22 Travel Tips for Albania: Useful Things to Know Before You Go

My top travel tips for Albania to save you money, time and stress. Read this before you go travelling in Albania.

When I embarked on my 6-month overland journey through the Balkan countries, Albania was definitely the country I was most nervous about visiting.

I had read all about the rugged beaches , high mountains and historic towns and castles – so I had no trouble deciding where to go and what to do . But the people, the culture, the food and all the practical details such as transportation, WIFI and accommodation – well, I had absolutely no clue what to expect.

On the ground, I discovered that most negative stereotypes about the country are untrue. In my experience Albania is safe, affordable, friendly, diverse, tolerant and above all else, incredibly beautiful .

At the same time, I learned that Albania does present some particular challenges , even for those well-practiced at travelling in the region.

Without spoiling any of the country’s special secrets or revealing too many of the quirky things about Albania that are fun to figure out as you go, I want to share a couple of things that will make your travel experience smoother and more fulfilling.

Here are 22 practical travel tips for Albania that I think every traveller should know.

Travel tips for Albania graphic.

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What is travelling in Albania really like? 22 useful travel tips for Albania

Albania is quite unlike any of its neighbours.

It’s tempting to think of the Balkans (particularly the western Balkans) as a monolith. But I don’t need to tell you that every country is its own entity. Within this tapestry, Albania is perhaps the most distinct nation in terms of both its culture and history.

An obvious example: The Albanian language, Shqip , is unlike anything else spoken in the region (or anywhere else in the world for that matter). It’s thought to be descended from an extinct Illyrian tongue, but its exact origins are still a mystery to linguists.

After months of being able to follow the rough contours of a shared speech in Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina , hearing the curious chatter of Albanian on the streets of Tirana was quite a contrast.

Albania’s cultural and religious traditions are also very distinct. And although you can find local variations of cevapi and burek, the cuisine is totally different too!

With the exception of Kosovo where almost 93% of the population are ethnically Albanian, it’s hard to draw a comparison between Albania and any of its neighbours. In many ways Albania feels more like Georgia – slightly chaotic but imminently beautiful, with the furgon the local equivalent of the marshrutka.

Learn a bit about the history before you go

Of course this runs much deeper than just food and minivans. Albania wasn’t part of Yugoslavia and doesn’t have the same ‘baggage’ as its northern neighbours. That’s not to say the nation wasn’t impacted by the Balkan Wars and genocide – it certainly was – but in a different way. No fighting took place on Albanian soil.

Instead, Albania was subjected to its own private horrors, namely 45 years under an oppressive political regime including 30 years with despotic communist dictator, Enver Hoxha, at the helm. Hoxha’s ideology was so hardline, he viewed Yugoslavia and the USSR as too lax. It’s very difficult for an outsider to try and comprehend how this period of history impacted Albania and its people. But I felt compelled to at least try.

One of the most interesting things I found is that Albanians embrace their whole history – the good and the bad. The communist regime only fell in the 1990s so for the majority of the population, it’s not a distant memory but something that’s still very fresh. But it’s never glossed over. Most people we met were happy to chat politics and share their experiences.

For example: There are 173,000 disused nuclear bunkers sprinkled around Albania, each a monument to Hoxha’s paranoia. Instead of destroying them, people decided to either leave them be or repurpose them as museums or galleries. (Now there’s even a Cold War military base that’s being rebranded as an island destination .) Tirana’s collection of Communist-era statues and busts are displayed in a courtyard behind the National Art Gallery. And Blloku, once an exclusive neighbourhood where the party members lived, has been reclaimed as a vibrant cafe and street art district. Even Hoxha’s old house is still standing.

Some might think of Albania as a dark tourism destination. To me, this is a nation of light and colour. While visitors have an obligation to familiarise themselves with the nation’s recent history, it’s important to do so in a respectful, thoughtful way. The Bunk’Art museums in Tirana are a great place to start and will enrich your experience immensely. 

Communist-era statues behind the National Art Gallery in Tirana.

The man atop the horse is General Skanderbeg

On a lighter note, here’s a bit of trivia for you. If Hoxha is Albania’s villain, then the nation’s hero is definitely Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu, AKA General Skanderbeg. 

It took me far too long to learn who Skanderbeg is and why he’s so beloved in this part of the world. As I travelled around the Balkans, I kept seeing the same statue of a warrior – including in squares in Skopje and Prishtina – and started referring to him simply as ‘the man atop the horse’. It wasn’t until I got to Albania that I was finally able to put a name to the face.

Skanderbeg was an Albanian military commander who lived during the early 15th century. He’s famous for leading a campaign against the Ottomans which freed Albania and several neighbouring countries from being vassal states. His penultimate battle was launched from the town of Kruja north of Tirana, now the location of Skanderbeg’s castle-museum. It’s a popular day trip and the place to go if you want to learn more about this chapter of history.

The only other person held in similar esteem is Albania’s heroine, Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, AKA Mother Teresa. Born to Albanian Kosovar parents in Skopje – then part of the Ottoman Empire and now the capital of North Macedonia – she’s beloved in all three countries (though each claims her as their own!).

Albania is overwhelmingly a safe country for tourists

One of the biggest misconceptions about Albania is that it’s unsafe for tourists. In reality, foreigners are very rarely the target of violent crime, and although pickpocketing and scams do happen, they’re not as widespread as in other countries in Europe.

Generally speaking, Albania is overwhelmingly safe for travellers of all types (including solo females) provided you exercise common sense and caution.

My one negative experience in Albania was being fleeced by a taxi driver in Gjirokaster . It was my mistake for not doing my research – I was unfamiliar with the location and agreed to a price without understanding just how short the distance to my hotel was. To avoid misunderstandings within the cities, it’s best to download a taxi app .

The biggest thing to watch out for in Albania is road safety. (Here we find another similarity to Georgia: The driving style.) More on that later.

As a side note: It’s not advisable to drink the tap water in Tirana or other cities/towns.

Avoid visiting in July or August

The best time to visit Albania in my opinion is any time except summer. I travelled during June. As the month went on and my trip was coming to an end, I found most places were getting a little too warm and dry – and much too crowded – for my liking.

Albania has a Mediterranean climate, thus winters are mild but wet. The best time to visit Albania is shoulder season (late March to early June or September through October) when the weather is pleasant both on the coast and in the mountains.

July and August are hot and busy, especially on the riviera, and should be avoided. That’s unless you plan to stick to the mountains, in which case summer is the best time for trekking.

A blue rock pool in Albania.

Consider flying into a neighbouring country

Most people arrive in Albania via the country’s main international airport, Tirana Airport Nënë Tereza. This makes sense if your itinerary starts in the capital or in the northern part of the country.

A second international airport opened in July 2021 in Kukës (KFZ), 150km north-east of Tirana (and just 45-minutes from Prizren in Kosovo ). It’s a suitable starting point for the Albanian Alps, but international arrivals are so far limited to flights from Zurich and Istanbul.

If you’re travelling around the south of Albania, it might be more convenient (and more affordable) to fly into a neighbouring country instead. Corfu International Airport in Greece is a short ferry ride from Saranda, for example, and a logical place to arrive/depart if you’re mainly focusing on the Albanian Riviera.

Also read: My top tips for visiting Montenegro .

Lek is the official currency, but Euros are widely accepted

The official currency in Albania is the lek. Although Albania is not part of the EU, the Euro is widely used as well.

Lek is common currency in convenience shops, at restaurants and among taxi drivers – i.e. for small purchases. You’ll find that most hotels and guesthouses list their prices in Euro, and it usually works out far better to pay for big-ticket items such as hotel bills and rental cars in Euro rather than lek. If you try to pay in lek, you risk losing a big chunk of cash due to the conversion rate.

At the time of writing, 1 Euro is equivalent to 121.5 LEK.

Always have cash on you

Albania is very much a cash society so you need to make sure you have plenty of bills on you at all times. You can get by in Tirana using card only, but outside the capital, cash is still king.

Lek is a closed currency so you’ll have to wait until you arrive in-country to get your hands on some. Remember that lek is only good for small purchases and meals, so only withdraw as much as you need.

ATMs are easy to find in Albania (even in rural areas). Most banks charge a 300-700 lek withdrawal fee, but Credins Bank and Alpha Bank are among those that are fee-free (at the time of writing). Remember to check for any extra charges issued by your home bank.

A woman stands in front of a market shop in Gjirokaster, Albania.

Albania is extremely affordable – even by Balkans standards

Accommodation, restaurants and activities in Albania are all extremely good value for money. We easily got by on 40 USD per person per day – and you could spend a lot less by taking advantage of the hostel scene and sticking to free activities. One of our biggest expenses was museum tickets, something we don’t tend to skimp on.

A generous meal in a restaurant in Albania might cost you 500-1000 lek per person, while cheap snacks such as burek are perfect for breakfast and will only set you back around 100 lek.

Expect to pay 1,600 lek for a local sim card with data, around 200 lek for a cup of coffee, and anywhere from 400-1,000 lek on average for an intercity bus fare.

Buy a sim card when you arrive

Majority of hotels, bars and restaurants in Albania have WIFI, while many beaches and archaeological sites are now serviced by a free public network. Still, if you want unfettered access to the internet for things like booking taxis and navigation, you will need a sim card.

