All you need to know about Albania, a detailed approach

All you need to know about Albania!


Albania is a young and vibrant country, which surprises by its development every day. We think that the time to share with you “All you need to know about Albania” is NOW! 


All you need to know about Albania
Albania is located in the Balkans, Southeastern Europe, situated between Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Greece. It possesses significant diversity with the landscape ranging from the snow-capped mountains in the Albanian Alps as well as the Korab, Skanderbeg, Pindus, and Ceraunian Mountains to the hot and sunny coasts of the Albanian Adriatic and the Ionian Sea along the Mediterranean Sea.


Albania experiences predominantly a Mediterranean and continental climate, with four distinct seasons, and about 300 days of sun throughout the year. It is a great place to visit as a digital nomad or traveler due to its warm climate and its convenient landscape for taking one-day trips to other parts of the country or even surrounding countries. Monthly temperatures range between −1 °C (30 °F) in winter to 21.8 °C (71.2 °F) in summer.
All you need to know about Albania - AlbaniaTech


The country’s local language is Albanian although older generations may speak Greek and younger English. The national currency is Leke (ALL), but Euro and other few currencies are accepted in most businesses, especially stores, bars, and restaurants.

Costs of living

The expected cost of living can vary dramatically depending on your personal needs and wants. Below you will find an estimation of a low-cost, frugal way of living, and another estimate based on a more luxurious lifestyle.

If you are on a low-end budget

On a low-end budget, you might expect to be paying around 700 - 800 EUR per month. That is broken down into food, accommodation, coworking, and leisure:

  •  Accommodation may vary between 250 - 350 EUR per month in the form of a bed in a dorm room. 
  • Food can be significantly affordable if you are fine with a diet of street food and market products. A budget of about 8 EUR per day, which would count as 240 EUR per month, would be enough. 
  • Transportation can come down to 40 EUR per month, which includes renting a bicycle for a few days, a few bus rides, and walking most of the time. 
  • For a good coworking space, it will cost around 130 EUR per month. See the list of coworking spaces here.
  • You should allocate approximately 100 EUR for entertainment, such as: cinema, theater, bowling, visiting pools, beaches, etc. 
If you are on a high-end budget

On a higher-end budget with more luxuries, you might expect to be paying around 1600 EUR per month. This is broken down into:

  •  600-800 EUR per month on accommodation in the form of a private apartment, 
  • 20 EUR per day on food, which is 600 EUR a month, covering lunch and dinner in medium to high-quality restaurants. 
  • You can expect to pay around 150 EUR on a coworking space, 
  • 100 EUR on transport, 
  • 60 EUR should cover some forms of exercise combined with running and hiking, which can be free. 
  • Finally, you should allocate around 200 EUR for leisure, which would include some day excursions.

Check the link for more specific costs.

*Costs are based on life in the capital, Tirana, if you will choose other cities the costs might be lower. In the summertime, coastal cities will have higher pricing. 

Highly required areas to live in Tirana

Tirana has a great selection of neighborhoods, which means you can choose the perfect place to live. Whether you want to be located in the city center, or a little outside, there are plenty of options and most are very affordable.

City Center - the place to be if you want to be immersed in the heart and soul of Tirana. 
City Centre Tirana
Blloku Tirana, AlbaniaTech
Blloku - It is one of the most famous districts in Tirana as it once was closed off to anyone who was not part of the Albanian communist party. It is considered an up-market area with a great selection of shops, restaurants, and nightclubs. It is a safe and friendly area to be based, and everything is on your doorstep or within walking distance.
21 Dhjetori - If you like delicious coffee and cafe culture, then 21 Dhjetori is the place to be based. It has a reputation for being the coffee lover’s paradise and has a great selection of chilled coffee shops on the doorstep. Although many areas on the city have coffee shops, this one is known for its luxurious Turkish cafes with great atmospheres.
21 dhjetori tirana
Komuna e Parisit - A large neighborhood located just outside the city center to the southwest. This area is excellent for families or those looking to be based just outside the city while still having excellent access to most essentials. It is also just a short walk from the artificial Lake of Tirana.
Ali Demi - Ali Demi is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Tirana, and it is full of character and history. It is located a fair distance from the city center, so rental prices tend to be a lot cheaper here.

Co-working Spaces

Albania is known for having high cafe density, and most of them have specially structured their environment to fulfill the needs of digital nomads. Although co-working spaces are not missing. Below you can find the list of co-working spaces in Tirana:



Destil Creative Hub

Dutch Hub


Tirana Business Park

Tech Space



Head Office Tirana

Korça Tech and Innovation Hub

Arka Shkodër

Culture and Food

Albania is known for its traditional Balkan cuisine, and it can vary dramatically from region to region. Along the coastline, you will find a lot of seafood, and high in the mountains, the food becomes more hearty and meat-based.

