15 unforgettable things to do in Albania you shouldn’t miss (2024)

Are you looking for the best things to do in Albania? Look no further.

There is something for everyone in this European hidden gem, from amazing beaches to stunning old towns and fascinating history.

Albania opened up to tourists in 1991 and now, it’s got everything from ancient ruins to amazing national parks, festivals, and more than one UNESCO World Heritage site.

Wondering what to do in Albania?

In this post, I’ll share the best things to do in Albania, so you can plan an epic trip.

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About Albania

Albania is a country in the Balkans with a population of about 2.8 million.

It shares borders with Greece and Montenegro and has a rich history, including ancient Illyrian and Greek influences.

After the fall of communism in 1991, Albania opened up to the world. It’s known for its beautiful Albanian Riviera beaches and rugged Albanian Alps.

The capital, Tirana, features a mix of architectural styles, including Ottoman, Italian, and communist-era influences, which makes it a unique European destination.

Read next: 22 Albania fun facts you probably didn’t know

The best things to do in Albania

1. Drink a beer in a rotating bar in Tirana

At the Sky Tower Bar in Tirana, you can grab a beer and relax while the bar spins around anticlockwise every 45 minutes, giving you a cool 360° view of the city.

It’s open all day, but sunset is definitely the best time to go. The prices won’t break the bank, and it’s a unique way to see Tirana.

2. Visit an abandoned bunker museum in Tirana

BUNK’ART in Tirana is an intriguing museum set inside a former bunker.

It’s open daily, and entry costs around 500 lek (about $5).

Definitely a different kind of museum experience, and it gives you an insightful look into Albania’s history.

Book a tour – Communist History Tour Tirana & Street Food

Things to do in Albania - bunker museum in Tirana

3. See Gjirokaster Old Town’s Stone Roofs

Gjirokaster is my favorite place in Albania.

It has to do with Gjirokaster castle, the clock tower, and the Old Town, which is unique with its stone roofs, dating back to the 17th century. It’s a UNESCO site, so there’s loads of history there.

Gjirokaster is an amazing spot if you’re into old towns and history without it feeling like a typical tourist trap.

Book here – Day Trip to Gjirokastra from Tirana

Gjirokaster

4. Explore Berat, the City of a Thousand Windows

Berat is known as the ‘City of a Thousand Windows’ because of its unique architecture from the Ottoman Empire. It dates back to the 4th century BC.

We spent a couple of days in Berat, but it’s also an easy day trip from Tirana. Make sure to visit Berat Castle while you’re there.

Book here – Berat Full Day Trip from Tirana

Berat, Albania-157

5. Visit secluded beaches on the Albanian Riviera

Did you know that Albania has some of the best beaches in Europe?

That’s right! And the best part is that The Albanian Riviera has several hidden gems like Gijipe Beach, where you can escape the crowds.

It’s perfect if you’re after quiet spots with crystal-clear waters, white sand, and natural beauty.

Miriam’s Tips:

If you’re looking for more developed beaches, the most popular places are Sarande and Ksamil.

Albania beach

6. Butrint National Park

Butrint is the largest archaeological site in Albania where you can see ancient Greek and Roman ruins.

It’s a UNESCO site with an amphitheater and mosaics, so there’s lots of history here.

It’s a great place if you’re into ancient ruins and nature.

Book here – Private tour to Butrint, Blue Eye, and Lekursi Castle from Sarande

Things to do in Albania - Butrint

7. Llogara Pass

Llogara Pass is a winding mountain road with stunning views of the Albanian Riviera.

It’s high up in the Ceraunian Mountains and has been a key route since Roman times.

It’s worth driving through for the breathtaking scenery and the thrill of the hairpin turns. It’s a highlight for any Albanian road trip.

Be adventurous – Tandem Paragliding Logara Drimades/Palase Albania

Things to do in Albania - Llogara

8. Krujë

Krujë is famous for its historical significance, especially the Skanderbeg Museum, dedicated to Albania’s national hero.

The town’s old bazaar offers a glimpse into traditional crafts. It’s a great spot for history buffs, with its castle and panoramic views.

