Looking for a great road trip but not sure about driving in Albania?
As the world becomes smaller and smaller, everyone will have more and more chances to travel to new places. Albania is a great example of a relatively unknown but upcoming holiday destination. But what about driving in Albania?
Albania is one of these amazing places that should be on your bucket list. Even though the country isn’t usually at the top of people’s lists of places to visit, it has some beautiful places that will definitely impress you!
And one of the best ways to really get to know the Land of the Eagles is to hit the road and simply drive through it. I like to share my experiences with you as I drove through Albania multiple times.
This post has all the information you need to know about driving in Albania. Let’s dive in together!
What is it like to drive in Albania?
Driving in Albania is like nothing else you’ve ever done. Imagine going on a cruise through a variety of scenery, from tall mountain peaks to beautiful valleys, busy cities to quiet seaside towns. This is what you can expect if you decide to drive around this beautiful Balkan country.
When it comes to road conditions, Albania’s main roads and highways are usually in good shape. These include roads that lead to famous cities like Tirana, Durres, or Shkoder. Over the years, these roads have gotten a lot better. These roads can be fun to drive because they have beautiful views and are easy to find.
But the road conditions can change a lot once you get off the main roads and into the less travelled parts of the country. It can be hard to get around on secondary roads, especially those that lead to rural places.
They are often very narrow, windy, and not always well-kept, with potholes and parts that aren’t paved. The farther off the beaten path you go, the more careful and ready you need to be.
When it comes to traffic, the roads in Albania are a unique mix of difficulties and fun in my humble opinion. The way people drive there can also quite be aggressive and hard to predict. Drivers often pass each other in places you wouldn’t expect or at speeds that might seem crazy.
Also, especially in rural places, it’s not unusual to share the road with people walking, animals, and slow-moving vehicles like tractors or busses.
Still, driving in Albania gives you a sense of freedom and excitement that’s hard to find anywhere else. It gives you the freedom to discover hidden gems at your own pace, stop at beautiful spots for some great photo sessions, and immerse yourself in the country’s fascinating culture and history.
Overall, driving in Albania requires a mix of being alert, being patient, and being willing to try new things. At first, it might seem a bit overwhelming, but as the kilometers go by, you get used to the pace of the road and start to enjoy the unique charm that this kind of travel brings.
Car Rental in Tirana
It could very well be the case that you don’t have your own car or that you’re flying directly to Albania’s largest airport in Tirana. But no need to worry, I can fully recommend renting a car from Discover Cars for the best service and experience!
You can click on the link below to find your desired car in Tirana and start enjoying your road-trip through this beautiful country:
If you want to experience Albania as a local, it’s also a must to drive in a Mercedes car. Want to know why, check out my post about Mercedes cars in Albania!
What are the rules for driving in Albania?
Driving in a strange country can be scary, especially if you don’t know the rules. But if you understand and follow these rules, driving in Albania will be much easier and safer for you. Here are some important rules you should know:
- Right-hand Drive: Like most of Europe, Albania follows right-hand traffic. This means you should always drive on the right side of the road.
- Seatbelts: When you’re driving in your car, everyone in the car, including the driver, must wear a seatbelt at all times (this is not a big surprise of course).
- Safety for kids: In Albania, kids under 12 must sit in the back seat and use a proper child protection system. Depending on their age, weight, and height, this can be a kid car seat, a booster seat, or a booster cushion.
- Mobile Phones: It is against the law to use a cell phone that you hold in your hand while driving in Albania. You must use a hands-free device to talk on the phone in the car.
- Headlights: To be very precise, from half an hour after sunset until half an hour before sunrise, you must use your headlights! On some roads, you may even need to use your headlights during the day, so make sure to read and follow the rules.
- Documents: When driving, you should always have a current driving licence, an International Driving Permit (if needed), a copy of the car’s registration and proof of insurance.
Don’t forget that if you break these rules, you could get fines or other punishments. I know this from my own experience! So, you should always follow them to make sure that driving in Albania is safe and easy.
Is it safe to drive in Albania as a tourist?
When it comes to driving, safety is the most important thing, especially in a different country. I would say that, as a tourist, it’s usually safe for you to drive in Albania as long as you take the right precautions.
Make sure to always follow the rules of the road, stay alert, and be aware of how aggressively people drive there.
Cities and major highways have well-kept roads, but roads in rural places are really in worse shape. If you want to go somewhere off the main path, you should rent a 4×4.
Also, be aware that the signs in Albania aren’t always clear, so it’s important to have a GPS or map you can trust. Most locals in the rural areas aren’t speaking English very well so it could be hard to express yourself or to ask questions/directions.
Driving in Albania: FAQs
The information below is related to driving in Albania and will prepare you for your road-trip through this amazing country!
How much alcohol can you drive with in Albania?
When it comes to drinking and driving, Albania has a very strict stance. You should really be careful with this and you shouldn’t try to push your luck.
