How to get from Tirana airport to city centre?
I fly to Albania frequently, and I have travelled from Tirana airport to the city centre by taxi, by bus and with a rental car. But every time, I figured out the transportation by myself, as I could find little information online. So, I decided to write a helpful blogpost about it.
How to get from Tirana airport to the city centre? You can get from Tirana airport to the city centre by bus, by taxi, by private car or with a rental car. It takes 30 minutes to travel from Tirana airport to the city centre. By bus it costs 250 LEK (€2), by taxi it costs 2500 (€20), a private transfer is €12 – €31 and a rental car is €20-€50 a day.
The best way to get from Tirana airport to the city centre, depends on your arrival time and your travel budget. For instance, you could save money, if you travel by bus. However, if you arrive during the night, you may not be able to take the bus. So, let’s dig a little deeper, so you can decide what transportation is right for you.
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Transportation from Tirana airport to the city centre
You can travel from Tirana airport to the city centre by bus, by taxi, by private transfer or with a rental car. The sub headers below will give you all the information you need.
Tirana airport bus to city
From Tirana airport, you can take a shuttle bus to the city centre of Tirana. The shuttle bus is called the Rinas Express and it is operated by LUNA travel. The bus services run from 8:00 am until 23:00 pm every day. And there is one bus departure every hour.
The shuttle bus brings you from Tirana International airport to the centre of Tirana. The bus drops you off at Skanderbeg Square, which is the central square of Tirana. The bus stop is close to the National Museum, the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet, the Ethem Bey Mosque and the Tirana International hotel. The distance between the airport and the centre is only 17 kilometres. Therefore, the bus trip from Tirana airport to the city centre takes only 30 minutes.
The fare for the shuttle bus is very low. A bus ticket costs 250 Albanian LEK, which is less than €2.00. There is no need possibility to book the bus tickets online. Therefore, you can simply get on the bus and buy your ticket. If you do not have Albanian LEK yet, then you can pay for your bus ticket in euros.
The airport bus stop is just to the south of the terminal building. When you walk out of the airport building it is to your left.
If you plan to travel from the city centre to Tirana airport, you need to find the bus station, which is behind the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet. The bus runs from the centre to the airport between 7:00 am and 22:00 pm.
Here is the Tirana airport bus timetable:
|From Tirana airport to the city centre||From the city centre to Tirana airport|
How much is a taxi from Tirana airport to city centre?
A taxi from Tirana airport to the city centre costs 2500 Leke (€20.00) for a one-way trip.
The airport taxis are the fastest way to get to the city centre. As a taxi journey will take only 20 – 25 minutes depending on the traffic. Moreover, since the airport taxis are always waiting right outside the terminal building, you can depart instantly.
Compared to the airport shuttle bus, the price for a taxi is very high. However, the taxi can depart right away. Whereas if you were to take the bus, you would have to wait for its hourly departure time. Moreover, the taxis are available 24 hours, while the bus only departs from 8:00 am until 23:00 pm.
The taxis are parked right in front of the airport terminal building. It is best to take an official Tirana Airport Taxi. The taxis are operated by Auto Holiday Albania (AHA). The licenced taxis are yellow, they have an Auto Holiday Albania Logo and a Tirana airport logo on both sides.
How much is a private transfer from Tirana airport to city Centre?
A private transfer from Tirana airport to the city centre costs between €12.00 – €31.00. The advantage of a private transfer is that the driver will be given your flight number. As soon as you get to the arrival hall, someone will be waiting for you to bring you to your hotel.
You can book a private car with many different companies. But the price differences between the car companies are very big. The cheapest private car service may only cost you €12.00 for 3 passengers. However, a more expensive company might charge you €31.00, which is more than double. Moreover, it might not be worth paying €31.00 for a transfer, if an airport taxi only costs €20.00.
Prices for private car services vary massively, therefore, I will give you a quick overview of some of the prices available online.
Gettransfer.com offers the cheapest private cars from Tirana Airport to the city centre. You can book a car for 3 persons for €12.00 – €14.00. Moreover, they also offer an SUV for 5 persons for €14.00 – €15.00.
You can also book a private transfer with Booking.com. At their website a transfer for 4 x persons will cost you €16.00.
