There are many hidden beauties and historic wonders to explore in Albania. Whether you are familiar with the country or you’ve never visited at all, there is still more to discover within the borders of this small and important European nation.
Albania is sometimes referred to as the jewel of the Balkans due to its many magnificent natural features. Sprawling mountains, crystal-clear waters and centuries of intricate, stunning architecture make exploring Albania an exciting experience.
Hopefully one day soon you can enjoy all that Albania has to offer. So, let’s have a look at some of the best places to visit in Albania. Below you’ll learn about:
10 Amazing places to visit in Albania
Korce is regarded by many to be the most picturesque place in Albania - a true link to the old roots of the nation. Within Korce is Pazari i Vjeter is the old bazaar of the city; here you can walk around and admire the 13th-century architecture.
The streets are cobbled and the buildings have been maintained in the old Ottoman-style that allows visitors to glance back in time and appreciate the history of Albania. Within Korce you can also find The Kooperative, a communist-theme cafe that preserves Albania's communist period that lasted from 1944 until 1991.
Dhermi is the place to go if you want to enjoy the best beaches in Albania. Many tourists from all over Europe head to the Albania Riviera, and specifically Dhermi, to bathe in the summer sun and take a dip in the cool sea.
Every July and August Dhermi is pretty busy because of the summer music festivals like ION festival and the Kala festival. So if you want to enjoy all that Dhermi has to offer, make sure you book in time!
Gjirokastra is a historic city in the south of Albania. It is known as the city of stone and is today protected by UNESCO. Visitors to the city usually spend their time exploring the castle of Gjirokastra and wandering around the bazaar.
There are many beautiful traditional Albanian houses that date back to the 19th century that are also worth visiting. For example the Zekati Family Home is a well-known tourist spot in which you can get a real glimpse of Albania’s historic home and marriage traditions.
The Village of Theth
If you are looking for peace and tranquility in Albania, the village of Theth should be on the top of your list of priorities. Deep in the Albanian Alps, Theth is a quiet village often visited by hikers because of all the fantastic trails that lead in and out of the town.
There are two main hikes related to Theth: the hike to Blue Eye (a wonderful blue natural spring), and the Theth to Valbona hike, which starts at the top of Theth village and leads you along the mountain trails to Valbona. On these Theth hikes you can experience the majesty of the Albanian Alps as well as the peaceful atmosphere of the Albanian mountain countryside. You will be treated to breathtaking views and gorgeous natural life.
The Ksamil Beach in Saranda
Ksamil is the ideal location if you are looking for long white beaches and chill beachside resorts. For many it is the top beach destination in the whole of Albania and it is very popular during the summer months.
The Bay of Porto Palermo is located in the southwest of Albania. Within is the triangular Porto Palermo castle - an important and well preserved destination within southern Albania. Today you can visit Port Palermo to explore the castle and also enjoy the clear blue waters of the bay.
Tirana is the capital of Albania. If you visit Albania and want to discover what modern Albania is all about, Tiran is the place to go.
As well as being the capital, Tirana is also the largest and busiest city in the country. It is home to exceptional restaurants and bars as well as museums and theaters. One of the most visited places in Tirana is the 18th-century Et’hem Bey mosque, a marker of Albania’s strong Islamic history and traditions.
Driving Llogara Pass is one of the most spectacular experiences you can have in Albania. The road, which is in the middle of the fantastic Llogara National Park, reaches higher than 1,000 meters above sea level.
Along the pass you also have the opportunity to see some wonderful wildlife like the European wildcat, deer and golden eagles. At the top of the pass there are a variety of restaurants from which you can get a breathtaking view of the park and mountains.
Skanderbeg Museum in Kruja
The National History Museum, also known as the Skanderbeg Museum is located in Kruja and is probably the most visited museum in Albania. It was built in the 1970s and is filled with artifacts and items relating to Albanian national hero Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbej.
The museum itself is housed with the historic Kruja Castle which served as an impregnable fortress, helping Skanderbeg defend Albania from Ottoman invasion in the 1400s.
If you are curious about Old Albania, Berat, also known as the City of a Thousand Windows, is a great place to visit. There are ancient castles, historic churches and wonderful town squares and quarters. Located in the middle of Albania, Berat has long been a tourist hotspot because of its interesting mix of Ottoman and Albanian architecture.
Albanian visa requirements
If you want to visit Albania for more than a few weeks then you may be thinking about visa requirements. Thankfully Albania is quite relaxed when it comes to tourist visas. You will usually be visa exempt for a stay of up to 90 days per 180 days if you:
- Hold a passport with a blank visa page
- Have proof of sufficient funds
- Have proof of onward airline or train tickets
- Have documents which show proof of the purpose of your trip to Albania
- Have documents that show you can enter your next destination legally
Citizens from countries like the UK, the US and European nations may stay in Albania for up to one year as a tourist without needing to apply for a residence permit.
As you can see there is so much to explore in Albania. Here we’ve listed only ten places but we’re sure you’ll be able to find many more beautiful spots. And if you have family in Albania they will also have their favorite places.
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