How Safe Is Albania for Travel?

Albania
Safety Index:
75

Albania FlagAlbania : Safety by City

Albania is a country situated in Southeastern Europe, bordering Greece, the Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, and Montenegro, with a coastline facing the Adriatic and Ionian seas within the Mediterranean Sea.

The country counts for about 3 million people and its capital is Tirana.

Albania is a place that offers a real unique European adventure to any tourist.

Albania is one of those countries where you never know what you’re going to get, it is full of surprises and located a bit off the beaten track, and all this together makes way for a unique experience.

When it comes to Tirana, it is a colorful European capital, much more bright and green than people usually expect.

Unfortunately, Albania has a bad reputation in Europe as a crime-ridden nation.

However, in spite of this bad reputation, it is relatively safe to travel to Albania.

Warnings & Dangers in Albania

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : LOW

Albania is a relatively safe country to travel to. There are mild threats, nothing that should stop you from traveling there. In the main cities (Tirana, Durres, Vlore) there are no major issues, and the only area you should avoid is Albania's border with Kosovo.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Means of transportation are various in Albania but not very reliable. Just because there is a schedule, doesn't mean there actually is a schedule, so you can count on waiting for buses, trains, etc. However, it is mostly safe, but be careful of pickpockets on buses and trains.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

Petty crime involving pickpocketing is common, especially if you're using public transportation. Also, cell phone thefts and wallet thefts do happen, so keep your valuables in a safe place and take basic precaution measures.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW

Albania lies in a seismically active zone, and minor earthquakes and tremors are common. Serious earthquakes are less frequent but do occur.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM

Mugging, cell phone thefts, and carjacking do happen, however, these cases are not too common. Albania is not known for kidnapping, so you should be fine, but use common sense and be vigilant for any dangers at all times.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : LOW

There haven't been terrorist attacks in Albania's recent history, but they shouldn't be ruled out.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM

Albanians are mostly warm and hospitable people, but there's always the risk of getting scammed if you're a tourist, and this also applies to Albania. Tourists have been overcharged for beers and street food, or given the wrong change, so try to avoid street vendors and negotiate everything in advance and check your change twice.Credit card fraud is also an issue in Albania and visitors should exercise caution by not letting the card out of their sight. As a tourist, be vigilant for strangers looking over their shoulders at the PIN number or for any interference with the machine itself that could indicate a camera or some kind of a scamming machine inside the ATM.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

It is safe for women to travel alone in Albania, and most people will probably go out of their way to help in any way, but you should avoid walking in remote areas and alone at night.

So... How Safe Is Albania Really?

Albania’s bad reputation is hard to shake, although it is really a relatively safe place to visit.

This country does have some issues but they are mainly in the north of the country, on the border with Kosovo (a part of Serbia), since, over the years there have been many political incidents and quarrels with Serbia regarding the territory of Kosovo.

Albanians are mainly considered heavily armed people, so this is the reason why it is not safe to travel to those parts of the country.

Also, there are some unexploded mines left over from wars and conflicts in the region, so don’t go wandering around unmapped areas.

Another danger in Albania is that it is a country with around 100,000 tons of piled up munitions in various warehouses and depots.

These warehouses and depots represent a serious danger from an explosion and are not sufficiently monitored and dealt with.

In 2008 there was an explosion on a motorway near Tirana originating from one of these depots.

As for petty crime, pickpocketing and cell phone theft, as well as luggage theft are the most common forms of a crime you’ll find on the streets, and they are relatively common.

Carjacking is rare in Albania but vehicle theft is common so be sure to lock your vehicle before leaving it, and do not leave any valuables in a visible place in the car.

How Does Albania Compare?

CountrySafety Index
Albania75
Morocco54
Singapore90
Sweden83
Uruguay77
Switzerland89
South Korea82

Useful Information

  • Visas - As a tourist, you don't need a visa to enter the Republic of Albania. You may stay up to one year in Albania without applying for a residency permit, and your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond your stay in Albania. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need a visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
  • Currency - Albanian lek is the official currency in Albania. Some say that Albania is a little more expensive than Skopje or Bucharest, but it is still cheaper than in most European countries. Use ATM's with caution and exchange your money in banks.
  • Weather - Albania has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters in the lowlands. In the highlands, it is cold from November until March, and snow is a regular occurrence. Cities near mountains are very cold, and even during the summer nights can get very chilly.
  • Airports - Albania's main and busiest international airport is Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza, commonly known as Rinas International Airport.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Albania, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Albania Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 7° C
Feb 8° C
Mar 10° C
Apr 14° C
May 18° C
Jun 22° C
Jul 25° C
Aug 25° C
Sep 21° C
Oct 17° C
Nov 12° C
Dec 8° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
121315192427313127221712
Low
°C
125812161818141163
High
°F
545559667581888881726354
Low
°F
343641465461646457524337

Where to Next?

13 Reviews on Albania

  1. The area you tell people to avoid is the safest, educate yourself please!

    I don’t know who was that ignorant person who wrote that part:-“You should avoid the area near border with Kosovo”. Are you kidding or what?!
    Please educate yourself and ask more before you say such thing.
    Just a reminder to you, that area you told to be the part to avoid, is the safest and the most welcoming area in Albania, where people can even ask you to stay in their houses as a guest for free!
    The only area in Albania and even all Balkans where people the guest is a God!

    So please think and study about something before you give wrong conclusions about any places and people!

    1. A
      Anonymous says:

      Strangers inviting you to stay in their home for free… Does that not sound sketchy to you? What, do you give your cab driver your social security card? That does not sound safe to me! Steer clear! Strangers asking you to come into their home is a red flag. Sounds to me like you need to “educate yourself” on stranger danger and travel safety.

