Tirana Airport is located 11 kilometers from the center of Tirana and is named after Mother Teresa. There is actually a little statue of Mother Teresa outside the airport.
The airport has recently been modernised and is a very comfortable little airport to fly to and from.
There are not many airlines serving Tirana, but you have many flights to Italy from there and also connections to cities like Munch, Paris, London, Istanbul, Ljubljana, Belgrade and so on.
There are frequent busses to and from the airport from the city center in Tirana or you can take a taxi.
There is a free wifi at the airport too.
- Business Travel
Bus from central Tirana to Dajti Express
To reach the Dajti Express, just take the bus Bus line Linzë - Qender -Linzë as far as Porcelain. Then walk for 1.5 km following the sign "teleferic"
Train from Tirana to Durrës
As the train station in Tirana is closed, the nearest train station to make connection to Durrës is at Kashar. There are many trains a day, from 06:10 to 19:00, and the trip tabes about 40 minutes. There is a bus service linking the old Tirana train station to Kashar train station. The bus leaves 20 minutes before the departure of the train.
Another option is to take the train at Vorë.
Bus from the centre to the airport
There is a shuttle bus from the centre of the city to the airport. The trip takes about 30 minutes.
07:00 - 19:00, every hour
Rruga e Durrësit. Just a leg from the Skanderbeg Square.
Bus from Tirana to Pristina
There are buses in the morning (i think quite frequent), i had one at 7 am, taking 5 hours, leaving from the Muzeu Kombetar (Rruga Ded Gio Luli near Bulevardu Zogu 1, another company from Rruga Urano Pani on the other side of Bulevardu Zogu 1, probable more fom other places), 1600 Lek or about €10.
- Budget Travel
Hitchhiking to Tirana
There was no public transport from Koror into Albania, so I had to hictch hike, with little succes. It took me the whole day to get to Tirana. I started hitchiking at 9 AM in Kotor and I arrived to Tirana at about 5 PM.
- Budget Travel
- Adventure Travel
The northern area of Skanderbeg Square, where Rruga Sheshi Skenderbeg and Bulevardi Zogu I connect to Rruga e Durresit, seems to be a focal traffic point. During rush hours in the afternoon the traffic did hardly move at all until the police arrived and vawed the traffic through after some 15-20 min. Question is why they were not in place before the rush hours traffic started. They must have known about it..... It was the same situation both afternoons I was able to observe it.
If you are going southwards from Tirana, then you will have to take a bus from the Western Kombinat. The bus station is to the left of the street and slightly downwards from the mark. You find the main bus station just in front of the Qemal Stafa Stadium (the national arena for football).
Going to or from airport by bus.
There is a shuttle bus going between the airport and the city centre every hour between 06.00 and 18.00, the same departure time in both directions. The journey takes around 25 min and costs 250 Leke (less than 3 Euro) as of May 2014. You pay on the bus. At the airport you will find bus just 50-75 m from the exit doors, to the left. In Tirana the stop is on Rruga Mine Peza (on the road side opposite to the café Pasticeri Flora), where it connects with Rruga e Durresit. It is quite close to Skanderbeg Square.
Arriving by air at Rinas Airport.
When coming by air you will arrive at Albania's only airport, Rinas Airport, 17 km north-west of Tirana. It is a smallish airport with a couple of coffee bars and one restaurant. There are ATM:s in the arrival's hall as well as in the departure's hall, and there are also money exchange booths.
At arrival the passport control can take some time since all foreigners are checked, while the Albanians have another line to go. The check-in was very hassle free.
There are good bus connections to/from Tirana.
Skopje to Tirana by bus.
After the recent excellent Euromeet 2011 organised wonderfully by Valentina I needed to travel to Tirana in Albania to get my flight home. An internet search produced a lot of conflicting information that was either undated, out of date or just plain wrong so I intend to provide a step by step guide which was current as of 5th June 2011. Obviously, travel information is usually out of date as soon as it is written so check to see if there is anything more recent as the usefulness of this decays.
Firstly, a bit of mythbusting. I had heard talk of a daytime bus, which I would have preferred but it simply does not exist. There is one bus per day, it departs at 1900 hours and this is how to get it.
