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Solo Traveling to Albania: A Complete 2024 Guide

Thinking of travelling to Albania alone? This guide for solo travellers covers the diverse cities, unique cuisine, and warm hospitality of Albania.

Albania has a lot to offer to solo travelers, including a diverse array of cities worth visiting, unique culinary experiences, and the warm, friendly atmosphere of its people. Solo traveling to Albania can be a rewarding experience, and a safe one, too!

Chances are, you’ve already come across various articles or videos as travel recommendations to this country have flooded the online space lately, so, why not discover it for yourself?

Is Albania Safe to Travel to?

Yes, Albania is generally considered a safe destination for travelers. The crime rates are low, and incidents are rare.

The moment you step foot in this country you’ll feel the Albanians’ warm hospitality, so don’t be surprised if you feel at home right away.

Note that, like any travel destination, it’s advisable to stay vigilant in crowded areas to prevent minor crimes such as pickpocketing. We advise you to read our full guide to safety in Albania for more information.

If you’re looking for travel insurance in Albania, you can get an instant quote now from our partner, Albsig.

A 2-Week Itinerary to Get the Most Out of Albania

Let’s jump to the fun part! 

If you’re considering exploring Albania in 2 weeks, we have designed the perfect itinerary for you.

Most travelers’ entry point in Albania is Tirana International Airport, Mother Teresa. There are several international airlines that operate flights to Tirana, making it easily accessible from major cities across Europe.

Here is a map of Albania for context:

Solo Traveling to Albania: A Complete 2024 Guide 13

Start Your Itinerary From Tirana (2 nights)

We suggest you start this trip with the capital of Albania, Tirana, and spend there approximately 1-2 nights. We have an entire city profile for Tirana you are welcome to read.

The distance from the airport to the city center is 17 km, and the taxi fare ranges from €20-25.

All buses connect from Tirana to other cities, so it’s easy to navigate from this city. 

What to do in Tirana

  • Take a walk around the Skanderbeg Square, (named after the famous Albanian National Hero) and enjoy the view. For a coffee/something to eat with a view, there are lot of nice cafes near the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet (TKOB).
The cable car to Mount Dajti overlooking Tirana. Super fun!

You can also do lots of fun activities here, such as play mini-golf, enjoy horse riding and biking, go for a lovely hike in nature, have a picnic, or even try Dajti Adventure Park.

  • Take a journey into Albania’s past at the National History Museum located in Skanderbeg Square.
  • You haven’t really been to Albania if you don’t learn a few things about the communist era! So, if you’re into history, you should pay a visit to at least one of these museums: The House of Leaves, Bunk’Art 1 or Bunk’Art 2
  • Albania is known for its religious tolerance; it’s common to find mosques, churches, and religious sites (that you can visit) coexisting peacefully. 
  • Enjoy tasty food or go for a drink in one of the best areas in Tirana: Blloku District, Pazari i Ri (New Bazaar), Arena, Kalaja e Tiranës, Pedonalja.

Optional: Visit Kruja, a lovely historical town (the birthplace of our national hero, Skanderbeg) located around one hour from Tirana.

Berat (2 nights)

Berat old town in Albania

Berat, often called the “City of a Thousand Windows,” is one of Albanians’ UNESCO World Heritage sites worth a visit. Here’s a list of things to do in Berat:

  • Walk up to the Castle, where you can get a beautiful view of the city and learn about its history.
  • Visit the Onufri Museum, located in the Church of St. Mary, if you’d like to see a remarkable collection of religious art and icons. 
  • See the Codex of Berat, known as the Berat Gospels, a revered illuminated manuscript housing the New Testament Gospels. Displayed in religious institutions or museums in Berat, it offers a glimpse into the city’s religious and cultural history.
  • Visit the Museum of Iconography in the heart of Berat to discover the intricate world of religious icon painting. 
  • If you love cobbled streets that make you feel like you’re in a movie, you should wander through Mangalem, Berat’s historic Ottoman quarter. Admire the lovely houses with a thousand windows, reflecting the city’s nickname, the “City of a Thousand Windows.”
  • Cross the Gorica Bridge for picturesque views of Berat and the Osum River. 
  • Admire the architecture of the Holy Trinity Church, a well-preserved example of medieval religious construction.

Gjirokastër (1 night)

View from the castle to the city. Architecture of the Ottoman empire, Gjirokastër in Albania.

