How to get from Tirana, Albania to Ohrid, Macedonia

If you’re wondering how to get from Tirana to Ohrid, you’ve come to the right place!

Tirana surprised us in many ways. It’s a vibrant, modern city that has a really great vibe. It’s a great place to spend a few days, and if we were looking for somewhere in Europe to base ourselves for a few months, it could be quite the contender.

On this trip, however, we just wanted to see the sites, get a feel for the city and get out of Albania and into Macedonia.

get from tirana to ohrid

Our plan was to take the bus from Tirana to Ohrid in Macedonia but there wasn’t a lot of info online about which companies take this route, the fare and the departure times.

We did find out that there is no direct bus from Tirana to Ohrid (the Macedonian side). Instead, we had to get a bus to Struga and Ohrid was only a 10-minute taxi ride from there.

We had trouble finding a post on this exact route, so I’m going to explain in detail so that other travellers can save time and know how to get from Albania to Macedonia via bus from Tirana to Ohrid.

How to get from Tirana to Ohrid

As far as I’m aware, there is a bus station in Tirana but you can’t buy tickets there. Yes, I know!

Instead, you have to get yourself to a travel agents and buy your bus ticket from there.

We were told that the best place to buy tickets is at the travel agents just behind the Tirana International Hotel. This is right in the centre of the city, and you won’t miss it.

tirana to ohrid by bus

Tirana international hotel

Getting a Bus Ticket from Tirana to Ohrid

So we headed to the travel agents just behind the hotel to get our ticket on the morning that we wanted to leave.

We chose the first office on the left. See pic below.

The lady inside spoke good enough English and told us that the bus left at 4pm and it cost €10 each. She also said that the journey would take 3-4 hours.

It was only 10am so we left our bags with her and found a nice café with Wi-Fi across the road where we caught up with work and got some food.

tirana albania to ohrid macedonia

Travel agents behind the Tirana International Hotel

Bus Journey from Albania into Macedonia

The bus departed on time from across the road from the office and it was a 52-seater. It was clean and the seats reclined slightly, which is always nice when one wants to get a nap in!

bus from tirana to ohrid

Bus ticket from the company

Crossing the Border from Albania into Macedonia

Taking passport control and a quick 15-minute break into account, it takes about 5 hours to get from Tirana to the border.

Crossing the border from Albania into Macedonia was quite straightforward. An official guard collected everyone’s passports on the Albanian side and we sat in the bus while he took them to the office to check them out.

We didn’t have to get off the bus and once we got our documents back (about 20 minutes later) we headed into Macedonia.

Again, a Macedonian official guard boarded the bus and collected the passports and id cards from all the passengers. He brought them to his office while we all disembarked the bus, collected our bags and lined up for a bag search.

There were around 40 passengers and 1 guard so this took a while. He really gave Carlo the once over and almost fainted when he found a few loose tablets in his first aid kit.

Luckily, for us, they were painkillers and not ecstasy tablets like he thought they were!

It was back onto the bus after everyone’s bags got searched, the bus attendant handed out the passports and id cards and we were officially on Macedonian soil.

airbnb voucher

Length of the Bus Journey from Tirana to Ohrid

We were told 3-4 hours but it was almost 5 and a half in reality. We arrived into Struga at around 9:20pm and then got a taxi to our guesthouse in Ohrid.

Other Things to Know about the Bus Journey

  • Most of the journey is through mountainous regions so have the camera ready to take some pics.
  • As mentioned, there is a 15-minute stop about half way through the journey. You can use the toilet and get some light snacks.
  • The final destination of the bus is not Struga (I think it’s Skopje) so be sure to make it clear that you want to get off in Struga incase they forget about you.
  • The bus will drop you off on a main road where there will be one or two taxi men waiting to take you to Ohrid. Be sure to negotiate a price BEFORE getting in as our driver tried to charge is €20 when it should cost about €5. We gave him €10 and told him to stop trying to rip off tourists.

**UPDATE** See below for updates from readers who’ve taken this journey more recently than we did. Feel free to comment with your questions/comments too!