5 ways to travel in Albania on a budget
The Balkans in eastern Europe boast scenic landscapes, beautiful architecture, amazing people, and several less-explored hiking trails. One of the Balkan countries, Albania has great tourism potential. Furthermore, for us Indians, it is one of the cheap European countries one can explore on a budget. Here's how you can experience this amazing country on a budget within a week.
Most Albanians don't speak English; learn a few basic phrases to communicate. Albania does not have trains, so you have to either rely on buses and cabs or rent a car if you have an international driver's license. Also, it is best to carry cash.
Berat was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008 for the city's unique style of architecture. Located in southern Albania, this town on the Osum River is surrounded by mountains. The city houses incredible churches, beautiful mosques, and picturesque Ottoman houses. Berat is fondly called the "town of a thousand windows," due to the several large windows in the old houses.
Tirana is the most expensive place in Albania, and yet it is quite affordable. Go on a free Tirana walking tour in the morning, and visit Skanderbeg Square, Et'hem Bey Mosque, Muzeu Historik Kombetar, Sahat-Kulla (Clock Tower), Puppet Theater, and the Pyramid of Tirana. Later in the day visit the Bunk'art museum, a nuclear shelter from the Communist era converted into a museum.
Situated on the border between North Macedonia and Albania, Lake Ohrid in eastern Albania is a magnificent location most tourists don't know about. Although North Macedonia's side of the lake is more famous with foreigners, Ohrid in Albania, designated UNESCO World Heritage status in 2019, isn't one to disappoint either. Take a bus to Pogradec from Tirana and hike the rest of the way.
The Cave of Pëllumbas is located near the village of Pëllumbas. It lies on the slopes of Dajti, at 500 meters above sea level. The cave has been recognized as a natural monument by the Ministry of Environment of Albania. Hike through the forests to see remains of ancient human civilization from the Paleolithic age in the cave. Don't forget to carry large flashlights.
Dhermi is a village in Vlore County on the Albanian Riviera. The pebbly beach wraps around the crystal clear Ionian Sea. You can easily find a quiet spot on this long beach away from the crowds even during peak season. You can stay either on the beach in one of the multitudes of hotels, or in the Old Town if you have a car.