itself. Tirana Bank is the best place for withdrawing money as it
allows access to Visa cards.
Restaurants are not always sufficiently heated, so always wear warm
clothes if out in the night during winters. Foreigners are charged more than the locals. Both the entry fees as
well as any merchandise will be on a higher scale, so it’s better not to reveal the fact that you are a foreigner
when out on the streets.
|Albanian bunkers were built
during Enver Hoxha's communist regime and are now
popular tourist attraction, situated along Albanian
coastline. (Image by
If you enjoy canoeing, this is the right place to be. There are
places right outside Tirana which is an amazing site for not just canoeing, but also rock climbing, hiking, and
If you want a 5-Star ambience, try The Sheraton Tirana Hotel and
Towers, which is situated in the middle of a shopping and entertainment center. There are about 151 rooms and 56
suites. So, along with the comfort, one can shop at once convenience here. Another hotel which provides all modern
facilities is Hotel Mondial. It is located 1000 m away from the city and is also a good example of traditional
One of the best and the easiest means is to go by air. Albanian
Airlines is the national airline which works in collaboration with Tyrolean Airways, and provides service to almost
all the big European cities. The airport, Mother Teresa, is
16 miles or 26 km away from the capital. A tourist bus is available every 3 hrs to get to the city center and takes
about 30 minutes to get there. Taxis are available round the clock. While waiting for any transport service,
tourists can check out the duty free shops, bank, eateries and car hire at the airport. A departure tax of $10 USD
is imposed on all foreign nationals.
If trying to get there by sea, try the ferry services which are
provided by Adriatic Line and Agoudimos. The main ports are Durres (has ferry connection to Italy, Bari, Brindisi, Trieste, and Ancona),
Vlora (has ferry connection to Bari, and Brindisi), Saranda (has connection to Corfu), Shen Gjini (has ferry
connection to Bari).
|In amongst other holiday attractions in Albania, you
will encounter beautiful churches.
Getting there by bus is another option. Buses to Albania start from
Istanbul (Turkey), Athens (Greece) and Sofia (Bulgaria). Internal passengers have lots of options with bus services
provided. If traveling by road in a private car, there is road network to the Kosovo region, but they are too
dangerous to use because of the political tensions within the region.
Crossings at Hani I Hotit, Bllata, Oafa e Thaes, Tushemisht, Gorica,
Kapshtica, and kakavija can be taken. If tired one can take stops at hotels or other designated areas. There is a
network of 18,000 km, out of which only 7450 km are main roads, for local travelers. About 2138km stretch of these
roads is in poor condition and has pot holes, and utmost safety precautions should be taken when driving on such
Speed limit should be strictly followed on highways as well as within
towns. Driving at night should be better avoided because of the absence of street lights on the road except for
urban areas. Traffic should drive on the right-hand. There is a shortage of gas stations in the countryside, so
filling the gas tank completely when passing through urban area is recommended and since there is lack of national
recovery system; travelers should be prepared for an emergency or breakdown before hand. One should carry necessary
documents like International Driving Permit and national driving license.
Duty Free Items
Following are the items that can be carried without customs duty being levied on
1. 1 litre of spirits or 2 litres of wine
2. 250ml of eau de toilette
3. 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
4. 50ml of perfume.
As usual, things that are prohibited to carry are firearms, narcotics
and ammunitions. Special export permission should be taken for precious metals, books, antiques, work of art, or
material of national or historic value.