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Summary

  • Exercise normal safety precautions in Albania. Use common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia. Monitor the media and other sources for changes to local travelling conditions.
  • Heavy rains in December 2017 have caused severe flooding in Tirana and other parts of Albania. Some roads have been blocked and the airport was temporarily closed. If you're in Albania, follow the instructions of local authorities and avoid affected areas. Be prepared for your travel to be disrupted, particularly if travelling by road. If you're travelling to Albania, contact your airline or tour operator to confirm whether your travel plans have been affected.
  • There is an ongoing risk of terrorism in Europe. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities. See Safety and security.
  • Avoid large crowds, protests and demonstrations where possible as they may turn violent. See Safety and security.
  • Australia doesn't have an Embassy or Consulate in Albania. The Australian Embassy in Rome provides consular assistance to Australians in Albania. The British Embassy in Tirana can provide limited consular assistance to Australians.​ See Where to get help.
  • See Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.

Entry and exit

Visas

You can visit Albania for 90 days without a visa. For longer stays you'll need a visa.

Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. Contact an Embassy or Consulate of Albania for up-to-date information.

Passport

Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after the date you intend to return to Australia.

Your passport is a valuable document and attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always keep it in a safe place.

Be aware of attempts to obtain access to your passport by deception. If you are forced to hand over your passport, contact the Embassy for advice.

If your passport is lost or stolen, you must notify the Australian Government. You can either:

Money

The local currency is the Albanian Lek (ALL). Declare all amounts in excess of USD5,000 on arrival and departure.

ATMs and credit card facilities are available in larger cities and in tourist areas. Many service providers prefer cash payment. You can exchange major currencies at banks and authorised exchange bureaus. Cases of credit card fraud occur.

Safety and security

  

Civil unrest and political tension

Demonstrations can occur with little or no warning. Most demonstrations are peaceful but they can turn violent. In 2011, a demonstration in Tirana resulted in the death of three protestors and many injuries.

In February 2015, two explosive devices detonated in Tirana and a third unexploded device was discovered at a bus station. There were no injuries. Reports indicate these incidents were politically motivated.

  • Avoid all demonstrations, protests and political rallies as they may turn violent.
  • Monitor local media and other sources for advice of possible unrest and avoid those areas.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.

Terrorism

Terrorism is a threat throughout the world, including in Europe. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities. Targets have included public transport, transport hubs, and public places frequented by foreigners.

  • Be alert to possible threats, especially in public places.
  • Report any suspicious activity or items to police.
  • Keep an eye on the news for any new or emerging threats.
  • Take official warnings seriously and follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • If there is an attack, leave the affected area immediately if it is safe to do so. 

More information: Terrorist Threat Overseas

Local travel

From December to February, severe weather may cause flooding, particularly in northern Albania, causing disruption to local travel and transport services. In December 2017, heavy rains caused severe flooding in Tirana and other parts of Albania. Some roads were blocked and the airport was temporarily closed.

Landmines

Landmines are a hazard in the north-east border areas of Albania.

  • Avoid entering locations that display landmine or unexploded ordnance warning signs.
  • Seek information from local authorities if you are unsure.

Road travel

Driving in Albania can be hazardous. You are three times more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident in Albania than in Australia. The local driving style is often aggressive. Secondary roads are poorly maintained. Road lighting is inadequate and often affected by power outages. During winter months, mountain roads are icy and slippery.

  • Check your travel insurance will cover you before driving in Albania.
  • Familiarise yourself with local road rules.
  • Drive defensively and to the weather and road conditions.
  • Don't drink and drive.
  • Use snow chains in winter.

Driver's licence

An International Driving Permit and a valid Australian driver's licence are both required when driving in Albania. More information: Road travel

Taxis

Only use registered taxis and authorised limousines, preferably those arranged through your hotel. Avoid flagging down taxis in the street, and consider sitting in the back seat rather than the front.

Public transport

Bus and rail travel is unreliable. Safety standards on public transport can be poor. Take care of your belongings on public transport as petty crime does occur.

Sea travel

Before embarking on a ferry or other vessel, ensure that appropriate safety equipment is carried. A number of international cruise lines stopover in Albania. See our Cruises page for more information.

Air travel

There are no commercial domestic flights within Albania.

The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See the Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Albania.

More information: Air travel

Laws

You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.

If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

Drug laws

Penalties for drug-related crime are severe. More information: Drugs

Other laws

You're required to carry identification at all times.

It is illegal to photograph military installations and military personnel.

