Is Albania Safe? The Truth About Safety in Albania

 

Is Albania Safe_ The Truth About Safety in Albania

Is Albania safe?  This is the top question I get asked again and again now that I live in Albania.  For many people, the only understanding of an Albanian is the Croatian actor who plays the mobster and bad guy in the movie Taken.  This country is a lot safer than any other European countries I have visited so I’m here to talk about if Albania is a safe country to visit or not.

Albania seems to be misunderstood.  The last unrest in Albania was in 1997 after civil war broke out when a government pyramid scheme failed, and many Albanian families lost everything.  In terms of conflict against others, Albania has not been in any since WW2.

 

Is Albania Safe_ The Truth About Safety in Albania

As a tourist, I have been living in Albania for the last 4 months and think I have a good grasp on safety here.  I haven’t had one incident of feeling unsafe and I have not been in any trouble at all here.  In fact, its been the complete opposite. If you compare Albania to other European countries, I would put Albania as one of the top safest.  I have been in Albania for the high-season and the low-season when I am literally the only tourist in Saranda.  Sure, I get weird looks like, “what the hell are you still doing here?”, but despite the lack of other tourists, I feel completely comfortable and safe always.

Pickpocketing is practically non-existent and so is other petty crime against tourists.  Albanians will always make you feel welcome and safe.  So, in terms of the understanding of tourist’s safety, Albania is way ahead compared to a lot of other countries I have experienced.  Albanians also have a powerful sense of honesty and are incredibly welcoming people.  They will offer you food and drinks on arrival and any help you need they will always be willing.  They will treat you as part of their family.  The only argument I have had with Albanians is when I try to pay for my coffee but they will never let me!

 

Is Albania Safe_ The Truth About Safety in Albania

For a modern-day traveller, often people rely on the internet to gather information about their next visit. The internet is saturated with guides but when it comes to Albania there is hardly any information, which is one reason, in my opinion, people get nervous about coming here because they have no idea what to expect.  That, my friend, is the charm of Albania.  You never really know what to expect.  If you’re not a relaxed person when it comes to travel then it may be a little difficult for you, but you will end up loving it, I’m sure.

I have travelled as a solo female through Albania and can confirm it’s totally safe to do so.  As a blonde-haired fair skinned traveller, I do often get looks of curiosity and amazement on why I picked Albania.  It is totally harmless and in the end, most people are just curious as I look very different from any other person here.

 

Is Albania Safe_ The Truth About Safety in Albania

All in all, do I think Albania is a safe place to visit? Absolutely.  Do not be fooled by misconceptions from people who have never travelled here. If you speak with a traveller that has been and experienced Albania, I’m sure you will get the same response as what I have just said.  Of course, there are bad people in Albania, but there are also bad people everywhere around the world.

 

Is Albania Safe_ The Truth About Safety in Albania

I have been absolutely delighted by the Albanian hospitality, it’s one of the top reasons why I love it here so much.

Tell me below if you would love to come to Albania or if you are considering visiting next summer.  If you are visiting, make sure you read my ultimate Saranda guide and if your still not convinced then maybe read my 9 reasons why you need to visit Albania.  I also have a practical guide to getting around the country with lots of valuable advice when it comes to transport!

 

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Is Albania Safe?

 

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20 Comments

  1. December 9, 2017 / 5:16 pm

    Albania has been on my radar a lot lately. Starting to really consider it

  2. December 10, 2017 / 10:52 am

    I loved Albania! I spent nearly a month there this year and I agree with everything you said! In fact, I can’t wait to go back.

  3. December 11, 2017 / 1:29 am

    With the several terror attacks anywhere in the world lately, it’s good to know that traveling to Albania is safe, even off season.. 🙂
    I love knowing that Albanians are honest and very welcoming.. It’s such a good trait for locals to have.. 🙂

  4. December 11, 2017 / 3:44 am

    So true, people tend to embrace prejudices so easily. Albania is just one example, one of many. But that’s why I’m always glad to stumble upon posts like yours. 🙂
    Glad to hear that you’re having such a nice time and that you feel safe there. I can only imagine what it’s like to try to pay for your coffee over and over again, hehehe. 😀 I know the custom, it’s similar to the whole region of Balkans actually.

  5. December 11, 2017 / 8:38 am

    I so hate the stereotypes and the way people seem to spread lies without even realizing how much they can hurt a country with those! You’re right to say there isn’t much online about Albania, I wonder why? Even your pictures are so beautiful, I’ll have to add it to our bucket list!

  6. December 11, 2017 / 9:46 pm

    This is such a helpful post, as it is somewhere I’d like to explore but like many have worried about my safety. It’s interesting to hear that pickpocketing is practically non-existent as so many cities we would consider very safe like Barcelona has a real issue with that. I’m also blonde and fair skinned and get looks/comments all the time so it is something I am used to!

  7. December 12, 2017 / 5:58 am

    I can’t really say I know must about the country, but what I can tell you for sure is that I noticed how you emphasize the fact that there is not much “petty crime against tourists” .
    Again, don’t get me wrong, probably my knowledge about Albania is similar to those you called out as “Taken” fans, but Albania is not known worldwide as the country with the most pickpockets, but rather for the mobsters as you call them.
    On the other hand, I am really happy you are enjoying your stay there and that you are happy and by promoting this post, I hope the perspectives we have about Albania to change soon.

