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Novo Brdo Fortress, Novo Brdo
Kosovo in its region.svg
Flag of Kosovo.svg
Quick Facts
Capital Pristina
Government Kosovo
Parliamentary democracy
Currency Kosovo: Euro (€)
Area 10,887 km²
Population 2,126,708
Language Official: Albanian 90%, Serbian 6%
Regionally Spoken: Turkish, Romany
Religion Muslim 95%, Orthodox 4%, Roman Catholic 1%
Electricity 230V/50Hz (European plug)
Country code +381, +377, +386
Internet TLD None
Time Zone UTC +1/+2

(Albanian: Kosova , Serbian: Kосово) is a disputed territory and de facto independent country in South Eastern Europe, in central Balkans. After a lengthy and often violent dispute with Serbia, Kosovo declared independence in February 2008 and (as of 16 October 2012) 110 UN states recognise this and it has become a member country of the IMF and World Bank as the Republic of Kosovo, despite heavy Serbian opposition.

Kosovo, though a secular republic, is largely Albanian-speaking and Muslim but there are also significant numbers of minorities living within its borders, especially Serbs. Kosovo's far north, along with two small regions elsewhere, have a Serb majority and are under local control. Kosovo borders Albania to the west, Montenegro to the north west, Macedonia to the south, and Serbia (from its perspective) to the north east; the latter frontier is viewed by Serbia as being an internal boundary separating Kosovo (as an internal province) with Central Serbia.

While the legitimacy of the Kosovar government is disputed by many UN countries, from a traveller's point of view the Kosovar government has de facto control of most of the the country; local Serb authorities administer five municipalities in the north. This is not a political endorsement of claims by either side in the dispute.


The population of Kosovo is about 92% Albanian, who use the name Kosova in their Albanian tongue. Although the official name in English Republic of Kosovo is approved by Kosovo's Albanian-speaking authorities, the word Kosova still finds its way into the English vernacular of locals.

Many people in Kosovo can speak English and German; they are more than willing to help you and tell you their stories.

If you are interested in more than just seeing beautiful mountains and ancient ruins on your vacation to 'the region', Kosovo strongly recommends itself.

  • The four Serbian Orthdox church complexes that make up UNESCO World Heritage Site of Medieval Monuments in Kosovo - three monasteries, in towns of Gračanica, Peja/Peć and Dečani, and the Church of Our Lady of Ljeviš in the city of Prizren. There are also many more Orthodox monuments of importance throughout the region.
  • Hospitality as a sacred duty - anywhere out of the cities you will be welcomed into people's homes and treated royally.
  • Beautiful countryside for walking with wonderful wild flowers.
  • Nightlife and cafe culture in Prishtina, with the buzz that comes from Europe's youngest population.
  • Seeing the UN and the international community in action (or not!) is quite interesting.
  • You'll get a first hand view of more than 6 different cultures (Albanian, Serb, Roma, Ashkalia, Bosniak, and Turkish).
  • You'll gain an understanding of what happens when governments allow industry to function when both environmental regulations and solid, defensible property rights are scarce.
  • The Kosovars tend to be very friendly towards the UK and USA for its support of their independence (eg: they have "Bill Clinton Boulevard" in Prishtina, as well as a large picture mural of him on the side of a building). They also are very friendly to Western European and Middle Eastern countries.


The climate is continental, with very warm summers and cold and snowy winters.


Map of Kosovo
  • Prishtina (Serb. Приштина/Priština) — the capital; a lively city centre with some interesting museums and monuments. UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Monastery of Gračanica is located in the eponymous village southeast of the city.
  • Brod (Serb. Брод/Brod) — one of the most spectacular mountain villages in the Balkans.
  • Ferizaj (Serb. Урошевац/Uroševac) — local church and mosque are literally side by side.
  • Gjakova (Serb. Ђаковица/Đakovica) — although heavily damaged in the war, this city currently features the best nightlife in Kosovo by far, as well as trips to nearby lakes. The çarişa (market) has been renovated and is well worth several hours. It has tekkes of 7 Sufi sects and is home for two of them.
  • Gjilan (Serb. Гњилане/Gnjilane) — city with summer nightlife.
  • Kaçanik (Serb. Качаник/Kačanik) — a peaceful and quiet town, with an ancient fortress.
  • Mitrovica (Serb. Косовска Митровица/Kosovska Mitrovica) — town divided into southern (Albanian) and northern (Serb) sides. The river dividing the city is the political and ethnic dividing line of the region.
  • Peja (Serb. Пећ/Peć) — town with much Ottoman and Serbian Orthodox heritage. UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Patriarchate of Peć is located in the eastern outskirts of the city, and another World Heritage Site, Monastery of Visoki Dečani is located in the nearby eponymous town of Deçan to the south of Peja. Hub for outdoor sports in the spectacular surrounding mountains. The nearby Rugova Canyon is one of the outstanding areas of the country.
  • Prizren (Serb. Призрен/Prizren) — Capital of the Serbian Empire in the XIV century, this is the most historical city of Kosovo, overlooked by a grandiose medieval fortress. UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Church of Our Lady of Ljeviš is located in the city. There is also a well-preserved Ottoman quarter. A town in which you may still hear Turkish spoken. It also houses the League of Prizren Complex.
  • Podujeve (Serb. Подујево/Podujevo) — A town in the northwest of Kosovo close to the administrative border with Serbia. It has about 75 surrounding villages hence having a lot of traffic. At night time it's bustling, and the cafes and bars are always busy.
  • Velika Hoča (Alb. Hoça e Madhe) — Beautiful medieval village with a centuries-old tradition of viticulture near the town of Orahovac.

