How to get from Tirana to Ohrid

tirana central bus station
Tirana Central Bus station

This post should give you a better understanding on how to get from Tirana to Ohrid by bus. If you have ever been to Albania then you probably know that the bus system can be a tricky one to navigate. Of course, locals are familiar with it all, however, for people visiting it can be quite confusing. We went from Budva, Montenegro, to Tirana, Albania’s capital and ended up taking three different buses just to get to Tirana. Whenever the bus stopped to drop people off and pick people up, a lot of the times, it was at seemingly random places, with no bus station in sight. While it’s relatively easy to take a bus to Albania, it takes a little more research and asking around to figure out how to exactly leave the country. We got dropped off at, what looked like a bus station, and was surprised to not see a ticket counter and upon reading up on it I realized that’s because there isn’t one.

Our plan was to travel from Tirana, Albania to Ohrid, Macedonia by bus and this is how we did it.

Upon looking into it we saw that there is a bus station with ticket counters right behind the Tirana Ring Center, the Tirana Central Bus station. If you punch it into google maps it should lead you directly to the bus station. It’s literally right behind the Ring Center. Make sure to ask around, should you have trouble finding it.

tirana central bus station
Tirana Central Bus station

At the Tirana Central bus station, you have heaps of bus companies selling tickets to places all over Europe. There are only one or two tour companies selling tickets to Macedonia and we went with HAK Bus. Unfortunately, our research revealed that, as of February 2018, there seem to be no direct buses from Tirana to Ohrid and we, therefore, bought tickets to Struga, Macedonia which is roughly a 20 minutes drive away from Ohrid. A single bus ticket from Tirana to Struga was 1,750.00 ALL which translates to 13 Euros or 16 US Dollars.

tirana central bus station
HAK Bus office

The woman who sold us our tickets was incredibly friendly and upon inquiring about luggage fees confirmed that there are no luggage fees on their buses to Struga. We just came from Montenegro were we ended up paying the equivalent of 2,50 USD for our backpacks and a little over 1 USD just to get to our bus gate and were relieved to hear that there are no extra costs for buses to Montenegro. Buses to Struga go two times a day, at 9 AM and at 4 PM. We decided to go with 9 AM and were advised to be there at 8:40 AM, just to be safe.

hak bus ticket to ohrid

On the day of our departure, we were greeted with our names by the lovely woman who sold us our tickets the day before. She checked us in and we departed, right on time, at 9 AM. The bus we took was a minibus and the ride to Struga took roughly 4 hours. It’s worth mentioning that we stopped at the border for roughly 20 minutes and had all our luggage as well as personal items examined. This is a standard procedure and as we were roughly 12 people on the bus, the procedure was fairly fast.

We ended up getting dropped off at the main bus station in Struga were we were immediately approached by a fairly aggressive cab driver insisting that he’d drive us to Ohrid for 10 Euros (600 MKD). Cab rides from Struga to Ohrid should not cost more than 300 MKD, and even that is considered a bit pricey by Macedonian standards. The local rate is around 180 MKD. The cab driver followed us into the bus station, left and came back with a counteroffer of 5 Euros. He kept talking to us and I was starting to feel really uncomfortable and just kept ignoring the dude. He insisted that local buses were 2 Euros and that taking his cab would be a good deal. Well, he was full of poop and why he kept mentioning Euros, given that the national currency is Macedonian denar, is beyond me.

We asked the woman behind the ticket counter where we could buy tickets to Ohrid and she helped us mark the bus station we would need to go to on Google maps. It took us roughly 15 minutes of walking to reach it. At this bus station, heaps of local minibusses depart every couple of minutes. Locals get on and off and it can be a little tricky to figure out which bus takes you to Ohrid. It’s best to ask locals which bus you’d need to take to go to Ohrid. We ended up asking bus drivers and locals and upon asking a lovely woman about which bus to take to Ohrid she watched out for us and told us immediately that THIS bus is the one.

Please bear in mind that the bus taking you to Ohrid is a minibus with no space for luggage. If you have a gigantic suitcase or backpack bigger than 40L then I’d advise you against taking the bus. Although our 40L backpacks are fairly small we were cramped and had to be mindful about not hitting other passengers with our luggage. The bus ride took roughly 30 minutes, stopped at various places and dropped us off right in the center of Ohrid. The bus ride from Struga to Ohrid ended up being just 50 MKD per person which is roughly $1.

