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17 Top Albania Packing List Items for 2022 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

what to pack for Albania
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If you are looking for a European destination that is a little off the beaten path, and offers endless options for exploring unspoiled natural landscapes, along with breathtaking white sand beaches, you will be hard-pressed to find a better place than Albania.

There is one thing that is certain when you are visiting Albania, it’s going to be a trip filled with diverse landscapes and environments. While that makes for a thrilling trip, it can make it tricky to pack for. That’s why I’ve put together a complete list of what to pack for Albania.

What to Pack for Albania - 17 Essentials

  • 1. Packing Cubes

    Chances are that if you’re heading to Albania you’re going to be hitting both the beach and the mountains. Packing cubes are key for keeping yourself organized as you switch between terrains. I love using the Hero Packing Cubes whenever I go to a multi-faceted destination like Albania. That way I can simply just pull out the cube with my beach-friendly or hiking clothes without having to dig through my entire suitcase.

  • 2. Daypack

    The Albanian Alps offer a wide variety of day hikes for all levels. One thing that’s true whether you’re doing an expert or a beginners level trail is that you’ll want to have a daypack with you. This will let you keep your hands free as you traverse the side of the mountain, but still have the essentials like your water bottle, first aid kit, and blister bandages with you. Plus you can pack your lunch and enjoy it at one of the trail lookout points.

  • 3. Neck Wallet

    While Albania is a pretty safe place overall, petty crime can happen. I like to keep my cash and other valuables (passport, credit cards, hotel key, etc.) on my body by wearing a neck wallet. Whenever I wear it, I have peace of mind that no one is reaching into my pocket without me noticing.

  • 4. Portable Charger

    The major cities in Albania are pretty developed, but a large part of the country is still developing. Power outages happen more frequently than you would expect, and having a portable charger saves you if these unfortunate situations arise while you’re there. Plus it’s always good to have a portable charger in case you decide you’d like to go wild camping because there’s certainly no outlets in the wild.

  • 5. Universal Travel Adapter

    Whenever you head abroad, you will need to remember to pack universal travel adapters for your electronics. Albania uses European outlets, so the Hero Universal Travel Adapter three-pack should keep you sorted while you are on your Albanian adventure. Plus, I know from experience that these are quality adapters that will save you from frying your electronics.

  • 6. Life Straw Water Bottle

    It is not a good idea to drink tap water in Albania. While you might see locals drinking it— their stomachs are used to it. The water contains a high level of chlorine, which can cause stomach cramps and some not-so-fun nights spent in the bathroom. To avoid relying on bottled water, bring a water bottle with a built-in filter.

  • 7. Cooling Towel

    Albanian summers are HOT. For the moments you are not close enough to the Adriatic sea to jump in and cool off, having a cooling towel will keep you from overheating. I packed my cooling towel thinking I would use it while hiking, but I used it every single day in Tirana, the capital city because the summer heat was no joke.

  • 8. Universal Waterproof Phone Case

    With some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe— yes they even give Greece a run for their money, you’ll surely be spending a lot of time near the water. A waterproof phone case not only protects your phone but with crystal clear water, you’ll be able to take some pretty amazing photos in the sea.

  • 9. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    Albania can get pretty rainy and the scattered showers come down pretty hard. You’ll want to have a quality windproof travel umbrella. You won’t want to be fighting with an umbrella that keeps flipping inside out while it is pouring, so a quality umbrella that can withstand strong winds is essential. The Hero windproof travel umbrella has been by my side even through some pretty nasty storms, and its compact size means it does not add bulk to my daypack.

  • 10. Travel Insurance for Albania

    While you never expect something bad to happen while traveling, it can. From lost luggage to an unexpected trip to the hospital. You don’t want to wait till something happens to make sure you’re covered. Purchasing travel insurance before your trip will give you peace of mind that you’re going to be good regardless of what comes up.

  • 11. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    Trust me, after hitting the beach you won’t want to lug a big wet towel around with you while you explore the Albanian coast. Sure, you could stuff your beach towel into your daypack if you tried, but then everything inside would get wet and soggy. Rather swap it out for a quick-dry towel, it’s more compact thanks to its microfibre fabric, and drys in minutes under the hot sun.

