1. Try to learn some words in Albanian before you traveling here, at least “Si je? (how are you) or Faleminderit (thank you). You may meet people in some areas wunderstand any word of your language. However in the cities, especially in Tirana, people know English or Italian.
2. Don’t travel with auto-stop. Take a bus or a van at bus stations, or in the city centre. Albanians are generally very friendly, but you never know who can be the driver.
3. Don’t be surprised if in a bus you can see people singing, talking loudly or arguing with each other. We are very lively and tempered people.
4. Don’t be afraid if someone in the bus wants to talk with you, asking questions: Where are you from, why are you visiting Albania etc. We are very curious about everyone, not having any bad intentions, but just to engage in conversation.
5. Don’t buy anything without asking before for the price. Be sure what is the price and then pay. Try kindly to ask for a bill. If they don’t have a bill, just let it go. Anyway the prices for everything in Albanians are very cheap. Make sure to have always Albanian Lek, no other currencies.
6. If you see two Albanians speaking loudly, don’t think that they are arguing. They are just talking for important topics, especially politics. Don’t ever speak about any political party, you never know with the fan of each political party you are talking for.
7. Don’t try to translate some ‘bad words’ Albanians are using… you will never understand them
8. Don’t insist when someone is offering you to pay for the coffee. Albanians will win always. This is because they respect the guest.
9. Say no if the seller or a restaurant want to give you more items or food.
10. Don’t refuse if Albanians are giving you a gift, even you don’t like it. It can be offensive for them.
11. In general don’t order meat in seaside, or fish in the mountain. Just to be sure, eat what the restaurant is offering you as their speciality.
12. Don’t hesitate to shake hands with Albanians. They consider this as respect
13. Don’t be surprised if Albanians are kissing each other in cheeks . Even men do this, when they meet their friends or relatives.
14. If you are hungry, the best way is to buy ‘byrek’ (Albanian pie). The cheapest food in the country and the most tasty one. You find byrek everywhere.
15. If you have a meeting with an Albanian, be sure to wait at least 10 minutes. Usually we are not in time.
16. If an Albanian is offering you a coffee, is just the offer for a friendship or to respect you, not other intentions.
17. If you book a hotel with 5 stars, except it to be 4 stars or less. The culture of accommodation is still improving. You always will find something missing.
18. To organize your tours, don’t speak privately to independent guides, but choose an agency instead. If something goes wrong, you always have a place where to complain
19. Don’t ever complain or arguing, or showing force with Albanians. Try to respect them and you will get the best of their heart. If you are a guest in an Albanian house, they will offer everything they have, they will cook the best food they have, even borrowing items to neighbours or at the shop nearby. The desire to satisfy the guest is so strong among Albanians. What they want to hear in the end is a big thank you, or spread the good words about their hospitality.
20. Smile and have fun with Albanians, they know really the meaning of life. Try to enjoy every part of your trip in Albania. You will discover great people, with great heart and have a very unique experience. Not to mention the beauty of nature which is a gift from God.