Driving in Albania
Tips for the Road
- Albania follows the right-hand driving system.
- At junctions or crossroads, the priority is typically given to vehicles approaching from the right, unless marked otherwise by traffic signs.
- Right turns on red are not permitted in Albania. Drivers must wait for the traffic light to turn green before making a right turn.
- Headlights must be used at night or in poor weather conditions where visibility is reduced.
- Using mobile phones without a hands-free system is strictly prohibited.
Road Types and Speed Limits
- Speed Limit: Typically 110 km/h (68 mph). This limit may be lower in certain areas or in bad weather conditions.
- Characteristics: Albania's motorways connect major cities and regions, offering high-speed travel options. These roads are generally well-maintained and have tolls in certain sections. They often feature service areas with fuel stations and dining options.
- Speed Limit: Typically 80 km/h (50 mph), but it may be higher on certain well-maintained stretches.
- Characteristics: These roads pass through various types of terrain, offering both scenic views and practical routes for regional travel. Additionally, these roads do not have tolls, making them a free option for inter-city travel.
- Speed Limit: Speed limits vary, often around 60-80 km/h (37-50 mph), depending on local regulations and road conditions.
- Characteristics: District Roads are lower-level roadways connecting different districts within Albania. Typically found in rural and semi-urban areas, play a crucial role in regional connectivity.
- Speed Limit: The speed limit usually ranges from 30-50 km/h (19-31 mph), but can vary based on the specific area and local regulations.
- Characteristics: These roads serve local communities, connecting villages and facilitating access to district and national roads.
In Albania, highway tolls are implemented on some motorways and major roads, including the Autostrada (A) routes. Notably, the A1 motorway features a toll section near the Kalimash tunnel. Payment methods for these tolls include cash or card, and there is no electronic toll collection system in place. Toll payments are made at manual toll booths located at certain points along these roads, where toll booth operators handle the transactions.
- Autostrada A1 (Durrës-Kukës): Connects Durrës to Kukës, featuring the notable Kalimash tunnel, easing travel through mountains.This route offers a breathtaking passage through Albania's rugged landscapes, making it a memorable drive.
- Rrugë Shtetërore SH3 (Tirana-Kukës): Links the capital, Tirana, with Kukës, a crucial route towards the Kosovo border.
- Autostrada A3 (Tirana-Elbasan): A direct, modern highway connecting Tirana and Elbasan.
- Rrugë Shtetërore SH4 (Elbasan-Greek Border): An important route from Elbasan to the Greek border, facilitating trade and travel.
- Rrugë Shtetërore SH8 (Vlorë-Sarandë): Offers scenic coastal views along the Albanian Riviera, connecting Vlorë and Sarandë.
- Rrugë Shtetërore SH21 (Shkodër-Montenegro Border): A key northern road from Shkodër to the Montenegro border, showcasing Albania’s natural beauty.
Top City Destinations
Tirana, the vibrant capital of Albania, offers a mix of modern energy and historic charm. Wander through Skanderbeg Square, and visit the National History Museum. The colorful buildings, like the Pyramid of Tirana, showcase the city’s artistic flair. Enjoy the bustling café culture and dine in the Blloku district, once exclusive to the political elite. Don’t miss the Dajti Mountain, accessible by cable car, for panoramic views of Tirana.
Korca, a hidden gem in Albania, buzzes with an eclectic energy. Start your journey at the Cathedral of the Resurrection, which is more than just a church; it’s a beacon of architectural genius. Then, wander through the Old Bazaar, a fusion of traditional crafts and tantalizing street eats — think spicy sausages and sweet baklava! A visit to the Museum of Medieval Art is a must for art enthusiasts. It’s not just a gallery; it’s home to one of the richest collections of medieval art in Albania. The museum showcases an impressive array of icons, frescoes, and other religious artifacts, providing a deep insight into the region’s history and religious heritage. If you’re there in August, don’t miss the Korka Beer Festival, with great music and even better beer.
Durres, renowned for its ancient amphitheater and pristine sandy beaches, is a city of history and serene seaside relaxation. Feel the city’s captivating Roman and Byzantine heritage as you explore iconic landmarks such as the Venetian Tower and Archaeological Museum. Bask in the sun’s warmth on the picturesque sandy shores, or, for those seeking an adrenaline rush, the thrill of water sports awaits. Culinary lovers can indulge in exquisite seafood at local restaurants, where every bite is a masterpiece.
Shkodra is known for its enchanting summer festivals, which showcase music, art, and traditional performances. For a taste of history and panoramic views, a visit to Rozafa Castle is essential. You can either drive up or hike to the castle for a unique experience. Another distinctive attraction is the Marubi National Museum of Photography, which boasts a vast collection of historical photographs documenting Albanian life from the 19th century onwards. If you are a nature enthusiast, Lake Shkodra is ideal for fishing, bird watching, and relaxing. To reach the lake, you can rent a bike or a car, making it a convenient and enjoyable outing.
Vlora, a haven for sun and sea seekers, offers a delightful fusion of delicious cuisine and captivating history. Stroll along the Lungomare and bask in its alluring coastal atmosphere. For those fascinated by myths and history, the nearby Kanina Castle beckons, steeped in tales of the past, or go on an expedition to Sazan Island to learn about its fascinating military history. Explore the Independence Square, a center of activity and a significant historical site commemorating Albania’s independence.If the beach is your destination, you can experience a vibrant atmosphere at Vlorë Beach or, for a quieter seaside retreat, enjoy the tranquility and seclusion of Zvërnec Beach.
Saranda is a lively city on the Ionian Sea, perfect for those who enjoy beautiful beaches and dynamic nightlife. Start with a visit to the mesmerizing Blue Eye Spring, a natural wonder that’s both beautiful and mysterious. History buffs should check out the ancient ruins at Butrint, a journey back in time. The promenade and beach bars are buzzing with energy. Enjoy a drink, listen to music, and mingle with the friendly locals. And for a true taste of Saranda, try their local raki — a classic part of the night experience.