Are you considering taking the Bari to Durres ferry from Italy to Albania?
The Bari Durres ferry (traghetti Bari Durrazzo) is a convenient way to get to Albania if you are already in Europe and a great alternative to flying.
Getting your ferry tickets and figuring out where to get the ferry from can be confusing as there is limited and conflicting information available online.
I took this popular ferry at the start of my 1 month Albania adventure. It was an excellent way to kick off my time in Albania but the logistics of getting the ferry were needlessly complicated.
It would have been a lot less stressful if I had clear information!
I’m going to walk you through every step of planning your journey so that you can have a stress-free experience.
Let’s jump in!
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Is Bari worth visiting?
You might be wondering if it is worth staying in Bari or if you should just pass through.
I recommend staying in Bari for a couple of days before catching the ferry from Italy to Albania.
Bari is a beautiful city. I enjoyed wandering through the old town with gelato in hand, watching the Italian nonnas drying their Orecchiette in the sun.
Bari is also a great base for taking day trips around the Puglia region. Polignano a mare, Monopoli, Brindisi, Lecce and Ostuni are all within easy reach of Bari.
How to get to Bari?
If you are considering getting the ferry from Italy to Albania then you will need to get to Bari from elsewhere in Italy.
Bari has a train station and is well-connected to many Italian cities. The train from Rome takes 4 hours and costs from €25 – €80. The train from Naples takes around 4.5 hours and costs from €22 – €65.
Bari also has an airport which you can fly into. The flight from Rome takes 3 hours.
Where to stay in Bari
Bari is a popular destination and has plenty of accommodation options.
I recommend choosing somewhere central as you will be within easy reach of both the train station and the port, as well as all the main sites in Bari.
Here are a few good options:
Budget: Olive tree hostel – This is where I stayed. The staff and owner are incredibly helpful and friendly.
Mid-range: Hotel Excelsior – Nice hotel in a fantastic central location.
Boujee: iH Grande Albergo Delle Nazioni – Beautiful hotel with pool and sea views.
Getting the ferry from Italy to Albania
Getting the ferry from Bari to Durres was logistically more complicated than I had initially anticipated.
There was not a lot of reliable information available online when I was planning my trip.
That’s why I decided to write this guide, to help you avoid the stress that I went through!
Bari to Durres ferry timetable
The Bari to Durres ferry allows you to travel between Italy and Albania. The ferry route is covered by three different ferry operators: Adria Ferries, Grandi Navi Veloci and Ventouris Ferries.
The journey from Bari to Durres Albania lasts 8 to 10 hours.
It is an overnight ferry, although there are also some daytime departures during the high season.
The ferries sail all year round at least once a day. In the high season, June-September, ferries can sail twice a day at varying times.
I sailed in July and only the regular ferry departing at 10 pm was available so definitely check ahead of time as to how many departures are available on the day you wish to travel.
|Depart Bari||Arrive Durres|
|Available all year||22:00||08:00 (next day)|
|Only available June-September||11:00||19:00 (same day)|
|Only available June-September||13:00||21:00 (same day)|
|Only available June-September||23:00||09:00 (next day)|
Bari to Albania ferry ticket types and prices
There are a few different options for what type of ferry ticket you can buy and the ticket prices vary depending on this.
The Italy to Albania ferry ticket price will vary between €48 and €177, depending on your ticket type and travel date.
I’ve summarised the types of tickets and an estimate of what you can expect to pay, in the table below.
|Type of ticket||Expect to pay|
|Seat only||€48 – €72|
|Internal cabin||€72 – €138|
|Cabin with sea view||€84 – €177|
|Car ticket||€70 – €105|
I bought a seat-only ticket in the high season and paid around €60.
Buying Bari to Durres ferry tickets in person
There is information online stating that you can buy ferry tickets in person from the ticket office at Bari port. However, this was not possible when I sailed.
I turned up at the ticket office two days before I wanted to get the ferry as I like to be prepared well in advance. I was told that it is not possible to buy tickets in person and that I would have to buy my tickets online and then print them out and bring them back to the ticket office to be exchanged for a boarding pass.
I’m not sure what the point of having a ticket office that you can’t buy tickets from is but having spent a lot of time travelling in the south of Italy, I know that this nonsensical approach to logistics is fairly common. This is why I always recommend that you plan your journey well in advance!
I don’t know if it is possible to buy tickets in person on the day of departure but personally, I wouldn’t risk it and to be honest I think it is just easier to simply buy your tickets online in advance.
Buying Bari to Durres ferry tickets online
Once you have purchased your ferry tickets online then you will need to print them out and take them back to the ticket office to be exchanged for a boarding pass.
You cannot board the ferry with just your printed tickets.
This isn’t made obvious when you buy your tickets and I actually saw people being turned away from the ferry because they hadn’t exchanged their online tickets for a boarding pass. So don’t let this catch you out!
