How to get from Tirana to Berat?
I was travelling from Tirana to Berat recently and I just wanted to share the information to help you plan your trip from Tirana to Berat in Albania.
How to get from Tirana to Berat? You can get from Tirana to Berat by bus, by taxi or with a rental car. There is no train connection. The bus from Tirana to Berat costs 400 LEK (3.50 euros) for a single journey and it takes 2 hours and 45 minutes. A taxi from Tirana to Berat costs 8290 LEK (68 euros) for a one-way trip and it takes 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Many travellers in Albania want to get from Tirana to Berat, because Berat is a Unesco heritage site in Albania. Moreover, Berat is close to Tirana, so it is even worth visiting for 1 night or as a day trip.
Make sure you read the information below carefully, because some of the websites online give incorrect or outdated travel information about how to get from Tirana to Berat.
Getting from Tirana to Berat
You can get from Tirana to Berat by bus, by taxi, with a rental car or you can day book a tour from Tirana.
How to get from Tirana to Berat by bus?
You can get from Tirana to Berat by bus. The bus journey from Tirana to Berat takes 2 hours and 45 minutes.
However, it is important to calculate extra time for your journey. Because the bus from Tirana to Berat does not depart from the city center of Tirana. Instead, the bus from Tirana to Berat departs from the “Intercity Bus Terminal – South Zone”.
This is the name and the address of the Intercity Bus Terminal – South Zone:
Terminali i Autobusave Nderqytetas Zona Jug,
Veri dhe Durres, Kthesa e Kamzës, Rruga Kastriotet, Kashar, Shqiperi, Tiranë
The Intercity Bus Terminal South Zone is located in the outskirts of Tirana, and it will take you approximately 10-15 minutes to travel from the city center to the bus terminal.
From the city centre of Tirana, you can travel to the Intercity Bus Terminal South Zone by taxi or by bus. You can take the bus in the direction of “Instituti”, which departs behind the National History Museum in the Dede Gjo Luli Street (In Albanian: Rruga Dede Gjo Luli). The bus to Instituti stops at the bus terminal.
Attention! The location of the Intercity Bus Terminal has recently changed. If you read any information online about travelling to Shiponje or the Dogana roundabout in order to get on a bus. Then, please disregard this information! Because the Intercity Bus Terminal is no longer located near the Dogana roundabout. Instead, please travel to new address above to get to the Intercity Bus Terminal.
How many buses are there from Tirana to Berat each day?
There are around 30 bus departures per day that drive from Tirana to Berat, so you do not have to worry about missing the bus.
Busses from Tirana to Berat depart between 5:40 AM and 17:30 PM. Basically, there is a bus departure from Tirana to Berat roughly every 30 minutes.
You can check the up-to-date bus timetable from Tirana to Berat on the website of Gjirafa Autobus (https://gjirafa.com/autobus). Gjirafa Autobus is an Albanian website that publishes bus timetables online for travel in Albania. You can see the different busses by different operators on a daily basis.
At the same time, it might be just as easy to simply travel to the Intercity Bus Terminal South Zone. Once you arrive at the bus terminal, you will be able to see the bus destination in the front window of each bus. And because there are so many, regular bus connections to Berat, you do not have to worry about waiting a long time.
How much does the bus from Tirana to Berat cost?
The bus trip from Tirana to Berat costs 400 LEK (3.50 euros) for a single journey or 800 LEK (7 euros) for a return trip.
You do not have to book a bus ticket online. In Albania, it is expected that you pay for the bus ticket in cash. Foreign currency is normally not excepted, so bring some Albanian Lek in cash.
Please ensure that you exchange some of your foreign currency on the way to the bus station. Currency exchange is very popular and common in Albania, so you will certainly see many currency exchange offices around the city.
Please do not expect to pay your bus ticket with a debit or credit card. Albanian people do not pay for their bus journey with a payment card. Moreover, the bus driver will probably not be able to process a card payment.
What to expect if I travel from Tirana to Berat by bus?
If you choose to travel from Tirana to Berat by bus, you will save money. Because a taxi or car rental are significantly more expensive.
However, you must consider that travelling with the local bus in Albania is not a luxury trip. The busses in Albania are usually older mini-van busses, which have been used for many years.
Moreover, you must be patient, if you decide to travel with the local bus. Busses in Albania are operated by independent drivers. So most likely the bus driver is the owner of the mini-bus.
Therefore, it is very likely, that the bus driver will make plenty of stops along the road, to let more passengers on board. Because more passengers means more money for the bus driver.
How to get from Tirana to Berat by taxi?
It is very comfortable to get from Tirana to Berat by taxi.
For a taxi journey from Tirana to Berat, you can expect to pay around 8290 Lek (68 Euros) for a one-way trip. Obviously, the prices can vary slightly between different taxi operators.
Where can I book a taxi from Tirana to Berat?
