How to get from Tirana airport to city center?
I fly to Albania frequently, and I have traveled from Tirana airport to the city center by taxi, by bus and with a rental car. But every time, I figured out the transportation by myself, as I could find little information online. So, I decided to write a helpful blog post about it.
How to get from Tirana airport to the city center? You can get from Tirana airport to the city center by bus, by taxi, with a taxi APP or with a rental car. It takes 30 minutes to travel from Tirana airport to the city center. By bus it costs 300 LEKE (€2.45), by taxi it costs €20-€25, with a taxi APP it costs €9.80-€18 and a rental car is €20-€50 a day.
The best way to get from Tirana airport to the city center, depends on your arrival time and your travel budget. For instance, you could save money, if you travel by bus. However, if you arrive during the night, you may not be able to take the bus. So, let’s dig a little deeper, so you can decide what transportation is right for you.
Transportation from Tirana airport to the city center
You can travel from Tirana airport to the city center by bus, by taxi, by private transfer or with a rental car. The sub headers below will give you all the information you need.
Tirana airport bus to city
From Tirana airport, you can take a shuttle bus to the city center of Tirana. The shuttle bus is called the Rinas Express and it is operated by LUNA travel. The bus services run from 8:00 am until 23:00 pm every day. There is a bus every hour from 8:00AM until 19:00PM. And then there is one bus at 21:00PM and one bus at 23:00PM.
The shuttle bus departs at 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00, 18:00, 19:00, 21:00 and 23:00. Busses depart exactly on the hour.
The shuttle bus brings you from Tirana International airport to the center of Tirana. The bus drops you off at Skanderbeg Square, which is the central square of Tirana. The bus stop is close to the National Museum, the National Theater of Opera and Ballet, the Ethem Bey Mosque and the Tirana International hotel.
Click this link to see the location of the airport shuttle bus station in the center of Tirana on a Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/22K3EffTdtQwEret8
The distance between the airport and the center is only 17 kilometres. Therefore, the bus trip from Tirana airport to the city center takes only 30 minutes.
The fare for the shuttle bus is very low. A bus ticket costs 300 Albanian Leke, which is roughly 2.50 Euros. There is no need possibility to book the bus tickets online. Therefore, you can simply get on the bus and buy your ticket. If you do not have Albanian LEK yet, then you can pay for your bus ticket in euros.
The airport bus stop is just to the south of the terminal building. When you walk out of the airport building it is to your left. Click here to see the airport shuttle bus departure point on a Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/DZ6qsguxH3mcFNXY7
If you plan to travel from the city center to Tirana airport, you need to find the bus station, which is behind the National Theater of Opera and Ballet.
Click this link to see the location of the airport shuttle bus station in the center of Tirana on a Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/22K3EffTdtQwEret8
The bus from the city center of Tirana to Tirana International Airport operates between between 7:00 am and 22:00 pm.
Here is the Tirana airport bus timetable:
Shuttle Bus from Tirana International Airport to the city center of Tirana:
Shuttle Bus from the city center of Tirana to Tirana International Airport:
How much is a taxi from Tirana airport to city center?
A taxi from Tirana airport to the city center costs 20 – 25 euros for a one-way trip.
The airport taxis are the fastest way to get to the city center. As a taxi journey will take only 20 – 25 minutes depending on the traffic. Moreover, since the airport taxis are always waiting right outside the terminal building, you can depart instantly.
Compared to the airport shuttle bus, the price for a taxi is relatively high. However, the taxi can depart right away. Whereas if you were to take the bus, you would have to wait for its hourly departure time. Moreover, the taxis are available 24 hours, while the bus only departs from 8:00 am until 23:00 pm.
The taxis are parked right in front of the airport terminal building. It is best to take an official Tirana Airport Taxi. The taxis are operated by Auto Holiday Albania (AHA). The licence taxis are yellow, they have an Auto Holiday Albania Logo and a Tirana airport logo on both sides.
One of the great benefits of taking the official Tirana Airport Taxi is that they have a set price list. So you will not be surprised with the bill when you arrive in Tirana’s city center.
You can see the official price list of the Tirana Airport Taxi Service here: https://tiataxi.al/travel/
Can I use UBER to get from Tirana airport to the city center?
You cannot use UBER to get from Tirana airport to the city center of Tirana, because UBER does not exist in Albania. Of course, there are alternatives to the official Tirana Airport Taxis.
UBER alternatives in Albania:
1. Merr Taxi (18 euros)
2. Speed Taxi App (9.80 euros)
3. UPs Taxi (13.90 euros)
The great benefit of using Merr Taxi is that they have an Online Taxi Fare Calculator. As a foreigner, you are always aware that the taxi driver might “cheat-on-you”, by driving you a few extra rounds through the city center.
