Short answer: Nothing out of the usual.
The days of bandits roaming the mountains seem to be long gone. According the US State Department, the main risks are pickpocketing and theft from cars, the same as in Romania and the Ukraine (and pretty much anywhere in Europe).
Landmines were laid on the Kosovo-Albania border in the 1990s, but according to the ...
I have just been to two Exchange offices in Sofia, Bulgaria. I had banknotes from Serbia, Macedonia and Albania with me. They both offered to buy all three of them.
This doesn't mean you find someone who does this in Finland but it proves that both Macedonian denar and Albanian lek are indeed convertible currencies.
This is a sign from one of the exchange ...
OK after a couple of days of hunting I've found three places where I get a Wi-Fi signal and can buy a coffee or a beer, but only one had a sign and with the others I'm not sure whether the signal is from the place or a coincidental open one nearby...
"Bar Kafe Real Madrid" on Rruga Studenti right near Shesi Demokracia, the central traffic circle of the city....
Yes tap water is safe in Shkodër, I was born there, grew up drinking that water. I live in New York and I can tell you that the water there has a diff taste regardless if it's tap or from a bottle, but make sure to keep very cold in the fridge so you won't notice the difference. Have fun while you're there. About the tourists, they're all gone by the end of ...
As per the Albanian law on border control (article 16.2.a):
Nuk vendoset vulë në hyrje ose dalje në: dokumentet e udhëtimit të shtetasve të Republikës së Shqipërisë, të Bashkimit Europian, të Zonës Ekonomike Europiane, të Zvicrës, të Andorrës, të Monakos dhe të San Marinos
There are no stamps on entry or exit for: travel documents of ...
Ok, Peter cleared up the more general doubt about exchangeability of the lek anywhere outside Albania. As to my original / more specific question:
Is there any place in Helsinki where I can change those back into
Seems like no, not in Helsinki.
A "Money Change" booth I stumbled upon in Kamppi Centre: no (raising a suspicious eyebrow at the ...
The ferries to Albania, be it to Durazzo or Vlorë, depart Italy from either Ancona, Bari or Brindisi (ordered by distance from longest to shortest):
Mappa traghetti, Cemar, Fair Use
It is safe to assume that the duration of the journey will depend on the distance between the two cities. Searching on Direct Ferries for a return journey in September 2015 ...
While it's clearly not your fault, it's important to realise it's also clearly not the airline's fault. As such, they've completed a business transaction with you, with terms and conditions.
So check the terms and conditions - on what you're entitled to a refund for. Odds are it probably doesn't mention embassy closure, and if you then want a refund for a ...
Usually, when an embassy closes down they delegate visa related affairs to another embassy of another country, it is a common practice. If this is not the case in your situation then you can contact the embassy in the nearest country that has one, I suggest using the phone at first for faster response.
If you couldn't manage to get a visa from another ...
A couple of months ago i crossed the Albanian-Greek border not at Konispol/Sagiada, but another one. It worked out fine, so i guess there shouldn't be a problem for other border crossings from Albania to Greece.
I mostly drank bottled water in Albania this summer but if I don't remember horribly wrong, I did have tap water too while in Saranda (in the very south), and had no problems. (I probably asked the very helpful owner and other guests at Backpackers SR who said it's ok.)
That said, Shkodër is at the opposite end of the country, and I guess the water quality ...
I just spent a week in Albania and did drink the tab water everywhere (actually I've only been to Tirana, Berat, Saranda and Korca). In Tirane the people at the hostel did drink the water themselves but didn't recommend it to me, just to be on the safe side.
My hostel owner here in Albania assures me I can walk across.
Last night I walked across the southernmost border crossing from Albania to Greece on the Konispol-Sagiada route with absolutely no problems at 8pm Albanian time, 9pm Greek time.
Hehe, from our conversation on meta:
"You should try Tave Kosi in Elbasan - where it's originally from, 1.5 hours SE of Tirana."
