About Albania

Albania is a small country in the Balkans bordering Kosovo, Montenegro, Greece, and the Republic of Macedonia. Albania has only recently emerged as a new travel destination in Eastern Europe, and it offers an abundance of natural beauty and a rich selection of archaeological sites.

Albania covers the territory of 28,748 square kilometres and has the population of over 2.9 million people. Albanians are the largest ethnic group in the country with other ethnicities living in Albania such as Greeks, Montenegrins, Macedonians, Balkan Egyptians, and the nomadic Roma. Albania is divided into three main regions: Northeastern Albania (the inland region to the north of Shkumbin River), Southeastern Albania (the inland region to the south of Shkumbin River), and Coastal Albania (a narrow strip of land by the Adriatic and Ionian seas). Albania’s capital is the mountainous city of Tirana. Several cities in the country are new additions to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites — specifically, Berat, one of the oldest towns in Albania, and Gjirokastër featuring well-preserved examples of the Ottoman architecture. The small town of Librazhd is a potential Heritage Site as well famous for its Red Mountains and 200-year old houses.

Albania’s economy is developing into an open-market one. Formerly a centrally-planned economy, the country is now transitioning into a new era with positive results, which have been somewhat hindered by the slowdown in the Eurozone. Agriculture (in the form of small farming estates) still employs over 50% of the population but makes up only one-fifth of the GDP.

Citizens of 78 countries — including all countries of the European Union — are allowed visa-free access to Albania. However, if you are not a resident of one of the visa-exempt countries, you must apply for a visa in advance at the country’s nearest diplomatic mission.