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Tipping In Albania: How To Tip In Albania
A relatively unknown and unexplored country in the heart of the Balkans, Albania oozes culture and history. This is one of the oldest regions in Europe—if not in the world—sharing basically the same history as Greece and Italy.
Albania lies between Macedonia, Kosovo, Greece, and Montenegro in a quiet corner of Europe. However, although it gets only a fraction of the crowds that visit Croatia, Greece, or Italy, those who do go there often find themselves surprised by its wealth of ancient sites, beautiful architecture, and vibrant culture.
This is as off-the-beaten-path as you can get in southern Europe, making it great for budget travel (especially when it comes to accommodation). Albania is a country boasting striking landscapes and incredible national parks, glorious beaches, and handfuls of historic towns and villages. Don’t miss Berat and Gjirokastra, the capital of Tirana, Theth National Park, Shkoder, and the Albanian Riviera.
Currency: Albanian Lek (Lek)
Denominations: Notes: 200 to 5000. Coins: 1- 100
Other currencies accepted: You may find that your Euros are accepted, especially in large towns and cities, but you’ll get a crappy exchange rate so avoid it all costs. If you’re heading off somewhere a little more rural or you’re buying something on the market, you must have some Lek with you. It’s best to change your money when you arrive, to get the best exchange rate, and avoid using other currencies wherever possible to cut down on inconvenience.
How To Tip In Albania
There are few countries which insist on tipping and Albania is not one of them. However, if you choose to leave a tip, your server or person concerned will be very grateful for it. Having said that, if you don’t feel the service was kind enough, you’re also well within your rights to not leave anything either.
In restaurants and bars, if you feel you want to tip, simply round up the bill to the nearest full amount, and if you want to, tip around 10% of the bill. Tipping is more common in restaurants, there is less emphasis on whether you should tip or not at bards – of course, if you feel your server made you a great drink and was friendly, they’ll love the extra 5 to 10% tip.
Note: Always carry lek with you – as you can’t tip on your credit card
You don’t have to tip your taxi driver unless you feel they were very friendly or helped you out in some way, though I know lots of Americans who insist on giving 10% extra, locals told me it’s not the norm. In that case, the amount you tip is at your discretion.
For tour guides, 10% of the tour price is a good rule of thumb to go by.
As for hotels, while they will tell you that you don’t have to tip, it’s nice to do so if they’ve looked after you. Anything up to 200 Lek is an ample amount per day. It’s particularly lovely to tip your cleaning staff, i.e., the maids, if they have done an excellent job of keeping your room clean. Some people choose to leave their unused or half-opened toiletries for maids, too, but this is NOT a tip.
While Albanians don’t receive particularly poor wages, they’re not on very high ones either, so hotel staff will be extremely grateful for any tip you want to give them. Do expect some arm waving and them saying “no, you don’t have to do that,” because that’s just them being polite. So, if you want to tip, you may have to be persistent.
Albania Travel Blogs
- Soak up the sun at these ten beaches in Albania
- Find a place to sleep at one of Albania’s best hotels
- Make sure to rent a car in Albania to see it at your own pace
- See the top sights with this ultimate guide on what to do in Albania
- These Albania museums are worth a visit
- Spend a weekend in Tirana with this guide
- Experience local culture at these festivals in Albania
- Consider these 21 ideas on where to go in Albania, some of them quite unusual.