Does Albania use the euro?

One of the frequently asked questions I get is: Does Albania use the euro? And many people ask: Should I bring euros to Albania? In this blog post, I will give you all the information you need to bring the right currency to Albania for your holidays.

Does Albania use the euro? The euro is used widely in Albania. The official currency of Albania is the Albanian Leke. However, you can pay for taxis, hotels, ferry boats and tours in euros. I recommend you bring cash euros and exchange some euros for Albanian Leke, because you get a better deal if you pay by Albanian Leke.

I am a private tour guide in Albania and in this blog post, I will take you through all the dos and don’ts about money in Albania. I will discuss what you can pay in euros in Albania. Which currency and how much to take to Albania. And whether you can pay by credit card in Albania.

Where can I use the euro in Albania?

You can use euros in Albania to pay for:
-A taxi
-A ferry boat ticket
-Your hotel
-Large supermarkets in the shopping mall

You need to use Albanian Leke in Albania to pay for:
-Bottled water and groceries in the corner shop
-Entrance tickets for museums and sightseeing attractions
-Local restaurants

Pay euros for your taxi in Albania

If you are flying to Tirana International Airport, you can take a taxi to Tirana or Durres to check in at your hotel. The official Tirana airport taxi service actually quotes their rates in euros, so you can definitely pay for your taxi in euros.

A taxi ride from Tirana airport to Tirana’s city centre costs 20-25 euros. A taxi ride from Tirana airport to Durres cost 25-30 euros. You can check the price list of the Tirana airport taxi service here:

Recently, I have reached out to all the different taxi companies in Albania to ask for their price list. Actually, Merr Taxi, Speed Taxi and Euro Taxi immediately quoted their rates in euros. My experience in Albania is that any taxi driver will accept payment in euros. You can check my taxi rate price comparison blog post here:

Pay euros for your ferry boat ticket in Albania

If you are planning a holiday in Saranda or Ksamil, you may choose to fly to the Greek Corfu island and take the ferry from Corfu to Albania. You can pay for the ferry boat ticket from Corfu to Albania in euros.

The two main ferry operators from Corfu to Saranda are Finikas Lines and Ionian Seaways. A ferry boat ticket costs between 19 euros – 23.80 euros depending on whether you are travelling in the low season on the high season. You can book your ticket online or pay by cash euros in the ticket office in the Port of Corfu or the Port of Saranda.

Pay euros for your hotel in Albania

You can pay for your hotel in euros in Albania. Most hotels advertise via, so you can book and pay online if you prefer. Better yet, many hotels in Albania allow you to reserve online via and you pay in cash at the reception of the hotel. All hotels in Albania accept payment in euros.

Lonely Planet: “The lek (plural lekë) is the official currency of Albania, though the euro is widely accepted; you’ll get a better deal for things in general if you use lek. Accommodation is generally quoted in euros but can be paid in either currency.”

Lonely Planet: “Acceptance of credit cards is normally confined to upper-end hotels, restaurants and shops, although every year their usage becomes more widespread.”

Although some of the upscale hotels in Albania do accept credit cards, many hotels in Albania prefer cash payments. Because Albania is not a part of the European Union and not a part of the EU card payment regulations. Therefore, payment by card is generally more expensive for Albanian hotels, so they prefer cash.

Pay euros for groceries at the large supermarkets, use Albanian Leke at local grocery stores

If you buy some groceries at the large supermarket in the shopping centre, you can pay for your groceries in euros. Large supermarkets that accept euro payments are:

-Interspar in QTU shopping mall
-Conad in Toptani shopping mall
-Conad in Casa Italia shopping mall
-Interspar in TEG shopping mall.

However, if you shop for groceries at the local supermarket or the corner shop, you must pay in Albanian Leke in cash. Examples of local supermarkets expecting Albanian Leke payment are Big Market, Iglu and any family-owned little shops. Don’t worry you can easily exchange cash in euros, US dollars or GBP. Because there are currency exchange offices on every street in the big cities in Albania.

Exchange your foreign currency for Albanian Leke to pay entrance at sightseeing attractions

Most of the sightseeing attractions in Albania do expect you to pay with Albanian Leke. Big attractions like Berat Castle do quote their prices in Albanian Leke.
Don’t worry, you can exchange cash euros, pounds or US dollars easily. Because there are currency exchange offices on every street in the big cities in Albania.

