Getting around Albania
Successive Albanian governments have invested heavily in highway improvement and the main inter-city routes are now of a reasonable standard.
However, Albania is a mountainous country and some towns will be connected by relatively narrow, winding roads for the foreseeable future.
4-wheel drive is not normally required.
Car hire: Cars can be hired in Tirana from the usual international companies, although they are expensive compared to northern Europe and North America. It may be cheaper, and will certainly be less stressful, to arrange a chauffeur-driven car in advance through one of the Tirana-based travel agencies.
Regulations: Normal European speed limits apply (50kph/30mph in built-up areas, 80kph/50mph on open roads, depending on their quality). Front-seat passengers are required to use seat belts, in built-up areas as well as on the open road.
Documentation: An International Driving Permit (technically this should be accompanied with a certified translation) and national driving licence are required. Travellers bringing their own car into Albania should ascertain before departure that their insurance is valid there; emergency breakdown cover is also worth considering.
Taxis are plentiful and relatively economical for short journeys within city limits. Urban buses are very cheap but usually very crowded. In Tirana, there is a flat fare for any bus journey; within the city centre, taxis also have a flat fare, which should be agreed with the driver before setting off.
The hub of the national railway network is Durrësi. From there, services operate to Tirana, Shkodra, Vlora and Pogradeci. Trains are diesel, infrequent (except between Tirana and Durrësi) and slow.