A practical foreign exchange and currency guide to Albania
What’s in this Albania currency guide:
The official currency of Albania is the Albanian lek, with symbol and currency code ALL.
20 Jun 2022
05 Apr 2022
04 Jul 2021
05 Jul 2017
06 Jul 2012
09 Jul 2002
The below comparison table makes it easy to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you want to make a Transfer or Spend Albanian lek.
Albania is an unknown destination for so many people but it needn’t be. It’s a beautiful country with a fascinating history and culture dating back thousands of years. It’s a safe and affordable destination and with more airlines planning to offer cheap flights it’s about to become much more accessible. Albania history is intriguing and you would be doing yourself a disservice by not reading up on a bit of it before you go. If not to understand that you are headed to a country that was totally isolated from the rest of the world for the latter half of the 20th Century because of a paranoid android Communist dictator, then to know what people are talking about when they say “Great Albania” because odds are, you are going to hear it mentioned at some point.
It is impossible to buy or use Leks anywhere else — you cannot even exchange Leks outside of Albania, as it is a restricted currency. They do accept Euro in some places in Tirana, and also Pounds and American Dollars. There are plenty of banks; at least in Tirana and in Durres there are also ATMs where you can get cash using a Cirrus or Maestro bank card. Visa and Mastercard credit cards are accepted in some places. There are also money exchange shops and Western Union outlets for you to change your money; as a last resort, there are lots of men walking around the city center waving big wads of money about – you can go to them and haggle for a better exchange rate for your money.
Albania’s famous furgons (mini-buses) have now been banned from operating in most parts of the country leaving official buses as the only public transport option. When travelling Albania, you will have to learn to trust the transport system. There are timetables but quite often they are wrong or have been changed. There’s no rail system so it’s all about renting, buses and hitchhiking.
In Tirana, there are two bus stations – one for buses going north and one for buses going south. They are about a 15-minute walk from each other so make sure you get the right one! The station for buses going south is the further one away from the city. In Saranda, the buses go from a few places, but they are all very near to each other. There is a couple of ‘bus roads’ in the middle of the city. Usually, the ones to and from Greece go from outside the ticket office, which is opposite the red building called Partizani. The buses that go within Albania are found on the street Rruga Flamurit, near the ruins and the park.