Fire and rescue services
Call 127 or go to the hospital.
We haven't changed our level of advice:
Exercise normal safety precautions in Albania.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Full travel advice: Local contacts
Political protests have been taking place regularly in central Tirana in 2019.
Demonstrations can occur with little or no warning.
Most demonstrations are peaceful. However, public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
To stay safe during periods of unrest:
While there have been no recent terrorist attacks in Albania, they can still happen.
Terrorist attacks have occurred in some European cities.
To protect yourself against possible terrorist threats:
If there's an attack, leave the area as soon as it's safe. Avoid the affected area in case of secondary attacks.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Theft from vehicles is common.
Take care of your belongings on public transport. Petty crime happens.
Albania may experience severe weather from December to February.
Severe weather can cause flooding, particularly in northern Albania. It may also disrupt local travel and transport services.
Earth tremors are common. Serious earthquakes are less common.
Serious earthquakes can cause:
If a natural disaster or severe weather occurs:
Register with the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to receive alerts on major disasters.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least eight weeks before you leave.
If you need counselling services while overseas, contact the Australian Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305 and ask to speak to a Lifeline telephone counsellor.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Albania. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
Ticks in forests and country areas can carry encephalitis. Ticks are active from spring to autumn.
Diseases spread by sandflies are common in coastal regions. Sandflies can carry:
To protect yourself from disease:
During and after travelling in forested areas:
Waterborne, foodborne and other infectious diseases are common, including these listed by the World Health Organization:
Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.
To protect yourself from illness:
If you're bitten or scratched by an animal, seek medical help straight away.
Get medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
Standard of hygiene and medical facilities are lower than in Australia.
There's limited access to medical equipment, medicine and specialist doctors.
Medical facilities outside Tirana are limited.
Medical facilities can rarely handle serious trauma or major medical care cases.
Ambulances are also limited. Patients often take taxis or other vehicles to the nearest major hospital.
If you become seriously ill or injured, you may need to be evacuated to a place with better facilities. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for drug offences are severe. They can include jail sentences and heavy fines.
You must always carry identification.
It's illegal to photograph military installations and personnel.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
The Albanian Government considers you an Albanian national if either:
You may be subject to compulsory military service if you're a male Australian-Albanian dual national. Contact the embassy or consulate of Albania for details before you leave Australia.
Same-sex relationships are legal in Albania, but aren't widely accepted.
Avoid public displays of affection.
You can visit Albania for 90 days without a visa. You'll need a visa for longer stays.
Entry and exit conditions can change. Contact an embassy or consulate of Albania for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for six months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than six months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
The local currency is the Albanian Lek (ALL).
You must declare if you're carrying amounts equivalent to $US20,000 when you arrive or leave. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.
ATMs and credit card facilities are available in larger cities and in tourist areas.
Many shops and service providers prefer cash.
You can change major currencies at banks and authorised exchange bureaus.
Credit card fraud can happen. Take care not to expose your PIN. Check your bank statements often.
Heavy snowfall in mountain areas may disrupt travel.
Monitor local media for updates. See Climate and natural disasters
Landmines are a hazard in the north-east border areas of Albania.
They are a particular hazard in hill towns along the north-eastern border with Kosovo.
To protect yourself from landmines:
To drive in Albania you need both:
Get your IDP before leaving Australia.
You're three times more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident in Albania than in Australia.
If you plan to drive in Albania:
Only use registered taxis and authorised limousines.
Ask your hotel to arrange a taxi for you.
Avoid flagging down taxis in the street.
Sit in the back seat.
Bus and rail travel is unreliable.
Safety standards on public transport can be poor.
Before boarding a ferry or boat, check whether appropriate safety equipment is available.
Some international cruise lines stop over in Albania.
There are no commercial domestic flights within Albania.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Albania's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, you could contact your:
Call 127 or go to the hospital.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
Australia doesn't have an embassy or consulate in Albania.
If you need consular assistance, contact the Australian Embassy in Rome, Italy.
Via Antonio Bosio 5
00161 Rome, Italy
Phone: +39 06 85 2721
Fax: +39 06 85 272 300
Facebook: Australian Embassy, Italy
Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
You can get limited consular assistance from the British Embassy in Tirana. However, it can't issue Australian passports.
Rruga Skenderbej 12
Phone: (+355) 42 34 973
Fax: (+355) 42 47 697
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
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