25 Amazing Albania Facts: Hidden Gem of Europe

Albania is an enthralling country with unique daily routines and cultural facts. People have learned a lot about the history and some of the daily routines that people practice after living there for years. Here are some intriguing Albanian facts you probably didn’t know.

Albania was formerly Europe’s poorest country

While it may not appear so now, Albania was once the poorest country in the area. Communism toppled in 1991, and the local regime followed suit.

Because the country was isolated for nearly five decades, it did not experience much progress. Of course, it has now recovered.

Although it is still one of the region’s poorest countries, the tourism industry is now thriving, and infrastructure has improved significantly.

The country has the region’s least developed Riviera

Europe is famed for its beautiful coastlines, yet Albania has the least developed. This is not to say that the beaches aren’t beautiful.

Anybody who enjoys visiting beaches will appreciate the pristine natural beauty that the beaches have to offer here.

Mountains cover 70% of the country

Mountains cover 70% of Albania, providing plenty of natural beauty. Other countries also share some mountains. You’ll pass through several mountains, valleys, and passes as you drive about here.

Maje E Korabit is the highest point

One of the most interesting Albania facts is that Maje e Korabit is the highest point in the country. Golem Korab is another name for this point.

It is also the highest point in Macedonia, and it is located on the boundary between the two nations.

The National Drink Is Raki

True, Raki is Albania’s national drink, but be cautious. This is because Raki in Albanian villages might be three times stronger than your ordinary drink.

Thus, if you decide to indulge in it, be sure to pace yourself. It’s really addictive, with amazing flavors, especially homemade ones.

There are no McDonald’s in Albania’s capital

Albania remained isolated for nearly five decades, which is why McDonald’s did not open a location there. It is one of the few European countries without this fast food chain. But there are Domino’s and KFC nearby.

There are around 700,000 bunkers throughout the country

EnverHoxha, the country’s former dictator, erected the bunkers to protect the country from possible invaders.

These bunkers were built to survive chemical or nuclear attacks. The vast majority of them are underground and have never been used.

Opinga is a wonderful Albanian souvenir

One of the most important Albanian fun facts is the most common memento. It’s a pair of opinga, a traditional Albanian shoe. Both genders wear it, so bring it home with you.

Albania is home to 30% of Europe’s plant collection

Nature is essential to any Albanian, which is why the country is home to over 3,000 plant species. To put these figures in context, they represent 30% of Europe’s total plant collection.

Skadar Lake is Albania’s largest body of water

A trip to Albania would be completed without at least one visit to Skadar Lake. It is the region’s largest body of water, and there is enough to do here. You may do everything from trekking different paths to participating in various outdoor excursions here.

Albania was the first country to declare itself an atheist

EnverHoxha declared Albania an atheist state in 1967. As a result, it was the first country in the world to claim atheism. This was part of the plan to take the country to the next level of communism by outlawing all religions.

Albania is now one of Europe’s few Muslim countries

Albania was a Muslim country before the tyrant converted it to atheism. Even now, it is one of Europe’s few Muslim countries. As of 2022, around 58% of Albania’s population was Muslim.

Lazarat, an Albanian village, is the country’s cannabis capital

One of the most intriguing facts about Albania is that one of the cities in the cannabis capital of the world. Lazarat is the location where most cannabis is grown for export to the rest of Europe. Everyone who enjoys cannabis should stop by this village on their next trip.

A Mercedes is the most common car in Albania

A Mercedes is the most common type of car in Albania. Nobody knows why this is the case, but it is what it is. Because communism isolated the country, many people did not know how to drive or even own vehicles.

The word “Besa” will protect you in the country

The word Besa can be used by anyone who wants to remain safe in the country. It functions similarly to an honor code, and all Albanians adhere to it. When you need assistance, use this word, and people will rush to your aid.

No equals yes, and yes equals no

When speaking with an Albanian, you may observe that they appear to be disagreeing with you, yet they nod in the opposite way as those of us from Western cultures. Shake your head up and down to indicate no, and shake it side to side to indicate yes.

Only India does the headshake in the opposite direction that I am aware of! It does require some adjustment.

Albanians have powerful beliefs

People find Albanian beliefs to be really interesting. When walking through residential areas, you may notice teddy bears or dolls on the fences or entrances of the houses. This is done to ward off evil spirits. 

Another popular superstition holds that if a liquid, such as a drink, is spilled, pouring water over the spill is necessary to fend off bad luck. In addition, if you request a second raki from a café, you may see that they will deliver it in a new glass but pour the raki into your current glass. 

Religion was prohibited in albania

Religion was openly forbidden during the communist era (1941–1992), making Albania the world’s first atheist country. Under EnverHoxha’s reign, several mosques and churches were destroyed.

Albania is predominantly Muslim nowadays, although you can find people eating meat, drinking alcohol, and not wearing headscarves.

There are more albanians outside of albania than within

Albania has a population of 2.8 million people, but because it is difficult to find work and living circumstances are poor, more Albanians live outside of the country.

The fall of communism and the economic collapse saw the greatest exodus movement in Europe since World War II. 

Numerous Albanians have settled in Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Turkey. For many people here, the ambition is to live outside of Albania and find work with a better salary and the opportunity to advance their profession or studies.

There are around 750,000 bunkers spread out across the country

During the communist era, EnverHoxha requested that 750,000 bunkers be built in preparation for an impending conflict. Yet it was all a deception, and the bunkers werecreated for no apparent cause.

They are still spread over Albania today. Several have been converted into farm buildings, artist studios, and even hotels. The only time they were utilized partly was during the civil war 1997.

Albania does not have a mcdonalds

Don’t expect to locate a Big Mac on your trip to Albania! That’s correct; no McDonald’s in sight. McDonald’s has not even attempted to enter Albania because of the strong cultural opposition to the idea.

Albanians prefer coffee cafés. Most people are terrified of a fast-food franchise like McDonald’s entering their country.

The albanian tradition of xhiro

Xhiro is a traditional Albanian dance. Albanians will leave their homes early in the evening and walk down the main road of wherever they dwell.

This is an excellent opportunity to catch up with everyone. Farmers will occasionally come and sell their vegetables, or people will start small BBQs on the side of the roadway.

Albanians adore expresso

They are big coffee fans. The art of sitting out in a café, catching up with friends over an espresso, is prominent.

Albania has an amazing number of coffee shops. Many even started drinking expressos to fit in and enjoy authentic Albanian culture while living there.

Their language is unique in the world

Albanian, often known as’shqip,’ has no close languages. According to science, the language is an Indo-European language. There are two dialects: Tosk (the southern dialect) and Geg (the northern dialect) (the northern dialect).

It’s a difficult language to learn because the words are long, and the sounds are challenging for most people.

They have sleeping rooms!

Most shops will close during the hottest portion of the day, from 2 pm to 5/6 pm, to have a sort of siesta! This is more noticeable in cities such as Saranda than in Tirana.

During this time, Albanians unwind by drinking coffee or doing nothing.

In this article, we have read various interesting facts about Albania. To know more about such facts, keep following this website.

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