30+ BEST Things to do in Albania: Excursions, Adventures, Tours & Day Trips

Albania is a country that TOTALLY took me by surprise – in the best way possible! I therefore bring you this list of 30+ best things to do in Albania complete with my favourite places, excursions, hiking journeys, must-see attractions, and so much more.

Typically when I travel I avoid guided tours, day trips, and excursions led by anyone but myself. I consider myself “my own personal tour guide” and I like to save as much $ as possible via DIY’ing. Albania however is a country where I recommend going all out.

Book that tour, eat out at every meal if you fancy it, and don’t fret for a second about your finances. Albania is cheap as chips to travel, so you can fully enjoy your time here and partake in all the fun activities & places Albania has to offer.

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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.

Helpful Info: don’t drink the tap water or bring a purifying bottle like this one. Bring an international travel adapter, and notify your bank before travelling.

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!


Downloadable Map of Albania

I’ve created a map of Albania equipped with 200+ pinned locations including:

  • Hiking trails, national parks, caves, waterfalls & beaches
  • Historical, cultural & religious sites
  • Lodging options, restaurant recommendations & transit hubs
  • Main points of interest, big cities, beach towns and mountain villages

Each pin has photos, a description, direct booking links, and external itineraries (when applicable).

The map is downloadable to Google Maps on your phone and was designed to be a digital tour guide when you’re on-the-go.

This map has all of Albania’s best and will save you loads of pre-travel research time.

Related Articles:

Where to Book Tours in Albania

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Saranda, Albania

My top tip for planning a guided tour/excursion in Albania is to use one of the following platforms. These platforms are all registered, insured, and safe. In Albania you’ll quickly come to realize that “chaos” is accepted and normal. Regulations prevalent in other countries do not exist here; anyone will call themselves a “taxi driver,” anyone will call themselves a “tour guide…” You get the point.

If you’re booking a tour it’s therefore super important to go with a reliable platform and pay attention to the quantity and quality of the reviews. Here are 3 trusted booking platforms used around the globe:

  • Get Your Guide
    • Get Your Guide is one of the most trusted tour booking platforms worldwide. It offers TONS of diverse excursions to destinations all over Albania.
  • Viator
    • Viator is another excursion booking site that’s trusted globally. I typically use either Get Your Guide or Viator when booking excursions.
  • Tours by Locals. 
    • If you like supporting local, Tours by Locals might be for you! Tours by Locals is a website where local guides list their tours and excursion opportunities.

Please also note that many hostels in Albania offer tour opportunities. These can 100% be trusted. One of the hostel excursions I embarked on was to the Osumi Canyon with Berat Backpackers – it was amazing!


BEST Things to do in Albania


1. Embark on a Hiking Trip to Bovilla Lake in Dajti National Park

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Looking over Bovilla Lake from Tujanit

Starting off my list of best things to do in Albania with a bang – Bovilla Lake.

Bovilla Lake is Tirana’s bright blue water reservoir. There’s a beautiful hiking trail which overlooks the lake and it’s located quite close to the city. The catch is that it’s not easy to access. Unless you plan to visit with a tour group or have an off-roading vehicle with you, no taxi company or bus will take you here. Plus it’s much too far to walk by foot.

Bovilla Lake can be seen from above at a distance via this hiking trail which is accessed from the cable car in Tirana. If you however want a closer look at the lake, I’d recommend booking the day trip linked below. It includes transportation, a guide to take you up Gamti Mountain, and a refreshing swim in the river.

This is the ONLY spot I “missed” when I backpacked through Albania and it’s something I’ve vowed to return and see in the future! I discovered the lake too late in my travels and I couldn’t plan the trip there because of transportation reasons mentioned above.

Visit Bovilla Lake via Viator

Visit Bovilla Lake via Get Your Guide


2. Top Tirana Tours – Albania’s Capital City

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Tirana, Albania

Tirana is one place in Albania that everyone will surely land in at some point. I’ll go a bit “crazy” here and link a variety of tours in order to suit every type of travellers needs, wants, and interests:

Don’t forget to take advantage of the free walking tour in Tirana which I talk about in the guide linked below.

