Albania Albania, in southeast Europe, is one of the Continent's poorest countries. Isolated and communist into the 1990s, Albania is on its way to becoming a free market economy. The State Department classifies Albania as a "high" crime country, but it notes that crime against foreigners is "rare as it is viewed as too risky." Albanians generally have a favorable view of Americans, so there's no need to wear your "I Love New York" shirts inside out. Albania is not yet a member of the European Union, and its currency, the lek, is low against the dollar. You can find meals for less than $5, fancier fare for less than $20. Stay in dormitory-style hostels for about $20 a night. Ruled by empires including the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman, Albania is rich in archaeological sites. Ruins from each of the civilizations can still be found in cities across the country, particularly in Apollonia, an important settlement of the Greeks. Berat, a well-preserved ancient city, boasts a medieval fortress and beautiful churches.
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