The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before travelling to Albania. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.
Irish Citizens should note that the Irish Government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.
For entry requirements for Albania, please contact the nearest Albanian Embassy or Consulate.
It is advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.
SAFETY & SECURITY
We advise against all travel to the northeast border areas (i.e. the districts of Kukes, Has and Tropoje) between Albania and Kosovo because of the very poor condition of the roads and the risk of unexploded ordnance placed during the 1999 Kosovo crisis.
Please be aware that ownership of firearms is widespread in Albania.
Along with other European countries, there is potential for Albania to experience international terrorism.
Public security is generally good, particularly in Tirana, and Albanians are very hospitable to visitors. However, crime and violence still represent a serious problem in some areas. You are advised to be vigilant about personal security, dress modestly and not display expensive items such as watches and cameras.
LOCAL LAWS & CUSTOMS
Penalties for drug related crimes are severe.
Driving can be very hazardous in Albania. Roads are poor,
especially in rural areas. In winter, mountain roads are
snowy and icy. During hot spells, the tarmac can melt and
become slippery. Flash flooding is possible throughout the
year. Drivers should stay alert for large, unmarked
potholes. Street lighting in urban areas is subject to power
cuts. Elsewhere, except on the major inter-urban arterial
routes, there is no street lighting, so night travel is best
avoided. There is no national recovery system, so cars should
be self-sufficient, carrying minor repair equipment including jack,
spare wheel, fan belts, wiper blades, local phrase book, first aid
kit, water and overnight food when in remote areas.
Albanian driving can often be aggressive and erratic. If you intend to drive, you are strongly advised to avoid reacting to provocative behaviour by other road users. If you are involved in a traffic accident, even a minor one, you are required to wait until the police arrive.
The Albanian authorities have confirmed that there have been
outbreaks of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) in
domestic poultry in the village of Cuka near the Butrint Lagoon in
south west Albania and in the village of Peze-Helmes, 14km from the
capital Tirana. No human infections or deaths have been
The risk to humans from Avian Influenza is believed to be very low. As a precaution, you should avoid visiting live animal markets, poultry farms and other places where you may come into close contact with domestic, caged or wild birds; and ensure poultry and egg dishes are thoroughly cooked.
For further information and advice, please see our section on Avian Influenza.
There are high levels of Hepatitis in Albania. Rabies is also a matter of concern as there are large numbers of stray dogs, although there have been no reports of the disease in Tirana at present. Cases of tick borne encephalitis have been reported in the north of the country. Vaccination is available but we advise travellers to keep all areas of the body covered when close to shrubs or bushes, and to inspect themselves regularly for ticks.
DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR MISSIONS
The Embassy of Ireland in Athens, Greece is responsible for relations with Albania.
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