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A busy market street in Albania.

Off to Albania? Get The lowdown on Albania currency

What is the currency in Albania?

The currency used in Albania is the Albanian lek. It’s the official legal tender in Albania. The Albanian lek is abbreviated as ALL.

Since the lek is a less common currency, you might find it challenging to swap your pounds for lek at the banks and the post office.

Get the best rates with Manor FX

Manor FX has you sorted for your trip to Albania! We offer top-notch online exchange rates for Albanian lek in the UK. Are you heading to Albania? Don’t forget to grab some lek before you jet off. Ordering your lek online with Manor FX is a breeze.

Choose to have it delivered to your home or office, or pick it up in-store. You decide! And the best part? Thanks to our speedy delivery and simple online ordering system, you’ll get your Albanian lek quickly. One less hassle for your travel prep!

Amazing spring view of Old Mes Bridge. Stunning morning landscape of Shkoder. Picturesque outdoor scene of Albania, Europe. Traveling concept background.

A brief history of Albanian lek

The Albanian lek was introduced in 1926, replacing a mix of foreign currencies like the Ottoman Turkish piastre. The lek helped Albania on their way to financial independence. 

Under communism, the lek was kept away from global trading to stick with a government-run economy.

After communism ended in the ’90s, Albania shifted to a market-based system, and the lek got a makeover. Now, it’s a stable currency used for everyday stuff and shows how far Albania’s economy has come.

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Albanian banknotes 

Albanian banknotes come in various denominations, each with distinct designs and features. Here’s a breakdown:

  • 200 lek: This note features Naim Frashëri, a notable Albanian poet, and writer. The back shows the Frashëri house.
  • 500 lek: This note honours Ismail Qemali, Albania’s independence movement leader. Vlorë’s Independence Monument appears on the reverse side.
  • 1,000 lek: Pjetër Budi, an Albanian bishop and writer, is on the front. The back displays the Deçan Monastery.
  • 2,000 lek: This banknote features Fan Noli, a key political and religious figure. The reverse side shows the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Tirana.
  • 5,000 lek: Ali Pasha of Tepelena, a historical ruler, is the main figure. His castle, in Tepelena, is on the back.

Each banknote has specific security features like watermarks and holograms to deter counterfeiting. They serve as both a form of currency and a celebration of Albania’s history and culture.

Albanian coins 

Ready to explore the world of Albanian coins? Understanding the different denominations is essential whether you’re a traveller, collector, or just curious. Here’s a detailed breakdown to familiarise you with the various coins you’ll encounter in Albania.

  • 1 lek: The smallest denomination, usually made of a copper-nickel alloy. It’s lightweight and commonly used for small transactions.
  • 5 lek: Made from the same material as the 1 lek coin but slightly larger. Often used for small purchases like snacks.
  • 10 lek: This coin is a bit larger and sometimes made with a two-tone metal. It’s a staple for everyday transactions.
  • 20 lek: A more substantial coin, frequently used in day-to-day purchases. It might have a bi-metallic design.
  • 50 lek: This coin is less commonly used but still in circulation. It’s often saved rather than spent due to its higher value.
  • 100 lek: The largest coin in value, it’s less common in everyday transactions. Many people prefer to use banknotes for higher amounts.

Just like the banknotes, each coin is designed to reflect aspects of Albania’s culture and history. They also have security features to prevent counterfeiting.

Where else in the world uses Albanian currency?

The Albanian lek is primarily used in Albania and is not officially used in any other country. While you might find some businesses near the Albanian border willing to accept lek, it’s generally not accepted outside of Albania. So, it’s a good idea to exchange your lek back to GBP or another widely-used currency when leaving the country.

An Albanian church on the side of a hill.

Albanian money – 5 fascinating facts 

Curious about the Albanian lek? Whether you’re planning a trip or just interested in foreign currencies, it’s a fascinating subject. Here are five intriguing facts about Albania’s official currency to pique your interest.

  1. Named After Alexander: The term “lek” comes from Alexander the Great, known as “Leka i Madh” in Albanian, connecting the currency to ancient history.
  2. Animal Motifs: Older versions of lek coins featured animals native to Albania, such as eagles and pelicans, highlighting the country’s biodiversity.
  3. Resilient Through History: The lek has undergone numerous changes since 1926, enduring shifts from monarchy to communism to democracy.
  4. Rare High Denominations: High-value banknotes like 500,000 lek were issued mainly due to hyperinflation in the 1990s. These are now collectors’ items.
  5. No Cents: The Albanian lek lacks a “cent” or smaller subunit in everyday use, meaning transactions usually round to the nearest lek.

How valuable is the Albanian lek?

The value of the Albanian lek can fluctuate due to economic factors. At the time of writing, the lek is generally less valuable compared to major currencies like the British pound (GBP). It’s common to see higher denominations in lek for everyday transactions.

It’s best to check a reliable financial news source or a currency exchange platform like Manor FX for the most accurate and up-to-date exchange rates. Find the latest Albiann exchange rate here.

Albania currency symbol

The currency symbol for the Albanian lek is “L”. The abbreviation is often seen as “ALL” for international transactions.

An Albanian mountain view.


Do you sell Albanian currency at Manor FX?

We sure do! Click this link to visit our Albania currency page. We provide the best rates for Albanian lek online. This means more money in your pocket for your next adventure. 

Do you buy Albania curency at Manor FX?

Yup! And at a surprisingly good rate. So, if you’re looking to exchange Albania currency to GBP. Simply follow this link, click ‘sell currency’, and choose ‘ALL Albanian leke’. We offer competitive rates for your remaining Albanian leke.

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