28 Best Things to Do in Albania


Alba­nia is an ancient coun­try with inter­est­ing his­tor­i­cal mon­u­ments, beau­ti­ful land­scapes and unique local fla­vor.


Who and why should come here

Alba­nia at one time sur­vived the Roman Empire, the Ottoman yoke and com­mu­nism. It will be inter­est­ing for his­to­ry buffs here — almost in every large set­tle­ment there are old build­ings wor­thy of atten­tion. The coun­try even has ancient cities turned into real open-air muse­ums. From the times of Ancient Greece and Rome, well-pre­served build­ings remained here, and from the Ottoman Empire — majes­tic mosques and fortress­es.

Adher­ents of out­door activ­i­ties will also not sit idle. There are many inter­est­ing places for divers in Alba­nia: the coast of Saran­da, Vlo­ra, Ksamil and the Karabu­run-Sazan Marine Park. For lovers of rock climb­ing, there is a direct road to Jipea Canyon. Cyclists can rec­om­mend routes from Tirana to near­by cities and Shko­dra — Lake Koman. And lovers of extreme sports — raft­ing on moun­tain rivers. Raft­ing tours are led by instruc­tors from the Alban­ian Raft­ing Fed­er­a­tion (ARG).

Those for whom relax­ation means sun­bathing on a sun­ny beach can choose to vis­it resorts in Pogradets, Saran­da, Dur­res and Ksamil. Warm waters of the Ion­ian Sea, sun­ny weath­er, clean beach­es and lack of crowds of tourists are the main advan­tages of Alban­ian resorts. For sup­port­ers of a relax­ing pas­time, nation­al parks and boat trips are suit­able. There is also a place where you can safe­ly go fish­ing — this is Lake Ohrid in the Drilona Nation­al Park.

Museum cities of Albania



An ancient city found­ed in 855 BC. Now no one lives there, but quite inter­est­ing build­ings have been pre­served in the city: an amphithe­ater, a mosa­ic house with a foun­tain, a city fortress, a Byzan­tine church.



This city-muse­um is more than 2500 years old. Every build­ing here is a mon­u­ment of archi­tec­ture. The most sig­nif­i­cant of them is the main fortress built in the 6th cen­tu­ry. Some of the old hous­es in Berat are locat­ed in tiers on a rock, and peo­ple still live in them.

Of the Mus­lim tem­ples, the most inter­est­ing is the Lead Mosque, for fas­ten­ing the blocks of which liq­uid lead was used. It was not built accord­ing to Mus­lim stan­dards — it has many domes and no minaret.



Anoth­er ancient city — this time built dur­ing the Ottoman Empire. Its main attrac­tion is the 12th cen­tu­ry citadel, which is con­sid­ered the largest defen­sive struc­ture in the Balka­ns. Oth­er inter­est­ing places worth not­ing are the Palor­to quar­ter with Ottoman man­sions and the clock tow­er. By the way, Enver Hox­ha was born here, so the ancient build­ings were not destroyed dur­ing the abo­li­tion of reli­gions.



The Archae­o­log­i­cal Muse­um-Reserve of Butrint is locat­ed near Saran­da. Mon­u­ments of four empires have been pre­served here: Roman, Greek, Byzan­tine and Ottoman. The most inter­est­ing sights are the Venet­ian fortress, the sanc­tu­ary of Ascle­pius, the bap­tis­tery, the amphithe­ater and the cathe­dral. To get around the whole city, you have to spend almost the whole day.

Architectural monuments

Clock tower in Tirana

clock tower

This tow­er was built in 1822 as part of an archi­tec­tur­al ensem­ble with the Etem Bey Mosque. Its height is 35 meters. The obser­va­tion deck is a nar­row bal­cony around the perime­ter of the tow­er. To get there, you need to over­come 90 steps. But from the site you can clear­ly see the main square of the city and the sur­round­ing area.

