Think of transport in your city
How can someone get around?
What kinds of transport are available?
Are they expensive or cheap?
Are they comfortable?
Ueda Rrukaj XI-11
The public transportation has not enjoyed a good reputation throughout the
last 20 years and Tirana still does not have an accurate map of its public
transportation or other useful data related to it. Currently there are ten city
urban lines, ten rural lines to close villages or municipalities, four free
comercial lines and one express line to Mother Teresa Airport in Rinas.
Tirana has a few bus lines, marked on the map in this guide. A ticket costs
30 lek per ride regardless of distance, to be paid to the conductor on board.
Buses run every 6-15 minutes between 05:00 and 22:00. The days of
dilapidated old state buses conking out in the middle of the road are over -
Tirana has a fleet of privately-run buses, dipped liberally in
advertising.There is wide range of public buses within the cities and when
the bus is marked as “Unaze,” it means that it would travel in a loop within
Getting out of Tirana can be extremely confusing, as much for locals as
anybody else. You have the option of buses or furgons , which leave from
several hubs on the outskirts of the city that are prone to move from time to
time. Travelling times are totally dependent on what degree of „crazy‟ the
traffic out of town is currently operating at.
At the time of writing, furgons going north leave from the chaotic Zogu i Zi
roundabout – Kruja to the right (150 lekë, 45 minutes, 32km)
and Shkodra to the left (300 lekë, two hours, 116km). Keep asking until
someone points you in the right direction.
You can catch a furgon to Fier (400 lekë, 2½ hours, 122km), Vlora (400
lekë, three hours, 161km) and Gjirokastra (1000 lekë, five hours, 244km)
from Rruga e Kavajës, and there are also buses to Fier (300 lekë).
Furgons towards Macedonia (Elbasan and Pogradec) leave from a stand
by QemalStafa Stadium. Macedonia-bound buses going through Struga
(€10, six hours, 197km, six per week) and on to Tetovo, leave from the
patch of mud in front of the train station. Furgons and buses for Durrës (bus
100 lekë, furgon 150 lekë, 45 minutes, 38km) also leave from here.
Buses for Prishtina (€30, 10 hours, 343km, three daily) leave from behind
the museum near SheshiSkënderbej.
If all else fails, get in a taxi and say ‘furgon per [destination], jufalemnderit’.
It may not be great Albanian, but your taxi driver should understand and
they should know the latest departure points.
Albania‟s railway network is basic and slow, and has no services to
neighbouring countries. Unless you‟re a train fan, taking a bus faster and
more comfortable, though the run to Durres is perfectly bearable.
The run-down train station is at the northern end of BulevardiZogu
I. Albania‟s trains range from sort-of OK to very decrepit.Train stations are
located at the northern end of the city and trains travel to important places
like Durres, Vlora, Elbasn, Pogradec and Shkodra.Getting around by train
to these places costs different based on the distance traveled. Trains go
to Durrës (55 lekë, one hour, eight daily), Elbasan (160 lekë, four hours,
three daily), Pogradec (245 lekë, seven hours, twice daily), Shkodra (120
lekë, 3½ hours, twice daily) and Vlora (210 lekë, 5½ hours, twice daily).
Traveling by Car and Taxi
Taxis are a useful form of transport in Tirana, and after 22:00, they‟re the
only game in town. Several companies use meters and can print receipts;
our experience so far is that drivers do not have to be reminded to use
them. Rates start at 300 lek for the first 2km (sufficient for most city centre
trips) and 95 lek/km after that (count on paying 500-700 lek for a ride to the
outskirts). Between 22:00 and 07:00 the flagfall is 350 lek. Few drivers
speak English, so it's a good idea to write down the address, or to call
someone who can explain.When the taxi is booked from the hotel, it can
charge 100 lek over the normal charge of the taxi. There is also a facility for
mini-vans that run across the city.There are about 15 places within the city
where these mini-vans are located and thereby providing easy access.
Bicycles are rented from four stations at Rinia Park and along Deshmoret e
Kombit Boulevard. The system is part of the Ecovolis bicycle sharing
program launched in 2011. A full day ride is 100 leks in cost. Cycling in
the streets has been regarded as quite dangerous as bike lanes are
lacking. However, in recent years, combined bus and bike lanes have been
built on Tirana's main streets. Bike only lanes are located on existing
sidewalks along Skanderbeg Square, Lana River, and on Kavaja Street.
The city center is small enough to be explored by walking. Walking is a
rewarding experience, but beware that there is *no* continuity in sidewalk
width, construction material or condition. Sidewalks frequently end abruptly,
have large holes or are very narrow. It also can be confusing if you are not
familiar with the city. Street names are subject to change, so locals rarely
know them. It is advised to learn a to navigate via landmarks instead of
adresses or street names.
You can also orient yourself using the Lana River, which roughly bisects
the city into a North and South Half.