Albania Transport: Your Ultimate Guide to Getting Around Albania

Last Updated on March 30, 2024


This site contains affiliate links for products and services we recommend. Read my disclaimer for more information. If you make a purchase through these links, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a small commission (for which I am very grateful).


Finding information about public transportation in Albania online is a long and gruelling task and you will find virtually no information.

To save you time and headache here’s a complete guide on how to get around Albania and to show you that Albania travel isn’t that bad!

Take the stress out of planning your upcoming Albania trip and instead get your hands on these 5 customizable Albania itineraries AND the bucket list e-book instantly!

Only $30 $11

⏰ Limited-time deal ONLY

When travelling Albania, you will have to learn to trust the Albania transport system. It might seem daunting, but it’s the best way of getting around in Albania without a car.

Albania Travel: Your Ultimate Guide to Getting Around, person walking down a road looking back over their shoulder with mountains and bushes on either side and in distance on a sunny day

There are timetables for the public transport in Albania, but quite often they are wrong or have been changed. But they will come – eventually!

There’s no rail system or trains in Albania, so if you are planning on getting around Albania without a car it’s all about furgons, buses and hitchhiking!

And that is why I have put together this guide on Albania transport and how to travel in Albania if you don’t have a car.

Ditch the outdated guidebook and instead get your hands on the only Albania travel guide you’ll need, including the best places to visit and things to do from a local living there for 6+ years!

⏰ Digital version and hard copy available on Amazon

If this method of Albania transportation seems daunting – or you want to do a mix of public transport and car hire in Albania – read my full post on how to hire a car in Albania.

guide for how to get around in albania, empty street in Albania with a parked car, a few chairs outside a cafe and  shopkeeper

Furgons

This is the most popular way of travelling around AlbaniaFurgons are essentially minibuses that are privately-owned and not licensed.

If you want a truly Albanian experience, a furgon is the most unique Albania transport option.

Sometimes they have a timetable, sometimes they don’t. They will usually travel to smaller villages and also more popular routes like from Saranda to Gijrokastёr and Berat.

The furgon is usually crammed with a lot of people in so in the high season, it can be a little cramped, but this is usually my preferred transport choice.

They will drop you off at any point along the way, you just have to let them know.

I had an interesting/wonderful experience on a furgon that was going from Saranda to Berat.

When we stopped halfway for a break we ended up drinking multiple rakis (the local alcohol) and got extremely drunk within the 15-minute stop.

We ended up dancing and making a complete fool of ourselves (or in other words, having a lot of fun) with the entire bus.

It made the rest of the trip fly by. Furgons are definitely more intimate than big coaches!

They can take some getting use to, but I think Furgons are definitely the best way to get around Albania – and the most fun!

travelling albania

The good thing about furgons is you can flag one down and they will usually stop for you and let you on if it’s not full.

So, if hitchhiking fails then you always have that as a backup option as long as you’re not in the middle of nowhere.

In terms of the timetables there are some but most of the time they change. The best option is to ask a local as they always seem to know everything about transport.

Most likely the bus driver will probably be a relation or friend!

If you are wanting information about furgons and buses leaving Saranda then read my ultimate Saranda guide where I list a rough schedule.

🛌🏼 Book accommodation in albania

Buses

Buses in Albania run for more popular and longer routes like for example from Saranda to Tirana. They also have rough timetables.

Be prepared to share any bus in Albania with car motors, washing machines, and other household essentials.

Usually, the buses are a delivery service as well. You can do the same as with the furgons and tell the driver where you want to get off, they will usually stop.

The buses in Albania will sometimes stop for hitchhikers too if they aren’t full.

If you are planning to travel Albania by bus, I have a whole post on the Albania bus timetables for the most popular routes.

IMPORTANT: Only use my Albania bus schedule post as a guide. The Albania bus routes and times are more of a guideline. You should ALWAYS double-check the day before you plan to leave by going to the bus station and getting your ticket and/or asking your accommodation supplier.

Bus + furgon stations

In each city, there’s either a bus station or a bus road/s. Albania’s bus stations are a lot less official than you think and most of the time it’s just a carpark with a whole lot of buses.

Tirana

The public transport in Tirana is pretty straightforward. There are two bus stations in Tirana – one for buses going north and one for buses going south.