  • 12. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    After one run-in with my credit card getting blocked due to “weird activity”, I never travel without a Virtual Private Network. When you’re connected to any public access WiFi, it’s ridiculously easy for people to hack into your computer data— including your bank and credit card information. A VPN safeguards all your online data from virtual pickpockets, so you can spend less time on the phone with your bank and more time discovering Albania.

  • 13. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    There’s nothing like coming back to your hotel or Airbnb after a long day of hiking, swimming, or sightseeing and pampering yourself with a little self-care. The Vetelli Hanging Leather Toiletry Bag makes this moment feel a little extra luxurious. Unbuckling and unrolling the genuine leather bag is always my signal that it’s time to unwind from the day.

  • 14. GoPro

    There’s no shortage of adventure in Albania— From the highest peaks to the crystal clear sea. You can go off-road driving between villages or slow it down in a kayak on Skadar Lake. Having a GoPro with you will let you document your experiences so you can relive them time and time again after returning home.

  • 15. Flotation Strap

    The last thing you want is your go-pro (or anything) sinking to the bottom of the sea. Putting a flotation strap on your valuables that you bring in the water is one of the best travel tips I’ve ever received. It’s one of those better be safe than sorry things, otherwise, you could be spending the better half of your day diving to try to recover your phone or go-pro.

  • 16. Packable Rain Jacket

    When you head out for your more adventurous activities be sure to throw your packable rain jacket in your daypack.This way if the weather becomes temperamental you’ll be able to stay dry even if your hands are busy paddling your kayak or keeping your balance on a steep trail.

  • 17. Sand Proof Beach Blanket

    The beaches in Albania are everything you could dream of, crystal clear blue water and clean white sandy beaches. They’re truly a dream— but what’s not so fun is when your towel becomes completely covered in sand after a few trips back and forth from taking a dip. Rather than using your towel to lay on, upgrade your beach experience with a sand-proof beach blanket.

What to Wear in Albania


What you should wear depends a lot on what kind of Albanian trip you’re going for. Albania has been blessed with beautiful and diverse landscapes. From the Rugged Balkan Mountains (also known as the Albanian Alps) with blue lakes, hot springs, and white sand beaches with crystal clear water. For a day immersed in the natural wonders of Albania, you’ll want to dress for the elements in sportswear.
 

In the coastal towns, you’ll want to dress a little more easy-breezy. Whereas in urban environments you can get away with just about anything— I would recommend wearing something versatile that can be dressed up or dressed down depending on where the day takes you.

Just keep in mind that you’re going to want to be comfortable as you travel across the country. The country doesn’t have many trains, so getting to remote beaches or the trailheads, you’ll most likely be catching a bus or renting a car— wearing something you’re comfortable sitting in for long journeys is important.

What Should Women Wear in Albania?- (Click to expand)

Below is a sample women’s clothing list.(All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

There are no restrictions on what you can and can’t wear in Albania— however, if you do want to enter a Mosque, like the Red Mosque in Berat, they prefer that you wear a top that covers your shoulders. In general, you’re going to want to dress casually, a pair of comfortable jeans was my go-to. On the hotter sightseeing days having cute pair of shorts and sneakers will keep you comfortable. As well, a dress that can be dressed up or dressed down is crucial for saving space for the sports clothes needed for more adventurous outings.

What Should Men Wear in Albania?- (Click to expand)

Below is a sample men’s clothing list.(All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

Unless you’re planning on going to a fine dining restaurant in Tirana, you can get away with jeans and a t-shirt just about everywhere. However, I’d pack a breezy button-down and shorts for any date night beach-side dinners. For day touring you’ll want to make sure that you have a pair of sneakers you can walk comfortably in, and a pullover in your day pack for when it gets a little cooler once the sun goes down.

Dressing for the Seasons in Albania

SUMMER – June, July, August

Summer in Albania is hot and sunny. You’ll be the most comfortable in shorts and a short-sleeve T-shirt or a flowy dress while exploring the cities. Don’t forget your hat and to put on reef-friendly sunscreen to protect your skin from the strong Mediterranean sun. The evenings can quickly cool down after the sun has set, so be sure to bring a light jacket or pullover for your evening adventures.

