Wondering how to get from Tirana to Shkoder, Albania? I’ve got you covered!
Albania is becoming increasingly popular as a tourist destination, especially for adventurous backpackers looking for one of Europe’s last hidden gems. Tourism is still relatively new in Albania and there still isn’t a lot of infrastructure in place.
Navigating around Albania can be challenging. There isn’t a lot of accurate, up-to-date information available on the web.
When I was travelling around Albania I always had to end up asking random locals for help because there just wasn’t any decent travel info. That’s why I’m writing these guides to help you find your way around Albania, stress-free!
Let’s get into it!
Shkoder, Albania Essentials
🏨 Where to stay in Valbona: For an authentic Albanian Alps experience, stay in a traditional guesthouse
📌 Best Shkoder tour: Check out this Tour of Shkodër
🚙 Best day trip from Shkoder: Visit Theth Albania on this Jeep Day Tour
🚗 Rent a car: Public transport can be unreliable – consider renting a car
💸 Get insured for your trip to Albania with Ekta Travel insurance
How to get from Tirana to Shkoder?
There are several different options for getting from Tirana, Albania to Shkoder, which I will go into more detail about below. In a nutshell, the 5 best options for getting to Shkoder from Tirana are:
By rental car – Renting a car is the most convenient option
By bus – This is the cheapest option
By Taxi – Taking a taxi is the most comfortable option
On a tour – This is the best option if you want someone else to take care of the logistics for you.
By day trip – An organised day trip is the best option for saving time and making the most of a short trip to Albania
Distance from Tirana to Shkoder
The distance from Tirana to Shkoder in km is 103km (64 miles). It takes approximately 1hr 45 minutes to drive from Tirana to Shkoder.
Tirana to Shkoder map
5 best ways to get from Tirana to Shkoder
1. Tirana to Shkoder by rental car
Renting a car is the most convenient way to get from Tirana to Shkoder. There are many rental car companies in Tirana, including international brands like Avis, Europcar and SIXT Rent a Car. Prices may vary depending on the season and type of car you’re renting but can range from €20-50 per day. The road from Tirana to Shkoder is well-maintained and in good condition and the route is pretty straightforward. Driving in Albania can be challenging though, as Albanians are notoriously bad drivers and there is generally a lack of traffic lights and other road safety measures.
If you choose to drive then I recommend making a detour along the way and stopping in Kruje to explore the impressive Kruje castle.
Price range: ~ €50 (Including fuel)
Average duration: 1.45hrs to drive from Tirana to Shkoder
The best option for: Being in control of your own itinerary
2. Tirana to shkoder bus
Busses to Shkoder depart from Tirana’s North and South bus station every 30 minutes from 6.30am to 5pm. The journey takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes and bus tickets should only cost you €4 for a one-way ticket. The buses can get crowded in the summer so you may need to buy your ticket in advance from the bus station.
Price range: ~ €4
Average duration: 1.45hrs
The best option for: Travelling on a budget
3. Tirana to shkoder taxi
Getting a taxi from Tirana to Shkoder is the most comfortable option as you can just sit back and relax without having to deal with the stress of driving on Albania’s roads yourself. This can be an expensive option though. You should expect to pay around €65 – €75 for a one-way journey from the centre of Tirana to Shkoder or around €90 from the airport. Make sure you agree on the price with your driver before getting in the car.
Is there Uber in Tirana?
Uber does not operate in Albania but there are a number of other convenient taxi apps that are available.
🚘 Book a taxi from Tirana airport to Shkoder here
Price range: €65 – €75
Average duration: 1.45hrs
The best option for: Avoiding having to drive yourself
4. Tirana to Shkoder tour
Another option for getting from Tirana to Shkoder is to take a multi-day tour. Tours are a great way to maximise your time whilst travelling by handing over all the logistical worries to someone else. Allowing a professional Albania tour guide to take control of your itinerary can relieve a lot of stress and worry. Especially in a country like Albania where travelling between different cities can be challenging on your own.
Here are my top picks for tours from Tirana to Shkoder
Tour of Theth and Shkoder in 2 days from Tirana – Hiking and Culture Trip
4 day tour from Tirana to Lake Koman, Valbona, Theth and Shkoder
Private 2 day Tour of Theth and Shkoder from Tirana
Price range: Varies depending on group size and duration of the tour
Average duration: 2 – 5 days
The best option for: Stress-free travel
5. Tirana to Shkoder day trip
If you’re short on time and want to go from Tirana to Shkoder then you could consider taking a guided day trip. This will give you the opportunity to make the most of your time by having a local guide show you around this beautiful city in just one day.
