Albania is a backpacker’s paradise. The country offers incredible natural landscapes, a great social atmosphere, yummy food, and so much more… all at a very affordable price! One of my favourite things about backpacking in Albania was the hostel scene. Needless to say, in this guide I’m gonna tell you all about the best hostels in Albania – sorted by destination.
I travelled for 1.5 months in Albania and stayed at hostels almost every night of my trip. At these hostels I met lifelong friends, had summer romances, and really got to know the country I was travelling. The hostels in Albania are a great place to socialize as well as gather information about the city/destination you’re travelling in. You won’t find too much information about Albania online, so the locals and hostel employees are the best way to learn about what’s in the area, the local bus schedule, etc.
Without further ado, here are the best hostels in Albania as well as helpful Albania travel tips.
- 3 best hostels in Albania
- Best hostels in Tirana
- Best hostels in Shkoder
- Best hostels in Saranda
- Best hostels in Berat
- Best hostels in Gjirokaster
- Best hostels in Himara
- Best hostels in Vlora
- Best guesthouses in Permet
- Best guesthouses in the Albanian Alps
- Best guesthouses on the Shala River
This post contains affiliate links; see my full disclosure. If you click these links and make a purchase you’re supporting The Holistic Backpacker. Thanks for your support & happy adventuring! – Taylor ♡
Quick Albania Travel Guide:
Currency: Albanian LEK (aka ALL). This is a closed currency so you’ll need to wait until you’re in Albania to exchange $.
Transportation: to enter the country you can find 1 international airport in Tirana, 1 port in Saranda (daily ferry arrivals/departures to Corfu, Greece), and a bus line from Montenegro. Buses are very cheap here, but unreliable. Driving is chaotic, I’d recommend sticking to buses. There are no trains within the country.
Phone: purchase a local SIM card from Vodafone – the plans are cheap and they include lots of data, however international minutes are typically not available.
Language: Albanian, however you can get by with English – google translate recommended for smaller cities/villages.
Travel Insurance: ALWAYS purchase reliable insurance prior to your trip. This insurance is trusted by backpackers and adventure sport enthusiasts around the world.
Albania is one of the last “undiscovered” countries in Europe. Plan your trip while prices & tourism levels are low!
- 18 Helpful Tips You Should Know BEFORE Travelling Albania
- 17 Best Places in Albania
- Backpacker’s Guide to the Best Hostels in Albania
- Hiker’s Guide to the Albanian Alps
- 10 Reasons to Visit the Shala River aka the “Thailand of Albania”
Fast Forward… Best Hostels in Albania
Don’t have time to read? Here are my #1 hostel recommendations per city in Albania:
- Tirana: Trip’n’Hostel or Tirana Backpackers
- Saranda: Saranda Backpackers
- Gjirokaster: Stone City Hostel or Friend’s Hostel
- Berat: Berat Backpackers
- Permet: Funky Guesthouse & Adventures
- Vlora: Vlora Backpackers
- Himara: Himara Hostel or Sun Baker’s Hostel
Best hostels in the Albanian Alps:
- Shkoder: Wanderer’s Hostel
- Theth: Shpella Guesthouse
- Valbona: Villas Jezerca
- Shala River: Komani Lake Guesthouse or Bee Eco Guesthouse
9 Tips for Staying in Albania’s Hostels
- Hostels in Albania are cheap! If you choose to stay in dorms, you can usually find accommodations for 10 euros/night.
- You don’t have to book hostels in Albania far in advance unless you plan to stay at a popular hostel. Why? At the time of writing this post (August 2022), Albania totally flies under the radar and it isn’t a popular tourist destination. This will change with time as more people discover this country. But for now, Albania is the ultimate country for last minute and spontaneous travel!
- You’ll need to pay in cash upon arriving – either in the local currency (LEK) or euros.
- Most hostels in Albania include a delicious breakfast – don’t book a hostel unless they offer this!
- Most hostels in Albania also include complimentary linens, towels, etc. I didn’t have a personal travel towel or sleeping bag liner with me the entire 1.5 months I travelled Albania and I was totally fine without one.
