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Tirana to Dubrovnick

I'm flying into Tirana in June 2019 and want to take public transportation to Dubrovnick, stay a few days and then fly to Venice.
1) Do I need to go into the city of Tirana to find a bus? I assume there is no rail.
2) It's a long ride, where could a spend a nice night, and pick up the bus again the next day?
3) I want to stay flexible. Do you know if I need to book my flight to Venice in advance?

Posted by
2534 posts

I haven’t been to Albania, so I can’t help you with questions 1 and 2.

Mid June onwards is peak season in Croatia, as this is when local schools are on holiday.

Flights for next summer are already available. There are only a few direct flights a week between Dubrovnik and Venice, so you would be advised to book ASAP. Prices with the value airlines that operate this route are likely to increase rather than fall.

Posted by
432 posts

Re. getting from Tirana to Dubrovnik: You are correct; there is no train between these two cities. The very useful website rome2rio.com shows a once-daily bus leaving Tirana at 8:00 am arriving Kotor, Montenegro at 2:00 pm. This is with Old Town Travel, whose website (in English!) is kotortotirana.com. There are then several bus lines that do the Kotor-Dubrovnik run. If you want to break up the trip, I'd stay in Kotor; otherwise it's approx. two hours from Kotor to Dubrovnik (though with the border crossing, it could certainly be longer). My experience with buses in this part of the world is that every couple of hours or so, the bus will make a 10-15 minute stop for the driver and passengers to take a quick break, have a smoke, use the facilities, etc. Re. the flight from Dubrovnik to Venice: Croatia Airlines and EasyJet have direct flights, though not every day. You will want to look at their schedules so that you can be sure that a flight is scheduled on a day you may want to fly. With most airlines, though, the earlier you make your reservation, the more likely that 1. you will actually have a seat on that flight and 2. you may well get a cheaper ticket. Just some thoughts....

Posted by
2534 posts

EasyJet do not fly this route. Your options are Croatia Air or Volotea. There are 4 flights a week in June.

Posted by
11132 posts

I have never been to Albania, but I've traveled around the Balkans a fair amount.

My rule of thumb concerning buses, and most especially buses in the Balkans, is this: The only schedule information you should totally rely on is what you obtain at the bus station in the departure city.

My second rule of thumb: International buses are relatively uncommon. They frequently start the run full or nearly so. Buy your ticket as soon as you know which bus you want to take and can figure out a way to make the purchase.

The other obvious stopover possibility besides Kotor is Budva. Kotor is probably more prudent, because there are direct buses from Kotor to Dubrovnik and I'm not sure you can travel from Budva to Dubrovnik without changing buses in Kotor. You will note that the bus also stops in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro. It's not a particularly attractive place. Both Budva and Kotor have nice historic districts.

I would be uncomfortable depending on one specific bus to get me to Dubrovnik in time for a flight, so I hope you are planning to spend a couple of days there. That will allow some recovery time if there is an issue with the bus you intend to take.

Montenegro uses the euro. You will probably find it difficult to spend leftover Albanian leks at the bus comfort stop(s) after you cross the border. Either hit a currency-exchange booth (check carefully to be sure the rate is decent and fees are modest) to buy a few euros in Albania or take plenty of refreshments with you. You may encounter a toilet attendant you are expected to tip; he or she may accept other currencies (I don't know about leks; they aren't very useful), but it will be at a very, very poor exchange rate, and you can expect to get some attitude about it.

I don't know the policy on Albanian buses, but Croatian buses and I think also Montenegrin buses usually charge a fee of about 1 euro (or equivalent) for each bag stored in the hold.

Posted by
2 posts

It is exciting to get such informed responses. My bigger agenda is starting in Portland, Maine; bus to Boston, fly Boston to Barcelona, Barcelona to Athens airport and catch a flight to Paros, ferry to Anti-Paros, back to Athens airport, fly to Tirana, bus to Durres, bust to Shkoder, Shkoder to Kotor, then Kotor to Dubrovnik. After a few days in Dubrovnik, fly to Venice, train to Milan (Desanzano); fly to Lisbon, then back to Boston and Maine. I have been to all the places except the trip between Durres and Dubrovnik, but it is looking like more options open up each year. It would be great if I could just reserve the flights across the Atlantic about a month apart, and wing all the other transportation and accommodations!
Adventurous plan, I know.