Albania is a country with a rich history and culture, located in south-eastern Europe. It is known for its stunning coastline, mountainous landscapes, and unique mix of Ottoman, Italian, and Greek influences. However, like any other travel destination, the question of safety comes up for anyone considering a visit. In this article, we’ll answer the question “Is Albania safe to travel?” and provide some tips for staying safe while exploring this fascinating country. Additionally, we’ll highlight the top 8 places to visit in Albania, which showcase the country’s diverse and beautiful regions.
Is Albania Safe to Travel?
When it comes to safety, Albania is generally a safe country for travelers. However, it’s always important to take precautions to protect yourself and your belongings. Here are some tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to Albania:
- Be aware of your surroundings: Stay alert, especially in crowded areas, and be aware of pickpockets and scammers.
- Don’t carry large amounts of cash: Use credit cards whenever possible and avoid carrying large sums of money. Use ATMs located inside banks or shopping malls rather than standalone machines on the street.
- Respect local customs: Albanians are friendly and hospitable people, but it’s important to be mindful of local customs and traditions, especially when it comes to clothing and behavior in religious sites.
- Stay on marked trails when hiking: Albania’s rugged landscapes are perfect for hiking, but make sure to stay on marked trails and carry appropriate gear.
- Be cautious when driving: If you’re planning to rent a car, be aware that Albanian roads can be narrow and winding, and drivers can be aggressive. Stick to the speed limit and wear your seatbelt.
Top 8 Places to Visit in Albania:
- Gjirokaster: A UNESCO world heritage town located inland from Saranda, this place is definitely worth a visit! Boasting incredible cuisine and cute Ottoman houses, you should consider visiting. See a top Gjirokaster guide here!
- Ksamil: The ‘Maldives of Europe’ has received widespread social media popularity, and for good reason.. it’s beautiful! Stunning beaches and beach clubs are the highlight here!
- Tirana: Albania’s capital city is a vibrant and bustling metropolis with a rich history and a lively nightlife. Must-see attractions include the National History Museum, the Ethem Bey Mosque, and Skanderbeg Square.
- Berat: Known as the “city of a thousand windows,” Berat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with well-preserved Ottoman architecture and stunning views of the Osum River. Don’t miss the Berat Castle and the Onufri Museum.
- Saranda: This coastal town is a popular destination for beach lovers, with crystal-clear waters and pristine beaches. Take a boat tour to the nearby Ksamil islands or explore the ancient ruins of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Himare: Located along the Albanian Riviera offering some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe! The Himare Main Beach, Gjipe Beach, Borsch, Jala and more are all worth visiting!
- Shkoder: Located in northern Albania, Shkoder is a historic city with a mix of Ottoman and Venetian influences. Must-see attractions include the Rozafa Castle, the Marubi National Museum of Photography, and the Mes Bridge.
- Valbona Valley National Park: This stunning national park is located in the north of Albania and features pristine mountain landscapes and crystal-clear rivers. Hiking trails range from easy to challenging, and the park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Albania is a safe and welcoming country with a wealth of natural and cultural attractions to explore. By taking some basic precautions, such as being aware of your surroundings and respecting local customs, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable trip. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or simply soaking up the local culture, Albania has something to offer every traveller.