How to get to Albania? Airport, ferry, bus, driving
If you are wondering how to get to Albania, I will introduce you to the best ways to get to Albania in this blog post. I will discuss getting to Albania by bus, by train, by car and by ferry.
How to get to Albania? You can get to Albania by:
1) Flying to Tirana International Airport
2) Flying to Corfu airport and taking the ferry
3) Taking a bus from Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia or Greece
4) Driving from Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia or Greece
5) Taking a ferry from Italy
You cannot get to Albania by train, because Albania is not connected to the international rail network.
I live in Albania and work as a tour guide. Let me discuss all the best ways to get to Albania, based on my own travel experience and the feedback of my clients.
How to get to Albania by aeroplane?
If you want to fly to Albania, you have two options:
1) Fly to Tirana International Airport in Albania
2) Fly to Corfu island and take the ferry to Albania
Flying to Tirana International Airport
There is only 1 x airport in Albania, which is Tirana International Airport. This airport is about 30 minutes from the capital city Tirana in the centre of Albania.
If you are living in Europe, you might be able to book a direct flight from your country to Albania. There are direct flights to Albania from Italy, Germany, the UK, Turkey, Greece and Dubai.
There are no intercontinental flights to Albania, so if you are flying from the USA. You must transfer flights in Europe.
Flying to Corfu island and taking a ferry to Albania
Another way to get to Albania is booking a flight to Corfu island and taking a ferry from Corfu to Albania.
Step 1: Book a direct flight to Corfu island
Step 2: Take a ferry from Corfu island to Saranda in Albania
Corfu is a Greek Island, however, it is actually closer to the Albanian coastline. If you are standing on Corfu island, you can literally see the Albanian coast at the horizon.
From Corfu island, you can take a ferry boat to Albania. The ferry from Corfu to Saranda in Albania takes 35 minutes. A ticket for the ferry usually costs between 19 – 23.80 euros depending on the season.
The ferries are operated by Ionian Seaways and Finikas Lines. In the winter, there are as few as 2 ferry departures per day. Because Saranda and Corfu are mainly beach destinations for the summer season. However, in the summer season, there are between 8-12 ferry departures per day.
The main reasons to fly to Corfu island are:
1. Your country does not offer a direct flight to Tirana airport, however, you can book a direct flight to Corfu island
2. You are able to fly with a budget airline and book a cheap flight to Corfu
3. Your main aim is to visit the beaches of the Albanian Riviera. The ferry from Corfu will bring you to Saranda, which is also known as “the capital of the Albanian Riviera”.
4. You want to stay in the South of Albania, where you can visit Saranda, Ksamil, Butrint and Gjirokaster.
How to get to Albania by bus?
You can get to Albania by bus from the neighbouring countries, like Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Greece.
Drita Travel is a bus operator in Albania. They offer busses from Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Austria, Croatia and Switzerland to Albania and back.
You can find the bus destinations of Drita Travel on their website here: https://www.dritatravel.com/
Top Lines Albania
Top Lines Albania operates daily busses between Albania and Greece. In Greece, they have busses from Athens, Pine, Patra, Janine, Megara and Korinth-Isthmo.
You can find the timetable of their daily busses on the website of Top-Lines.al here: https://top-lines.al/oraret/
Autobus Albania operates international busses from Greece, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Bulgaria, Kosovo and Macedonia to Albania and back. The great advantage of booking with Autobus Albania is their large variety of departure cities in Europe. You can have a look at their destination map here: https://www.autobus.al/map
Sharr Travel operates daily busses between Kosovo and Albania. They operate regular lines from Pristina and Prizren to Tirana and Durres. You can find their bus timetable from Kosovo to Albania here: https://sharrtravel.com/en/bus-travel/
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Can I get to Albania by train?
You cannot get to Albania by train, because Albania is not connected to the European rail network.
This is because the Albanian railways were built during the communist period in Albania. The communists isolated Albania from the rest of the world. Albania was isolated until 1992 similar to North Korea’s isolation today. Since their objective was to isolate Albania, there was no reason to built international rail connections.
In 1992, communism ended, however, there has not been any investment in the rail network or trains since the end of communism. As a result, there are only a few operating trains inside Albania (not international), which travel very slowly and are very unpopular.
In summary, trains in Albania are not an effective manner of transportation. Only take a train in Albania, if you want to experience an old communist train.
How to get to Albania by ferry from Italy?
The most popular ferry route between Italy and Albania starts from Bari and arrives in Durres. Bari is an Italian city all the way to the South of Italy. Therefore, Bari offers one of the shortest ferry routes to Albania.
A ferry boat journey from Bari to Durres takes around 10 hours. Most ferries operate during the night departing at 22:00 PM and arriving at 8:00 AM. You can book a small cabin onboard with 4 bunk beds so that you can sleep onboard the ferry.
Obviously, the ferry is also a great option if you are travelling by car, as you can drive onboard. Sleep on the ferry. And then continue driving in Albania.
Popular ferry ships are Adria Ferries, Ventouris Ferries and GNV. It is worth comparing the rates between ferry companies because prices vary significantly. Obviously, you also get the quality in relation to the rate you are willing to pay. Since some ferries are newer and more luxurious.
How to get to Albania by rental car?
If you are planning to rent a car abroad and drive the rental car to Albania, I do recommend you do your research!