- If you need a cooler sleeping environment, always look for hostels that have air conditioning – not all of them do. And some of the hostels get unbearably hot at night.
- In some places like the Shala River or the Albanian Alps you’ll find guest houses rather than hostels.
- Hostels in Albania are oftentimes run by families. This means you’ll see generations working together to provide you with a comfortable and memorable experience.
- Most of the hostels in Albania are shockingly nice for the amount you pay.
3 Best Hostels in Albania
During my 1.5 month stay in Albania I stayed at tons of hostels. Like, tons. I heard the hostel scene in Albania was good, so I wanted to check out as many as possible while I had the chance!
Some hostels weren’t great and some were downright terrible, however the vast majority of them blew my mind! I couldn’t believe I was paying only 10 euros/night to stay in these amazing facilities WITH an included (& delicious) breakfast.
In this post I’ll talk about all the best hostels in Albania by city, however the following are easily the 3 best hostels in Albania:
1. Wanderer’s Hostel in Shkoder
Wanderer’s Hostel in Shkoder easily takes the spot as the #1 best hostel in Albania for a few reasons. I’ll go into more detail about why next, however a few winning points the hostel offers are: the employees are super friendly, the employees will plan your whole trip to the Albanian Alps, the hostel is clean, spacious, and has great air conditioning. There are also curtains on the beds, storage lockers, a beautiful outdoor garden space, events, AND a massive & delicious (included) breakfast.
Check prices & availability for Wanderer’s Hostel.
2. Berat Backpackers in Berat
Berat Backpackers makes my list of best hostels in Albania due to the ample amount of outdoor space, yummy breakfast, comfort and quality of the building itself as well as the tours offered by the employees.
Check prices & availability for Berat Backpackers Hostel.
3. Stone City Hostel in Gjirokaster
If we’re talking luxury, Stone City Hostel is just that (for a hostel, at least). The outdoor garden space is absolutely beautiful, the decor and furniture inside is super homey, there are tours available to nearby attractions, and it’s located just steps from Berat’s bizarre/patio scene.
Check prices & availability for Stone City Hostel.
Best Hostels in Albania – By City
Unless otherwise specified, all hostels on this list offer: included breakfast, storage lockers, linens & towels, internet, laundry facilities (for a fee), air conditioning, and a communal kitchen.
Best Hostels in Tirana
Tirana is the capital city in Albania and it’s likely the city you’ll enter and leave the country from; Tirana is home to the country’s only international airport. In Tirana you’ll find plenty of museums, rich history, restaurants, and services/amenities. If you need to do any shopping do it in Tirana! It’s very difficult to buy things in Albania, generally speaking.
Best Hostels in Tirana:
1. Tirana Backpacker’s Hostel
Tirana Backpacker’s Hostel is an all around Hostel in Tirana. In addition to all the basic amenities the hostel offers you’ll find an in-house bar here, bike rentals, day tours, and a vegetarian dinner (for an extra fee). There’s also a garden space out back with hammocks and orange trees.
The only catch with Tirana Backpackers Hostel is that it fills up quickly. Book in advance!
Check prices and availability for Tirana Backpacker’s Hostel.
Trip’n’Hostel makes #2 of best hostels in Tirana. The hostel itself is mildly grim, but it’s one of the few “party hostels” in the country. Most of the hostels in Albania have a very chill vibe – similar to the whole chill, Albanian lifestyle – but not this one.
At Trip’n’Hostel you’re guaranteed to find a young crowd and a lively atmosphere!
Check prices & availability for Trip’n’Hostel.
Best Hostels in Shkoder
Located in northern Albania, Shkoder is the gateway city to the Albanian Alps as well as Komani Lake and the Shala River. Shkoder is known as Albania’s “ancient city” and it’s the culture capital of the country. You’ll find a great social atmosphere, access to nature, a huge cafe/patio scene, as well as a big biking culture here.
Shkoder was actually one of my favourite cities in Albania – combined with the alps and Shala River I spent around 2 weeks here!