ALBtelecom is the preferred mobile provider in Albania. It’s very easy to buy and register a sim card at one of their shops in Tirana using your passport/ID card. A sim card and internet package (20 GB with 30 days validity) will set you back 1,600 lek.

While coverage in Tirana is good enough to support a burgeoning digital nomad community, reception is still fairly limited in remote areas and non-existent in the mountains.

Don’t put your faith in Google Maps

If you’re getting around Albania with public transport and only using Google Maps for general navigation within the cities, then you have nothing to worry about. But if you’re driving in Albania and using Google Maps to plan your road trip route , you need to watch out for a couple of things.

It seems Google Maps hasn’t quite been able to keep pace with Albania’s rapid infrastructure developments. Missing roads and non-existent turn offs are common encounters, and you’ll find you’re constantly being forced to re-route. Take directions with a grain of salt and always budget extra time to account for detours.

The same goes for finding addresses – street names and house numbers often don’t correspond to what’s on the map. Even major landmarks are sometimes pinned in the wrong spot.

Aerial view of Tirana, Albania.

Furgons are your friends

Albania has a limited railway network connecting Tirana with Shkoder in the north, Durres and Vlore on the coast, and Pogradec on Lake Ohrid in the east. Domestic flights are now available from Tirana to Kukës, and flying can certainly save you time getting from the capital to the far-north.

Travelling around the centre and south of Albania, you’ll be relying on road transport. Renting a car is a great option if you’re a confident driver. Otherwise, furgons are your friends.

Furgons are intercity minivans similar to marshrutka vans used throughout the former Soviet countries . They run on a flexible schedule, stop on demand, and are extremely budget-friendly. The downsides: Road safety is not exactly a priority, luggage space (and legroom) is very limited, and you can forget about AC. Furgons depart when full so it’s important to always arrive at the bus station well ahead of schedule.

An upgrade on the furgon is the coach bus. You’ll find large air conditioned coaches running on most popular routes during the warmer months, including between Tirana and Berat , Kruje, Gjirokaster, Korca , Durres, etc.

Gjirafa Travel is a terrific website for checking bus schedules and timetables online in English. Whenever possible, I recommend cross-checking times locally at the station.

Speaking of bus stations – there are multiple bus terminals in Tirana and trying to figure out which one you need can be extremely confusing! Pogradec and Shkoder have their own stations, while other buses depart from the Regional Bus Terminal – North and South Albania.

Take extra care on the roads

Albanians have a reputation for their maniacal driving style and for flouting the rules of the road. Combined with poor road conditions in many parts of the country (although the major highways are in good nick) and the proliferation of old and worn-down cars on the road, it’s a recipe for disaster.

Be careful when crossing the road, especially in the city. Take precautions whenever you travel by road, and only hire a car if you’re very confident. Try to avoid being out on the road after dark, and never get into a car with someone who’s been drinking. I also recommend capping your road journeys to a couple of hours per leg.

Albanian cuisine is a revelation

Albania is not exactly known as a foodie destination , but it should be. Regional cuisine, traditional Albanian dishes and the country’s super-popular farm-to-table fresh food movement all combine to create a fascinating culinary scene.

Albanian food is so diverse, you can find something new to try every day. I was quite satisfied eating only Albanian food for the entire duration of my stay. I found Albanian food fresher and less meat-oriented than in some other countries in the region. Most restaurants have plenty of vegetarian options.

Northern, central and southern Albania all have their separate culinary traditions , and within that towns and villages have their own specialties. Balkan, Italian, Turkish, Greek and even ancient Roman influences can all be identified, while you’ll find many similarities to other Mediterranean cuisines (especially Greek and Italian).

Seafood reigns supreme on the coast, while in the south, food choices reflect the pastoral landscape: Dairy, citrus and olive oil are all prominent. Garlic and onions are ubiquitous.

Some of my favourite Albanian dishes include: Tavë Kosi , a meal of lamb, eggs and yogurt traditional to Elbasan; Gjirokaster qifqi (arancini-like rice balls flavoured with mint and black pepper); ‘Berati schnitzel’ (pork stuffed with hard cheese) and pispili (spinach pie with a cornbread base), both traditional to Berat; and Korca’s famous savory lakror pie.

Fresh Albanian food on a restaurant table in Berat.

Watch out for raki

One thing Albania does have in common with its Balkan compatriots is the proclivity for alcohol. Sipping spirits in particular is a huge part of the culture.

The drink of choice in Albania is raki or rakia , a potent clear spirit distilled from grapes. Commercial versions are up to 45% proof, but homemade raki is much, much stronger. If you’re at a small restaurant or guesthouse and a recycled plastic soft drink bottle comes out, brace yourself.

It can be difficult to get out of these drinking sessions. I found it much easier to decline as a woman. Remember you can always step away if you feel uncomfortable. Otherwise, take small sips and make sure there’s always something left in your glass to avoid unwanted top ups!

Raki isn’t all bad. In Northern Albania in particular you’ll find lovely varieties of fruit raki made from cherries.

Every day ends with a xhiro

The xhiro is an Albanian tradition and the perfect way to put a full-stop on your day. Essentially a xhiro is a sunset stroll: It involves heading to the nearest pedestrian street and walking laps.

For locals, it’s a way to catch up with friends and neighbours, learn the latest goss and socialise. Ice cream stalls and popcorn vendors set up to cater to walkers, and sometimes entire streets close to traffic for a couple of hours to accommodate people.

This is the ultimate people-watching activity and a terrific opportunity to mix and mingle. But don’t be surprised if people let their glance linger a little bit too long – staring is not considered impolite in Albania, neither whilst out on a xhiro or in everyday life (at restaurants, at the supermarket – I’ve experienced it all). It can be awkward but try not to take it personally – in most cases, people are just curious.

An old man with a cane walks down a path in the city of Korca, Albania.

Albanian people are incredibly hospitable

Hospitality is serious business in Albania (yet another point of similarity to Georgia). In Albania, people are bound by Besa , a code of honour that dictates how others – especially strangers – should be treated. According to Besa, if someone approaches you for help, you accommodate them. If someone comes to you hungry, you feed them. This creed has shaped Albania into an immensely tolerant and welcoming nation.

After WWII, Albania was one of the few nations to emerge with a larger Jewish community – the nation protected its own and offered sanctuary to families fleeing from elsewhere in Europe. In the 1990s, Albania sheltered refugees from Kosovo displaced by conflict.

Today that same kind of generosity is extended to tourists. Kanun , the customary law of Albania, says that the master of a house should always have a spare bed ready for unexpected guests. While I wouldn’t recommend showing up on someone’s doorstep unannounced (Albania has Booking.com for a reason!), the takeaway is that Albanians will extend you a helping hand if and when you need it.

English is widely spoken, but not ubiquitous

Albanian is the official language in Albania but many people – especially those born after the fall of communism – speak a second language. As one person described it to me, Albanians are ‘thirsty to know the world’, and learning a foreign language is seen as a pathway to knowledge, experience and more opportunities.

English is the most popular second language and is taught in schools. At last count, around 40% of Albanians speak English. In my experience, anyone working in tourism or hospitality has at least a basic understanding of English. We got by in all the major cities and tourist destinations without any issues.

Albania is one of those countries where the language is so much more than a means of communication, it’s part of the culture and identity and a massive source of national pride. Learning a few words of Albanian will earn you big props.

Here are a few basic words:

  • Hello – Përshëndetje (per-shen-det-ye)
  • Bye – Mirupafshim (mi-ru-paf-shim)
  • Yes – Po (po)
  • No – Jo (yo)
  • Thanks – Faleminderit (fal-e-min-der-it)
  • Cheers – Gëzuar (ge-zu-ar)

There is a strong Italian and Greek influence

Albania is just across the pond from Italy and very close to Greece (especially Corfu). There were Italian colonists in Albania from 1926 onwards, and the country was actually invaded by Italy in 1939. Italy especially has a big influence in Albania – to such an extent that I noticed it right away.

You’ll see Italian cars, Italian coffee culture – and yes, pizza on almost every restaurant menu! Pizza is so popular in Albania, if you ever tire of local fare there’s always a Napoletana to fall back on.

Almost a third of Albanian people speak Italian and a quarter of the population speaks Greek. Many areas are officially bilingual Albanian-Italian, with road signs in both languages. If you know either of these languages, communication will come even easier to you.

Three men sip coffee at a cafe in Gjirokaster Bazaar.

Tirana is one of the coolest cities in Europe – so don’t rush it!

Unlike a few other capital cities in the Balkans that are all cold concrete, Tirana is a warm, green, welcoming city that’s bristling with creative energy. I’ve said before that it’s probably the most liveable capital in the region in my opinion. There’s a park, dining precinct, cool museum or street art district around almost every corner.

One day in Tirana is enough for the must-sees, but I really recommend slowing down and spending a couple of nights here, getting into the rhythm of the city with morning markets and nightly xhiros.

We stayed in Tirana for a full week and still didn’t see everything.

Hiking in Albania is a must

I fell in love with Albania’s cities and towns, but even I agree that the country’s natural beauty is its biggest asset.

Albania has 15 national parks, each offering incredible scenery and hiking opportunities. As I recently discovered, Albania has more than 3,200 species of plants, accounting for a whopping 30% of the flora in Europe. One of the best places to appreciate this ecology is Llogara National Park, known for its wildflowers. Others, notably Butrint National Park, combine surreal landscapes with valuable archaeological sites.

