"The food, the people..." Albania by patricia_taft

Albania Travel Guide: 2,062 reviews and 5,650 photos

An unexpected find

I finally got to visit Tirana a year ago and I have been trying to figure out how to go back ever since. It is a chaotic and dusty capital, a bit reflective of the Albanian mentality itself, but it is an amazing city. Surrounded by mountains (which my Albanian friend scoffed were nothing but "hills" compared to the rest of Albania), and beset by a perpetual floating layer of dust due to constant road "reconstruction" projects, Tirana was one of the most amazing places I have been. The food is a great mix of the cuisines of the Balkans and the Mediterranean: wonderful starchy foods with the freshest cheeses and vegetables you can imagine. Albania is also famous for its wine and deservedly so. Albanians are also some of the warmest, friendliest people I have ever met. Custom dictates how they treat visitors and, for anyone who has ever traveled in a country where custom is strictly adhered to as part of a social fabric, Albania is the same. You will be warmly welcomed at every turn and asked to expound for hours on politics. A lot of Albanians speak either English or Italian as a second language and, from markets to hotels, you will be engaged by anyone who has a smattering of either. Albanians are not shy and, perhaps more than any other place I have visited in the Balkans, eager to welcome visitors to their country and display their proud culture of hospitality. Not to be missed.

Take a stroll through downtown Tirana

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Fresh food, great wine, wonderful people
  • Cons:dust, pollution
  • In a nutshell:An undiscovered Balkan treat
  • Last visit to Albania: Nov 2005
  • Intro Written Nov 24, 2006
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patricia_taft

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