What to buy in Albania? 11 goods to bring back home with you

Albania is a shopping mix of the Balkans, the Middle East and the era of communism. You can stock up on various cheap products with really good quality. What should you bring back from Albania? Here’s our shopping list, just for you.


Shopping in Albania


You’ll find many of the things listed below at old markets or souvenir shops. A popular market is Kruje and its old bazaar, you can stock up on many interesting souvenirs and gifts there. Remember to bring a cooler bag if you want to bring back cheeses or anything else that may spoil quickly. If you want to bring back bottles, you may also want to bring back some bubble wrap. Also, make sure to bring some Albanian currency with you, as many shops don’t have terminals.




kawa albania

Albanians love coffee and drink it with adoration – especially Turkish coffee. There are a couple of well-known coffee producers in Albania whose products would make a great gift. You’ll find coffee bags in markets and souvenir shops in most of the major resorts. Thanks to Albania’s proximity to Italy, classic espresso is also consumed in Albania, so you can bring back some too. There are also special coffee pots for brewing coffee the Turkish way available for purchase in Albania.


Kilim rugs


kilim Albania

You can buy Kilim rugs in the Balkans and all over the Middle East. They’re also traditionally produced in various places in Albania, all hand-woven. You’ll find many versions of these, from small prayer rugs to large carpets that’ll be difficult to transport across the border. They’re woven from sheep’s wool and their prices can be over €500 in the most expensive shops. Where can you buy good kilims? Preferably in old bazaars, such as Kruja.


Olive oil


oliwa Albania

As with every country in southern Europe, yes, Albania also produces its own olive oil. Thanks to the ideal climate, the olive oil from Albania is one of the best on the old continent. Today, the average production of olive oil in Albania is from 17,000 to 20,000 tonnes per year.

Which olive oil to buy in Albania? Musai Olive Oil, Gjikondi Extra Virgin or Kallmet. You can also buy olive oil from a local farmer’s market, which we highly recommend! Some of the establishments offer tours of the production process, like Musai. You can also purchase large olives from the Berat region as a little cherry on top.




rakia Albania

Rakia, or raki, is a famous alcohol in Albania and the Balkans as a whole. You can buy a version of these spirits in Greece and other neighbouring countries. What’s Rakia? It’s a bit like grappa, a strong alcohol made from grapes, and somewhat similar to a vodka with a slightly grapey aftertaste. A bottle of Raki in Albania costs a few euros and is often sold in decorated bottles. It usually has between 40 and 60 percent alcohol.

In Albania, Raki is a popular gift for someone who’s ill, to help them recover and heal.


Albanian flag souvenirs


pamiątki Albania

Albanians tend to be (very) passionate about their little souvenirs with the Albanian flag. What souvenirs can you find? Tiny flags of all kinds and sorts, decorated keyrings and magnets. Prices tend to be very symbolic but remember to stock up on Albanian Leks before you go shopping.




przyprawy Albania

Not all of Albania is famous for its spices, but the south certainly is. It draws a lot from Greece and vice versa. What spices and herbs should you buy in Albania? Basil, bay leaves, rosemary, mint, parsley – all of which you can buy dried in special bags or by weight. They’re very easy to transport and are a perfect gift for nearly anyone who uses the kitchen. The price for a typical bag is as low as €1.


Cheeses, Kaçkavall, Feta


sery Albania

Albania has its own regional cheeses that are well worth trying. Kaçkavall is a popular semi-hard cheese from Albania and is made from sheep’s milk. The definition of this cheese is quite liberal in Albania and many products can be called Kaçkavall. It is often served in restaurants as a complimentary check. See what other interesting foods you can try in Albania!


Bunker ashtrays


bunkier Albania

This is a bit peculiar of a combination, but it’s common in Albania. Ashtrays shaped like bunkers are as common as bunkers themselves in Albania, as 750,000 of them were built all over the country (with an average of 5.7 bunkers per square km). This was ordered by the communist government under Enver Hoxha, from the 1960s to 1983. Today, they’re a relict of the past, a tourist attraction and a meme alongside King Zog’s alleged smoking habits. You’ll invariably find many bunkers when travelling through Albania yourself, though we’ll assume that your wallet will prefer to only bring back souvenir ones.





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Post udostępniony przez Jurgen Pecnikaj (@jurgenpecnikaj)

The Cifteli is a traditional Albanian instrument with only two strings. You can buy many versions of this small guitar, mainly in old markets and souvenir shops. The Cifteli originates from northern Albania (and partly from Kosovo). The real Cifteli is certainly not cheap, so make sure you’re not buying a toy or a fake if it’s suspiciously affordable.


Skënderbeu cognac


skenderbeu koniak

To end our shopping list, another toast. Skënderbeu is aged only in oak wood barrels. It consists of raki, plums, grapes, lemons and honey. Skënderbeu is the nickname of George Kastriota, a famous insurgent and national hero in Albania. A bottle costs from €6 for 0.7l. Skënderbeu cognac is so popular that you may have seen it on shop stalls at home – so no worries if you forget to buy it in Albania.’


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