Even if you’re an anti-hiker like me, there is one day trek in Albania you at least have to consider: Valbona to Theth . Walking between two alpine villages across two jaw-dropping national parks in the country’s far north, the trail takes you through the heart of the picturesque Albanian Alps or Accursed Mountains as they’re also known. The hike is tough going in spots, but it’s absolutely the best way to experience this side of Albania.

Craggy mountain peaks in the Albanian Alps.

The lakes are just as impressive as the beaches

Albania might be famous for its beautiful beaches, but the unsung heroes of the landscape are the country’s lakes. Komani Lake, Lake Ohrid (shared with North Macedonia) and Skadar Lake in the north (shared with Montenegro ) are all beautiful and worth visiting.

Skadar is the largest lake in the Balkans. Boat trips on the marshy wetlands are popular on the Montenegrin side; on the Albanian side, you can cycle around the periphery from the lakeside city of Shkoder, visiting Rozafa Castle at the same time.

Albania’s share of Ohrid Lake is similarly smaller and with fewer points of interest to the North Macedonian side, yet charming villages such as Lin – a little red-roofed settlement on a natural peninsula – make it worth a visit. Lake Koman is my favourite. The ferry ride through the dramatic river gorge to reach Valbona and the starting point for the aforementioned hike was one of the highlights of my time in Albania.

There are more stunning water features around the country, including cascades and river canyons in the centre (Osumi and Begove near Berat are great), hot springs, and of course the famous Blue Eyes. All offer some much-needed reprieve in the hot summer months.

Have you been to Albania? Are there any extra travel tips for Albania you’d like to add? Leave your best advice in the comments below!

Stone buildings in Gjirokaster Old Bazaar, Albania.

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Beyond vague recollections of its Communist past, few travellers know much about Albania. Its rippling mountains and pristine beaches, lands littered with historical Roman ruins and pretty Ottoman towns remain largely undiscovered. Most never see the alluring azure lakes or the picturesque valleys occupied by immensely hospitable locals, and instead bypass the country for its far more popular neighbours. Following decades of isolationist rule, this rugged land still doesn’t seem to fit into the grand continental jigsaw, with distinctly exotic notes emanating from its language, customs and cuisine. But it’s those idiosyncrasies that make it such an intriguing and rewarding corner of Europe, begging to be explored. 

Explore Albania: From vibrant Tirana to serene mountain towns

Things to do in albania, what is the best time to visit albania.

Most travellers make a beeline for the capital, Tirana , a buzzing city with a mishmash of garishly painted buildings, traditional restaurants and trendy bars. However, those seeking to take Albania’s true pulse should head to the mountainous hinterlands, particularly the sleepy hillside towns of Berat and Gjirokastra – both essentially open-air museums of life in Ottoman times. 

Keen hikers will want to explore the valley of Valbona , where karst limestone mountains harbour astonishing biodiversity, and as the snowcapped peaks of the interior drop down to the ocean, the immaculate beaches along the Ionian coastline are among the Mediterranean’s least developed sands.

  • Population 2,778 million
  • Area 28,748 sq km
  • Language Albanian (Shqip)
  • Currency Lekë (L)
  • Capital Tirana (population: 610 050)
  • International phone code: T355
  • Time zone GMT +1hr

Skanderbeg square with flag, Skanderbeg monument, The Et'hem Bey Mosque and Clock Tower in the center of Tirana city, Albania © AdobeStock

Skanderbeg monument, the Et'hem Bey Mosque and Clock Tower in the center of Tirana city, Albania © AdobeStock

Albania is a place unlike any other European destination. It is not a typical holiday destination . Here you won't encounter crowded tourist centres or commercialised attractions. Instead, you'll discover unspoilt beaches, charming hilltop towns, and a vibrant mix of ancient and modern culture. And best of all: there are few tourists here.

Here's a quick overview of things to do in Albania.

Visiting vibrant Tirana

Its buildings are painted in lurid colours, a gigantic, useless pyramid rises smack in the centre, the main square is a mess, the roads are potholed, and still there’s no official bus station for this city of almost one million people, and yet for all these idiosyncrasies Tirana is undeniably a charmer . 

The clash of architectural styles (from Italian to Communist to postmodern) is most evident in the central Blloku area, which was off-limits to all but Party members during Communist times. A generation or so down the line, espresso-sipping, fun-loving locals and trendy bar openings are vivid proof that the city is well on its way to becoming a “regular” European capital.


Tirana, Albania @ Shutterstock

Ascending Mount Dajti

The dark, looming shape of Mount Dajti is visible from Tirana, a temptation that can prove too much for city dwellers, who head to the forested slopes in droves on sunny weekends. The mountain’s network of paths feels surprisingly remote even though you’re only 25km from the capital. 

There is no public transport to the mountain, but you can get a taxi to the base of the cable car, which takes passengers a stone's throw from the summit. There are a number of restaurants in the area, useful if you fancy refuelling before heading back down. It’s worth combining this with a visit to Bunk’Art , which is near the cable-car station in Tirana.

Exploring Kruja

Lofty Kruja , 35km from Tirana, was the focal point of national hero Skanderbeg’s resistance to the Ottoman invasions of the fifteenth century, and you’ll see his likeness all over town. Most people make a beeline for the castle, which houses a number of restaurants and an excellent History Museum, whose diverting collection of weaponry, icons and the like is augmented by an impressive modern interior. 

Also within the castle walls is the Ethnographic Museum housed in a gorgeous building with a serene outdoor courtyard. Souvenir sellers have taken over the town, and the best place to buy your Albania-flag T-shirt, Skanderbeg statuette or Mother Teresa lighter is the restored Ottoman bazaar, just below the castle access road.


Kruja, Albania @ Shutterstock

Enjoying the Valbona countryside

The picture-perfect valley of Valbona , which follows a river of the same name, is nestled among a collection of towering karst limestone peaks that reach heights of up to 2690m. Home to some of the country’s most picturesque homesteads, it offers a true taste of Albanian country living. There are well-marked trails to suit all abilities – maps are available from Rilindja restaurant, which doubles as an unofficial information and trekking hub.

Soaking up the atmosphere of Berat

There are few better places to be in Albania than standing on the footbridge in the charming, easy-going town of Berat . From this vantage point, you’ll be surrounded by huddles of Ottoman houses, their dark, rectangular windows staring from whitewashed walls like a thousand eyes. 

On the south bank is the sleepy Gorica district, kept in shadow for much of the day by a muscular backdrop of rock; to the north is the relatively sun-drenched Mangalemi district, from which steep, cobblestoned paths lead up to the hill-top Kalasa, an old citadel whose wonderful interior is up there with the best old towns in the Balkans.


Berat, Albania @ Shutterstock

A walk through the streets of Gjirokastra

Sitting proudly above the sparsely inhabited Drinos valley, Gjirokastra is one of Albania’s most attractive towns, and home to some of its friendliest people. It was once an important Ottoman trading hub and today a sprinkling of nineteenth-century Ottoman-style houses lines the maze of steep, cobbled streets. Gjiro is also etched into the nation’s conscience as the birthplace of former dictator Enver Hoxha, and more recently the world-renowned author Ismail Kadare.

Relaxing on the beaches at Saranda

Staring straight at Corfu , and even within day-trip territory of the Greek island, sunny Saranda is perhaps Albania’s most appealing entry point. A recent building boom has eroded some of the town’s original genteel atmosphere, but it’s still a great place to kick back, stroll along the promenade and watch the sun set over cocktails. There are beaches in town, but better are those in nearby Ksamil , some 20km to the south.


Saranda City port, Ionian Sea, Albania @ Shutterstock

The best time to visit Albania is during the summer months, from June to August . The weather is warm and pleasant, ideal for exploring the country's stunning beaches on the Ionian and Adriatic coasts and picturesque mountain villages. Summer is also the time of many of Albania's cultural festivals, allowing visitors to experience traditional music, dance and cuisine.

However, if you prefer a quieter experience with fewer tourists, the late spring ( April-May ) and early autumn ( September-October ) seasons are also perfect for visiting. During these months, the weather is still mild and you can enjoy Albania's natural beauty and historical sites without the summer crowds.

For those interested in winter sports and experiencing Albania's winter charm, a visit between December and February will be attractive. The mountainous areas offer opportunities for skiing and snowboarding, while the festive atmosphere in towns such as Korçe offers a glimpse into Albanian winter traditions.

Find even more inspiration here

Tirana, Albania © RussieseO/Shutterstock

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Olga Sitnitsa

written by Olga Sitnitsa

updated 17.05.2024


Online editor at Rough Guides, specialising in travel content. Passionate about creating compelling stories and inspiring others to explore the world.

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Lonely Planet Albania (Travel Guide) Paperback – 1 Mar. 2023

  • Print length 224 pages
  • Language English
  • Publisher Lonely Planet
  • Publication date 1 Mar. 2023
  • ISBN-10 1838694226
  • ISBN-13 978-1838694227
  • See all details

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Lonely Planet (1 Mar. 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1838694226
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1838694227

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Albania - St Theodores church, Berat, Albania

Introducing Albania

About albania.

