【Albania】Airport → City Center By Bus or Taxi



Japanese Language Teacher🇯🇵【日本語教師】(used to be a Junior high school Japanese teacher/元中学国語教師) World Trip🌎/Education✏️【旅行・教育について】

This time, I visited the city of Tirana, Albania🇦🇱. This is one of the unexplored European countries.

Until the early 1990s, the country was closed off from the rest of the world and was called the North Korea of Europe.

In that Albania, I traveled alone for 2 days.

In this article, I will summarize how to get to the city center from the airport, based on my own experiences.

The information is current as of the end of January 2023.

【Albania】Great local restaurant in Tirana

"Are there any good, inexpensive restaurants in Tirana, Albania🇦🇱?" When I search for "recommended places to eat in Tirana, Albania," I can't seem to find any, and when I do, they are all pretty expensive places that cater to tourists. So, I'll introduce some local restaurants I visited during my sightseeing in Tirana, Albania🇦🇱. ”Definitely recommended!” I'm not saying so, but please check the price range and reviews here and compare it with other restaurants. I'm not a big fan of tourist restaurants. I enjoy pretending to be a local person by looking for local places as much as possible. ...


By Shuttle-bus or Taxi

To get to the center of Tirana from the airport, you can either take a shuttle bus🚌 or a taxi🚕.

You can also walk, but Google Maps will tell you that it takes about 4 hours on foot. I'm looking for a challenger.

I was actually planning to walk there, but my flight was delayed and I arrived late at night, so I had no choice but to give up........Sorry, I lied.

I had no intention to walk at all. (The delay was real.)

Anyway, the easiest way to get to downtown Tirana is to take a shuttle bus.

To Get Shuttle-bus

Shuttle-Bus Airport ⇄ Tirana City

This is a picture posted at a bus stop at the airport.

The top information of this picture is for Tirana (the second one is for Durres, and the third and fourth ones are for Fier).

Here is a summary of the information on the buses to Tirana↓

Shuttle-Bus to Tirana

  • Days of operation: every day
  • Hours of operation:1 bus per hour (from the airport, 8:00-23:00; from Tirana, 7:00-22:00)
  • Fare:400 lek (100 lek = approx. 0.92 USD)

This is an affordable way to get to the city of Tirana, although buses are less frequent.

The only problem here is if you arrive at the airport after 23:00.

What if your original flight arrived late, or if, like me, you arrived after 24:00 midnight due to a delay?

As it turns out, there is a "shuttle bus".

But it is like another "shuttle bus".

"1000 lek" & Only cash at the Midnight

After 23:00, there is a "shuttle bus", but it is not a large bus, but a van with a capacity of about 10 passengers, probably run by an individual.

The following is a summary of the information I asked the driver ↓.

Midnight Shuttle Bus

  • Days of operation: Every day
  • Hours of operation:1 bus per hour (departing from the airport at 23:00)
  • Fare:1000 Lek (100 lek = approx. 0.92 USD)
  • Payment: Cash only

"1000 lek ⁉︎ and cash only ⁉︎"

The price has suddenly jumped up. I'm really feeling not good.

It's the plane's fault I was late. There are no exchange offices open.

I was said by the driver, "There's an ATM in the airport, so you can go there and withdraw cash."

However, I wanted to go back to the hotel as soon as possible, and I didn't want to carry as much cash as possible, so I decided to take a taxi.

Bus stop at the Airport



Whether it is a regular shuttle bus or a private shuttle bus, the bus leaves from this bus stop located straight out of the airport, in front of the car rental terminal.

Since Albania is still a "cash culture," you may make cash here, but taxi is not that expensive, so unless you are really desperate, you should not use this "late-night shuttle bus".

To take a Taxi

You have two choices: take a taxi at the front of the airport, or take a taxi touted in front of the car rental terminal.

I took a taxi that stopped in front of the airport.

I told them the location of my hotel, and they took me to the front of the hotel after I paid by credit card in advance inside a nearby office.

The fare was 2000 lek (100 lek = approx. 0.92 USD)  for a roughly 25-minute drive.

Since you pay in advance, you may be relieved that you do not have to deal with the taxi driver.

By the way, the price I was told by the tout guy before that was 1,500 lek. The price quoted differs from person to person, so be careful not to get ripped off by strange rip-offs. Also, don't forget to check if you can pay by credit card in advance.

If you take the shuttle bus, there is a disadvantage in that you have to go to the hotel on your own from where you get off the bus.


You can choose the ”rent α car”

There is an amazing array of car rental stores right outside the airport.

If you have an international driver's license, you can rent a car.

However, driving in the center of Tirana is quite rough, with the frequent horn honking and abrupt side-stepping, so please avoid the center of the city or drive with caution.

Need to have " Cash"

Still a "cash society"

It is necessary to have "Cash" for sightseeing in Tirana.

While hotels, major taxis, tourist restaurants, and supermarkets accept credit card payments, local restaurants, and shopping require "cash" payments.

However, there are some exchange offices that do not support your currency exchange. (Only dollars, euros, and pounds).

In that case, you have to withdraw from an ATM. (The fee for this will cost you two meals...)



Thank you for reading this far.

Albania is the last unexplored country in Europe.🇦🇱

I'm Asian! But as long as you have a minimum level of self-protection, you should have no problem at all, and you can enjoy the Balkan cuisine and architecture quite inexpensively.

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Japanese Language Teacher🇯🇵【日本語教師】(used to be a Junior high school Japanese teacher/元中学国語教師) World Trip🌎/Education✏️【旅行・教育について】


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