Albania is a rapidly growing tourist destination. It houses ancient archaeological sites, beautiful beaches, natural environments and ancient traditions.
All of these items are often included in handmade souvenirs that you can only buy in old markets or souvenir shops. While most souvenirs are 'classic' like lighters, cups and magnets, here is a list of things you can only find in Albania:
1. Paintings, statues and engravings of the hero Scanderbeg
The image of the Albanian national hero is the characteristic motif of numerous works of art, statues and paintings. The statues depict Scanderbeg on horseback, standing or only his bust, while the paintings are a reproduction of scenes of war or other moments. Wood carvings are also precious works of art: their size varies like their price, which ranges from 10 to 200 euros.
2. Paintings and statues of Mother Teresa
The second most important personality that makes the Albanian people proud is Mother Teresa. Small statues and paintings of Mother Teresa of Calcutta are available in souvenir shops, with a price that is around 10 euros.
Albania has so many concrete bunkers that the Albanians have lost count of it. There are foreign citizens who have purchased real-size bunkers during the '90' years like those in the movie 'Tirana Anno Zero'. Currently, the only bunker that can be purchased in Albania has the shape of an ashtray.
The traditional plucked instrument with two strings used in northern Albania and in Kosovo. The name 'Cifteli' means equal, referring to the two strings that characterize the instrument. The instrument is available in various sizes and the smaller ones are used as ornaments; their price is around 89 euros.
Qeleshe, feasts, folds are the words used in Albanian for the felt headdress typical traditional male. The modern versions have thetwo-headed eagle black represented. The model may change depending on the area of the country, but is generally white. Its price is 6 €
6. Wooden flask of wine / grappa
This wooden bottle that cannot fit in its pocket due to its size is used as an ornament. They include several traditional motifs like the Albanian flag. The price is 15 euro.
7. Handmade rugs
If you love handmade carpets, the old Kruja market is the one for you. Art works and traditional clothes aside, handmade rugs are the most expensive souvenirs available in Albania. They have beautiful colors and patterns and can also be used as 'wall art'. Wool is the main material used and makes the rug resistant and soft at the same time. A small 30 × 60 carpet costs 15 euros.
8. Traditional bags, wool socks
Traditional bags and socks are used for ornamental purposes. They are hand-woven and have the same motifs that characterize carpets. 5 € bag price, lano 14 € price.
9. Traditional Albanian costumes
Traditional Albanian clothing items are rare works of art as they are handmade and include many details. There are more than 200 different types of clothing and traditions vary depending on the region in which they are used. Lord Byron wrote in his memoirs about the beauty of traditional Albanian clothes defining it as 'the most magnificent in the world'. The price varies from 150 to 250 euros.
10. The Scanderbeg cognac
A tourist cannot leave Albania without a bottle of 'Scanderbeg' cognac in his suitcase. It is an original Albanian drink and a brand known throughout the world. The price varies depending on the size of the bottle.
11. The Skrapar grappa
Skrapar grappa is another famous product in Albania. It is distilled using the ancient tradition of the village of Zeberzar. It has the right alcohol content and any adult can have it.
12. Filigree works
Filigree and silver work is an ancient work of art among the Albanians. You can see them in souvenir shops. These works include jewelry and replicas of other works of art. Prices vary from 10 to 200 euros.
13. Special souvenirs
If you collect coins or postcards, you can add something new to your collections. You can also buy Albanian books translated into English, Italian, French or German. Also, don't forget to buy Albanian wine, olive oil, cheese, honey, tea and aromatic herbs.
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