When you get there, there isn't any there there.
— Gertrude Stein, 1874 - 1946




Albania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, but was conquered by Italy in 1939. Communist partisans took over the country in 1944. Albania allied itself first with the USSR (until 1960), and then with China (to 1978). In the early 1990s, Albania ended 46 years of xenophobic Communist rule and established a multiparty democracy. The transition has proven challenging as successive governments have tried to deal with high unemployment, widespread corruption, a dilapidated physical infrastructure, powerful organized crime networks, and combative political opponents. Albania has made progress in its democratic development since first holding multiparty elections in 1991, but deficiencies remain. International observers judged elections to be largely free and fair since the restoration of political stability following the collapse of pyramid schemes in 1997; however, there have been claims of electoral fraud in every one of Albania's post-communist elections. In the 2005 general elections, the Democratic Party and its allies won a decisive victory on pledges to reduce crime and corruption, promote economic growth, and decrease the size of government. The election, and particularly the orderly transition of power, was considered an important step forward. Albania joined NATO in April 2009 and is a potential candidate for EU accession. Although Albania's economy continues to grow, the country is still one of the poorest in Europe, hampered by a large informal economy and an inadequate energy and transportation infrastructure.


Albania (Albanian: Shqipëria) is a small country in the Balkans. It shares borders with Greece, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, and Montenegro.

Read more about Albania in our Albania travel guide »

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Featured hotels in


AlbaniaSheraton Tirana Hotel 

Sheshi Italia
P.o. Box 1717

Price (US$): $200 - $294 / night

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Location. Sheraton Tirana Hotel is a business friendly Tirana hotel connected to a shopping center and close to Qemal Stafa Stadium, Palace of Congress, and University of Tirana. Additional points of interest include Pyramid and Selman Stermasi Stadium. Hotel Features. Sheraton Tirana Hotel's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts (surcharges apply).… more »

AlbaniaTirana International Hotel 

City Center, Skenderbej Square 8
Tirana 1001

Price (US$): $92 - $252 / night

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Location. Located in central Tirana, Tirana International Hotel is a business friendly hotel steps from Et'Hem Bey Mosque and Skanderbeg Square. Additional points of interest include Palace of Culture and National Museum of History. Hotel Features. Tirana International Hotel features a coffee shop/cafĂ©. Room service is available during limited hours. The hotel serves a complimentary breakfast in the restaurant. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a sauna, and a fitness facility.… more »

AlbaniaNobel Hotel 

Rruga Urani Pano near Veve BusinessCntr

Price (US$): $41 - $64 / night

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Location. Nobel Hotel is located in central Tirana, close to National Museum of History, Palace of Culture, and Skanderbeg Square. Nearby points of interest also include Et'Hem Bey Mosque and National Art Gallery. Hotel Features. This 3 star property has a 24 hour business center. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available in public areas. The property has a train station pick up service, which is complimentary. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. The hotel serves a complimentary… more »

AlbaniaRogner Hotel Tirana 


Price (US$): $222 - $383 / night

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City Hotel amidst of greenery. Business hotel and garden hotel at the same time. Rogner Hotel Tirana embedded in a magnificent Mediterranean garden an oasis of relaxation and rest in the heart of Albanias capital. The location on the main boulevard makes the Rogner Hotel Tirana the meeting place of economy diplomacy culture and Albanian lifestyle. The Parliament Presidents Office Prime Ministers Office and many important Embassies are in walking distance.Whether in elegant premises or under… more »

AlbaniaHotel Restaurant Baron 

Rruga Elbasanit, Sauk

Price (US$): $33 - $54 / night

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Location. Hotel Restaurant Baron is located in Tirana, close to Mother Albania Statue, Qemal Stafa Stadium, and University of Tirana. Nearby points of interest also include Palace of Congress and Pyramid. Hotel Features. Hotel Restaurant Baron features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available during limited hours. This 3 star property offers secretarial services and limo/town car service. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available in public areas. This Tirana… more »

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Full name
Republic of Albania

Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between Greece in the south and Montenegro and Kosovo to the north

Geographic coordinates

41 00 N, 20 00 E

Area comparative

slightly smaller than Maryland

Border countries

Greece 282 km, Macedonia 151 km, Montenegro 172 km, Kosovo 112 km


362 km


mild temperate; cool, cloudy, wet winters; hot, clear, dry summers; interior is cooler and wetter


mostly mountains and hills; small plains along coast

Lowest point

Adriatic Sea 0 m

Highest point

Maja e Korabit (Golem Korab) 2,764 m

Natural resources

petroleum, natural gas, coal, bauxite, chromite, copper, iron ore, nickel, salt, timber, hydropower


2,986,952 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

Albanian 95%, Greek 3%, other 2% (Vlach, Roma (Gypsy), Serb, Macedonian, Bulgarian) (1989 est.)


Muslim 70%, Albanian Orthodox 20%, Roman Catholic 10%


Albanian (official - derived from Tosk dialect), Greek, Vlach, Romani, Slavic dialects

Government type



28 November 1912 (from the Ottoman Empire)

National holiday

Independence Day, 28 November (1912)

Chief of state

President of the Republic Bamir TOPI (since 24 July 2007)

Head of government

Prime Minister Sali BERISHA (since 10 September 2005)

Internet country code


Internet users

1.3 million (2009)


5 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Durres, Sarande, Shengjin, Vlore

Other countries in the region