When you visit Albania, you might want to explore some traditional dishes, and here are some of the best.

Byrek is one of the most popular pastries sold in Albania, and it is often stuffed with spinach, but you can sometimes find some with just cheese or meat. It is a staple in the country, and you can buy them from most corner shops or bakeries for less than $1 USD. Other traditional dishes include Tavë Kosi, which is like a quiche, grilled meats, Speca me gjizë, which are stuffed peppers, and kaçkavall, which is a special cheese of the Balkans and can be fried.

If you are looking to try some sweet treats, then make sure to get some Baklava, a popular dessert in the region. Trilece is another typical dessert that translates to “three milk” and is a cake-like delight.

Traditional Restaurants

The traditional restaurants in Albania tend to be grill houses. Depending on what you want to eat, you will find a variety of hearty meals in both types of venues. Some of the best restaurants in Tirana selling traditional food are Nona, Oda, Kalaja e Tiranës, which is more of a tourist restaurant, and Tek Zgara Tirones, to name a few. In Korça, you may want to visit the restaurants around the area named Pazari i Korçës, in Shkodër, etc. You will see many dotted around the cities, so it is best to wander around first to find somewhere that looks inviting to you. 

Street Food

Tirana has some of the best street food in the country, from take-out kebab spots to small bakeries. As well as street food, Tirana is home to some popular fast-food chains such as KFC and Burger King, but the choice is limited. This means you are more likely to experience local fast food rather than popular chain-based food. There is a direct link in Albania between fast food and street food, and they have some great local specialties to try.  Some highly-rated local fast-food restaurants are FAST FOOD PICERI HALLALL, Mr. Chicken, Fast Food Gustoso, GJIRO KAMARA FAST FOOD, and Fast Food Albania.

Vegetarian food

There is an excellent selection of vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Tirana, so having dietary needs shouldn’t be too difficult. Although traditional local cuisine can contain a lot of meat and dairy products, being in the capital city will give you more flexibility with your diet, but you may find it more challenging when visiting rural or surrounding areas.

Some of the best vegetarian restaurants are Veggies, Happy Belly, Almont Bar & Lounger, ejona, The Rooms Restaurant, MORSI Tirana, Falafel House, Chakra Jone, Çoko, Era, Gjelber and Green, and Protein. The best way to find vegan options is by using the “Happy Cow” app, which has many tags for Tirana.


Public transport has seen improvements as the country becomes more of a tourist hotspot, , bus services introduced, and funding into road maintenance.


There are a few bus services in Albania, and as Tirana is the capital, it has the most extensive network. Bus journeys cost around 0.4 EUR for a single ride. Timetables are often nonexistent, but you can ask in the tourist information center for an idea of times. They aren’t always reliable and sometimes due to heavy traffic can end up being a no-show. There are also municipal buses that operate in other cities in Albania, such as Durrës, Shkodra, Korça, and Vlora.

Furgon (Vans)

As well as buses, there are smaller private minibus services called “furgons.” These are a great way to get from city to city or even out into the countryside. Again it is best to ask in the tourist information center as they rarely have systems in place to book online. Always bring cash as many only take cash payments.


Albania has a small train network; however, it isn’t commonly used due to its lack of action. There is a station in Tirana, and trains run from there to a few cities. The trains are known for being very cheap, but they are also very slow. Taking the train could be a fun way of seeing the countryside. Timetables can be found at the station, and you can also purchase your ticket there, up to around 10 minutes before departure.


Renting a bicycle in the city is a great way to get from a to b as you can skip through traffic, and it is an excellent form of exercise. The only cautions are road condition, level of driving and pollution. These might put you off as it isn’t always a pleasant ride. However, if you are thinking about renting a bicycle, there are a few shops in town. Most provide mountain bikes to take out in the surrounding national park areas, but it is possible to rent road bikes too. Bike point Albania, Cycle Albania, Evergreen bicycle rental, and Tirana cycle are some of the best places to check out for rentals. To get a quote send them an email or pop in when you get there. 

Rental Car

Renting a car in Albania is one of the best ways to get around the country and see some of the more remote attractions. However, the road quality is pretty bad, and the driving isn’t always the best, so be cautious and prepared if you decide to rent a car. The roads are improving, but they can still be in bad shape in some more deep areas. Renting a car can be pretty expensive, but sometimes it is an excellent option if you are traveling as a group. You will find rental cars from most major providers for around 35 EUR per day, sometimes less if you book for a more extended time. If you do get a rental car, I would advise against using it in the city for getting around as traffic can be really bad, especially during rush hour.

