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flag Albania Albania: Travelling

In this page: Entry Requirements | Organizing Your Trip | Visiting | Living Conditions | Eating | Paying | Speaking | Useful Resources

 

Entry Requirements

Passport and Visa Service
Visa Application Forms of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Visa HQ
Diplomatic Representations
List of Albanian Embassies abroad
 
IATA Travel Center
 

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Organizing Your Trip

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

Maps of Urban Networks
Maporama
UT Library on line

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Transportation From Airport to City Centre:


Airport

Distance

Taxi

Bus

Train

Car Rental
Tirana - Rinas (TIA) 12 km / 8 miles ALL 2000-3000 - €20-30 / 30-45 min ALL 150-300 - Available

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Recommendation
The north east of the country, Bajram Curri /Tropoja, is a very sensitive sector as far as organized crime is concerned, and, in addition, it is difficult to access without a 4X4 vehicle. In the region of Shkodër, in the north, traffic to Montenegro meets no major difficulty on the Shkodër-Podgorica highway through the Hani i Hotit crossing point, as well as when going in the direction of Ulcinj by the Muriqan crossing point.

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Airlines

Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Adria Airways Low cost Yes
Albania airways National Yes

You Can Consult the List of Airlines Banned Within the EU. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Traveling By Yourself

Recommendation
The global condition of the road network still leaves a lot to be desired, even if some parts of the North-South main highways are now of reasonable quality. You must exercise extreme care. Never trust the distances in kilometers to give you an idea of the time a journey will take. You should always ask how long it will take, specifying that you want the most pessimistic estimate. Road signs are often random, or non-existent.

 

Road accidents are one of the main causes of death in Albania, for drivers and pedestrians. You absolutely must travel by day all over Albania, essentially because of the bad condition of road infrastructures or the cars themselves, which are often dilapidated. The north east of the country, Bajram Curri /Tropoja, is a very sensitive sector as far as organized crime is concerned, and, in addition, it is difficult to access without a 4X4 vehicle.

In the region of Shkodër, in the north, traffic to Montenegro meets no major difficulty on the Shkodër-Podgorica highway through the Hani i Hotit crossing point, as well as when going in the direction of Ulcinj by the Muriqan crossing point.

Road Maps
Road map of Albania

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Visiting

Different Forms of Tourism

Historical
Albania has a very rich history. Many civilizations have occupied the country down the years and there are many archeological sites such as the Greek city of Apollonia or the city of Durres, an ancient Greek city located 30 km from Tirana.
Cultural
There are some museums, and traditional events such as the Tomor festival which takes place on the Mount of the same name, or the folk festival of Gjirokastër.
Nature
The country has some exceptional sites such as the Saulk region. Lake Prespa and Lake Ohrid are magnificent protected sites.
Religious
Religious diversity makes Albania a country with a wealth of religious buildings.
Beach
The beaches of Golem and Kavaja are renowned for their beauty.
Shopping
Albania is known for its crafts and you can find many bazaars and markets which sell typical craft goods.
Tourism Organizations
Tourism Office

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Living Conditions

Health and Safety

Health Precautions
Albania does not have the means to evacuate medical cases rapidly, so it is essential, before any tourist or family trip to Albania, to take out an insurance for "repatriation on medical grounds" and to take with you medicines useful for any treatment: even if Albania has some excellent doctors, there is a general lack of means (especially medicines and medical equipment, including in most hospitals).

Officially there is no rabies in Albania where you can come across, however, many stray dogs sometimes in packs. Even if these animals are not systematically aggressive, you should be careful and take every precaution before arriving in the country, where there is no anti-rabies vaccine to be found.

Cases of viral hepatitis are frequent. You should never drink tap water. Gastro-enteritis is particularly rife in summer.

Long and very frequent power and water cuts, in winter and in summer, cause considerable inconvenience, especially in terms of hygiene, and make it necessary to take extra care with food.

Vaccination against yellow fever is required for persons coming from affected areas (certain countries in Africa and South America). For further information, you can consult the website of the Committee for medical information (CIMED). Other recommended vaccinations are: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, poliomyelitis, tetanus and typhoid.

International Hospitals
Albanian doctors are excellent, but the country lacks medical means (infrastructures, medicines). It is therefore recommended that you take out a repatriation insurance and take some medicines with you.
For Further Information on Sanitary Conditions
Foreign travel advice on Albania
For Further Information on Safety Conditions
Foreign Affairs Canada Advice to Travelers
 

Emergency Numbers

Firemen 18
Police 19
Emergency services 17
 

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Time Difference and Climate

Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In Tirana (GMT+1 in winter, GMT+2 in summer)
Summer Time Period
Summer time from March to October
 

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

Type of Climate
The climate is Mediterranean in the coastal areas and on the plains; it is harsher in the interior of the country. Winters are mild and rainy on the coastal plains and are severe at altitude. Rainfall is high (1 000 to 1 500mm per year), the flow of humid air meeting the colder Continental air mass, especially during winter, which is the rainy season. The best time to visit Albania is from June to September.
For Further Information
Albanian weather forecasts on line.
 

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall

Climate

 

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Eating

Food Specialties
Albanian food is typical of the Balkans, with Turkish, Greek and Italian influences. On every menu: byrek (baked or fried filled pastry), kofte (meatballs), chiche kebab. Albanian specialties are fërgesë tirane, a plate of fried meat, liver, eggs and tomatoes, and tavë kosi or tavë elbasani, grilled mutton with a yoghurt sauce. Fish based specialties are Koran, a trout from Lake Ohrid, and Shkodra carp. In summer tarator is eaten, a cold soup of yoghurt and cucumber.

Popular desserts are: oshaf, with figs and ewe's milk; cakes soaked in honey and glacé fruits or reçel. Holiday dishes are often presented with a stuffed sheep's head. The favorite dish in the south is kukurec (stuffed sheep's intestines). Western breakfasts are served in hotels, but the Albanian breakfast of pilaf (rice) or paça (tripe soup) is not to everyone's taste.

Drinks
All bars and restaurants serve Albanian drinks such as raki, local red and white wines and liqueurs. Albanian brandy, with its characteristic aroma, is very popular. Many imported drinks are also available: Austrian beer, Macedonian wine and Greek Ouzo. Turkish coffee (kafe Turke) is very popular in Albania, but you can also drink Italian espressos (ekspres).
Dietary Restrictions
Pork. Tap water.

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Paying

Domestic Currency
Albanian Lek
ISO Code
ALL
To Obtain Domestic Currency
It is easy to find small currency exchange office. Note that changing money on the street is now forbidden by law.
Possible Means of Payment
There are a growing number of ATMs, but this number is still relatively limited, except in the center of the largest cities. When using credit cards, which are often refused in restaurants and shops, the amount of commission may be considered to be quite high.

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Speaking

Official Language
Albanian
Other Languages Spoken
Greek, Vlach, Romani
Business Language
Albanian.
Getting Some Knowledge
English, Greek, Italian.
Free Translation Tools
Ectaco : Free Albanian-English-Albanian translation services

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Useful Resources

To Find an Apartment
Enormo

Sublet
To Find a Job
World Job

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Last Updates: January 2015