Book here – Day-trip Shkoder – Lezhe – Kruje from Tirana

Things to do in Albania - Krujë

9. Take a scenic ferry on Lake Koman

Lake Koman’s ferry ride is a must-do for its stunning scenery. Carved out by the Drin River, the lake is surrounded by dramatic cliffs and mountains.

It’s a man-made lake, created in the 1980s.

If you like nature and serene landscapes, you’ll love the views on this ferry journey!

Book here – A Day tour of Shala River & Komani Lake from Tirana or Shkoder

Things to do in Albania - Lake Koman

10. Visit Shkodër

Shkodër is one of Albania’s oldest cities, and it’s packed with history. You’ve got Rozafa Castle with stories dating back to Illyrian times.

It’s the perfect place to visit in Albania if you’re into art and history, with plenty of museums and galleries.

Book here – Day tour of Shala River & Komani Lake from Tirana or Shkoder

Things to do in Albania - Shkodër

11. Take the cable car to Dajti Mountain

In Tirana, make sure to take the cable car to Mount Dajti where you’ll get the best views over Tirana.

It’s a quick ride up, and once you’re there, the panorama is stunning.

Take the Cable Car or try Paragliding From Dajti Mountain

Things to do in Albania - cable car to Dajti Mountain

12. Admire the Blue Eye Spring (Syri i Kaltër)

The Blue Eye is a natural phenomenon with super clear, blue water. It’s a bit of a mystery how deep it is, which adds to its allure.

It’s a cool spot to chill and enjoy nature, especially the vibrant colors of the water.

Worth a stop if you’re in southern Albania, but you can also visit on a day trip from Tirana.

Book here – Private Tour of Riviera from Tirana – Ksamil Saranda and Blue Eye

Blue Eye (Albania)

13. Visit Apollonia

Apollonia is an ancient Greek city with ruins and a museum.

It’s a bit off the beaten path, but the history here, especially the well-preserved theater and bouleuterion, makes it worth the trip.

It’s a quieter, more reflective spot for anyone interested in ancient civilizations.

Book here – Berat & Apollonia from Tirana

Things to do in Albania - Apollonia

14. Hike Theth to Valbona

The Theth National Park to Valbona hike is a solid 6-8 hour trek through the Albanian Alps.

Covering about 10 miles, it’s a bit tough but totally worth it for the stunning views. You’ll see everything from lush forests to snowy mountains and amazing valleys.

The trail is well-marked, with spots to rest and eat. Just remember, it’s only open in summer when there’s no snow.

Book a tour – Hiking Tour of Theth, Valbona Valley & Koman Lake in 3 Days

Things to do in Albania - Theth to Valbona

15. Explore Korçë (Korca)

Korçë, or ‘The City of Serenades’, has a relaxed vibe with a mix of history and interesting spots.

It’s got Albania’s largest Orthodox church, a lively old bazaar for cafe hopping, and even its own brewery. Don’t miss the panoramic views from the brewery tower!

Korçë isn’t packed with tourists, so it’s perfect for a laid-back visit.

Get the most out of your trip – Day tour of Korca, Pogradec, and Lake Ohrid from Tirana

FAQ – Things to do in Albania

Is Albania worth visiting?

Yes, Albania is absolutely worth a visit!

It’s got gorgeous beaches, and beautiful historical sites, and the prices are pretty good. Whether you’re into nature or just want to check out some neat cities, there’s a lot to see and do.

What is Albania best known for?

Albania is best known for its stunning natural landscapes, rich history, and diverse cultural heritage.

Highlights include the Albanian Riviera with its beautiful beaches, the ancient ruins of Butrint, the historic cities of Gjirokastër and Berat (both UNESCO World Heritage sites), and Tirana, the capital of Albania.

Is Albania friendly to tourists?

Yes, Albania is generally very friendly to tourists. The locals are known for their hospitality and often go out of their way to help visitors.

Is Albania a cheap country to visit?

Yes, traveling in Albania is affordable, especially compared to its neighbors.

Even in Tirana, the most expensive city, it’s still cheaper than many Eastern European places. On average, you might spend around $46 a day, with about $13 just for food.

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Explore the best things to do in Albania with this Albania travel guide. Discover what to do in Albania and plan your adventure. #Albania #TravelGuide #ThingsToDoInAlbania

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