Day trips usually include visits to various sights such as Rozafa Castle and the Ottoman-era Stone Bridge. You will also get to enjoy some delicious traditional Albanian cuisine during your stay.
Here are some of my top picks for day trips to Shkoder:
Daytrip to Shkodër & Krujë, from Tirana
Shkodra castle and Boat trip at the lake – Daily tour from Tirana
Price range: ~€100
Average duration: 1 day
The best option for: Saving time
Tirana airport to Shkoder
If you’re flying into Tirana airport and need to get to Shkoder then your best option is to pre-book a private taxi. The journey should take just over 1 hour 45 minutes and cost around €90.
🚘 Book a private transfer from Tirana airport to Shkoder here
Hitchhiking in Albania
An alternative option for getting from Tirana to Shkoder is to hitchhike. Hitchhiking in Albania is pretty common and can be a great adventure! I hitchhiked all over the country, had a great time, met some amazing people and found some hidden gems that I would never have considered visiting by myself. I strongly advise that you give hitchhiking a go during your trip to Albania.
If you choose to hitchhike, make sure you use your common sense and stay safe.
Is there a Tirana to Shkoder train?
There is no train from Tirana to Shkoder. There is no real rail network for passenger trains in Albania as the railway network within Albania has not been updated or invested in since the fall of the communist regime. The only trains that still run in Albania are two derelict trains that run from Shkoder to Lac and Durres to Elbasan. The Shkoder – Lac train only operates on Tuesdays and the Durres – Elbasan train operates once per day on Saturdays and Sundays.
Is Shkoder worth visiting?
Absolutely! This charming town in Northern Albania is known for its stunning scenery, beautiful historic castle and close proximity to Albania’s Accursed Mountains. It’s a great place to explore and It’s definitely worth a visit! Shkoder is also a great stopping point on your way to Montenegro.
There are lots of interesting sites in Shkoder that are worth checking out. Here are some of my favourite things to do in Shkoder:
Explore Rozafa Castle
Rozafa Castle is a ruined castle dating back to the 13th century. It sits high above the town of Shkoder and offers some incredible views of the city and surrounding mountains. There isn’t a lot of signage or information available at the castle but it is still super fun to explore and imagine what it might have once looked like.
Paddleboarding on Lake Shkoder
One of my favourite things to do in Shkoder is to go paddleboarding or kayaking on the lake. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon and the lake is incredibly calm and peaceful.
Shkoder is ideally located as a gateway to visiting the Albanian Alps. Theth and Valbona are two of Albania’s most popular mountain towns and they can easily be reached from Shkoder. Hiking between the two villages is one of the best things to do in Albania.
See the Ebu Bekr Mosque
The Ebu Bekr Mosque is an impressive mosque in Shkoder. Built in 1995, it’s a popular tourist attraction and definitely worth checking out if you’re visiting Shkoder. It is still a working mosque so remember to be respectful and dress appropriately when visiting.
Take a trip to nearby Mesi Bridge
The village of Mes is located approximately 5km (3 miles) from Shkoder and features the beautiful Ottoman Mesi Bridge. The bridge was built in the 18th century and is one of the oldest bridges in Albania. You can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the village and then spend some time admiring the bridge, which is really impressive!
Is Shkoder safe?
Shkoder is generally very safe. However, it’s always wise to take the usual safety precautions such as keeping your valuables close, being aware of pickpockets and avoiding walking alone at night.
FAQs: 5 best ways to get from Tirana to Shkoder
How to get from Tirana to Shkodra?
The best ways to get from Tirana to Shkodra are by rental car, bus, taxi, tour or day trip. You may also consider hitchhiking to Shkoder.
How much is a taxi from Tirana to Shkoder?
The average cost of a taxi from Tirana to Shkoder is between €65 and €75. The journey time is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.
How much is the bus from Shkodër to Tirana?
The bus from Shkodër to Tirana costs approximately €4. The journey time is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.
What is the closest airport to Shkodër?
The closest airport to Shkodër is Tirana International Airport. To easily get from Tirana International Airport to Shkoder you can rent a car at the airport or organise a private transfer.
Final Thoughts: 5 best ways to get from Tirana to Shkoder
Albania can be a challenging destination to travel around as there is not a lot of tourist infrastructure in place and it is still very much off the beaten path for most travellers. But that’s part of what makes Albania so special!
By following these steps, you should better understand how to get from Tirana to Shkodër Albania. Whether you choose to drive yourself, take the bus or taxi, or even enjoy a tour – you won’t regret the decision to visit this charming town in Northern Albania. So why wait? Let’s get planning for your trip to Shkoder!
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