How long does it take to fly or drive to Albania? It’s a simple question, but there are a few things to consider. You’ll find out all about travel time to Albania in this short article. But don’t worry, I won’t keep you waiting and make you read a 10-minute-long text. The longest direct flight to Tirana is from Abu Dhabi and takes 6 hours. However, there are direct flights to Tirana from many cities in Europe, but more on that later.

travel time to albania
Tirana from above

General facts about Albania

To answer this short question, you need to know a few simple things:

  • Straight-line distance to Tirana (the capital of Albania) from:
    • London – 1900 km
    • Madrid – 2000 km
    • Warsaw – 1200 km
    • Istanbul – 760 km
  • Albania is located on the Balkan Peninsula, between Greece and Montenegro. And, by the way, it is washed by two seas. Despite that, the country is very small.
  • Albania’s international airport. Read all about the airport, where to get a PCR test, car rental, currency exchange in the article: Mother Teresa Airport.
    • There is only one airport in the entire country.
    • It is located in the capital.
    • It is called Mother Teresa Airport. By the way, Mother Teresa is the most famous Albanian in the world. You will find many more interesting facts about this country at the link.
    • IATA code for the airport: TIA
    • If you are traveling to Albania by plane, you will definitely arrive at Tirana Airport.

Travel time to Albania: by air

I won’t beat around the bush. First, the answer, then the explanations.

Important note:

Since there are direct flights to Tirana from most European (and not only) cities, your journey by plane is unlikely to be long. There are only no direct flights to Tirana from some countries in Northeastern Europe, such as Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. Passengers from these countries will have to fly with a transfer at major European hubs such as Frankfurt or Vienna.
direct flights to albania
Map of direct flights to Albania. Most flights are operated by low-cost airlines

And now a little explanation. Yes, a direct flight is cool and fast. But this method has a few downsides:

  • In 90% of cases, direct flights are operated by low-cost airlines like Wizz Air and Ryanair.
    • It’s inexpensive, but not always comfortable.
    • The seats are not the most comfortable.
    • These airlines have many additional charges for seat selection, baggage, and meals. As a result, the cost of the flight can be the same as that of a regular airline.
    • Often, the flights are in the evening or at night.
    • Personally, I don’t like late arrivals. By the time you get your luggage and reach the city, it’s already past midnight. And if you’re flying with children for a vacation, this schedule can be challenging for them. Here you can find detailed information about vacations in Albania with children.
how long to albania
List of cities from where there are direct flights of one low-cost airline. From other cities you will have to fly with a connection.

To sum it up: a direct flight to Tirana is fast but not always comfortable, especially if it’s operated by a low-cost airline. Flights with layovers or flights operated by regular airlines will be significantly more expensive. For detailed information on where to buy tickets and how to get to Tirana, read the article at the link.

How long does it take to drive to Albania: distance, roads

There is a category of travelers who love to wander around in their cars, campervans, and so on. The Balkans are perfect for this because they are not very far away.

Earlier, you read about the distance to Tirana from major cities and capitals. But that was the straight-line distance; even airplanes don’t fly that way. The numbers change when it comes to the roads. Below, I will suggest several main routes that most car tourists take to Albania, along with the distances and approximate travel times.

Important tips:

There are two important pieces of advice for planning a route to Albania. 1. Exclude Kosovo from your itinerary. Yes, it is safe there, but there might be issues at the borders, especially between Serbia and Albania, due to the tense political situation with Kosovo. 2. Try to avoid border crossings: Serbia – Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia – Montenegro. There are many mountains, passes, and serpentine roads. The driving speed is less than 40 km/h. We once spent 12 hours covering a 100 km stretch. However, the road quality there is excellent.
  • Berlin to Tirana. 1850 km. I recommend the route: Berlin – southern Germany – Austria – Croatia. With all the border crossings, it will take about 22 hours, slightly over a day, if you drive in shifts without overnight stays. One advantage is that the road passes through the magnificent Croatian coastline. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy the views of the Adriatic.
  • London to Tirana. The route here is more complex and longer. There are several options:
    • Through southern France and Italy. Travel time is about 35 hours. Here, you can also take a ferry from Italy across the Adriatic Sea.
    • There is an alternative option through southern Germany, Austria, and Croatia. This route is shorter and faster, and you’ll also have the chance to enjoy the Croatian coastline. However, there’s a risk of not reaching Albania and ending up staying at a resort in Croatia or Montenegro.
to albania by car
Example route by car from the United Kingdom or France to Albania.

In conclusion: What is travel time to Albania?

According to statistics, almost 65% of tourists fly to Albania, while the rest prefer traveling by their own cars. You already know how long it takes to fly to Albania on a direct flight: from an hour from the nearest capital to six hours from Abu Dhabi. And if you travel by car, you will discover new cities along the way to Albania.

Wishing you a fast and enjoyable journey to Albania!

Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Albania

  • Flights at the best prices with best discounts
  • Car rental in Albania (cheaper – only by bus):
    • DiscoverCars – a major international resource
    • LocalRent – the leader in the Albanian car rental market. Very low deposits, even in cash.
  • Hotels and apartments throughout the country:
    • Hotellook – compares prices among dozens of platforms and offer you the best one.
    • Booking – large online booking platform.
    • Agoda – even more accommodation options in Albania.
  • Tours, excursions and activities:
    • GetYourGuide – more than 550 tours
    • Viator – 920+ excursions and activities throughout the country
  • Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
  • Internet and Calls:
    • Airalo eSIM in Albania from $4.5
    • DRIMSIM – universal SIM card (or eSIM) in any country in the world.
  • Taxi and airport transfer: Intui.Travel