Rozafa Fortress in Shkodra

krepost rosafa

The citadel stands on a hill between two rivers. It was built in the III cen­tu­ry BC. Accord­ing to leg­end, the wife of one of the builders of the tow­er was immured alive in its foun­da­tion. Not out of blood­thirsti­ness, but pure­ly with a “util­i­tar­i­an” goal — so that the fortress would stop falling apart every night.

Mesi Bridge

most messi

The bridge was built by the Ottomans in 1768 to con­nect Shko­dra with the rest of Alba­nia. Its length is 108 meters. You can’t dri­ve a car across the bridge, but you can eas­i­ly walk or bike.

Amphitheater of Durres


An ancient struc­ture dat­ing back to the 2nd cen­tu­ry, where glad­i­a­tor fights took place. Seats for spec­ta­tors were made on the hill­side — a typ­i­cal archi­tec­tur­al solu­tion of those times. They found it only in 1966. More­over, in order to car­ry out exca­va­tions, it was nec­es­sary to relo­cate res­i­dents and demol­ish mod­ern hous­es.

Tobacco bridge

most tobacco

The stone bridge with three arch­es was built in the 18th cen­tu­ry. By the way, its name did not come from the fact that tobac­co was trans­port­ed along it, but from the word tabakane, which means “tan­ning”. This eight-meter bridge con­nect­ed the tan­nery set­tle­ment on the east­ern high­lands with the cap­i­tal. In those days, the Lana Riv­er flowed here, which changed its course in the 30s.

Turkish fortress in Elbasan

tureckaya krepost

The main attrac­tion of the city of Elbasan is the 16th-cen­tu­ry fortress, which con­sists of 26 tow­ers. Only a few of them and the gate have sur­vived to our time. Now the fortress is giv­en over to the muse­um.

Via Ignatia

via ignatia

The ancient road, worked out by the slaves of Rome in the 2nd cen­tu­ry BC, began in Dur­res and led all the way to Istan­bul. Nat­u­ral­ly, only frag­ments of it have sur­vived to our time. The part that can be seen in Alba­nia is made of large stone blocks.

Ilyaz Bey Mihroy Mosque in Korçë


A mon­u­ment of the Ottoman peri­od is a mosque named after one of the rulers of the city. This is a beau­ti­ful build­ing with non-stan­dard minarets for the Ottomans — not round, but stepped. Such tow­ers can only be seen in North Africa.


Archaeological Museum

archeology museum

The Archae­o­log­i­cal Muse­um in the cap­i­tal of Alba­nia boasts a col­lec­tion of arti­facts from pre­his­toric times, as well as exhibits from the Mid­dle Ages. These are icons, Neolith­ic stone tools, gold jew­el­ry.

National Historical Museum and National Gallery

istor museum

The His­tor­i­cal Muse­um of Tirana con­tains every con­ceiv­able doc­u­ment and arti­fact illus­trat­ing Alba­ni­a’s tur­bu­lent past, from antiq­ui­ty to the present.

And the gallery of fine arts con­tains more than 4,000 paint­ings by Alban­ian and for­eign artists. The paint­ings are divid­ed into 6 expo­si­tions in accor­dance with the gen­res of the works.

Museums in Korce

musei in korcha

The Muse­um of Medieval Art hous­es the largest col­lec­tion of icons in the world. Basi­cal­ly, these are Chris­t­ian works relat­ed to the Byzan­tine peri­od.

The cas­tle muse­um in Kru­ja is also well pre­served. Inside it is an expo­si­tion ded­i­cat­ed to the nation­al hero of Alba­nia — Skader­bek.



The for­mer mau­soleum of the dic­ta­tor Enver Hox­ha, which he nev­er need­ed. Now there are var­i­ous exhi­bi­tions. Tourists have fun by climb­ing to the top of the build­ing, where there is a small plat­form. If you decide to join them, be care­ful: the sides of the mau­soleum are quite steep — it may turn out that you will not be able to go down with­out help.

Bunk art


The largest bunker muse­um is locat­ed in the cap­i­tal. The bunker itself was built in com­mu­nist times for Enver Hox­ha. It has as many as 106 rooms and a rich expo­si­tion, entire­ly ded­i­cat­ed to the reign of the dic­ta­tor.