You can book a taxi from Tirana to Berat with different taxi companies in Albania. The most popular taxi companies are Merr Taxi (https://merrtaxi.com/), the UPs taxi app, the Speed taxi app and the Taxi.al app.
It is not possible to order an Uber in Albania, because Uber has not launched in Albania yet. Although, there were some rumours about Uber launching in Albania in 2015, they have not launched until this day.
However, you can download several taxi apps, which work in Albania. These three apps are a good alternative to using Uber in Albania.
1) UPs Taxi app
UPs taxi does not own the taxis, but instead it connects the customer with the taxi drivers in the nearby area. The app is available in English.
You can download the UPs taxi app from the Play Store here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.upstaxi.taxi.rider
You can download the UPs taxi app from the Apple store here:
2) Speed Taxi app
Speed Taxi is a licensed taxi company in Albania. So if you request a taxi via their app, you will be picked up by one of the branded Speed taxi cars with a driver.
You can download the Speed taxi app from the Play store here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=al.speedtaxi.app&hl=en
You can download the Speedtaxi app from the Apple store here:
3) Taxi.al app
The Taxi.al app is similar to Uber, since private taxis and drivers register on their website. And if you request a taxi, your request will be passed to a driver nearby. In most cases, you will settle the bill in cash with the driver.
You can download the Taxi.al app from the Play store here:
You can download the Taxi.al app from the Apple store here:
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How to get from Tirana to Berat with a rental car?
It is easy to get from Tirana to Berat with a rental car. If you plan on flying to Tirana International Airport, you can rent a car in the airport terminal building.
Many of the well-known, international car rental companies, have an office in the airport terminal building. Here is a list of car rental companies and their direct email addresses:
- Hertz (www.hertzalbania.com or firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Sixt Rent a Car (www.sixt.com or email@example.com)
- Avis (www.avis.al)
- Enterprise rent-a-car (www.albaniacarrentals.com or firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Eurocar rentals (www.europcar.com.al or email@example.com)
- Albania Airport Rent a Car (www.albaniarentalcars.com or firstname.lastname@example.org)
- ARA Auto Rental (www.ara.al or email@example.com)
- Green motion (www.greenmotion.com or firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Pepa Rent Car (peparentcar.al or email@example.com)
- RCA Rent a car in Albania (www.rca.al or firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Sicily by Car (www.sicilybycar.al or email@example.com)
For an average car rental in Albania, you can expect to be charged roughly 20 euros per day by the car rental company. Obviously, high-end cars or 4-wheel drive cars are more expensive.
However, for the drive from Tirana to Berat, you do not need a 4-wheel drive car. The road between Tirana and Berat has recently been renovated. The motorway is of excellent quality, as you would expect elsewhere in Europe.
Important! Before you rent a car in Albania, you must ask yourself, if you are a confident and experienced driver. Driving in Albania can be hazardous at times and traffic in the cities can be chaotic.
Unfortunately, not all drivers in Albania follow the rules of the road. Therefore, I can only recommend renting a car and driving, if you are an experienced driver. In Albania, your alertness whilst driving will certainly be tested, because you will come accross drivers, who do not follow the driving guidelines.
If you are unsure if renting a car in Albania is the right decision for you, then I do recommend you hire a car with a local driver or book a tour instead. Because when it comes to driving in Albania, it is simply better to be save than sorry.
How to drive from Tirana to Berat?
Driving from Tirana to Berat is quite straightforward. From Tirana’s city center, you must get on the motorway from Tirana’s city center to Durres. This motorway also passes by Tirana International Airport, so if you have arrived at the airport, you are already familiar with this road.
Then from Durres, you must follow the motorway to Berat. The motorway from Durres, passes by Kavaje city and Lushjne city along the way, before ending in Berat.
The motorway between Tirana and Berat is of a good quality. The road has recently been renewed and it is well maintained.
Can I get from Tirana to Berat by train?
You cannot get from Tirana to Berat by train, because there are no effective train connections.
Important! When I searched online, websites like rail.cc and Rome2rio gave the impression that you can travel from Tirana to Berat by train. However, this information is not correct.
Albanian people do not travel by train, because the rail network and trains in Albania are in a poor condition and in need of refurbishment.
The rail network was constructed during the communism regime, which lasted from 1944 until 1991. Afterwards, there was a revolution and the Albanian people broke the rail network down, since it was a reminder of the hard times during the communism regime.
Since the fall of the communism, the rail network has not been expanded, updated, refurbished or maintained. As a result, there are very few active trains in Albania, and these are very irregular and slow.
I would recommend, that you travel from Tirana to Berat with a bus, a rental car or you book a tour. And trust me, if you would ask any of the local people in Albania, they will definitely not recommend you to travel anywhere by train.
Booking a day tour from Tirana to Berat
One of the best way to travel from Tirana to Berat is by booking a day tour.
Basically, Berat is one of the touristic highlights in Albania. The historical city center of Berat is a protected Unesco Heritage site. And the historical neighbourhoods in Berat are very pretty and attractive for sightseeing.
