Solo traveling is an empowering and enriching way to see the world and learn about different cultures. When we distance ourselves from everything familiar to us, like our hometowns and families, we are open to different perspectives and learn much about ourselves.
So why doesn’t everyone travel solo? One of the most significant barriers to people solo-traveling is safety. Understandably, it is daunting to travel alone in a completely unfamiliar and foreign place. So, is Albania safe? I am here to encourage you that Albania, one of Europe’s most underrated countries, is absolutely a safe country to solo travel in 2022.
Is Albania Safe? What To Know Before Traveling Solo To Albania
Albania is a beautiful country and hidden gem of the western world. The tourism industry has been booming in recent years due to affordability and various sights to see. It is a small but diverse Balkan country with everything from bustling cities to stunning mountains to calming lakeside villages.
As in most European countries, summer is the best time of year to visit Albania because of the stunning beaches and great weather. However, another equally good time to visit is the shoulder season (September & May) to avoid the heat and crowds.
Safety In Albanian
Despite rumors of the Albanian mafia being rampant in this country, Albania is one of the safest countries in the Balkan region. Generally speaking, the main cities of Tirana, Durres, and Vlore are quite safe. The only area to avoid is the Kosovo border due to territorial conflicts.
Most Albanians are predominantly kind and friendly and will go out of their way to be hospitable to foreigners. Reports of crime targeting travelers are rare, so you do not need to feel threatened. Solo female travelers especially reported feeling safe in Albania.
But as is common in other Balkan countries, some safety tips are to be on the watch for pickpocketing or getting scammed by taxis. Always remain vigilant, use common sense, and exercise caution while traveling alone.
How Is The Transportation In Albania?
Regarding public transportation, most travelers use local buses or large vans. The public transport system in Albania, specifically the bus system, can be disorganized and confusing. If you choose to travel by bus, arrive early at the bus stations and remember that you pay once you arrive.
If possible, hire a car or rent a motorbike if you want to explore the vast majority of the country. It is cheap, and an international driving license is not required. And, thanks to apps like Google Maps, getting around is easy.
A car or motorbike will give you maximum freedom and allow you to explore more independently. Plus, if you’re traveling alone, you can choose exactly where you want to detour, and you will not be on anyone else’s schedule.
What Is The Albanian Currency?
The currency in Albania is called the Lek, and the conversion rate benefits foreigners (1 euro: 118 Lek or 1 USD: 116 Lek). Because of this, Albania is one of the least expensive countries in Europe, which is another reason why it is advantageous to travel solo here.
You can have a full meal of traditional Albanian ‘fërgesë’ (tomato stew), ‘tavë kosi’ (baked lamb), and ‘sultash’ (rice pudding) for only a couple of dollars!
Where To Go In Albania As A Solo Traveler
1. Capital City Of Tirana
Most people are pleasantly surprised when visiting Albania’s colorful capital city of Tirana. This metropolitan area is excellent for cheap dining, social nightlife, and cultural activities like Albanian history museums and galleries.
If you’re traveling solo, Tirana is the place to meet other travelers on a night out or in a hostel bar. The Albanian people are also very friendly and will go out of their way to welcome foreigners to their home, so you should not have problems meeting people.
2. Shkodër (Albanian Alps)
Bring your hiking boots and a sense of adventure to the quaint city of Shkodër in northern Albania. It is the perfect base camp for hiking the glorious Albanian Alps and a quiet place to unwind after partying in Tirana.
3. Albanian Riviera
Would you have guessed that Albania has crystal clear beaches? Well, they do, and they exist in the Albanian Riviera in places such as Ksamil, Borsh, Dhermi, and Himare. So pack your bathing suit and soak up that wonderful Mediterranean climate solo!
4. UNESCO Sites
Albania has three UNESCO sites, including the Ottoman villages of Berat and Gjirokaster and the archaeological Butrint park. If you’re interested in Albanian culture and history, you can go to all of these sites on a 3-day organized trip.
An organized tour group trip is another great idea to meet like-minded solo travelers and form connections with others while adventuring through Albania!
5. Korça (The ‘Little Paris’ Of Albania)
Korça is the most visited city in Albania due to its charm and architecture, similar to Paris, France. Walk through Korça’s ‘sokak’ (stony, narrow) streets and listen to the melodies of ‘serentata,’ traditional Albanian folk music sung by local guitarists nightly.
Korça is a romantic and beautiful city that is a must for any solo traveler’s itinerary in Albania.
Take a leap of faith and solo travel to Albania for your next adventure. Albania is a cheap, colorful, culturally rich country perfect for solo adventuring. There are mountains, beaches, and cities to explore, and all for an affordable price. Albania is safe, and the locals are kind, so you do not have to worry about being harmed while visiting. What are you waiting for? Go off the beaten path and create your own adventure in the beautiful Albania.
Learn Albanian With Ling
Speaking a new language is the best way to interact with the locals, especially if you are traveling solo and want to meet new people. You never know what adventures await you in Albania, and making a new Albanian friend could be one of them!
Before your trip to Albania, download the Ling App to learn basic greetings and phrases in Albanian, so you have a foundation once you arrive. Ling is the most reliable language-learning app for lesser-known languages, and you can download it on the App Store or Play Store for free today!