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is albania safe for solo female

Albania attracts visitors with its crystal-clear water, beautiful beaches, cheap and delicious food, stunning mountains, natural phenomena, and rich cultural heritage. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the best reputation in the world, especially regarding safety.

I was intrigued to see the country and set off for an adventure as a solo woman traveling through Albania. My verdict? I felt safe all the time. It’s an amazing country.

So, in this article, I’ll give you my safety tips and experience of traveling Albania as a solo woman and how it feels so you can start planning your Albanian adventure without fear.

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Is Albania Safe For Solo Female Travellers? Answered!

Yes, Albania is very safe for solo female travelers. I was traveling Albania as a solo female for 2 weeks and always felt safe. 

My adventure in Albania enabled me to see everything from the north to the south. I traveled in local Albanian buses with random people who did not even speak English… and it still felt safe to me.

I know. Albania doesn’t have the best safety reputation, so I’ll tell you why in this article and give you my experience traveling through Albania as a solo woman. I’ll also give you my safety tips for visiting.

is Albania safe for solo female travellers me exploring Albania alone as a woman
Me exploring Albania alone as a woman
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4 Reasons Why Albania Is Safe For Solo Female

Here are some reasons why Albania is safe for solo female travelers. These are the main points that made me feel very safe while traveling in Albania:

  1. Albanian people are friendly
  2. Albanians are helpful
  3. Albanian buses are reliable
  4. Accommodation in Albania is safe

1. Albanian People Are Friendly

You’ll be most welcome wherever you go, whether it’s your accommodation, bus station, or restaurant in Albania.

Once, I stayed in a beautiful hostel in Vlore. The guy welcomed me and showed me my room. After I came out, his mum immediately started chatting with me. Then, she invited me upstairs to drink some beer. I asked her if she had the Albanian traditional liquor ‘Raki.’ 

She was pleased and got me some. She even gave me an entire bottle to take home with me. We spoke the whole evening, and they introduced me to Albanian traditions and told me their family stories.

The next day, her son offered to take me to Zvernec Island. I wanted to go there, but it’s not so accessible. So they gave me a bike, and he showed me around.

This just showcases how friendly, hospitable, and welcoming Albian people are.

Zvernec Island most beautiful places in Albania to visit
Zvernec Island

2. Albanians Are Helpful

Albanian people are also super helpful. Whenever I needed help and asked, they were there.

Once, I got stuck in the Albanian Alps. I went to see the Blue Eye, and my accommodation was like 2 hours on foot away. It was getting late in the evening, and there seemed to be barely any tourists.

So I went to a nearby restaurant and asked whether they had a jeep to take me to the village, where my accommodation was. One guy stood up and said he could drive me. The road was crazy, and the jeep ride was even more.

I loved every single second of it as it felt adventurous. The guy drove me to my accommodation, and it all felt safe.

πŸ‘‰ READ ALSO: 12 Best Day Trips From Tirana Albania

3. Albanian Buses Are Reliable

What I mean by saying that Albanian buses are reliable is that they’ll take you from one town to another. So you don’t have to be afraid of getting stuck in the middle of the road alone. The bus always goes where they tell you it goes.

The other thing is that the buses don’t have timetables. In this sense, you can’t rely on any schedule. You can only hope the departure time people say is correct. But once you’re on the bus, it drives you reliably.

Gjirokaster Castle
Me exploring Gjirokaster Castle

When I was traveling from Korce to Gjirocaster, it took over 6 hours. I had no idea where I was. The bus stopped on the way at some random coffee shop, too. We were driving through the middle of nowhere, as there were just mountains and rivers around, no bigger towns.

Yet it still felt safe; they even asked me if I needed anything during the ride. Eventually, we made it safe and sound to Gjirocaster, my final destination. And the driver continuously asked me whether I was fine and didn’t need anything.

4. Accommodation In Albania Is Safe

Accommodation in Albania is also very safe. Especially if you book it through Booking.com, there is nothing to be afraid of.

Unfortunately, sometimes the quality doesn’t match the photos and description online (my experience in Ksamil), but it’s still okay.

What I can tell you from my experience, I stayed in a beautiful 5* hotel for just $20 per night in Korce. Gjirocaster, Vlore, Albanian Alps, and Tirana also have excellent accommodation spots.

Tirana Bunk'Art bunkers and underground tunnels
Me exploring the Bunk’Art tunnels in Tirana

The only place that disappointed me with the price vs. quality in terms of accommodation was Ksamil. No wonder it’s a very touristy spot, much more known as a holiday destination even for locals, not only tourists.

I didn’t have any issues with my accommodation in Albania. Nobody will rob you or try to steal anything. People are reliable, and it feels safe.

Safest Places To Visit In Albania

Albania is overall a safe place to travel to. If I were to pick one place where I felt the most uncomfortable as a solo woman traveler, it would be the capital, Tirana.