While getting from Triana to Ohrid took heaps of research, it was absolutely manageable and in retrospect, I am surprised how easy and inexpensive it was. I’ve taken heaps of buses in my lifetime and HAK Bus is, hands-down, the smoothest and nicest bus operation I’ve ever dealt with. Both the driver as well as the woman selling us our tickets were incredibly lovely and professional, there were no luggage fees, the driver didn’t smoke on the bus and we got where we needed to go on time. If you are planning to go from Tirana to Ohrid I highly recommend going with HAK Bus, their service is truly outstanding! πŸ™‚

Did you ever go from Tirana to Ohrid? If yes, how did you do it? I’d love to update this post with alternative routes and companies that you had great experiences with! πŸ™‚



  1. February 28, 2018 / 4:09 PM

    thanks for sharing the post, as I’m trying to get from tirana to ohrid by bus. where are you now?

    • Nina
      February 28, 2018 / 5:57 PM

      Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to help you out! πŸ™‚ I just got to Istanbul, Turkey! πŸ™‚

  2. Rola
    July 9, 2018 / 1:19 AM

    Thank you for info….. it was helpful…..just to let you know, there is a direct bus to Ohrid at 2pm….ticket price 17 euro….

    • Nina
      July 9, 2018 / 2:39 AM

      Thank you so much for sharing. This is going to be super helpful for anyone reading your comment! πŸ™‚ Do you remember the bus company that you took and where it stopped? πŸ™‚

      • Hayley
        July 13, 2018 / 9:52 PM

        I just took this yesterday. It’s Euro Bus (counter 6 at the bus terminal.) I was told it only runs in July and August, though.

        The driver was really friendly, dropping us off in the center of Ohrid instead of the bus station. It was also a mini bus that was nowhere near full, so lots of space and quick border crossing! No other stops along the way, except a quick bathroom/snack stop. πŸ™‚

        • Nina
          July 14, 2018 / 2:25 AM

          So interesting that it only seems to run in the summer! There probably wouldn’t be enough people in the colder months. Thank you so much for sharing! This will is so helpful! Good to know that the minibus only made one quick stop. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! πŸ™‚

  3. Juliana
    September 14, 2018 / 2:18 PM

    Thank you for sharing wonderful experience.
    Base on your experience, do u think a single lady traveler are safe and comfortable being alone at Albania?
    I am planning to travel from Albania to Macedonia alone.

    • Nina
      September 15, 2018 / 6:56 AM

      Based on my experience absolutely! There are really only a few places in the world that travelers aren’t recommended to visit! πŸ™‚

  4. Daniel
    September 16, 2018 / 9:39 PM

    Hi Ninja! As I found your post helpful for planning my trip, I will just update with my experience from Friday:

    I also went to the Hak Bus office in the Bus Terminal, and there is an info hanging outside that there is everyday bus on 2 PM. I bought tickets and it was for Eurobus company, cost was 17 EUR / 2200 ALL. I could have left my luggage in the office (free of charge), as I still had 2 hours left and didn’t want to carry it with myself. Bus was 1:30 PM on the terminal, and left even earlier than 2 PM, so it’s better to be there 15 minutes before scheduled departure. Minibus was nice, air conditioned, with additional box for luggage. Driver was nice even though he was smoking during the ride (nothing exceptional in Albania). There was 10 people on board, the trip took only 3 hours with like 20 mins spent on the border (didn’t have to walk out from the bus). Bus stopped in the Ohrid city centre, so we also didn’t have to take a taxi from bus station (which is 2 km away next to nearly nothing) or Struga.


    • Nina
      September 18, 2018 / 3:33 PM

      Hi Daniel,

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience! That’s a much better bus route! I remember someone telling me that the connections tend to be better in the busier months and unfortunately I was there during the off-season.

      It’s neat that this bus took you straight to the heart of Ohrid and that you didn’t have to get out in Struga. This is going to be incredibly helpful for anyone reading this. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! πŸ™‚

      All the best,

    • Georgie Brander
      September 19, 2018 / 8:34 AM

      Hi Daniel and Ninja. We want to do this trip in a weeks time as a 2 day trip returning to Tirana as we fly to Rome from there. We’re at the tail end of 7 weeks in the Balkans – so my question is – was Orhid worth the effort?