It makes a lot of sense to book a day tour to Berat from Tirana. Because a day tour includes the transportation to Berat, as well as the main sightseeing highlights in Berat. And what you will soon discover is that a day tour to Berat costs almost the same, as a taxi or private car.
The added advantage of a day tour to Berat is that you get to see the most beautiful touristic highlights. You will be shown sights like the Kala Castle on the mountain top, the historical neighbourhoods, the Ethnographic Museum and the Museum of Iconography.
How far is Berat from Tirana?
Berat is 97.8 kilometers from Tirana. Therefore, a direct car journey from Tirana to Berat will take roughly 1 hour and 40 minutes, depending on traffic.
A bus trip from Tirana to Berat will take 2 hours and 45 minutes, because the busses drive slower and you can expect the local bus to make several stops along the way.
Is Berat worth visiting?
Berat is definitely worth visiting for all travellers in Albania.
Simply said Berat is a touristic highlight that you cannot miss in Albania. The city is a Unesco Heritage site. Because Berat’s historical center is a great example of architecture,which was typical during the Turkish-Ottoman empire.
One of the most impressive sights in Berat is the Berat Castle (also called: Kala Castle) on the top of the hill. The castle was built in the 13th century and there are many Byzantine chures and several Mosks inside the castle walls.
From the Castle of Berat, you will have impressive, panoramic views of the historical city of Berat and the surrounding mountain landscape.
Another reason to visit Berat are the old neighbourhoods, called the Mangalem quarter and the Gorica quarter. These old neighboorhoods were built on the side of the hill and they have a very romantic athmosphere.
Berat is also called “the city of a thousand windows”, because from the valley, you can see all the little white houses, with their wooden windows stacked on top of each other. This stunning view is even more beautiful in the early evening, when all the little houses light up!
Within Albania, Berat is also recognized as a “museum city”. Because strolling on the cobblestone streets in the old neighboorhoods is like walking through a real life museum. Many of the traditional houses have been converted into restaurants, cafes and hotels and are beautifully maintained.
Things to do in Berat
The best things to do in Berat are visiting the Berat Castle, the Holy Trinity Church, the Museum of Iconography, the National Ethnographic Museum of Berat, the Mangalem neighbourhood, the Gorica neighbourhood and the Gorica Bridge.
The Berat Castle (also called: Kala fortress) is an enourmous castle on the top of the hill in Berat. From the castle, you will have an amazing panoramic view in all directions. From the hilltop, you will see the old city, the river and the surrounding mountain landscape.
Within the castle walls, you will walk through a village-like neighbourhood, called Kala. Until this day, some people are still living within the castle walls. The castle dates back to the 13th century and there are many Byzantine churches within the walls and one Ottoman mosque.
Holy Trinity Church in Berat
The Holy Trinity Church is one of the best preserved churches inside the Berat castle. It will be one of the first buildings you see, as you walk up the hill towards the upper castle. The church is very beautiful and quite an eye-catcher. It was build in the 14th-century and still remains beautiful until this day.
Museum of Iconography “Onufri”
The Museum of Iconography is a museum with religious painting from several Albanian monasteries. The museum is located within the castle walls in the largest church on the premises, called “the Church of the Dormition of St. Mary”. The museum is named “Onufri” after the Albanian fresco and icon-painter.
National Ethnographic Museum of Berat
Just down the hill from the Berat castle, you can visit the National Ethnographic Museum of Berat. The museum is inside a beautiful 18th-century Ottoman house. On the ground floor, you can see a traditional medieval bazaar with embroidery, woodcarving and metalworking shops. On the second floor, you can visit a traditional house with a guest room, a kitchen and a work room.
Mangalem Quarter & Gorica Quarter
The Mangalem & Gorica Quarters are the traditional neighbourhoods build on the side of the hill. You will see hundreds of little white Ottoman-style houses. From the bottom of the hill, it looks like the little houses are stacked on top of each other. Therefore, Berat is called “the city of a thousand windows”. In short, Berat is a very romantic city with an Italian atmosphere.
Gorica Bridge of Berat
The Gorica Bridge is one of the most beautiful Ottoman bridges in the Balkan region. The bridge is stunning work of architecture, which is 130 meters long and it has 7 supporting arches.
The Gorica bridge is very picturesque and it connects the two old neighbourhoods of Berat: the Mangalem neighboorhood and the Gorica neighboorhood. The bridge crosses the bright blue Osumi river in the valley underneath Berat castle.
The bridge was originally built in 1780 by Ahmed Kurt, who was the Pasha (local leader) of Berat. But it was damaged at the end of the First World War. Luckily, the bridge went through a beautiful reconstruction in the 1920s.
I am an Albania Tour Guide, who organizes 1-day, 2-day or multiple day private tours in Albania. I arrange your transportation and I am your English speaking guide. So that, you get to experience the most beautiful places in Albania!
Kind regards, Manon
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