More: 2 Days in Albania’s Capital? Here’s What You Should do in Tirana


3. Dajti Ekspress & Maja e Tujanit Hike

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Tujanit Hike via Dajti Ekspres

While we’re on the topic of Tirana, I’m going to take a moment to mention one of my favourite and one of the more accessible hikes in Albania; Maja e Tujanit.

There’s a super affordable cable car in Tirana (Dajti Ekspres) which brings you up Dajti Mountain and overlooks the city. From the top of the cable car you can embark on a hiking trip to one of the nearby mountain summits overlooking Dajti National Park.

This hike is a little “off the beaten path” if you factor in finding the obscure trailhead, however once you’ve found the trail it’s easy to follow and gives off some pretty epic views. The trail is lightly trafficked and is suitable for anyone with a moderate fitness level.

Here’s my complete trail guide to Maja e Tujanit.


4. Cruise to Sazan Island & Explore Haxhi Ali Cave via Speedboat – Karaburun Peninsula

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Sazan Island, Vlora

This tour is a HUGE bang for your buck and it’s definitely – in my opinion – one of the BEST things to do in Albania! I spent less than $20 Canadian and the tour lasted the entire day. It’s accessed from Vlora which isn’t too far out from Tirana.

More: 2 Day Guide to Vlora: Explore the Albanian Riviera

The Karaburun Peninsula is home to Albania’s only marine park. The coastline is riddled with caves of all shapes & sizes and the land is covered by dense vegetation. Unless you have an off-roading vehicle, the Karaburun Peninsula is accessible only via boat trip.

The tour linked below will take you zipping alongside the beautiful shores of the Karaburun. It’ll stop for a lunch/drink/relaxation break at a private beach and you’ll get to explore Sazan Island which is an old military base.

Book this tour via Viator

Book this tour via Get Your Guide

Where to stay in Vlora: Vlora Backpackers (budget), Deluxe Apartment (mid-range), Hotel Aross (luxury)

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5. Visit the “Grand Canyon of Albania”

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Osumi Canyon

Located near the UNESCO city Berat you’ll find the Grand Canyon of Albania – more locally known as “Osum Canyon” or “Osumi Canyon.” 2 popular activities here are canyon trekking and cliff jumping.

The tour to Osumi Canyon not only incorporates canyon trekking, but you’ll also get to experience a “polar dip” at the bright blue Bogove waterfall. Don’t forget your bathing suit!

The tour linked below includes transportation, traditional lunch, and a guide who’ll show you all the best viewpoints and jumping spots!

Check out my Osumi Canyon reel and connect with me on Instagram!

Book this tour via Viator or Get Your Guide

More: 2 Day Itinerary to Albania’s UNESCO City, Berat

Where to stay in Berat: Berat Backpackers (budget), Guesthouse Have Baci (guesthouse), Hotel Colombo (5 star), Hotel Mangalemi (cultural)


6. 4×4 Up Mount Tomorr

Located near the city of Berat you’ll also find holy Mount Tomorr. This 4×4 tour is one of the more unique things to do in Albania as it offers the chance to 4×4 up the mountain, see various monuments, and take a dip in the icy cold Bogove waterfall – which is perfect on a hot day!

Book this tour via Viator

Book this tour via Get Your Guide

Where to stay in Berat: Berat Backpackers (budget), Guesthouse Have Baci (guesthouse), Hotel Colombo (5 star), Hotel Mangalemi (cultural)


7. Drive the Llogora Pass

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Llogara Pass

Llogara Pass is a high mountain pass (peak elevation of 1,043m) within the Ceraunian Mountains – smack between Vlora and Himara. The pass is 31.5kms long and features some sharp turns and steep grades.