  • Images of Albania
  • History, language & culture
  • Weather & geography
  • Doing business & staying in touch

Plan your trip

  • Travel to Albania
  • Where to stay

While you’re there

  • Things to see & do
  • Shopping & nightlife
  • Food & drink
  • Getting around

Before you go

  • Passport & visa
  • Public Holidays
  • Money & duty free

Book your flights

  • Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza

Albania travel guide

Idyllic beaches, warm weather, rich history, spectacular mountain scenery and bargain prices; it sounds like an impossible wishlist for a European destination. Yet Albania fulfils all of these criteria and more. Over the past quarter of a century, this Balkan land has gradually emerged from its austere communist cocoon and savvy travellers have been taking note.

The capital, Tirana, is a curious and cosmopolitan place. Its countless communist-era apartment blocks have been enlivened with licks of brash, bright paint, and in parts of the city these sit shoulder-to-shoulder with Ottoman and Italian architecture. It is haphazard and disorderly, but wildly alive, with the constant whir of traffic and cacophony of voices adding to the buzz.

Leading down to the Greek border is Albania’s greatest asset: the Adriatic coastline (touted as the “Albanian Riviera”). It would be disingenuous to call it undiscovered; the beaches here draw significant sunbathing crowds during July and August. Even so, these heavenly stretches are fresh to foreign tourists - and among the best in the Med. If you can tear yourself off the towel, there are also interesting remnants of Greek, Ottoman and communist history to be explored in nearby towns. Of particular note are the now deteriorated and occasionally repurposed domed bunkers, paranoid follies ordered by the isolationist ex-ruler Enver Hoxha.

Further inland, stony hiking trails weave among the lunar, sun-bleached mountains, where remote rural villages offer up a warm welcome to any inquisitive visitors. With unpaved, pothole-strewn roads and unreliable bus routes, just getting to the country’s interior can be an adventure in itself. But when the logistics of travel prove taxing, there’s always the dangling carrot of lovingly-prepared meals, tasty wine and ever-hospitable locals to spur you onward.

With its winning combination of sandy beaches, engaging history and affordable prices, Albania's once-unsung charms are now being shouted from the garishly-coloured rooftops.

28,748 sq km (11,100 sq miles).

2,937,346 (UN estimate 2019).

102.17 per sq km.

Parliamentary republic.

President Bajram Begaj since 2022.

Prime Minister Edi Rama since 2013.

Travel Advice

Before you travel.

No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide and any specific travel advice that applies to you:

  • women travellers
  • disabled travellers

LGBT+ travellers

  • solo and independent travel
  • volunteering and adventure travel

Travel insurance

If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance . Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency.

About FCDO travel advice

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ( FCDO ) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice .

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram . You can also sign up to get email notifications when this advice is updated.

This information is for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK. It is based on the UK government’s understanding of the current rules for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Albania set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you, contact the  Albanian Embassy in the UK .

COVID-19 rules

There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering Albania.

Passport validity requirements

Your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave Albania.

Check with your travel provider that your passport and other travel documents meet requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.

You will be denied entry if you do not have a valid travel document or try to use a passport that has been reported lost or stolen.

Visa requirements

You can visit Albania without a visa for up to 90 days in a 180-day period, for tourism or business.  

If you want to stay longer than 90 days, you must apply in advance for a long-stay visa or apply for a residence permit from within Albania .  

Vaccine requirements

To enter Albania, you must have a certificate to prove you’ve had a yellow fever vaccination if you’re coming from a country listed as a transmission risk .

For full details about medical entry requirements and recommended vaccinations, see TravelHealthPro’s Albania guide .

Customs rules

There are strict rules about goods you can take into or out of Albania. You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty. 

There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times.     

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad .

Terrorism in Albania

Terrorist attacks in Albania cannot be ruled out.

Attacks could be indiscriminate including in places visited by foreigners. Stay aware of your surroundings, keep up to date with local media reports and follow the advice of local authorities.

Political situation

Relations between the majority Muslim population and other ethnic groups in Albania are generally good. The expression of extremist or anti-western views is very rare.    

Political and other demonstrations have been held in central Tirana, with some reported incidents of violence. Demonstrations can cause traffic diversions and other disruption. Demonstrations could happen elsewhere, and may take place outside the capital city.

You should:

  • check local media for the latest information
  • avoid any demonstrations, large-scale gatherings or political rallies
  • follow the advice of the local authorities

There is crime and violence in some areas, but reports of crime targeting foreigners are rare. There have been occasional shootings and small explosions related to internal disputes over criminal, business or political interests.    

Protecting yourself and your belongings

Take sensible precautions to protect yourself from street crime, particularly in larger cities and late at night.

Watch out for pickpockets and bag thieves in tourist areas, on buses and trains and major public transport hubs, including airports.

Laws and cultural differences

Illegal drugs and prison sentences.

Penalties for drug-related crimes are severe. Possession of illegal drugs could result in a prison sentence of 5 to 10 years. The penalty for supplying drugs is up to 15 years in prison.     

Being arrested

The Albanian authorities do not always inform the British Embassy when British nationals have been arrested. If you are detained, you may insist on your right to contact the British Embassy in Tirana .

Same-sex relationships are legal in Albania. Anti-discrimination and anti-hate-crime legislation is in place. Tirana has several gay-friendly bars and a number of LGBT+ support groups.

Read more  advice for LGBT+ travellers .

Outdoor activities and adventure tourism

Water sports and swimming safety   .

There are some local press reports that jet skis and boats being rented along the coasts may lack adequate safety precautions and equipment.

If you are considering taking part in water sports activities, do so through a licensed water sports centre and make sure paperwork is completed before starting the activity.

See watersports safety abroad from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

Take note of warning signs, follow instructions from lifeguards and observe the flag indicators on beaches. Take local advice if jellyfish or urchins are present.

The 2023 European Environment Agency report  noted that a small number of beaches are polluted because of inadequate sewage disposal and treatment.

See water safety on holiday from the Royal Life Saving Society.

Transport risks

Road travel.

If you are planning to drive in Albania, see information on driving abroad  and check the  rules of the road in the RAC’s Albania guide . The guide lists driving regulations and other legal requirements you need to be aware of.

You may find it useful to have a  1968 international driving permit ( IDP )  as well as your UK licence. The 1949  IDP  is not accepted any more. You cannot buy an  IDP  outside the UK, so get one before you travel.

You must carry a green card as proof of vehicle insurance to drive your car in Albania. If you’re planning to hire a car, check with your car hire company for information on their requirements before you travel.

Check if you need a UK sticker to drive your car outside the UK .

If you stay longer than one year, or live in Albania, you will need to apply for an Albanian driving licence.

To import a vehicle into Albania, make sure you have all the necessary papers on arrival at the border. Consult the  Albanian Embassy in the UK  before you leave. The British Embassy will be unable to help anyone attempting to bring a vehicle into Albania without the correct paperwork.

Dangers of driving in Albania

Driving can be very hazardous and often aggressive and erratic. Deaths from road traffic accidents are amongst the highest in Europe. Police have taken some measures to decrease the number of accidents.

Minor traffic disputes can quickly escalate, especially as some motorists could be armed. Avoid reacting to provocative behaviour by other road users.

If you are involved in a traffic accident, even a minor one, remain at the scene until the police arrive. This will usually happen quite quickly in built-up areas. Failing to wait could result in charges under the Albanian Penal Code and you could get a fine.

Road conditions

Road surfaces are poor, especially in rural areas. If you are travelling at night, watch out for unmarked roadworks, potholes and vehicles without lights. Four-wheel drive vehicles are more practical on rural and minor roads.

Power cuts can affect street lighting in towns and cities. Elsewhere, even on the major routes, there is no street lighting.

There are still unexploded landmines in some remote areas around hill towns on the northern border with Kosovo. Take care, particularly if hiking, and follow any warning signs. Do not walk on uncultivated land or step off the marked paths. If in doubt, seek local advice.    

Extreme weather and natural disasters     

Find out what you can do to prepare for and respond to extreme weather and natural hazards .


There is a risk of earthquakes – tremors are common. Serious earthquakes are less frequent but do happen.

The US Federal Emergency Management Agency website has advice about  what to do before, during and after an earthquake .

Flooding and snow

From December to February, severe weather may cause flooding, particularly in northern Albania. Heavy snowfall in mountainous areas can lead to disruption to transport and services. Monitor local and international media for the latest information.

During especially hot and dry periods, there is a danger of forest fires. Intentionally causing a fire is illegal in Albania and you could be imprisoned.

Properly extinguish cigarette ends and do not leave any rubbish behind, particularly empty bottles, as these are known to start fires.

Before you travel check that:

  • your destination can provide the healthcare you may need
  • you have  appropriate travel insurance  for local treatment or unexpected medical evacuation

This is particularly important if you have a health condition or are pregnant.

Emergency medical number

Call 127 and ask for an ambulance.

Contact your insurance company quickly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Vaccine recommendations and health risks

At least 8 weeks before your trip:

  • check the latest vaccine recommendations for Albania
  • see where to get vaccines and whether you have to pay on the NHS travel vaccinations page

See what health risks you’ll face Albania .

Altitude sickness is a risk in parts of Albania. Read more about altitude sickness on TravelHealthPro .

Air pollution

There can be high levels of air pollution in Albania. You can find further information and advice on air quality on the  World Health Organization (WHO)  website and check air quality levels on the  World Air Quality Index website .