  8. December 13, 2017 / 5:23 pm

    I met someone from Alabania and that’s when it got into my radar. True enough that people easily jump into the stereotypes and prejudices and the world is safer than how it used to be! Mainstream media choose to broadcast the negatives and we, people, as part of our human nature tend to look at a nation based on a single news that we stumpled upon. but I am glad that you are having the time of your life there! Enjoy!

  9. December 13, 2017 / 6:51 pm

    So many places around the world are misunderstood. I feel like a lot of Western cultures consider everywhere else to be unsafe and crime ridden. It’s not. Yes there are parts of the world that have major crime problems, but there are only a handful of these that are actually dangerous.

    I have found the locals in non-super touristy places to be amazing. I think its because they have seen the money tourists can bring in and they want me to enjoy their country and then share that with others so they can come and spend money.

  10. December 14, 2017 / 4:00 am

    It’s so weird that one movie could do so much damage to the country’s reputation…and thank you for busting the myth! Since you’ve been there for over 4 months, I can certainly trust you on your assessment…

  11. December 15, 2017 / 5:31 am

    Good to know that Albania is safe to go with. This is something traveller really look into consideration 🙂 thanks for this.

  12. MOUMITA TARAFDAR
    January 18, 2018 / 1:09 am

    your site is very helpful. Must read before planning my next holiday plan

  13. Noel Ong
    April 11, 2018 / 10:51 pm

    I have been told that the northern part towards Kosovo like Kukes is unsafe. Is this true? I am thinking of taking a trip there.

    • Drita
      October 11, 2018 / 8:38 pm

      I’m from Kukes, i’m born and grown up there. Kukes is one of the most safest towns in Albania. It’s a small town, well organized and structured, the nature is brilliant, clear views and fresh air. There is a lake, sometimes they say its compared to Switzerland of the Lake view. The people are so honest, and Kukes is mentioned for the real men who keep their word, there is no chance to not show respect to new visitors. If you planning to move there, you better contact someone who can accompany you and show the town around and visit some really good villages around (mostly for showing the villages around, ‘cos the town is small and you can visit yourself). Some places really have to be seen, the nature is amazing. There is no case of harming the tourists, or steal or lie. NEVER happened. Enjoy Albania!

  14. Anthony
    April 23, 2018 / 4:20 pm

    I visited Albania last summer, first we went to the eastern part, city of Pogradec by the ohrid which in my opinion is such a little piece of heaven on earth. Then after we did the south with amazing views and beaches. Food is amazing and so cheap. Lunch with drinks for two is no more than $25. We met lots of tourists and foreign travelers especially in Saranda, the city that borders Greece. Did we feel safe?? I can surely say I felt safer than here in New Jersey.
    We are looking forward to our next visit in early June, we gonna do the northern part, Shkodra, Theth and Valbona valley. See you there guys

  15. May 1, 2018 / 6:51 am

    Hi! I’m an Albanian and just wanted to clear smth.to everybody. Someone in the comments mentioned the mobsters. It is true Albanian mobsters are quite famous, but there is a catch. They are not in Albania. They are where the Big money is.( which means in the West). In Albania they only spend their money, they don’t do anything there. If they have a problem with each other( which happens sometime) they solve their problems without involving other people, let alone tourists. It is true pickpocketing, mugging or things like that I never hear it. Be careful from gypsies, they are the only ones who might steal and beg for money. Albanians don’t do this type of crime, it’s very humiliating in our culture. Prejudices run deep. In Rome someone on the bike tried to snatch my bag, but nobody puts Italy as a dangerous country. The film “Taken” has done a considerable damage to Albania’s reputation, despite the fact that it was played in Paris.

  16. Ela
    June 6, 2018 / 9:55 am

    I am so happy that finally someone said the truth for Albania! I am albanian myself and i can’t expain why we have such a bad reputation! Albania is very safe for tourists i can assure you that .it has very cheap prices for hotels and good restaurants .the south is amazing especially Dhermiu and Jala i would compare it with french riviera but awayy more cheaper.the north of Albania its a little bit dangerous for tourists alone they should go in grups and thats fine.the north is paradise .you will Love also Tropoja ,Theth in Shkodra (its a must if you are visiting north of albania) and valbona valley.the capital city Tirana is the best city for night life in EU! best clubs best music you will have a lot of fun!

  17. June 8, 2018 / 3:14 am

    Thanks for this! Really wanted to hear it from someone that already visited. I am really considering to visit it as I’ve heard so many things about Albania’s beauty, but I don’t know why it has received a lot of not-safe stereotype lately. Thanks to people like you that break these stereotypes!

    Sanziana
    sannafey.com

  18. Franka
    October 21, 2018 / 8:56 am

    I am Albanian and live abroad and i miss my country so very much . Your article spoke the truth , brought tears into my eyes seeing someone appreciating the way we are as people,honest and welcoming .
    And yes we will always argue about who will pay for the coffee lol .
    We do our best for guests and i hope many more people see Albania for what it is,beautiful and safe.

    • October 25, 2018 / 9:19 pm

      Aw I am so glad you liked the article, I love your country! Albanians are the best 😉

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