If you’re travelling via car or bus between Vlore and Himara, you’ll travel along this pass. If you however want a more immersive experience, you can rent a scooter/moped from Vlora and drive the pass out in the open air! (just remember to wear lots of sunscreen – the pass is very exposed).

This is a great option if you want to make lots of pitstops and take lots of photos along the way.

More: 2 Day Guide to Vlora: Explore the Albanian Riviera

Where to stay in Vlora: Vlora Backpackers (budget), Deluxe Apartment (mid-range), Hotel Aross (luxury)


8. Hike the Albanian Alps

30 Best Things to do in Albania - Albanian Alps
Albanian Alps aka the Accursed Mountains

#8 on the list of best things to do in Albania is to explore the Albanian Alps.

The Albanian Alps (aka the Accursed Mountains) make up the most beautiful region in Albania! In the National Parks of Theth and Vabona Valley you can find amazing hiking trails, rugged mountain peaks, and crystal clear rivers.

The alps are accessed via Albania’s northernmost city, Shkoder. I recommend spending at least a few days exploring the alps, however there are day tours if you’re short for time.

I’ve outlined everything you need to know about visiting the alps here, however here are my top picks for hiking tours, sightseeing excursions, and wild adventures in the region:

  • Discover the best of Theth National park (including the Blue Eye of Theth) in 1 day via this jeep trip from Shkoder
  • For the adventurer: this 6 day hiking tour through the Peaks of the Balkans trail crosses Albania, Montenegro, and Kosovo
  • Alps overview from Tirana: this tour includes transportation to and from Tirana with stops in Shkoder, Valbona, Theth, and all the important highlights along the way

More: A Hiker’s Guide to the Albanian Alps


9. Polar Plunge into the Blue Eye of Theth

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Blue Eye of Theth

The Blue Eye of Theth is similar to the Blue Eye of Saranda, however they’re not the same! Although commonly confused with one another, the two “eyes” are located in completely separate areas of the country AND they’re created in completely separate ways.

The Blue Eye of Theth is fed by a waterfall and the Blue Eye of Saranda is fed by a mysterious underwater source.

Here are 4 hikes in Theth National Park to add to your bucket list.

Connect with me on Instagram!

The Blue Eye’s water is freezing cold – even in the intense Balkan summer heat – which makes it a perfect spot for a mid-summer polar plunge.

More informaion regarding the Blue Eye can be found via this post.

Where to stay in Theth: Shpella Guesthouse (best all-around), Guest-house Villa Gurra (located in the centre of Theth), Guesthouse Rrashkadoli (where I stayed – super cute family running it)


10. Spend a Day Exploring Valbona Valley

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Valbona Valley National Park

This is my personal favourite spot in Albania and it’s surely a spot you don’t want to miss whilst you create your bucket list of things to do in Albania!

Valbona Valley is an absolutely gorgeous National Park located in the north of the country. The mountain peaks are rugged, the hiking trails are challenging, the wildflowers are vibrant, and the views are out of this world.

There are smaller walks and areas to explore within Valbona which lead to amazing spots like the Old Mill and Xhema Lake – check out this post for more information.

One of my favourite spots in Valbona is a hiking trail called Maja Rosit. This trail leads to a mountain pass overlooking Prokletije National Park in Montenegro (trail guide coming soon)!

Where to stay in Valbona: Drino’s Guesthouse (luxury – I stayed here 1 night and loved it), Bujtina Albjoni (budget), Villas Jezerca (cabin-style)


11. Hike this Bucket List Trail in the Balkans

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Valbona to Theth hike

There’s one way to travel between Theth & Valbona National Park – and that’s via hiking.

The trail connecting the two National Parks is a famed route in the Balkan area. It spans 17kms-ish (one-way) and it’s most famous for Theth Pass which offers some pretty spectacular views of the valley and the surrounding peaks.

Check out my Valbona-Theth reel and connect with me on Instagram!

Whether you’re a hiker or not, this trail should surely make your list of “best things to do in Albania.”

