Parliamentary republic, under a constitution passed in 1998.
Head of state:
President Bujar Nishani since 2012.
Head of government:
Prime Minister Edi Rama since 2013.
220 volts AC, 50Hz.
Friendly, tolerant people, fascinating Ottoman cities teeming with history, magnificent mountain scenery and charming villages: Albania is a varied destination offering many pleasures. Hikers will love the Albanian Alps or the Tomorri massif, whilst cyclists will find a network of ancient tracks criss-crossing the country. Archaeology buffs can spend hours in the complex sites of Butrint and Byllis, history-lovers have plenty of ancient castles, Ottoman fortresses and the museum cities of Berati and Gjirokastra to explore, and art connoisseurs should visit the little-known medieval churches, with their beautiful frescoes, and the icon collections in Tirana, Korça and Berati.
At the end of a full day's exploration, enjoy menus boasting delicious seafood, mountain lamb, organic fruit and vegetables and, of course, excellent Albanian wine.
Last updated: 30 September 2014
The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Over 80,000 British nationals visit Albania every year. Most visits are trouble-free.
From December to February severe weather may cause flooding, particularly in northern Albania. Heavy snowfall in mountainous areas can lead to disruption to transport and services.
Public security is generally good, particularly in Tirana. Crime and violence does occur in some areas, but is not typically targeted at foreigners. Gun ownership is widespread.
When visiting hill towns on the northern border with Kosovo, you should exercise caution and heed warning signs about unexploded landmines and other unexploded ordnance.