Aerial view of the scenic Valbona river valley, Albania

Things to do in  Albania

Underrated Mediterranean gem

Tucked between the picturesque Albanian Alps and the stunning Adriatic Sea lies the small yet mighty country of Albania. If you're a lover of history, architecture, seafood, and all things Mediterranean, then Albania has everything you need for a summer (or winter) packed full of things to do. From the vibrant streets of the capital Tirana and the oft-overlooked Adriatic and Ionian coastlines, to the ancient ruins of Butrint and the Ottoman architecture of Berat—Albania promises to enchant you.

Top 10 attractions in Albania

Skanderbeg Square (Sheshi Skënderbej)

Named after a national hero of Albania, Skanderbeg Square (Sheshi Skënderbej) is the main plaza in the capital city of Tirana. All roads in Tirana seem to lead into the square, which has been the subject of various reconstruction plans since 2010. Many of the original buildings on the square were destroyed during communist times, but a few older structures do remain, like the early 19th century Eth’em Bey Mosque and Clock Tower. In 1968, a statue of Joseph Stalin was replaced by the Skanderberg Monument, honoring a nobleman who once resisted the Ottoman invasion. The equestrian monument stands 11 meters tall and depicts Skanderberg on horseback in full armor, with an Albanian flag flying alongside.Around the square today, you will find the National History Museum, the Tirana International Hotel, the National Library of Albania, City Hall and the Palace of Culture, which is home to the National Theater of Opera and Ballet. Don’t miss a climb up the Clock Tower, which offers superb views around Tirana.More

Et'hem Bey Mosque (Xhamia e Et'hem Beut)

Et'hem Bey Mosque (Xhamia e Et'hem Beut) is a historic religious structure, which somehow managed to escape destruction when an atheist movement took hold in Albania during the 1960s. The structure and those who worship there have a long history of surviving turmoil, as the mosque was forced to shut its doors when communists ruled the country.In 1992, Et’hem Bey Mosque once again opened as a place of worship against the wishes of those who were in charge. Today, it’s one of the largest and most prominent gathering places for Muslims in Albania. The mosque is known for its colorful frescoes and finely detailed interiors, making it a worthwhile stop for travelers interested in history, religion and architecture.More

Pyramid of Tirana (Enver Hoxha Pyramid)

Constructed in 1988 to celebrate the legacy of Albanian communist leader Enver Hoxha, the Pyramid of Tirana is one of the city’s most distinctive buildings. After communism fell only a few years later, the pyramid fell into disrepair. Once used as a conference center, NATO base, and temporary exhibition space, it is currently in disuse.More

Skanderbeg Monument

Erected to honor military leader Gjergj Kastrioti, Skanderbeg Monument sits in the middle of the central square that also bears his name. As the leader who created a united Albania in the 15th century before it was occupied by the Ottomans, he is a symbol of Albanian national pride. The monument, from 1968, depicts him riding a horse.More

Tirana Clock Tower (Kulla e Sahatit)

The Tirana Clock Tower (Kulla e Sahatit), built in 1822 by Haxhi Et'hem Bey, stands as an Ottoman-era beacon in the center of the capital city. The simple stone tower is topped with clocks on four sides and a pyramid-shaped cupola, and it shares the skyline with Et'hem Bey Mosque next door. Climb the tower for views or explore the attached museum.More

Tirana National Historical Museum (Muzeu Historik Kombëtar)

Stuffed to the brim with Albanian cultural and archaeological exhibitions, the National Historical Museum (Muzeu Historik Kombëtar) opened in 1981 and has since been updated to include information about Albania’s Communist legacy. Items are arranged in chronological order across eight different pavilions, and most of the displays are in English.More

Krujë Castle (Kalaja e Krujës)

Located about an hour’s drive from Tirana, Krujë Castle overlooks the picturesque town of Krujë. The fortress houses two museums: the Ethnographic Museum and Soviet-era Skanderbeg Museum, containing exhibits on the revered Albanian military leader. Visitors will also find the remains of a mosque, church, and a medieval hammam.More

Cave of Pëllumbas (Shpella e Pëllumbasit)

