Where to Stay in Shkodër

Curious about the best places to stay during your trip to Shkodër? Whether you’re looking for the luxury of a hotel or the cozy feel of a hostel, Shkodër offers a variety of accommodations. During our research for our visit to Vlorë, we found some real gems that we’re excited to share with you. This blog post highlights the top spots to stay in Shkodër!

Tip: Prices in Albania are quite affordable. This gives you a fantastic opportunity to stay in some of the finest hotels for the same price—or even less—than what you’d pay for a hotel room in other European countries.

Where is Shkodër located in Albania?

Shkodër is in the northwest of Albania, near the Montenegro border. The city rests along the shores of Lake Shkodër, the largest lake in the Balkans, shared with Montenegro. Shkodër is also surrounded by the rivers Drin, Buna, and Kir, making it historically a key strategic location. Additionally, it lies at the base of the Albanian Alps, offering stunning mountain scenery.

Shkodër is easily accessible from the capital, Tirana, about 100 kilometers to the south. The travel time by bus or car is approximately one and a half hours, though traffic can be unpredictable.

Rozafa Castle Shkoder

Why Shkodër is Worth Visiting

Shkodër might not be as filled with tourist sites as other Albanian cities like Berat or Gjirokastër, but it has its own charm, especially if you enjoy a laid-back backpacker vibe. It’s often used as a starting point for visits to the impressive Rozafa Castle, Lake Shkodër, and the Albanian Alps.

Reading tip: best things to do in Shkoder

Shkodër is known as a backpacker’s haven and the ‘City of Bicycles’. It has a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of hostels ranging from lively party places to quieter ones offering private rooms. The city also has a unique biking culture with 1 out of 3 locals using their bike for everyday needs. The pedestrian zone Rruga Kole Idromeno, at the city center’s heart, is lined with trendy cafes and shops and offers a lively Western vibe.

A key attraction in Shkodër is Rozafa Castle, perched on a hill on the city’s south side. The castle is a must-visit for its breathtaking panoramic views of the city and beyond, including Lake Shkodër. Shkodër also gives its name to Lake Shkodër, easily accessible from the city. However, for a more dramatic view of the lake, visiting from Montenegro is recommended, where it’s known as Skadar Lake.

For those who love nature and hiking, Shkodër is the gateway to the Albanian Alps, an incredibly beautiful mountain range perfect for trekking and exploring the rugged landscapes of northern Albania. Organized tours and transport options are available from Shkodër to the Albanian Alps, including the popular hiking trail between Valbona and Theth and the boat trip across Koman Lake.

Rozafa Castle Shkoder

How many days to spend in Shkodër?

We suggest spending at least two to three days in Shkodër to fully experience the city and its surroundings. This allows you to spend a day exploring the city and cycling to the lake and another day visiting Rozafa Castle.

Start your visit in Shkodër itself, where you can explore historical and cultural landmarks. Rent a bike to discover why this place is known as the ‘City of Bicycles’. Dedicate some time to wander through the pedestrian street Rruga Kole Idromeno, enjoying the local shops and cafes. If you have the time, consider a bike ride to the vast Lake Shkodër. The next day, head to Rozafa Castle for the city’s best views.

Moreover, consider a four- or five-day journey to the spectacular Albanian Alps from Shkodër. Make sure to plan your days well during your stay. Many accommodations offer regular shuttles to the mountain villages of Theth and Valbona via the Koman ferry. The renowned hike between these two villages takes about a day and is a highlight of any visit to Albania. We recommend making a loop by taking the shuttle to Theth, exploring the village for a day or two, hiking to Valbona, and then taking the scenic Koman ferry back to Shkodër.

Mesi Bridge Shkoder

Where to Stay in Shkodër 

Shkodër is celebrated for its laid-back backpacker vibe, offering a wide range of accommodations from lively hostels to tranquil retreats with private rooms. If hostels aren’t your thing, don’t worry—Shkodër also boasts many delightful hotels. We uncovered several gems during our research trip that we’re eager to share.

The top hotels in Shkodër:

#1 Çoçja Boutique Hotel is nestled in a pastel blue building with a chic interior. This hotel earns rave reviews for its spacious and stylish rooms, prime location, welcoming atmosphere, and delicious à la carte breakfast.

#2 Hotel Loredano is positioned right in the heart of Shkodër. This hotel features stylish rooms, a luxurious breakfast, friendly staff, and its own restaurant and bar. The dining room, in particular, is stunning—an ideal spot to kick off your morning!

#3 The Red Bricks Hotel, a favorite among visitors, offers extremely spacious rooms with a contemporary design. Guests are greeted with complimentary water and fresh fruit in the fridge, a thoughtful touch that stands out. Reviews often highlight the friendly staff.

#4 Amo’s Hotel is a small boutique hotel centrally located in Shkodër. The hotel is highly praised for its excellent customer service and the warm hospitality of the owner

#5 ODA Aparthotel Shkodër provides the convenience of electronic check-in and enjoys a superb location in the city. Its fresh, modern rooms equipped with comfy beds are consistently praised in guest reviews.

The top hostels in Shkodër:

#6 The Wanderers Hostel is extremely popular in Shkodër. This hostel truly captures the city’s backpacker spirit. It offers a variety of social activities, a beautifully decorated courtyard, and staff that are always ready to help with travel tips and organizing activities, hikes, or transfers.

#7 Mi Casa es Tu Casa – Shkodra Backpackers Hostel is loved for its friendly, home-like, and social atmosphere. This hostel provides bicycles for rent, allowing guests to easily explore Shkodër. Its garden, complete with benches and a hammock, is the perfect place to relax after a day of adventure.

#8 The Hood – Shkodra Backpackers Hostel offers both dormitory beds and private rooms that open onto patios with garden views. This hostel is ideally situated and features a sunny garden and bike rental. The owners are friendly and eager to assist with planning your trips to the Albanian Alps or other excursions.