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.

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!

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About the Author

Florence has relocated herself to S.E Asia to pursue her life-long dream of travelling and working around the world. She's currently working as a freelance writer and enjoys the travel lifestyle. She blogs in her free time - which she now has a lot of!! Her favourite things about travelling are meeting new people, interacting with the locals in a new country, sampling new foods and embarking on long bus/plane/train journeys!!

29 Responses to “How to get from Tirana, Albania to Ohrid, Macedonia”

  1. Lisa says:

    Thank you so much for this!!! My son and I will be doing a return trip to Montenegro this summer before dipping down into Albania and then into Lake Ohrid, Macedonia.
    I have tried multiple ways to figure out how to get from Tirana to Lake Ohrid and you just gave me such a precious gift!
    Hope you are loving life in South East Asia and just know that you are very appreciated!

    • Florence Murphy says:

      Aw thank you Lisa… So glad you found the post useful. I struggled to get info on the journey so it made sense to be the one to tell others how to do it!

      I hope both you and your son enjoy the trip. It’s a beautiful part of the world 😉

  2. Markus says:

    How are the road conditions? I want to go there with my private car (no jeep or similar)


    • Florence Murphy says:

      They’re ok as far as I remember Markus. There are a lot of bends and potholes but I think you should be ok with the car.

      Just take your time and you’ll be fine.

      Safe trip!

  3. Markus says:

    Thanks for the quick help 🙂
    Best, Markus

  4. Mats says:

    Thank you. very good to know. Do you know about the timetable for the bus back from Struga?

  5. Mike says:

    Thank you for explaining this in full detail! I’ve been stressing trying to plan this part of my trip and your post helps a lot!

    Is it easy to get a bus from Ohrid to Skopje? From what I’ve researched, there seems to be several buses that leave each day. Just wanted to get your opinion!

    • Florence Murphy says:

      You’re very welcome Mike 🙂

      From what I remember, it was very easy. I don’t remember what times exactly but if we had experienced any issues, I’d have written a post on it. 🙂

      Happy Travels!

  6. Thanks a lot, it HELPS!!!

  7. Excellent post. Florence! Macedonia seems like a great destination!

  8. Ruben says:

    Hi Florence,

    Thank you so much for the information, so helpful.

    I would like to ask you if you remember if it was a bus earlier, during the morning for example, as I need to get to Struga earlier



    • Florence Murphy says:

      You’re so welcome Ruben 🙂

      Unfortunately, I don’t remember if there was an earlier bus although I’m sure there would be.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help to you! Pop into the office when you’re in Tirana and ask them. If they don’t have an earlier bus, I’m sure there’s another company that does.

  9. Anne says:

    Hi Florence, thanks for this really useful article. We just popped in the travel agency but unfortunately you can’t buy tickets there anymore. The lady was really friendly thought and sent us to the bus station where we bought the ticket. The bus is also leaving from there. Just thought I would give an update. Thank you!

    • Florence Murphy says:

      You’re welcome Anne and thanks for updating so that future journeys are easier for those that stop by here. 🙂

  10. Deah says:

    We just bought bus tickets today! Things have changed. We went to the same red travel agency as in the picture above (our hotel was on that street so we happened to see it). They told us to go to the bus station by the Asllan Rusi Sports Center (by the Ring Center, a large shopping mall).
    At that bus station there are about 15 ticket kiosks. Each is for a different bus company and each goes to a different city in Albania or nearby country.
    Finally we located “the one” that goes to Strugga (then a shuttle van to Ohrid). As of July 30, 2017, they go at 9 am, 4 pm, and 6:30 and they say it takes 3.5 hours. It cost 13 euro.
    Hope this helps the next traveler!

    • Florence Murphy says:

      Thanks for the update Deah 🙂

    • Elio says:

      Hi Deah,
      I will be in Tirana saturday and monday I have to go to Ohrid by bus, where the bus station is situated in Tirana? It’s better to by the ticket in advance or the same day you leave?



