Are you planning to travel to Albania?
Not your worst idea, certainly!
Albania is a beautiful country on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe, and it often gets overlooked by many people traveling to Europe.
But, it really shouldn’t! There are a lot of great things to do and see in Albania, whether you’re a history buff, a beach bum, or just want to enjoy a less-crowded destination and drink raki with everything.
Here is our list of the best things to do in Albania:
1. Visit the Castle on the Cape of Rodon
Known as both the Cape of Rodon (Kepi i Rodonit) and the Cape of Skanderbeg (Kepi i Skenderbeut), it’s a small peninsula that juts out into the Adriatic Sea. Aside from the gorgeous emerald-blue waters on all sides, the Cape of Rodon is the home of Rodoni Castle (Kalaja e Rodonit), a small castle built in 1450 and used to protect against the Ottoman Empire. Also on the cape are the ruins of St. Anthony Church (Rrënojat e Kishës së Shën Ndojt), a cultural heritage site and an architectural monument.
2. Understand Albanian History at the Muzeu Historik Kombëtar
Located right in Tirana, the capital and largest city, a visit to the National Museum of History (Muzeu Historik Kombëtar) is one of the best things to do in Albania to learn about its past and get a sense of the people.
Arranged as a number of pavilions, this museum makes it easy to locate the historical period which interests you. Some of the sections include:
- Pavilion of Antiquity
- Pavilion of the National Liberation Anti-Fascist War
- Pavilion of Iconography
- Pavilion of Independence
- Pavilion of Middle Ages
- Pavilion of Mother Teresa (!)
Related Read: 15+ Museums You Can Visit Virtually All Around the World
3. Get Some R&R on the Albanian Riviera
The Albanian Riviera, known colloquially also as Bregu, is a popular portion of parts of Albania’s Ionian Sea Coast and Adriatic Sea Coast. Tourists flock here in the summertime, and it’s not hard to see why. All along the Albanian Riviera are gorgeous towns, cute villas, beautiful beaches, and pristine waters.
Some of the best places included in the Albanian Riviera are: Sarandë, Ksamil, Dhërmi, the Canyon of Gjipe, Palasë, and Zvërnec Island.
4. Shkodër, Albania
Shkodër is one of the larger cities in Albania, situated in the northern part of the country near the border with Montenegro. While there, you can check out the Rozafa Castle with the ruins of the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Mosque within. Near the city, you’ll also find the famous Mesi Bridge, a Postribë cultural monument with an amazing view all around. It’s a perfect city to stop at if you happen to be going from Tirana to Podgorica, as the main thoroughfare passes right through Shkodër.
5. Spend the Day on Lake Koman
Lake Koman is a reservoir in northern Albania on the Drin River, with deep-blue water in some places and milky-turquoise waters in other parts. The landscape is often compared to the Scandinavian fjords, with its vertical canyon walls and narrow gorges. The Lake Koman Ferry operates a passenger service between the town of Koman and Fierzë, essentially from one town’s hydroelectric power station to the other’s.
6. Hit Up Ksamil Beach
Ksamil is another member of the elite Albanian Riviera district, a small village in southern Albania which is part of Butrint National Park. It’s one of the best bargain beaches in all of Europe, popular with backpackers and honeymooners alike. Nearby are the four Ksamil Islands, which are small, rocky landmasses accessible only by boat and a perfect place to set up camp for a day of snorkeling, sunbathing, or even dolphin spotting.
Well, that’s all for now on our list of the best things to do in Albania, and we hope it helps you plan one amazing trip to this corner of southeastern Europe! Got any questions, feedback, or other Albania things to do we should include on our list? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!