You Won’t Believe Your Eyes When You Arrive in Albania

Ksamil, Albania. Photo by Polina Rytova on Unsplash

Albania is little-known in the US, but in Europe, this country is becoming more popular every day. It closely neighbors Greece to the south and Italy just across the Adriatic Sea. Albania’s coast falls on both the Adriatic Sea as well as the Ionian Sea, making it a desirable destination for tourists just to witness the beautiful sea views and beaches. Beyond that, the people of Albania are notorious for being incredibly friendly, and the natural landscape is full of beauty and fascinating history. If you don’t want to do a normal European tour, visit Albania and discover something amazing.

Tirana

Tirana is the capital city of Albania, which means you will find tons of cultural events and unusual exhibitions. For example, the House of Leaves, also known as the Museum of Secret Surveillance. This is one of the newest museums in the capital and illustrates a history of the country, its communist roots, and more.

BUNK’ART is another amazing and unique museum in Tirana. This museum was formerly a Cold War bunker. Now, it is a fascinating contemporary art museum. The bunker itself is over 3,000 square meters over several floors which now house contemporary Albanian art as well as a bit of the country’s history.

Nightlife

Tirana has some of the best night in the country, and some would say even around the other Balkan countries. For example, the club Folie Terrace is so crowded on the weekends it is recommended to buy tickets in advance. This club has a host of DJs and is the most popular club in the city. If you want a more down-to-earth Berlin type club, go to Checkpoint Charlie for a more rock n’ roll feel.

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What to Eat

Because of its physical location, the food of Albania draws on the best of the cuisines in the surrounding countries, but with an Albanian twist. Byrek is one of those dishes, similar to a spanikopita of Greece, but with fillings that go beyond just spinach. Another dish famous in Albania is baklava, a sweet nut and pastry dish that comes from Turkey. You can find all varieties of handmade baklava in Albania on the street and in bakeries.

Kruja

Kruja is the old capital of Albania and is the perfect day trip if you’re already in Tirana. People flock there because of the famous market where you can find everything from souvenirs, to rugs, to antiques, and everything in between. There is also a castle there that is the oldest in the Balkan region, and definitely worth a visit.

Beaches

If you go to Albania in the summer or simply want to take in the natural landscape of the country, there are plenty of beaches to escape to. In the southwestern region of the country is the Riveria, also know as Bregu, which is famous for beaches like Drymades, Himara, and more. Or, you can go to the city of Vlora, which has magnificent water views and is also the third largest city in the country.