Tirana

Long-distance buses

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Despite the importance of bus travel in Albania, Tirana has no bus station and only a handful of scheduled departures, indications of both the general shoddy state of the infrastructure in the country and the importance of local knowledge. Long-distance bus journeys are provided by an increasingly comfortable fleet of air-conditioned vehicles or for the more adventurous in the ubiquitous furgon, or minibus, a transport choice often held together with little more than a prayer and famous for departing only when all the seats are occupied and driven by people for whom safety appears to be a completely alien concept. Most long-distance buses leave in the mornings with only the most popular destinations served after lunch. At the time of writing, many of the streets in the city centre are undergoing extensive road works, a plan aimed at alleviating Tirana’s growing congestion problems that has forced many of the most popular long-distance departure points to relocate. As already touched up, local knowledge is the key to successful long-distance bus travel in Albania. Asking the locals about the current situation is by far the best way of getting where you need to get to without too much fuss. Tickets can usually be bought on board, although for the more popular routes it’s worth visiting one of the ticketing offices which can be found congregated behind the National History Museum and along the eastern side of Blv. Zogu I.

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