  11. Callum Nixon says:

    We travelled from Tirana to Lake Orhid a few weeks ago and just thought I’d give anyone else looking to do it an update on the situation. The Tirana Metropol travel agency no long run a bus to Struga or Lake Orhid. There is buses run from the bus station however by Pollogu agency. If you google them you can find their website and phone number (they also have a small office at the bus station), we managed to book tickets in English and got a bus that dropped us off on the main road in Struga.

  12. Michael says:

    Hey everyone,
    Thanks for the Infos. Im in Tirana right now and want to go to Ohrid tomorrow. As I understand, there are direct connections by now. But regardless of the stop – Strugga or Ohrid – dkes anyone know from which station the busses depart? There is the central bus station at the roundabout in the northwest of Tirana and another one named the southern bus station. Can’t figure out details on connections. Help higy appreciated. Thanks 🙂

  13. Elio says:

    I traveled from Tirana to Ohrid on September 11th and things changed: I didn’t find a bus from 9am in the morning but only at 4pm for Struga and at 18:30 for Ohrid. I took the ticket to Ohrid at 10 € and the trip takes about 6 hours (they told me 3 when I booked). When I arrived at Struga at one o’clock in the morning, we were late for problems with the Albanian customs and paid 20 € to the taxi driver waiting passengers at the bus exit to go in Ohrid center.

  14. Terry Salpeter says:

    Hi – Thanks for the information. An update – we took this trip yesterday (24 September 2017). We took a taxi to the international bus terminal, went to window number 6 and bought our tickets for the 9:00 bus to Struga. We arrived there at approximately 13:00 – long wait at border – and there were taxis ready to take us to Ohrid. Beautiful ride but dirty bus windows so no photos.

    • Chih-Chung Ni says:

      Hi Terry,
      Please let me know the name of bus company you took from Tirana to Struga departing at 9:00. Where is the international bus station in Tirana? Is it near Pallati i Sportit Asllan Rusi? Thank you very much.

    • Claire says:

      Thanks, this was very helpful! We asked at a couple travel agencies in the Tirana city center if they knew about a 9am bus. The lady at Metropol was very honest and said that there are two bus companies and most travel agencies only work with the company with buses at 16.00 and 18.30. We went to the international bus terminal to stall 6 (pollogu travel). There you can get a ticket for either 9am or 21.00 (€13 per psgr to Struga).

  15. Sergiu says:

    Dear Florence and friends, this is very useful information and I thank you all! That helped better orient. I would like to bring my contribution to this interesting experience sharing. In fact, there are several points to be clarified here for everybody’s knowledge:
    – The route to Macedonia (Struga, Ohrid, etc.) is operated by different travel agencies that you will find in the yard of the International Bus Terminal. Depending on the agency chosen you will be able to travel to Struga at 9 AM, 4 PM, 6 PM or even 9 PM. There is a big panel on the territory that will inform you about the routes, time schedule and carriers operating those routes.
    – I found at least two agencies: “Dritan Travel” offered me a 15 Euro ticket to Struga only for 6PM (everyday). The ticket to Ohrid costs 25 Euro. It is a direct route. “Pollogu Agency” ( operates the same routes but at different hours and prices. For Struga the bus will depart at 9 AM and 9 PM, and will cost you 13 Euro (1,700 Leke). The bus on the way back fron Struga to Tirana is schduled for 1 PM in Struga.
    – In this period, tickets are available even on the day of departure, so it is up to you to decide buying in advance or in the day of departure.

    So far, this is it. I bought the ticket for Saturday, 30 September 2017. Hope there will be no surprises.

  16. Akbar O'Hara says:

    I just bought a ticket to Struga departing at 6am tomorrow, 06 Oct 2017. I bought it from a travel agency behind the Tirana Hotel in Skannderbeg Square. The bus departs from there as well. The bus company is Tirana Metropol. Hope this info is helpful.

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