Which is why I highly recommend using the Merr Taxi Face Calculator online, because you will have a good idea of the price for your distance. Click here to open the Merr Taxi Fare Calculator: https://merrtaxi.com/tirana-taxi-fare-calculator
According to the Merr Taxi Fare Calculator, a journey from Tirana International Airport to the city center of Tirana costs 18 euros. Which is a bit cheaper, that the 20-25 euros quoted by the official airport taxis.
Another alternative is downloading the Speed Taxi App. Speed Taxi is a company that operates in Tirana an Shkoder. Speed taxi only charges 1200 leke (9.80 euros) for a journey from Tirana International Airport to the city center. When you request a taxi through the app, Speed Taxi will send one of their licensed and branded cars to pick you up.
You can download the Speed Taxi App here:
Another app you can download is the UPs Taxi App. The UPs Taxi app connects licensed taxi owners with customers in the area. UPs Taxi charges 1700 leke (13.90 euros) for a journey from Tirana International Airport to the city center.
You can download the UPs Taxi App here:
And finally, you can use the Taxi.al app, which is the most similar to UBER in Albania. Because private drivers can register through their website. And in most cases you will pay cash for the trip.
You can download the Taxi.al app here:
Tirana airport car rental
You can also rent a car at Tirana airport and drive to the city center. The distance from Tirana airport to the city center is 17 kilometres. Therefore, the drive will take you approximately 30 minutes.
Before COVID-19, all the major taxi companies like Hertz, EuropCar, Avis, Sixt and Enterprise, used to have offices in the arrivals hall of Tirana International Airport. However, many of the physical offices have closed.
Therefore, I recommend contacting several car rental companies before your journey and comparing the prices. You can find the direct email addresses of the car rental companies here: https://www.tirana-airport.com/c/24/car-rental
It is very easy to drive from the airport to the city center. The airport is near to the highway between Durres and Tirana. The highway is a direct connection between Tirana airport and the city center. From the airport parking, simply follow the signage for Tirana, which will lead you to the highway. You cannot go wrong once you are on the highway, keep following the road to the center of Tirana.
A rental car at Tirana airport costs between €20.00 – €50.00 per day. The prices for a car rental vary depending on the brand, the age, the duration of the rental and insurance coverage. Before your trip, you can compare prices online with the different providers.
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Can I pay for my transportation in euros?
You can pay for your transportation from Tirana Airport to the city center in euros. The Rinas Express Shuttle bus to the city center of Tirana usually costs 300 Leke, but it is also possible to pay €3.00 instead.
The official airport taxis quote their prices in both Albanian LEK and euros. So you can pay your taxi in euros, which is between €20-25, depending on your destination in Tirana.
When it comes to a rental car, it is easiest to book it online before your trip. So that you can compare the prices. You can give the car rental company your flight arrival time and flight number. Then the representative of the car rental company will wait for you in the airport arrivals hall. When it comes to car rentals it is easy to pay online with your credit card or pay cash euros.
Can I exchange money at the airport to pay for my transfer?
There are currency exchange offices at the airport. It is always smart to bring some cash euros, pounds or US dollars on your trip. So that, you have the possibility to exchange some currency, in case you need it immediately.
However, currency exchange is expensive at Tirana airport. Many foreigners will immediately rush to exchange their foreign currency at the airport. But compared to any currency exchange agency in the city, the currency exchange at the airport is very expensive. Currency exchange agencies in the city, have a margin of only 1%. However, you will be charged a much higher percentage at the airport.
It is best to bring some cash euros with you for your trip to Albania. At the airport, pay for your taxi, bus or transportation with euros. At your hotel in the city, also pay for the first night with cash euros. Once you have settled in, take a walk around the neighborhood to find a currency exchange agency. This way, you save yourself the high exchange rates and withdrawal fees at the airport.
Is there an ATM machine at Tirana airport?
There are several ATM machines at Tirana airport. In the arrival hall, you will find ATM machines of Tirana Bank, Raiffeisen Bank, Banka Kombetare Tregtare and Procredit Bank. You may not be familiar with any of the banks, because they are all Albanian brands.
However, ATM withdrawal fees and paying with card, is relatively expensive in Albania. Moreover, some bank machines may charge you a “hidden fee”. Let me explain in more detail.
Within the European Union, banks must clearly show their fees, before you withdraw money. Basically, there are rules and regulations in the EU, that force banks to be transparent. However, Albania is not a part of the European Union (yet). Therefore, not all ATM machines in Albania disclose their fees.
Moreover, because your bank card is in a foreign currency, there is also a currency exchange fee. And some of the Albanian banks set their own exchange rates, which are relatively high.
So, when you withdraw €100.00 from the ATM machine, you might be charged €4.00 or €5.00 in fees by the Albanian bank. Not all the ATM machines and banks are the same though. So, it is smart to set up some text alerts or check your internet banking. Moreover, bring some cash with you, because currency exchange at an agency is very affordable in Albania.