      • Nina
        September 19, 2018 / 9:38 AM

        It depends on what you are into, really. When it comes down to it, it’s all personal preference. I LOVED Ohrid and everything it has to offer. It’s really beautiful, serene and I plan on going back in the summer. When I was there it was freezing!

  5. Freddy Bogan
    October 1, 2018 / 8:44 AM

    Hi great help.
    I have just taken the small Euro bus (Hak) from the bus station behind the ring shopping center .
    Direct to Ohrid, only border stop.Did not check our luggage only passports. Easy.
    The price was a bit steep for a 3 hour journey 17 euros, but hastle free.

    • Nina
      October 1, 2018 / 8:55 AM

      Thank you so much for sharing! Awesome that they didn’t check your luggage and only your passports! That’s a lot easier than having to get out and having everything checked manually. I agree, 17 Euros is definitely a little steep. Sounds like it was worth it though!

  6. Rachel
    October 9, 2018 / 7:08 AM

    We went to that same office yesterday and were told the direct buses to Ohrid stop today (for the season, I suppose) so we’ll be changing at Struga too!

    • Nina
      October 9, 2018 / 12:00 PM

      Ah! This leads me to believe that it must indeed be a season thing! In the autumn and winter, they are probably less busy and may, therefore, stop in Struga as opposed to going to Ohrid’s city center. Thank you so much for sharing! That’s going to be useful to anyone planning a trip this time of the year! πŸ™‚

  7. Jasper So
    November 23, 2018 / 5:13 AM

    Thanks for sharing the information, it is really helpful. I am planning to visit Tirana and Ohrid in coming Feb, so I may have to take the HAK bus there. Meantime, I would ask if it is difficult to have public transportation around Ohrid because I may want to visit Bitola for a day trip as well.

    • Nina
      November 23, 2018 / 10:49 AM

      Hi there! I can’t really comment on public transportation around Ohrid as I didn’t take any buses there. I am sure you’d be able to get that sorted once you are there though. Just bear in mind that winter is the off-season so there may not be as many options as there are in the summer! πŸ™‚

      • Jasper So
        November 23, 2018 / 12:22 PM

        Thanks Nina. I will be staying at Ohrid for 4 nights, so I am planning to spend day trips visiting cities around there or I may have to see if there are local tours for me to join when I am there then.

  8. January 9, 2019 / 7:57 PM

    I’m doing this exact trip tomorrow! I looked online and it said that the only HAK bus running to Struga is from 7pm to midnight for 6 euros. I’m hoping this is wrong, because I do not want to arrive after midnight. Were you able to see any info online before your trip?

    • Nina
      January 11, 2019 / 8:05 AM

      No, unfortunately, at the time, there wasn’t any information online about this. I needed to ask around in person and eventually just went to the bus station and bought my ticket there! πŸ™‚

  9. Sid
    January 18, 2019 / 3:31 PM

    Doing this journey today (18Jan’19), off season (Oct to Mar) there are only 3 buses to Ohrid (via Struga) and they depart at 09hrs, 16hrs & 19hrs. I’m taking 16hrs bus and has been told that will be idropped off in Struga at 19.30hrs (that’s 3.30hrs journey including passport control). Ticket cost is 10€ or 1300Leke.
    Yet to board the bus to Struga so can’t comment on journey beyond to Ohrid. Will update later today or tomorrow..
    @ Nina: Buses to Ohrid doesn’t go from same bus station we were dropped- you say there is walk of 15mins where one can get bus to Ohrid. Do you know the name of that place or coordinates? Also any ATM on Struga bus station where I can withdraw some MKD upon arrival?
    Many thanks

    • Nina
      January 22, 2019 / 9:44 AM

      Apologies for my late reply! Given that you did this journey a couple of days ago, my advice comes a little late.