Natural attractions and national parks

Marine Park Karaburun-Sazan


Karabu­run-Sazan is a huge marine reserve near Vlo­ra. There are no access roads to it, so you can only get there from the sea. But this is an ide­al place for divers — here is clear water and a col­or­ful under­wa­ter world with unique marine ani­mals. Tourists can go on under­wa­ter excur­sions and look at the sunken ships of dif­fer­ent times — from antiq­ui­ty to the Sec­ond World War.

Drilona National Park

park drilona

The park, 5 km from Pogradets, is locat­ed at the very bor­der with Mace­do­nia, so tourists can only go to the Alban­ian part of Lake Ohrid. By the way, the lake itself is about 5 mil­lion years old and is con­sid­ered the clean­est and deep­est body of water in the Balka­ns. White swans and ducks live on the lake. Also there you can catch trout on a bait and drink water from under­ground sources.

blue eye

goluboi glass

The Blue Eye karst spring is a unique nat­ur­al phe­nom­e­non. This is a pow­er­ful stream, force­ful­ly break­ing through to the sur­face. And in the cen­ter of it, a spot of sat­u­rat­ed blue is clear­ly vis­i­ble. The water in the spring is icy and does not heat up even in the heat. The depth of the spring is unknown — due to the strong cur­rent, it sim­ply could not be deter­mined. Mys­ti­cal­ly inclined peo­ple call this spring “God’s eye”.

Skadar lake

skadar lake

The largest lake in the coun­try is best viewed not from land, but from a boat. It has many islands with ancient tombs and church­es. On the shores of the lake there are orig­i­nal vil­lages and monas­ter­ies of the Mid­dle Ages. About 270 species of birds also live here.

Konispol caves

konispolski pesher

The caves in Saran­da are a unique nat­ur­al and his­tor­i­cal mon­u­ment. Ancient peo­ple lived there from the Neolith­ic to the Iron Age — this is con­firmed by numer­ous finds of sci­en­tists.

Mount Daity

gora daity

Nation­al park near Tirana. The slopes of the moun­tain are cov­ered with forests, where a large num­ber of ani­mals live. There are also canyons, water­falls, lakes, caves and even an ancient cas­tle. At the top there is a memo­r­i­al “ceme­tery of Heroes”, a mon­u­ment “Moth­er Alba­nia” and the grave of the coun­try’s com­mu­nist leader Enver Hox­ha. The park can be reached along the moun­tain road on foot, by bike or by lift.

Lake Komani

lakero kamani

The man-made Lake Komani is some­times called a stone labyrinth because of the coast­line, whim­si­cal­ly indent­ed by fjords. It is bet­ter to view it from the water — the view from there is sim­ply amaz­ing. Forest­ed gorges give way to snow-cov­ered cliffs, water­falls alter­nate with rocky beach­es. Some­times you can see small moun­tain set­tle­ments.

Llogara National Park

nac park logara

Locat­ed near Vlore. This is a for­est on a moun­tain pass, the height of which is 1000 m above sea lev­el. Many rare trees grow in the park, and deer roam freely around the ter­ri­to­ry.

Jepea Canyon


Nat­ur­al climb­ing wall in the open air. The route of the canyon is very dif­fi­cult and is intend­ed only for expe­ri­enced climbers.

Resort area Ksamil

Kurortna sona

The beach­es of Ksamil are clear water of bright blue col­or and unusu­al white sand. In fact, these are not ordi­nary grains of sand, but ancient stones that the sea has processed to such small sizes. It’s always sun­ny there, it rarely rains. You can dive to the bot­tom with scu­ba div­ing, go boat­ing or just sun­bathe.

Drymades beach


Dry­mades in Dher­mi is an option for a pure­ly beach hol­i­day. Here the Adri­at­ic Sea meets the Ion­ian. And there are many enter­tain­ment venues, so most­ly young peo­ple come here.


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