Temperatures in the summer range on average between 75°F to 86°F (24°C-30°C)

FALL – September, October, November

Fall in Albania is beautiful. The leaves are changing from green to bright reds and oranges, the mountains are snowcapped and the weather at sea level is temperate. Jeans and a t-shirt with a pullover, or a light jacket will keep you at a cozy temperature. If you’re headed up into the mountains be sure to bring something a little bit warmer. Depending on how high you plan on climbing you could hit snow, so warm hiking boots, pants with a sweatshirt, or a hiking jacket will be needed.

Temperatures in the fall range on average between 59°F to 73°F (15°C-23°C)

WINTER – December, January, February

Thanks to its Mediterranean climate, the winters in Albania aren’t very brisk— that is unless you’re in the mountains. If you plan on hiking during the winter months, it can get pretty cold as you gain altitude. You’ll want to pack your full-on winter gear. Depending on the region you’re in, some mountains will be completely snow-covered, while others will have more of a rain/mist situation. In the cities, you’ll be able to trade in your winter gear for a sweater and jacket— however, you will want to make sure you have a raincoat or umbrella with you because it can get pretty rainy in the winter.

Temperatures in the winter range on average between 46°F to 50°F (8°C-10°C)

SPRING – March, April, May

Spring is an incredible time to visit Albania— especially if you’re planning on spending your time in nature. The wildflowers are blossoming and filling the lower mountain prairies with color. It can get quite rainy— no rain, no flowers, right? So be sure to bring your packable rain jacket with you, as well as your umbrella. You’ll want to wear a light sweater and jeans during the day. You’ll need a jacket for the evenings because the weather drops quickly in the evening.

Temperatures in the spring range on average between 53°F to 66°F (12°C-19°C)

Dressing appropriately for the activity– (Click to expand)

Hiking in The Albanian Alps: When you’re hitting the trails in the Albanian Alps, you’ll want a pair of breathable hiking pants and good hiking boots. The weather can change as you get closer to the summit, so bringing extra layers in your daypack is essential. Most hikes can be pretty strenuous, so don’t forget your water bottle, cooling Towel, and some snacks.

The Beach: When you’re headed to the beach, you’ll want all the usual suspects— a swimsuit, coverup, beach blanket, and beach bag. In addition to those, you’ll want to have a pair of water shoes with you because there are some beaches that you can get to only on foot. You’ll have to walk through some uneven terrain like forests, streams, and possibly even rugged boulders to get there.

Skadar Lake: If you’re headed for a day spent on Skadar lake, you’ll want to leave your fancy coverups at home and opt for a light pair of shorts or even sports gear. This way you can feel comfortable jumping into a kayak and exploring the lake on your own.

Rozafa Castel: The stone Rozafa castle sits on top of a hill overlooking Shkodër, so there will be plenty of photo opportunities— wear something cute yet comfortable like a pair of jeans and a flowy top. Just make sure you have a solid pair of shoes on. The castle while in good shape given its age, but it’s still in ruins, meaning the ground is pretty uneven.

Wild Camping: Wilding camping or camping without an official camp sight is legal in Albania. Depending on where you decide to set up camp, you’ll want to have hiking boots, water shoes, loose moveable clothes, and a swimsuit.

At night you might want something a little warmer since it can get chilly, especially if you are by the sea, so jeans and a pullover will keep you cozy by the campfire.

Benja Hot Springs: No trip to Albania is complete without a relaxing day at the Benja hot springs. After a tough couple of days of trekking, the warm water feels incredible on your muscles.

You’ll want your swimsuit, water shoes, and your quick-dry towel. The water is rich with sulfur which is great for your skin, but not so much for your nose. To avoid smelling like it for the rest of the day bring a change of clothes and body soap.

What NOT to Bring to Albania

  • 1.DON’T Bring Formal Clothing

    Chances are you’re not going to need formal wear in Albania. Being a country that has stayed close to nature, they are pretty laid back and casual with their clothing. Save room in your suitcase by skipping formal wear and opting for casual clothes that can be dressed up if need be.

  • 2.DON’T Bring Valuables

    When traveling to Albania you can leave your valuables at home. It’s a modest country and the people who dress and show off their riches have a bad reputation in the country. To not draw unwanted attention to yourself, leave your blingy jewelry and name brands at home.

  • 3.DON’T Bring Books

    You’ll most likely be moving around quite a bit while you’re exploring this Balkan country. Leave the bulky books behind and bring a kindle instead. You’ll be thanking me for this suggestion when you’re lugging your suitcase from the train to your hotel.