Shkoder & northern Albania resources:
- Things to do in Shkoder + 6 day Shkoder/Alps itinerary
- A hiker’s guide to the Albanian Alps
- 10 Reasons you should visit the Shala River in Albania
Best Hostels in Shkoder:
1. Wanderer’s Hostel
Wanderer’s Hostel is the best hostel in Shkoder as well as the best hostel in Albania. Yup, this place is pretty rad!
My favourite thing about Wanderer’s Hostel is the staff. They are SO friendly and helpful. They organize events (like karaoke night) and actually get involved. If you’re going hiking in the alps they’ll plan your entire trip; accommodations, transportation, AND additional luggage storage.
The hostel itself has a beautiful outdoor garden space, nice sleeping facilities, balconies overlooking the patio scene, and the best included breakfast of all the hostels in Albania. Like seriously, different fruits, byrek, eggs, spreads and jams, cheeses – you name it! They also offer bike rentals and day tours.
Book your stay at Wanderer’s Hostel in advance though – they fill up quick!
Check prices & availability for Wanderer’s Hostel.
2. Shkodra Backpackers Hostel – Mi Casa es To Casa
Shkodra Backpackers is another great option in Shkoder. The hostel is built within a historical house in the centre of Shkoder and it features an outdoor garden space with fruit trees.
My favourite thing about Shkodra Backpackers though are their environmental practices. You’ll quickly discover that Albania is quite unethical when it comes to the environment. Shkodra Backpackers puts a big emphasis on bio-eating and agro-tourism. This is a direct quote from the hostel:
“We try to use Eco-friendly practices and reduce our impact on the environment such as recycling, composting, use of solar panels, seasonal eating and purchasing products from local farmers. Our breakfasts and dinners are always organic and vegetarian”– Shkodra Backpackers Hostel
Shkodra Backpackers Hostel also helps organize tours to the alps in addition to offering bike rentals, and free walking tours.
Check prices & availability for Shkodra Backpacker’s Hostel.
Best Hostels in Saranda
Saranda can be pretty much summed up as the ultimate “tourist destination” of Albania. The city is located in the southern region of the country right across the Ionian Sea from Korfu, Greece.
I know what you’re thinking… “ew, tourist destination.” BUT Saranda actually has so much to offer! It’s located near Butrint (a UNESCO site), the Blue Eye of Saranda (a natural phenomenon you can’t miss), and the Ksamil beaches (sandy beaches with wildly blue water). Plus, since it’s a “tourist” spot, you’ll find a poppin’ social atmosphere & nightlife here.
Best Hostels in Saranda:
1. Saranda Backpacker’s Hostel
Saranda Backpacker’s Hostel is the place to be in Saranda – you will have to book in advance though to ensure you get a room.
The hostel has a great environment and it’s central location puts it near the bus stop, the ferry to Corfu, ATMS, car & bike rentals, and all the other good stuff you’ll want access to during your stay.
Check prices & availability for Saranda Backpacker’s Hostel.
2. Wallaby Hostel
Wallaby Hostel is where I spent my time Saranda and it did not disappoint. Okay well actually the hostel was kinda grim, the breakfast was dismal, and the hostel was located up on a hill which sucked, BUT the vibe here was excellent.
The owner is Australian (hence “Wallaby”) and this attracts a fun crowd. Wallaby Hostel is where I met some of my lifelong friends in Albania and where I had some of the most fun on my entire trip in Albania!
After 11pm a quiet hour is enforced in the area, so to deal with this the owner has opened a bar downtown where he hosts frequent karaoke nights and serves $1 beers. You won’t find yourself living the high life at Wallaby Hostel, but I can guarantee you a social experience.
You can check prices & availability for Wallaby Hostel via Hostelworld.
Hasta La Vista is one of those hostels that has sooo much potential, but it’s not quite there yet. The hostel itself is MASSIVE – like I’ve actually never seen a hostel so big. It can fit tons of people and yet still it’s easy find alone time/space due to its massive size.
My favourite thing about Hasta La Vista Hostel was the water filter – no need to buy plastic water bottles here!
