Albania

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PRACTICAL INFORMATION

 

Currency - Business hours - Transportation - Internet - Basic conversation guide - Langages spoken


Currency

The currency of Albania is the Lek (Lk) with the plural being Lekė.
The Lek (Lk) exists in coin denominations of 5, 10, 20 and 50 lekė. The banknotes (bills) are denominated in 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 lekė amounts.
Many exchange bureaux will change foreign currency, but banks offer the best exchange rates.

 

Automatic Teller Machines (ATM)
To find out the locations of ATMs in Albania , click on the link to your credit card: Visa, Mastercard or American Express


Business hours

Offices: 7am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
Banks: 7am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), which may include a mid-day break in rural areas
Government: 8am to 5pm (Monday to Friday)
Retail: 7am to 7pm (Monday to Friday ), with a four-hour break at noon.



Transportation

Road
GETTING THERE:
From Montenegro through Hani Hotit and Murriqan - Sukobina. The first road leads to the Northern City of Shkodra and Shkodra Lake, while the second links Shkodra with Ulcini.
From FYR Macedonia through Qafe Thane pass leading to Pogradec, Librazhd and Elbasan.
From Tushemisht at the South- Eastern extreme of Lake Ohrid leading to Pogradec.
From Bllata, leading to Peshkopi or Bulqiza and Burrel.
From Gorica the road leads to the northern shores of Lake Prespa.
From Kosovo, through Morina pass, which links Kukes ( Albania) with Prizren ( Kosovo).
From Greece through Kapshtica. The road leads to Korca, while through Kakavija the road leads to Gjirokastra.

There is a regular bus services which travels on the followings routes:
Tirana- Tetova ( Macedonia) through Qafe Thane
Tirana- Prishtina and other towns in Kosovo through Morina
Korca- Thessaloniki through Kapshtica
Tirana- Athens through Kakavija
Tirana- Sofia and Istanbul from Qafe-Thana.

GETTING AROUND :
There are around 18,000 Km (11,250 miles) of roads in Albania, but only 7,450 Km (4,656 miles) are considered as main roads. Maintained by the State, they are supposed to be suitable for motor vehicles, although only 2,850km (1,781 miles) are paved and three-quarters of these are in very poor condition. Motorways are planned for the future and the widening of existing roads has begun. All roads are used by pedestrians, cyclists, ox- and horse-drawn wagons, agricultural vehicles and herds of cattle and poultry; although the number of cars has increased considerably during the last decade. There are strict speed limits according to type of vehicle and type of road. Normal rules and international road signs apply. Traffic drives on the right. Visitors are advised to exercise extreme caution when driving, owing to the poor condition of the roads and the unpredictability of local drivers. Night-time driving should be avoided, as there have been reports of 'carjackings'.

A cheap, flat-fare urban bus service operates in the main cities, although the buses are usually crowded. Taxis can be found in Tirana in front of the main hotels housing foreigners.
Given below is the approximate travel times from Tirana (in hours and minutes) to other major cities/towns in Albania.
Durres: 1.00 hrs
Shkodra: 2.30 hrs
Vlora: 3.00 hrs
Korēa: 4.00 hrs



Rail
GETTING THERE: There are no international passenger services at present.

GETTING AROUND: The total rail network runs on approximately 447 km (450 miles) and is single-track and unelectrified along the whole of its length. Trains have diesel engines, are in dilapidated condition and mostly overcrowded. Services operate from Tirana to Shkodra, Vlora, Fier and Podgorec.There are long-term plans to build railways connecting Pogradec with Kicevo (Macedonia, FYR) and Florina (Greece).

Air
GETTING THERE: The national carrier is Albanian Airlines (LV). Established in co-operation with Tyrolean Airways, the airline provides its services to major European cities. Other airlines offering services to Tirana include Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, Malev Hungarian Airlines, Olympic Airways, Swissair and Turkish Airlines.
Note: Travel to the areas of Bajram, Curri, Tropoje and the border with Kosovo is not recommended. For further information visitors should seek official advice.
GETTING AROUND: There is no well developed civil air-transport system in the country.Domestic airports are mainly used for military purpose.

 


Internet

The Internet suffix is: .al



Basic conversation guide

Translation and pronunciation :

YES = PO (poh)
NO = JO (joh)
PLEASE = TĖ LUTEM (ter lootehm)
THANK YOU = FALEMINDERIT (fahlehmeendehreet)
GOOD MORNING = MIRĖMĖNGJES (meermernjehs)
GOOD AFTERNOON = MIRĖDITA (meerdeetah)
GOOD NIGHT = NATĖN E MIRĖ (nahtern eh meer)
GOOD-BYE = MIRUPAFSHIM (meeroopahfsheem)
WHAT IS YOUR NAME? = SI JU QUAJNĖ? (see yoo chooayn)
MY NAME IS... = UNĖ QUHEM... (oon ch'oohehm ..)
HOW ARE YOU? = SI JENI? (see yehnee)
FINE THANKS, AND YOU? = MIRĖ FALEMINDERIT, PO JU? (meer fahlehmeendehreet, poh yoo)
I UNDERSTAND. = E KUPTOJ (eh kooptoy)
I DON'T UNDERSTAND. = NUK KUPTOJ (nook kooptoy)
DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH? = FLISNI ANGLISHT? (fleesnee ahngleesht)
I DON'T SPEAK (MUCH) ALBANIAN = NUK FLAS (SHUMĖ) SHQIP (nook flahs (shoom) shch'eep)

 


Languages spoken

Albanian


Last modified in mai-07
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