Flights & getting there
The modern Nënë Tereza International Airport is at Rinas, 17km northwest of Tirana. The Rinas Express airport bus operates an on-the-hour (6am to 6pm) service, with departures from the corner of Rr Mine Peza and Rr e Durrësit (a few blocks from the National History Museum) for 250 lekë one way. The going taxi rate is 2000 to 2500 lekë. The airport is about 20 minutes' drive away, but plan for possible traffic jams and give yourself plenty of time to get there if you're catching a flight.
There is no one official bus station in Tirana. Instead, there are a number of bus stations around the city from which buses to specific destinations leave. Do check locally for the latest departure points, as they have been known to change. You can almost guarantee that taxi drivers will be in the know; however, you may have to dissuade them from taking you the whole way to your destination.
International services depart from the aptly named International Bus Station just off Rr Durresit. There are multiple services to Skopje (€13 to €20, eight hours) and Ohrid (€17.50, four hours) in North Macedonia and Pristina (via Prizren) in Kosovo (€10, four hours), and services to Budva, Kotor and Podgorica in Montenegro (€20 to €25, four hours). At the time of writing there was no direct bus to Ulcinj from Tirana, so your best bet is to change buses in Shkodra. Other international destinations include Istanbul, Dubrovnik, Sofia, Thessaloniki and Athens. It's best to double-check all international services locally, as routes and timings change with great frequency.
Furgons (shared minibuses) to Bajram Curri (1000 lekë, 5½ hours, hourly 5am to 2pm), the jumping-off point for Valbona or the far side of Lake Koman, leave from North Station on Rr Dritan Hoxha, a short distance from the Zogu i Zi roundabout. Note that this service passes through Kosovo. Services to Shkodra (300 lekë, two hours, hourly until 5pm) also leave from here.
Departures to the south leave from – yes, you guessed it – South Station on Rr Muhedin Llagani. These include services to Berat (400 lekë, 2½ to three hours, every 30 minutes until 6pm), Himara (1000 lekë, five hours, 1pm and 6pm), Saranda (1300 lekë, seven hours, roughly hourly 5am to midday) and Gjirokastra (1000 lekë, five to six hours, regular departures until midday, also at 2.30pm and 6.30pm). Services to Himara and Saranda will drop you off at any of the coastal villages along the way. Services to Durrës (150 lekë, one hour, every 30 minutes) also leave from here.
For destinations to the southeast head to, wait for it, the Southeast Station. Several buses a day go to Pogradec (500 lekë; 3½ hours) and Korca (500 lekë; four hours).
Domestic Buses From Tirana
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Train travel is very hit and miss in Albania and the service seems to reduce by the year. Tirana's tiny railway station was knocked down in 2013, and a new one is planned in the west of the city at a spot known to locals as the Casa Italia roundabout, by the Tirana–Durrës overpass. Until the distant day when this station opens, all train services to Tirana start and end at the town of Vora, just outside the city on the way to Durrës. To get there take any Durrës furgon (shared minibus) and ask for stacioni i trenit Vora.
When travelling by train, purchase tickets before hopping on, and note that these services are strictly for train enthusiasts – this is not a comfortable or fast way to get around. From Vora there is one train a day to Durrës (70 lekë, one hour; 6.20am). Check timetables at the station the day before travelling, as they're subject to change.