One of the biggest attractions in Albania is the Koman Lake Ferry. This is a ferry boat ride that takes you across the beautiful Koman Lake in the North of Albania. Bradt Travel Guides described this ferry boat trip as “One of the World Greatest Boat Rides”. You can pay for the Koman Lake Ferry in Euros online or in cash, their price list is in euros on their website:

When you visit a sightseeing attraction, you will also be tempted to buy a souvenir. It is better to have some Albanian Leke with you if you go shopping on the bazaar market for souvenirs, because it will be cheaper to pay with Albanian Leke.

Furthermore, on your day sightseeing, you will also want to sit down at a cafe to drink some espresso (Albania’s favourite drink). So you will need a bit of Albanian Leke to buy some drinks at a local cafe.

What currency is used in Albania?

The official currency in Albania is the Albanian Leke.

Albanian currency to EURO -> 120 ALL = 1 euro
Albanian currency to USD -> 105 ALL = 1 USD
Albanian currency to GBP -> 140 ALL = 1 GBP

Insider Tip: I would advise you to bring some cash euros with you on your holiday. So that you can pay for the taxi from the airport to your hotel in euros and you can pay for the hotel room in euros. Then once you are settled into your hotel, you can find a local ATM or currency exchange office to get some Albanian Leke.

You will need some Albanian Leke to buy bottled water, groceries at the corner shop near your hotel and your morning coffee. These are little expenses but your local coffee house or corner shop will expect you to pay with Albanian Leke. So just exchange a small amount of money to Albanian Leke.

Lonely Planet: “Albanian lek can’t be exchanged outside the country, so exchange them or spend them before you leave.”

Important: It is impossible to exchange Albanian Leke anywhere outside of Albania. So be sure you do not exchange too much money. And spend your Albanian Leke before you go home. Because your remaining Albanian Leke will be worthless the moment you leave Albania.

What is the best currency to use in Albania?

The best currency to use in Albania is euros. I am a private tour guide living in Albania, so I deal with money in Albania on a daily basis.

I would recommend you bring some cash euros with you. So that you can pay the taxi and your hotel. Then once you have checked into your hotel, walk around the city centre to find a currency exchange office. So that you have some Albanian Leke to pay for bottled water, coffee and some groceries.

Can I use my credit card in Albania?

You cannot use your credit card in many places in Albania. Albania is a country, where most transactions are done in cash. The local people in Albania always pay by cash for all their transactions.

Lonely Planet: “Acceptance of credit cards is normally confined to upper-end hotels, restaurants and shops, although every year their usage becomes more widespread. Credit cards are accepted only in the larger hotels, shops and travel agencies, and few of these are outside Tirana.”

Therefore, I recommend you always take some cash euros with you for your holiday in Albania. Of course, you can withdraw some money from the ATMs in the city or at the airport, that will work too. Just make sure you have some cash in your wallet for holiday expenses.

It might be hard to imagine as a foreigner, but in Albania there are a great number of places where you cannot pay by credit card. For instance bus tickets are always paid in cash in Albania, because bus drivers do not have a card machine in their bus. Many local coffee houses deal with cash only. Some taxi drivers only take cash payments or they strongly prefer cash payments. And there are many more examples.

You will be able to pay for your hotel by credit card. But always carry some cash, because you will certainly be in a situation in Albania, where cash is required.

Where can I exchange currency in Albania?

You can exchange currency on every street in the city centres in Albania. Currency exchange is very popular in Albania. So you will easily find a currency exchange, don’t worry about that.

Many Albanian people carry cash euros, US dollars or pounds in their wallet. Because they have family working abroad and sending them money. There are actually more Albanian people abroad than in Albania. So the Albanian people will go to a currency exchange office on a daily basis. And as a result there are plenty of currency exchange offices everywhere in Albania.

Where can I find an ATM in Albania?

There are ATMs everywhere in the city centres of the larger cities, at Tirana International Airport and in the shopping malls.

Lonely Planet: “ATMs are widely available in most towns. ATMs can be found in all but the most rural of Albania’s towns, and many dispense cash in both currencies.”

If you are travelling to the Albanian Alps in the North of Albania, that you will not find an ATM in the remote mountain villages of Theth, Valbone and Koman. These are remote villages where there is no supermarket and no ATM. So go there prepared.

However, everywhere in the beach towns or big cities you can easily find an ATM in Albania.