They are about a 15-minute walk from each other so make sure you get the right one! The station for buses going south is the further one away from the city.

As soon as you turn up to either of these bus stations you will hear an array of men asking where you’re going.

Just scream which place you want to go and one of them will show you to the bus. They are not asking for a tip, they usually are the guys who help the driver fill the bus up with people.

If you are visiting Tirana, be sure to read my full guide on the best things to do in Tirana.

You can find a Google map of Tirana bus stations here.

💡PACKING TIP: Make sure you bring a good snorkel, water shoes and a fast-drying towel for all of the beach-going you’re about to do!

Saranda

travelling around albania transport, map screenshot of buses stops in saranda

The buses go from a few places, but they are all very near to each other. There is a couple of ‘bus roads’ in the middle of Saranda.

Usually, the ones to and from Greece go from outside the ticket office, which is opposite the red building called Partizani.

The buses that go within Albania are found on the street Rruga Flamurit, near the ruins and the park.

If you ask anyone there where you want to go, they will lead you to the right bus. The buses and furgons will have a sign in the window saying where they are going.

Make sure to check out my guide on the top things to do in Saranda, including local secrets!

Shkoder

How to use the buses in Albania, map screenshot of buses stops in Shkoder

There are two bus locations in Shkoder:

One for buses going south to Tirana, which is located opposite the radio station. The other one is on the opposite side of the big roundabout near the mosque.

Again, just yell where you’re going, and someone will take you to your bus.

Berat

How to use the public transportation in Albania, map screenshot of bus station in Berat

The bus station is located just outside of the city. You will need to catch a bus, which is situated next to the petrol station (across the road from the bus station).

Or you can catch a taxi (500lek) or hitchhike into Berat as it’s about a 10-minute drive away.

🧳 MUST-HAVE: Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have travel insurance. I recommend either SafetyWing or World Nomads.

Tickets: For the longer bus rides you will usually need a ticket beforehand, especially if its high-season. In low season you can just buy it on the day. For the furgons sometimes you will buy a ticket from the driver or just give him cash when you arrive at the destination.

Aow to travel around Albania without a car, arm of person next to a road with their thumb out to hitchhike

Hitchhiking

If unreliable bus schedules and crowded minibuses stress you out, and you still want to know h ow to get around in Albania, then hitchhiking is another great option.

Hitchhiking in Albania is incredibly popular with tourists and locals. It’s very normal to hitchhike here and you will never wait for more than 20 minutes (usually).

In my experience, it’s taken no longer than 5 minutes! There’s no real art to hitchhiking.

Stick your thumb out, make sure you’re visible and that you’re in a spot that’s easy for someone to pull over.

Although in Albania they will stop in the middle of the street for you – that’s Albanian driving for you!

Is it safe?

Yes, as long as you listen to your instincts. If someone pulls over and you don’t get a good feeling, then just wave them on and try again.

From all the travellers I met this summer, most of them hitchhiked and none of them had any problems with it so that is saying something!

Additionally, I have done my share of solo travel in Albania and never once felt unsafe. Albanians are incredibly friendly.

You can read my full guide on safety in Albania for more information.

Fun fact: In the summer I always hitchhiked to the clubs just out of Saranda! I met the funniest and craziest people by hitchhiking, some which are now good friends!

🛌🏼 Book accommodation in Albania

Frequently Asked Questions

✅ Is there Uber in Albania?

No, sadly Uber does not work in Albania. However, taxi apps are becoming more popular and there are some options like Speed Taxi app or Ups Taxi App. However, this is still a new Albania transport option, so don’t expect it to be like taking an Uber at home.

✅ Are there trains in Albania?

Unfortunately, there is no train in Albania. So the best way to travel in Albania without a car is the Albania public transport system.

✅ Is public transport good in Albania?

Yes and no. The Albania transport options are cheap, but generally unreliable.

I hope this answered all your questions on how to travel around Albania using public transportation. If you have any further questions about Albania travel, please leave them below and I will try to answer them for you!


Other articles you might love:

Love this article? Pin it for later!

Albania Travel: Your Ultimate Guide to Getting Around

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment

The Comments

  • Agness of a Tuk Tuk
    November 25, 2017

    This is such a detailed and exceptional travel guide for Albania, Anita. Hitchhiking there should be fun. Did you try it?