The ticket office is located in Marisabella about 2km away from the ferry terminal. There is a free shuttle that will take you between the two.
The shuttle runs irregularly and is absolutely packed full during the summer so be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to complete this crucial step. I recommend getting there at least two hours before the ferry departs, just to be safe.
Important: You must exchange your printed online tickets for a boarding pass at the ticket office, which is located 2km away from the ferry terminal. Allow yourself plenty of time to do this.
Getting the best price for your Bari to Durres ferry tickets
I use FerryScanner to find the best prices for ferry tickets.
You can use FerryScanner to quickly and easily compare ferry routes, prices, and companies to book your ferry tickets. They also offer free cancellations on most routes, which is useful if you decide to extend your stay in Bari.
The websites of the individual ferries are not great and can be confusing to navigate so FerryScanner is really the most convenient option for finding the best prices.
Where to leave luggage in Bari
If you check out of your hostel or hotel in the morning you will need somewhere to store your luggage all day until you board the ferry at 10 pm. I always use Radical storage.
Radical storage is a luggage storage network that operates in over 70 countries and 350 cities with more than 3500 storage points. You can store your bags for €5 a day. There are currently 12 storage locations in Bari.
I’ve used Radical storage many times all across Europe and have always had a great and convenient experience.
Getting to the ferry terminal at Bari port
Getting to Bari port is straightforward. The port is walkable from the city centre or a taxi will cost you €10-€15 from the train station.
Once you get to the port you will need to get to the ferry ticket office located 2km away from the ferry terminal. I don’t advise walking this part as it is not very pedestrian friendly. Instead, you can take the free shuttle from the bus stop opposite the ferry terminal.
After exchanging your ticket for a boarding pass at the ticket office you will need to take the shuttle back to the ferry terminal.
The ticket office opens at 5 pm so don’t arrive any earlier than that.
Swapping your online tickets for a boarding pass
Once you reach the ticket office you will need to show your passport and visa paperwork if required, as well as your printed online tickets which will have a barcode for the staff to scan. They will then issue you with a boarding pass.
Once you have your boarding pass, wait for the shuttle back to the ferry terminal.
When I travelled in high season there were long lines for both the shuttle and the ticket office so allow at least 1 hr for this process.
Boarding the Italy to Albania ferry
Officially you should be able to board the ferry from about 7 pm but when I took this journey they didn’t start letting people onto the ferry until about 8.30 pm and then we spent almost another hour in the queue.
You will need to go through a security checkpoint and scan your bags before you are allowed to board.
The Bari Durres ferry is a car ferry so be careful as you are boarding as you will need to walk alongside the cars and trucks.
If you have booked a cabin you can collect your key once you are on board the ferry. You will have to leave your passport with the reception staff in exchange for your key.
Facilities on board the boat
The ferry has good facilities.
There is a reasonably priced cafe. I paid €1.50 for a coffee, which is pretty cheap. There is also a fancier restaurant/bar but I didn’t eat here so I can’t comment on how the food is.
There is a small soft play area for children and a lounge area to relax in.
If you booked a cabin don’t expect luxury, they are similar to what you would expect to find on a sleeper train.
There are basic shared bathroom facilities throughout the ferry.
Eating and drinking on the Bari Durres ferry
Meals in the restaurant cost around €10 and there is a bar serving a range of hot, cold and alcoholic drinks. The bar and restaurant close at 11 pm so you don’t really get much time to enjoy it.
You can also bring your own food and have a picnic out on the top deck, which is what I did.
What to bring on the Bari Durres ferry
I recommend bringing the following items on board with you:
- Warm layers – it gets chilly out on the deck!
- A travel pillow or blanket
- A sleep mask
- Ear plugs or noise-cancelling headphones
Sleeping on the Bari to Durres ferry
I booked a seat-only ticket and was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable the seat was!
It reminded me of an aeroplane seat. It was padded and reclined so I was actually able to get a decent night’s sleep in it.
Arrival in Durres
If you have a cabin there will be an announcement at around 6 am to tell you that you need to checkout. If you just have a seat you don’t need to do anything.
The ferry pulls into Durres at around 8 am, this is where you will get your first glimpse of Albania.
Disembarking the Bari to Durres ferry and Albanian immigration
It took around half an hour for everyone to filter off the ferry. Once you have disembarked you will be directed straight to the ferry terminal where you will join the queue for Albanian immigration.
There were four desks processing passports so the line moved pretty quickly and getting my passport stamped was a very quick and easy process.
At the exit of the terminal building, there were groups of Albanian students waiting to welcome us to their country.
They were incredibly friendly and helpful, something which I found to be ubiquitous amongst Albanians. They were able to give us some useful info on how to get to Albania’s capital city of Tirana.
I don’t know if they are there all the time or only during the high season but if you see them then they are definitely worth stopping to talk to.
