Shkodra

Travel Guide Europe Albania Shkodra

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Introduction

View of Shkodra from the ramparts of the Rozafa Castle

View of Shkodra from the ramparts of the Rozafa Castle

© timandcait

Shkodra is a city in the northwest of Albania and is the capital of the Skhodra County. The city has around 120,000 inhabitants, although the total urban region has almost twice as many inhabitants. Recently, it has experienced a face lift as streets and buildings were renovated, a promenade opened and a new swing bridge built over the Buna River.

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Sights and Activities

  • Kalaja/Rozafa Fortress (2 kilometres southwest of Shkodra, near the southern end of Lake Shkodra). Founded by the Illyrians, this fortress was rebuilt by the Venitians and the Ottomans. Rozafa is a woman buried in the ramparts, who supports the structure. The renovated museum inside the castle explains its history and that the area of the former city is now consumed by the rivers beside the castle. The museum costs 200 Leks extra and there is a private guide you can ask about almost anything. There are amazing views from the highest point. 200 lek.
  • Shkodra Historical Museum, Rr. Oso Kuka, no. 12, ☎ +355 22 243213. 9:00am-2:00pm. The Museum is situated at a traditional Shkodran House featuring valuable artifacts on every sphere of social life in the area. 150 lek.
  • Lake Shkodra. The largest lake in the Balkans. Take a taxi to the village of Shiroke. Alternatively ask around for the public bus which goes to the edge of the city, where it is a pleasant 5 kilometres walk by the lake to Shiroke. There is a less frequent bus directly to Shiroke.
  • Mes Bridge (Albanian: Ura e Mesit) (In the village of Mes, about five kilometres northeast of Shkodër). This bridge was built in the 18th century by Kara Mahmud Bushati, the local Ottoman pasha.
  • Drisht Castle (Above the modern village of Drisht, 10 kilometres northeast of Shkodër). A ruined castle, the earliest traces of Frost Castle's fortifications date to the late Neolithic era. The current walls and towers date to 1396-1478 during the Venetian era.

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Weather

Shkodër has a Mediterranean climate that is almost wet enough in July to be a humid subtropical climate (Cfa); the average yearly temperature in the city varies from 14.5 °C to 16.8 °C. The temperature in January ranges from 1.4 °C to 9.8 °C; in August, from 19.3 °C to 32.4 °C. The average yearly rainfall is about 1,700 millimetres, which makes the area one of the wettest in Europe.

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Getting There

By Train

There is at least one train a day to/from Tirana, but this is only for enthusiasts, as it takes almost twice as long than by bus.

By Bus

There are regular buses to/from Tirana, taking about 2-2.5 hours. There are also two (mini) buses a day to Ulcinj in Montenegro and from Skhodra there are regular minibus connections to the border, where you have to cross by foot and take onward transport.

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Getting Around

Finding your way round Shkodra is complicated by the fact that recently all the roads have been renamed, and some of the old names have even been re-used in different places! All roads have got new road signs. Since all the maps and guides (including this one) give the old names, finding your way round is a bit like being in a parallel universe.

There are some public buses running inside city. There is also infrequent bus to the nearby village of Shiroke.

Shkodra is the bike capital of Albania, because it's flat. This is a heritage from the Hoxha-era.

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Eat

Lots of dining options are available on the main pedestrian street - Rruga Kolë Idromeno. There are also some nice restaurants and pizzerias on the promenade near Buna River Old Bridge (Rruga e Molos street).

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Drink

Local beers "Korça" or "Tirana" and the famous Albanian spirit called Raki.

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Sleep

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

Almost every city or town in Albania has public internet access, usually available at an Internet cafe. Some hotels, especially in Tirana, have broadband connections in the guest rooms; a few have Wi-Fi.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Albania is: 355. To make an international call from Albania, the code is: 00.
Coverage of cell phones is good, except in the most remote, mountainous areas.

Post

Post Ashqiptare is the national postal service of Albania and services have been getting more reliable and faster over the years. Opening times of post offices are mostly between 8:00am and 5:00pm Monday to Friday and on Saturday mornings, although the bigger ones might keep slightly longer hours, while in small towns there might be shorter hours or a lunch break. For sending things other than postcards and letters or anything of value, you might consider using a private company like UPS, TNT, FedEx or DHL.

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Accommodation in Shkodra

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Shkodra searchable right here on Travellerspoint.

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This is version 7. Last edited at 9:33 on Oct 23, 17 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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