With a quite complicated past, Albania now is a small developing country situated in southeastern Europe. It is surrounded by Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Greece. The country is slowly getting discovered by tourists.
The capital, Tirana, is developing at a fast pace. There you can see many buildings under construction. The city has a great central square with water running literally from bellow your feet, drinking fountains, a very fancy neighborhood to have a walk or a drink. And of course you can try the wonderful food this place has to offer.
Albania has a big coastline including both the Adriatic and Ionian sea. It is so nice that the riviera is getting more popular every year. We visited Ksamil – a popular international resort, according to the locals – in early September, and we found it to be the perfect time: very hot days and very few tourists.
Same as the neighboring countries, Albanian food is simple but tasty. You can find grilled meat and vegetables, different kinds of local cheese (goat, sheep and cow, absolutely recommended to try them), stuffed peppers, meals with cheese and of course sea food in many variations.
Albania has its own currency (Albanian lek, ALL). There are quite many exchange offices in all touristic places, the rate is approximately the same everywhere. They accept US Dollars, Euro and many of the neighboring currencies.
Beware that not many places take credit cards (even supermarkets: some of them do not accept bank cards at all, some only if the purchase exceeds a certain amount of money). So make sure to ask beforehand or to have enough cash.
We felt very safe at any hour of the day, but the drivers are quite crazy. So pay attention when crossing the roads since in general they won’t wait for people (or other cars).
Despite the lack of trash bins, the cities are quite clean. On our street in Ksamil there were only three garbage containers put together – and that was all. Quite inconvenient, but still the streets were clean.
For some curious reason, there is a huge amount of Mercedes Benz cars everywhere, from very old models to the newest ones.
- Anna & Martin: September 2019, Tirana and Ksamil