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws apply overseas. If you commit these offences, you may be prosecuted in Australia. Laws include those relating to:

  • bribery of foreign public officials
  • child pornography
  • child sex tourism
  • female genital mutilation
  • forced marriage
  • money laundering
  • terrorism.

More information: Staying within the law

Dual Nationals

The Albanian Government considers anyone born in Albania or born to an Albanian parent to be Albanian citizens.

Male Australian/Albanian dual national males may be subject to compulsory military service. If you are or could be a national of Albania, seek advice on your obligations from an Embassy or Consulate of Albania well in advance of travel.

More information: Dual nationals

Local customs

Homosexuality isn't illegal in Albania, but it's not widely accepted.

More information: LGBTI travellers

Health

Travel insurance

Take out comprehensive travel insurance before you depart to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation.

Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government won't pay for your medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs. This can be very expensive and cost you many thousands of dollars upfront.

Confirm:

  • what circumstances and activities are and are not covered under your policy
  • that you are covered for the whole time you will be away.

More information: Travel insurance

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before travelling, especially if you have an existing medical condition.

  • At least eight weeks before you depart, see your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and implications for your health.
  • Get vaccinated before you travel.

If you need counselling services while overseas, contact the Australian Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305 and ask to speak to a Lifeline telephone counsellor.

More information:

Medication

Not all medications available over the counter or by prescription in Australia are available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.

If you are on medication, seek advice from an Embassy or Consulate of Albania on whether your medicine is legal in Albania, before you travel. If it is illegal, consult your doctor about alternatives well in advance of your travel.

Take legal prescription medicine with you so you remain in good health. Always carry on your person a letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you'll take and that it's for personal use only.

More information: Prescription medicines

Health risks

Insect-borne diseases

Travel in forested areas in Albania carries the risk of exposure to tick-borne encephalitis. Ticks are very common in country areas and are active from spring to autumn.

Diseases transmitted by sandflies (including sandfly fever and leishmaniasis) are prevalent in coastal regions.

Protect yourself against insect-borne diseases:

  • ensure your accommodation is insect-proof
  • take measures to avoid insect bites, including using insect repellent and wearing long, loose fitting, light coloured clothing
  • check your body for ticks during and after travel in forested areas
  • remove any ticks from your body as soon as possible.

Other infectious diseases

Water-borne, food-born and other infectious diseases (including tuberculosis, typhoid, hepatitis, brucellosis and rabies) are prevalent with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time.

  • Boil drinking water or drink bottled water.
  • Avoid ice cubes. 
  • Avoid unpasteurised dairy products.
  • Avoid raw and undercooked food.
  • Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhoea.

Medical facilities

Hygiene and medical standards are lower than in Australia. Access to medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, and specialist doctors is limited.

If you become seriously ill or injured, you'll need to be evacuated to a destination with appropriate facilities. Air evacuations can be very expensive.

Where to get help

Depending on what you need, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, airline, travel agent, tour operator, employer or travel insurance provider. Your travel insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

Emergencies

  • Fire: 128
  • Medical emergencies: 127
  • Criminal issues, contact police:  129: always get a police report when reporting a crime. 

Tourism services and products

For complaints relating to tourism services or products, contact your service provider directly.

Australian Government

Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.

Australia does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Albania. If you need consular assistance, contact the Australian Embassy in Rome, Italy.

Australian Embassy, Rome

Via Antonio Bosio 5
00161 Rome, ITALY
Telephone: (39) 06 85 2721
Facsimile: (39) 06 85 272 300
Email: consular-rome@dfat.gov.au
Website: http://italy.embassy.gov.au
Twitter: @AusAmbRome

Check the Embassy website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.

You can get limited consular assistance (not including the issuing of Australian passports) from the British Embassy in Tirana:

British Embassy
Rruga Skenderbej 12
Tirana, ALBANIA
Telephone +355 (42) 34 973
Facsimile +355 (42) 47 697

If you're unable to contact one of these embassies in a consular emergency, contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305, or 1300 555 135 within Australia.

Additional information

Natural disasters, severe weather and climate

From December to February, severe weather may cause flooding, particularly in northern Albania, causing disruption to local travel and transport services. Monitor local media for up-to-date information.

If there is a natural disaster or severe weather:

  • secure your passport in a safe, waterproof location or carry it on you at all times (in a waterproof bag)
  • contact friends and family in Australia with regular updates about your welfare and whereabouts
  • closely monitor the media, other local sources of information and the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System
  • follow the advice of local authorities.

Additional Resources