Travel, Currency and Money saving tips for Albania
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.
What currency to use in Albania?
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.
Getting around in Albania?
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.
Travel money for Albania
Save money and time by Ordering your Albanian Lek online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick
up the ALL cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.
Another popular option is to
use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate,
but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.
For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to
Pay in Albanian Lek otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.
Sending money to Albania
When searching around for information on how to get a good exchange rate when sending money to Albania you need to start with finding out the latest Albanian Lek exchange rate for foreign-transfers, which can be very different to the wholesale rate.
Then compare your bank's exchange rates to several licensed FX providers exchange rate and fees to see how much
you can save - we make that calculation easy in the below table.
Get a better deal for foreign transfers to Albania
When sending money to Albania it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers.
To get a better deal you should follow these 4 simple steps :
Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
You specify the local or Albanian Lek amount you want to transfer
Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
Once your funds are received by the provider the converted ALL amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Albania.
Use the above Send to Albanian Lek calculator to compare the exchange rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more -
end result is more Albanian Lek deposited into the recipient bank account and less margins and fees kept by the banks!
General advice: The information on this site is of a general nature only. It does not take your specific needs or circumstances into consideration. You should look at your own personal situation and requirements before making any legal, accounting or financial decisions. The foreign exchange rates and products compared on this page and website are chosen from a range of products that bestexchangerates.com (BER) has access to and are not
representative of all the products available in the market.
We may receive referral fees in relation to your activity on the BER website however this doesn't affect the exchange rates or fees you are charged.
The use of terms "Best" and "Top" are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer.