It would seem that these two neighboring countries should have excellent transport links. Since from Podgorica to the border of Albania is only 20 km. From the article you will learn how to get from Montenegro to Albania and back. Types of transport, where to look, how much a ticket costs. There will be tips and tricks.

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how to get from montenegro to albania
The border between Montenegro and Albania: there are almost no queues, they pass very quickly

Montenegro to Albania: general points, types of transport

A few general points so that you understand the whole situation:

  • Both Montenegro and Albania are two small countries of the Balkan Peninsula
  • These are neighbors that have a common land and sea border
  • Distances:
    • Podgorica – Albanian border: 20km
    • Podgorica – Shkoder (major Albanian city): 55 km
    • Podgorica – Tirana: 150km. The countries are so small that the distance between the two capitals is only 150 km.

Interesting to know:

Despite the fact that both countries have excellent roads and very short distances, there are not so many types of transport for the average tourist.
how to get to albania from montenegro
The capital of Montenegro is located almost on the border with Albania

Here are some examples of how you CANNOT get from Montenegro to Albania:

  • There are no direct flights to Tirana. Neither from Tivat, nor from Podgorica. Only with a stopover in Belgrade or Budapest. In total, you will spend 6 hours of time and about 200 euros on tickets for these 150 km between the capitals. It is clear that no one uses this option.
  • There is a ferry between Montenegrin Bar and Albanian Durres. But it is cargo, it does not carry passengers. Also – we cross out this option.
  • Someone will ask – what about the railway? Here the situation is even worse. The only railway line from Montenegro to Albania is freight. Passenger trains do not run on it.
  • The railway in both countries is poorly developed. One of the reasons is that it is difficult to build railway tracks in the mountains. And the mountains in Montenegro and Albania occupy more than 60% of the countries’ territory.
  • There is not a single international passenger railway service in Albania. And in Montenegro only with Serbia.
  • The main railway station of Albania in Tirana is not located in the city itself, but behind it in one of the villages.
How to get from Montenegro to Albania: there are only a couple of options, and all of them are on ordinary roads. This is a regular bus, a private or rental car, and a huge number of private cab drivers from cars to minibuses. Choose any, prices are low everywhere, it’s fast and safe.

How to get from Montenegro to Albania by bus

2 to 4 regular buses run daily to the Albanian city of Shkoder from Podgorica. The number of buses depends on the day of the week and the season. More in summer, less in winter.

  • Travel time: 2 hours (this is with a border crossing)
  • Tickets can be bought at the box office of any bus station
  • One way ticket price 5-12 euros
  • See the current schedule on this website:
  • An overview of the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica, where the bus station is located, tourist attractions and much more in the article at the link.
bus timetable podgorica shkoder albania
Official bus timetable: Podgorica – Shkoder

Good to know:

All carriers are private in Montenegro. Different companies can operate on the same route. And each has its own prices. This is fine. Moreover, a one-way ticket can cost 1 euro more with the same carrier in the opposite direction. This is also normal.

Shkodra is one of the largest cities in Albania and a huge number of buses run to the capital Tirana. At the same stop where the bus arrives from Podgorica, take the bus on the route Shkoder – Tirana:

  • Departure every 30-60 minutes from early morning until night
  • Travel time another 2 hours (100km to Tirana)
  • Ticket price is about 5 euro. Tickets can be purchased with cash upon boarding.

How to get from Montenegro to Albania: by car or minibus

It’s even easier here. The border between Montenegro and Albania is simplified. Residents of the two countries do not need anything other than a passport to cross the border. The border is formal. Even if you arrive and there is a queue, do not be sad. The queue moves quickly, we never waited more than 30-40 minutes.

Good to know:

The checkpoints on the Montenegrin-Albanian border are simplified. Customs officers from both countries sit in the same building and let cars through very quickly.
  • If you are driving your own car, you must also have insurance.

I’ll tell you about private carriers and their minibuses. These are private carriers without any documents on their cars, they take people to Albania and back. They are easy to find near the bus stations where they offer their services. There are especially many of them in the border cities: in Podgorica, Ulcinj, Bar. Even there are in Budva. At stations, they put up ads with their services.

montenegro to albania
Here is an example of such a minibus, they run between Montenegro and Albania

These carriers are of two types:

  • Those who go only to the border and back. Popular with tourists for visaran. You left in the morning and came back in the afternoon.
    • About a visa to Montenegro, why a visa is needed and why Albania is the most popular for visa run – in the article at the link.
    • The price depends on the city of departure. From Ulcinj they carry for 10 euros in both directions. And from Budva for 20 euros.
  • The second option is more common: the so-called shopping tours to Albania for a day.
    • You are taken to Shkoder to the shops and the market.
    • You shop for 3-4 hours and come back. By evening you are already at home.
    • Prices for fruits, food and many things are lower in Albania. Albania is cheaper than Montenegro in general. In season, for example, persimmon in Montenegro costs 3-4 euros per kg. And in Albania 1 euro.
    • A one-way trip to Shkodra usually costs 15 euros.
from Podgorica to Tirana via Shkoder
Such a bus runs from Shkodra to Tirana almost every half hour

Travel Tips

If you do not know how to get from Montenegro to Albania, then do not worry. Yes, there are few official carriers here. Just a couple of buses a day. But almost all passengers use the services of private carriers. For this country, this is normal, and most importantly, as a tourist, you have nothing to fear, it is safe.

Come to the bus station, find such a carrier, or rather, he will find you first. Agree on a time and date and then everything is easy.

A few tips:

  • If you need to go to Tirana, don’t look for direct transport to Tirana. This may cause you difficulty.
  • It is much easier to get to Shkoder, and from there a regular bus leaves for Tirana every 30 minutes.
  • Personally, I prefer private car carriers. He puts 4 people in a car and quickly drives to his destination. Minibuses go slower, there are more people inside, and everyone asks to stop along the way for some reason: to smoke, to go to the store.
  • If you are reading this article, when covid is not yet a thing of the past. Open the link and see the current border crossing rules: do you need vaccination or PCR.
  • And here you will find more information about taxi and transfer in Montenegro. What is the best way to get to the hotel from the airport.

In conclusion: you already know how to get from Montenegro to Albania. Very simple, but there are not many types of transport: only buses or private unofficial carriers. But there are a lot of them and they run around the border around the clock. And short distances are just an advantage. The trip is fast, you do not have time to get tired.

Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Montenegro

  • Aviasales – Cheap Flights and best deals.
  • Car rental in Montenegro:
    • DiscoverCars – a large international platform.
    • LocalRent – works with local rental companies. Leader in car rental in Montenegro.
  • Hotels and apartments all over the country:
    • Hotellook compares the prices among dozens of other booking services and offer the best price
    • Booking – the most popular booking platform
    • Agoda – even more accommodation options in Montenegro
  • Tours, excursions and activities (including extreme ones):
    • GetYourGuide – more than 430 tours
    • Viator – 780+ excursions and activities throughout the country
  • Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
  • Internet and Calls:
  • Taxi and airport transfers: Intui.Travel