And finally, there are the more expensive private transfers. With Shuttle Direct, you can book a private transfer for €23.00 for 4 persons. And Sun Transfers offer a private taxi for €31.00 for 4 people.
Tirana airport car rental
You can also rent a car at Tirana airport and drive to the city centre. The distance from Tirana airport to the city centre is 17 kilometres. Therefore, the drive will take you approximately 30 minutes.
Renting a car at the airport is very simple. There are offices for all the major car rental companies in the arrival hall of the airport. You can rent a car from Eurocar Rentals, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Avis, Europcar, Sixt and Hertz.
It is very easy to drive from the airport to the city centre. The airport is near to the highway between Durres and Tirana. The highway is a direct connection between Tirana airport and the city centre. From the airport parking, simply follow the signage for Tirana, which will lead you to the highway. You cannot go wrong once you are on the highway, keep following the road to the centre of Tirana.
A rental car at Tirana airport costs between €20.00 – €50.00 per day. The prices for a car rental vary depending on the brand, the age, the duration of the rental and insurance coverage. Before your trip, you can compare prices online with the different providers.
Can I pay for my transportation in euros?
You can pay for your transportation from Tirana Airport to the city centre in euros. The Rinas express bus usually costs 250 Leke, but it is also possible to pay €2.00 instead.
The official airport taxis quote their prices in both Albanian LEK and euros. Therefore, you can either pay 2500 Leke or €20.00 as you prefer.
When it comes to a private car or a rental car, it is easiest to book it online before your trip. So that you can compare the prices. You can give the car rental company or your private transfer, your flight arrival time and flight number. So that the car is ready upon your arrival. When it comes to car rentals or private transfers, it is easy to pay online with your credit card.
Can I exchange money at the airport to pay for my transfer?
There are currency exchange offices at the airport. It is always smart to bring some cash euros, pounds or US dollars on your trip. So that, you have the possibility to exchange some currency, in case you need it immediately.
However, currency exchange is expensive at Tirana airport. Many foreigners will immediately rush to exchange their foreign currency at the airport. But compared to any currency exchange agency in the city, the currency exchange at the airport is very expensive. Currency exchange agencies in the city, have a margin of only 1%. However, you will be charged a much higher percentage at the airport.
It is best to bring some cash euros with you for your trip to Albania. At the airport, pay for your taxi, bus or transportation with euros. At your hotel in the city, also pay for the first night with cash euros. Once you have settled in, take a walk around the neighbourhood to find a currency exchange agency. This way, you save yourself the high exchange rates and withdrawal fees at the airport.
Is there an ATM machine at Tirana airport?
There are several ATM machines at Tirana airport. In the arrival hall, you will find ATM machines of Tirana Bank, Raiffeisen Bank, Banka Kombetare Tregtare and Procredit Bank. You may not be familiar with any of the banks, because they are all Albanian brands.
However, ATM withdrawal fees and paying with card, is relatively expensive in Albania. Moreover, some bank machines may charge you a “hidden fee”. Let me explain in more detail.
Within the European Union, banks must clearly show their fees, before you withdraw money. Basically, there are rules and regulations in the EU, that force banks to be transparent. However, Albania is not a part of the European Union (yet). Therefore, not all ATM machines in Albania disclose their fees.
Moreover, because your bank card is in a foreign currency, there is also a currency exchange fee. And some of the Albanian banks set their own exchange rates, which are relatively high.
So, when you withdraw €100.00 from the ATM machine, you might be charged €4.00 or €5.00 in fees by the Albanian bank. Not all the ATM machines and banks are the same though. So, it is smart to set up some text alerts or check your internet banking. Moreover, bring some cash with you, because currency exchange at an agency is very affordable in Albania.
For more information on using credit cards in Albania, check out my full guide here.
Where is the city centre of Tirana?
The city centre of Tirana is Skanderbeg Square (in Albanian: Sheshi Skënderbej). Skanderbeg Square is the main plaza or central square of the city.
There are many touristic attractions on Skanderbeg Square. If you stand on the middle of the square, you will see the National History Museum, Tirana International Hotel, the Palace of Culture, the National Opera, the Ethem Bey Mosque and the Clock Tower.
Moreover, the square connects to the “Road of the National Hero’s”. On this road, you can see the government buildings, like the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Ministry of Economics, the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Bank etcetera. A bit further along the road, you can see the Pyramid of Tirana, Bunk Art 2, the National Arts gallery, the Presidential palace and the Archaeological Museum.