Of course, if you're not in the area or have been through there already, it could be trickier. One way could be to befriend a local, and get them to help you cook it - it'd be a great cultural experience. Recipe available here ...
I wouldn't risk it. There are some authoritative resources that advice to use bottled water:
Can't advise on Kosovo, never been there.
I like the northern route:
Kopaonik National Park
Novi Pazar -- several notable monasteries in the vicinity.
Moraca river canyon (Montenegro) -- memorable road, remarkably steep drops
Either proceed directly to Skhoder, Albania (60km) or take a small detour down the Montenegrin coast down to ...
You should have no problems in the mountains and rural areas. Actually, people are usually very friendly and they will be curious about you (specially if you look like a foreigner).
In Tirana, Durrës and other cities you might find someone trying to scam you, like pretending they just found a ring you dropped or distracting you with a game while someone ...
This answer is specific for Tiranë but will surely be enlightening for Albania generally.
In Tiranë, the capital, the owner of my hostel tells me the tapwater is good for drinking four times per day lasting two hours each time!
7am until 9am
1pm until 3pm
7pm until 9pm
1am until 3am
I don't yet know by which standard the water quality is better at these ...
There are three that show up on Google Maps, so there are probably plenty. Search for "Shkodër, Albania" in Google Maps, then enter "internet cafe" in the same search field. I'm not sure about the food and drink, though.
This is handy (and amazing, to me) looking for odd things all over the world.
Facebook Internet Center
Rruga Jeronim De Rada, Shkoder, ...
My limited experience of Albania is also very dated (15 years) but may be better than nothing. Then, south of Tirana might as well have been the moon, as far as facilities and terrain were concerned. Private ownership of cars had only been allowed since 1991, at which time there were a mere 6,000 or so in the country. While roads in Tirana were quite ...
Yes, it is possible to enter Albania with only a Greek ID, however you need to be sure that it is the new Greek ID which is with Latin letter.
Still a few older ones ID's are existing with only greek letters. With these you won't be allowed to enter in case of a border control.
Yes, you can use your ID card instead of your passport. The November 2018 list (pdf) shows that all European Union countries are among those whose citizens are permitted to enter Albania with a national ID card.
It should be noted that "national ID card" generally means an identification card issued by a national government that identifies the holder as a ...
Yes, not only customs, but also immigration checks.
Entering Italy from a non Schengen country, you are subject to immigration checks (passport control). Entering Italy from a non-EU country, you are subject to customs checks.
It is for your question irrelevant that you are a US citizen or that you are staying 5 days.
The duty free shop at the Greek side of the border is open 7am - 9pm, so these hours should be a safe bet for the border control to be open as well.
Contact details (page in Greek) of the border control offices here.
Lastly, I found a photo of the border.
I just can add a small piece of information. Again I quote my LonelyPlanet from 2009:
Because Serbia doesn't consider Kosovo's entry and exit points to be
official international borders, attempts to enter Serbia from Kosovo
may be futile unless you initially entered Kosovo from Serbia.
Additionally if you plan to hitchhike into Kosovo, I wouldn't ...
Yes Albania is a safe country
The roads are generally not in excellent condition, but if you stick to the main roads that should be more than OK
I generally use http://www.directferries.com/ to find ferry trips, but there are other similar websites that you can find using your favourite search engine
Some of the things you may be asked are:
Why are you traveling to Albania today?
Where are you staying?
How much money do you have available to you?
How long are you staying?
You may also be asked other questions, based on your responses. When you say that you are visiting friends, for instance, you might be asked:
Are they meeting you in the airport ...
Is it easier and/or cheaper to replace my lost tent in Albania or Greece?
Southern Albania is even more primitive than the rest of the country. My personal experience is somewhat dated and the roads at least have improved greatly since but when I was there it was almost impossible to find anything to buy, let alone a tent and I cannot envisage ...