Tap water and milk

Do not drink the tap water in Albania, as it may cause illness. Only drink bottled water. If you drink milk, make sure it is UHT (ultra high temperature) or pasteurised milk.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries.

Read best practice when travelling with medicines on TravelHealthPro .

Healthcare in Albania

Medical and dental facilities, including accident and emergency facilities, are very poor, particularly outside Tirana. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad, evacuation by air ambulance and repatriation.

FCDO  has a list of  list of medical providers in Albania where some staff will speak English.

Travel and mental health

Read FCDO guidance on travel and mental health . There is also mental health guidance on TravelHealthPro .

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ( FCDO ) cannot provide tailored advice for individual trips. Read this travel advice and carry out your own research before deciding whether to travel.

Emergency services in Albania

Ambulance: 127

Police: 112

Contact your travel provider and insurer

Contact your travel provider and your insurer if you are involved in a serious incident or emergency abroad. They will tell you if they can help and what you need to do.

Refunds and changes to travel

For refunds or changes to travel, contact your travel provider. You may also be able to make a claim through insurance. However, insurers usually require you to talk to your travel provider first.

Find out more about  changing or cancelling travel plans , including:

  • where to get advice if you are in a dispute with a provider
  • how to access previous versions of travel advice to support a claim

Support from  FCDO

FCDO  has guidance on staying safe and what to do if you need help or support abroad, including:

  • finding English-speaking  lawyers ,  funeral directors  and  translators and interpreters  in Albania
  • dealing with a  death in Albania
  • being  arrested in Albania
  • getting help if you’re a  victim of crime
  • what to do if you’re  in hospital
  • if you’re  affected by a crisis , such as a terrorist attack

Contacting  FCDO

Follow and contact  FCDO  travel on  Twitter ,  Facebook  and  Instagram . You can also sign up to  get email notifications  when this travel advice is updated.

You can also  contact  FCDO  online .

Help abroad in an emergency

If you are in Albania and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the  British Embassy in Tirana .

FCDO  in London

You can call  FCDO  in London if you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad.

Telephone: 020 7008 5000 (24 hours)

Find out about call charges

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  • A Solo Travelers Guide To...

A Solo Traveler's Guide to Albania

The Archaeological Park of Butrint

From the gorgeous beaches of the Albanian Riviera to the vibrant atmosphere of the capital city, from the untouched valleys of the north to the historical UNESCO towns scattered throughout, Albania offers something for every traveler. This small Balkan country is always a surprise, and if you are planning to travel solo in Albania, this guide has handy tips for helping you make the most of your trip.

Enjoy the lively atmosphere of tirana.

Tirana is one of the liveliest capital cities on the Balkan Peninsula. Every day there promises something new and interesting to do, from festivals to cultural events to art exhibitions. Once in town, don’t miss the chance to view or even participate in one of the city’s great art exhibits organized by local artists. You’ll find galleries throughout the city, so take some time to meander through the streets. Then sip a coffee in the Blloku upmarket before visiting the unique BunkArt museum to learn about the communist history of this Balkan capital city.

Prepare to fall in love with the Albanian Riviera

Imagine pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, high mountains, olive groves, and breathtaking panoramas. The Albanian Riviera is all of this and more. This wonderful piece of coast begins at the Llogara Pass and ends at Ksamil, one of Albania’s greatest beaches. Spend some of your days at the Albanian Riviera and swim in the fabulous waters off Drymades Beach, maybe the most beautiful beach in the country.

Book a UNESCO trip

Despite its small size, Albania has three UNESCO sites that are worth a look. They include the historical Ottoman-towns of Berat and Gjirokaster and the archaeological park of Butrint , the largest in Albania and the Balkan Peninsula. You can easily visit these sites during a three-day-tour organized by Limitless Albania .

Trek in the Albanian Alps

If you love to spend your time surrounded by nature, forests, and untouched mountains, well, the right place for you is the north of the country. The Albanian Alps are among the best European destinations for outdoor activities, trekking, and hiking, as well as relaxing in beautiful wild spaces. The highlights here are Theth, Valbona Valley, and Komani Lake, three great spots that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime.

Relax at Ohrid Lake

Albania has it all, exciting towns, historical landmarks, gorgeous beaches, untouched mountains, and lakes too. The country is home to two of the most important and largest lakes of Europe: Shkodra Lake or Lake Skadar (divided with Montenegro) and Ohrid Lake (nestled between Albania and Macedonia). If you are looking for quiet, peace, and relaxation, Ohrid Lake will satisfy. With lovely hamlets, breathtaking views, and great fish restaurants, Ohrid Lake is a not-to-miss experience in the Land of the Eagles.

Drink beer in the Little Paris of Albania

If you love festivals and beer, you will be happy to know that every August the town of Korça , the main city of southeastern Albania, is home to the largest summer beer festival in the country. Once you’re in Korça, don’t miss the chance to visit its old centre and bazaar. It won’t take long before you’ll understand why the town is called the “Little Paris” of Albania. The town is famous for being the home of the oldest beer factory in the country, Korça Factory. Many fans will tell you that Korça Factory makes the best beer in all the Balkan Peninsula.

people cheering on a mountain

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lonely planet albania travel guide

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Albania (Bradt Travel Guide)

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Gillian Gloyer

Albania (Bradt Travel Guide) Paperback – May 7, 2018

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Albania (Bradt Travel Guide)

  • Print length 304 pages
  • Language English
  • Publisher Bradt Travel Guides
  • Publication date May 7, 2018
  • Dimensions 5.51 x 0.62 x 8.7 inches
  • ISBN-10 1784770787
  • ISBN-13 978-1784770785
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  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Bradt Travel Guides; Sixth edition (May 7, 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1784770787
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1784770785
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11.1 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.51 x 0.62 x 8.7 inches
  • #323 in Beach Travel
  • #1,735 in General Europe Travel Guides

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Gillian gloyer.

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Albania Travel Guide: 10 Incredible Things To Do In Albania

20 November 2018.

I’m not quite sure how or when Albania fist came onto my radar.

A passing recommendation from a friend, a longstanding love for the Balkans, a yearning for the sunshine after the long and dreary winter and a soon-to-expire Schengen visa meant it all just kind of fell into place.

Tourism in Albania is still very much in its infancy, and while this meant that plans were often chopped and changed with the weather and whim of every bus driver, it was exactly the type of unpredictable adventure that I craved.

Between the rugged cliff lines that tumble into impossibly turquoise seas, ancient Ottoman towns that clamber up hillsides and wild mountains that call to be explored, it’s a place with something to satisfy every type of traveller, and one that has happily found a home among my favourite destinations in Europe.

Things won’t stay this way for long though. Much like Croatia and Montenegro that have boomed in popularity in recent years, Albania won’t be far behind, and considering it was recently chosen for in Lonely Planet’s Best In Travel for 2019 , change will likely come quickly.

After a blissful six weeks in the country, these are my picks for the best things to do in Albania.

* This post includes affiliate links and any purchases made through these links will earn us a small commission at no extra cost to you. *

Albania Travel Guide: The Best Things To Do In Albania

In many ways, Tirana was not at all what I expected. It was so much better.

A flurry of chaotic streets and honking horns interspersed with colour-washed plazas and leafy parks. Where gritty back alleys conceal trendy cafes and authentic eateries alike, and reminders of the country’s tumultuous past can be found on every pavement. And when the frenetic energy of Albania’s capital proves a little too much, the mountains are just a cable car ride away.

Between the commotion and the colour, it was a place that, above all else, felt completely alive; bounding along unashamedly to the beat of its own drum.

Not everyone falls for Tirana, but if, like me, you’ve arrived knowing very little of Albania’s story, Tirana makes an excellent place to begin your adventure.

| 

The Best Things To Do In Tirana

Budget    |    Tirana Backpackers Hostel    |    Trip ‘n Hostel    |    Hostel Milingona

Mid-Range   |    Garden B&B    |     Hotel Boutique Gloria

Albania Travel Guide: The Best Things To Do In Albania

Lazy sun-drenched beach days, spectacular clifftop hikes and more delicious seafood than you can shake a stick at.

With so much to love, it’s hardly surprising that laidback Himara has quickly become a favourite backpacker haunt along the coast.

Set between rolling hills, the white-washed village streets and abundant fruit trees roll toward the bay where fishing boats bob lazily in a tranquil sea, colourful umbrellas dot the shore and timeworn villas provide a much-needed retreat from the blazing summer sun.

It’s the type of place that won’t stay the same for long – development along the Riviera is booming after all – but for now, it still retains plenty of beach town charm.

A Short Guide To Himara | Albania’s Laidback Beach Town

Budget    |    Himara Hostel

Mid-Range   |    Beleri House

Albania Travel Guide: The Best Places To Visit In Albania

After the hectic streets of Tirana, Shkodra feels like stepping back in time.

Big wooden shutters hang lopsided along pastel streets, leathery-faced men peddle unhurriedly on their rickety bikes and cafes sprawl across pedestrianised boulevards.

Despite the charm of the town, however, it was an afternoon spent cycling along the glistening shores of the Lake Skadar that become my favourite memory of the place – where deliciously plump figs swayed overhead, barefooted children ran carefree through the streets and well-travelled Lada’s collected dust in the shadows.

The Best Things To Do In Shkodra, Albania

Budget    |    Shkodra Backpackers

Mid-Range   |    Eco Garten Guesthouse

Albania Travel Guide: The Best Things To Do In Albania

You know me, if there are mountains nearby, that’s probably where I’ll be.