At 0.01%, the legal limit for the amount of alcohol in your blood is very small. This is basically the same as a zero-tolerance approach, and if you plan to drive, you shouldn’t drink any alcohol.
If you break this law, you could get fines that are too high, have your driver’s licence taken away, or even go to jail. It’s important to remember that these fines can get worse if you get into a car accident after drinking.
If you’ve been drinking, it’s always best to pick a sober driver, take a cab, or find another place to stay for your safety and the safety of others on the road.
Do I need an international driving license in Albania?
If you plan to drive in Albania as a tourist, you should have both a current national licence and an International Driving Permit (IDP) if you’re not from an EU country.
An IDP is a foreign version of your national driver’s licence. It is accepted all over the world. This paper is very important because it shows that you can legally drive in a foreign country.
But it’s important to keep in mind that some licences, like those from the European Union, are usually accepted in Albania without an IDP. It’s always best to check with the officials or rental car companies ahead of time to make sure you have the right licence.
Most of the time, getting an IDP is easy and can be done in your home country before you go to Albania. Getting an IDP can be done in different ways, but usually you have to show your present driver’s licence, some other forms of ID, and pay a small fee.
Can I drive in Albania with an EU license?
If you have a driving licence from an EU country, you don’t need an International Driving Permit to drive in Albania.
The licence from the EU is legal and accepted in Albania, which makes the process easy for people from the EU. This will save you time applying for an IDP!
Do I need a vignette in Albania?
In Albania, you do not need a vignette, which is a type of road tax that is popular in some European countries. The main way roads are taxed is through tolls, like the one on the Nation’s Road (Rruga e Kombit), which is the A1 highway that connects Tirana, the capital city of Albania, to Kosovo.
But rules and requirements can always change, so if you want the most up-to-date information, you should check with official sources or a reputable travel service close to the time of your trip.
If you want to go to other nearby countries such as Montenegro or , you should know that some of them do require a sketch. Make sure you know what you need to do to get into each country you plan to visit on your trip.
What is the maximum speed limit in Albania?
In Albania, the top speed limit varies on the type of road you are on and where you are. What you need to know is this:
- In most cities and towns, the speed limit is 50 km/h.
- Outside of these built-up places, or non-urban areas, the speed limit goes up to 90 km/h.
- On motorways, the fastest speed you can drive at is 110 km/h.
These are the normal speed limits, but keep in mind that they may be lower in some places because of road conditions, building, or other rules. You’ll notice this yourself while driving and experience the condition of the road.
Just keep an eye out for speed limit signs and drive at the right speed to make sure your safety and the safety of everyone else on the road.
Are there speed cameras in Albania?
Yes! Speed cameras are used in Albania, mainly on main roads, highways, and in cities. These cameras are there to make sure people don’t drive too fast, encourage safe driving, and cut down on car crashes.
The speed cameras work by getting a picture of a vehicle’s licence plate if it is going faster than the speed limit. When laws are broken, fines are usually sent to the registered owner of the car.
It’s important to remember that the fines can be very high and may go up based on how much you went over the speed limit. If you’re a tourist driving a rental car and get caught by a speed camera, the fine is usually sent to the rental company, which will then send it to you, possibly with an extra processing fee.
So, if you’re driving in Albania, you should always go the speed limit to avoid fines and keep yourself safe.
Is it easy to hire a car in Albania?
Yes, renting a car in Albania is a pretty easy thing to do. There are many car rental companies in the country, from big foreign chains to small local businesses. They offer a wide range of vehicles to fit different needs and budgets.
Most of the time, you need to be able to do the following to rent a car:
- Age: You have to be at least 21 years old, but this can change based on where you rent from. Some companies may also charge an extra fee for drivers under the age of 25.
- Driving License: You need a legal licence that you’ve had for at least a year or two. If your licence is not written in the Roman language (like English), you may need an International Driving Permit.
- Credit Card: Most car rental companies need a credit card for the security deposit. The amount of the deposit is held on your card until you return the car without any damage.
- Insurance: Most rental cars come with basic insurance, but if you want extra peace of mind, you might want to get more coverage.
When you get the car, check it carefully for any damage and make sure it’s written down on the rental agreement so there aren’t any problems when you return it. And make sure you know how to use the car’s features before you hit the road.
The Wrap-Up: Driving in Albania
There may be some problems with driving in Albania, but it’s still a good thing to try. It gives you the freedom to travel at your own pace and get away from the usual tourist routes.
Albania’s roads are full of surprises, whether you’re going through winding mountain roads, finding quaint villages, or driving along the beautiful coast!
Remember that following the local traffic rules, staying alert, and having a well-planned route are the keys to a safe and fun drive.
So buckle up and get ready for a trip through the heart of Albania that you’ll never forget!
On your road-trip through Albania and wondering what to eat in the morning, check out my post about the best breakfast options in Albania!
Your restless voyager,