Tirana to Ohrid
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Tirana to Ohrid: how to reach Ohrid quickly and affordably

Planning a trip to Ohrid? I visited last year and absolutely fell in love with it, a sure highlight of my trip to North Macedonia! As the journey from Skopje to Ohrid can take some time, you might be considering going from Tirana to Ohrid. Here’s my guide to the journey.

Are you keen to explore the beautiful lakeside town of Ohrid? I can hardly blame you after spending almost a week there last year, and genuinely falling in love with it! I love that it feels like a little hidden gem in the Balkans, and I can hand on heart say I’ve not yet met anyone else in the UK who has visited, making it the perfect retreat. If you aren’t visiting Ohrid from the North Macedonian capital of Skopje, you’re likely considering the journey from Tirana to Ohrid instead. As Tirana is a similar distance, despite being cross-border in Albania, it’s a good option, and one I took myself in the reverse journey. The journey from Tirana to Ohrid offers stunning landscapes, and is generally quick and affordable, with several transport options available. In this guide, I’ll share the best way to travel from Tirana to Ohrid, as well as my own experiences of making the journey in reverse.

Quick tips for visiting Ohrid

Get this: affordable panoramic boat cruise. Enjoy this beautiful boat tour around Ohrid Old Town and learn more about the town – it’s a great way to get your bearings.

Don’t miss: an Ohrid monastery winery tour. I was pleasantly surprised at just how delicious (and cheap!) Macedonian wine is, so try plenty of local wines, brandies, and a cheese and charcuterie platter on this winery tour.

Bucket list experience: tick off three incredible destinations with a tour of Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Montenegro in three days. I loved every single place and it’ll be a trip you never forget – the destinations are so close too, it’s rude not to visit them all.

Flights: find the cheapest flights to Ohrid with Skyscanner.

Stay: Find the most affordable hotels in Ohrid on Booking.com.

What’s the distance between Tirana and Ohrid?

The distance between Tirana, the capital city of Albania, and Ohrid, a lakeside town in North Macedonia, is approximately 170 kilometres (105 miles) as the crow flies. However, the actual distance travelled by road can vary depending on the route taken and any detours required. The journey typically takes around 3 to 4 hours by car or bus, considering the winding roads and border crossing procedures. I chose to make the journey in reverse because flights from Tirana back to the UK were much more flexible, and with the cheap bus prices, it turned out to be a much better option than going back to Skopje, which I’d already explored. The journey for me cost around £9, and took around 4 hours.

Tirana to Ohrid via bus

I’d say bus has to be the most budget-friendly and convenient ways to travel from Tirana to Ohrid. All you need to do is make your way to Tirana bus station which is relatively centrally located. Of course, you’ll need your passport for crossing the Albanian-North Macedonian border, too. Several bus companies operate daily services between the two cities, and generally speaking it’s comfortable and reliable. I booked my tickets via FlixBus, and while I was expecting a standard green bus to arrive, it was a slightly dated minibus. It was super affordable, and the journey took around 4 hours, with a comfort break along the way. Of course, the journey time can vary depending on traffic and border-crossing times.

Tirana to Ohrid

Tirana to Ohrid via shared taxi or minibus

If you fancy a more flexible and potentially faster option, I’d recommend taking a shared taxi or minibus from Tirana to Ohrid. These services often depart from designated points in Tirana and provide a quicker journey compared to buses. While shared taxis may be slightly more expensive than buses, they offer the convenience of direct travel and flexibility in departure times. I must say, when I travelled via bus, we had a group of people who were struggling with their visas at the border, and so travelling via a shared taxi or minibus would help to avoid this kind of situation.

Tirana to Ohrid via private transfer

If you prefer a hassle-free and comfortable travel experience, a private transfer service from Tirana to Ohrid might work best for you. I think this is particularly helpful if you’re in a rush, or have a limited amount of time to explore Ohrid. A private transfer means all your luggage can be looked after and you can be picked and dropped off door to door. You can also customise your itinerary as you wish, and travel at your own pace. While private transfers may be pricier than other options, they provide the convenience of door-to-door service and the flexibility to stop at scenic spots along the way.

Tirana to Ohrid via rental car

If you prefer the flexibility of making whichever stops you like, and travelling at your own pace, why not rent a car? I’d always recommend hiring via DiscoverCars – they’re like a comparison site for rental cars, meaning you can find the most affordable deal. The route from Tirana to Ohrid is super scenic, and you can explore the picturesque landscapes of Albania and North Macedonia with the freedom to stop and explore the charming towns and attractions along the way. I’ve travelled a lot of Europe in the past few years, and I actually thought I’d feel pretty comfortable driving in North Macedonia, although I’d be a little more cautious in Albania.

Don’t miss my guide on the best things to do in Ohrid.

Tirana To Ohrid via train

While currently unavailable, there are plans to establish a train connection between Tirana and Ohrid in the future. Once operational, the train service is expected to provide an affordable and convenient transportation option for travellers between the two cities. I can’t wait for this to become a reality, as it will save a lot of time and make Ohrid more accessible to visitors wanting to explore the beautiful town.

