Like many former communist countries, Albania is one with a certain mysterious air to it. As a result, this often yields questions about the country from people intending to travel there and experience it for themselves. In this section, we’re going to answer the most frequently asked questions about Albania in order to give you a better insight into this fascinating Balkan country.
Where is Albania?
Albania is in southern Europe, located in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula on the Strait of Otranto, the southern entrance to the Adriatic Sea. Albania is bounded by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, North Macedonia to the east, Greece to the southeast and south, and the Adriatic and Ionian seas to the west and southwest, respectively. Albania’s immediate western neighbour, Italy, lies some 50 miles (80 km) across the Adriatic Sea. Albania has a length of about 210 miles (340 km) and a width of about 95 miles (150 km).
Do they speak English in Albania?
These days an increasing number of Albanians speak English as it is taught in schools there and many Albanians have worked abroad in the US and other Western countries. So to find an English speaker your best bet is to aim for people under 30. Italian, Greek, and Spanish is also spoken widely.
Is Albania in the EU?
Albania applied for European Union membership on 28 April 2009. Following in the steps of countries joining the EU in 2004, Albania has been extensively engaged with EU institutions, and joined NATO as a full member in 2009. As of yet, it is not in the EU.
What is there to see in Albania?
Albania is a small country with a lot to offer tourists. The natural beauty of the region is abundant and there are various locations listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. These include physical and cultural landmarks.
From the Romans to the Ottoman Empire, Albania has a wealth of ancient relics from the various empires that came through here. Additionally, the country is teeming with communist era sights from the hundreds of thousands of concrete bunkers that were installed to secret police HQ that is now an excellent museum.
Is Albania safe?
Albania is a very safe country. There are low levels of violent crime and it’s thought to be no less dangerous than any other European country. That said, like many places in the world there are some issues and other worries that potential visitors to the country might want to be aware of such as pickpockets and petty crime, which can be deterred with standard vigilance that you should employ wherever you travel.
Do I need a visa to enter Albania?
For members of the European Union, only a valid identity card or passport is sufficient. For other nationalities outside the European Union, a valid passport is obligatory. Some nationalities may also require a visa. Please contact your local authorities and local Albanian embassy or consulate if unsure.
Can I use credit cards in Albania?
In most of the shops, bars and restaurants you can use VISA and Mastercard. Less popular are other cards like Diners Club and especially American Express is usually not accepted. Smaller retailers or such in smaller towns may accept only cash. In Albania rarely you would be asked for your ID when making payment by credit card.
Most places require your PIN code to do the credit card transaction. ATMs are well spread around the bigger towns, literally, there is one at every corner and it is very easy to withdraw money. Most of them operate also in English. For the transaction fees, please consult your bank. In general, it is better to be prepared with some cash at all times in case you need it.
How good is the internet in Albania?
Albania is home to excellent high speed internet and most bars and cafes have very good wifi. You will have free wi-fi in every hotel and restaurant and in most of the public areas and parks. It’s also very affordable to buy a cheap local sim for 4G internet wherever you are in the country.