Throughout Albania, you’ll find plenty of choices for accommodation. From the modern capital city, Tirana, with its five-star hotels and bustling hostels, to the beach cities with their condos and high-rise hotels, there’s something for everyone and every budget. As you head off the beaten path, you’ll also find interesting one-of-a-kind guesthouses, often in historic buildings.
Albania is unique in many ways, so naturally, there are also some quirks and things to know when seeking accommodation.
Firstly, compared to other European countries, you’ll find accommodation in Albania quite inexpensive. In fact, nice hotel rooms start at about €24, and even the most luxurious 5-star hotel/resort in the capital city will top out at less than €200, breakfast included!
Albanian hosts are usually very friendly and helpful. If you opt to stay at a privately owned guesthouse rather than a big hotel, you’ll get personalized attention, including little welcome gifts, coffee, and rides to nearby places (bus station, etc.).
Many smaller properties don’t have elevators, and could have winding, steep roads to reach, so if you have heavy luggage, be sure to book a ground-floor room. Or check ahead of time to make sure someone will be available to help you get your luggage upstairs.
Albania offers many hotel options in every city, with a full range of services. There are just a few 5-star hotels in larger cities, that may offer a large hot/cold buffet breakfast included.
Lower-starred hotels offer breakfast, continental breakfast, no breakfast, or breakfast for an additional fee. There are many small boutique hotels with extremely modern interiors or historic interiors, either in new buildings, or in repurposed large historic homes or buildings.
No matter what city or town you visit, there are innumerable options for renting a whole apartment for yourself, often at much better rates than hotels. Booking and AirBnb both offer hundreds of choices. It’s possible to find a holiday apartment once you arrive, but in our experience, it’s easier to book ahead, especially for the summer high season.
Hint: Do be aware that in the Albanian style of building, bathrooms (even in very good quality apartments!) are often built without any enclosure for the shower (shower “cabin”). This results in the whole bathroom floor soaked with water after shower use, with some odd configurations soaking the toilet as well.
If you read reviews online, you’ll find posts complimenting a hotel or apartment, except for this one issue. If it doesn’t bother you, then don’t worry about it. But if you don’t want a wet floor, be sure to look at photos of the bathroom before you book!
Most Albanian apartments are outfitted in European style with a toilet and a bidet.
The Albanian Riviera is brimming with high-rise buildings that house holiday condos and apartments. With so many options, you’ll be able to find something wonderful in your price range. Accommodations range from tiny studio apartments to large 3 bedroom flats for families or larger groups.
Be sure to check locations, because although many are described as “minutes from the beach” those minutes may actually be by car, or down a steep hillside, as many Albanian beach cities are built on cliffs. That’s absolutely gorgeous for views, but not so great, if you don’t fancy a work-out to get to beaches, cafes, markets and restaurants.
You can also rough-it in style, by choosing a glamping cabin or tent in Albania. Some glamping properties are rustic, yet modern, self-contained homes with fully equipped kitchens and private bathrooms, at a property with a restaurant and outdoor activities.
Others offer self-contained tents with beds, locking door, shared bathrooms, barbeques for outside cooking, and outdoor activities.
Glamping sites are found near the beaches, in the mountains, and anywhere in-between!
There are private luxury villas available for holiday rentals, usually at the beach cities in Albania. Here you’ll find spacious, well-equipped homes, often situated in romantic settings, such as overlooking the beaches, or up the hillsides. Many come with private swimming pool, lush landscaped grounds, large kitchens and more.
As tourism takes off in Albania, more and more hostels are available each season. These range from large multi-roomed hostels with many beds, to small family-owned hostels that are extensions of their private homes. Either way, for those who want to meet other travellers and have a budget stay in a foreign land, these hostels are the perfect choice.
Most offer a group kitchen or your host/hostess will provide breakfast, with additional home-cooked meals at reasonable prices. You’ll also get friendly, personal attention and inside info about the area from your local hostel host.
With Albania’s long history of organic agriculture, traditional building and herbal remedies, sustainable tourism is a natural. There are many, many options to visit an agritourism working-farm guesthouse and enjoy a stay in a natural environment, where life is lived with a smaller ecological footprint.
Fresh air and tasty, organic food are always in abundance on these homesteads, along with the possibility of cooking classes, horseback riding, playing with farm animals, soaking in a river, or whatever other natural activities the area offers.
Spring, summer and autumn are the best times to participate in the natural life of an agritourism property.
Hostel beds will cost between €6 – €20
A basic guesthouse or hotel room, double occupancy can cost between €20 – €50
Upscale guesthouse can cost between €40 - €55
Mid-range hotels can run between €27 - €60
Self-catering apartments (studio to 1-2 bedrooms) can cost between €40 - €150 per night in high season, but you can save almost half once high season ends, especially at the beaches
Private villas run between €65 - €150 during the high season
For a 4-5-star luxury hotel room, expect to pay between €65 - €200
Many hotels, boutique hotels and condos have elevators, and some may have ramps leading into the building. Smaller guesthouses might have ground-floor accessible units, but double-check if there are stairs leading onto the property, or if the entry or walkway to the property is accessible.
Planning a trip to Albania? Read our other Albania travel guides