For a taste of Albania without actually crossing the border, head down to buzzy, beautiful Ulcinj (Улцињ). The population is 61% Albanian (68% Muslim), and in summertime it swells with Kosovar holidaymakers for the simple reason that it’s a lot nicer than the Albanian seaside towns. The elegant minarets of numerous mosques give Ulcinj (Ulqin in Albanian) a distinctly Eastern feel, as does the lively music echoing out of the kebab stands around Mala Plaža (Small Beach). Ulcinj’s ramshackle Old Town looms above the heaving beach and is a fantastic spot for people-watching without being surrounded by people.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Ulcinj.