It was one of those normal and a bit stressful days after I finished one of my exams, that I decided to take a walk around the city to calm myself. I don't remember what I was thinking but that process got interrupted by two tourists that were passing me by. They were talking to each other and I was paying attention to every word they said and I felt a bit like a spy. They were trying to go in top of Piramida, a monument in center of Tirana and I noticed they were having a hard time with the climbing. At that moment I told them " Hey, try from this side because it's easier ". Instead, one of them told me that he wanted to challenge himself and was going for the hard part. I remember they reached the top and were taking photos there. Once they got down, we started speaking again and I thought " Why not ask them to share their impressions of Albania with me?" And that's what I did. They were very welcoming and we decided to meet one of those days.
Picture © Credits to roibu
The other day, I met with Marilisa, the girl from Germany at the hostel where she was staying.
She was studying in Greece and she had a friend from Albania, who introduced her to Albania and that's how she decided to come. For as long as we talked, she had the best impressions from Albania and she was really glad to be in here. Being asked about some negative aspects that she might have had noticed, she just said that " I don't think that there's many negative aspects for tourists, but I kind of imagine that life is a bit hard for locals...The streets are a bit crazy, but I like it because it's more important to have good people around you than a perfect city."
What I found more interesting in her words was when she said that Albania is not for the classic tourists who have a fixed plan on what to do and where to go, it's more about the flexible ones who will have a great time out of nothing and are excited to try everything. Also, she was talking about the architecture and described it as a beautiful mix of styles and she was interested in seeing more.
What she seemed to like mostly about Albania was the friendliness of people and she told me that everyone had to learn from albanians on this very aspect. "In Germany, if I had to ask people to show me the way , at first they would give me a look and after 30 seconds they would answer but in Albania is totally different, people don't hesitate to help. Even when I am in a bus I feel different, the buses in Albania are happy buses and everything around is very welcoming. I don't feel invisible here and that's what I like the most...Albania gives me a sense of being known ."
Cheers with Rakia !
We recommend to book your stays in Tirana in advance as it can get booked up quickly during certain periods. If you use this link, you pay the same price and we get a small commission - thanks for your support!
Want to plan a trip here? Build your own hotel+flight package with Live The World, or reach out for personalized advice from one of our travel experts.
Interesting towns related to this story
Plan a trip with Maya - your AI travel assistant