Other destinations[edit]

Kullas are traditional stone houses seen only in Kosovo and Northern Albania. Their design stems from the requirements of the traditional Albanian kanun code for hospitality and for murder to be avenged on the family of the murderer, resulting in blood feuds. A few of these defensible stone houses remain, including in the village of Isniq (where one has opened as a museum), and in the village of Junik and Dranoc (near Peja) where you can stay in a kulla overnight.

The village of Velika Hoča has 12 monasteries and churches, excellent wine and raki, and a homestay programme meaning there is accommodation in four restored old houses.

Novo Brdo Fortress is the site of a ruined castle with good walking opportunities nearby as well as homestay possibilities. In May/June the hill of Novo Brdo Fort is covered in wildflowers.

Brezovica is the ski resort in the stunning Sharr mountains above Prizren.

Gadime is a town just half an hour away from pristina that has an amazing network of caves that you can get a guided tour through.

Hajla is the highest peak in Rugova and very adrenaline place for climbing in winter.

Get in[edit]


Foreign nationals, subject to the Law on the Status, Immunities and Privileges of Diplomatic and Consular Missions and Personnel in Republic of Kosovo and of the International Military Presence and its Personnel, as well as foreign nationals, holders of UN Travel Documents, are exempted from the obligation of visa possession.

Foreign citizens, subject to visa regime application, but bearers of valid multiple entry Schengen visa may enter the Republic of Kosovo and stay up to 15 days without having to obtain a Kosovo visa.

Citizens of EU states, Albania, Monaco, Montenegro and Serbia may visit Kosovo for max 90 days with a valid biometric ID card (NB: Many ID cards, e.g. French and Austrian, are not biometric, so those nationals need a passport)

For the list of country citizens who require a visa to enter Kosovo: [1]

If you are planning to stay in Kosovo for more than 90 days you should, as in any other Balkan country, register at the Police Department for the Registration of Foreigners. This is is next to the central police station in Pristina. The 90 day rule for the registration of foreigners applies to everybody [2].

Travel Warning WARNING: Serbia will refuse entry to anyone arriving from Kosovo and showing a passport without a Serbian entry stamp. Entry with a passport is only possible if you entered Kosovo from Serbia and are going back; entering Kosovo from elsewhere and then continuing to Serbia is not. Thus, exercise extreme caution when planning bus trips and ask for exact routings.

The only way to enter Serbia from Kosovo without having entered Kosovo from Serbia is to use a national ID card instead of a passport at the Serbian border. This is possible for EU/EFTA, Bosnian, Macedonian, Montenegrin and Serbian nationals. Otherwise, you will need to exit Kosovo to a third country and enter Serbia from there.

You can enter Kosovo through the northern border with Serbia through Kosovska Mitrovica or near Pristina. There are bus connections from Belgrade and Nis to Pristina and Prizren and from all the major towns in Serbia to the northern parts. Most used transport route is through the Republic of Macedonia and Prishtina airport. Skopje is only one and a half hours from the capital city of Kosovo, Pristina. Travelling from Pristina to any other city of Kosovo does not take longer than an hour and a half. For instance, from Pristina to Prizren it takes an hour and a half, if there is no traffic, but the most that it will take is two hours. The distance to Peć is also similar.

UN-sign at the Kosovar border station of Deneral Jankovic welcoming visitors arriving from Blace, Macedonia [Photo: RP]

By plane[edit]

Several European airlines offer direct flights from their hubs to the International Airport of Pristina

There are many direct flights from Germany, Switzerland and some Scandinavian countries, while the main connecting hubs are via Vienna (Austrian Airlines), Istanbul (Turkish Airlines) and Lufthansa Group (via Munich or Frankfurt).

During the summer, several additional charter flights are available for travellers.

It is sometimes cheaper to fly into Skopje in Macedonia, which is approximately 2 hours drive from Prishtina. Although there is no direct public transport from Skopje airport to Kosovo, a one-way taxi will cost 60-65 euros. Prishtina-based taxi companies offer this service, including Taxi Victory + 377 44 111 222 (viber also), or Taxi Roberti +377 44 111 999.

