Points of Interest: Where to Go and Places to Visit in Albania
Albania might not be as famous as other European destination, but Albania surely has many tourist attractions that make the country worth to visit. Located in Southeastern Europe, on the shore of Mediterranean Sea, Albania offers excellent weather and stunning beaches to enjoy.
You will have no problem in deciding when is the best time to travel to Albania because the climate is ideal almost all throughout the year. It has warm summer and mild winter.
Going to Albania also means that you can relax by the beautiful Mediterranean Sea with less expense compared if you go to Italy or Greece. Other than that, you can find a lot of extraordinary places to visit in Albania. These three things have made Albania travel rising for the last few years.
Not only the weather and the beaches but the tourist attractions in Albania will also satisfy your soul, especially if you are into culture and history.
Albania is quite a religious country, where Muslims are the majority of the people there. However, the people in Albania are very welcoming and tolerant, making spending your holiday in Albania a pleasant experience. You can see the influence of Islam and Christian (the second largest religion in Albania) in Albanian culture and buildings.
In general, the Albanian people are very kind and friendly; however since they are quite religious, tourists are expected to respect their culture and traditions. As for the language, Albanian is the official language here, but Italian is also widely spoken in the country, especially in the western area.
In Tirana, the capital city of Albania, you will find more people who can speak English quite well. Nevertheless, hotel staff in major cities have proper commands of English, so if you need something or you have questions, you can ask your hotel staff.
US citizens will not need a tourist visa to spend their holiday in Albania. Citizens of some other countries will need the tourist visa to go there, but there is no charge for the holiday visa.
If you have never been to Albania before, and you want to know about Albania tourism, this list of best places to see in Albania will help you a lot to decide what to do in Albania.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Here’s the list of the top places to visit in Albania
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Here’s the list of the top places to visit in Albania
If you do not have that much time to explore Albania, then the best place to visit first is Tirana. As the capital city of Albania, Tirana sums up all the Albanian culture and history.
There are tons of exciting things to do in Tirana. You can view the influence of the Ottoman and the communist culture decorating the city in beautiful ways. The town has a lot to offer, from museums to historical buildings to national park.
Et’hem Bey Mosque will show you the beauty and friendly face of Islam. It is not a big mosque, but Et’hem Bey Mosque has a beautiful architectural construction. The inner part of the dome has the intricate painting that will amaze everyone. This mosque is not only a religious site, but it is also a historical one.
Beside the mosque, other top destinations in Tirana are Bunk’Art, Mount Dajti National Park, National History Museum, National Gallery of Arts, and Sheshi Skenderbej.
Located in south-central Albania, Berat offers us a throwback to the past. Berat is in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. The city is so loaded with ancient Ottoman houses lining up to the hill, and it is given the nickname “The City of One Thousand Windows.”
Its most famous historical site is The Castle of Berat which houses 14 churches inside. Not only churches, but you can also find the ruin of White Mosque inside this castle.
If you want to learn more about Albanian history and culture, Berat has interesting museums, such as Onufri Museum and Ethnographic Museum.
In Berat, you can also witness how tolerant the Albanian people are. On the side of Osumi River, two neighborhoods have been around for quite some time. Gorica, sitting on the south bank of Osumi River, is a Christian community, while Mangalem that lays on the north side of the Osumi River is a Muslim community.
With pristine white sand, clear blue sea, and the perfect Mediterranean climate, Albanian Riviera is the most favorite Albania attraction. Compared to Italian Riviera, Albanian Riviera has the same beautiful coastline, but it is less crowded, and the hotel and food there are of course much cheaper, making it the dream Albania destination for many tourists.
Albanian Riviera also has a vibrant nightlife. Its most famous nightclubs, Havana Beach Club and Folie Marine, have been widely known among the youngsters all across Europe.
For the people of Albania, Vlora has a very exceptional place in their hearts. In 1912, Albanian Independence was proclaimed in Vlore. That is why you can find The Museum of Independence here.
If you are looking for something more ancient, you can go to Kanina Castle. According to the local belief, this castle has been around since the 3rd century BC.
For those of you who have interest in nature and wildlife, you can visit The Bay of Vlora. The Bay of Vlora is the habitat for many species. You can enjoy the mild sea breeze while observing the wildlife in this bay.
One more place in Albania that makes it to the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list is Gjirokastra. If you travel to Albania, you really should go here. In this city, you will see unique houses that look like small castles. These houses give us a deep insight of Balkan architecture style.
Gjirokastra is also filled with theaters, castles, and museums which are very interesting to see. Once in five years, there is a folklore festival being held in the palace of this town. That is why Gjirokastra should be in your list of places to visit in Albania.
Situated in north-western Albania, Shkodra is the perfect gate to start your Albanian Alps trip. Your Albania points of interest travel will not be complete if you do not visit this city. It is one of the oldest city in Europe, and you can learn more about Gheg culture here.
The Rozafa Fortress is Shkodra landmark. It has a very tragic myth about how the castle was built. From Rozafa Castle, you can enjoy the majestic view of Lake Shkodra.
Another well-known Albania tourist attractions that you can find in Shkodra is Migjeni theater. It is considered to be one of the most important theaters in Albania.
Looking for a place with the busiest nightlife in Albania? Then you really should go to Saranda. It used to be a quiet fishing town, but now the city has grown into a favorite spot for thrill seekers.
South of Saranda, there is a natural bay called Mirror Beach. The cliff surrounding it makes Mirror Beach secluded and quiet, it will be perfect for those of you who are looking for privacy. No wonder, Saranda has become one of the most favorite destinations for honeymooners.
If you want to taste the delicacy of Albania food, Saranda has many cafes and seafood restaurants that offer many kinds of cuisine in ranging prices.
About 20 kilometers northeast of Tirana, you will find a medieval town called Kruja. The city has significant historical importance because famous Albanian hero, George Skanderbeg, was born there.
George Skanderbeg was known for his brave efforts in defending his people from the Ottoman. That is why you will find The Skanderbeg Museum inside Kruja Castle. You will also see a traditional bazaar on your way to the castle. From outside the palace, you will be presented with the breathtaking view of Adriatic Sea.
For those of you who are looking for a beach resort that is also rich in culture, then Durres is the perfect answer for you. It is the most significant Albanian port.
In Durres, you can soak up the sun by lying down on its astonishing beach. The beach stretches for 10 kilometers, providing tourists an ample space to enjoy the sea and the sun.
Food is also easy to find in Durres beach because you will notice some food sellers walking around the beach, offering the tourists the food they are selling.
Not only the beach, but Durres also hosts numerous cultural events that you can enjoy. The city is also the home of many ancient buildings, such as Durres Castle, that was built during the year 400s, and Durres Amphitheater, that was built in 100 A.D.
Now if mountains are more of your thing, then Theth is one of the perfect places to visit in Albania. It’s located on the hill; this village offers picturesque blue and green sceneries that without a doubt will soothe your eyes and soul.
Your Albania travel will not be complete if you do not spend a day or two enjoying the crisp mountain air in Theth.
If you travel to Albania, and you want to get to Theth, you can have a car ride from Shkodra, or if you wish to enjoy the dramatic panorama, you can walk across the mountain from Valbona.
Theth is a paradise for backpackers who love to hike. Theth National Park showcases majestic mountain views along its hiker’s routes.
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