Marked by undulating rock formations and stalactites, the Cave of Pëllumbas (Shpella e Pëllumbasit) is an easily-accessible adventure day trip from Tirana. Known by locals as the Black Cave and located a short hike away from the village of Pëllumbas, the karst cave is located on the slopes of the Dajti mountains, in Dajti National Park.More

Mt. Dajti (Mali i Dajtit)

Travelers who want to escape the chaos, noise and energy of Albania’s larger cities will find peace and quiet in the picturesque hills of Mt. Dajti (Mali i Dajtit), located a short drive from Tirana.Fit and intrepid travelers can hike along scenic trails to the top of this 1,613-meter tall mountain. But those who prefer to take in nature in a more leisurely way can still access all this beautiful destination has to offer, thanks to a cable car that provides a fast track option straight to the top. Travelers can look out over epic views that include the Adriatic Sea, the Port of Durres and more.More
Dajti Express Cable Car (Dajti Ekspres)

Dajti Express Cable Car (Dajti Ekspres)

Fit and intrepid travelers can hike along scenic trails to the top of Dajti Mountain, a 1,613-meter tall peak. But those who prefer to take in nature in a more leisurely way can still access all this beautiful destination has to offer, thanks to the Dajti Express Cable Car that provides a fast-track option straight to the top.Travelers who opt for the 15-minute ride will gain access to epic views that include the Adriatic Sea, the Port of Durres and more. Visitors can wander through shaded forests and even picnic atop this popular peak.More

Top activities in Albania

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All about Albania

When to visit

Some say the summer months of July and August are the best time to visit Albania, when the weather is hot and the beaches are bustling. However, if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, consider visiting in spring or fall. These shoulder months offer milder temperatures and see the landscapes come to life with color. This is also the best time to go hiking in the Alps or visit the coast without the crowds.

Getting around

Public transport is a bit limited in Albania, with not much of a rail network. However, buses and local mini buses called furgon are your best bet for getting around the country on a budget. These buses can get you to even the most remote corners of the country. Otherwise, for the ultimate freedom, hiring a car is the best way to travel at your own pace and forget about unreliable local timetables.

Traveler tips

Both euro and the local currency lek are accepted in Albania, so be sure to clarify which currency you’re paying in before agreeing a price. It's also a good idea to carry some cash on you, as outside of the capital, Tirana, cash is king in the rural areas. As for the food, you'll find Balkan, Italian, Turkish, and Greek influences, with seafood very popular on the coast and more agricultural goods inland such as dairy and meat.


People Also Ask

Is Albania good for tourists?

From the bustling capital of Tirana to the charming Albanian Riviera—as well as all of its ancient and recent history—Albania offers a wide range of experiences for any type of traveler. From hiking to swimming and sunbathing, there are so many activities for everyone.

How to spend seven days in Albania?

Spend a day wandering the charming streets of Tirana, feasting on local delicacies and taking in the vibrant street art. Then, venture north to the Valbona Valley National Park before making your way south to the seaside town of Saranda, where crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches await.

Is Albania a cheap country to visit?

Yes, Albania is a fairly budget-friendly place to visit. You can indulge in delicious cuisine, bask in the Mediterranean sun, and explore the country's rich history for a fraction of the cost of other European destinations—especially if you visit in the shoulder seasons.

What are famous things from Albania?

If you're looking for something to take home as a tangible memory, look no further than the iconic Albanian hat, known as qeleshe or plis. This white brimless felt skull cap is part of the traditional costume and will serve as a reminder of the culturally rich country long after you've left.

How many days is enough for visiting Albania?

You really need at least a week to explore Albania. From wandering the historic capital city, Tirana, to hiking in the Albanian Alps, and relaxing in the seaside town of Saranda, there's so much to cover that you could easily extend your stay.

What is typical Albanian food?

From savory meat dishes such as qofte (grilled meatballs) and tavë kosi (baked lamb and rice with yogurt) to vegetable-based eats such as fasule (bean stew) and byrek (savory pie), there’s no shortage of deliciousness in Albania. And let's not forget about baklava, to satisfy your sweet tooth.

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