Albania's tourism has continued to flourish since the end of communism in the early '90s. Most locals are friendly, welcoming and willing to help. While visitors need to be aware of their surroundings at all times and be careful regarding their personal property, this is generally a country where walking around is safer than the UK or USA.
It's pretty safe to travel around Albania with most locals being hospitable and welcoming. Violent crime rarely affects travelers unlike the questionable driving habits of the locals.
With tourism increasing each year, this will help lift locals out of poverty however pickpocketing does sometimes happen (significantly less than other major European destinations such as Paris or Barcelona) so always secure your belongings and be aware of your surroundings including on public transport.
Carjacking is rare in Albania but vehicle theft is widespread, so make sure it's locked. Better still park your rental vehicle in a secure car park with attendant.
Harassment of women in the streets rarely occurs.
The Albania- Kosovo border in the north east of the country is considered unsafe because Albanians are a heavily-armed people (there's been a lot of cross-border nastiness over the centuries)
In general, criminals leave foreigners alone however there have been a number of reports of travelers being robbed at gunpoint by armed gangs so keep your valuables secure and out of sight.
Adding to the lawlessness of the north, there are unexploded landmines from wars and conflicts in the region. This includes the cities of Bajram Curri and Tropoje. Stick to paths and marked trails to be safe.
The US travel advisory has highlighted the southern town of Lazarat with increased risk of crime. The situation has improved there in recent years however clashes between state police and marijuana growers do occur, so may be wise to reconsider your travel there.
Credit card fraud is common in Albania and you should exercise caution by not letting your card out of sight when making a transaction.
Visitors need to be very careful at ATM machines. Be alert for strangers looking over their shoulders at the PIN number and also for any interference with the machine itself that could indicate a camera or scamming machine inside the ATM.
The upshot is that these scams are unlikely to happen to you, but it pays to be prepared. Albania has its petty crime but no more than a big city would elsewhere.
Travelers have reported being overcharged a lot for foreign beers especially when costs for food and drink in Albania are generally low (except for some parts of the riviera and the capital).
You may be asked to buy a drink for the bar owner or waitress of which you will get charged a premium. Don't do it.
It's also worth avoiding bars and nightclubs especially those which are associated with any type of prostitution or exotic dancing, as these are the spots where a lot of Albania's gun violence occurs.
Many students and gap year travelers like to earn money while making their way around the world and find jobs in interesting places.
Unfortunately there have been reports of some Albanian agencies not being quite what they seem and potential employees have found themselves without a placement despite parting with a hefty agency fee.
Check the bona fides of any agency as best you can. Ask them for details of past employees and contact them yourself. Legitimate agencies will be happy to hand over details.
It's estimated that across Albania there are around ~100,000 tonnes of stockpiled munitions in various depots. These ad hoc magazines present a significant danger from explosion and are only slowly being controlled and dealt with appropriately. In 2008, there was a major explosion close to a motorway just outside Tirana at an ex-military depot.
Guns are widely used in Albania and there is little security or attention to storage in the average domestic home.
Nightclubs are the sort of place where a bump becomes a shove and becomes a gang fight or shoot out with little notice and it's important to be vigilant at all times.
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Listen to this episode of the World Nomads Podcast on Albania and hear the story of Ash who retraced the footsteps of a WW2 British SOE.