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
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.