Albanian Souvenirs: Ideas For What to Buy In Albania
Albania is a country that is rich in history and culture while being downright beautiful at the same time. Dip your toes in the Adriatic and the Ionian, check out the stunning mountains and alpine views, and visit the cultural hotspot capital of Tirana.
The Albanian Riviera is undoubtedly one of the most up-and-coming beach spots of recent times, and when you check out the pictures, you’ll see why!
Of course, when you head anywhere new for the first time, or perhaps time and time again, you need to do a little souvenir shopping to take gifts home for your loved ones. It’s a good idea to choose something with meaning, so this is about local souvenirs that are cultural; say something about the place you’ve just visited and are genuinely authentic.
There are some great ideas when you think about the best souvenirs from Albania; you need a little time to shop around.
If you’re about to head to Albania for the first time, put these local Albania souvenirs on the top of your shopping list.
Something Depicting The National Flag
There is real meaning in the Albanian flag’s design, so purchase a tasteful souvenir that depicts the flag. However, avoid tacky fridge magnets and tea towels! This is one of the best souvenirs in Albania – black and red go so well together.
The Albanian flag has a black eagle with two heads on a red background. The eagle represents Albanian men’s strength throughout history, so this is certainly something interesting to purchase and hear stories about while you’re there. For the same reason, you’ll also find many trinket souvenirs depicting eagles from Albania.
One of the best Albanian souvenirs to think about buying is a ceramic vase with gorgeous traditional Albanian patterns; if a vase is not for you, perhaps a cup and plate set might be more up your alley. A great place to pick these up is the Ottoman markets in Kruje.
Albania’s coffee culture is very popular, and it’s something that forms an essential part of the heritage and social hospitality. As one of the products made in Albania, coffee is delicious and usually quite strong.
You’ll find various types of coffee on sale in Albania, but if you want to find the best one, head to a quality store and ask for help. You’ll need to explain your taste, and you’ll be handed the perfect blend to take home!
If you have a coffee lover back home, this is a unique souvenir to take home from Albania! Of course, when shopping in Albania, remember to call into a coffee shop and enjoy a delicious cup as a pitstop.
A Bunker Ashtray
Yes, you did read that. Albania is a country packed with historical bunkers, some of which have been turned into museums and galleries. You can visit several during your time in Albania, but obviously, you can’t take one home with you! What you can do is purchase one of the more bizarre types of souvenirs, namely an ashtray in the shape of a bunker!
These are very popular, so you won’t struggle to find one in the many souvenir shops in Albania, and it will be an interesting souvenir to take back home as a gift for someone special.
This traditional instrument would make the ideal Albanian souvenirs to purchase – and would look gorgeous on your mantel at home. Çifteli is mainly found in northern Albania and is best described as a guitar with just two strings.
A Handmade Carpet
Thanks to their intricate designs and patterns, Albanian carpets aren’t only used for floors and as wall hangings. You’ll find these in various designs, shapes, and sizes, and you can find one to suit your price range. Indeed, one of the things to buy in Albanian, a handmade carpet, will undoubtedly look fantastic in your home and is an exceptional gift as a souvenir too.
It’s a good idea to go into a small, local store and avoid some of the larger stores, as this is where you’ll find the most iconic pieces at reasonable prices too. If you want the most traditional type of carpet, opt for a qilim, which you will find in abundance in Kruja Bazaar in particular.
Significant parts of the Balkans are famous for their love of excellent olive oil products, and Albania is no different.
The climate in this part of the world is exceptionally favorable for olive oil production, and you’ll find countless olive trees all over the country – so there is a good chance you can buy domestic and commercial olive oil.
If you like fresh olives, you’ll quickly pick some up for a low price, but olive oil is the ideal souvenir to take back home – straightforward to transport. And olive oil is very affordable, making it one of the best gifts to bring home from Albania.
Local Alcoholic Beverages
There are many traditional Albanian gifts, but locally-produced alcohol is always a good option. If you like your alcohol in Albania strong, the locally brewed rakia is for you!
Cognac is also another of the very famous Albanian products that can easily be purchased. You could also look for beautiful glasses from which to drink your beverage, making a wonderful gift for someone unique back home.
If you opt for rakia, go for the locally produced option, and if you travel to a small village or town, you’ll find people making it in their own homes! It’s super-strong, however, so proceed with caution!
Handmade Albanian Jewellery
Most small souvenir and Albanian handicraft shops will sell handmade jewelry, but if you want the most authentic and exciting pieces, head to the smaller villages and towns where you’ll see women making them.
Kruja has some fantastic stalls selling homemade jewelry and other Albanian crafts; however, if you venture into a jewelry store, you’ll find that silver jewelry is very reasonably priced and comes in different designs and types.
These are merely a few of the Albanian gifts to pack in your suitcase to enjoy at home. If you head to the bazaar to buy them, be sure to haggle your way to the best price!
Now, I know that we have answered your question, “what to bring home from Albania” the question now is, “Which of these Albanian gift ideas will you bring home?”
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Thank you for this page. We are thinking of visiting Albania next year and I was looking through your suggestions as to souvenirs. You mentioned jewellry – can you give me some idea what sort of jewellry? Is it craft stuff or are there any more precious metals/stones one should look for. e.g. I bought some beautiful silver earings in Peru and I like to look for something that is ‘of the country’. Thanks.
Honestly, you have handmade jewerlly of all kinds of metals/stones made in different cities/villages. As an albanian I suggest you avoid buying in the capital of Tirana and head to the other cities, definetly visit their respective “Pazars” otherwise Markets for more authenticity and even better prices. P.s: the usage of the word “Shqipe” will definetly help you in your journey in Albania as we most love it when people try and talk our language no matter how it sounds. Stay safe and all the best!