Getting there & away
Getting out of Tirana can be extremely confusing, as much for locals as anybody else. You have the option of buses or furgons , which leave from several hubs on the outskirts of the city that are prone to move from time to time. Travelling times are totally dependent on what degree of ‘crazy’ the traffic out of town is currently operating at.
At the time of writing, furgons going north leave from the chaotic Zogu i Zi roundabout – Kruja to the right (150 lekë, 45 minutes, 32km) and Shkodra to the left (300 lekë, two hours, 116km). Keep asking until someone points you in the right direction.
You can catch a furgon to Fier (400 lekë, 2½ hours, 122km), Vlora (400 lekë, three hours, 161km) and Gjirokastra (1000 lekë, five hours, 244km) from Rruga e Kavajës, and there are also buses to Fier (300 lekë).
Furgons towards Macedonia (Elbasan and Pogradec) leave from a stand by Qemal Stafa Stadium. Macedonia-bound buses going through Struga (€10, six hours, 197km, six per week) and on to Tetovo, leave from the patch of mud in front of the train station. Furgons and buses for Durrës (bus 100 lekë, furgon 150 lekë, 45 minutes, 38km) also leave from here.
Buses for Prishtina (€30, 10 hours, 343km, three daily) leave from behind the museum near Sheshi Skënderbej.
If all else fails, get in a taxi and say ‘furgon per [destination], ju falem nderit’. It may not be great Albanian, but your taxi driver should understand and they should know the latest departure points.
The run-down train station is at the northern end of Bulevardi Zogu I. Albania’s trains range from sort-of OK to very decrepit. Trains go to Durrës (55 lekë, one hour, eight daily), Elbasan (160 lekë, four hours, three daily), Pogradec (245 lekë, seven hours, twice daily), Shkodra (120 lekë, 3½ hours, twice daily) and Vlora (210 lekë, 5½ hours, twice daily).
Nënë Tereza International Airport is at Rinas, 26km from the city.