Tips for Affordable Travel from Tirana to Ohrid

Here are a few tips and tricks I’d recommend for securing the quickest and most affordable deal on travel from Tirana to Ohrid:

  • Book your tickets in advance to secure the best fares, especially during peak travel seasons.
  • Consider travelling during off-peak times or on weekdays for potentially lower ticket prices.
  • Compare prices from different transport providers to find the most affordable option.
  • Pack light to avoid excess baggage fees on buses or shared taxis.
Laura in Ohrid

When reaching Ohrid, transport within the town is very convenient, simple, and affordable. Ohrid itself is not a huge town, meaning it’s really easy to get around. Taxis are very readily available. When we arrived into Ohrid bus station, we got a taxi very easily and affordable. Some hotels will even offer a shuttle service so you can conveniently reach your accommodation. Ohrid is actually a walkable town, so you may even wish to explore the town and its streets on foot.

Travelling from Tirana to Ohrid is a scenic journey that offers a glimpse into the scenic landscapes and cultural heritage of the Balkans. Whether you choose to travel by bus, shared taxi, private transfer, rental car, there are plenty of options to suit every budget and preference. With careful planning and the right transport choice, you can embark on a memorable adventure from Tirana to Ohrid affordably and easily.

Tirana To Ohrid: FAQs

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about getting from Tirana to Ohrid when visiting North Macedonia.

How do I get from Tirana to Ohrid?

To travel from Tirana to Ohrid, you have several options. You can take a direct bus, which operates daily and takes approximately 4 hours. I’d recommend this option – it cost me around £9, and departs from the Tirana International Bus Station behind the Sport’s Palace. Alternatively, you can opt for a shared taxi or minibus for a quicker journey. Private transfers and rental cars are also available for a more personalised and flexible travel experience, allowing you to explore scenic routes and make stops along the way.

Is Ohrid worth a visit?

I can’t tell you just how worthwhile a visit to Ohrid is! It’s absolutely beautiful, incredibly affordable, and great for a relaxing few days immersing yourself into North Macedonian culture. Ohrid’s iconic lake is the oldest lake in Europe, and it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. Spend your visit relaxing at the beach with picturesque views, take a boat trip to some of the historical points in Ohrid, and try some delicious traditional food. Check out more in my Ohrid travel guide.

How much is a taxi from Ohrid to Tirana?

The cost of a taxi from Ohrid to Tirana can vary depending on several factors, including the taxi company, type of vehicle, and any additional services provided. From some brief research online, the approximate cost for a one-way taxi ride from Ohrid to Tirana is between 100 to 150 euros. However, it’s essential to confirm the fare with the taxi company or driver before starting your journey to ensure transparency and avoid any misunderstandings. Additionally, prices may fluctuate based on demand, time of day, and other factors, so it’s advisable to ask about the fare beforehand.

Tirana to Ohrid

Is Skopje or Ohrid better?

Choosing between Skopje and Ohrid ultimately depends on personal preferences. Skopje, the bustling capital of North Macedonia, offers a vibrant city experience with its historical landmarks, diverse cultural influences, and a lively atmosphere. On the other hand, Ohrid captivates visitors with its serene lakeside setting, rich history, and UNESCO-listed sites, providing a tranquil retreat amidst stunning natural beauty. Both Skopje and Ohrid offer very different experiences so I’d highly recommend you visit both. If, however, you only have the option of visiting either, I’d decide whether or not you’d prefer a city break or a relaxing town to explore. If you’re visiting in the spring or summer months, I’d say Ohrid.

Is Ohrid safe to visit?

Yes, Ohrid is generally considered a safe destination for visitors. Crime rates in Ohrid are relatively low, and violent crime is rare. The city is known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere, with locals accustomed to tourism. However, as with any travel destination, it’s essential to exercise common sense and take standard precautions to ensure a safe visit. This includes staying aware of your surroundings, keeping valuables secure, and avoiding isolated or poorly lit areas, especially at night. Overall, you can explore Ohrid’s historical sites and enjoy its natural beauty with confidence in your safety.

How many days is enough for Ohrid?

I’d say 3 days in Ohrid is a good amount of time to spend there. It gives you enough time to explore the city’s main attractions, soak in its relaxed ambiance, and enjoy leisurely activities. Don’t miss the charming Old Town, historic landmarks such as the Ohrid Fortress and Saint Sophia Church, and leisurely strolls along the picturesque lakeside promenade. I highly recommend taking a boat trip on Lake Ohrid, exploring nearby monasteries, and indulging in local cuisine, too.

What is the closest airport to Ohrid?

The nearest airport to Ohrid is Ohrid (OHD) Airport which is 8.6 km away. Other nearby airports include Tirana (TIA) (97 km), Skopje (SKP) (115.9 km), Pristina (PRN) (164.3 km), and Thessaloniki (SKG) (194.5 km).

Can you swim in Ohrid?

Yes, you absolutely can! Swimming in Lake Ohrid is a popular activity during the warmer months – we even took a dip during our visit in May. The lake’s crystal-clear waters and stunning scenery make it an inviting spot for swimming and water sports. Numerous designated swimming areas can be found along the lakeshore, allowing you to take leisurely dips as well as more adventurous activities such as snorkelling and diving. Additionally, the water quality of Lake Ohrid is generally excellent, providing a refreshing and enjoyable swimming experience.

That’s my guide on travelling from Tirana to Ohrid! I hope you found it helpful and are looking forward to completing the journey yourself. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.

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