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Cost of Living in Albania as a Tourist

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Cost of Living in Albania as a Tourist

 

What is the cost of living in Albania? 

Everyone is always interested in the cost of living here because as a tourist it’s very affordable.  This article is all about how much it costs me to live here.

Please bear in mind that this is coming from my perspective as a tourist who’s not earning a wage here in Albania.  As a local, the prices are considered high as the wage is very low.  Average Albanians will be earning €150-400 per month if they are in a job that’s considered average (like a waiter) so the prices in Albania are considered high.

 

Renting in Albania

I rent an apartment in Saranda.  There are many apartments here to rent. During the winter time, the city is empty which means you can grab an apartment for very cheap here.  During the months of July and August, the prices double in the city because Saranda is full.

I rent a 2 bed, 2-bathroom apartment and it costs me €150 per month.  I live about a 5-minute walk away from the beach which is ideal for me.  It’s very local so there are not too many tourists renting out apartments in my block.

To compare, last year I rented a new studio which was right on the beachfront and it cost me €150 also, so it does depend on where you want to be and how new the apartment is.

My advice to find an affordable apartment anywhere in Albania is to look to live in a local area rather than a tourist area. For example, in Saranda (the city where I live currently) one side of the city is considered for tourists and you will be paying 2, 3 and sometimes even 4x the normal price.  Not only with apartments but with food etc as well.  Here’s how you can find an apartment to rent long-term in Saranda.

the best accommodation in albania

Cost of Power in Albania

Obviously, power differs each month but on average I pay between 2500-4500lek (€19 – 35 per month).  There are not regular power cuts in Albania like there are elsewhere in the world.  In the winter time, if there is a storm there’s a chance of a power cut but it’s not something that is a problem all the time.

 

Cost of Water in Albania

You also must pay a monthly charge for water here in Albania, which is usually about 2000 lek (€15 Euro).  You shouldn’t drink the tap water as there have been reports of high levels of chlorine and heavy metals.  I used to drink the tap water until I started to get regular stomach cramps.  I stopped when I realised that most, if not all, of the locals don’t drink the tap water in Saranda.

 

Wi-Fi in Albania

When I arrived, I signed a Wi-Fi contract for 1 year with the company called Meno.  I purchased the highest speed internet (unlimited) and each month it costs me 2000 lek (15 euro).  The internet is amazing, it’s better than New Zealand which surprises me every day.  I have only ever had one problem with the internet in the 5 months I have been here.

 

Cost of Living in Albania as a Tourist

The cost of living in Albania is very affordable as all these dishes cost under €10!

Albania food prices

I love to cook so I probably only eat out once a week, sometimes once every two weeks. How expensive is Albania?  Actually, sometimes it can be cheaper to eat out than to cook.  Here are some examples of how much the basics cost me.  Bear in mind I live in Saranda so the prices are different than other places throughout Albania.  I have heard from Albanians that Saranda is considered the most expensive place too  Also, quite often they charge tourists double if you go buy fruits and vegetables at the markets, so you have to keep an eye out for that.

 

Groceries

A loaf of fresh bread at the bakery: 50 lek

An expresso: 50 lek

 

Cost of Eating out in Albania

A souvlaki: 180 lek

Greek salad: 350 lek (average)

Small draft beer: 150 lek

4 cheese Pizza: 700 lek

 

Random other costs

2 sunbeds in Ksamil – 1000 lek

2 sunbeds in Saranda – 500-700 lek

 

Cost of Living in Albania as a Tourist

Transport costs in Albania

I find transport affordable when I look at the price but when I think about it a bit more I don’t think transport doesn’t reflect the wages here and maybe it’s a little expensive for the locals to catch buses and furgons to different cities.

Bus from Saranda to Tirana: 1300 lek

As you can see the cost of living in Albania as a tourist is very affordable.  In the summer, in the city of Saranda prices do sometimes double in all aspects as there is a higher demand. If you have any questions on other costs, then please let me know below and I will try and answer them as best as I can!

 

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Cost of Living in Albania as a Tourist

 

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Lavinia Dieac
    September 1, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    Hi again, what about gas prices?

