How to Get From Tirana to Montenegro - Hole In The Donut Cultural Travel

How to Get From Tirana to Montenegro

Author’s note: The below information was correct at the time of writing, but in April of 2016, the Old Town Hostel in Kotor, Montenegro started providing bus service between Tirana, Shkoder, Podgorica, Budva, and Kotor. Tickets are available online at Kotortotirana.com.

Figuring out how to get from Tirana to Montenegro should have been easy, but it was unbelievably difficult. I had spent a few days in Albania’s capital on my way to the coastal cities of Montenegro. Tirana was only 98 miles away from Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, yet I discovered that there was not a single scheduled bus that ran between the two cities. I spent hours searching the Internet with no success, and after visiting several travel agencies, I found only one that offered bus service between Tirana and Montenegro; it ran only during peak months and I was visiting off-season.

The only method seemed to be to take a 2.5 hour bus or minibus to Shkodër (Shkodra), a city in the north of Albania that shares a border with Montenegro, and transfer to another minibus for another two-hour ride to the coastal city of Ulcinj (the only available scheduled transport from Shkodër to Montenegro). I knew what that meant – rattletrap buses and drivers that would likely try to hold me up for an additional fare for my suitcase. Plus, I would still be hours away from my preferred destinations of Budva or Kotor Bay.

Screenshot of the Drita Travel website, only available in Albanian

Screenshot of the Drita Travel website, only available in Albanian

Fortunately, I had arranged a day tour to the towns of Kruja and Durres through the Albania Tourism Center in the Opera building on Skanderberg Square (not the country’s official tourism agency), and my fantastic guide pointed me to Drita Travel.

Located directly behind the Tirana International Hotel, this agency runs full-size, air conditioned tour buses across the border into Montenegro every day. Even this trip was not easy. The immigration and customs station at the border is operated jointly by agents from Albania and Montenegro. Our bus stopped first on the Albanian side, where we turned in our passports. A short time later, all our passports were returned and the bus moved 20 feet ahead for the Montenegrin border entry. Our passports were collected again, but this time, after an inordinately long wait, everyone was made to get off the bus, retrieve and open their luggage for inspection and drug-sniffing dogs.

Finally, we were on our way again, but not for long. A few miles inside Montenegro the big bus pulled over and everyone was transferred to vans, according to the passengers’ destinations. The vans were comfortable and air conditioned, and there was plenty of room for our luggage. It wasn’t perfect, but it was certainly better than any of the other options I had considered for how to get from Tirana to Montenegro.

The following are the prices and schedule for all the destinations that Drita Travel serves in Montenegro:

From Tirana to:
Bar:              20 Euro one way/35 Euro RT
Ulcinj:         20 Euro one way/30 Euro RT
Kotor:          30 Euro one way/50 Euro RT
Tivat:           30 Euro one way/50 Euro RT
Budva:         25 Euro one way/45 Euro RT
Petrovac:     20 Euro one way/40 Euro RT
Sutomore:    20 Euro one way/35 Euro RT
Podgorica:   25 Euro one way/40 Euro RT

Map showing the location of Drita Travel, which offers the best option for how to get from Tirana to Montenegro

Map showing the location of Drita Travel, which offers the best option for how to get from Tirana to Montenegro

The buses run every day from mid-May through the end of September; off season every Wednesday and Saturday. They depart at 8 a.m. from the Drita Travel Office, located on the street directly behind the Tirana International Hotel in the city center. Tickets can be purchased at their office, or at the Albanian Tourism Center, located in the Opera building on Skanderberg Square in the city center.

8 Comments on “How to Get From Tirana to Montenegro

  1. We are in Tirana and funny but nobody here knows about direct busses. Only I a company we found for 20 Euro-2740 lek. We decided to take bus to Skoder first -300 lek and then to Ulcinj and then to Podgorica. Much cheaper and more exiting so we can also visit those cities.

    • Well, Anna, if you’d read my article and followed either of the two links to two different companies, you would have found tickets for 20 and 22.50 Euros.

  2. Hi, this data is outdated, now there is daily regular bus line,whole year, tirana – shkoder-podgorica-budva-kotor and back, and its even possible to buy ticket online

    Its at http://www.kotortotirana.com

    If u can please ammend your data, we are old town hostel in kotor and we had couple of travelers refering to your site as source of info and they got confused.
    Best regards!

    • Hi Sjale: Thanks for the updated information. I will add a little blurb to the top of the article to say that you now offer this service.

      • Thank you for your great work by providing informative travelling information. We are planning to visit this part of the world this coming May.

        • Hi Hilda: You’re very welcome. I’m so glad you found it helpful.

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