  • Two tickets to the movies €10 - 12 euro
  • Two tickets to the theater  €8 - 12 euro
  • One cocktail drink in block or downtown area from  €5,50 - 8.5 euro
  • Basic dinner for two in a neighborhood pub €30 - 40 euro
  • Dinner for two in an Italian restaurant including wine, appetizers, main course, and dessert  €45 - 60 euro
  • One beer in a neighborhood pub Lek 282, €2.12
  • One month of gym membership in business district  €69
  • Package of Marlboro cigarettes  €2.5 - 3.00 euro

Fitness and Health

Keeping fit in Tirana is simple as there is a good selection of gyms in the city; however, if you don’t like going to the gym, there are a few other options. Yoga studios have not yet become popular, so finding alternative exercising methods may be difficult.


Mountains surround Tirana, so it is possible to get your exercise in from nature. There are many mountain biking tours and hikes, so it could be that you stay fit by visiting the mountains a few days a week.

Free Exercise

If you are on a budget, or just don’t enjoy going to the gym, you can also run or cycle in the city. There are many parks and even a small running track that you can use to keep fit. So why not take your yoga mat to the park and do some yoga yourself, or find a group from your coworking and see if they will host a class or workshop. 

People in Albania

Albania is located in the Balkans, in southeastern Europe, and has had a mixed past, influencing the local traditions and culture. It is a warm country with hard-working and caring people. The capital, Tirana, is becoming one of Europe’s creative hubs and is attracting youth from across Europe.

In recent years, Albania has struggled with losing its youth to Western Europe, as there is more opportunity for work and business. This has significantly impacted small villages and towns that don’t have more modern lines of work on offer. Naturally, if you were able to learn a foreign language at school, then it became common in Albania to go to Western Europe to find work, and most would not return as there was a vision of the lack of opportunity. 

However, it is starting to take a turn, and more are heading back to their homeland to open businesses or learn old crafts. This shift is becoming visible in Tirana and even Korça, and it is turning into this buzzing youthful hub. It still has a way to go, but it is on the up and could become a hotspot for digital nomads in years to come.

The people of Albania are very traditional and religious, although there is no official religion of Albania. Due to its varied past of being part of the Ottoman empire with Muslim influence and its history of Christian orthodox, there is a diverse mix in the country, with mosques and monasteries dotted around. In the capital, religion is less of an importance in daily life when compared to smaller towns and villages.

The LGBTQ+ community is not publicly supported mostly by the older generation in rural areas, however the annual pride festival takes place in Tirana. The younger generation is more open-minded and accepting when compared with the older. More rural regions are stricter as they can sometimes be less affected by the fast pace of Tirana. The communist rule has shaped many older generations’ points of view, and this is still visible.

Overall, Albanians are very welcoming and hospitable; they welcome anyone into their homes and villages and are very pleasant. Albanians also love to party and are very social.

Jobs in Albania

Finding a job in Albania may prove difficult if you don’t speak Albanian or English. Most casual jobs such as bar work will most likely require you to speak the local language as not every generation has had the opportunity to learn English. Your best option for finding work may be through teaching English as a foreign language. 

LinkedIn and are also other ways to find work as they will advertise jobs specifically for foreigners. Other than using online search engines, you can see if your company has an office in Tirana or other cities in Albania that you can transfer to. As Tirana is the capital city, it is home to many global business branches. If you don’t already have a connection or relevant skills, you can always ask when you get to Tirana; however, it may be more challenging to obtain appropriate visas for working. 

Finally, the most straightforward option in terms of a work visa is to volunteer. There are a few voluntary projects across the country and in Tirana, and this could be a great opportunity. Although it won’t be a paid position, you may get other benefits such as free accommodation and meals in exchange for work, which will help reduce your outgoings. Things such as are great for finding unique opportunities.

Law for Foreigners

Digital Workers

Digital workers can apply for a one-year permit and ask for an extension for the second year, then five years, and finally request permanent residency. They need to provide one of these types of contract:

  • Service contract with a foreign contractor,
  • Contract with a client for a specific remote project,
  • Contract with a foreign company


This new type of permit introduced by the new Law enables the foreigners who are retired in their country to apply and obtain residency in Albania.

Retirees can only apply for one-year permits, providing the annual pension (minimum €10,000) and proving their means for financial support. The additional requirements align with remote workers and digital nomads. Pensioners can also extend their stay from two to five years. 

Single permit

This is a new type of permit introduced by this Law, that shall compile both the residence permit and work permit which previously were issued as two separate documents. It shall allow foreigners to reside legally in Albania for working purposes. This means that one application procedure shall be followed either by the employer or foreign employee, to obtain the Single Permit.

The new term for a residence permit issued to EU, US, and Kosovo citizens

According to the Law, the first residence permit issued to citizens of EU members states, USA and Kosovo shall be for 5 (five) years.

