Getting Around Albania
There are no internal flights.
Side of the roadRight
Successive Albanian governments have invested heavily in highway improvement and the main inter-city routes are 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. Drive with caution and avoid night drives as hazards are more difficult to see.
4-wheel drive is not normally required.
You can hire cars in Tirana from the usual international companies, although they are expensive compared to northern Europe and North America. It may be cheaper, to arrange a chauffeur-driven car in advance through one of the Tirana-based travel agencies.
Speed limits are generally 40kph (25mph) in towns, 80kph (50mph) outside built-up areas, 90kph (56mph) on major roads and 110kph (68mph) on motorways.
An International Driving Permit (technically this should be accompanied with a certified translation) and national driving license are required. If bringing your own car into Albania, you should ascertain before departure that your insurance is valid there; emergency breakdown cover is also worth considering. Drivers should also have their passport and car registration handy.
Taxis are plentiful and relatively economical for short journeys within city limits. Urban buses are very cheap but usually very crowded. Some buses leave as soon as they have enough people on board. In Tirana, there is a flat fare for any bus journey within the city centre. Taxis also have a flat fare, usually based on travel distances and which you should agree with the driver before setting off. Most taxis also are metered.
The hub of the national railway network is Durrës. From there, services operate to Tirana, Shkodra, Vlora, Rrogozhinë and Fier. Trains are diesel, infrequent (except between Tirana and Durrësi) and slow. The railway system is currently under construction and Tirana’s train station has been closed since 2013, so rather than trains running to or from Tirana’s train station they go to Kashar 7km (4 miles) outside of Tirana’s city centre, where busses in are available.
The only internal boat journey is the Komani-Fierza ferry, run by Berisha Ferry (www.komanilakeferry.com). They offer pickup services from Tirana, Shkodra, and Valbona every day.