ShkodërEarth > Europe > Southern Europe > Balkans > Albania > Shkodër
Shkodër is the major city of northern Albania. You will likely pass through the city when passing to or from Montenegro. Throughout Albania the people are amazingly friendly, but in Shkodër they sometimes seem more so and you may elicit all kinds of positive reactions when thumbing.
North towards Montenegro
There are two border crossings not far away from Shkodër. The first, Hani i Hotit, goes directly to Podgorica. To go this way, walk the SH1 towards the North and start thumbing as soon as you see a convenient spot where cars can stop. (For an example, see the coordinates in the comment below.) An alternative would be to take a minibus to the villages nearby in that direction like Shtoj or Boric.
For the other crossing towards Montenegro, taking you to Ulcinj and Bar, just walk south along the main road SH1 until you reach an old wooden bridge. After crossing the bridge, turn left and walk a short distance until you reach a petrol station. Start thumbing from here.
In 2011 it was recommended to go via the southern road. However, later internet sources say that the construction of the Hani i Hotit road is finished and so traffic might be better there now. It is advisable to just ask local people about this issue. Edit: as of 2014, the road towards Podgorica up to Koplik is absolutely fine, and it probably is all the way to Podgorica. However, in summer it might be hard to find a ride hitching in this direction, as everyone will play taxi.
[Update] User:Viniciuscastro, December 2015: The road until Podgorica is fine and, even without being summer, a good amount of cars go in that direction (Hani i Hoti).
[Update] User:Evolverine, June 2016: I can also verify that the road to Hani i Hotit / Podgorica is good and that we (2 men) had an easy time getting a ride to the border, and then two more to Podgorica. We started near the "Sheshi Ura e Maxharrit" intersection: , coordinates geo:42.07913,19.51440?z=19.
North towards Theth
If you are travelling towards Theth, follow the road to Podgorica until you reach Koplik and turn right at the roundabout. It might prove hard to hitchhike this way because of upcoming tourism in the area. There are plenty of people going up the mountain, but they will sometimes charge you up to 15 euros for the ride. However, if you are patient, you could manage to hitch all the way to Theth.
South towards Tirana
Follow the SH1 road south. As soon as you see the old wooden bridge (as described above) start hitching right after it. Do not cross it, as this would lead you to the road towards Montenegro. Keep in mind that there are a lot of minibuses and shared taxis going that way. This of course does not make normal drivers less helpful. [Update] User:Mediterranean,October 2017 I took a walk from the city center to the place where road splits into two ways(two bridge)(40min walk aprox). It is very obvious witch one takes you to Tirana but if you dont use map and dont read signs then it is the left one(when coming from the center) or the more distant one. You can start hitchiking right before that bridge and i found it a really nice spot. After refusing couple of offers for money (yo pare-no money) i got a ride all the way to Tirana. It took me about an hour to hitchike and it was around 11am.
Accommodation and Sleep
Hospitality networks are not well represented in Albania. Still, you might have some luck with foreigners working in Shkoder for a period of time.
The train station seems to be closed at night.
If there is no other chance, the prices in the Stalinist hotel bunker in the center seem to be quite fair.
Town also offers two hostels very near center for quite cheap price.
If you need a break from hitching or would enjoy a nice ride in a half-destroyed old fashioned train with local people, there is a train once daily for around 1€ to Tirana. Smashed windows, old Italian or German wagons and a locomotive from Czecheslovakia make this an unusual and cheap ride in Europe.
<gallery> File:bridgeshkoder.JPG|The brige towards Montenegro... File:Benz.JPG|Old Mercedes Benz is still loved in Albania </gallery