Check pricing & availability for Hostel Hasta La Vista.
Best Hostels in Berat
Berat is one of Albania’s many UNESCO World Heritage sites. The city is filled with historic Ottoman houses, a huge castle, plus it’s situated right next to Osumi Canyon (aka the Grand Canyon of Albania) and Mount Tomorr National Park. OH and Berat also has the BEST ice cream in Albania; trust me, I’ve tried the ice cream everywhereeeee in Albania.
Here’s my complete guide to Berat + a 2 day itinerary.
Best Hostels in Berat:
1. Berat Backpackers Hostel
Berat Backpackers makes the top 3 list of best hostels in Albania. It’s also the #1 hostel in Berat!
Berat Backpackers is an absolutely beautiful hostel in the Gorica quarter which overlooks the entire city of Berat – the view from the garden is one of the best sunset views you’ll get in the whole city! The garden space outside is super cozy and expansive and there’s ample space in the basement. All this space is great if you’re looking for quiet time or if you’re a digital nomad (like me) who needs space to work.
The hostel offers an absolutely delicious breakfast (like sooo good), as well as day tours; like this one to the Osumi Canyon & Bogove Waterfall.
Check prices & availability for Berat Backpackers Hostel.
2. Maya Hostel
Maya Hostel is actually the sister hostel to Berat Backpackers. The hostel operates the same and offers the same tours and amenities as Berat Backpackers. I’m recommending you book with Berat Backpackers because the hostel is a bit nicer and has more space than Maya Hostel, however Maya Hostel is a fantastic alternative if Berat Backpackers is full.
*Maya Hostel is more suitable than Berat Backpackers to those with mobility issues as you don’t have to climb any stairs or walk uphill to access it.
Check prices & availability for Maya Hostel.
If both Berat Backpackers and Maya Hostel are full, hostel Mangalem is the alternative hostel I recommend booking. Hotel Mangalem is located across the river from Berat Backpackers in the Mangalem quarter which puts you a bit closer to the restaurants, “nightlife,” and attractions of Berat.
Check prices and availability for Hostel Mangalem.
Best Hostels in Gjirokaster
Gjirokaster – another UNESCO World Heritage Site – may have been the quaintest & cutest city I visited in Albania. Nicknamed the “city of stone,” the streets of Gjirokaster are made of ancient cobblestone and the entire “city centre” is a bizarre filled with artisan crafts, local vendors, and patios. You can also find a castle, hiking trails, and museums/old bunkers here.
Best Hostels in Gjirokaster:
1. Stone City Hostel
Stone City Hostel is an absolutely beautiful hostel in Gjirokaster. The owners have literally poured their heart and soul into this place; the woman who owns it even makes her famous cake recipe for travellers at breakfast! Speaking of breakfast, it’s done community style at a large table in the kitchen. This style of breakfast makes it super easy to make friends in the morning before everyone sets off for their adventures.
Stone City Hostel was built into one of the historic stone homes in the centre near the bizarre. The hostel is located near all the action in town, and the owners offer a variety of tours an excursions – sometimes even off-roading up into the mountains!
Stone City is one of the few hostels in Albania that you’ll need to book in advance. Since it’s so popular, it fills up quickly.
*ps. there’s a water filter here – no need to buy water in plastic bottles!
Check prices & availability for Stone City Hostel.
2. Friend’s Hostel
Friend’s Hostel is run by a 3 generation family and you’ll see them all working together to cook and serve meals, do laundry, change bedding, etc.
The hostel is spotless, the beds have curtains (a rarity in Albania), the bathrooms are super nice and spacious, and the owners make traditional meals for a very affordable price (big portions). Friends hostel in Berat is a little quieter than Stone City Hostel, which makes it the perfect place to hideout if you’re looking for a quieter experience in Berat.
*The only downfall is that there’s no communal kitchen.
Check prices & availability for Friends Hostel.
Best Hostels in Himara
If you’re after a quiet getaway complete with nature, hidden beaches, and smaller crowds – Himara is for you! Himara is an absolutely gorgeous destination on the Albanian Riviera surrounded by mountains, coastline, and lush vegetation.
