Why you have to visit Shkoder Albania
After checking in at the Wanderers Hostel and having a coffee on its terrace, I went with Ana to shortly visit Shkoder Albania and find something to eat.
Continue reading to discover the best places for eating, drinking, and exploring when you visit Shkoder Albania.
Where to eat in Shkoder
The city center is mostly Rruga Kole Idromeno, a pedestrian area with some lively terraces. It was just 5 minutes away. Thus, we found ourselves at a table, with a drink, waiting for some food in no time!
By the way, if you’re a vegetarian, Albanian cuisine should be to your liking, as you will find many delicious options on every restaurant’s menu. So delicious we only waited a few hours until we went out to have dinner, in a different place!
This second place, Vila Bekteshi, was just my cup of tea and I went there for dinner the next evening, as well. It’s a very welcoming place, with a pleasant, intimate atmosphere, and very professional staff.
Another nice place to try in San Francisco, at the end of the pedestrian area. The food is tasty, the interior is nice, but I recommend the terrace if the weather permits it. The seating area is less spacious, but it provides a nicer view.
I went to San Francisco Bar Restaurant at lunchtime and it got a bit too hot on the terrace at one point, so maybe you should try it in the evening, in case you want to give it a go.
Vila Bekteshi – $$-$$$
Open daily, from 07.00 to 23.00.
Cuisine: Pizza, Mediterranean, European, Albanian, Vegetarian.
Address: 33 Rruga Hasan Riza Pasha, Shkoder, Albania | See on map
Tel. +355 22 240 799
Bar Restaurant San Francisco – $$-$$$
Open daily, from 07.00 to 23.00.
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean, European, Albanian, Vegetarian, Vegan.
Address: Rruga Kolë Idromeno, Shkoder, Albania | See on map
Website | Facebook | Menu
Where to drink when you visit Shkoder Albania
So you had a lovely meal, but you still have some time (and money) to spare in good company. Almost across the street from the Wanderers Hostel, there is Shega e Eger, the perfect place to have a coffee or a healthy juice.
They also serve food and they have some sweet treats, too, at more affordable prices than the places suggested above.
I’ve tried something very simple, yet very refreshing: a lemony, minty, cucumber water with ice. I don’t know what it’s called, I just asked for what Hasna was having because I had a taste of hers and it felt so good on such a hot day.
Bike ride to Lake Skadar
After eating and drinking, you might want to go back and rest a bit in one of the Wanderers Hostel’s hammocks. Or you could grab one of their bikes and head to Lake Skadar (or Lake Shkodër /Shkodra). It’s not very far, you get to see a little more of the town, and, if you’re more accustomed to actually riding a bike, you’ll get there in one piece in no time.
My bike incident 🙁
I, however, went on this journey with Simon (who, guess what arrived at the hostel around noon on the second day) and two Italian girls I met at the hostel, and it was my first time on a bike in six years. Do you know that expression of it’s like riding a bike? Well, it seems I don’t! I was getting confident because I was doing better than I had expected, despite the fact that I was a bit slower than the others, and, while I was taking a curb, I wanted to fix my bangs with my right hand and my left hand was not skilled enough to manage on its own. So, I leaned on one side and, mid-fall, I jumped off the bike and landed on all fours, right next to it!
Swimming in Lake Skadar
When we got to the lake, the others went for a swim, while I remained on shore, cleaned myself from some blood and put on some plasters, all the time telling them “No, no, I’m ok, don’t worry.” Because even with the fall and the new wounds which were very amusing to my colleagues when I went back to work, I had had the courage to get on that bike and ride it as well as I could, after a very long break.
But back to the lake! Lake Skadar is the largest one in the Balkan Peninsula (Southern Europe), reaching around 44 kilometers in length, and it is a natural border between Albania and Montenegro. You should really check it out when you visit Shkoder Albania!
It’s full of vegetation on the shore, and there are lots of birds. And think it’s also got plenty of fish, judging by the high numbers of fishermen we’ve encountered. All in all, it’s a great place to catch the sunset.
Something else one might enjoy is visiting Rozafa Castle (Kalaja e Rozafës), which is a bit outside town. So if you decide to go by bike, make sure you’re better at it than I am.
Being on top of a rocky cliff, surrounded by two rivers — Buna and Drini, it is an ideal place to take some nice pictures or yet another great spot from which to watch the sunset.
Of course, you can also skip the sunset and just keep wandering the streets, taking in the sights.
Rozafa Castle (Kalaja e Rozafës)
Open daily from 08.00 to 20.00.
Address: Rruga Rozafa, Shkodër, Albania | See on map
What matters to you most when you visit a new place?
Is it the places the locals go to eat and drink? The nightlife?
Or are you more interested in cultural landmarks?
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