      I included a link to Google maps with the location of the bus station from which buses to Ohrid depart! πŸ™‚ I don’t remember paying attention to ATMs. If you are in need of cash upon arrival I am sure you’d find an ATM though! Struga is very small and you won’t need to walk much to get money! πŸ™‚

      If you have any tips regarding the journey, then please comment! It seems that the process of getting from Tirana to Ohrid can be different, depending on the season and bus company one goes with! πŸ™‚

  10. April 29, 2019 / 2:37 PM

    An update on 29/4/2019. HAK bus tickets to Struga are sold from the Star Agency now, which is the opposite side of the bus depot from the numbered agencies. If you ask at the other agencies, they say there is only a 4:00pm bus, so you need these guys for the 9:00am. It is claimed to be a full sized bus, which we need for the excessive luggage we have!
    The depot also confused us. It’s not visible from the main road, you need to go to the back of the basketball hall.

    • Nina
      May 19, 2019 / 7:31 AM

      Thank you so much for your update! This is going to help anyone finding this post tremendously!! πŸ™‚

  11. Losini
    May 23, 2019 / 8:01 AM


    I want to go to Ohrid from Tirana for 1 night.
    Do you know how I can the bus timings? Tirana to Ohrid and return?

    • Nina
      May 25, 2019 / 8:45 AM

      Unfortunately, I don’t know. You’d need to ask locals for those times. I’ve never gone there in one day and back! πŸ™‚

  12. Aysegul
    May 27, 2019 / 10:56 AM


    I took a bus from Tirana to Ohrid on 24 May Friday. Still, there is no direct bus to Ohrid, so I had to go through Struga. I bought ticket from Duomo Tours (which is just across all the bus counters with numbers as shown in the photo Nina posted) and it was a big bus and due to traffic within Tirana, it took us 5 hours to get to Struga (including the passport control at the border of Macedonia). We took the 4 pm bus and the bus left us at Struga at 9ish. The thing is the place the bus leaves you is kind of highway so I believe to get to Ohrid, you should walk to the main bus station. However, there was a couple on the bus and they offered to share a taxi with us. Taxi was 10 euros and drive took 18 min. The 5 hour ride felt so long so I did not want to walk to main station and sharing taxi made more sense at that time.

    • Nina
      June 3, 2019 / 7:14 AM

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience from going to Tirana to Ohrid, over Struga! πŸ™‚

  13. Sjur
    May 30, 2019 / 11:52 PM

    it’s possible to take a bus/minivan directly to Ohrid from Tirana! We took a direct minivan with Euro Bus (or something like that, it was really a van with no specific markings) at 1400 from Tirana to Ohrid today. Booked the tickets on the day from Dajani trans at the international bus station. The trip cost us 20€ or 2600lek to Ohrid bus station, paid 200mkd extra and he drove us all the way to Ohrid center. The trip took 3h in total, even though we turned around after leaving Tirana to pick up a couple that had arrived to Tirana with the bus from Kotor around 1415, which meant that we were already 30-45min delayed when departed once again. The driver was very friendly, spoke excellent English (he had been living several years in NYC), didn’t perform any insane overturns, and did not smoke while driving. Also, the young lady at Dajani trans were very friendly and accommodating, looked after our bags for several hours, provided free WiFi, and also spoke excellent English.

    • Losini
      May 31, 2019 / 6:43 AM

      Perfect, this is so helpful. Do they have the same service back from Ohrid to Tirana?

      • Nina
        June 3, 2019 / 7:18 AM

        I am glad that it is! I’d assume so! I did not take the bus back so I can’t confirm where to buy a ticket, etc. Once you are there it shouldn’t be all too difficult to figure that out though! πŸ™‚ It’s probably best to ask at the bus station in Tirana! πŸ™‚

    • Nina
      June 3, 2019 / 7:16 AM

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Sjur! That sounds like an excellent option to get to Ohrid without any issues and fast! πŸ™‚

  14. XHULJA
    June 19, 2019 / 8:31 PM


  15. Ciaran
    August 2, 2019 / 6:40 PM

    Hey all! I’m doing this exact journey next month and I was hoping anyone could update me on if anything has changed in this process.

