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Albania

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					Travel Tips to European Countries: Albania

Albania is a mountainous country and the one of the smallest countries of
Europe. The residents supposedly descended from ancient Illyrians.

Culture

The culture of Albania is majorly influenced by that of the mainland
Greeks especially in the urban locality; nodding one’s head means ‘no’
where as shaking the head means ‘yes’. To greet someone, handshaking is
preferred, though Shoku (Comrade) was used before, which has been long
forgotten now. People dress informally here. Swim suits are meant for the
beaches, otherwise women are expected not to dress in a revealing outfit.
When addressing someone prefix Zoti(Mr) or Zonja(Mrs) before the name and
always remember to carry some gifts when visiting someone, although
flowers aren’t much acceptable. The guests are served with coffee, raki
or sweets. Smokers don’t have to worry much, but they should avoid it
where they see a sign of Ndalohet Duhani or Ndalohet pirja e duhanit.

Travelling within the country

Buses with relatively cheap fares operate in the main cities of the
country or taxis are another choice which provided service for some main
hotels.
Visit Dajti Mountain and experience Dajti Ekspres Cable car for an
unforgettable 15 minute ride passing through Dajt Oark to reach Tirana.
The route is about 4.2 km long and the ride costs €6.5.Alpha Yachting
provides crewed yacht which is a luxury in itself. Tirana Bank is the
best place for withdrawing money as it allows access to Visa cards.

Eating Out

Restaurants are not always sufficiently heated, so always wear warm
clothes if out in the night during winters. Foreigners are charged more
than the locals. Both the entry fees as well as any merchandise will be
on a higher scale, so it’s better not to reveal the fact that you are a
foreigner when out on the streets.

Site Seeing

If you enjoy canoeing, this is the right place to be. There are places
right outside Tirana which is an amazing site for not just canoeing, but
also rock climbing, hiking, and camping.

Accommodation

If you want a 5-Star ambience, try The Sheraton Tirana Hotel and Towers,
which is situated in the middle of a shopping and entertainment center.
There are about 151 rooms and 56 suites. So, along with the comfort, one
can shop at once convenience here. Another hotel which provides all
modern facilities is Hotel Mondial. It is located 1000 m away from the
city and is also a good example of traditional architecture.

Getting There
One of the best and the easiest means is to go by air. Albanian Airlines
is the national airline which works in collaboration with Tyrolean
Airways, and provides service to almost all the big European cities. The
airport, Mother Teresa, is 16 miles or 26 km away from the capital. A
tourist bus is available every 3 hrs to get to the city center and takes
about 30 minutes to get there. Taxis are available round the clock. While
waiting for any transport service, tourists can check out the duty free
shops, bank, eateries and car hire at the airport. A departure tax of $10
USD is imposed on all foreign nationals. Check out www.flyalbanian .com
for flight times and offers.

If trying to get there by sea, try the ferry services which are provided
by Adriatic Line and Agoudimos. The main ports are Durres (has ferry
connection to Italy, Bari, Brindisi, Trieste, and Ancona), Vlora (has
ferry connection to Bari, and Brindisi), Saranda (has connection to
Corfu), Shen Gjini (has ferry connection to Bari). Check out
www.adriatica.it and www.aqoudimos-lines.com for more information.

Bus is another option. Buses start from Istanbul, Athens and Sofia.
Internal passengers have lots of options with bus services provided. If
traveling by road in a private car, there is road network to the Kosovo
region, but they are too dangerous to use because of the political
tensions within the region. Crossings at Hani I Hotit, Bllata, Oafa e
Thaes, Tushemisht, Gorica, Kapshtica, and kakavija can be taken. If tired
one can take halts at hotels or other designated areas. There is a
network of 18,000 km, out of which only 7450 km are main roads, for local
travelers. About 2138km stretch of these roads is in poor condition and
has pot holes, and utmost safety precautions should be taken when driving
on such roads. Speed limit should be strictly followed on highways as
well as within towns. Driving at night should be better avoided because
of the absence of street lights on the road except for urban areas.
Traffic should drive on the right-hand. There is a shortage of gas
stations in the countryside, so filling the gas tank completely when
passing through urban area is recommended and since there is lack of
national recovery system; travelers should be prepared for an emergency
or breakdown before hand. One should carry necessary documents like
International Driving Permit and national driving license.

Duty Free Items

Following are the items that can be carried without customs duty being
levied on them:
1. 1liter of spirits or 2liter of wine
2. 250ml of eau de toilette
3. 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
4. 50ml of perfume.

Prohibited Items

Things that are prohibited to carry are firearms, narcotics and
ammunitions. Special export permission should be taken for precious
metals, books, antiques, work of art, or material of national or historic
value.
PPPPP

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