    • Reply
      Anita Hendrieka
      September 9, 2018 at 10:01 pm

      Gas prices actually don’t reflect the wages here so gas is expensive compared to everything else here in Albania. You will be paying the same price as you would in western Europe unfortunately!

  • Reply
    Cecilia
    September 3, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Lovely, we are having thoughts about having our own apartment in Saranda. Where do you suggest, which part of town? We have been strolling in the area where your picture is taken, we like that area of town. But I havent seen so much of the rest of town to make sure what can be a good choice or investment. Since I would like to visit during the year in the future it cant be to empty wintertime, maybe.

  • Reply
    Milene
    September 26, 2018 at 9:04 am

    Interesting info. What is their most popular dishes? I saw something on the picture that looks like a dessert (a peach pie, perhaps?)

  • Reply
    Wes Smith
    October 10, 2018 at 4:43 am

    I am moving to Saranda in December. Will rent via Airbnb for a few months while looking for a long term apt. What is the best way to find an apt in a “locals” area? Any comments about leasing are appreciated.
    Thx

    Wes

  • Reply
    Wes Smith
    October 20, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    Anita,
    Thanks for the link to your post on renting in Saranda. You provided some great tips. I look forward to becoming a long term resident!
    Thanks,
    Wes

  • Reply
    Nate
    February 19, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    What a wonderful site 🙂
    I am interested in living in Albania for about half a year, just relax the pressure of life and the life of the strangest living in my country.
    As a result, I booked a month’s vacation around Albania this June to enjoy a tourist trip and also to see if it was suitable for me.
    Since I will not work and I plan to use the money planned in advance I will be happy to get an answer.

    1) Do you think 1000 euros a month would be sufficient for living under Western conditions?
    2) How does it work with local medicine in case I need to, and what is the nature of medicine there? (Headaches / Teeth)
    3) In the matter of the visa, after 3 months, beyond visiting a neighboring country and returning the following day, will I get a 3-month visa again without a problem?
    (I do not need a visa in advance, I get automatic entry to the country)

    **I’m a young guy who learns through the computer, I’m not going to make expensive attractions or fancy restaurants.
    Just live there calmly, enjoy the sea, and local culture.

    Thanks in advance, I really appreciate it, and again thanks for this wonderful site 🙂

  • Reply
    Susan C.
    March 19, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    NOTE ANITA, a partial blog may have been sent accidentally. If it came through, just delete it.The first paragraph below is for posting. Past the first paragraph might be best to not post. OR cherry-pick whatever you think appropriate for posting. You’re a good writer.

    The reasons for writing is to congratulate you on a successful and informational blog. I first read your posts last year when I was debating whether to remain in very cold New England or to return to the lands of Italy, Albania and Greece. Well, I’ve now been in Tirana for three months so there’s your answer. I’m recently retired, here to consider whether I will some international volunteer work or simply relax for a while. The second option is sounding better each day, at least for a while. Keep up the good words!

    The second reason to write to you is that your latest posting introduced me to Ksamil from a different perspective: financial. Since my arrival in early January, I have been a guest in two different apartments. This is the first week that I’ve had the apartment to myself since my arrival. This week alone has confirmed that (a) I am more productive in my writing while living along, and (b) that to stay within my budget, I must leave Tirana, which was my plan, and on which I am on schedule.

    Your writing of the economic benefit of relocating to Ksamil is compelling. Thank you for your detailed list of your housing costs. I had not linked your budgetary article to last year’s posting of the beauty of the beaches in Ksamil last year. When I had first read of the beauty of the water and white sand, I presumed that to be a nice place to visit, but I thought it too costly to live there. I am glad to know that I was wrong.

    I would like to visit Ksamil, possibly the first week of April. Might you have time for us to meet and talk? Perhaps you could introduce me to your favored cafe or restaurant, at my expense. If it seems a viable idea for me to move there, I’d be glad to pay you to assist me in the process of finding the right place and negotiating the rent close to what you posted. That would be most appreciated. I’m retired, with a modest monthly income savings sufficient that – if I watch my budget – I could live in Albania for quite some time. That is my hope Best regards, Susan C.

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