Albania, North Macedonia and Kosovo Itinerary: What to Do in 2 Weeks

The Balkans remain an untouched delight that most travellers overlook. Yet, countries like Albania, North Macedonia and Kosovo are teeming with opportunities and ancient wonders that are sure to thrill. With medieval citadels, bustling cities and natural landscapes, the region is loaded with the promise of adventure.

Planning a trip across 3 countries could end up being a logistical nightmare. In this guide, we have devised a 2-week itinerary that will take you through Albania, North Macedonia and Kosovo, highlighting the attractions and must-see places in each.

When to visit Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia 

The best time to visit the Balkans is during the shoulder season, from April – June and September – November. You can still visit in peak summer, but be prepared for fierce sun, busy crowds and higher prices. 

June and September will have average temperatures of 25℃ to 30℃, so the days are perfect for city sightseeing, exploring traditional towns and lounging on the stunning beaches of the coastal regions. By visiting in the shoulder season, you will also be able to enjoy your trip at a calmer pace without needing to worry about throngs of other tourists. 

Mountains in North Albania

Transport in the Balkans

Public transport is a very cost-efficient way of travelling in the Balkans as you can easily get buses and trains from major cities, such as Tirana and Skopje. However, public transport is known to be unreliable. Buses may not run as stated on timetables and you may find that trains are not as up to date as in other regions. 

Travelling through a single country with public transport is already challenging, let alone three. On our small group tour of Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia, all transport is handled for you. Without the stress of transfers and making your train on time, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery and experiences that the Balkans have to offer. 

1 Week in Albania 

Tirana – 2 Days

The capital of Albania and an undiscovered gem of a city, Tirana has blossomed in the years since its communist era. The colourful city now boasts a thriving food scene and exquisite cultural experiences, giving you a real taste of Albania

There are plenty of sights in the city that will make your Albania trip truly unforgettable. For instance, The Pyramid of Tirana was once a museum dedicated to Enver Hohxa and sat abandoned for many years after the decline of communism. Despite this, it has recently undergone a massive renovation project.

Other significant sights include Skanderbeg Square and the Archaeological Museum, which are definitely worth visiting for history lovers. If you want to get an incredible view of the city, head up to the Sky Tower. At the top, you will find a bar that rotates 360° every hour. It is both a great dinner spot and a remarkable way to see the city skyline.  

Kruja & Shkoder – 2 Days

After spending some time in the capital, one of the best things to do in Albania is day trips to the surrounding towns and cultural landmarks. 

Kruja is an excellent place to visit as it is so close to Tirana. Featuring Kruja Castle, a hilltop citadel that is the trademark of the Ottoman Empire. The castle offers beautiful views of the rolling green hills, making you feel as though you have stepped into a fairytale. 

Kruja is also the birthplace of the Albanian folk hero Skanderbeg, who defended Albania from the Ottomans in the 15th Century. You will find an immaculate museum in the castle that will give you more insight into the famous military leader, as well as detailing the history of Albania all the way back to prehistoric times. 

Another great place to visit on a day trip in Albania is Shkoder. This is a city fortified by culture with ancient architecture and historical sightseeing. The mysterious Rozafa Castle attracts visitors with its tragic myth involving a young maiden entombed in the stone walls. You can also visit a cathedral, mosque and Orthodox church that are all just a short walk from each other in the centre of the city. 

Valbona & Komani Lake: 1 Day

One of the best places in Albania for those who love the great outdoors is Valbona. This unassuming alpine village bursts into life in summer, as tourists and locals flock to the mountains to enjoy the crisp mountain atmosphere. Valbona is more rustic than other locations in Albania, but this only adds to its charm. 

There is a great hiking trail that will take you from Valbona to Theth. Along the way, you will be treated to idyllic natural scenery and untouched landscapes that you might otherwise miss by sticking to the cities. Even if hiking isn’t for you, there are a number of other ways to explore the valley, like a jeep tour or horse riding. 

Another stunning element of Valbona is Komani Lake. This sweeping stretch of water perfectly mirrors the peaks on a clear day and makes for an exceptional natural sight. You can take a roundtrip of the lake on a ferry, which is one of the best ways to absorb the alpine beauty. This will take around 3 hours to complete, so leave plenty of time if you want to enjoy other activities in the valley. 

Apollonia and Berat – 2 Days

Your Albania itinerary is bound to be full of fascinating historic sites, but none will astound you quite like the abandoned city of Apollonia

This settlement was once a thriving Greek colony in the 6th Century BC and the ruins remain in exceptional condition. Due to its outstanding preservation, Apollonia has been granted UNESCO World Heritage status

The archaeological park is a riveting experience that will take you back in time, from the Roman bath house to the Basilica of St Mary. You can also find a museum on-site that displays artefacts from as far back as the era of Illyrian tribes. If you’re a fan of ancient history, Apollonia will take your breath away. 

Just an hour and a half from Apollonia lies the stunning city of Berat, another of Albania’s UNESCO sites. It is known as ‘the city of a thousand windows’ and once you glimpse the city you’ll understand why. The traditional buildings that tower over the River Osum are dotted with innumerable windows that immediately catch the eye. 

