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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.

Hitching out

North towards Montenegro

There are two border crossings not far away from Shkodër. The first (Hani i Hotit) goes directly to Podgorica but sees little few traffic because the other road is in much better condition. To go towards Ulcinj and Bar, just walk south along the main road SH1 until you reach an old wooden bridge. While it doesn’t look like it, this is indeed the road to Montenegro. After crossing the bridge, turn left and walk a short distance until you reach a petrol station. Start thumbing from here.

If you decide to go to Podgorica, walk the SH1 in Northern direction and start thumbing as soon as you see a convenient spot where cars can stop. An alternative would be to take a minibus to the villages nearby in that direction like Shtoj or Boric.

This information dates 2011 and at that time it was recommended to go via the southern road. However, later internet sources say that the construction of the Hani i Hotit road is more or less 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.

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.

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.


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