11 Interesting Facts About Albania You Must Know

Author: Sonali

The coercive intent to see and discover a foreign land is never as rejuvenating as it could have been the other way around. An Albania vacation may not be on your bucket list any time soon, but there are some amazing facts about this European nation. This uniqueness will make your heart immediately chime in, while you talk to your mind about how not to think about planning an Albania vacation.

For over a decade, the country has been growing steadily as a popular tourist destination. It’s 104 years since Albania became an independent nation. With this ever-transforming percolation of tourism in the country, it has gradually become one of the most favorite destinations for globetrotters around the world.

Be it, foodies, the history buffs, the explorers, or nature lovers ~ Albania offers something amazing for every traveler in their platter. On top of that, once you will try discovering about this place in a little detail, you’ll encounter many interesting facts that make it so unique. So, while we are quarantined, living in self-isolation, working from home, the best way travelers can spend their day’s productivity is by discovering more about these interesting facts. Let’s find out some of them to accentuate your love for traveling.

  1. The official evening walk of Albania is called Shiro. The locals like walking in the evening together, and they call this Shiro. During this time of the day, every person comes out from their den, to stretch their body and catch up with their neighbors. In many towns of the country, car & vehicle movement, in particular, are prohibited at the time of Shiro and everyone comes out of their apartments to enjoy evening Shiro together.
  2. The Albanian capital Tirana is one-of-its-kind peculiar places of the European nations. You won’t see McDonald’s (like the Vatican City) throughout the city. However, it’s much like the other European nations, in most other ways, with vibrancy, love & color all through. If you are in Tirana and really want to have American style hamburger ~ you must check out the Albania fast-food chain, Kolonat, which is in many ways similar to McDonald’s.
  3. On an Albania vacation, you will see a lot of Post-Communist transformations. It has completely freed itself from the older version. Today, it looks absolutely different, laden with many shopping malls, buildings, decorated with primary colors, public squares, pedestrian streets & more. In addition to that, the Ottoman Empire relics, great bars, and the grand boulevard add to the uniqueness of the country.
  4. Don’t be scared to see the scarecrows all through the country ~ it’s something Albanians believe in. In fact, you’ll be seeing plenty of scarecrows at places you could never have expected it. Albanians, in particular, believe that putting a scarecrow near homes or a building under construction will ward off any kind of evil eye. It’s way surprising that some people also use teddy bears hung by a rope, in place of a real scarecrow. Some Albanians also believe that a scarecrow near one’s home brings Good luck.
  5. You’ll experience something really different here - for Albanians NO means YES and YES mean NO. Before you venture out for your Albania vacation, you must also know - if an Albanian is nodding, he disagrees with what you have to say and if he is shaking his head, he agrees with you.
  6. About 70% population of Albania belongs to the Muslim community. And, 60% of this Muslim population practices Sunni and Bektashi Shia, which make it the largest religion practiced in the country. After Muslims, the second-largest religion practiced in Albania is Christianity which covers around 17% of the Albanian population. The religion of the remaining 17% are either unknown or are atheist.
  7. The National drink of Albania is Raki. This old school moonshine is absolutely strong, which is made with grapes. You must be very careful when you are trying a drink made out in a village, as it is going to be equal to three such normal drinks. For those, who have traveled through the Balkans, must have tried Rakija or Rakia, but the Albanian Raki has its uniqueness.
  8. You’ll be amazed to know when in 1991, the communist era came to an end, the face of Albania was completely different from what it looks today. During that time with over three million people, there were only 3000 cars. Only the Party officers had permission to own a car. Over a decade past, any Albanian national can now own a car and Mercedes is their preference. It’s worth mentioning here that you must keep your eyes open while crossing the roads because Albanians are believed to be the worst drivers so far.
  9. This fact is seriously going to amaze you! Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu who is popularly known as Mother Teresa around the world was born on this land. Among the locals, she is better known as the heroine of Albania. She was born in Skopje city, which now belongs to Macedonia. She is the only one to have won a Nobel Prize in Albania.
  10. You’ll see more Albanians in other parts of the world than in Albania itself. If you have traveled through the Balkan, you must have seen a lot of people with the brimless felt hats that belong to a typical traditional Albanian dress. Albanians are ubiquitous - around 10 million of them live all through Europe. Most Albanians live in Greece, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Montenegro.
  11. Do you know? The Albanian Government passed a law in 1995. The law required citizens to pay traffic-light tax. In the wake of this law, people belonging to Shkodër staged a protest. And, the interesting fact is, Shkodër does not have any traffic lights. It’s worth giving a visit as being one of the oldest towns in the country, you’ll get a lot of history to discover here.

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