If you are flying to Tirana International Airport, you will be able to find an ATM at the airport as well. At Tirana airport, there are these ATMs:

-Tirana Bank ATM in the check-in hall
-Raiffeisen Bank ATM in check-in hall and arrivals hall
-Banka Kombetare Tregtare (BKT) ATM in the check-in hall and arrivals hall
-OTP Bank ATM in the arrivals hall

Can you use US dollars in Albania?

Some hotels and taxi drivers in Albania do accept US dollars. You can definitely bring your cash US dollars, because there are currency exchange offices on every street in the cities in Albania. So you will easily be able to exchange your US dollars for some Albanian Leke.

How much money should I take to Albania?

You should take 35 euros per night for a hotel room, 15 euros per day for food and drinks, plus money for transportation to Albania.

The costs of a holiday in Albania are:
1. Double hotel room 35-40 euros per night
2. Intercity bus trip 3-12 euros per trip
3. Taxi ride from 20 euros for 45 minutes up to 200 euros for 6 hours
4. Car rental 20 – 25 euros per day + 25 euros for petrol for a 2-3 hour drive
5. Food and drinks 15-20 euros per day for local restaurants & bakeries
6. Tourist attactions 1 – 6.50 euros

I have recently written a blogpost about the costs of a holiday in Albania, you can check it out here:

If you are travelling through Albania with the local bus, your holiday will be significantly cheaper. A bus ride from one city to another city is between 3-12 euros. You can check the bus time tables and bus prices on the website of Gjirafa Autobus here:

A car rental is more expensive. A basic rental car will cost you at least 20-25 euros per day. And petrol is roughly 25 euros for a 2-3 hour drive. I have recently compared all the car rental prices in Albania, you can see the most affortable car rental companies here:

Taxi rates in Albania are high. For a short taxi ride, from the airport to Tirana, you will be charged 20-25 euros. And a long taxi journey from Tirana to Saranda may cost you around 200 euros. I have recently compared the rates of the taxi companies in Albania, you can see the most affortable taxi companies here:

Is Albania a cheap country?

In Albania it is cheap to buy fresh fruit, vegetables, coffee in a cafe and fresh bread. It is also cheap to travel around Albania with the minibus. And you can eat cheap fresh meals in the local restaurants.

However, not everything is cheap in Albania. Car rental, petrol and taxi rides are expensive. Similarly, if you want to book a hotel in July or August in a popular beach town, like Saranda that is expensive.

Some local specialities are cheap like the popular Byrek pastry, olives and Albanian wine. Raw honey on the other hand is very pricy, but the quality is fantastic!

Cheap in Albania:

-Fresh fruit and vegetables
-Coffee in cafe
-Fresh bread bakery
-Minibus travel
-Local restaurants
-Local specialities: like Burek, olives, wine

Expensive in Albania:

-Car rental
-Taxi rides
-Hotels in July and August in popular beach towns, like Vlore and Saranda
-Raw honey from the mountains (great quality, but pricy!)

What can you buy with 100 lek?

With 100 lek you can buy fresh bread from the bakery, 2 bottles of mineral water, 1 x espresso or fresh fruit.

Are you expected to bargain in Albania?

You normally do not bargain in Albania. The only places where you would bargain to get the price down is at a bazaar market with souvenirs or maybe to negotiate the rate with a taxi driver. In all other places in Albania, you do not bargain.

Related Questions

Should I tip in Albania? You should tip about 10% in restaurants in Albania. In the especially in the fancier restaurants it is expected to leave a tip in Albania. In bars and cafes you can leave a few coins of change for the waiter on the table.

Is it expensive to live in Albania? It is not expensive to live in Albania. Every day expenses, like fresh bread, coffee, groceries, a meal at a local restaurant and rent are low. If you travel around by local bus this is not expensive However, renting a car or taking a taxi it is expensive.

About me

About me

I am an Albania Tour Guide, who organizes 1-day, 2-day or multiple day private tours in Albania. I arrange your transportation and I am your English speaking guide. So that, you get to experience the most beautiful places in Albania!
Kind regards, Manon

Welcome to Albania!

I am a Tour Guide in Albania

I am an Albania Tour Guide, who organizes 1-day, 2-day or multiple day private tours in Albania.

Book your free Albania Planning Session via Skype now, by using my online scheduler to find a time that’s convenient for you.