Traveling is one of the most beautiful things you can do in your life, but it’s not always easy. In Balkans, sometimes, it can be strenuous, if you take in consideration quality of roads, type of ride and transport itslef, but if you are planing some trip from Belgrade to Tirana or vice versa, we have some tips and tricks how to get easier, faster and cheaper to your final destination.
Considering that there is no direct line between Belgrade and Tirana, here are some tips to get from Belgrade to Tirana. There are three ways with a transfer that you can use: via Pristina, via Podgorica and via Macedonia.
VIA PRISTINA – tips and tricks
The shortest route is via Pristina, where the first section is the highway to Krusevac about 2:30, 3 hours, then about 2 hours to Pristina and then 4 hours over highway Pristina-Tirana. That means all together 9 hours. There is no direct bus line, so you need to travel from Belgrade to Pristina, and in Pristina to take another bus to Tirana.
The Belgrade-Pristina return ticket is around 25e, and from Pristina to Tirana is around 15e, which is around 40e for return ticket.
I would suggest you to book your place on the bus a few days before you leave, especially when you go from Tirana. It may happen that there is no place in the bus and you will have to stand all the way from Pristina to Belgrade.
Why I do not recommend the way from Serbia through Pristina? The issue of border crossings is not regulated yet and Serbian citizens, at the “administrative border”, should not give their passport because they will not be able to get back across that crossing to Serbia again. So far, I’ve been crossing with my ID card and there is no control between Kosovo* and Albania. The problem can arise in Albania if someone is looking for your documents or if you want to return via Montenegro, Macedonia, or perhaps by the plane, you will not have a seal that you have entered the country.
The route that I will suggest mostly is via Podgorica. I have traveled by car across Ljig, Preljine, Cacak, Prijepolje to Podgorica. From Podgorica you continue across Hani i Hotit border cross, Shkoder and get to Tirana. Approximately you need around 12 hours with breaks.
On the way to Podgorica, I usually take a break on Zlatibor mountain. Regarding the bus you will have a lot of short breaks, but on the bus stops. The road from Podgorica to Tirana takes about three hours, so you do not need a break. But, there are some specific tips and tricks so… If you want, I advise you to be Shkodra, where you can also visit the city and the fortress. If you want to taste the fish, I recommend the restaurant “Rozafa”. The price of the ticket is about 50 euros, as well as through Pristina.
For those who do not like to go over the Morača canyon, I recommend the way through Macedonia, i.e. Skopje, Tetovo, Gostivar, Ohrid and Elbasan (Albania). That is a litle bit shorter way than across Podgorica (around 10 hours), but it all depends on whether you’re going by bus or car. A good place for break is lake Ohrid, where you have a plenty of restaurants and a beautiful view. I cannot tell you how much it costs, because I went by organised bus. By bus it can’t be much more then 50-60 euros for the return ticket.
All the way, people are pleasant and hospitable, so I didn’t have negative experiences, ever, regarding breaks.
P.S. For those who have nausea on the road, I advise you not to go on a road without pills against nausea, because the path is long and not easy.