Albania is a country in Southeastern Europe, situated on the Balkan Peninsula. It has a rich and varied history, culture, and nature, that attracts millions of tourists every year. Whether you are looking for ancient monuments, medieval towns, modern cities, or stunning landscapes, Albania has something for everyone. In this article, we will explore some of the best destinations, cities, hotels, restaurants, shopping, transportation, and tips for travelers who want to visit this amazing country.


Albania has a diverse geography, with mountains, plains, rivers, lakes, and the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. Some of the most popular natural destinations are:

  •  The Albanian Alps: These are a mountain range in the north of the country, also known as the Accursed Mountains, because of their rugged and remote beauty. They offer breathtaking scenery, diverse wildlife, and many opportunities for hiking, biking, skiing, or rafting. You can also visit some of the traditional villages, such as Theth, Valbona, or Kelmend, where you can experience the local culture and hospitality.
  •  The Butrint National Park: This is a national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the south of the country, near the Greek border. It contains the archaeological site of Butrint, an ancient city that was inhabited by various civilizations, such as the Illyrians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, and Ottomans. You can admire the ruins of temples, theaters, baths, mosaics, and fortifications, as well as the natural beauty of the park, which includes wetlands, forests, and islands.
  •  The Blue Eye: This is a natural phenomenon and a popular attraction in the south of the country, near the town of Saranda. It is a water spring that forms a deep pool with a stunning blue color, surrounded by green vegetation. The water is crystal clear and very cold, and the depth of the pool is unknown. You can enjoy the view, take a dip, or have a picnic in this magical place.


Albania has many cities that offer a mix of history, culture, and modernity. You can find ancient ruins, medieval churches, museums, galleries, festivals, and nightlife in these urban centers. Some of the most visited cities are:

  •  Tirana: This is the capital and largest city of Albania, with over one million inhabitants. It is also one of the oldest cities in Europe, dating back to the 17th century. You can visit the Skanderbeg Square, the main plaza of the city, where you can see the statue of the national hero, Skanderbeg, the Clock Tower, the Et'hem Bey Mosque, and the National Historical Museum. You can also explore the colorful buildings, the trendy cafes, the lively markets, and the vibrant nightlife of the city.
  •  Berat: This is a charming city in the center of the country, and one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is also known as the City of a Thousand Windows, because of the unique architecture of its houses, which are built on the slopes of the hills, overlooking the Osum River. You can visit the Berat Castle, a fortified citadel that dates back to the 13th century, where you can see the Onufri Museum, a museum of icons and religious art, the Church of St. Mary of Blachernae, and the Red Mosque. You can also stroll through the old quarters of Mangalem and Gorica, where you can admire the traditional houses and the cobblestone streets.
  •  Gjirokastra: This is a picturesque city in the south of the country, and another UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also known as the City of Stone, because of the gray stone houses that are typical of its architecture. You can visit the Gjirokastra Castle, a massive fortress that dominates the city, where you can see the National Museum of Armaments, the Museum of the Secret Police, and the Clock Tower. You can also explore the old bazaar, the ethnographic museum, and the birthplace of the former communist dictator, Enver Hoxha.


Albania has a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to cozy guesthouses. You can find something that suits your budget and preferences, depending on the location and the season. Some of the best hotels in Albania are:

  •  The Plaza Tirana: This is a five-star hotel in the center of Tirana, near the Skanderbeg Square and the National Art Gallery. It offers elegant rooms and suites, a spa, a fitness center, a restaurant, a bar, and a rooftop terrace.
  •  Hotel Mangalemi: This is a four-star hotel in Berat, located in a historical building that was once a mansion of a wealthy family. It offers traditional rooms and suites, a restaurant, a bar, and a garden.
  •  Hotel Kalemi: This is a three-star hotel in Gjirokastra, located in a restored stone house that dates back to the 19th century. It offers authentic rooms and suites, a restaurant, a bar, and a terrace.

 Meals and Restaurants

Albania has a rich and diverse cuisine, influenced by its neighbors and its history. You can find dishes that are based on meat, cheese, vegetables, grains, and fruits, seasoned with herbs and spices. Some of the most typical dishes are:

  •  Byrek: This is a pastry, made with filo dough, cheese, spinach, meat, or potatoes, baked in the oven. It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or as a snack, and it is often served with yogurt or ayran, a salty drink made with yogurt and water.
  •  Tave Kosi: This is a baked dish, made with lamb, rice, eggs, and yogurt, seasoned with garlic, oregano, and black pepper. It is usually served with salad, bread, and wine, and it is considered the national dish of Albania.
  •  Baklava: This is a dessert, made with layers of filo dough, nuts, and honey or syrup, cut into diamond-shaped pieces. It is usually eaten with coffee or tea, and it is a common treat for special occasions.

