Trains are diesel, dilapidated and mostly overcrowded. Services operate from Tirana to Shkodra, Vlora, Fier, Ballsh and Pogradec. There are long-term plans to build railways connecting Pogradec with Kicevo (Macedonia, FYR) and Florina (Greece).
A train ride is a must-see, as there are few such enjoyments in Europe these days. Tickets are very cheap and the journeys are very long, but the views and the atmosphere are usually priceless. On most stations you'll find people selling sunflower seeds, fruits, chewing gum and many other different things.
There are around 18,000km (11,250 miles) of roads in Albania, but only 7450km (4656 miles) are considered main roads. Maintained by the State, they are supposed to be suitable for motor vehicles, although only 2850km (1781 miles) are paved and, of those, three-quarters are in very poor condition, with numerous potholes: 4-wheel drive vehicles are recommended. There are strict speed limits according to type of vehicle and type of road as well as within towns. International road signs apply. Traffic drives on the right. Visitors are advised to exercise extreme caution when driving, owing to the poor condition of the roads and the unpredictability of local drivers. Night-time driving should be avoided, as there is no street lighting except in urban areas and major inter-urban arterial routes. In addition, whilst petrol stations are available in urban areas, they are not common in the countryside. Cars should be fully self-sufficient, carrying minor repair equipment since there is no national recovery system.
This is the main form of transport within Albania. Most people in Albania travel by private minibusses (called the "furgons") and they depart quite frequently to destinations around Albania. These furgons have no timetable (they depart when they are full). Also ask around for the directions and to where you can get these minibuses.
From Tirana, many furgons a day depart to Shkoder, Durres and Berat. Furgons departing to the south like Gjirokastra or Saranda tends to depart fairly early in the morning. These furgons are fairly comfortable and is quite a fast alternative to travel.
The main routes from Shkodra, Korça, Saranda, Gjirokastra, Peshkopia and Durres to Tirana are operated by private bus companies.
Busses are more comfortable and cheaper, but they are less frequent.
Rental car agencies can be found at Tirana International Airport Nene Tereza as well as in the city centre.
Documentation: International Driving Permit and national driving licence are required. A fully comprehensive insurance policy is absolutely essential.
A cheap, flat-fare urban bus service operates in the main cities, although the buses are usually crowded. Taxis can be found in Tirana in front of the main hotels housing foreigners.
However, Tirana's city centre is small enough to be explored through walking.