Car Rental Tirana
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Why rent a car in ?
Tirana is a fascinating place to visit. Albania’s capital offers plenty of delights, from ancient history to contemporary art, from unique cuisine to extremely hospitable locals. After seeing Tirana, you can drive to explore the rest of the country which has some of the most impressive nature and wilderness in Europe.
Top ways to enter
- Tirana Airport: Also known as Nënë Tereza Airport and Rinas Airport, it served almost three million travelers in 2018. The airport is especially active during the summer months when it is served by around 30 different airlines. Located 16km (10 miles) northwest of the city center, the airport can be reached in about 30 minutes.
- Podgorica Airport: Serving the capital of neighboring Montenegro, Podgorica Airport is especially active during the summer months when it has flights by 14 different airlines. Located 167km (104 miles) northwest of Tirana, the distance between the two can be traveled in about three hours. You’ll have to cross an international border, so ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit it (if not, you can travel by public transportation and pick up a rental car after arriving in Albania). Also, make sure to know if you need a visa to enter either Montenegro or Albania.
- Pristina Airport: Pristina-Adem Jashari is the largest international airport in Kosovo, the youngest country in Europe. It handled 2.1 million travelers in 2018. Located 245km (152 miles) northeast of Tirana, the airport can be reached in about 3 hours and 10 minutes. Like with Podgorica, make sure that your rental car provider permits you crossing the international border and whether you need a visa to enter either Kosovo or Albania.
- Vlore Airport: Still under construction as of August 2019, Vlore Airport is located on the Adriatic coast in the central part of the country. When it is finished, the airport is expected to be a major aviation and tourism hub for Albania.
Useful city facts
- Located in Southeastern Europe, Tirana has a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and cool to mild winters. The average high temperature is 31°C (87°F) in July and August, the warmest months, and 12°C (53°F) in January. The mountainous areas of Tirana experience some snowfall almost every winter. The driest period of the year in Tirana is from June to August. Tirana is one of the sunniest capitals in Europe.
- Tirana is by far the largest city in Albania. The city’s population has been constantly growing for centuries, from 4,000 in 1700, 10,000 in the 1920s, 110,000 in 1950s, 325,000 in late 1980s, and finally 557,422 at the latest census in 2011. Tirana is a religiously diverse city - the majority of its inhabitants are Sunni Muslims, but there are also significant Sufi Muslim, as well as Orthodox and Catholic Christian, communities.
- A place of varied and ancient history, Tirana has been inhabited since the Paleolithic. Illyrians and Ancient Greeks settled in the surrounding areas. Tirana first became a city during Roman times. Later, it was part of Byzantine and Ottoman empires. It became the capital of independent Albania in 1912.
Top destinations and activities
- National Archaeological Museum of Albania. Inhabited since at least the Iron Age, Albania has been home to the Illyrians, Celts, Hellenes, and Romans. This museum - one of the largest in the country - introduces visitors to these past inhabitants and the sculptures, weapons, maps, and other artifacts that these civilizations left in the country.
- ZETA Center for Contemporary Art. One of the largest art hubs in the region, ZETA Center is the best place to learn about Albania’s up-and-coming art scene. Besides paintings and sculptures, there are also photographs, video installations, and other types of artwork to enjoy. A place that’s brimming with energy, ZETA also hosts frequent shows and events.
- Et’hem Bey Mosque. A beautiful mosque with a towering minaret, Et’hem Bey was built in typical Ottoman style in the 1820s. During the decades of communist rule, the mosque was closed, but was opened again in 1991 and has been welcoming both worshippers and visitors ever since. The mosque is located near Skanderbeg Square, one of the largest public spaces in the city.
Traffic and parking tips
- Albania drives on the right hand side of the road.
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limits are 110km/h (68 mph) on freeways, 90km/h (56 mph) on expressways, 80km/h (50 mph) on all other roads outside populated areas and 50km/h (31 mph) within populated and built-up areas.
- It is illegal to use the mobile phone while driving.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.01% for all drivers, one of the lowest limits in Europe. Exceeding the limit can lead to large fines, a licence ban, or even imprisonment.
- While Albania’s road conditions have been steadily improving for the last two decades and most roads in and around Tirana are in a good state, some rural roads and roads in mountainous and nature areas can have potholes, might lack paving, or might be in an otherwise bad condition, so it’s important to be especially careful when driving on them.