Like many others, I set off for the Albanian Alps to hike the much-loved Theth to Valbona trail, but as it turned out, it was on my way to the Blue Eye as I zigzagged through forested valleys and remote mountain farms and hopped across bone-chilling rivers that I came to appreciate how beautiful this corner of Albania truly is.

Love a good adventure? The Albanian Alps should be an essential stop on your itinerary.

Hiking The Albanian Alps: The Spectacular Theth To Valbona Trail

Theth     |    Villa Gjeçaj Folk & Design

Valbona   |    Hotel Margjeka

Albania Travel Guide: The Best Places To Visit In Albania

You simply can’t visit Albania and not stop at one of its pocket-sized and extraordinarily charming Ottoman-era cities.

For most, that means Berat.

Clinging tightly to the banks of the Osum River, Berat is a veritable labyrinth of impossibly pretty alleyways and hidden staircases that climb toward the hilltop castle that serves up incredible views.

This is certainly a place to forget the map, follow your feet and get as unbelievable lost as I did.

A Short Guide To Berat | The City Of A Thousand Windows

Budget     |    Maya Hostel    |    Berat Backpackers

Albania Travel Guide: The Best Places To Visit In Albania

Cascading down the steep slopes of the Gjerë Mountains, Gjirokastra makes a striking first impression.

Standing guard across the verdant Drino Valley, the imposing Gjirokastra Fortress dominates the skyline amidst a sea of slate grey rooftops that hide a maze of cobbled alleyways and staircases simply made for wandering.

While Berat is often said to be the prettier of Albania’s most famous Ottoman cities, Gjirokastra most certainly takes the cake when it comes to location.

A Short Guide To Gjirokaster | Albania’s Prettiest Ottoman Town

Budget     |    Stone City Hostel  

Mid-Range   |    Hotel Gjirokastra

Albania Travel Guide: The Best Things To Do In Albania

Tourist infrastructure in Permet is still very much in its infancy, but even so, the area is ripe for exploration.

Nestled among lush forested hills that conceal all manner of hot springs, river rapids and unnamed hiking trails, it won’t be long before Permet takes up its well-deserved place on Albania’s growing backpacker trail.

Budget     |    Funky Guesthouse  

Albania Travel Guide: The Best Places To Visit In Albania

Dotted along Albania’s coastline of craggy cliffs and iridescent blue lie some truly fantastic spots.

Set amidst a remote pocket of bushland, Gjipe Beach gets my pick of the bunch with a stunning turquoise bay, a curious network of caves and the towering ochre cliffs of the Gjipe Canyon leading directly off the pebbled shore.

It may not be the secret it once was, but it’s definitely a beautiful spot to while away the day.

Nearby Porto Palermo was another firm favourite, with a 19th-century castle and a fantastic restaurant right alongside the beach for when the baking summer sun proves a little too much.

How To Plan A Fantastic Day Trip To Gjipe Beach

Where To Find The Best Beaches In Albania

Albania Travel Guide: What To Do In Albania

I’d never really planned to stop at Korçë during my time in Albania, but as I trundled down the crumpled road out of Permet, bound for the spectacular pass that leads through Leskovik, it seemed like the only logical stop.

It’s a place that sees few international tourists, but on a rainy day in July, its sprawling courtyard of friendly cafes, a beautiful city viewpoint and one of the best meals I ate in Albania was all I needed to enjoy this charming little town in Albania’s south.

Albania Travel Guide: The Best Things To Do In Albania

The overwhelming summer crowds that descend on this perennially popular part of the country meant that Saranda and I perhaps got off to a shaky start. Out of season, I think we would have gotten on a little better, but regardless, the city makes an excellent jumping off point for exploring Albania’s south.

History enthusiasts will love the well-preserved ruins of Butrint National Park, while those still craving a daily dose vitamin D need look no further than the stunning bays in and around Ksamil.

The Ultimate Guide To The Albanian Riviera

5 Amazing Day Trips To Take From Saranda

Saranda     |    Ksamil

Though Pogradec had long held a place on my itinerary, a last minute change of plans saw me hop across the border to Macedonia to enjoy the lakeside views from Ohrid instead.

Still, the sandy shores of Pogradec look to be a relaxing place to spend a day or two, especially if you’re transiting across the border which can be a rather long-winded affair.

|  Get There  |

If you’re travelling to Albania by plane, chances are you’ll be arriving at Tirana’s International Aiport. Flights here can be surprisingly expensive though so it’s often more economical to fly into Corfu airport instead and catch the ferry across to Saranda to begin your Albania travels.

Find the best flight deals on Skyscanner here.

For lovers of slow travel, another option is to take an overnight ferry from Italy which lands at Durres, one of Albania’s major ports.

Check ferry schedule for Albania here.

For those travelling overland, Albania is well connected to its neighbours by bus with several routes stretching between Greece, Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia. Tirana and Saranda act as the main transport hubs.

Albania Travel Guide: The Best Things To Do In Albania

|  Get Around  |

Travel in Albania isn’t always a smooth ride – buses tend to only leave when full, schedules can change at the drop of a hat and somedays, things can grind to a screeching halt altogether, but that’s pretty much just part of the adventure. Aside from one day where I ended up unexpectedly in the middle of nowhere with a storm brewing overhead and no bus in sight, the whole getting around thing actually went far smoother than I had expected. Just get used to things coming and going as they please.

Buses and furgons – minivans that range from clean and modern to rickety, brightly coloured tin cans – will be your bread and butter if you’re travelling by public transport. Most cities and towns have a centralised bus area, often with the expected schedule. If you’re somewhere along the way, simply flag down the bus you’re after.

If you’re pressed for time, much easier is to rent a car to explore the gorgeous coastline, tiny villages and mountainous countryside which affords you the flexibility to stop off at every pretty cove and epic view that passes by your window. There are also a number of fantastic drives, such as the spectacular Llogara Pass, and the road between Permet and Korce via Leskovik.  Trust me, they’re well worth it!

It’s also worth noting that Albanians tend to drive rather maniacally, and while I thought they were a touch better than those in  Montenegro , common sense and safety are most certainly not the highest priority when getting behind the wheel.

Check rates on car rental in Albania here.

For serious shoestring travellers, hitchhiking is also a fairly common way of getting around, particularly along the coast. Some roads receive very little traffic though so be sure to have a backup plan.

Albania Travel Guide: The Best Things To Do In Albania

|  Money Matters  |

As recognised by Lonely Planet , Albania is one of the best value destinations in Europe, which makes it all too easy to say yes to that daily ice-cream, lavish boat trip and second (or third) glass of wine.

Albania is a cash economy though – I managed to use my bank card just once during my six weeks here – so always be prepared with hard cash in the local currency. You’ll find ATMs in all major cities, and while many will try to charge a withdrawal fee, there’s always one that is free to use.

|  Safety  |

Unfortunately, Albania seems to have something of a reputation – one of drug lords, mafia men and a whole lot of seedy underground activity. In fact, the number of people who looked at me horrified when mentioned I was going or had just been there was both slightly worrying and rather hilarious.

Sure, Albania has had a challenging past and in some of its neighbouring countries this reputation isn’t exactly unfounded, but as a whole, this is a tiny part of a complex and incredibly beautiful country, one that the vast majority of travellers will not in any way encounter.

Travelling as a solo female, I felt completely safe throughout the country and, apart from the odd leery eye and lewd comment, I encountered some of the friendliest and most hospitable people of anywhere I’ve been.

Like most Balkan countries, meat is a staple of Albanian cuisine, but refreshingly they also specialise in a number of delicious vegetarian dishes far superior to the usual side salad.

Stuffed eggplant, baked cheeses and excellent seafood, dining in Albania was something of a revelation.

Albania’s flourishing slow food movement, introduced by some of the country’s keenest restauranteurs, has also brought about something of a food revolution which embraces a wholesome farm-to-table approach and celebrates locally sourced organic ingredients and culinary traditions.

Your Complete Albania Travel Guide : The Best Things To Do In Albania For Every Type Of Traveller.

A Short Guide To Berat, Albania | The City Of A Thousand Windows

Sunset Views from Sky Bar | Things To Do In Tirana Albania

Things To Do In Tirana, Albania’s Capital Of Cool

Arriving in Theth | The Albanian Alps: Theth to Valbona Hike

Hiking The Spectacular Theth To Valbona Trail In The Albanian Alps

Gjirokastra Castle | The Best Things To Do In Gjirokastra, Albania

A Short Guide To Gjirokastra | Albania’s Prettiest Ottoman Town

Livadhi Beach | A Short Guide To The Best Things To Do In Himara, Albania: Where To Go, Stay And Eat In Albania's Best Beach Town And A Firm Favorite Along The Albanian Riviera.

A Short Guide To Himara | Albania’s Favourite Beach Town

Mirror Beach | The Ultimate Guide To The Albanian Riviera : Where To Find The Best Beaches In Albania

The Ultimate Guide To The Albanian Riviera: Where To Find The Best Beaches In Albania


How To Plan A Fantastic Day Trip To Gjipe Beach | Albania

A Short Guide To Shkodra: Albania's Laidback Lakeside Town | The Best Things To Do In Shkodra, Albania

A Short Guide To Shkoder: Albania’s Laidback Lakeside City

Sunset Views from Sky Bar | Things To Do In Tirana Albania

The Absolute Best Hostels In Albania

5 Amazing Day Trips From Saranda | Albania. Saranda can get a little hectic in summer, but luckily it's also a perfect jump off point for a number of excellent day trips, including Butrint National Park, Ksamil, the Blue Eye and Gjirokaster.