      Travel safely, Blero.

      1. A
        Anonymous says:

        The only bad think about Albania maybe transportation, as there are no fast-track Trains and the public transport is not very accurate. Nonetheless the North part of Albania which Blero refers to is extremely welcoming and warm for tourists. I would recommend you to visit Theth/Valbone area.

        Best Natural resources in the whole Balkan!

      2. A
        Anonymous says:

        i live in albani and in durres its safe tirana and vlora too but i dont know about the borders im going with blero for this thats rude anonymouse

    2. W
      Whene i saw " only area you should avoid is Albania's border with Kosovo." i was like WTF this is not even truth plz u need to change says:

      Whene i saw ” only area you should avoid is Albania’s border with Kosovo.” i was like WTF this is not even truth plz u need to change

  2. Very safe everywhere in the country

    In Albania, and especially in Tirana, you’ll feel safer than most European capitals.
    It’s a non-sense written in the text about the border with Kosovo. That’s totally a bias. The north, and especially the border with Kosovo (including Kosovo as well) are some of the most welcoming places to visit.

  3. D
    Daniel Kelly says:

    Kosovo isn’t a part of Serbia anymore. Throwing that statement in there is unrelated to the actual reason for this website. I visited Northern Albania a few years ago and people were super friendly, as well as the people from Montenegro and Kosovo. The only bad experience I had was a questionable transportation service for Tourists. Needs better infrastructure. The coastline is one of the best and most welcoming experiences I’ve had and I’ve visited many locations. I’m not entirely too sure where the reviewer got their information from.

  4. Hit and miss

    Article seems to be biased as far as the border area with Kosovo( not part of any country completely independent as it stands) is concerned.
    Caution should be taken in any country when travelling, I live in London and there are some parts which I would actively avoid.
    All in all a very welcoming country with lots to see and do.

  5. Albania is welcoming and a lot safer than people think

    From what I know so far, I would say that Albania is a lot safer than many people would assume it is. I didn’t visit it years ago and maybe things were different back then, but nowadays, most areas and cities are safe, with many friendly people that are very welcoming and hospitable towards tourists.

    Yes, their means of transport are not the best or most reliable. Sometimes buses are late or very late so this is to be expected. There is a pickpocket risk especially in crowded areas or in buses. Just pay attention and you won’t have any problems. They usually target people that are on their phones, daydreaming or that are not paying attention.

    What can happen is you run into a “scamming machine” inside an ATM (usually one that is not near a bank). I know this happened to a friend of mine and he had to call his bank and they blocked his account because criminals had gotten hold of his card and managed to steal some money. Thankfully he had a daily limit on his card so he didn’t lose a lot of money and had plenty of time to call the bank. But if you have a lot of money on your card and this happens to you, well, you might lose it all. I would only use ATMs inside or near a bank.

    As for places or cities to visit I would visit Berat which is known as “the city of a thousand windows” as many houses have large window frontages. The Albanian Riviera is a great place to relax, unwind and just admire the beauty. Durres is also a great city that should be visited. It has an amphitheater, museums and many cultural events take place here. Plus there are beaches, nice ones. If you want to see some very unique architectural styles then visit Gjirokastra which is a UNESCO world cultural heritage site.

  6. L
    Laurent says:

    First of all, border is very safe, Kosovo is very safe and Kosovo is not part of serbia. If you say advoid border kosovo-serbia i would understand.
    But Albania-Kosovo border is same as
    Usa-Canada border.
    There is no reason to be dangerous because Kosovo is Albania they are Albanian people over there same as in border with Macedonia where 50% of population is Albanian , same as border with Montenegro where 50% of population is albanian, same as border with Greece where a lot of population near the border is albanian population, it was albanian land before.
    There is no war in any border.
    There is no reason for any of the borders in Albania to be dangerous.
    The bad reputation for Albania is because of
    Albanian mafia most of it focused in drug dealings worldwide.
    Even the crime in Albania is connected to those groups of people who has connections with the mafia and the crime stays between them they don’t bother other people, they don’t kill innocent people there are not such mass shootings or kidnappings or thefts that can put your life in danger.
    Is like every other country.
    If something happens its just bad luck (wrong time wrong place) like it would happen to you in every other country.
    Visiting albania and kosovo is very safe everywhere.

  7. I just got stole by the police in 350 euros In a car trip (he wanted 800! I spend hours to reduce)
    Extortion, very common in Mexico and Argentina, now in Albanian Riviera

  8. E
    Emma Johnson says:

    The real information about Albania-Kosovo Border.

    I am happy that here is a space to share our opinions. Albanians are extremely welcoming and hospitable. The border with Kosovo is just a formality, because Albania and Kosovo are one nation. Anyway, I would recommend to visit the north of Albania, and you have absolutely no reason to be frightened because there is no chance to get harmed, and that part is the most hospitable part of the Albania.

  9. S
    Susan Fenner says:

    Things have changed for the better

    It is amazing to me to read what has happened in Albania over the last 20+ years since I lived there (in Elbasan and Berat). Back then, the people were extremely friendly and the landscape was tremendous. But the roads were downright terrifying and there was a lot of crime, more often than not involving the mafia. Women traveling alone did not do so safely. And the police were not who one went to in order to report a crime. But it always struck me as a country with so much potential as a tourist destination in Europe. It’s amazing to hear this transformation and someday maybe I will get back there.

Rated 4 / 5 based on 13 user reviews.

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