By inertia, Albania remains an inaccessible country, although the situation is gradually improving as the tourism business develops.
According to official data, five airports were built here, but only one of them is involved in international air travel – the international airport of Mother Teresa located near Tirana.
Please see below the detailed information about this airport. Here you will find reference data, possible routes, transfers and their prices, as well as information about the airport’s transportation link to other cities.
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Rinas Airport in Tirana – the one, the only
Albania does not have a developed network of international airports, so the only way to get there is to go to Rinas. This place is 17 kilometers away from the capital Tirana (Northwest direction), and the airport is named in honor of Mother Teresa.
Rinas is connected by regular flights with major European cities, so it is easy to get to Tirana. The internal infrastructure gladdens the eye:
- free internet connection;
- tourist information center;
- exchange office;
- ATM; and
- smoking area.
The airport was built in 2007 and is among the newest ones in Europe.
Upon arrival in Albania, you will have to pay the aerodrome fee of 10 Euros.
Video of the Rinas Airport
After watching this video, one can understand how the Albanian air gate meets travelers.
The airport help desk can answer any questions by phone +355 (4) 23-81-800. A lot of useful information is also available on the official website of the Mother Teresa Airport (http://www.tirana-airport.com/). A good online desk is located at http://airport-online.ru/airport-albania/.
23 airlines have established regular communication with Tirana. Rinas accommodates domestic and international flights, with the base airlines being:
- Tafa Air;
- Albanian Airlines.
Aircrafts of many airlines fly to Rinas. The main ones are:
- TURKISH AIRLINES;
- BRITISH AIRWAYS;
- OLYMPIC AIRWAYS; nd
Baggage and passenger check-in starts about 2 hours 40 min (domestic airlines) before departure and ends 40 minutes before it. 10 minutes less is provided to international flight passengers.
For successful registration, you will need two documents – your passport and a ticket. When processing an electronic ticket, the administration will require only your passport.
How to get to Tirana
We will immediately disappoint you – there are no direct flights to Tirana. But there is a lot of “connecting” cities:
- Istanbul – USD 565 (lower limit);
- Budapest – about 300;
- Milan – from 567;
- Athens – from 1,010; and
- Rome – from 578.
If you want to save money, you can combine several modes of transport.
For example, you can get to Istanbul, Sofia or Athens by plane, and then change to a cheap bus, leaving for Tirana. The cost of the pleasure is approximately as follows:
- Istanbul-Tirana – 35 Euros (20 hours on the way);
- Athens-Tirana – 35 Euros (9.5 hours on the way);
- Sofia -Tirana – 25 Euros (22 hours on the way).
When traveling on the Albanian land, information about renting apartments in Albania will be helpful. This is very important for the travelers who prefer resting independently from the obsessive rules.
For those traveling to this country for the first time, it is important to know what kind of visa to Albania is required. See details here. We only wish your journey to be successful.
Moving around the country
The airport is 17 kilometers away from Tirana, so you should think in advance about the transfer from the airport.
The best option is a taxi, and the trip will take about 25 minutes. The cost of the trip (Rinas-Tirana) will fluctuate within 17 Euros.
Experienced travelers are advised to use the services of licensed taxis which can be easily identified by the red ATEx logo on a yellow background.
The bus is a cheaper option. The bus goes to the capital hourly, all day long (06.00-18.00). The final stop is the National Museum (located in the city center). The ticket price is 1.8 Euros.
Some people prefer renting a car to state-owned taxis and buses – this is also not a problem. Many rental offices, including the famous Europcar, are successfully operating in Albania.
As an alternative, we can offer Tivat and Podgorica as alternatives – these airports are located in Montenegro, but only a couple of hundred kilometers away from the best Albanian resorts.
To successfully move between the Albanian and Montenegrin airports, you need to have an idea about the internal transport network of Albania.
You can use the following options:
- Train. The Albanian railway communication is in a deplorable state – local residents do not use it at all. Local trains are uncomfortable – toilets do not work, there are no glasses in the windows.
Passenger trains run between Tirana, Shkodër, Durres, Pogradec, and Elbasan.
- Buses and shuttle buses. There are a great many of them in Albania since this is the most democratic and relatively fast way to move. Bus stations are far from being everywhere, so you need to look for heavy traffic points. It is not possible to find a ticket office, so tickets are purchased directly in the bus. From Tirana, you can reach Athens for 25 Euros.
- Car rent. It is also a good option. Previously, Albania was “famous” for the abominable state of the roadway, but now the situation has changed radically – new highways are built every year. You can book a car through the online websites of rental offices.
- Ferry service. The Albanian resorts of Durres and Vlora are connected by ferry to the Italian ports of Bari, Ancona, Trieste and Brindisi, and there is a ferry from Saranda to Corfu.
Let’s summarize. Now Albania can boast only one international-class airport located in close proximity to Tirana.
The price of the flight can vary between 565 and 1,010 Euros, but you can save money by flying to Greece or Bulgaria and doing the rest of the way by bus. Have a nice trip!