Getting to Albania

Reach Albania with ease – fly directly to Tirana Airport, sail across the Adriatic Sea, or bus through the Balkans on a scenic overland adventure.

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Reaching Albania

By Air

Flying directly into Albania is the fastest and most convenient option for international travelers.

Tirana International Airport is the only airport in Albania, just 15 minutes from Tirana.

Many major airlines offer direct flights to Tirana from European hubs like London, Paris, Rome, and Istanbul.

Popular routes from the U.S. are from New York (JFK) and Newark (EWR), with flight times averaging 12-14 hours, including layovers.

Most visitors can enter visa-free for up to one year.

Flying is ideal if you’re short on time or prefer direct transport. Just be aware that airfares to Tirana tend to be higher than other modes of transport.

By Sea

For a more scenic journey, consider taking the ferry:

High-speed boats and slower ferries sail to Saranda from Corfu, Greece, in under an hour.

Overnight ferries from Bari, Italy, take around 9 hours to reach Durrës on Albania’s coast.

These leisurely voyages offer beautiful coastal scenery at a lower cost than flying.

By Land

Overland options like buses are cheaper but involve long travel times:

  • From Greece: Buses from Athens (8 hours) and Thessaloniki (7 hours) reach Tirana.
  • A bus from Skopje, Macedonia (7.5 hours) connects to Tirana.
  • From Montenegro, a twice-weekly bus runs between Budva and Tirana.

Ground transport is best for travelers on a budget who value the overland experience.

Travel everywhere for less

Entering Albania

Albania has recently relaxed visa and tax policies, making tourism and short visits easy for citizens of many countries worldwide.

Visas

There is no longer a visa charge for foreigners entering Albania. Citizens of many countries, including EU/Schengen countries, the US, Canada, Australia, and others, can enter without a visa for up to 90 days.

Some passport holders from certain countries can even use their national ID card instead of a passport to enter visa-free.

Albania also allows visa-free entry for citizens of some additional countries if they have a valid residence permit or multi-entry visa from the Schengen area, UK, or US. For stays longer than 90 days, a type D visa will be required.

But for tourism and short trips, entering Albania is quite simple for most nationalities, thanks to the recent visa liberalization.

Road and tourist taxes upon entering or leaving have also been eliminated, further streamlining the entry process.

Getting Around Albania

Once you arrive, here are the best options for traveling within the country:

Buses

  • Buses go frequently to most destinations. Tickets are cheap but should be paid in cash.

Rental Cars

  • Convenient for exploring remote areas, but beware of aggressive local driving habits. 4x4s are best for rugged terrain.

Taxis

  • Taxis work for short trips within cities but agree on fares beforehand to avoid overcharging.

SIM Cards

  • A local SIM card ensures connectivity, especially in rural regions. Vodafone has good coverage.

Tips for Planning Your Trip

  • Weigh convenience and cost when picking your transport options.
  • Allow flexibility for potential delays or changes in schedules/routes.
  • Consider purchasing travel insurance for peace of mind.
  • Check official government sites for the latest visa and COVID-19 travel requirements.

With the right information and preparation, getting to and around this unique destination will be part of the adventure. Have an amazing trip to Albania!

Note: Always consult official sources for the most current travel information.

Although I was born in Albania, I've spent my adult life traveling there as a tourist. Being a native who visits frequently, I can give you an insider's view of Europe's best-kept secret.
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