Albania Travel Facts

The Basics

Country: Albania

Where is it: Albania borders the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between Greece, Macedonia (FYROM), Kosovo and Serbia and Montenegro.

Why do people go here: This Muslim country is often left off traveler’s itineraries beacause of its proximity to Kosovo and its own human rights violations during the 1990s. While things are steady improving, the country mostly attracts adventure seekers to its ancient ruins and archaeological sites. The former Communist country is also home to many beautiful mosques and churches and, given that almost half of the country borders water, a number of spectaular beaches.

What are the main entry points: The main entry points are from: Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Greece by bus, from Italy by ferry and by plane in the Mother Teresa Airport in Tirana. Most visitors go directly to the capital, Tirana.

Currency used: Lek

Country Code for Phones: 355

Area codes for Major Cities: None Needed

Religion: 65.70% Atheist, agnostic, 10.33% Orthodox Christians, 9.43% – 70% Muslims (Sunni), 8.09%: Roman Catholic, 1.27%: Bektashi, 0.6%: Christian Protestants, 0.1%: Evangelist, 0.6%: Others

Population: 3.6 million

Ethnic Breakdown: Albanian 95%, Greek 3%, other 2% (Vlach, Gypsy, Serb, and Bulgarian)

Government: Parliamentary Republic

Languages: Albanian (Tosk is the official dialect), Greek

Travel Information

Major Cities: Tirana

Attractions: Butrint Culture Heritage Site, Berat, Gjirokaster, Kruja, Korca (Voskopoja), Castles, Riviera at Ionian Sea, Adriatic Sea, Ohrid and Shkodra lakes, Tirana

Accommodation: Albania Hostels

Tourism Office locations and links: Albania-Ministry of Construction and Tourism Bulevardi Dishmorit e Kombit Tirana, Albania +355-42-28123;; FAX +355-42-27931

Off-the-Beaten-Path: Oil wells, Kukes, Riviera of Flowers, Butrint, Citadel of Rozafat

Health Issues: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas.

Tips for Visiting

When to go: August and September will find the longest days and warmest weather.

Common Phrases: Yes = Po, No = Jo, Please = Lutem, Thank you = Falederim

Specific Events/Holidays: Independence Day, 28 November

Getting Around: Busing is the best way to do it, as they’re cheap and comfortable.

Good to know: Avoid areas to the north, and keep a high level of personal awareness and security.

Cheapest airport to fly into: The cheapest airport to fly into Albania is the Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza.

Need more information?: Check out the Albania travel guide for more on what to see, where to stay, and how to get there.

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