There are 5 airports in Albania, but only one accepts international flights – them. Mother Teresa, 11 km northwest of Tirana. There are no direct flights from Russia, but you can easily get there with transfers. The cheapest tickets from Moscow are offered by Aegean Airlines: departure from Domodedovo, docking in Athens, travel time – from 5 hours 45 minutes. The same carrier has routes with two transfers in tandem with Olympic Air: almost a day on the road with stops in Thessaloniki and Athens.
Pegasus Airlines flies from Domodedovo via Istanbul in 6 hours, Pobeda and Turkish Airlines – from Vnukovo with a similar connection and 22.5 hours. The fastest flights are with Air Serbia: exactly 5 hours from Sheremetyevo via Belgrade. According to populationmonster, Tirana is one of the largest cities in Albania.
It is also more profitable to fly from St. Petersburg to Tirana with Aegean Airlines: transfer in the Greek capital, duration – 14 hours. The cheapest flights with two connections are organized by the trio of Onur Air, Pegasus Airlines and Es Seven: 33 hours 40 minutes via Moscow and Istanbul. “Russia” and “Austrian Airlines” will help to save time: they will make a transfer via Vienna in 6 hours and 20 minutes.
- How to get from Durres to Vlora
You can travel between Albanian cities by trains operated by HSH. Railway communication connects Tirana, Durres, Shkoder, Pogradets, Vlora and Elbasan. The busiest traffic between Tirana and Durres is up to 6 trains per day, running from 5:30 to almost 20:00, tickets for 70 ALL. In other directions, 1-2 trains per day are provided. From Shkoder to Vlora you can get for 340 ALL, from Pogradets to Elbasan – for 140 ALL. In general, Albanian trains cannot be classified as comfortable, but if you decide to take such a trip, the reward will be stunningly picturesque views outside the window.
Buses also run between cities, but there are no bus stations with timetables and ticket offices: you will have to ask local residents and buy a ticket right in the cabin. And get ready for a long trip: taking into account the terrain, the quality of the roads and the technical condition of the fleet, the speed is unlikely to exceed 40 km/h.
Public transport within cities
You can move around the cities of the country by minibuses and buses. The former, called “vans” here, are the most popular mode of transport. They are 9- and 12-seater minibuses of white and red coloring, setting off when all the seats are occupied. Each city has one or more “van” stations. The greatest revival is observed there in the first half of the day, in the afternoon the activity noticeably decreases. Payment is made directly to the driver.
Municipal buses are more convenient in terms of travel comfort and depart on schedule (which, however, is not so easy to find out). They also run mainly until 15:00-16:00, it is better not to plan a trip for a later time. Ticket price – 40 ALL, you need to pay the driver.
There are taxi ranks in large cities, mostly near hotels, so catching a car on the street is pointless. It is better to agree on the price in advance, the standard fare is 300 ALL for landing and 100 ALL for each km (at night and on weekends trips are more expensive). Bicycle rentals are a rarity: roads, again, spoil all the fun. But in the mountains for fans of two-wheeled transport – pure expanse: in agencies that organize bike tours on the slopes, you can rent a bike from 1900 ALL per day.
Rent a Car
Car rental is a relatively new trend in Albania. You can rent a car only in large cities, for this you will need international rights. Large European car rental companies such as Hertz, Avis and Europcar, as well as a few local ones like AlbaRent, appear on the market. International offices rent compact cars for 5400 ALL, station wagons for 7500 ALL, premium models for 8200 ALL per day. Local agencies have slightly lower prices: a modest car can be rented for 3400-3800 ALL per day. The cost of gasoline is 150 ALL per 1 liter.
The insurance that came with your rental agreement should cover CDW (damage), TPL (civil liability), and TW (theft). It is worth clarifying the size of the franchise – the smaller it is, the more profitable.
If you are not a driving guru, it is recommended to entrust it to the locals, for example, by agreeing with a taxi driver on an hourly basis – the Albanian driving style is very chaotic, which, coupled with a large number of repaired and heavily winding roads, is unlikely to please an average driver.
Parking spaces along the sidewalks are a rarity: everywhere there are concrete colored “stumps” that prevent you from parking your car. Most hotels and shopping centers have parking lots, but during the high season in Tirana, Durres and Saranda there are almost no places to find. The cost of paid parking is from 100 ALL per hour. The traffic police is loyal to tourists: if there are no serious violations, no one will disturb the foreigner once again.
- Are Russian national driving licenses suitable for traveling in Albania
Communication and Wi-Fi
There are two key mobile operators in Albania: Vodafone Albania and ALBtelecom. The signal quality is acceptable, but communication problems may occur far from large cities and resort areas. SIM cards are sold in specialized stores and kiosks; you need a passport to connect. ALBtelecom has prepaid packages for 7 days starting from 300 ALL with 200 minutes of calls within the country and 1 GB of mobile internet. Both operators offer International tariffs for 300-500 ALL with international calls included, but Russia is not yet included in the list of partner countries, so you will have to pay from 100 ALL per minute for telephone communication with your homeland.
You can also call home from a payphone, but you will not find a suitable one right away: there are international automatic machines only on the central streets of big cities. The only alternative in the province is post offices.
Albanian Internet connection is developing relatively recently: there are Wi-Fi points only in hotels, libraries and some catering establishments. Internet cafes are gradually opening, but in order not to depend on circumstances, it is more convenient to buy a SIM card with prepaid traffic.