How to get to and from Tirana Airport on the Rinas Express operated by Luna Travels
There is no public transportation per se but Luna Travel runs the Rinas Express from downtown Tirana to the Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza. Yes, it's named after Mother Teresa who is Albanian although born in Skopje, now North Macedonia.
This is a backpacker blog so it deals only with the cheap options. Any one can take a taxi. Which was 20€. Day time price is 13€.
The stop for the Rinas Express at the airport is on your left when you exit the arrivals terminal.
The Rinas Express bus from the airport to the city runs from 8 am until midnight and from the city to the airport from 7 am until 11 pm.
The stop in Tirana is behind the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet next to Skanderbeg Square.
Ticket price is 300LEK, cash only and you pay the driver. But they also accept Euros. The journey takes about 30 minutes.
There was a bit of drama coming into Tirana. There was a massive storm directly above the city. We were forced to circle for 90 minutes and somehow we got down at 9 pm. The rain was lashing down. There was 6 inches of water to step into as we came down the steps and on to the bus.
There is only one money changer in the arrivals hall and this was not open. There are plenty of ATMs though but I did not want to use. The next bus to the city was at 10 pm. The guys would take Euros but the rain was coming down like in an Indian monsoon.
I decided to stay in one of the airport hotels across the road. I chose the cheaper looking of the 3, the Jurgen Hotel.
I messaged the Sombra Hostel to let them know the situation.
The storm abated at 3 am.
Back to the airport at 7.30 am, went straight to the money changer. Still closed.
There was a guy there.
'Are you open?'
'No. We are having some problems'
Tirana, the capital of Albania has only one money changer. WTH.
So I took the 8 am Rinas Express. The price in Euros is 3€
My single 40€ a night room at the Hotel Jurgen across the road from the Tirana International Airport
Jurgen Hotel, photo taken the next day
And when I got into Tirana I went straight to the Sombra Hostel and was told that I should have my breakfast. I met 3 others who had flown in from Roma. They were scheduled to land at 11 pm. They were forced to return to Brindisi on the Italian coast and finally got to Tirana airport at 3 am. Taxi price, 25€. They spent the whole day trying to get their shoes dry as the street where they were dropped, was nearly a foot underwater.
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Travelling the world solo, since 1992, as a low-budget backpacker.