Here’s my trail guide for the Valbona-Theth hike complete with packing lists, accommodation recommendations, and all the tips & tricks you need to know to successfully complete the hike.


12. Discover Albania’s Blue Eye, Butrint National Park, and a “Tropical” Beach

30 Best Things to do in Albania - Blue Eye of Saranda
Blue Eye of Saranda

This tour departing Saranda includes all the best local activities and attractions + transportation. If you’re looking for things to do in Albania, this is definitely an excursion you should consider!

On this journey you’ll see Albania’s famous Blue Eye, a UNESCO world heritage site in Butrint National Park, a beautiful castle, and pay a visit to Albania’s most tropical looking beach, Ksamil. It’s one of Albania’s few sandy beaches.

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Butrint National Park

Minus the kilometres walk required to get to the Blue Eye, it’s possible to get to all these attractions via bus. The bus system however can be very confusing + the journey to and from these spots can span a lengthy amount of time. When I visited the Blue Eye I actually ended up splitting a cab with some people I met from a hostel because the bus journey was complicated and required a lot of walking.

I’m therefore suggesting you consider booking the tour linked below. This tour takes the transportation hassle out of the equation and allows you to visit Saranda’s highlights in one day!

You can book this tour via Viator.

More: 2 Day Loaded Saranda Itinerary

Where to stay in Saranda: Saranda Backpackers (budget), Hotel Kanes (mid-range), Bouganville Bay (luxury)

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Ksamil Beaches

13. Visit the Shala River

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Shala River & Komani Lake

The Shala River was one of my favourite spots in Albania. If you add one “extra” item to your list of things to do in Albania, let it be this.

Check out my Shala River reel & connect with me on Instagram!

The Shala River is located in the northern region of the country and it features some seriously impressive views The River is a branch off Komani Lake which gives off serious Thailand vibes. In fact, Komani Lake is referred to as the “Thailand of Albania.”

If you plan on visiting Valbona Valley National Park you’ll have to cross over Komani Lake via ferry. My recommendation here is to take the opportunity to explore the Shala River and spend a night or two there!

Here’s my complete guide for visiting Komani Lake and the Shala River.

Where to stay on the Shala River: Riverside Komani Lake (where I stayed – not directly on the Shala River, but quieter), Bee Eco Guesthouse (directly on the river), Blini-Park (directly on the river)


14. Step Back in Time: Visit Albania’s Castles

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Sunset view from Lekuresi Castle, Saranda

In almost every major city in Albania you’ll find a castle. Luckily, entry into each of them is quite cheap! You can therefore enter every castle in Albania without hurting your traveller’s budget.

Here are some great Albania castles you can check out on your next trip:

  • Lekuresi Castle in Saranda: this castle requires a decent uphill walk, but it’s the best place to catch sunset in Saranda. Plus there’s a beautiful restaurant at the top overlooking Corfu, Greece.
  • Rozafa Castle in Shkoder: this is a large and well-preserved castle with great views of the surrounding nature. Events are held within this castle. If you’re lucky, you might catch a concert!
  • Gjirokaster Castle in Gjirokaster – one of the more expensive castles to enter, but it offers tons of walking space, beautiful views of the Drino Valley/city, and it’s one of the more “put-together” castles in the country. The others are composed of ruins more than anything else.
  • Berat Castle in Berat – this castle overlooks the entire city and the surrounding mountains. It’s a great spot for sunset and you can venture inside the castle where you can find all kinds of local crafts, spots to eat, etc.
  • Himara Castle in Himara – offers ruins, a cafe, and a Serbian church. Entry is free of charge!

15. Participate in Xhiro

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Himara, Albania

Xhiro is a beloved evening tradition in Albania. Xhiro quite literally translates to “walk” and it’s the Albanian’s favourite way to end the day.

