Currency in Albania

The lek is the common currency in Albania. Its ISO code is ALL.

History of the Albanian currency

Until independence in 1912, the official currency from Ottoman in Albania was used. It was Akce, Kurus or Para. However, gold coins from the West, such as the franc from France or the Italian lire, were also in circulation.

Since there were several occupying governments in Albania during the First World War, but hardly any state organization of their own, the introduction of an Albanian currency was delayed. Therefore, the money of the Latin Monetary Union was used as a means of payment. But then the central bank of Albania was built and with it the Leg was launched. The central bank was established on September 2, 1925. At the end of the same year, the minting of Lek notes and Lek coins began. At that time, a lek had the same value as 0.2 gold francs.

A second series of notes came onto the market as early as 1926. This was described in both Albanian and Italian. This series consisted of two variants. By 1939, a total of four banknotes were in circulation. There were two versions of each.

Then in 1940 the central bank printed small notes of 2.5 and 10 Lek. This monetary system remained in place until Italy surrendered in 1943. When Italy capitulated, the banking relationship between Albania and Italy also broke off.

There was inflation, but to counteract this, the central bank put “checks” in the market or in circulation in September 1943 to the value of 20, 100, 200, 500, 2000 and 5000 Albanian francs.

When the communists came to power from 1945/1946, the lek eventually became the sole means of payment. In the years 1947 to 1964 only the Lek was minted in Albania.

In 1964 there was a currency reform and a zero value of money was removed. This meant that a “new” lek was now worth ten “old” lek. There was also the Qindarka change. However, this was abolished again when the dictatorship fell in 1990. Today the smallest coin in circulation is the five-lek piece.

Exchange into Albanian Lek

It is also better for tourists to change their money in Albania, as the exchange rate is usually better here.

The easiest way to find out at which exact rate the Lek can be exchanged is with the currency converter.