    • Maria
      August 9, 2019 / 9:36 AM

      Hey together!
      I can give an update. We did this trip yesterday from Tirana to Ohrid. In Tirana you have to go to the “international bus station”, which is BEHIND the basketball hall next to the ring center. There you can buy a direct transfer ticket for 18€ at the ticket office of Star Travel (opposite side of the numbered agencies). This bus leaves at 2 pm. The woman in the office said that the 9am bus only drives to Struga and you have to taxi from there to Ohrid. This bus would also take more time than ours because of a lot stops during the tour. She promised that our bus will need maximum 3,5 hours. I think it is better to buy the ticket one day before departure because our small bus was fully booked. The name of the bus company was Eurobus.
      The trip itself:
      The bus started almost on time. The bus driver started to make many calls during the driving, they seemed to be private and we didn’t feel very comfortable. Furthermore he stopped several times for no obvious reason. The border controll was really fast (about 10 minutes) and well organized (we collected all passports in the bus and the driver just headed them to the police men for control). Although we arrived after 4 hours in Ohrid because of the drivers phone calls and stops. Some kilometers before Ohrid the bus driver started “Guys, it’s time to speak…”. He explained that he will drop us of at the bus station which is not in the center of Ohrid. If anybody wants he will drive for 1€ extra (per person) to the center. In our eyes he is a rackeeter. Some people said that they want to jump of at the central bus station so he had to drive there anyway. At the bus office in Tirana they did not say any word about that.

      All in all: it works… nothing more, nothing less.

      We hope this update helps other travellers!

  16. Greg Dunn
    September 15, 2019 / 11:37 AM

    Hi everyone,

    I did this trip just a few days ago and I can confirm Maria’s comments from above.

    Star Travel offers tickets for a 14:00 (2.00 pm) service from Tirana International Bus Station to Ohrid. The tickets currently cost €18. It was a black minivan seating 20 people, marked Euro Bus.

    We were told to arrive at the bus station by 13:30, and actually everyone was on board and we set off at about 13:50. The driver tried his best to make it look like he had everything under control and arrange everyone on the bus to some plan (for some reason those who had online tickets were allowed on first, then those who’d bought tickets from Star Travel, then those who’d bought tickets from elsewhere) but mostly he just seemed rather shouty and agitated. As Maria mentioned, he then spent most of the trip talking loudly to people at the front of the bus, having what sounded like arguments on the phone and making random stops – first to collect extra passengers, meaning one guy had to stand up for about 90 minutes, and a couple of times for personal reasons (including, at one point, at a fruit stall to buy himself some grapes, which took about five minutes for some reason!).

    This meant that with the border crossing, which wasn’t nearly as smooth as others have made out and took about half an hour, with lots of stopping and starting and the driver getting out of the van and in again and out again and talking to first this person and then that person, the whole trip took about 4.5 hours. And yes, as we were approaching Ohrid the driver gave us the spiel about him “having to go to Ohrid bus station” because that was his official destination but for just €1 more per person he could take us to the centre. Again, I agree with Maria that this feels like a blatant money-making scheme. Why not just charge €19 for the ticket and drop the whole “I’ll drive you to the centre” routine?

    On the whole I guess this is the easiest way to get from Tirana to Ohrid by bus, but it was pretty slow-going and the driver made it even slower with his stops and constant chatting.

    P.S. We bought our tickets the day before to make sure we could travel, and we were wise to do so – the bus was full.

    • Greg Dunn
      September 15, 2019 / 11:42 AM

      Oh, and P.P.S. We were only two rows back from the driver and I saw in the rear-view mirror at least twice, maybe three times where he was driving with his eyes closed because he was obviously drowsy and falling asleep! So on that front all the chatter that was happening and the phone calls were a good thing, as they otherwise kept him awake…

  17. Timon
    February 7, 2020 / 11:23 AM

    I asked today and the 1400 bus only drives in the summer. So I will take the 1600 bus to Struga which costs €10. As other people suggested πŸ™‚

    I think there is also a bus at 900 and 2100 to Ohrid but I am not 100% sure about that

    • Nina
      March 9, 2020 / 5:58 AM

      Thank you so much for sharing this! πŸ™‚

  18. Drew
    September 18, 2020 / 7:32 AM

    There is a direct mini bus to Ohrid now. It costs 19€ and leaves at 8am from the Pallati i Sportit “Asllan Rusi”…it’s run by Drita Travel where you can purchase a ticket at their office behind the International Hotel in the center or at the bus station mentioned above. Trip took a little over 4 hours due to rest stops (two) and the border crossing.

    • Nina
      September 30, 2020 / 1:25 PM

      Hey Drew,

      Thank you so much for adding to the discussion and letting us know about this!

      That’s super helpful!

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