Travel question of the day: What currency should you take to Albania?

Have a travel question that needs answering? Ask our expert Simon Calder

Change only as much cash as you plan on spending if you want to use local currency
Change only as much cash as you plan on spending if you want to use local currency

Q I am heading to Albania for a few days via Corfu. Any suggestions regarding currency, apart from taking euros?

Penny Proudlock

A Corfu provides an excellent gateway to southern Albania, with several ferries a day in summer across the Corfu Strait to the port of Sarande with Ionian-cruises.com; the journey takes half an hour aboard a Flying Dolphin hydrofoil, or 70 minute on the old ferry.

Albania’s currency is the lek (plural leke). Like other minority Balkan currencies, it is difficult to exchange abroad. So on my last couple of trips – both of them short – I have stuck to euros. Everyone in Albania knows the value of €1 in lek (it’s between 130 to 140), and will gladly offer prices in euros – typically, and understandably, at a rate advantageous to them. So you might prefer to change euros (sterling is also acceptable) at one of the prominent exchange bureaux. Change only small amounts of cash – say £10 or £20 a time – because it is pointless leaving Albania with local currency unless you intend to return.

Every day, our travel correspondent, Simon Calder, tackles a reader’s question. Just email yours to s@hols.tv or tweet @simoncalder

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