  • 4.DON’T Bring Euros

    Albania is a European Country, but it is not part of the European Union (yet). Euros will be of no help in a country that uses the Albanian Lek— you can request Lek from your bank in advance or withdraw some from an ATM when you get there.

  • 5.DON’T Bring Heels

    You won’t need stilettos while you’re in Albania. Not only are most of the roads not the smoothest for walking, but they’re also pretty hilly— so skip the high heels. Rather pack something that you will be comfortable walking in and that can navigate uneven roads with ease. The last thing you’ll want is a sprained ankle on your trip.

  • 6.DON’T Bring Camping Gear

    Skip bringing your gear and rent it once you get there. There are numerous places to rent gear from in all the major cities. The gear is super affordable, and the room you save in your luggage will easily be filled with all the souvenirs that you collect during your trip.

What NOT to Wear in Albania – (Click to expand)

As I mentioned before there are no hard and fast rules about what you can and can’t wear in Albania— however, there are some unspoken rules.

In general, you’re not going to want to dress super flashy. With the majority of the locals dressing casually, dressing super over the top will only draw unwanted attention. The locals tend to look at people who show their wealth through clothes and cars as people who earned their money in an unethical way, so to avoid that label, keep it casual.

If you’re going to a mosque you shouldn’t wear anything too revealing. While they won’t ask you to leave, they prefer if your shoulders and knees are covered while visiting their place of worship.

FAQs about Traveling to Albania

  • 1. What kinds of transportation are available in Albania?

    Albania’s train system is VERY limited. Rather than dealing with the limited schedule, which can be as little as one train a week, people get around using buses or by coach. Within cities, there are public buses that you can buy tickets or passes for. Uber doesn’t exist in Albania, so if you want to use a ride-calling app you’ll need to download Speed Taxi, Taxi.al, or Ups Taxi App. You can also ask your hotel for the local taxi WhatsApp number to call for a taxi via text.

    What kinds of transportation are available in Albania?
  • 2. What's the best time to visit Albania?

    The best time to visit Albania is in September. The weather is still hot enough to climb to a secluded beach or hike in just a tank top, but you won’t be fighting the crowds that take over in the high summer months.

  • 3. What are the best beaches in Albania?

    With coastlines boarding both the Ionian and Adriatic seas, there are countless beaches to choose from in Albania. I have yet to come across one that wasn’t breathtaking, but I’ve narrowed it down to the top 10 beaches in Albania:

    • Ksamil
    • Dhërmi
    • Drymades
    • Borsh- 7km long
    • Gjipe
    • Himara
    • Bunec
    • Lukova
    • Palasa
    • Jalë
    • Pasqyrat
    • Orikum
    What are the best beaches in Albania?
  • 4. What language is spoken in Albania?

    The official language of Albania is Albanian. The younger population is ok with English, but anyone above the age of 40 most likely doesn’t know English, so make sure you bring your Albanian phrase book along.

  • 5. Is it safe in Albania?

    For the most part, yes. The crime that Albania has doesn’t normally affect tourists, rather it’s corruption such as doing business with “black money” or dealing drugs. You won’t need to worry, but like anywhere in the world you should always use your best judgment, and secure your valuables using a neck wallet.

    Is it safe in Albania?
  • 6. What currency do they use in Albania?

    Albania uses the Albanian Lek.

  • 7. What Cities Should I visit in Albania?

    • Tirana (Capital & Biggest)
    • Sarandë (for the Archaeological Remains)
    • Berat (Berat Castle & Historical Ottoman Architecture)
    • Durrës (Roman Amphitheater & Beaches)
    • Ksamil (Beach town)
    • Buthrotum (Ancient Ruins)
    • Gjiorkaster (Mountain Town)
    What Cities Should I visit in Albania?
  • 8. What's the best Hike in Albania?

    Like beaches, there are no shortages of hikes in Albania. From easy treks to hard summits. They have it all. I’ve shortlisted the five must-do hikes in Albania:

    • The Blue Eye of Theth —Brings you to a natural spring
    • Kryezi Waterfalls Trail —Beautiful waterfalls along the trail
    • Mount Korab— Tallest summit in Albania
    • Mount Dajti— Beautiful vistas from the summit
    • Trekking trail from Valbona to Thethi — Three-day hike between two Albanian Villages