I decided to get my ticket early although it would have been possible to turn up a short time before as the bus was nearly empty. Go to the the bus station, which is on Bulavar Kusman Josefovski Pitu and is actually under the main train station. Both are signposted and a taxi will take you there although if you wish to walk and / or save a few dinari it is only about a twenty minute stroll from the centre. From the centre, keep the river on your left, walk past the large Vero shopping centre and you will come to where the railway crosses over the road. It is just on the right and I have included a photo to help you.
When you enter, there are a number of different ticket booths and you need to go to the last one on the left which says Eurolines in Roman script. I went in and spoke to the two helpful ladies both of whom spoke reasonable English. I purchased my ticket easily in local currency although it was quoted in Euros. Be aware that you need to produce your passport to purchase a ticket, I think it is something to do with speeding up the somewhat notorious Albanian border procedure.
One thing to note is the difficulty in obtaining Albanian currency. I tried at the bureau de change in the bus staion but they couldn't help even after making a couple of 'phone calls on my behalf. I asked was there a bureau at the border and the lady couldn't help. In the event there was not but don't panic, you can use Euros until you get to Tirana.
All the perceived wisdom is that the bus departs from stand #1 although they told me it would leave from #3 which it duly did. They did, however, tell me the bus would have the Eurolines livery although, as you can see, it didn't.
The bus left on time with myself and one other lady on it. It was comfortable and had a toilet onboard although I did not use it so cannot vouch for it's cleanliness or otherwise. I took my favouerd seat which is the back seat in the middle. That way I can stretch my rather tall frame out a bit. As it happened, I managed to get a bit of sleep stretched out over all five seats.
The journey could probably be achieved a lot quicker but they tend to stop every couple of hours, always at a restaurant so you can stock up on food or snacks as well as attending the call of nature. All the places we stopped seemed to be clean. tidy and pleasant enough.
In the dead of night, our assistant / ticket collector disappeared into a small building and appeared to be conducting some sort of official business. This was explained a short time later when we approached the border. The assistant took our pasports and got them checked for us (we did not leave the bus). Then he gave them back, we drove a couple of hundred yards and he took them again at the Albanian side. No, I don't understand why either. Anyway, a few minutes later I had my passport back with my long-coveted Albania stamp. All completely painless. There is supposedly an entry tax of about one Euro but we didn't have to pay at the border, I think it is inbuilt in the ticket price.
After a few more stops we arrived in Tirana at about 0430 in the morning. Tirana does not have a bus station and you are dumped in a carpark not too far from the centre. There I was in the middle of the night in the strange capital of a new country with not a word of Albanian nor a penny piece of the local currency. Still, I like an adventure and this is what you may care to do if you find yourself there. If you look from the carpark, there is a main road in front and a wide boulevard going away frm you. This leads to the main square. Go down there a couple of hundred yards and there is a cafe / bar just beside the casino. Both are open 24 hours a day. The staff in the cafe were friendly, spoke a little English and, most improtantly, accepted Euros. I spent a very pleasant couple of hours there until the town started to come alive and I bade a fond farewell and moved on.
This then is how to get from Skopje to Tirana by bus and it is not as scary as some might have you believe.
I shall unashamedly crosspost this in my Skopje page.
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Easy to arrive, harder to leave
We came to Tirana from Ohrid in Macedonia. Getting to the capital is relatively straightforward - all roads seem to lead there, though bumpily.
Our journey was in 2006, so things may be different by now.
The first stop on the way is Pogradec, over the Albanian border. Our taxi driver (25 euro), took us to the border, where we were 'bartered' to an Albanian taxi, who drove us the rest of the way into Pogradec. This was our first experience of the wall to wall defensive potholes! The stretch of road into Pogradec rivalled that on the infamous road from Fort Dauphin to Berenty in Madagascar. Though much shorter. We managed a short wander while waiting 15 mins for the furgon to Tirana (3hrs, via Elbasan). This road is far superior, having been improved by the EU. Scenery, both on the lake and through the mountains is spectacular. The one hour trip between Elbasan and Tirana even more so, up a twisting road via many hairpins, and then along a precipitous ridge whith views every side. Heavy traffic in Tirana, but we were dropped off in Skenderbeg Square, where we were assisted in finding accommodation by a kind old fellow who must have thought we looked a little lost! We had asked him where to fins the Nobel Hotel, and indeed, this was exactly the establishment he had thought to recommend. Such serendipity!
