What is the Albania beach dress code?

On a forum someone asked about the Albania beach dress code. I have visited many beaches in Albania, so I decided to write a blog post about the dress code in Albania.

What is the Albania beach dress code? The Albania beach dress code is a bikini, swimsuit or shorts. You can dress on the beach as you would at home or elsewhere in Europe. You do not have to worry about revealing beachwear, because Albanian clothes are modern and western. However, nudity and topless bathing are not accepted.

If you are planning to go on holiday to Albania, let me make sure you are well prepared in terms of clothing, packing and culture.

What should I pack for an Albania beach holiday?

The Albania beach dress code is the same as on other beaches in Europe. Therefore, for a beach holiday in Albania you should pack the following items:

1.Swimwear
Bring a bikini, swimsuit or shorts to the beach. You do not have to worry about wearing revealing clothes to the beach, because the Albanian beach wear is very similar to other European countries.

2.Sunglasses and sun block
The sunshine can be very strong in the Albanian Riviera in the summer. Moreover, sunblock or sun protection cream can sometimes be quite pricy in Albania, so make sure to come prepared.

3. Flip flops or water shoes
Some of the Albanian beaches have perfect white sand, but some other beaches have pebble stones. Therefore, be sure to bring along some footwear for the beach, so that you can dive in the blue water, without having to worry about hurting your feet.

4. Light clothes, that can be worn in layers
Albania is a very mountainous country, even if you will go the South of Albania, you are likely to encounter some mountains during your trip. The Llogara Pass, for instance, is a mountain pass that you will drive across on your way to the Albanian Riviera. Bring some light clothes, that can be worn in layers, so that you are prepared for the cooler mountains.

5. Sport shoes
Close to the beaches, you can visit some of the popular touristic attractions, like the Blue Eye and Butrint UNESCO sight. Obviously, you will need some sport shoes or walking shoes, so that you can explore the touristic attractions.

6. Snorkel and a mask
The Albanian seawater is crystal clear, therefore, bring a snorkel and mask. By snorkelling, you can explore the underwater world and the sea life.

What do they wear in Albania?

Young people in Albania wear modern, western clothing. You can see miniskirts, jeans and branded clothes everywhere on the street. The clothes you will see everywhere in Albania, is similar what you would buy in Zara, H&M or any of the popular shops.

Moreover, many of the Albanian families have sons and daughters, who are working abroad in the USA, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom. So, when these younger family members come home, they bring along all the latest fashion.

You do not have to worry about revealing or attention-grabbing clothing, because the young Albanian women love to dress up. It is more likely that you will be admired by the young Albanians, rather than judged. On the beach, you can wear a speedo, a swimsuit, a bikini, some shorts or a miniskirt. You will see that the Albanian people will be wearing flipflops and beach wear, like they do anywhere in Europe.

The only people in Albania, who are wearing the traditional clothing are usually 60+. The grandfathers and grandmothers of Albania are often still wearing the more old-fashioned clothing. The older women do wear long flowery dresses. And the men wear a suit jacket, linen pants and a sweater. However, as a foreign tourist, you are not expected to wear the Albanian traditional clothes. Especially since it is only the older generation, who are still wearing these clothes. And think about it: do your grandparents keep up with the latest fashion trends?

Do I need to dress conservatively in Albania?

You should only dress conservatively in Albania, if you visit a mosque or a church. When you visit a mosque, you are expected to cover your body and wear a headscarf. And in a church, you are expected to cover your shoulders and your knees. In all other places in Albania, you can wear western clothes, like jeans, miniskirts, slim fit dress, etcetera.

Does religion influence the Albanian dress code?

Albania is known for being a very tolerant country when it comes to religion. In many villages and cities in Albania, you can see a Catholic church next door to an Orthodox church and a mosque. Albanian people are Christian, Muslim or Jewish, but they all live in harmony together. Therefore, people from all religious backgrounds are welcome in Albania.

If you see any traditional clothes in Albania, this is usually the classical Albanian costume. The traditional costume is not a religious costume. The traditional Albanian clothes are still worn for festivals and special occasions, like weddings.

What is Albanian traditional clothing like?

The Albanian traditional clothes look like Greek or Turkish clothes. The men are wearing a red and black embroidered jacket on top of a white shirt and white pants. The men also wear a small white hat. Similarly, the women also wear an embroidered jacket on top of a white shirt in combination with a long white skirt. The women usually wear a traditional head scarf on their head.

The embroidered jackets are usually very bold red and black colours, like the colours of the Albanian flag. However, there are 200 different kinds of traditional costumes from all the different regions in Albania. Almost every region has their own version of the traditional dress, which is slightly different from another region.

Many Albanian people still own traditional Albanian clothing to wear at a festival or a holiday. At Albanian weddings, the Albanian people dress up in their traditional clothing. This is usually worn to perform the traditional dance, while they play the Albanian folk music.

On many touristic markets in Albania, you can see the traditional clothing and buy some pieces as a souvenir. It is also likely that some Albanian people will dress up for the tourists or perform a local dance. If you would like to see the traditional costumes, you can see many costumes on display in the National History Museum in Tirana.

What is the Albanian culture like?

The Albanian culture is very family oriented and focussed on the life at home. It is custom, for Albanian families to visit each other’s houses to respect each other. The visiting family will be served juice, baklava, fruits and sweets by the hosting family. And after the visit, the hosting family is expected to visit the visiting family in return.

Moreover, many of the extended families live together. If you see a large house in Albania, you can expect there to be three generations under one roof. The grandparents, parents and children all live and eat together. 

Due to this focus on family life and the home, weddings are very popular in Albania. When you drive through Albania, you will see wedding dresses on display everywhere in the shops. For many young women, getting married and having a wedding is very high on their wish list.

As a tourist, it is very likely that the Albanian locals will invite you to their home. The Albanians are very welcoming and focused on hospitality. You will be served the homemade cakes, homemade juice and traditional sweets.

Related Questions

Is Albania expensive to visit? Albania is a cheap country to visit, compared to other European countries. Former travellers on average spend only €42.00 per person per day. Accommodation will cost you €15-€30 a day and meals cost only €10-€15 per day. The prices for transportation, entertainment and alcoholic drinks very low.

How much money to take to Albania? You should take between €50-€100 per day to Albania. For a budget trip to Albania, €50 per day will cover your hostel or cheap hotel, meals and furgon minibus trip. For a more luxurious trip, €50-€100 per day will cover a double room in a hotel, restaurants, museum tickets and travel by taxi.

Image Credit 

Albania beach | Linda Saitos | Pixabay
Ksamil, Albania | Piotr Rokita | Flickr
Dancers and musicians in traditional dress | NH53 | Flickr
Albanian traditional clothes | White 68 | WikiCommons
Veshjet Kombetare | Agron Beqiri | WikiCommons