The relaxing vibes and quiet atmosphere of Himara totally sucked me in – I ended up spending a whole week here relaxing on the coast, going for paddles, and generally just enjoying the surrounding nature. Himara is one of those places you can describe as there being “nothing wrong” with it. It’s kind of like utopia in Himara and because of this travellers often find themselves spending more time here than they plan for.
Here are some helpful Himara resources:
- Complete guide to Himara + a 3 day itinerary
- Kayaking route along the Albanian Riviera (Himara to Gjipe)
- How to find the hidden Gjiri Filikuri beach
Best Hostels in Himara:
1. Himara Hostel
Himara Hostel is a fabulous hostel located (just outside) the heart of Himara. This is one of the most chill hostels I’ve ever stayed at. The garden space is huge, there are hammocks and outdoor seating everywhere, and there are lots of animals roaming around! When I was at Himara Hostel there were 2 brand new litters of kittens (I’m not crying, you’re crying).
The hostel employees are very knowledgeable about the area and they offer cheap kayak rentals. This is perfect if you’re looking to kayak along the Albanian Riviera.
*there’s no air conditioning here, however the heat is totally bearable inside.
Check prices & availability for Himara Hostel.
2. Sun Baker’s Hostel
Sun Baker’s Hostel has a wild view overlooking the Ionian Sea & all of Himara – seriously it’s so beautiful. In the (massive) outdoor garden space you’ll find olive trees along with plenty of other vegetation. The hostel is only a 100m walk to the beach and there’s an in-house bar here!
Check prices & availability for Sun Baker’s Hostel.
Hostels in Himara don’t stop at just the Himara Hostel and Sun Baker’s, though. Himara has a great third option – Himara Relax Hostel. Himara Relax Hostel is family run and has an incredible view overlooking the Ionian Sea.
Check prices & availability for Himara Relax Hostel.
Best Hostels in Vlora
I’ll be honest, Vlora isn’t a fan favourite in Albania. However I really enjoyed my time in Vlora and I think there’s lots the city has to offer!
In Vlora you can find sandy beaches – which is quite different than the rest of the Albanian Riviera’s rocky coastline – as well as flamingos. Vlora is the access point for the Karaburun Peninsula and there’s a super cute Old Town here! There are some crazy ice cream bars and the palm trees lining the streets give off a total Cali vibe.
Here’s my complete guide to Vlora + a 2 day itinerary.
Best Hostels in Vlora:
Vlora Backpackers Hostel
Vlora Backpackers Hostel might just be one of the most run down hostels in Albania I visited, however somehow my experience there was great and I wouldn’t think twice about returning!
The owner of Vlora Backpackers Hostel is so funny and kind. He’s got great suggestions for the area and local hookups for tours and excursions. He offers bike rentals for just a few euros and he’s got the cutest dogs roaming around.
I can’t even explain it because this place was seriously not that great, but my experience here… lovely.
Check prices & availability for Vlora Backpacker’s Hostel.
Decent hostels are limited in Vlora. If you’re travelling as a group or don’t mind shelling out a little extra cash, I’d recommend booking a hotel instead.
Best Guesthouses in Permet
Permet flies under the radar as far as travel destinations in Albania go, but that makes for more of a reason to visit!
The city of Permet is located right next to Fir of Hotova National Park. In the park you’ll find natural hot springs said to have healing powers, the incredibly beautiful Lengarica Canyon, and there’s an option to embark on a wild horseback riding journey up in the mountains. Permet also has a tasty local dessert called gliko which is kind of like candied fruit.
Best Guesthouses in Permet:
*There are no hostels in Permet – only guesthouses and hotels.
1. Funky Guesthouse & Adventures
Funky Guesthouse & Adventures is THE place to stay in Permet. The guesthouse is located centrally in town, they offer great excursions (like this horseback riding tour), and they serve a delicious, buffet style breakfast.
Check prices & availability for Funky Guesthouse & Adventures.