Leaving wasn't so straightforward. We were heading for Kotor in Montenegro. As we'd been dropped in the centre, we had not seen the bus station, and missed the opportunity to seek information. We knew there would be no direct buses to Podgorica, and we'd heard of a bus which went from Skhodra to Uncinj and on up the coast of Macedonia, but could not get confirmation of timings.We'd enquired with travel agents about taxis.
Enter Gazmen Cena, a man with a plan, who just happened to have a very fine Mercedes and might be persuaded to head in the direction of the Montenegro border for the right price. The price began at 100 euro, but we negotiated 8500 lek in the end (about 65 euro in those days). And indeed Gazman was true to his word and was (by Albanian standards) a cautious driver. Though the black Mercedes has indeed seen better days (speedometer not functioning, and only 2 windows wound down), it got us to the border in just over 2 hours - about half of the time it would have taken by furgon. Taxi to Podgorica was another 15 euro, where we cought a bus to Kotor.
- Road Trip
Forget all you've read about Tirana's chaotic and dirty airport: it's all new. There was no scramble of people trying to get visas, there was an ATM waiting for me to grab currency from, and a nice, bright, clean (albeit small) airport to greet visitors.
The taxi drivers at Tirana airport have a bad reputation for harassing (in a friendly smiling way) newly arrived passengers. The new airport hasn't changed this. If you walk out of the doors to the left, you will immediately see the line of official yellow taxis just past the cafe on your left. Go here and you are guaranteed a fair rate of 25 euros.
You can get less with the unofficial guys who pounce on you as you exit, but there's always a risk with such people. They are persistent, and they will follow you all the way to the taxi rank. I found a good strategy was to sit down at the cafe and drink a slow coffee. They soon lost interest and I was free to take whatever cab I chose.
Apart from taxis, there is allegedly a 24 hour bus that runs every hour between the airport and the National History Museum. It costs 200 lek (about 1.6 euros), according to the official web site. The LP guide said it was for airport staff only, but it didn't prove the most reliable guide I've ever used.
Bus to Macedonia
If you want to buy a ticket to Macedonia, it costs 10 euros one way, and you can buy it from the Pollogu Tourist office at the top of Zogu boulevard, near the train station. Just as described in the LP guide, it's on the left as you walk towards the station, in between a kids clothes store and a Jewellers. You have to ring a bell. The bus leaves from the dusty square next to the train station. Just look for the Polet bus with Struga written on it.
I had to add this extra tip due to lack of text space...
Some of Albania's roads are so bad, and the buses so old and clapped out, that legend has it that they struggle to wash out the stench of the travel sick after each journey. It's worth considering that when you choose what you travel in and where you travel to. On the bus I took, it was an international journey on an air conditioned bus owned by a company in Macedonia. It was a bit old, it showed nothing but videos of Albanian folk dancing the entire six hour journey to Struga, it had no toilet, but it was perfectly comfortable. And the views were great.
As the crow flies, Struga is about 45 miles from Tirana. That means we travelled at an average of 7.5 miles per hour. That's even slower than the train. Anyone wondering how a bus could travel that slowly has never been to Albania. It's not that the bus was slow, in fact some times it seemed to be going dangerously fast for its squeaky wheels. No, the reason it took so long was the bizarre route it took, the care free attitude of the driver, and, of course, customs at the Macedonian border.
Instead of driving directly to Macedonia, we first went in the completely opposite direction. Soon we recognised that we were going towards Durres. Fearing I was on the wrong bus, I tried to ask another passenger. She smiled and showed me pictures of what must have been her husband and children, all dressed in traditional folk costumes. The driver pulled up for a while, we guessed he was asking directions.
After a while it stopped driving towards Durres, and turned around. It made sense now: he'd got lost, asked for directions, and was now going the right way. But no. He pulled up and got himself a spare tyre. Then he was back on the wrong road to Durres again. Which just happened to be one of the many stops on the way to Macedonia. I guess the only decent road out of Tirana goes to Durres, just like the train.