At first I thought this was just a fun sunset walk followed up by dinner and drinks with friends and family. After visiting Albania in July though I’ve discovered it’s more of a survival tactic. The temperatures are so hot and humid during the day it’s nearly impossible to enjoy the great outdoors (or anything else) under the blazing Balkan sun. The longer I spent time in Albania the more I found myself getting super early starts, napping during the day, and going out at night – which is totally off from my regular schedule.

Anyways, the evening hours are super lively in Albania and you’ll find locals and travellers alike emerge after the sun sets for food and social gatherings.


16. Trek Through Lengarica Canyon & Take a Dip in the Benja Hot Springs

30 Best Things to do in Albania - Benja Hot Springs, Permet
Benja Hot Springs, Permet

Lengarica Canyon is a complete hidden gem located just outside Permet. At the entrance you’ll see the Benja hot springs which are a series of multiple natural hot springs – said to have healing powers!

After taking a dip in the hot springs, continue walking under the bridge and follow the canyon to find beautiful pools of blue water and an entire hiking trail through the steep canyon walls. You’ll most likely have the canyon all to yourself as it’s lightly trafficked.

Trekking through Lengarica Canyon is easily one of my favourite things I did in Albania.

Read this post for more information about the hot springs and the canyon.

Where to stay in Permet: Funky Guesthouse Adventures (best option), Eljo’s House (family-run/budget), Hotel Permeti (mid-range)

Check out my Lengarica Canyon reel and connect me on Instagram!


17. Enjoy the Local Cuisine

30 Best Things to do in Albania

Albania’s cuisine has a big Greek and Italian influence. This combination creates a surplus of grilled vegetables (emphasis on grilled eggplant), cheeses, breads, salads, various meats and fish, stuffed peppers, and byrek; one of my favourites!

The local alcohol is raki which is similar to moonshine and there’s an abundance of super fresh, CHEAP fruit at all the local fruit stands. Something interesting about Albanian cuisine is that even though the country is tiny, each city or region seems to have their own unique dish(es).

Unlike eating out in some of the more expensive countries I’ve travelled to – Norway, Scotland, Canada, etc. The food in Albania is dirt cheap, meaning you can eat out for almost every meal and not have to worry about your budget!

In my city-specific guides (which you can find here) I talk about local dishes unique to each location!


18. Go Horseback Riding Through the Mountains

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Horseback Riding in Permet

If you’re looking for things to do in Albania with splash of adventure, consider this horseback riding tour through the mountains. This is a really unique adventure as you’ll actually ride a horse up the side of a mountain and do a small river crossing.

The tour departs the small town of Permet which is a total hidden gem. Permet is located smack in the middle of some beautiful mountains and it’s right next to Fir of Hotova National Park which is home to hot springs and the Vjosa River; Europe’s last wild/virgin river.

The horseback riding tour is a must in my opinion – it was one of my favourite excursions throughout my entire journey through Albania!

You can book this tour via Viator

More: Adventurous 2 Day Permet Itinerary

Where to stay in Permet: Funky Guesthouse Adventures (best option), Eljo’s House (family-run/budget), Hotel Permeti (mid-range)


19. Go Rafting in Europe’s Last Virgin River

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Vjosa River from Permet

Remember the Vjosa River in Permet I just mentioned? Well, you can go rafting through it!

The rafting tour is around a half day trip and it will include some pretty spectacular views along the way. The rafting experience will mostly be class II, however you’ll come across some class III rapid sections too. My top tip here would be to go rafting early in the year when water levels are higher and faster flowing after all the snow melt.

You can book this tour via Viator.

More: Adventurous 2 Day Permet Itinerary

Where to stay in Permet: Funky Guesthouse Adventures (best option), Eljo’s House (family-run/budget), Hotel Permeti (mid-range)


20. Wander the Gjirokaster Bazarre & Shop Local Artisan Goodies

30 Best Things to do in Albania

Gjirokaster is home to a colourful and packed bazaar spanning multiple streets. It’s filled with all kinds of artisan crafts and local goodies. It’s very unique compared to other Albanian markets which is why it’s making #20 on my list of best things to do in Albania.

