Queen Teuta' Illryan kingdom was based here in the 3rd century BOT. The Ottomans laid siege to the city in 1473 and 1479, losing 14,000 and 30,000 men in these raids, respectively. Shkodra changed hands with Montenegro numerous times during World War I. Shkodra was badly damaged during an earthquake in 1979.
Buses/furgons between Shkodra and Tirana leave approximately every hour. The 2 hour, 116km journey costs 500 leke [Aug 2011].
From Ulcinj in Montenegro, buses cost €5 (plus €1 if you have baggage) and leave at 06:00, 07:00, 12:30 and 16:30. If not available, you can take a taxi to the border at Muriquani (€10) and after crossing the border, take another taxi to Shkodra (€8). However return ticket from Shkodra to Ulcinj costs €5 and buses leave at 0900 and 1600 from the city center fountain.
From Podgorica, take public buses to Tuzi, then hire a taxi either to the border or to Shkodra.
Minibuses to/from Hani i Hotit (the Montenegro border on the way to Podgorica ) run around 300 Lek. Taxis for this journey cost €15.
From Kosovo, minibuses from Gjakova meet the ferry across spectacular Lake Koman from Fierze to Koman where minibuses are available to Shkodra. If minibuses doing the full trip are not available (it depends on demand), go to Bajram Curri first and arrange the trip from there.
No service is available from Tirana, due to closure and planned relocation of that city's only railroad station. Trains run directly from Durres via Vorë, the latter of which is about 16 kilometers from Tirana.
Finding your way round Shkodra is complicated by the fact that recently ALL 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.
Kalaja/Rozafa Fortress, (2km southwest of Shkodra, near the southern end of Lake Shkodra), . Founded by the Illyrians, rebuilt by the Venitians and the Ottomans. Rozafa is a woman buried in the ramparts, who supports the structure. Visit the renovated museum. Bring a torch and go exploring. There are amazing views from the highest point. You can get there from the city center by local public bus for 30 lek each way.200 lek. edit
Shkodra Historical Museum, Rr. Oso Kuka, no. 12, ☎ 22 243213, . 9AM-2PM. The Museum is situated at a traditional Shkodran House featuring valuable artifacts on every sphere of social life in the area.150 lek. edit
Fototeke Marubi, Muhamet Gollesha, . First ever photograph taken in Albania (1858) is here. It's tricky to find, in a private house down an alleyway 100m north-east of 5-heroes roundabout. Ask a local to show you the way.130 lek. edit
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 km walk by the lake to Shiroke. There is a less frequent bus directly to Shiroke.edit
Ebu Beker Mosque
Shkodër Orthodox Cathedral'
Mesi Bridge, an Ottoman styled bridge and the nearby Drishti Castle
5 Heroes monument. This was "one of Albania's best examples of socialist-realist sculpture"[lonelyplanet]. Unfortunately, you can't see it any more except on postcards, because it has been replaced by a bland contemporary fountain. The site is still a useful reference point for finding your way around. Interestingly, the fountain is surrounded by seating, in the centre of a busy roundabout called Sheshi Demokracia (Democracy Square) with no pedestrian crossings! Only in Albania! It can now be found just outside of Shkoder. Head towards Ura e Thive (East out of Shkoder), past the LDS church, and you'll find it down the road about 1.5 km on the left hand side. edit
Shiroka, a picturesque fishing village along Skadar Lake
Shurdhah Island, . (Albanian: Ishulli i Shurdhahit)The Shurdhah Island is located in the Vau i Dejës Reservoir, which is fed and drained by the river Drin. It is accessible by tourist boat in summer from the Vau i Dejës dam or Rragam. It contains the ruins of the medieval town of Sarda. You can visit the ruins of the 11th century medieval castle, which includes two rings of defensive walls and towers (some sadly submerged in the lake), the remains of a Byzantine church and other early medieval walls. The setting on the steep rocks rising from the lake is especially impressive.(42.071373,19.652349)edit
Museum of Memory, Bulevardi Skenderbeu.. Museum dedicated to the crimes of the communist regime in Albania featuring photographs, videos, and first hand accounts of political prisoners from Shkodra.edit
Pjaca/Kol Idromeno St., (In the Center of Shkodra). Take a walk on the main pedestrian street of the city full of cafes and locals promenading in the evening hours.edit
Molo Promenade, Shetitorja Molos (Near Buna River Old Bridge along the river bank). Romantic renovated promenade along the riverside.edit
Visit the above churches and mosques of the city
The Lake Koman ferry is a breathtaking trip across Lake Koman from Koman to Fierze, where you can move on to Bajram Curri or further to Kosovo. Take a furgon in the morning (about 0600-0700) from the second roundabout down Marin Barleti about 500m away from the city centre.
Take a peak at the Bazaar of the Artisans (Pazari i Artizanatit) located at the city entrance where you can buy locally made souvenirs of all kinds.
Festivals. take place on an annual basis such as Carnival, Childrens Festival, AniFest Rozafa Animated Film Festival, Lake Day, and Shkodra Jazz Fest.edit
Take part in the annual Traditional Plays Festival (Lojra Popullore) showcasing the best of the North Albanian Folklore every end of March at Rozafa Castle.
Canoeing in Bojana (Buna) River
Florian's tours Albania. With almost a decade of tourism experience Florian offers overnight and day trips to surrounding areas. For more information firstname.lastname@example.org
Hotel Rozafa (Hotel Turizmi), (Right in the city centre, Rruga Marin Barleti close to Sheshi Demokracia). Old communist style hotel. 91 rooms, no A/C. 8 stories.From €16. edit
Hotel Kaduku, (at Sheshi Demokracia, immediately next to the Rozafa Hotel), ☎ +355 22 242216, . Highly recommended - friendly staff, large clean room with A/C, right in the city centre.€50 for double, with breakfast [Sep 2011]. edit
Hotel Tradita (Tradita G&T), Rr. Risto Siliqi, no. 25, ☎ +355 22 240 537, . checkin: 2PM; checkout: noon. As close as it gets to being invited to the dining hall, the kitchen and courtyard of the local Ottoman Pasha.€ 50. edit
Grand Hotel Europa, Sheshi 2 Prilli, ☎ +355 22 241 211, . Prestigious luxury hotel. 50 rooms.From €123. edit
Hotel Argenti, ☎ + 355 22 439 09, . Modern hotel in Velipoja area with comfortable rooms furnished with A/C, TV, bathroom and showers. Restaurant with traditional Albanian and European cuisine.edit
Florian's Guest House, Shkodra: shtoj i ri, reparti ushtarak. kodrajt (By car just turn down from E762 road towards Shtoj i Ri. Pass a few local shops, look for sign on right hand side of road.), ☎ 00355682335921. Small family run B&B/Guest House and is located amongst orchards and vineyards. Its about 30 minute walk to the centre of Shkoder. Breakfast is included and for 4 Euros more Lunch and dinner are offered, serving Albanian cuisine made from organic food farmed in the own garden. Very helpful family, can arrange tours of Shkoder as well as helping to get to other cities in Albania. 15 euro per night. 12 beds. Also can organise day and overnight trips to the surrounding areas. Email to make reservations: email@example.com. edit
Lake Shkodra Resort, Rruga e Liqenit, Grile/Omaraj, ☎ +355 692750337, . Only recently opened, this Albanian and English owned camp site on the shore of Lake Skadar includes log cabins, sun beds and umbrellas, restaurant, playground, Wifi and camper facilities. edit