Albania

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1. Posted by ger4444 (Budding Member 42 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

Hello Folks!

I plan to visit Albania this august. I have some questions i would like to ask about Albania. I hope you can help me out and provide me with information. That would be much appreciated. My questios are the following:
- Is it possible to get/buy city plans at tourist information and/or hotels in Albanian cities? (Do these city plans also show the locations of the monuments?)
- Can I book lodging in Teth by showing up there at arrival (without booking in advance) Since i never book in advance when i travel.
- are there trains in busses running frequently in Albania between villages and cities? Are villages easy to reach by public transportation?

Thanks in advance!

Ger

[ Edit: Fixed up text to say Albania ]

2. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1047 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

My last trip to the Balkans was in 2010, so I won't be of much help. But one thing that's apparently improved is catching a bus from Tirana to other destinations in Albania. I had difficulty finding out where to catch a bus to Berat, for example. The receptionist in the hotel didn't know, so I hired a taxi to take me to where the Berat buses departed. Apparently this has changed somewhat. See this link: https://wikitravel.org/en/Tirana

You are unlikely to find trains useful in Albania. There isn't an extensive network. For a guide to rail travel in the Balkans, see this link: https://www.seat61.com

Elsewhere in the Balkans I used buses and shared rides (minivans, taxis, etc.). I also used a couple of flights to cover greater distances. I still get e-mails from Air Serbia.

The Internet is your friend. If you have a smartphone with you while traveling you can get last-minute ideas for accommodations, etc. There are lots of apps that are useful. Since you never prebook accommodations, simply visit a tourism office after you arrive, check your smartphone for ideas (and even book), or ask someone who understands English. Or, simply utter the words that many people around the world understand, "hotel," "hostel."

Even though you're not inclined to prebook anything, it helps to identify in advance some of the places (names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc.) where you think you might want to stay. That way, just before you arrive, you can check if there's any rooms/beds available. A bit of preplanning can save time and money.

Finally, how was your trip to Russia? Did the transfer from SVO to VKO work out expeditiously?

3. Posted by Peter (Admin 6518 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

I assume where the question says "Serbia", you mean "Albania"?

I'm afraid my travel to Albania was a very long time ago ('98) and things have no doubt changed hugely. Back then there was regular gunfire at night and we had a lucky break avoiding a highway holdup on the way from Tirana to Durres..

The country is absolutely beautiful though. I'm sure you'll love it.

4. Posted by ger4444 (Budding Member 42 posts) 12w Star this if you like it!

Hi Peter, Thank you very much for your help! Much appreciated!

5. Posted by ger4444 (Budding Member 42 posts) 12w Star this if you like it!

Hi Bob, thank you very much for your help.
The trip in Russia was wonderful. I hope to make a film on the Transsiberian Railway. If done, i will send you the link, because i am going to post it on youtube, when it is done. Bus so far, my video editing application (imovi) is not working very well. So still looking for free software.
The trains from SVO to VKO was very easy. I used Aeroexpress and subway.

Kind regards,

Ger

6. Posted by ger4444 (Budding Member 42 posts) 12w Star this if you like it!

Hi Peter, yes i meant Albania, but my question is at some points also about Serbia, i didnt edit my post well enough!

Kind ragards,

Ger

7. Posted by Peter (Admin 6518 posts) 12w Star this if you like it!

Quoting ger4444

Hi Peter, yes i meant Albania, but my question is at some points also about Serbia, i didnt edit my post well enough!

No worries. I edited it to make it a bit more accurate then.

8. Posted by ger4444 (Budding Member 42 posts) 12w Star this if you like it!

Thank you Peter!

9. Posted by amidndrew (Budding Member 3 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

Hi there, I've been to Albania (Tirana and Vlore) in 2016 and I have to say it was quite an experience, as you know Albania is not an advanced country and still far from being one, so you have to be ready for struggle with the public transport if you're not planning of renting a car. Car rentals are quite cheap when you find a local rental agency, it falls good since you don't like to book in advance because I was planning to do so but I had a friend there and he told me not to, when I got there he took me to a local car rental agency and I rented a renault Clio for half the price that I was going to pay online. For the accomodations I booked in advance because I used to do so myself, but what I mentioned about the cars is true about the hotel, when I was there I checked booking and I found that the hotel price was cheaper once I was there, and then I asked in the reception and it appeared that it was even cheaper since the hotel was half empty.. (not many tourists go to Albania yet)
I gotta say I enjoyed my stay in Vlore, the beach was awesome and the people were very friendly, not everyone of course but I gotta say the majority was. They were very helpful with directions and all and not expecting anything in return. I visited a couple of old castles and the guides were very cool, we had a drink together and they told me all about Albania, from the political, economical and social issues to the solutions that the people want and suggest. I 18 great days there and I'm planning to go back there soon after visiting a few more countries in the neighboring area ( Balkans)
Yet, be careful not carrying a lot of money with you, try to find some tourists to share taxis with, and of course always be cautious.

I hope you'll have as much fun as I did. Cheers

10. Posted by ger4444 (Budding Member 42 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

Hi Amid, thanks for sharing your advice!
I am looking forward very much to visit Albania! I will combine Albania and Serbia in 4 weeks.
All best
Ger