Albania also has many restaurants that offer international cuisine, such as Italian, Greek, Turkish, or Chinese. Some of the best restaurants in Albania are:

  •  Era Restaurant: This is a chain of restaurants that serve traditional Albanian cuisine, as well as Mediterranean and vegetarian dishes. They have branches in Tirana, Berat, and Gjirokastra, and they offer a cozy atmosphere and a friendly service.
  •  Taverna Tradita: This is a restaurant in Gjirokastra, located in a stone house that was once a school. It serves regional dishes, such as qifqi, rice balls with eggs and herbs, and oshaf, a dessert made with dried fruits and sheep's milk. It also has a fireplace and a terrace, and often hosts live music and events.
  •  Uka Farm: This is a restaurant in Tirana, located in a farm that produces organic fruits, vegetables, and wine. It serves fresh and healthy dishes, such as salads, soups, pasta, and grilled meat. It also has a wine cellar and a shop, where you can buy the products of the farm.


Albania has many shopping opportunities, from modern malls and boutiques to traditional markets and handicrafts. You can find something that suits your taste and budget, whether you are looking for clothes, accessories, electronics, or souvenirs. Some of the best places to shop in Albania are:

  •  Toptani Shopping Center: This is a large shopping mall in Tirana, near the Lana River. It has over 100 stores, selling clothes, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, books, and more. It also has a food court, a cinema, a playground, and a parking lot.
  •  Old Bazaar: This is a historical market in Gjirokastra, where you can find handicrafts, antiques, carpets, silverware, and pottery. It is also a place to experience the local culture and tradition, as you can see the craftsmen at work, and hear the stories of the sellers.
  •  Rruga Murat Toptani: This is a pedestrian street in Tirana, where you can find many shops, cafes, and restaurants. It is also a place to enjoy the art and architecture of the city, as you can see the murals, sculptures, and fountains that decorate the street.


Albania has a well-developed transportation network, with roads, railways, airports, and ports. You can choose the best option for your travel needs, depending on the distance, the cost, and the comfort. Some of the main transportation options are:

  •  Car: This is the most flexible and convenient way to travel around Albania, as you can explore the country at your own pace and stop wherever you want. You can rent a car from various companies, or use a taxi or a ride-sharing service. However, you should be aware of the traffic rules, the road conditions, and the parking fees.
  •  Train: This is the most affordable and scenic way to travel around Albania, as you can enjoy the views of the countryside and the mountains. You can use the national railway company, HSH, or the private operators, such as Treni Turistici or Rail Cargo. However, you should be aware of the timetables, the delays, and the comfort levels. You may need to book your tickets in advance, or at the train station.
  •  Plane: This is the fastest and most comfortable way to travel around Albania, especially for long distances. You can use the national airline company, Air Albania, or the low-cost operators, such as EasyJet or Wizz Air. However, you should be aware of the fares, the luggage limits, and the airport transfers. You may need to book a shuttle bus, a taxi, or a car rental to get to your destination from the airport.

 Tips for Travelers

Albania is a safe and friendly country, with hospitable and helpful people. However, as with any travel destination, you should be aware of some tips and advice that can make your trip more enjoyable and hassle-free. Some of the tips are:
  •  Language: The official language of Albania is Albanian, an Indo-European language that has two main dialects, Tosk and Gheg. Many people also speak English, especially in the cities and tourist areas. However, it is always polite and appreciated to learn some basic words and phrases in Albanian, such as hello, thank you, or excuse me.
  •  Currency: The official currency of Albania is the Albanian lek (ALL), which is divided into 100 qindarka. You can exchange your money at banks, exchange bureaus, or ATMs, but you should avoid the ones at the airport or the tourist areas, as they may charge higher fees or offer lower rates. You can also use your credit or debit card at most places, but you should inform your bank before your trip, and check the transaction fees and the exchange rates.
  •  Weather: Albania has a Mediterranean climate, with hot and dry summers, and mild and wet winters. The average temperature in summer is around 28°C, and in winter is around 10°C. However, it can vary depending on the altitude and the region. You should pack accordingly, and bring light clothes, sun protection, and a hat for the summer, and warm clothes, rain gear, and a jacket for the winter. You should also check the weather forecast before your trip, and be prepared for any changes.


Albania is a wonderful country to visit, with a lot to offer to any traveler. You can enjoy its natural beauty, its cultural heritage, its urban attractions, and its gastronomy. You can also experience its hospitality, its diversity, and its charm. You will surely have a memorable and satisfying trip, if you follow the suggestions and tips in this article. We hope you have a great time in Albania