Tirana hitchhiking and transport tips
Tirana International Airport is located 11km north-west of Tirana in the village of Rinas. Numerous airlines operating services here including British Airways (London-Gatwick), Lufthansa (Munich), Blu-express (Bologna, Rome, Venice) & Turkish Airlines (Istanbul).
Tirana train station is currently under construction as of late 2012, so for the moment there are no train services to Tirana. Instead, there is a replacement bus service to Vorë where passengers can catch trains to the southwest (Durres) & north (Shkoder).
Bus travel in Tirana can be separated into two forms: buses and private mini-van (furgon). Furgons leave as soon as they are full so there are no fixed timetables as such. There is also no central bus station and buses and mini-vans leave and drop off at different points around the city. Check out the latest information here or look at the information and map below:
→ International buses, such as Montengro and Kosovo, often depart from behind the National History Museum on Rruga Ded Gjo Luli.
→ Buses to Durrës leave from north of Sheshi Skënderbej and the end of Bulevardi Zogu I. Buses to Shkodër depart nearby, from Rruga Karl Gega.
→ Furgons & buses heading south-east towards Elbasan, Pogradec and Korça will most likely depart from beside the north-east corner of the Qemal Stafa stadium.
→ A large number of furgons and buses heading south, including to Berat, depart from the largest bus terminal in the city which is west of the centre on Rruga Muhedin Llagani.
City buses in Tirana are not fast but they are cheap (30 LEK). Those with the sign ‘Unaze’ are for the ring road and travel in a loop around the city centre. There are also lines serving suburban shopping centres and Tirana Airport and most go through the central square Sheshi Skënderbej.
Tirana is connected to Durrës in the east by the SH2 & SH6. The main road running north is the SH1 which connects to Shkoder and on to Montenegro. The SH3 main road travels south to Elbasan, and then east to Macedonia.
Tirana Hitchhiking Out
Hitchhiking out of Tirana is very doable. People will stop, however, they will sometimes ask for money. Our advice is to make sure that your driver understands the lift is free before getting in the car. Read about our first experience of hitchhiking in Albania to prepare yourself the journey ahead.
North towards Shkodër, Montenegro and Kosovo
First head to the square Zogu i Zi. From here, follow the large street Rr. Dritan Hoxha away from the centre for about 100m. On the right side of the road runs a bus to Kamez (no number: look for Kamez on the front: 30 lek). Take this bus to the last stop (20-25 min). Having exited the bus, walk towards and across the roundabout 20 m away. You can start hitching from the other side.
West towards Durrës
The key is to get as far along as Rr. Durrësit as you dare. Go too far and the cars are going too fast, too close to the city and everybody is a taxi and buses harass you. We took a bus from Sheshi Skënderbej in the direction of Durres and got off when we thought it was far enough. We recommend before the Zogu i Zi roundabout or after on Rr. Dritan Hoxha.
South towards Elbasan & East towards Macedonia
There is a free bus from opposite Kulla e Sahatit (Clock Tower) that takes you all the way from the city centre to the out of town shopping centre Tirana East Gate, that leaves ever 20 min from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Once you reach Tirana East Gate, head back to the road and start thumbing from the other side of the roundabout.
Written by: Jon