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.
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!
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.
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.
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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