But if you use your common sense, don’t walk alone outside at night, and stay in the touristy areas, you’ll be fine.

Here is a list of the safest places I recommend visiting in Albania:

βœ… Theth & Valbona (Albanian Alps)
βœ…
Sarande
βœ…
Ksamil
βœ…
Gjirokaster
βœ…
Dhermi
βœ…
Berat
βœ…
Shkodra

If you want to visit the most beautiful and safe places in Albania, check out my article about the 21 most beautiful places in Albania. I visited all of them during my trip.

Where To Stay In Albania

To help you plan your stay, these are the hotels and places I recommend you stay for extra safety:

🏠 BEST PLACES TO STAY IN THETH & VALBONA:
➑ Villa Ujevara
➑ Gurra Family Guesthouse
➑ Valbona Resort & Spa
➑ Bujtina Valbone

🏠 BEST PLACES TO STAY IN SARANDE:
➑ Eli’s Seafront Boutique Apartment
➑ Sun N Blue Hotel
➑ Yacht Premium Hotel

🏠 BEST PLACES TO STAY IN GJIROKASTER:
➑ Kerculla Resort
➑ The Stone Sky Hotel
➑ Argyropolis Boutique Hotel

🏠 BEST PLACES TO STAY IN BERAT:
➑ Amalia Hotel
➑ Hotel Residenca Desaret

🏠 BEST PLACES TO STAY IN DHERMI:
➑ White Rocks Apartments
➑ La Brisa Boutique Hotel
➑ Essos Villas

🏠 BEST PLACE TO STAY IN SHKODRA:
➑ Hotel Tradita

Albania Hotel Tradita Shkodra
Hotel Tradita in Shkodra

πŸ‘‰ READ ALSO: 23 Amazing Things To Do In Albania

Safety In Albania

Albania ranks n. 54 in the safety index by the Global Resident website gives it a higher safety score than some other popular tourist countries such as Italy, Netherlands, or Canada.

To help you keep safe and avoid any potential risks, here are some official facts and my tips to give you a general understanding of safety in Albania.

Entry Requirements For Albania

First, check if you need a Visa to travel to Albania. You can do so by clicking this link and seeing all the documents and visas you need for Albania.

The easiest is to fly to Albania (either Tirana or Vlore). Ensure your passport doesn’t expire in less than 8 months because some airlines might not take you on board.

The border crossing takes a long time if you’re reaching Albania by land. Albania isn’t in the Schengen Zone, which means the border controls still exist. Prepare to be waiting at least 1.5 hours at the border.

Transportation Safety In Albania

Transportation in Albania is overall safe. Traveling as a solo woman, you must be a bit cautious.

Taxi Safety In Albania

When traveling, many men offer taxi services and want to take you somewhere, even though they’re not official taxi drivers. It’s okay to take these, but I suggest grouping with other travelers to take them and share the costs.

I felt a bit insecure about taking these taxi transfers alone, and you should be cautious, too. Make sure you travel with other people and at least 1 guy is in the car.

Otherwise, there is nothing wrong with these – locals just want to earn money. They know that public transportation isn’t reliable in Albania. When they see you waiting at the bus stop, they approach you and ask if you need a ride.

is Albania safe for solo female travellers albanian buses transportation safety
Public Transportation – Albanian Buses

They can take you even on a 4-hour ride. First, negotiate the price before getting into the car. Then, find other people to share the taxi ride with, and overall, check how you feel about the driver. You’re good to go if you’ve done all these 3 options.

The same also applies to hitchhiking in Albania.

Public Buses & Safety

Public buses in Albania are safe to take. I took them many times, and there is nothing to be worried about. Usually, you pay cash to the driver or a guy collecting cash throughout the journey.

Ask how much the ride costs before getting on the bus so you don’t get scammed.

Crime In Albania

You should be aware of a medium crime risk in Albania. But don’t let it put you off visiting this stunning country. If you use common sense, it’ll be fine. The danger is everywhere globally; the best precaution is to know about it and behave accordingly.

The most common crime cases in Albania are:

  • Scams
  • Theft
  • Kidnapping
  • Human Trafficking

Scams and thefts are common in Albania. Especially when traveling, be aware of money scams. Albania has its official currency, LEK, and locals sometimes take advantage of tourists not knowing the conversion.

Similarly, when paying for buses and taxis in Albania, it’s best to know how much things cost. Otherwise, they’ll charge you more. So be present, and ask your hotel or local friends how much things cost so you don’t get scammed.

Albania Rozafa Castle Shkodra
Me exploring Albania

Keep all your belongings with you, don’t have your backpack open, and don’t wear anything (phone, purse) in your pockets. This way, you can also avoid thefts – these things happen regularly when traveling, not just in Albania.

