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Buying souvenirs to bring back for family or friends and to have as a reminder of the trip is one of the best parts of traveling. Albania has many touristy gifts, such as the typical magnets, postcards and t-shirts, but the land of the eagles also has plenty of unique souvenirs that you can only find here.
A qilim is a traditional Albanian rug and is one of the best souvenirs. For handmade rugs, visit the old bazaar of Kruja, the most important historical town in the country, which is about an hour from Tirana. Here you will find many carpets created by local artisans with different patterns, textiles, and colors.
There are thousands of bunkers throughout Albania, including in the middle of towns, on the seaside, and even hidden in mountains. Nowadays, visitors can buy ashtrays in the shape of a bunker. No doubt that this is a unique gift; the bunker has become a symbol of the country, and these ashtrays are popular, even among non-smokers.
Çifteli is a traditional Albanian musical instrument with only two strings. It originated in northern Albania and Kosovo. Visitors will find çiftelis of various sizes available to purchase in local markets. Some are so small, they serve as beautiful ornaments to display at home.
Art lovers will delight in the works of the many new contemporary artists and painters who display their works in the beautiful art galleries in the capital city Tirana. For original artworks, be sure to visit the studio of Eljan Tanini, a young painter who has exhibited his own works in several spots, including the beautiful Galeria Fab of Tirana.
Fans of knit apparel and other wares should be sure to peruse the many Albanian markets with beautiful traditional handmade knits. Throughout Albania—but mostly in the traditional bazaars of Kruja, Korça, Gjirokaster, and Tirana—visitors will find various small bags, blankets, socks, and more.
Albania is known to produce excellent raki, the traditional grappa found throughout the Balkan Peninsula. Customers can purchase the liquor in beautiful wooden bottles that are sold everywhere from traditional markets to department stores. The bottles only cost a few Euros, and they often have carvings of various traditional motifs, such as the Albanian flag.
Skënderbeu Cognac is one of the most famous alcoholic beverages in the country. The brand is known worldwide, and the liquor is available in various bottle sizes, so pick up the one that is right for you, but don’t leave without it.