From Tirana’s city centre, you can book a car to visit the famous Bunker museum “Bunk Art 1”, which you can combine with the Dajti Ekspress Cable Car. If you are interested in a car service, check out my transportation page here.
Where is Tirana airport?
Tirana airport 17 kilometres from the city centre of Tirana. Due to the short distance, it takes only 30 minutes to reach the centre of the city.
The airport is located along the highway between Durres and Tirana. Therefore, it is very easy to drive from the airport to either city. The highway is a new road, which is in a good condition.
Tirana airport is also known as:
- Tirana International Airport
- Airport Nene Tereza, which means Mother Teresa airport. Since Mother Teresa was originally from Albania, she is very popular in Albania.
- Rinas International Airport, because the airport is in the Rinas village. The village is located just north of the capital city.
Regardless of which name you hear; these names all refer to the same airport.
Tirana airport is the only airport in Albania. The capital city is in the centre of the country, which makes travel to the north or south convenient. If you are interested in visiting the Albanian Riviera in the south of Albania, check out my perfect itinerary here.
However, if you only plan on visiting the Albanian Alps in the north, you may consider flying to Podgorica in Montenegro. Equally, if you only plan on visiting the area around Saranda in the south, you can fly to the Greek Corfu island. From Corfu island, you can take a short ferry boat across the sea.
About Tirana International Airport
Tirana Airport is a small airport compared to the large European airports. The check-in area has 3 rows of desks and the departures hall has only 7 gates. If you compare Tirana airport to major European airports, it has all the facilities, but on a smaller scale. The airport is open 24 hours, but most of the restaurants and shops close after 10pm.
Tirana airport shops
There are several small shops on Tirana airport. There is a Vodafone store, where you can buy a local sim card. There is a small supermarket in the arrival hall. There are a few souvenir shops, which sell traditional Albanian food & drinks. There are two little bookstores, which sell books about Albania in English and some popular books. There are a few duty-free shops in the departure hall, which sell mostly liquor, perfume and cigarettes.
Tirana airport ATM
There are several ATM machines at the airport from Tirana Bank, Raiffeisen Bank, BKT bank and Procredit bank.
Tirana airport sim card
There is a Vodafone store in the arrival hall of Tirana airport, where you can buy a sim card.
Tirana airport smoking area
There is a smoking area in the departure hall. One of the bars has a little outside area, where you can smoke. Obviously, the inside area is a non-smoking area.
Tirana airport WIFI
Tirana airport has a free WIFI connection in the arrivals and departure halls.
Tirana airport arrivals
The Tirana airport website gives real-time updates on the Tirana airport arrivals here: http://www.tirana-airport.com/l/3/60/flight-information/real-time-arrivals/
Tirana airport departures
The Tirana airport website gives real-time updates on the Tirana airport departures here: http://www.tirana-airport.com/l/3/59/flight-information/real-time-departures/
Tirana airport map
This is a map of Tirana airport with all the facilities available.
Is there an airport hotel at Tirana airport?
There are three hotels close to Tirana airport. These are Hotel Airport Tirana, Best Western Premier Art Hotel and Hotel Villa Zeus. All these hotels are only 5 minutes away from the airport terminal.
Tirana airport parking
Tirana airport has parking spaces next to the airport terminal. The price for parking at Tirana airport is:
150 LEK (€1.00) for 1 hour
240 LEK (€2.00) for 1 – 4 hours
360 LEK (€3.00) for 4 – 7 hours
480 LEK (€4.00) for 7 – 12 hours
720 LEK (€6.00) for 12 – 24 hours
How to get from Tirana airport to Durres? You can get from Tirana airport to Durres by bus, by taxi, by private car or by rental car. There is no train connection. The bus cost 480 LEK (€4.00) and departs 5 times a day. A taxi or private transfer costs €23-€30 one way. Driving to Durres with a rental car will take you 30-40 minutes.
If you are interested in travelling from Tirana airport to Durres, check out my full-guide here!
Tirana Sky | Alma Mancuku | Pexels
Skanderbeg Square Tirana | Chris Walts | WikiCommons
Skanderbeg Square | Lee Turtle | WikiCommons
Tirana Airport Map | Tirana Airport website