The Albanian government is following the global trend towards working visas and remote workers. However, there are a few adjustments and improvements that need to be worked on. Albanian banks require a residence permit before opening an account, making it challenging to get all requirements. Freelancer and project-based digital nomads don’t have a suitable contract to present to the local authorities. Some countries don’t allow the transfer of pensions to Albania.

Setting up a business


Time of accomplishment


Request and obtain the Registration Certification and Unique Business Identification Number from the National Business Center (Qendra Kombetare e Biznesit)

1 day

ALL 100

Employee registration with the Tax Office and Labor Office

half a day (online

no charge

Finalize registration with the Municipality Bureau of Internal Revenue and obtain list of applicable local fees and taxes

1 day

ALL 30,000 (cleaning fee)

+ ALL 27,000 (temporary

educational tax)

Make a company seal

1 day

ALL 3,000 to ALL 5,000

Procedures explanation

Request and obtain the Registration Certification and Unique Business Identification Number from the National Business Center (Qendra Kombetare e Biznesit)

Agency: National Business Center

The National Business Center was established by law 131/2015, dated 26.11.2015, through the merger of the National Registration Center and the National Licensing Center. The National Business Center functions as a Single Window where the entrepreneur can complete company registration, tax registration, social and health insurance, and labor inspectorate registration using a single application procedure. The registration may be done in person or online via e-Albania portal, which was launched in January 2015. Online company registration is free but requires an authentication process and electronic signature. At present, the majority of companies still register in person.

Employee registration with the Tax Office and Labor Office

Agency: Tax Office, Labor Office

After the registration with NBC, all the information about the new company is available to the State Labor Inspectorate immediately through the online portal e- Albania (Law Nr. 9723 of 03/05/2007) To finish employee registration, the employer needs to register its employees separately with the Tax Office, at least 24 hours before employees' starting work. The registration can be done online by filling out the declaration form E-sig 27 at In case the employee is not registered in the time mentioned above, the employer gets a fine of 1,000 ALL. The employees are also registered with the Labor Office on the same platform.

After registration of employees, every quarter the employer must submit in person the following documents to the Labor Office for unemployment benefits, professional services, and other benefits:

1. The declaration of the employed persons (downloaded from

2. Submit the payroll every 3 months by keeping a signed and sealed copy

Finalize registration with the Municipality Bureau of Internal Revenue and obtain a list of applicable local fees and taxes

Agency: Municipality Bureau of Internal Revenue

The National Business Center, within 24 hours from the registration of the company notifies the Municipality Bureau of Internal Revenue and Tax Authorities. After the business has obtained the registration certificate from the NBC, the municipality bureau of internal revenue will request additional documents to assess the list and amount of local fees and taxes that are due by the new company.

In order to finalize the registration with the Municipality Bureau of Internal Revenue, it is advised that the following documents are submitted in person:

1) The Application form;

2) The Registration Certificate form the National Business Center;

3) the Statute and the By Laws of the Company

4) Rent agreement or proprietorship certificate of the Headquarters of the Company.

Under Resolution of the Municipal Council of Tirana no. 59, dated December 30, 2015, as amended by the Municipality Council Decision no. 8 dated March 11, 2016, the taxes/fees to be paid by the company effectively from March 21, 2016 are as follows:

- billboard tax for identification purposes up to 2 sq.m.: ALL 0; above 2 sq.m.: ALL 45,000

- cleaning fee: ALL 20,000 - ALL 170,000 - depending on the main activity of the company (such as production, or sale of goods or provision of services) and size of the company. Companies that sell industrial items (clothing, perfumery, jewelry, etc) and have an annual turnover above ALL 8,000,000 are subject to ALL 30,000 cleaning fees

- temporary education tax: ALL 9,000 - ALL 27,000 - depending on the size of the company.

Companies that have annual turnover above ALL 8,000,000 are subject to ALL 27,000 education tax.

All above charges are annual. Billboard tax and cleaning fees are due after 3 months from the registration of a new company; temporary education tax is due after 1 month from the registration of a new company.

Make a company seal

Agency: Private seal makers

Based on Order of the Prime Minister no. 70, dated 18.4.2016, the state authorities dealing with

the registration and licensing of business should simplify the requests regarding the

documentation, by interrupting any request to companies where the documentation should be sealed or in the original copy. According to this order, the documentation is not required to be sealed and may be presented as a simple copy (i.e. non in original or certified true copy). However, in practice, authorities continue to request that the documentation is sealed.

Therefore the legal requirement for a company seal is considered abolished. However, there are still random requests for stamping registration and notification forms based on the interpretation of specific agency officers. Thus, most companies still prefer to make a company seal.


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  1. As an African, can I come to Albania with tourist visa and have a chance to remain there to work and settle down?

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