This is a great place to support local artists, pick up an authentic souvenir, or enjoy a beverage at one of the many cafes and restaurants.

More: 2 Day Travel Guide to Gjirokaster

Where to stay in Gjirokaster: Stone City Hostel (budget), Old Bazaar 1790 (cultural, located the Old Bazaar)


21. Take a Day Trip to the Stone City

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Gjirokaster, Albania

Gjirokaster aka the “Stone City” is literally an entire city made of cobblestone. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s home to some seriously cute markets & artisan crafts.

The city – in my opinion – deserves at least one nights stay, however if you’re short for time there are excellent day tours to the Stone City departing Saranda.

The tour linked below includes transportation from Saranda, a knowledgeable guide to show you the highlights, and a stop at the famous Blue Eye.

Check out my 2 Day Gjirokaster Itinerary or book a day trip to the Stone City via Viator.

Where to stay in Gjirokaster: Stone City Hostel (budget), Old Bazaar 1790 (cultural, located the Old Bazaar)


22. Adventure Through Vineyards & Hills via ATV

If you’re looking for things to do in Albania that involve a little bit of adrenaline, check out this 1.5 hour ATV tour in Durres; a beach town near the capital city, Tirana.

Book the tour here via Get Your Guide.


23. Taste ALL the Ice Cream

30 Best Things to do in Albania

One of my favourite things about travelling in Albania was the ice cream. On almost every corner you could find thick, creamy ice cream of all flavours for the equivalent of $1 CAD!

My ongoing 2 favourite flavours I tried here were fig and pistachio. Fig is a flavour you’d be hard-pressed to find in North America, however it grows in abundance in Albania. Pistachio on the other hand you can find everywhere in North America, but in Albania… Oh my the flavour here is so much richer.

The best ice cream spot I found in the entire country (I tried many) was from a little shop in Berat – I’ve got the location pinned in my Berat guide.


24. Explore Himara’s Cultural Surroundings

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Himara, Albania

Himara is a quiet beach-side town along the Albanian Riviera.

I spent my time in Himara relaxing and kayaking along the Riviera to Gjipe, however if you enjoy seeking culture and history, the following tour might be for you.

This tour lasts a full day, includes transportation, and takes you to the village of Queparo which is located just outside Palermo Bay. Here you’ll find cobblestone alleyways, old churches, and the french castle of Ali Pasha Tepelena. You’ll also have a chance to learn about the Soviet era communist occupation that took place in Albania.

Book the Himara Cultural tour here.

More: How to Spend 3 Perfect Days in Himara

Where to stay in Himara: Himara Relax Hostel (budget), Sea View Hotel (luxury), Himara Castle (cultural experience)


25. Kayak the Albanian Riviera

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Hiding from the intense Balkan sun on the Albania Riviera

If you’re looking for things to do in Albania revolving around adventure, sports, and the outdoors, this kayak trip along the Riviera might be for you!

The trip starts out in Himara and follows the coastline to the famed Gjipe beach. The kayak route clocks in around 20kms roundtrip and features multiple other beaches and hidden caves along the way. It’s truly one of the best ways to spend a hot summer day in Himara!

More: Kayak the Albanian Riviera: Himara to Gjipe

Where to stay in Himara: Himara Relax Hostel (budget), Sea View Hotel (luxury), Himara Castle (cultural experience)


26. Scramble to a Hidden Beach in Himara

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Gjiri Filikuri Beach, Himara

Located in Himara is also a hidden beach called Gjiri Filikuri. The path to the beach can be difficult to find and there’s a relatively sketchy scramble complete with ropes you’ll have to follow to get there. However once you’ve made it you’ll find it’s a hidden paradise much quieter than the surrounding beaches!

If you’re looking to add “off-beat” excursions to your list of best things to do in Albania, Gjiri Filikuri is the perfect addition.

Here’s my guide for finding Gjiri Filikuri.

