With spectacular views over the city and Lake Shkodra, the Rozafa Fortress is the most impressive sight in town. Founded by the Illyrians in antiquity and rebuilt much later by the Venetians and then the Turks, the fortress takes its name from a woman who was allegedly walled into the ramparts as an offering to the gods so that the construction would stand.
The story goes that Rozafa, the unfortunate woman chosen to be walled-up in the castle for good luck, asked that two holes be left in the stonework so that she could continue to breastfeed her baby. There's a spectacular wall sculpture of her near the entrance to the castle's museum. There's little left to see inside the castle itself, save the ruins of various structures and the impressive walls. When exploring the quieter corners of the castle grounds, keep your eyes peeled for one of the many tortoises who have made the castle their home.
The castle is 3.5km south of the city centre. Grab a bicycle (many of the hotels rent them out) and enjoy the ride down here. Afterwards you could cross over the river and explore the fishing villages and big open countryside to the south of the castle. If cycling is too energetic, take one of the municipal buses (30 lekë) that stop near the turn-off to the castle. Or a taxi to the entrance costs 300 lekë from the city centre.