Within Berat, you can get a sense of authentic Albania. In the Bazaar, you will find delectable Albanian food and can even sample some local wine. After wandering through the Old Town there are plenty of churches and mosques to explore, which speaks to the long establishment of both Christianity and Islam in Berat. 

Berat is suitable as a day trip from Tirana, but you may wish to spend the night if you want to visit Apollonia as well.  

Coast of Berat

1 week in Macedonia and Kosovo  

Skopje – 2 days

After a week in Albania, it’s time to discover a whole new country, North Macedonia. The capital city, Skopje, is a marvel of culture and architecture. With influence from Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East, it’s a city unlike any you will have seen before. 

There are loads of things to do in Skopje, but you may simply find yourself exploring the different buildings and statues. There is a wealth of neoclassical architecture resulting from a huge revamping project in 2014. The Archaeological Museum looks as though it was ripped straight out of Rome and the Macedonia Gate is a brilliant duplicate of the Arch de Triumph.

Aside from jaw-dropping architecture, Skopje also has a thriving nightlife scene. Mainly centred around the attractive neighbourhood of Debar Maalo, you will find many stylish bars and restaurants. Of course, you can’t visit North Macedonia without trying Rakija. This fruit brandy is a favourite across the Balkans and is the perfect addition to a night on the town. 

Ohrid – 2 days

Although North Macedonia is landlocked, you can still enjoy beach time in Ohrid. The city was given natural and cultural heritage status by UNESCO, as it sits on one of the oldest European lakes. The region once featured hundreds of churches and monasteries, earning it the nickname ‘The Jerusalem of the Balkans’.

Nowadays, it is a hidden paradise with lakeside bars, watersports, and dazzling natural beauty. Spend your time boating on the lake or indulging in authentic Balkan and Mediterranean cuisine. For a real treat, head to the shore in the early evening and you will be stunned by one of the most scenic sunsets.  

Ohrid is very close to the Greek and Albanian borders, making it a perfect spot for adventurous day trips or a refreshing respite while travelling the Balkans. 

Prizren – 1 day

After you’ve enjoyed North Macedonia it’s time to look north and visit Kosovo, starting with the cultural capital, Prizren. Nestled in the Shar Mountains, this quaint city is a must-see destination that feels like a museum dedicated to the vibrant traditions of the region. 

Prizren is one of the best places to visit in Kosovo as it is compact, but brimming with excitement. You can easily explore all the main attractions in a single day, just by wandering around. A walk up the hill will take you to the ruined citadel which looms over the city and offers spectacular views of the countryside. Or perhaps you will be more taken by the religious marvels of Sinan Pasha Mosque and the Church of Our Lady of Ljeviš. 

You may be lucky enough to experience one of Prizren’s many festivals when you visit. From sculpture to short film, and comics to white water rafting, they seem to have a festival for everything! If you don’t manage to make the celebrations, you can enjoy the gastronomic delights of the city as there are plenty of restaurants serving all sorts of delicious homemade delicacies. 

Pristina – 2 days

Rounding out this itinerary is the capital city of Kosovo. Pristina is an optimistic city with a rejuvenating energy that will have you wanting to stay for much longer. It may not be one of the top travel destinations, but this unique city is certainly worth seeing. 

While in Pristina, you must experience the unrivalled cafe culture. There is a myriad of cafes in the city, some humble and some trendy. Known for its rich and fragrant Turkish coffee, caffeine lovers will feel right at home here. You will find that cafes are busy day and night, so stop in as many as you can to tap into the local atmosphere. 

Of all the things to do in Pristina, the Newborn monument is a real stand out. This sculpture is a massive source of pride for the newest European nation. It was built after the country declared independence and every year since has been repainted with a new design. 

You should also take time to visit the National Library, as it may be one of the strangest buildings on this itinerary. The brutalist library is an unusual concrete goliath surrounded by a metal mesh that immediately catches the eye. Across the way stands the Cathedral of St Mother Teresa, which is worth doing as the bell tower will give you panoramic views of the whole city.


If you want to explore the Balkans then Albania, North Macedonia and Kosovo are excellent places for your trip. Though they are similar, each has its own unique charms and attractions which make up a perfect 2 week itinerary. From alpine beauty to ancient cities, there are so many adventures to be had. 

If you have more time, an excellent addition to the itinerary is visiting Montenegro with its stunning mountains and verdant national parks. 

If you are planning to visit Albania, North Macedonia and Kosovo, our small group tour is the perfect way to see all the major highlights and make the most of your trip. Our experts will take you all across these three countries and show you the hidden gems you might otherwise miss. Get in touch with us to start planning your Balkan experience. 

FAQs about visiting the Balkans

Are the Balkans Safe?

Despite their history, many of the Balkan countries are safe for tourists. Even solo travellers will likely encounter no issues.  Violent crime is uncommon but petty crimes like pickpocketing are to be expected. Take usual precautions when visiting and you will have a trouble-free trip. 

Are the Balkans cheap to visit?

The Balkans are a budget-friendly destination that won’t stretch your wallet. You will find that food and travel are relatively inexpensive. As Albania, North Macedonia and Kosovo still remain largely untouched by tourists, you will find that prices are much cheaper than in other European countries. 

Prices may increase in peak summer in Albania, but by visiting in the off-season you can avoid overpaying.

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