20 Do’s and Don’ts in Albania

2. Don’t travel with auto-stop. Take a bus or a van at bus stations or in the city center. Albanians are generally very friendly, but you never know who can be the driver.

3. Don’t be surprised if, on a bus, you can see people singing, talking loudly, or arguing with each other. We are vivacious 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 to engage in conversation.

5. Don’t buy anything without asking before for the price. Be sure what the price is 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 meager. Make sure always to have Albanian Lek, no other currencies.

6. If you see two Albanians speaking loudly, don’t think 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 party you are talking for.

7. Don’t try translating 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 consistently. This is because they respect the guests.

9. Say no if the seller or a restaurant wants to give you more items or food.

10. Don’t refuse if Albanians give you a gift, even if you don’t like it. It can be offensive for them.

11. Generally, don’t order meat at the seaside or fish in the mountains. To be sure, eat what the restaurant offers as their specialty.

12. Don’t hesitate to shake hands with Albanians. They consider this as respect

13. Don’t be surprised if Albanians kiss each other on the 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). It is the cheapest food in the country and the most tasty one. You find Byrek everywhere.

15. If you have a meeting with an Albanian, wait at least 10 minutes. Usually, we are not on time.

16. If an Albanian is offering you a coffee, it is just an offer for friendship or to respect you, not other intentions.

17. If you book a hotel with five stars, expect it to be four 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; choose an agency instead. If something goes wrong, you always have a place where to complain.

19. Never complain, argue, or show 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 guests is so strong among Albanians. Ultimately, they want to hear a big thank you or spread the good words about their hospitality.

20. Smile and have fun with Albanians; they know the meaning of life. Try to enjoy every part of your trip to Albania. You will discover great people with great hearts and have a unique experience. Not to mention the beauty of nature, which is a gift from God.

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