the cost of living in Albania retired or expat or digital nomad

The cost of living in Albania: How to survive as an Albanian expat

You’re interested in living as an expat in Albania, eh?

Or for all you digital nomads out there, you might be interested in being a mini retired person in Albania for a period of time maybe? Well whichever you are, you’re awesome for that.

Albania is such an emerging destination as well as a relatively cheap country, so I totally get why you’re searching for the cost of living in Albania. 

So just how much money do you need to survive as an expat or retired person in Albania? 

In order to help you answer that, I have focused on 7 areas where your money will consistently go each month to examine how much money you need. 

These numbers reflect the costs of living alone in the capital Tirana.  If you are coming as a couple or a family, you can do the necessary multiplications to figure out how much money you need for your specific situation. Also, keep in mind that smaller and less touristy towns will have a lower Albanian cost of living. This rule pretty much goes for all the other countries in the Balkans as well. 

Aaaand… here’s where your money will go!

Rent

For a studio apartment or a one bedroom, the price should be around 150-250 euros per month. Naturally, cheaper apartments will be smaller and not as renovated, which will make the rent lean towards the cheaper end of the spectrum. Also let me remind you that if you live in the center of town, apartments will be pricier than those further away from the city center.  

Utilities

Utilities of course are cheaper in the summer and more expensive in the winter. If you are paying for phone, internet, water, TV and heating in the winter months, and don’t have central heating, utilities could be 60-80 euros. If you have central heating, it could be more, especially if you are also paying for trash, parking and any other building facilities. The summer’s utility bill total is usually about half the winter’s. So it could be about 30-40 euros in the summer.  

Transportation

For a month long bus pass, you can expect to pay about 10 euros. A return bus ticket should cost a little less than 1 euro.

Going Out

Social life varies from person-to-person of course. A nice club in Tirana might cost you 15-20 euros by the end of the night. If you stick to a pub or a small bar, you you could spend 10-15 euros the whole night. Restaurants as well vary. If you go to the trendy restaurants in the city center, you could spend 15-20 euros for some sort of main dish and a couple of drinks. But you can also find restaurants where you can do the same and spend no more than 10 euros, especially if you are just drinking beer. 

Healthcare

As an expat, you can’t receive the free public healthcare. Be prepared to pay 10-25 euros to see a doctor privately. General physicians will be cheaper than a doctor who specializes in specific or advanced treatments for certain disorders and diseases. In regards to pharmacies, most antibiotics should be less than 5 euros. Other prescription medications for disorders and diseases could be 15-25 euros. 

Groceries

Groceries can be quite cheap in Albania if you are just shopping for one or two people. Expect to spend about 20-25 euros a week to every week and a half.

Monthly total

You can get by on as low as 500-600 euros a month in Albania.  But to live more comfortably as a one-person expat, ideally you want at least 700 euros a month.  

I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or have anything you want to say about your experience living in Albania if you have lived there, please do so below!  Also feel free to message me on Facebook or Instagram if you need help with anything. 

Thanks so much to my friends in Albania for helping me with this!

Posted in Balkans Digital Nomad, Balkans Expat Guide, Retire in Balkans Guide.

Nwando is an American expat based in the Balkans. She is a musician, blogger (duh!), and youtuber with over a million views on her channel about traveling and life in the Balkans!