By bus[edit]

From Montenegro, you can enter through Rozaje to Peja/Pec(approximately 2.0 hours). There are direct daily buses on the Prishtina-Ulqin/Ulcinj route, which takes approx 5 hours.

From Macedonia, you can take a bus from Skopje to Prishtina (approximately 2.5 h) or Prizren.

From Serbia, there are direct buses on Prishtina-Belgrade route, taking approx 6 hours.

From Albania, you can enter through Prizren on the new highway. The trip from Tirane costs 10€ and takes 4 h, with two stops.

Elsewhere, there are a couple companies offering buses from Istanbul via Skopje, as well as Prishtina-Vienna route.

By train[edit]

There are also trains crossing the Kosovo border. Two daily services connects Kraljevo in Serbia with all towns on the Leshak, Fushë Kosovë (Kosovo Polje). Connections from Beograd are possible but includes a long stay between train at Kraljevo, thus bringing the journey to more than 12 hours for 399 km.

This service has vanished from Kosovo Railways' timetable but it is reported that Serbian Railways run a twice daily service from Zvecan (just after Mitrovica) all the way to Kraljevo. Check their homepage for details. No passenger trains currently run between Fushe Kovove/Kosovo Polje - Mitrovica - Zvecan.

An identical service runs from Skopje in Macedonia to Pristina in Kosovo. The schedule is found here: (Sorry, Cyrillic script). The timetable is also available at the Kosovo railways website.

The train northbound leaves at 16:35 and arrives 19:35, the train southbound leaves at 07:10 and arrives 09:51 (Oct 2012). These trains are reasonably fast and give the opportunity to see a lot of the country and are a good value at approximately €4 each way (€2.50 for the Kosovo part of the itinerary and 94 MKD (about €1.60) for the Macedonian part). Coming from Skopje in Macedonia, in Nov 2012 there is a Macedonian train running to the Kosovo border (including both border posts), then a 20 min bus ride to the southern Kosovo city Kaçanik, and then another train to Pristina. Note that these trains are not heated and can be very cold even in autumn.

By car[edit]

To enter Kosovo, the validity and acceptance of the International Motor Insurance Card is in doubt. At the border you will need to pay €30 for an insurance extra which will cover you throughout Kosovo for two weeks (Kosovo insurance Bureau [3] has offices selling insurance at all border crossings). Ensure also that you have your vehicle registration and a power of attorney from the owner if the car is not yours. During the summer holidays in Germany and Switzerland expect long queues at the border crossing in Merdare (up to 10h).

By Motorcycle[edit]

At the border the European Motor Insurance/Green Card is not accepted, insurance for a short stay is €15 (as of September 2012). The roads are generally in good condition, and the standard of driving is typical of other countries in the Balkans. However expect large farm animals to be wandering the roads.

Get around[edit]

By bus[edit]

The best way to travel intercity in Kosovo is by bus. Buses are relatively cheap; Pristina to Peja is €4.00, for example. Within Pristina, rides cost €0.40.

By train[edit]

Kosovan Railways (Kosovske Zeleznice - Hekurudhat e Kosovës) [4] are currently (2006) running the following passenger train services: from Fushë Kosovë (Serbian: Kosovo Polje; a city near Pristina) to Leshak (a town North at the Serb frontier) three trains a day. From Fushë Kosovë at 07.35, 11.18 and 14.15 and from Leshak at 09.55, 13.19 and 16.50. The train passes through most of the Serbian enclaves that are strung up through the northern part of Kosovo. The system is seen as a way of helping to make the lives of the Serbs in the enclaves easier but also as a way to help integration. The service is free of charge to local people. Another service runs twice a day from Fushë Kosovë at 04.17 and 19.00 to Hani i Elezit (former General Jankovic) on the border to Macedonia, return journeys from Hani i Elezit starts at 05.53 and 20.44. A local suburban services runs from Fushë Kosovë to Grazhanica with departures from F. Kosovë at 05.40 and 19.17, returning from Grazhanica at 06.30 and 20.05. There are two daily trains from Pristina to Peja/Pec which are a comfortable way to make this journey (€3) The service to Gracanica has been suspended, and the service Fushe Kosovo to Leshak seems to have been taken over by Serbian Railways between Zvecan and Lesak (no trains between Fushë Kosovë -Mitrovica - Zvecan)

By taxi[edit]

You can get a superb atlas of Kosovo from the OSCE that has detailed ethnic maps (before and after the war), vital statistics, along with navigational maps. To get the map, ask for the NGO Information office near the OSCE building in Pristina.