For more information on using credit cards in Albania, check out my full guide here.
Where is the city center of Tirana?
The city center of Tirana is Skanderbeg Square (in Albanian: Sheshi Skënderbej). Skanderbeg Square is the main plaza or central square of the city.
There are many touristic attractions on Skanderbeg Square. If you stand on the middle of the square, you will see the National History Museum, Tirana International Hotel, the Palace of Culture, the National Opera, the Ethem Bey Mosque and the Clock Tower.
Moreover, the square connects to the “Road of the National Hero’s”. On this road, you can see the government buildings, like the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Ministry of Economics, the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Bank. A bit further along the road, you can see the Pyramid of Tirana, Bunk Art 2, the National Arts gallery, the Presidential palace and the Archaeological Museum.
Where is Tirana airport?
Tirana airport 17 kilometres from the city center of Tirana. Due to the short distance, it takes only 30 minutes to reach the center of the city.
The airport is located along the highway between Durres and Tirana. Therefore, it is very easy to drive from the airport to either city. The highway is a new road, which is in a good condition.
Tirana airport is also known as:
- Tirana International Airport
- Airport Nene Tereza, which means Mother Teresa airport. Since Mother Teresa was originally from Albania, she is very popular in Albania.
- Rinas International Airport, because the airport is in the Rinas village. The village is located just north of the capital city.
Regardless of which name you hear; these names all refer to the same airport.
Tirana airport is the only airport in Albania. The capital city is in the center of the country, which makes travel to the north or south convenient.
However, if you only plan on visiting the Albanian Alps in the north, you may consider flying to Podgorica in Montenegro. Equally, if you only plan on visiting the area around Saranda in the south, you can fly to the Greek Corfu island. From Corfu island, you can take a short ferry boat across the sea.
About Tirana International Airport
Tirana Airport is a small airport compared to the large European airports. The check-in area has 3 rows of desks and the departures hall has only 7 gates. If you compare Tirana airport to major European airports, it has all the facilities, but on a smaller scale. The airport is open 24 hours, but most of the restaurants and shops close after 10pm.
Tirana airport shops
There are several small shops on Tirana airport. There is a Vodafone store, where you can buy a local sim card. There is a small supermarket in the arrival hall. There are a few souvenir shops, which sell traditional Albanian food & drinks. There are two little bookstores, which sell books about Albania in English and some popular books. There are a few duty-free shops in the departure hall, which sell mostly liquor, perfume and cigarettes.
Tirana airport ATM
There are several ATM machines at the airport from Tirana Bank, Raiffeisen Bank, BKT bank and Procredit bank.
Tirana airport sim card
You can buy a local prepaid sim card a the airport. There are two stores in the arrivals hall: Vodafone and ALBTelecom. These are the most popular sim card providers in Albania, so I recommend both.
Tirana airport smoking area
There is a smoking area in the departure hall. One of the bars has a little outside area, where you can smoke. Obviously, the inside area is a non-smoking area.
Tirana airport WIFI
Tirana airport has a free WIFI connection in the arrivals and departure halls.
Tirana airport arrivals
The Tirana airport website gives real-time updates on the Tirana airport arrivals here: https://www.tirana-airport.com/en/flights/arrivals
Tirana airport departures
The Tirana airport website gives real-time updates on the Tirana airport departures here: https://www.tirana-airport.com/en/flights/departures
Tirana airport map
This is a map of Tirana airport with all the facilities available.
Is there an airport hotel at Tirana airport?
There are three hotels close to Tirana airport. These are Hotel Airport Tirana, Best Western Premier Art Hotel and Hotel Villa Zeus. All these hotels are only 5 minutes away from the airport terminal.
Tirana airport parking
Tirana airport has parking spaces next to the airport terminal. The price for parking at Tirana airport is:
150 LEK (€1.00) for 1 hour
240 LEK (€2.00) for 1 – 4 hours
360 LEK (€3.00) for 4 – 7 hours
480 LEK (€4.00) for 7 – 12 hours
720 LEK (€6.00) for 12 – 24 hours
How to get from Tirana airport to Durres? You can get from Tirana airport to Durres by bus, by taxi, by private car or by rental car. There is no train connection. The bus cost 480 LEK (€4.00) and departs 5 times a day. A taxi or private transfer costs €23-€30 one way. Driving to Durres with a rental car will take you 30-40 minutes.
If you are interested in travelling from Tirana airport to Durres, check out my full-guide here!
I am an Albania Tour Guide, who organizes 1-day, 2-day or multiple day private tours in Albania. I arrange your transportation and I am your English speaking guide. So that, you get to experience the most beautiful places in Albania!
Kind regards, Manon
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I am a Tour Guide in Albania
I am an Albania Tour Guide, who organizes 1-day, 2-day or multiple day private tours in Albania.
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