- Some towns and villages lack pavements, so you’ll be sharing the road with pedestrians. Be careful, and also watch out for horses, donkeys, and other farm animals crossing the road.
- Albania is located in Southern Europe and is a warm country. Car overheating can be a problem during the summer months.
- Proof of insurance and the car’s documentation need to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- When driving, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The road police phone number in Albania 126, the general police number is 129, the ambulance number is 127, and the fire brigade number is 128. The general emergency number, like in most other European countries, is 112.
A toll payment needs to be made when entering Albania from Kosovo via the Morinë-Milot Highway. The toll payment is €5 for most cars and €11.2 for light trucks.
The Adriatic-Ionian Motorway, currently under construction, might become a toll road after it is completed. Also known as the Blue Corridor, it will connect Trieste in Italy to Kalamata in Greece. The Adriatic-Ionian Motorway will cross Albania from the border with Montenegro in the north to the border with Greece in the south.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Shkodër. Sometimes also spelled Shkodra, this northern Albanian city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Famous as a beach resort, it also offers a beautiful promenade, the Kalaja Fortress, a number of museums, delicious seafood, and beautiful Adriatic islands that can be easily reached by boat. Located 102km (63 miles) north of Tirana, it can be reached in about 1 hour and 40 minutes.
- Dajti Mountain National Park. A large protected area near Tirana, Dajti offers a relaxing escape from the big city. Made up of mountain lakes, oak forests, deep caves, and hiking trails, the area is home to animals like the Eurasian wolf, brown bear, and wildcat. From Dajti you can easily explore neighboring Shtamë Pass National Park and the Mali me Gropa-Bizë-Martanesh Protected Landscape, two nature areas with an even more untamed feel to them. Located just 15km (9 miles) northeast of Tirana, Dajti can be reached in 25 to 40 minutes, depending on traffic.
- Berat. A historic Ottoman town, Berat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located on River Osum with a beautiful promenade alongside it, Berat has plenty of mosques, old workshops, and Christian churches as well as the Berat Ethnographic Museum and the Onufri Iconography Museum. Located 97km (59 miles) south of Tirana, Berat can be reached in about 90 minutes.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental cars in Tirana are the Fiat 500, the VW Polo, and the Hyundai I30. The most popular rental car types are mini, economy, and compact.
- Prokletije. This mountainous area is sometimes called the Accursed Mountains because of its wild and historically inaccessible nature. Also known as the Albanian Alps, Prokletije attracts visitors with a dramatic mountain scenery, long valleys, quaint villages, and Valbona National Park. The area is also home to one of Europe’s southernmost glaciers which was only discovered in 2008. Located near the border with Kosovo, Prokletije is 215km (133 miles) north of Tirana and can be reached in about four hours.
- Sarandë. Sometimes called the capital of Southern Albania, Sarandë is a small and picturesque town on the Ionian Sea. Besides its outstanding beaches, it is also famous for monasteries, its sizeable Greek community, and nearby Butrinta, one of the best-preserved ancient settlements in the country. Located 280km (174 miles) south of Tirana, Sarandë can be reached in four hours.
- North Macedonia. Although it recently changed its name, adding “North” to distinguish it from the Greek region that’s also called Macedonia, this landlocked Balkan land has lost nothing of its charm. Wild and hospitable, it attracts visitors with historical cities, large national parks, and Lake Ohrid, a beautiful area that’s sometimes called Europe’s Galapagos Islands thanks to the amazing flora and fauna variety it has. Ohrid is near the border with Albania and at only 130km (80 miles) north of Tirana, it can be reached in about 2 hours and 20 minutes. Keep in mind that you’ll have to cross an international border, so ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit it. Many won’t, so you can also travel by public transportation and then pick up a new rental car after arriving in North Macedonia. Also, be sure to know if you need a visa or not to visit North Macedonia (the country has a different visa policy than Albania).
How can I save money on my rental car?
Follow this advice to get the best rental car deal in the capital of Albania:
- Compare the rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Tirana is the cheapest in March when renting a car is about 65% cheaper than the yearly average and a whole 78% cheaper than renting a car in July. Come visit Albania in early spring!
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