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Agness of a Tuk Tuk
      November 28, 2017

      Thanks for reading. Yes, I’ve tried hitchhiking in Albania, it’s fun!

  • Raul (@ilivetotravel)
    November 28, 2017

    Very helpful – love the maps!

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Raul (@ilivetotravel)
      November 28, 2017

      Thank you! 🙂

  • Tamara
    December 3, 2017

    Super handy guide! I’m interested in travelling to Albania as the beaches look gorgeous- do you know if you can get to them via public transport?

  • Chris Bloomfield
    December 3, 2017

    Hitchhiking is something I have never done, but should really try just for the thrill of it. I love the information you provide in the article. What was the rakis like? I have never heard of it.

  • Steph and Zach Dorworth
    December 4, 2017

    Love this post! Learned a lot about what furgons are. Love your story about how you got drunk on a furgon trip! haha You did a great job too with the detailed maps.

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Steph and Zach Dorworth
      May 30, 2018

      Thanks guys\! 🙂

  • Victoria
    December 4, 2017

    Omg thanks for this! I’ve always wanted to go to Albania but I’ve heard it’s super difficult to get around so I’m scared but this is so helpful! The mini bus thing is how they got around in Peru too! It was confusing for sure but we used Uber

  • Indrani
    December 4, 2017

    Good list of transports there. Furgons is new to me.
    Hitch hiking is something I have never tried, but I believe you get to meet interesting people like you mentioned.

  • Claudia
    December 5, 2017

    You’ve provided some very helpful transportation tips for getting around Albania. The furgons are a very interesting way to travel between towns and villages in the countryside. Albania still seems like an off-the-beaten path destination in may ways but at least know I know how to get around when I visit!

  • Kiyoko
    December 6, 2017

    Thanks for the great info! Figuring out transportation is probably one of my least favorite parts of trip planning as it usually causes me the biggest headache because I struggle to find the information I need. Will definitely save this for if I ever go to Albania!

  • Francesca Murray
    December 6, 2017

    Taking the Furgon sounds fun! Especially your experience during that 15 minute break, lol! I would just be a little nervous without an actual timetable, but as you said, locals usually know best

  • Aleah
    December 6, 2017

    I’ve been planning so long to visit Albania because I heard it’s very beautiful there, cheap, and generally friendly to digital nomads. I also heard it can be difficult to travel around if you don’t have a car so it’s nice you have a whole post on getting around. The furgons sound like the public transport in South America or Asia, so I should feel right at home LOL I doubt if I’ll get drunk though. As a solo traveler, I’m very careful where I drink haha Bookmarking this for my visit next year!

  • Siddhartha Joshi
    December 7, 2017

    Thanks for sharing this post Anita…I think it’s a great resource for anyone if finding online information about Albania is so tough! I really like the word Furgons though…but traveling in the these without a timetable could be tough, but then they must be great for spontaneous travel plans. And of course, hitchhiking works everywhere…I do the same as you – follow my instincts 🙂

  • afisindhu
    December 28, 2017

    Thank you so much for sharing this post Anita. I heard it can be difficult to travel around if you don’t have a car so it’s nice you have a whole post on getting around. 🙂 I really enjoyed this post. 🙂

  • Rob
    January 7, 2018

    Nice, and informative Blog! Thanks. We know from your FAQ page that you are not rich and work hard….but what do you do to earn money on the move? My wife and I are retiring around Oct and looking around for good destinations. Do you know if Albania is considered a Schengen Member? Would like to know if the 90 day clock resets while in Albania. Have you checked out Patreon? It funds artists. One video blogger I follow in Ecuador receives funds thru them. Really interested in finding economical longer term rental there but concerned the language barrier will make it difficult. Wishing you the Best! Rob

  • Linda
    April 5, 2018

    This is gold! Thank you so much! We were getting confused about all the bus traveling, even though we have lived 7 months in Asia and traveled just by public transport, coming back to Europe seemed like a bit of a challenge!
    Thanks again!

  • Anna
    May 11, 2018

    Hi Anita,

    Great reading, I had actually just been researching travelling through albania and was getting quite anxious that I might have to pass, as I couldnt find any info. I am going in August this year and now feel confident that I’ll be able to get around no problems! Yay! Are furgons quite obvious mini vans? And what about luggage restrictions?