Step 1: Reach out to several car rental companies before you travel, because it may not be allowed to take the car abroad.
Some of the car rental companies do not allow you to take their car abroad. So I highly recommend you reach out to many car rental companies by email before your holiday.
Step 2: Ask the car rental company about their charge for a Green Card to drive abroad
A Green Card is a piece of paper that proofs that your car is insured when driving it across the border to Albania. Car rental companies charge between 20-50 euros for a Green Card.
Step 3: Compare the prices, because prices for driving a rental car abroad vary significantly
I would definitely recommend reaching out to several car rental companies before you travel. Because the prices for taking a car rental abroad vary significantly.
Step 4: Ask the car rental company if you need an international driving permit
Some car rental companies are more strict than others when it comes to driving licence requirements.
Step 5: Ask what is covered in the insurance offered by your car rental company
It is definitely worth asking what happens if your car rental from abroad breaks down in Albania.
Step 6: Plan your itinerary and consider renting a 4 Wheel Drive Car accordingly
In the North and East of Albania there are some mountainous areas, where you need a 4 wheel drive for your safety.
Step 7: Bring a credit card with enough available funds for the car rental deposit
Another good reason to do your research before renting a car in the Balkans is the difference in the amount of deposit you need to pay for the car rental.
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How to get around Albania?
You can get around in Albania by bus, by taxi or by rental car.
How to get around Albania by bus?
The local busses in Albania are called “Furgon”. Basically, the Furgons are mini busses, which connect the different cities in Albania with each other. What makes these mini busses different from other countries, is that they are independently operated. Or simply said: the bus driver owns the bus. Therefore, travelling by minibus in Albania is very informal, authentic and you definitely need patience!
Travel by bus in Albania is very cheap. Bus tickets vary from 150 Leke (1 euro) to 12 euros. However, if you pay 12 euros, you travel all the way from Tirana to Saranda, which takes 5-6 hours and a taxi would cost you between 134 euros – 191 euros depending on the taxi company.
You can find the Albanian bus timetables on the website of Gjirafa Autobus: https://gjirafa.com/Autobus . Simply type in your departure city and your destination city and press search to view the timetable and bus ticket prices. There is no need to reserve online. Albanian people simply show up at the bus station and pay for their bus ticket in cash with the driver.
How to get around Albania by rental car?
You can rent a car in Albania for 20-25 euros per day + petrol. I have recently written a blog post about renting a car in Albania and compared the prices of the different car rental companies -> https://albaniatourguide.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-rent-a-car-in-albania/
I highly recommend you reach out to car rental companies before your holiday. Because some car rental companies charge a lot more than others! You should definitely be able to find a car rental for 20 – 25 euros per day, but that does require you to reach out to several companies and compare the rates!
A word of caution! Driving in Albania can be daunting and challenging as a foreigner. The Albanian people have a chaotic driving style and there are quite a few Albanian drivers, who do not follow the rules of the road. So you must be a confident driver to drive in Albania as a foreigner.
How much does it cost to get around in Albania by taxi?
As in any country, taking a taxi for a short distance is affordable. However, taking a taxi for a long-distance journey is pricy in Albania.
I have reached out to 10 different taxi companies in Albania to request their price list, so here are the prices for the popular routes.
Taxi costs in Albania:
-A taxi from Tirana airport to the city centre of Tirana costs €10-25
-A taxi from Tirana airport to Durres costs €21-30
-A taxi from Tirana to Durres costs €21-29
-A taxi from Tirana to Kruje costs €25-30
-A taxi from Tirana to Berat costs €63-75
-A taxi from Tirana to Gjirokaster costs €121-158
-A taxi from Tirana to Vlore costs €74-107
-A taxi from Tirana to Dhermi costs €117-148
-A taxi from Tirana to Himare costs €130-160
-A taxi from Tirana to Saranda costs €134-191
-A taxi from Tirana to Ksamil costs €142-200
-A taxi from Tirana to Apollonia costs €70-106
-A taxi from Tirana to Shkoder costs €55-72
-A taxi from Tirana to Theth costs €205-222
-A taxi from Tirana to Koman costs €115-132
In this blog post, you can see all the taxi rates from the different taxi companies in Albania. It will safe you a lot of time and money, when booking a taxi journey in Albania -> https://albaniatourguide.com/how-much-is-a-taxi-in-albania/
Important tip! Always compare the rates of a 1-day tour with the rate of a taxi ride in Albania. Because very often booking a day tour is a much better deal! A day tour will allow you to make stops along the way for sightseeing, include tickets to sightseeing spots and a professional English speaking guide. And very often a tour is cheaper or the same price as a taxi ride!!!
Is it easy to travel in Albania? It is easy to travel in Albania if you book a taxi or tour. Driving or travelling by bus is more difficult as a foreigner. If you are driving you need to be very alert, because Albanian drivers have a chaotic and aggressive driving style. Moreover, it might be difficult to find your route. If you are travelling by bus, you can find the bus timetables and bus ticket prices on the website of Gjirafa Autobus here: https://gjirafa.com/Autobus . However, you will likely need to ask locals for help many times, because you need help to find the bus station and the correct bus.
Is it possible to go to Albania? Albania is open for tourists. You can find the latest COVID entry requirements and Corona updates in my blog post here: https://albaniatourguide.com/albania-covid-travel-restrictions-pcr-testing-and-coronavirus/
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
Welcome to Albania!
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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