5 Amazing Day Trips To Take From Saranda | Albania

Never knew Albania would be so hilly full of mountains! The Albanian Alps looks like a hoot to hike! Excellent summary of the country. One of these days, I’ll have to get there!

Thanks Pete – definitely a place worth getting to soon! The mountains completely took me by surprise as well. The peaks in the north are stunning, but the central area is full of them as well. So much more to be explored there!

Wow! Stunning pictures. Albania is definitely on my bucket list now!

Thanks Alexx! Good decision!

Wonderful blog. I am planning a trip to Albania after Greece in October this year. Biggest concern is getting between the 2 countries by bus. finding it difficult to see a website with any schedule at all. Any ideas please

Thanks David! Unfortunately, reliable schedules are pretty hard to track down in these parts. I did the trip in reverse, so Berat, Albania to Meteora, Greece and there was a direct shuttle that I was able to organise on the ground through a local tour agency. Similar services also run from Gjirokaster and Saranda to Ioannina, Thessaloniki and Athens so I assume the same service would make the return journey each day. My best suggestion would be to contact your accommodation in Greece and ask if they have a more accurate schedule. Otherwise, I’ve heard AlbTrans is one company which does the trip daily from Athens to Gjirokaster with stops along the way: http://www.albtrans.net/en/services

Fellow Albanian here! I love your article! Really wish I was there right now!

Thanks so much, Sara! I kinda do too 🙂

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Western Balkans

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Lonely Planet's local travel experts reveal  all  you need to know to plan the trip of a lifetime to Western Balkans.

Discover popular and off the beaten track experiences from visiting the enchanting 2500-year-old ruins of Butrint to swimming in the emerald waters of Bosnia & Hercegovina's Kravica Waterfall, and discovering amazing wine and olive oil on the Dalmatian coast.

Build a trip to remember  with  Lonely Planet's  Western Balkans  travel guide:

  • Our classic guidebook format  provides you with the most comprehensive level of information for planning  multi-week trips
  • Updated with an all new structure and design  so you can navigate Western Balkans and connect experiences together with ease
  • Create your perfect trip with exciting itineraries  for extended journeys combined with suggested day trips, walking tours, and activities to match your passions
  • Get fresh takes on must-visit sights  and explore one of the world's biggest Roman edifices: Diocletian's Palace, or meander around North macedonia’s churches
  • Special features  on the best national parks, Dubrovnik walking tour, outdoor activity guide
  • Expert local recommendations  on when to go, eating, drinking, nightlife, shopping, accommodation, adventure activities, festivals, and more
  • Essential information toolkit  containing tips on arriving; transport; making the most of your time and money; LGBTIQ+ travel advice; useful words and phrases; accessibility; and responsible travel
  • Connect with Balkan culture through stories  that delve deep into local life, history, and traditions 
  • Inspiring full-colour travel photography and maps

Albania, Bosnia & Hercegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia

ISBN: 9781788683920

Edition: 4th

Publication Date: May 2024

Writers: Maric, Vesna

Baker, Mark Balsam, Joel DiGaetano, Virginia Dragicevich, Peter Grace, Lucie Mutic, Anja Putinja, Isabel Roze, Iva Vladisavljevic, Brana

392 pages | Dimensions: 128mm width × 197mm height

Next edition due: March 2026

Language: English

The best cities, countries and regions to visit in 2020, according to Lonely Planet

Alex Butler

Oct 21, 2019 • 3 min read

lonely planet albania travel guide

With the new year just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start planning your 2020 adventures. Wondering where to go?

The best destinations around the world for next year have finally been revealed in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020 . 

The best countries to travel to in 2020 

With green travel and overtourism on the minds of many travellers, it may be no surprise that Bhutan tops the list of best countries to visit. With all visitors required to pay a daily fee to be in the incredible kingdom in the Himalayas, it delivers on exclusivity. The kingdom is already carbon neutral but also plans to be the first fully-organic nation by 2020, making it the perfect time to plan a visit. 

How to book a trip to Bhutan: everything you need to know

If you want to spend your days exploring a diverse coastline, then the second spot on Lonely Planet’s travel list should be added to yours. Next year, England launches the England Coast Past, which will be the longest continuous trail of its kind in the world, providing travellers with more access to the wonders of the English shore. 

England’s top 8 Coast Path highlights

A Macedonian church stands on the side of a beautiful blue lake.

North Macedonia , formerly known as Macedonia, has undergone a rebrand after decades of debate with Greece over its region of the same name. While the new moniker brought some added attention, there are also other reasons for travellers to visit, like new flights to Lake Ohrid or visiting the High Scardus Trail. 

North Macedonia: how to explore this little-known gem  

See the full list of the top 10 countries in the world to visit in 2020 . 

The best cities to travel to in 2020 

If exploring the streets of a new city is your ideal vacation, then the best cities to visit in 2020 should be top of your travel list. Coming in first is Salzburg, Austria , which secured the top spot as the famous Salzburg Festival turns 100. It’s followed by Washington, DC. in the US, which will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, and will be celebrated with plenty of special exhibitions. In the third spot is Cairo, Egypt , which is set to see the opening of its incredible Grand Egyptian Museum in 2020. 

See the full list of the top 10 cities in the world to visit in 2020 . 

The best regions to travel to in 2020 

Get ready to go on a journey as the top region in the world to visit next year is something that begs to be explored. The Central Asian Silk Road will take travellers through Kyrgyzstan , Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – and visiting all of those just got easier with the introduction of e-visas and visa-free access to residents of dozens of countries . 


Travellers who have already explored the powerhouse region of Tuscany in Italy can look towards the Le Marche region, which came in second on the list. It has all the same charms as its famous neighbour with lesser-known spots. 

As the world looks to Japan for the 2020 Summer Olympics, travellers who want to get away from the crowds can head to Tōhoku . The region was hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, but has been in recovery mode since, improving tourist facilities. 

See the full list of the top 10 regions in the world to visit in 2020 . 

Lonely Planet’s lists begin with nominations from Lonely Planet’s community of staff, writers, bloggers, publishing partners and more. The nominations are then whittled down by a panel of travel experts to the top 10 lists. Want a chance to win a trip to explore the Silk Road? Find out more on Lonely Planet's Best in Travel . 

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50 years of Lonely Planet: A guide to Europe’s top islands

L onely Planet, the iconic travel publisher celebrating its 50th anniversary last year, regularly publishes rankings of places worth visiting. Just before the vacation season, they compiled a list of the best islands in Europe.

According to the authors of the list 12 most beautiful islands of the Old Continent , Europe's greatest strength is its stunning diversity of landscapes.

Whether a paradise island means rocky cliffs with white buildings, lush green corners with extraordinary vegetation, or places where you can admire the northern lights, you will find it all in Europe.

Lonely Planet - the best islands in Europe

Number one in the ranking is Croatia's Korčula, the greenest of the Dalmatian islands. "It lies just 3 kilometres from the mainland, so in summer it is quite crowded, but off-season it is an extraordinary place. Well-preserved medieval towns and villages on the island are full of architectural gems." The authors emphasize that Korčula also has sandy beaches , which are "an attraction almost unheard of in Croatia."

Second place went to Skiathos, which, according to the authors, looks like the ideal Greek island. It has turquoise bays, sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and beautiful sunsets.

"This pine-scented island with an extraordinary history is located near the mainland, halfway between Athens and Thessaloniki," we read. Tourists will also be delighted by the local cuisine based on fresh seafood.

Sardinia, the second-largest (after Sicily) island in the Mediterranean, completes the top three. The authors enumerate "some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, coastal trails with breathtaking views, spectacular coves surrounded by cliffs, rocky mountains, and small hilltop villages."

The list of the best islands according to Lonely Planet:

1. Korčula, Croatia

2. Skiathos, Greece

3. Sardinia, Italy

4. Corsica, France

5. Menorca, Spain

6. Saaremaa, Estonia

7. Lofoten, Norway

8. Gotland, Sweden

9. Texel, Netherlands

10. Scilly, England

11. Skye, Scotland

12. Inis Mór, Ireland

Solitary sentinel of Kinaros: A life of resilience and solitude

Capri's tourism crisis: Residents demand urgent intervention

Record-breaking summer in Italy draws millions, led by foreign tourists

A bird's-eye view of the town of Korčula

lonely planet albania travel guide

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Albania isn’t afraid to face its troubled past.

Art and history collide in Bunk'Art 2, a reminder of Albania's communist past. (Dan Webster)

Most everyone has a travel bucket list. It could be regional, national or international, from a trip to Glacier National Park to the Grand Canyon to Japan.

One of my wife’s desired travel destinations was Albania .

To understand why, we have to go back to the fall of 2006 when my wife, Mary Pat Treuthart, took a volunteer position to help teach law students in Kosovo . During our several-week stay there in the country’s capital, Pristina, we met several people, most of whom were ethnic Albanian.

That fact was what made Mary Pat interested in visiting Albania itself. The problem was that her teaching schedule limited us to just a weekend jaunt, one that required her to return for an early-morning Monday class.