2. Eljo’s House
Eljo’s House is where I stayed in Permet – it’s the best budget option.
You’ll find Eljo’s House located about a 10-15 minute walk outside the centre. It’s owned and operated by the sweetest Albanian family. They don’t speak English, however they show you they care for you. Upon arriving they served me fruit and gliko and the elderly women there was constantly attempting to communicate with me. She gave me hugs, brought me fresh flowers, and would even hang fresh fruit on my door so I’d have something to eat in the morning.
The place was also massive. I had an entire kitchen, bathroom, living room, and 2 bedrooms with 3 beds all to myself. At the time of booking I only paid around 13 euros, too.
Check prices & availability for Eljo’s House.
There are a TON of budget guest houses in Permet. As I previously said, this place totally flies under the radar so it’s cheap to travel there. You can find more accommodation options for Permet here.
Best Guesthouses in the Albanian Alps
The Albanian Alps may qualify as one of the most incredible natural landscapes I’ve seen to date – and I’ve hiked all over Canada & Norway! The Albanian Alps are filled with unique peaks, wildflowers, crystalline water, and great hiking trails.
Here’s my complete hiker’s guide to the Albanian Alps.
In the alps you won’t find hostels, however you will find guesthouses that operate quite similarly. The alps are comprised mainly of 2 national parks: Theth and Valbona. There are many guesthouses within these 2 parks, however the following are the places I recommend:
Best Guest Houses in Theth:
- Ultimate Budget Stay: Bujtina Terthorja.
- Best all around: Shpella Guesthouse (book in advance – this one fills up quickly).
- Where I stayed: Guesthouse Rrashkadoli. I cannot speak highly enough of the owners! They’re so kind and generous.
- Located in the centre of the village: Guesthouse Villa Gurra.
The Best Guest Houses in Valbona:
- Ultimate budget stay: Bujtina Albjoni.
- Best campsite: Valbona Eco Camp.
- Cabin-style: Villas Jezerca
- Luxury experience: Drino’s Guesthouse. I stayed here for a night and WOW. Drino is so kind, he has great local suggestions, his guesthouse is immaculate, and his family owns a delicious restaurant next door.
- Quiet Escape: Rosi Guesthouse.
- Closest to the Valbona – Theth trailhead: Guesthouse Bujtina Visi.
Best Guesthouses on the Shala River
The Shala River is another destination that flies under the radar in Albania – even though it’s situated right next to the highly trafficked Komani Lake.
The Shala River has some of the clearest and bluest water I’ve seen in all of Albania. This is a great place to go hiking, kayaking, or to relax under the wide open starry ski. I spent 3 days and 2 nights on the Shala River and these 3 days just may have been my favourite days of the entire 1.5 months I spent in Albania.
Best Guesthouses on the Shala River:
1. Riverside Komani Lake
Riverside Komani Lake is where I spent my time on the Shala River. I go into detail about the wonderful guesthouse and the available options at the lake in this post. But briefly – Riverside Komani Lake is family owned and operated. They’re situated on Komani Lake which is just around the corner from the beautiful Shala River.
They serve only homemade and locally sourced food and one of the family members, Mark, is a local expert. I can guarantee he’ll love to take you hiking and show you around the area!
Check prices and availability for Riverside Komani Lake.
2. Bee Eco Guesthouse
Bee Eco Guesthouse is located on the Shala River and is a great alternative to Riverside Komani Lake. There’s a bar located on site and there’s plenty of outdoor space.
Check prices and availability for Bee Eco Guesthouse.
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About The Author
Hey! I’m Taylor – the voice behind The Holistic Backpacker.
After moving to Banff National Park in 2020 I became an outdoor adventure enthusiast and vowed to never stop exploring.
I’m now focused on travelling the world and seeing everything our beautiful home has to offer.
I created The Holistic Backpacker so I could share my adventures and help connect people like you with the same amazing experiences.
I am also an advocate for the environment and do as much as I can to take care of our planet.
Get to know me and my story more here 🙂
I can’t wait to share my adventures with you!