Where to stay in Himara: Himara Relax Hostel (budget), Sea View Hotel (luxury), Himara Castle (cultural experience)


27. Hike to Ali Pasha Bridge & Watch for Shepards

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Ali Pasha Bridge, Gjirokaster

In the UNESCO Stone City Gjirokaster, there’s an old aqueduct called the Ali Pasha Bridge. The hike there follows the upper city streets, then meanders through various unmarked trails.

The bridge is quite neat itself and makes for a nice photo-op. However if you’re lucky, you’ll see a Shepard roaming around herding his sheep! I was lucky and saw this happen which was a really cool experience.

More: 2 Day Travel Guide to Gjirokaster

Where to stay in Gjirokaster: Stone City Hostel (budget), Old Bazaar 1790 (cultural, located the Old Bazaar)


28. Visit Shkoder and Experience the “Culture Capital” of Albania

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Shkoder, Albania

Shkoder is considered the culture capital of Albania. If you’re looking for things to do in Albania that involve local culture, you’ll definitely want to pay a trip here.

The main area of the city is lined with colourful buildings, TONS of restaurants, ice cream shops, and hostels. The nightlife here is booming compared to the rest of Albania and there’s a massive bike culture.

In addition to being the culture capital, Shkoder is also the access city for the Albanian Alps. If you want to go hiking or experience the most beautiful mountains range in Albania – the Accursed Mountains – your adventures will start in Shkoder.

More: 10 Things to do in Shkoder + 6 Day Shkoder/Alps Itinerary

Where to stay in Shkoder: Wanderer’s Hostel (helps plan trips to the alps & stores luggage), Hotel Carmen (mid-range), Hotel Colosseo & Spa (luxury),


29. Bike to Siroka & Explore Lake Skadar via Kayak

30 Best Things to do in Albania - Lake Skadar
Lake Skadar from Siroka

Siroka is a cute lakeside town accessible via bike from Shkoder. Once you arrive you’ll find all sorts of great lakeside restaurants. Make sure you try the local delicacy – carp straight from the lake!

Upon arrival in Siroka you’ll see multiple rental spots where you can grab a kayak and paddle the lake. Just note the current is relatively strong! Pay attention to your surroundings and prepare to paddle.

More: 10 Things to do in Shkoder + 6 Day Shkoder/Alps Itinerary

Where to stay in Shkoder: Wanderer’s Hostel (helps plan trips to the alps), Hotel Carmen (mid-range), Hotel Colosseo & Spa (luxury),


30. Take Advantage of the Free Walking Tours

30 Best Things to do in Albania
Tirana, Albania

My final suggestion for things to do in Albania is to take advantage of the free walking tours. Every city offers them and they’re led by a super knowledgeable guide who’ll show and teach you about all the best and most important/significant places around town.

This is a huge time saver if you’re looking to quickly see all the best spots in a new place before moving on. Just remember, these tours aren’t totally free – it’s expected you tip your guide as a thank you!

aaaand that concludes my list of things to do in Albania. Think I missed something? Let me know in the comments!


Downloadable Map of Albania

I’ve created a map of Albania equipped with 200+ pinned locations including:

  • Hiking trails, national parks, caves, waterfalls & beaches
  • Historical, cultural & religious sites
  • Lodging options, restaurant recommendations & transit hubs
  • Main points of interest, big cities, beach towns and mountain villages

Each pin has photos, a description, direct booking links, and external itineraries (when applicable).

The map is downloadable to Google Maps on your phone and was designed to be a digital tour guide when you’re on-the-go.

This map has all of Albania’s best and will save you loads of pre-travel research time.



Happy adventuring!

Taylor ♡


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About The Author

HI, 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 now spend my days travelling the world, climbing mountains, and spending nights under the stars in the Canadian Rockies backcountry.

I created The Holistic Backpacker so I could share my adventures and help connect people like you with the same amazing experiences.

GET TO KNOW ME | WORK WITH ME

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