Don’t walk alone at night through the streets to avoid any risks. And stay within the touristy areas.

Tap Water In Albania

Drinking tap water in Albania is safe, especially in the Albanian Alps, where the water comes from fresh springs. I drank the water, and nothing happened to me.

Nevertheless, I recommend buying water rather than tap water when traveling anywhere. I’ve made this habit over the past year or so, even at home. It’s just overall safer and healthier.

4 Tips For Solo Female Travelers In Albania

I want to give you extra tips to make your travel experience in Albania even more memorable and enjoyable. With them, you can start planning your Albanian trip and avoid some trouble on the road.

Here are my 4 main tips for solo female travelers in Albania:

  1. Be Flexible
  2. Book Your Accommodation On The Way
  3. Travel With A Small Backpack
  4. Don’t Walk Outside Late At Night

1. Be Flexible When Traveling Albania

Traveling to Albania is not the easiest for planning and organization. As mentioned in my other articles, you must be very flexible in Albania. In addition, there are no bus timetables; sometimes, the organization needs to do better.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t change anything about Albania being safe as a travel destination. It just has its own rules and terms. Public buses don’t have fixed timetables, and even people at the stations don’t know bus departures in some cities (like Korce). So don’t expect to be an organized traveler as you would be in Switzerland or Sweden.

Albanian Alps Theth

2. Book Your Accommodation On The Way

Considering you’re traveling by bus and never know the exact timetable of buses in Albania, it’s also more challenging to book your accommodation. You want to avoid getting into trouble for missing the last bus to your destination and not having a way to get to your accommodation.

Therefore, I recommend you book your accommodation for the day only if you’re sure you’ll make it to your final destination. If you’re unsure whether there’ll be a bus to your next stop, wait and book the accommodation once you’re on the bus.

3. Travel With A Small Backpack

Albania’s infrastructure isn’t the most developed. Even though they’ve reconstructed the roads over the past years, you might be put into a situation when a bus leaves you at a remote bus station, and you’ll have to get to the town center. Or, for instance, villages in the Albanian Alps.

In these cases, you’ll be grateful for not carrying a suitcase on such terrain. Suitcases can be very annoying. If you pack it into a smaller backpack (40L), you won’t get into trouble. With a small backpack, you get it onto your shoulders and are ready to go and walk wherever you need.

It also prevents you from theft, at least from my experience, since you look like a smart traveler, not like a regular tourist.

is Albania safe for solo female travellers my traveling Albania alone
Me exploring Albania alone with my 40L backpack

4. Don’t Walk Outside Late At Night

To be extra cautious, I never walk in the streets late at night when I travel as a solo female. You never know what might happen. Albania has many men outside all the time. And some of them don’t behave nicely.

What I mean by that is they sometimes stare at you or start shouting at you. Nothing happens if you don’t turn around and disregard them. It only feels a bit uncomfortable.

So if you want to avoid these situations, stay at your accommodation later at night.

FAQs

I’ve also answered some of the frequently asked questions. Check my answers below:

Is Albania Safe For American Tourists?

Yes, Albania is safe for American tourists. Locals are friendly and welcoming; you can go road-tripping and enjoy the country to the fullest.

Is Albania Welcoming To Tourists?

Yes, Albania is super welcoming to tourists. When I visited it on my 10-day road trip, I felt safe, and the locals were happy to show me around, offered me drinks and food, and wanted to chat. It was an unforgettable experience.

Are Albanians Friendly To Tourists?

Yes, Albanians are super friendly to tourists. When I visited Albania, I met many welcoming and hospitable locals who helped me to get around, showed me the way, drove me to my destination when I got lost, and offered me food and drinks. They’re lovely.

What Is The Safest Country In Europe To Travel Alone As A Woman?

Switzerland is the safest country in Europe to travel to as a solo woman. It has a great transportation system and friendly people, and you can also walk alone at night in the mountain towns.

WRAP-UP: Traveling As A Solo Woman In Albania

This is what safety in Albania looks like for everyone, especially for solo female travelers. I truly had an incredible time in the country. I met friendly and welcoming locals who showed me around and were willing to help me. It’s a shame that Albania doesn’t have a good safety reputation, and we need to change it.

So, if I’ve inspired you to explore Albania and you have any questions or need help planning your trip, contact me at info(at)voicesoftravel.com. I’ll gladly help you. Or check out my favorite travel resources and plan by yourself.

Happy Travels!

voices of travel about me photo

About the author: Nicoletta is a travel enthusiast and passionate language learner. While traveling, she loves to connect with locals using her language skills to learn about new cultures. Look for her skiing, hiking in the mountains, or exploring new destinations as she designs travel itineraries for her clients.

ALBANIA: Interested in more articles for Albania?
Check out my Albania Travel Page:

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