This post is going to tell you how to get from Tirana, Albania to Ohrid, Macedonia (FYROM) by bus.
If you’ve taken a bus or two around Eastern Europe you’ve probably realized it can be a bit confusing. People seem to get on and off at seemingly random places, the bus stops don’t look like bus stops, and the driver might even smoke on the bus. Albania is perhaps the most confusing country when it comes to taking buses in the Balkans.
The good news is that it has gotten a lot better since I first visited 5 or so years ago. Back then you had to ask locals how to get anywhere and there wasn’t even a central bus station. Fortunately there’s a central bus station now as you can see on the map below. Getting to Ohrid is still a bit tricky though.
The obvious first step is go to the Tirana Central Bus Station. It’s located just behind the Tirana Ring Center. If you’re standing at the front entrance of the Tirana Ring Center on Str. Muhamet Gjollesha you’ll walk straight down the side street on the left past the cafe.
Find the Pollogu Tourist Agency / Hak Bus office and buy a bus ticket to Struga. A single bus ticket from Tirana to Struga was 1,750.00 Albanian Lek which converts to 13 Euros / 16 US Dollars at the time of this posting. Buses to Struga depart twice a day at 9 AM and at 4 PM and there are no luggage fees.
You may be wondering why I’m saying buy a bus ticket to Struga and not Ohrid. The thing is, it’s not possible to buy a direct bus ticket to Ohrid from Tirana.
Now you’ll need to get from Struga to Ohrid. You may be wondering why I’m saying buy a bus ticket to Struga and not Ohrid. The thing is, it’s not possible to buy a direct bus ticket to Ohrid from Tirana. Struga is about 15km from the city center of Ohrid.
From here you’ll have two options:
- Take a taxi for 5 Euros or 180 Macedonian denars (3 Euro) if you have the local currency to Ohrid.
- Walk about 15 minutes and take the local bus to Ohrid for 50 MKD (0.81 euro).
If you decide to go with option 2 then you can follow the map above to the Struga local bus station. Be aware that all of the cab drivers will tell you that it’s not possible to take a bus to Ohrid. I’d advise taking a cab if you have a lot of luggage since the local bus can be pretty quite packed. I only had a 35 liter backpack and a skateboard which was more than enough to handle on the local bus.