Why are you here??
A question I have been asked multiple times… right from the Immigration to Local shops to restaurants to fruit sellers. Albania was once an isolated land like North Korea or something as locals mention it. It still is so much so that India doesn’t have an embassy of it yet not even a consulate. You need to go to China to get Albanian visa as an Indian passport holder. Albanians are not sure why would anyone want to visit them as a tourist. and only thing made them famous to rest of the world was Movie Taken.
But visiting the country gave me an insight that they are more than just the negative publicity.Albanians are sweet & chatty. Cafe Culture is very prominent in whole of Europe so does in Albania. With every Evening, street gets light up and flooded with people in their favorite Cafes along the streets. You can sit for 2 hours with one order of coffee or a beer.
I stayed a week in Tirana, The Capital City of Albania surrounded by mountains on two sides and Sea on the others which makes it weather perfect for evening strolls or watch moving in open theaters again a social ritual in here. Scroll down to see Albania through my Lens.
Public Transport in Albania is almost none with only Intercity Connectivity by bus. So Better to book a Taxi each time you want to Visit somewhere or simply Walk to that place. Since its a small place so people walk here all the time and to everywhere.
Food can be a big Challenge for Vegetarian unless you can live on Salads. I had Lebanese and Italian Food during my Stay. But this place is a Drink and Dine delight and so inexpensive as well. Albanian Cuisine is also nice if you want to explore.
Et’hem Bey Mosque is an 18th Century Mosque. Islam is the most common Religion here followed by Christianity. Albanians are Religiously Liberated and don’t Interfere their Lifestyle with any religious boundaries. Even having an Islamic Majority, You will not heard any Prayer Announcements from Mosque day & Night (A common practice in all Islamic countries).
Overall its a nice country waiting to be discovered. Travel to Albania without pussy footing. If you are in Europe, you should definitely pay a visit to the place over a weekend.
Share your experience if you have ever been to Albania.