Complicating the situation, flights from Albania’s capital, Tirana , back to Pristina weren’t all that regular. The one flight on Sunday afternoon reportedly was often canceled. So we decided not to chance going.

But thoughts of Albania lingered in Mary Pat’s mind. So, several months ago, egged on by friends, she again thought about traveling there. Since she had planned on heading to Florence, Italy, to attend the 60th-anniversary founding of the Gonzaga in Florence program , it proved to be the perfect opportunity.

In my previous post , I wrote about our arrival, late at night, and the initial problems we had connecting with the driver that Mary Pat had booked to take us to our hotel. I even wrote about our first full day there, walking Tirana’s streets.

I wrote this in my notebook: “Tirana, this part of it anyway, has the same feel as many other (foreign) cities – Pristina, Stellenbosch (South Africa) and some parts of Italy.”

It reminded me of Pristina for some of the weathered buildings that I saw, Stellenbosch for the charming and tree-shaded streets that fed off Tirana’s main avenue (Dëshmorët e Kombit Boulevard, translation: Boulevard of Martyrs of the Nation) and Italy for both reasons as well as the numerous outdoors cafes filled with people eating, drinking and sometimes smoking (though you seldom see smokers anymore in Italy).

One of the things that I always search for in a new city is bookstores. And during that first day’s city walk-through, we stumbled into Adrion Bookstore, which sits just off Skanderberg Square and claims to be the city’s biggest. That’s where I found more copies of the writer that I’d just become obsessed by, Japan’s Haruki Murakami . I bought two, wondering how I was going to squeeze them into my already over overstuffed suitcase and/or backpack.

The capper of the day, though, was our first dinner that night. Mary Pat looked online and discovered that a highly rated restaurant, Era Vila , was barely a block away from where we were staying, the Marriott Hotel Tirana . At around 7, we asked the hotel concierge to make a reservation for us, and he said it would be no problem to just go there then.

We walked over and were promptly ushered to a table on the patio. The evening had cooled from its former 80-plus-degree heat, and though we were sitting among other diners we were able to feel refreshingly private. The server, who spoke perfect English, helped us with the menu, which was just his way of being courteous because the menus he’d handed us had full English translations.

The capper: We ordered a selection of traditional Albanian dishes, though I couldn’t begin to decipher the spelling of any of them. It’s safe just to say that they were meats, grains and vegetables immersed in a variety of sauces. All that, plus a half carafe of merlot, bread and some sparkling water to go with it, was as fulfilling as anything I’d eaten during our most recent trip to Florence. It ended up consisting of some six courses and yet cost less than $50 for the two of us – about half or more of what we would have paid in Italy … or the U.S. for that matter.

Enough about food. Let’s skip forward to our second day in Tirana, which was when we encountered one of Albania’s featured attractions, a throwback to its communist past. Just off the main boulevard, and only a couple of blocks from Skanderberg Square, we came upon one of the city’s main bunkers.

I should point out that bunkers are all over the country. Estimates are that the shelters, which were built between the 1960s and 1980s, number somewhere near 750,000. To this day, they represent the paranoia of the country’s former dictator, Enver Hoxha.

As Wikipedia reports (taking its info from the Lonely Planet travel guide), “Most are now derelict, though some have been reused for a variety of purposes, including residential accommodation, cafés, storehouses, and shelters for animals or the homeless.”

The one we visited, Bunk’Art 2 , is a curious blend of an art installation and historical collective. We paid 1,400 Lek (about $16) for the two of us, which is expensive by Albanian terms. But the price was worth it.

Throughout the massive underground facility, a couple of dozen multi-use rooms – from sleeping chambers to jail cells – are filled with references to Albania’s communist past. Some of the most touching involve videos of people recounting their sober experiences of the time.

Few if any of the bunkers that litter the countryside are as large as Bunk’Art 2. But all, as I wrote in my notebook, “are like what you can find in other European countries, reminiscences of past horrors of history – but with a specific and unique Albanian flavor.”

We kept that in mind as we returned to our hotel, where later than afternoon we finally were able to connect with our friends, Ann and Matt, with whom we were going to travel over the next full week.

But more on that in my next post.

Dan Webster


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    Read this travel advice and carry out your own research before deciding whether to travel. Emergency services in Albania. Ambulance: 127. Fire: 128. Police: 112. Contact your travel provider and insurer. Contact your travel provider and your insurer if you are involved in a serious incident or emergency abroad.

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    Lonely Planet: The world's number one travel guide publisher* Lonely Planet's Western Balkans is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Catch the cable car up Mt Srd for breathtaking views of Dubrovnik, Croatia; watch the beautiful people over the rim of a coffee cup in Budva's cobbled Old Town lanes in Montenegro ...

  17. A Solo Traveler's Guide To Albania

    Albania has it all, exciting towns, historical landmarks, gorgeous beaches, untouched mountains, and lakes too. The country is home to two of the most important and largest lakes of Europe: Shkodra Lake or Lake Skadar (divided with Montenegro) and Ohrid Lake (nestled between Albania and Macedonia). If you are looking for quiet, peace, and ...

  18. Amazon.com: Lonely Planet Albania

    ALBANIA TRAVEL GUIDE 2023: The Complete Guide for First Time Visitors on How to Explore this Beautiful Country & All it Has to Offer. Packed with Information Needed to Plan a Perfect Vacation. ... Lonely Planet Europe 4 (Travel Guide) by Alexis Averbuck, Mark Baker, et al. | Feb 1, 2022. 4.4 out of 5 stars. 133. Paperback. $18.94 $ 18. 94. List ...

  19. Albania (Bradt Travel Guide): Gloyer, Gillian: 9781784770785: Amazon

    Albania (Bradt Travel Guide) $20.87 (43) In Stock. This new, thoroughly updated sixth edition of Bradt's Albania remains the only standalone guide to this dynamic and rapidly modernising eastern European country, from the capital, Tirana, a lively European city, with shopping malls, cycle paths, museums, galleries and historic buildings, to ...

  20. Albania Travel Guide: 10 Incredible Things To Do In Albania

    Things won't stay this way for long though. Much like Croatia and Montenegro that have boomed in popularity in recent years, Albania won't be far behind, and considering it was recently chosen for in Lonely Planet's Best In Travel for 2019, change will likely come quickly.

  21. How and what to pack for a cruise

    Here's a checklist to help you guide your packing. Ideally, you'd write this all down or copy it over to a document or a notes app so you can tick each item as you slip into various compartments. One final tip from a packing pro: coordinate your colors.

  22. A first-time guide to Italy

    For a taste of authentic Roman cuisine, try a slice of pizza from Forno Roscioli or a pasta carbonara at Flavio al Velavevodetto in the Testaccio neighborhood.. Marvel at masterpieces in Florence. One and a half hours north of Rome by train, Florence is the second of Italy's 'big three' (Venice completes the trio).

  23. Europe Travel Book and Ebook

    Inside Lonely Planet's Europe Travel Guide:. Up-to-date information - all businesses were rechecked before publication to ensure they are still open after 2020's COVID-19 outbreak NEW top experiences feature - a visually inspiring collection of Europe's best experiences and where to have them. Colour maps and images throughout. Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your ...

  24. A first time guide to Algeria

    Where Lonely Planet staffers are traveling this summer. Apr 19, 2024 • 10 min read. Beaches. Your guide to the Côte d'Opale, France's shimmering northwest coast. Apr 19, 2024 • 8 min read. Day Trip. 7 easy day trips from Paris we love. Apr 1, 2024 • 8 min read. Hiking.

  25. Eastern Europe Travel Book and Ebook

    Lonely Planet's Eastern Europe is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Walk Dubrovnik's city walls, discover history in Krakow, and explore Moscow's Red Square; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Eastern Europe and

  26. Western Balkans Travel Guide

    Lonely Planet's local travel experts reveal all you need to know to plan the trip of a lifetime to Western Balkans.. Discover popular and off the beaten track experiences from visiting the enchanting 2500-year-old ruins of Butrint to swimming in the emerald waters of Bosnia & Hercegovina's Kravica Waterfall, and discovering amazing wine and olive oil on the Dalmatian coast.

  27. 20 of the world's best beaches

    We have sent our writers everywhere in search of sublime, surf-pounded shorelines and remote pockets of hard-to-reach paradise for Lonely Planet's new book Best Beaches in the World. From Albania to Yemen and everywhere in between, our team has swam, snorkeled, slugged cocktails and hiked through rainforests, to create the definitive beach bible.

  28. Lonely Planet picks the best places to visit in 2020

    Lonely Planet's lists begin with nominations from Lonely Planet's community of staff, writers, bloggers, publishing partners and more. The nominations are then whittled down by a panel of travel experts to the top 10 lists. Want a chance to win a trip to explore the Silk Road? Find out more on Lonely Planet's Best in Travel.

  29. 50 years of Lonely Planet: A guide to Europe's top islands

    Lonely Planet, the iconic travel publisher celebrating its 50th anniversary last year, regularly publishes rankings of places worth visiting. Just before the vacation season, they compiled a list ...

  30. Albania isn't afraid to face its troubled past

    As Wikipedia reports (taking its info from the Lonely Planet travel guide), "Most are now derelict, though some have been reused for a variety of purposes, including residential accommodation ...