Gjirokastër, another UNESCO World Heritage site it’s a beautiful town every tourist seems to love. What to do here:

  • Begin your journey with a visit to Gjirokastër Castle for beautiful town views. You can also pay a visit to the Military Museum (inside the Castle). 
  • Explore the birthplace of Enver Hoxha, now transformed into a museum, to get some insights into the life of the former communist leader and a significant chapter in Albania’s history.
  • Visit Skenduli House, a beautifully preserved Ottoman-era residence turned museum, if you’re curious about the architectural opulence of a wealthy family.
  • Visit Zekate House is another well-preserved Ottoman mansion honored for its architecture and woodwork.
  • Visit the Castle of Argjiro, a medieval fortress that offers splendid views of the surrounding landscape.
  • Stroll through the Old Bazaar to see the vibrant market where local crafts and souvenirs beckon.
  • Discover local art at the Gjirokastër Art Gallery, a hub featuring works by Albanian artists, providing a glimpse into the city’s creative spirit.

Optional: Take a Daily Trip From Gjirokastër to Përmet 

Përmet is a beautiful town embraced by the Vjosa River valley and surrounded by the Albanian Alps, so if you fancy nature, you can visit this city within a day.

What to do there?

  • Relax in the natural hot springs of Benja for a rejuvenating experience.
  • Explore the stunning Langarica Canyon through nature walks and hiking.
  • Visit the historic Ottoman-era stone bridge over the Vjosa River, Ali Pasha’s Bridge, for scenic views.
  • Experience the beauty of Përmet’s with horse riding activities.
  • Try traditional local delights made from roses.

Sarandë (2 nights)

An early morning in Sarandë Albania

Saranda has gained lots of fame as one of the most beautiful coastal towns in southern Albania, where natural beauty, historical sites, and lively atmosphere blend perfectly. Here are some things to do in here:

  • Start your journey with a visit to Lëkurësi Castle, and from there enjoy panoramic views of the town and the Ionian Sea.
  • Explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Butrint National Park, an ancient city with well-preserved ruins, including a theater, temples, and a baptistery.
  • Relax on the stunning beaches of Ksamil, a nearby village with small islands just off the coast. You can take a boat trip to explore the crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches.
  • Visit the Monastery of 40 Saints, an Orthodox monastery with a rich history and beautiful views of the landscapes around.
  • Walk along the Sarandë Promenade, lined with palm trees, cafes, and restaurants. Enjoy the sea breeze and views of the Ionian Sea.
  • Explore the remains of the ancient Synagogue Complex, an archaeological site with a synagogue, a baptistery, and other structures dating back to the 5th century.
  • Take a short trip to the Blue Eye, a natural spring with crystal-clear blue waters, for the best escape into nature.
  • Experience the vibrant nightlife in Sarandë. 

[Also read: Top 10 beaches in Albania rated for water quality, nightlife and infrastructure]

Himarë (2 nights)

Himara is a small and quiet municipality situated along the stunning Albanian Riviera, that also offers scenic views.

Beaches located close by:

  • Llaman
  • Livadh
  • Gjipe
  • Jale
  • Dhermi

What to do in Himara:

  • Explore the historic Himare Castle, located on a hill with panoramic views of the town and the sea. The Castle has ancient ruins and offers a glimpse into the region’s history.
  • Take a scenic drive along the Albanian Riviera and stop at various beaches to explore the views.
  • Take a walk in Himare’s city center, where you’ll find local shops, cafes, and restaurants serving delicious seafood.
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, experience Borsh Castle, a well-preserved fortress with captivating views of the coastline. The Castle offers a glimpse into the area’s medieval history.

Shkodër (1 night)

Shkodër, located in northern Albania, is the gateway to the scenic Albanian Alps. 

If you go there, you should:

  • Start your visit to Rozafa Castle, from where you can see the panoramic views of the city and learn more about the story behind the famous Albanian legend associated with it.
  • Take a walk along the pedestrian street, lined with cafes, shops, and historical buildings.
  • Explore the Marubi National Museum of Photography to see a collection of photographs documenting Albania’s history.

Getting from Shkodër to Theth

To reach Theth from Shkodër, you have a few transportation options such as by bus, shared minivan (furgon), car, or organized tours.

Before starting your journey to Theth, check the latest transportation options and schedules, as they can vary depending on the season. 