    Also what would you say are a definite to see. I am coming from Montenegro and probably going to Corfu.
    Thanks so much Anna

  • Lane Beck
    May 26, 2018

    Hitchhiking through Albania! Now that would definitely be outside my comfort zone… but I might just be up to it! Just don’t tell MissTIC. I think she would freak.

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Lane Beck
      May 30, 2018

      It’s the best way to get around and you meet the most interesting people!

  • Thijn
    August 7, 2018

    Great read Anita! Going to Albania in September and will be trying out these spots. Thanks:)

  • Deborah Jane
    April 19, 2019

    Hi Anita – my family and I are travelling to Albania this summer (from the UK) and thinking of hiring a car. We’re flying into Tirana and staying in Shiroka, Shkoder. We want to travel to possibly Berat and Gjirokaster. Would you recommend driving in Albania? So difficult to get reliable opinions. Thank you.

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Deborah Jane
      April 21, 2019

      Hey Deborah,

      That’s great! Yes, driving in Albania is a good idea. This way you can see lots of little villages and sites along the way that you would miss otherwise. Driving in Tirana is hard because the traffic is so bad all the time but it’s great to travel around the rest of the country. Just beware that Albanians are renowned for being ‘crazy’ drivers – speeding, overtaking on blind corners etc. If you worried about the drivers then you can also easily catch buses between those places you mentioned.

  • Kim
    June 8, 2019

    Hi Anita,

    Thanks for your detailed guide! I have a question I hope you can answer.

    We want to go to Butrint on Sunday, June 9. We’re in Saranda but not close to the main square. (2 km down the road) Can we just wave at the bus to stop and buy the ticket in de bus? (I don’t know if June is high season)

    Best regards,

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Kim
      June 9, 2019

      Hi there, yes you buy the ticket on the bus always and you should be able to just wave the bus down 🙂

  • Joe Sherwood Taylor
    September 15, 2019

    Thanks for your great guide, definitely the best source of info about the country. I am travelling there in a couple of weeks, stating in Durres, travelling north to Shkoder to walk in the ‘Accursed Mountains’. You say there are no trains but many sources say there is a limited network more or less centred on Durres, does this still exist? I love to travel by train.

  • Liz
    April 15, 2022

    How would you recommend a family of 4 travel through Albania? Car hire seems somewhat expensive and buses seem temperamental for travelling with kids especially when time is short.

    • zeno
      > Liz
      June 5, 2022

      I would like to know too….. travelling there next month. How did you get around? What are Coaches exactly ???

  • Aloka
    May 16, 2022

    Hey Anita, loving your content as I am planning my trip to Sarande. Wanted to know what is the best way to travel within Sarande and nearby places like Ksamil (I do not drive).

  • Talvetar
    February 7, 2023

    Hi. Happy I found you. I have been In Albania for one week now. Where do you live? I am In Golem. Is it possible To get the copy of your book here so I dont need To order it.. As you know.. Here are no address3s where To deliver. I sta here until the end of April.

    Thanks
    Talvetar

  • Ismi Voestermans
    February 7, 2023

    Hi.
    Wij are planning to go hiking in Bogë, Albania next June (2023). My question is how is the best way to go there from Tirana. How much cost for taxi for example. I don’t have driving license.
    We are from The Netherland and will fly to Tirana.
    Thank you.

  • gary Chamberlain
    May 1, 2023

    Hi, we are planning to travel to Albania riviera in mid September, are there still bus direct from Tirana to Himare or best to go via Vlore or Sarande ????

  • Mona Dimitri
    July 8, 2023

    Bus station from Golem to Vlore . Where is it in Golem?
    Frequency of the bus, if any.
    Than you for your reply.
    Mona

  • Parul
    August 23, 2023

    Thank You Anita for sharing your experience. This blog is definitely useful in planning my trip. However, I am traveling with family (2 little kids). The final inference is – its better to hire a car but again how safe is it to drive around in Albania is the question. We are up for using the local transport because i believe that’s the best way to explore :). Thank you again for sharing. I will go through all the links for Albania. Keep up the good work.