Since remote workers from the United States have been pouring into the country in record numbers, Albania is quickly becoming known as the continent’s premier digital nomad hub for 2023.
Of all the European countries that offer long-term visas, Albania is one of the best. This little-known Balkan country was off-limits to tourists until the early 1990s due to a communist regime that was eventually overthrown as pro-democracy movements spread throughout Europe.
Thirty years after democratization much has changed since the first post-communist decade when unserious pyramid scams and broad chaos were the order of the day. Although not as advanced as some of its closest neighbors, such as Croatia or Greece, the country is on a remarkable path of recovery that many members of the European elite can only imagine.
In contrast to the European Union, which saw an average decline in short- and long-term rentals for tourists of 5.6 percent during this time, Albania saw close to 3.6 million stays completed in 2022, a 22.8 percent increase from 2021, according to data shared by Instat and Eurostat and later compiled by Monitor magazine.
Last year, Albania had the biggest growth in stays on the entire continent, followed by Serbia (21.3%). Denmark (12.3%), Iceland (5%), and Norway (2.5%), the other top five entries, all had less-than-impressive growth. In all, 7.1 million foreign visitors visited in 2022, a 17% increase over the previous record year of 2019.
Why Is Albania So Popular All Of A Sudden?
Albania Is Shockingly Cheap
Despite being surrounded on all sides by well-known and expensive tourist sites, it is surprisingly affordable. It has the same Adriatic coastline as Croatia, Montenegro, and Western Greece, faces Italy on the other peninsula, and enjoys the same Mediterranean climate.
Consumer costs in Tirana, Albania, are as follows when compared to the major capital cities in the Balkan region:
- 5.2% lower than Belgrade, Serbia
- 6.7% lower than Bucharest, Romania
- 11.7% lower than Sofia, Bulgaria
- 21.7% lower than Zagreb, Croatia
- 26.1% lower than Ljubljana, Slovenia
- 32.6% lower than Athens, Greece
Zero Border Bureaucracy
In addition to being reasonably priced, Albania is also accessible for tourism and business as usual, having eliminated all Covid entry requirements and providing hassle-free one-year stays — provided you’re a citizen of the United States. You read it right: Americans have the option to live in Albania for up to a year without a visa, a benefit not available to Canadians or even Europeans.
It should come as no surprise that the majority of nomads select Albania as their top fantasy destination for a protracted “workcation” given the country’s liberal entrance requirements and straightforward path to permanent residency.