Is Durres worth visiting?
Durres (sometimes spelt Durrës) is a popular port town in Albania.
I didn’t spend much time in Durres and instead hopped on a bus straight to Tirana. However, I wish I had given it more time and spent at least one night there as there are some good things to do in Durres.
Taxis, Uber and Buses from Durres to Tirana
There is no Uber in Albania but there are some Albanian apps which are similar to Uber that you can use. These have fixed fares and the drivers are licenced and vetted. Alternatively, you can flag down a taxi and negotiate a fare with the driver.
Outside the ferry terminal, there are lots of taxi drivers waiting to take you to Tirana. The drive to Tirana is only around 30 minutes and should cost €30.
The taxi drivers also offer black market money exchanges. I actually did end up exchanging my euros for Albanian Lek with one of the drivers as the bank across the street wasn’t open until 10 am and I was able to haggle a cheaper exchange rate with him.
Some of the taxi drivers may try to tell you that there are no buses to Tirana but this isn’t true at all. You will see a bunch of mini buses and coaches in the car park so just ask the bus drivers which is the next one leaving for Tirana. The bus from Durres to Tirana costs €1.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can also try hitchhiking to Tirana. Hitchhiking in Albania is easy and safe as it is a very common way to get around in the country. You likely won’t have to wait for longer than 5 minutes for someone to stop and offer you a ride.
Where to stay in Tirana
Once you arrive in Tirana there are plenty of great accommodation options.
I stayed at Homestel Albania. I can’t recommend it highly enough. It was cheap at only €8 a night, had a fantastic breakfast included and had the nicest roof terrace with a fantastic social atmosphere. This was definitely one of my favourite places to stay in all of Albania.
Albania is a hidden gem and one of the most unique travel destinations in Europe.
Once you are in Albania, there are lots of places that are worth visiting.
You can also head south from Tirana and spend time on the Albanian Riviera.
More ferries from Italy to Albania
As well as the Bari to Durres ferry there are also several other ferry crossings from Italy to Albania.
The other Italy to Albania ferry routes are:
- Trieste Durres Ferry
- Ancona Durres Ferry
- Bari Durres Ferry
- Brindisi Vlora (Vlorë) Ferry
- Brindisi Saranda (Sarandë) Ferry
I recommend using FerryScanner to search these routes.
The Durres Bari ferry
You can also catch the ferry from Durres, Albania to Bari Italy. I imagine the whole process for getting the Albania to Italy ferry is basically the same except in reverse.
There were ticket machines in the Durres ferry terminal so you can cut out the process of having to travel 2km for boarding passes.
Helpful information for your trip from Italy to Albania
- The ferry departs Bari, Italy at 10 pm and arrives in Durres, Albania at 8 am the next morning.
- You can choose from a range of tickets including seat-only and private cabins.
- Ticket prices range from €48 – €105.
- You will need to buy your tickets online and then exchange them for a boarding pass at the ticket office located 2km from the ferry terminal in Bari Port – allow at least an hour for this.
- The ticket office opens at 5 pm.
- You can board the ferry from 7 pm.
- There are food, drink, a bathroom and children’s play facilities available on board the ferry.
FAQs for how to get the ferry from Bari to Durres
Can you get a ferry from Italy to Albania?
Yes you can get a ferry from Bari Italy to Durres, Albania
How far is Bari from Durres?
The distance between Bari and Durres is 217 km which is around 117 nautical miles.
How long is the ferry from Bari to Durres?
The ferry from Bari to Durres sails overnight and takes roughly 8 hours.
What is the Bari Durres ferry price?
The Bari to Durres ferry ticket price varies depending on the time of year and the type of ticket. You can choose from seat only and cabin tickets and the price varies from €48 – €105.
Can you buy Bari to Durres ferry tickets online?
Yes you can buy Bari to Durres ferry tickets online. However, you will need to print them out and then exchange them for a boarding pass at the ticket office on your day of travel. Allow at least 1 hour to complete this process. You will not be able to board the ferry with just a printed online ticket.
What is the Bari to Durres ferry time?
The ferry departs every day at 10pm. There are extra departures during the summer months.
Is the Bari to Durres ferry ride rough?
It depends on the time of year as the sea between Italy and Albania can be a little rough. I travelled in July and did not experience any seasickness.
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Bari Durres ferry: The verdict
Despite the slightly complicated process of travelling between the ferry terminal and ticket office to exchange tickets for boarding passes, the overall experience of getting the ferry from Italy to Albania was pretty straightforward.
Money-wise, it was definitely worth it over flying as it meant that I saved on a night’s accommodation as well as taxi fees to and from the airports.
Of course, the ferry is also a good eco-conscious alternative to flying.
I recommend getting the Bari to Durres ferry if you have time, want to save a little money, want to be a little more eco-friendly and have a unique travel experience.
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