Albania is a 28,748 km2 country situated in the heart of the European continent, in Southeast Europe. The country is small in kilometers but it has many natural landscapes and it is rich in mineral and natural resources, its inhabitants have inherited the unique traditions of their Illyrian ancestors.
It is located in the region called the Balkans and bordered by Greece in the southeast, Macedonia in the east, Kosovo in the northeast and Montenegro in the north. In front of it (bordered by the Adriatic Sea) is Italy. The main airport is called Mother Theresa Airport, located in Rinas, between Tirana and Durres cities.
The national currency is the lek (plural lekë,). The euro is widely accepted.
ATMs are available in most major cities. The ATMs accept most international Visa and MasterCard credit/debit cards.
Some Albanians write prices with an extra zero. They are not trying to charge you 10 times the going rate; they are merely using the old currency.
Many rural convenience stores will not accept any other method of payment other than cash (Albanian lek). However, supermarkets, some bookstores and some boutique stores will accept credit or debit cards. The most widely accepted cards are Visa, MasterCard, and Diner’s Club.
In all the Albanian cities you can find numerous shops, which offer different goods, of well-known marks, Glasses, antique objects, etc. Of great interest for tourists are the traditional bazaars of Kruja, Korca, Shkodra, Gjirokastra and Tirana, where you can find the artisan works produced by Albanian people over the years. You can buy woody carved objects, ceramics, embroiders with popular motifs and also cooper objects. Albanian shops are open from 09:00-20:00 usually, and until 22:00 in summer. Most of the shops stay open on Sunday.
Souvenirs: Alabaster, Ashtrays
5-10% is considered a good tip, but it is not always expected. So, you may just round up the bill.
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