Theth (1 night)

Night falls in the Valbona Valley along a trail, Theth National Park, Albanian Alps, Valbona Albania
  • Discover Theth National Park, one of the most beautiful areas in the north of Albania, with alpine landscapes, waterfalls, and traditional stone houses. 
  • Hike to Theth Waterfall, which is a beautiful natural attraction surrounded by greenery. 
  • Visit the Lock-in Tower, a traditional stone tower that served as a refuge during times of conflict. The tower is an iconic symbol of Theth’s cultural heritage.
  • Take a short trip to the Blue Eye (Albania has one “Blue Eye” located in Saranda and one here in Theth), a stunning natural spring with crystal-clear blue waters. It’s a refreshing spot for a swim and relaxation. However, the water might be too cold for your preferences!
  • Explore Grunas Waterfall, another impressive waterfall in the Theth Valley. 
  • Visit the Church of Theth, a charming stone church with historical significance. The church is a peaceful and culturally rich site.

Theth to Valbona Hike

Consider the hike from Theth to Valbona or vice versa. Note that this hike is a challenging but rewarding adventure that takes you through some of the most picturesque landscapes in the Albanian Alps. Don’t take the risk if you’re not a sporty person!

Valbonë (1 night)

Valbona is a welcoming paradise that will soon make you feel welcome with its lovely valley, landscapes, and water.

The Valbona National Park, a protected haven for diverse flora and fauna, offers an unforgettable eco-tourism experience. Visitors are welcomed into traditional guesthouses, where Albanian hospitality blossoms right away.

  • Take a quiet walk in Valbona’s tranquility and fresh mountain air if you love escaping urban life and enjoying the Albanian Alps.
  • There’s a trail leading to the Valbona Waterfall if you also want to explore it. The hike is relatively short, and it allows you to enjoy nature in peace.

What You Need to Know if You Visit Albania

Carry Cash With You

The official currency is the Albanian lek (ALL). Credit cards aren’t accepted everywhere, so it’s advisable to carry some cash with you. 

Albania is generally budget-friendly, so you can enjoy your trip without breaking the bank! 

Getting Around in Albania

Navigating Albania is relatively straightforward. Public transportation, including buses and furgons (shared minivans), connects major cities and towns. 

Renting a car is another option, a more convenient one. After all, scenic landscapes are best enjoyed at your own pace. 

Budget-Friendly Accommodation Options

In Albania, you’ll find many accommodation options for different budgets, from cozy hostels to boutique hotels and traditional guesthouses.

Booking in advance is recommended, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Tasty Mediterranean Cuisine

Albanian cuisine is a wonderful fusion of Mediterranean and Balkan flavors. Don’t miss out on trying traditional dishes like fërgesë, tave kosi, and byrek

Engage with locals in cafés and restaurants to savor the authentic flavors of the region.

[Read more about Albanian cuisine here]

Some Fun Facts About Cultural Etiquette in Albania

Some call them culture shocks, and some, fun facts:

  • A handshake often accompanies greetings, and removing your shoes is expected when entering someone’s home. Close friends and family may exchange kisses on both cheeks.
  • Inviting someone for coffee is a common gesture of friendship.
  • When invited to someone’s home, trying a bit of everything on the table is normal as a sign of appreciation for the host’s efforts.
  • Respect for elders is deeply ingrained in Albanian culture. Standing is preferred when an elder enters the room, and their opinions are often valued and considered.
  • Bringing a small gift when invited to someone’s home is a thoughtful gesture. Usually, this involves a dessert or a drink.

No Language Barriers in this Country

While Albanian is the official language, English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas, followed by Italian as the second most spoken language.

Here are a few basic Albanian phrases to ease your communication:

  • Hello – Përshëndetje
  • Goodbye – Mirupafshim
  • Please – Ju lutem (formal), Te lutem (informal)
  • Thank you – Faleminderit
  • You’re welcome – Ju lutem (formal), Te lutem (informal)
  • Excuse me – Më falni
  • Yes – Po
  • No – Jo
  • I don’t understand – Nuk kuptoj
  • Can you help me? – Mund të më ndihmoni?
  • What is your name? – Si quheni? (formal), Si quhet (informal)
  • My name is… – Quhem…
  • How are you? – Si jeni? (formal), Si je? (informal)
  • I’m fine, thank you – Jam mirë, faleminderit
  • Nice to meet you – Kënaqësia është e imja
  • Good morning – Mirëmëngjes
  • Good afternoon – Mirëdita
  • Good evening – Mirëmbrëma
  • Good night – Natën e mirë
  • How much does this cost? – Sa kushton kjo?
  • Where is the bathroom? – Ku është tualeti?
  • I need help – Kam nevojë për ndihmë
  • I’m lost – Kam humbur
  • Cheers! – Gëzuar!

Albania is Waiting For You…

Ready for your sour solo adventure in Albania? Pack your bags, set out on this exciting journey, and let Albania amaze you with its beauty and warmth. I promise you’ll come back again!

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