Albania flag

Albania has long been one of Europe’s most isolated countries, and among the last to be drawn into the fall of the Iron Curtain. The Stalinist communist regime is gone, and Albania is now a charter destination that attracts tourists with cultural treasures, pristine coves and a fascinating history.

Capital: Tirana
Biggest city: Tirana
State: republic
Language: Albanian
Religion: Islam, Christian Orthodoxy, Catholicism
Surface: 28 748 km²
Population: 2.8 million (2013)
Population density: 127 residents per km²
Life expectancy: 78 years
Illiteracy: 1%
Currency: lek (ALL)
1 lek = 0.07 kr
GDP per capita: $ 7,300 (2010)
Time difference: +1 hour
Electricity: 220 V AC, 50Hz
National Day: 28 November
Country area code: 355
2-Letter country abbreviation: AL (See more abbreviations on Abbreviationfinder)
Business: agriculture 56%, industry 21%, service sector 23%
Climate: mild, temperate; with cold, humid winters and hot dry summers; colder in the mountains

When Lonely Planet ranked the world’s best travel destination in 2011, Albania topped the list. The first place was motivated by the hospitality, the good food (inspired by the Italian and Turkish cuisines), the beaches, the cultural heritage, the affordable price level and a population that still thinks it is fun with tourists.

Albania has an ancient history, but for thousands of years the country was mostly occupied by other countries. It was not until the end of World War II that it succeeded in liberating itself, and then became a communist dictatorship. Enver Hoxha ruled the country with an iron fist until his death in 1985. At Hoxha’s death, Albania was Europe’s poorest country. The first free parliamentary elections took place in 1991.

Albania’s nature is characterized by high mountains and rippling streams. Around the dormant mountain villages, shepherds herd their cattle in the same way as they have always done, and getting around the countryside is often described as a real time travel.

Albania flag


The following objects in Albania are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The year in which the item was added to the list is indicated in parentheses.

  • Ruins of Butrinti (1992)
  • Berats and Gjirokastra Historical Center (2005)


Electricity and electrical outlets in Albania

Voltage: 220 V

Frequency: 50 Hz

Type of plug: C, F

Need an adapter: No, you do not need an adapter.


Weather in Tirana

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Christmas Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average temperature °C 7 7 11 13 18 22 24 24 21 16 11 8
Day °C 11 11 15 17 23 27 29 29 26 21 16 12
Night °C 2 2 6 9 13 17 19 18 15 11 6 3

Albania 2


According to Countryaah, Tirana is the capital of Albania. It is the central town of the Tirana district and the city of residence of the prefecture of Tirana. The city has 585,756 residents (in 2005).

The place has been inhabited since ancient times. The city was founded in 1614 by the Ottoman general Süleyman Pascha who had a mosque, a bakery and a Turkish bath built on the site he named Tehran after a military victory in Tehran, Persia. Tirana replaced Durrës as the capital in 1920 when the Albanians revolted against the Italian occupation that ended World War I. During King Zog’s time (1928-39), Italian architects were hired to rebuild and refine the city. The city was the seat of the Communist Party of Albania, founded in 1941. The Albanian partisan army managed to liberate the city from the German and Italian occupiers in 1944 and pushed them out against the port city of Durrës.

In the “Old Town” there are ancient buildings and architecture. Skanderbegtorget is located in the city center, next to it is the Etehem Bej mosque, a church and the Palace of Culture. Attractions also include the National History Museum and the Communist Party House, as well as the Shpella e Zezë.