Most people in Kosovo speak Albanian. Although almost everyone understands Serbian, it may result in hostile reactions from the mostly Albanian population. Though this is typically not so much of a problem in the southeastern portion of the country which retains a more significant Serb population and tensions are far lower. You can also just ask if someone speaks Croatian instead of Serbian.

English and German are languages that the majority of population speak especially by the younger population. Italian is also spoken but much more rarely than English and German.

The Turkish minority speaks Turkish and Albanian. Turkish is also spoken by some Albanians, especially the older generations.

Most people in northern Kosovo are ethnic Serbs, so Serbian will come in handy there. In the southeast the towns of Ranilug, Silovo, Štrpce, Kllokot, Parteš, as well as a few other villages surrounding Gnjilane have Serb populations as well. English and Russian are common second languages


Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint George in Prizren.
  • Prishtina is the capital city of Kosovo. Places that should be visited in Prishtina is the quarter near the National Museum of Kosova. In addition to visiting the museum where a lot of archaeological artifacts are presented, in both ways when you exit, you see the old mosques, since the Ottoman Empire.
  • Prizren. The most historical city in Kosovo, capital of the Serbian empire in the XIV century. It has plenty of beautiful examples of Serbian and Ottoman medieval architecture. UNESCO World Heritage Site - Serbian Orthodox church of Our Lady of Ljeviš (XIV century) is located in the city.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site - Patriachate of Peć lies 2 km to the west of the Peja city center. It is the mother church of the Serbian Orthodoxy, and it was established in the XII century. It is a beautiful monastery with many spectacular frescoes.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site - Visoki Dečani Monastery is one of the most important monasteries of the Serbian Orthodox Church. It is famous for its elegant and peculiar architecture. As an orthodox monastery from the XIII century, it successfuly mixes western and eastern church building elements to form a particular hybrid style only known on the territory of old Serbia. This monastery is particularly noted for some of the world's finest medieval frescoes adorning its walls. It is located near Peja.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site - Gračanica Monastery is one of the most beautiful examples of Serbian medieval ecclesiastical architecture. This monastery was built by the Serbian king Milutin in the Serbo-Byzantine style. It is noted for its frescoes, and being the only medieval Serbian monastery found in an urban setting complete with an old school and archives. It is located near Prishtina.
Serbian Orthodox Monastery of the Assumption of Holy Virgin Mary, Gračanica. UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Velika Hoča, a beautiful village with 13 medieval churches and a centuries-old tradition of wine-making.
  • Waterfall Of The Drini River - Located north of Peja behind the Berdynaj village. During the summer, this place is fantastic, and the road to the river is an amazing, narrow road with wires on one side and the river on the other; this is a great part of Kosovo.
  • The Rugova Gorge. The Rugova gorge is also to the north west of Peja and can be found by following the same road that leads to the Peć Patriarchy, and driving further. The canyon has extremely steep walls reaching possibly up to 300 metres.
  • The Gjakova Old Bazaar. A very beautiful old "shopping centre" from 17th century. It was burned down during the war in 1999 and reconstructed recently. In the centre of the bazaar is an old mosque that was built in the 15th century.
  • The Mitrovica Bridge. An interesting symbol of the division of the population in Kosovo. This bridge is the dividing line between Serbs and Albanians in Mitrovice/Mitrovica. It will almost always be safe to approach the bridge and look at it, although the French soldiers who guard it may not let you cross if the political situation is worse than average (average not being so good).
  • The Roma quarter (mahalla) in Gjilan. Gjilan is located to the South East of Pristina.
  • Brezovica Ski Centre - Old infrastructure but great slopes, located in Southern Kosova.
  • Novo Brdo (in Latin documents written as Novaberd, Novus Mons or Novamonte; and in Saxon miners' documents as Nyeuberghe) was mentioned in the historical documents as early as 1326. Novo Brdo was a metropolis at the time, with a huge medieval fortress built on the top of an extinct volcano cone, the remains of which can be visited today, and residential sections sprawling all around. In the outer wall of the fortress, a large cross is visible, built into the stones. The castle dates back to the Byzantine Empire.
Novo Monte Fortress
  • Ulpiana, one of the oldest cities in the Balkan peninsula, is just 20-30 minutes away from Pristina towards Gjilan. It was re-constructed by emperor Justinian I.


Visiting a coffee shop in Prishtina, having a macchiato and people watching is quite a popular sport in Kosovo - and you could also try it sometime.

If you wish to experience something more active, here are some ideas:


Almost 11% of Kosovo's territory is protected as a National Park. In Europe, Kosovo comes only second to Iceland in this aspect.

As such, Kosovo has an impressive array of mountains, which you can visit yourself - or with the help of some the Alpine/hiking clubs in Kosovo.

  • Rugova Guide - offers hiking and adventure tours in Rugova, Peaks of the balkans & climbing VIA FERRATA. The company is based in the western town of Peja or Pec. Services are offered in English and Albanian. You can book different tours with them the cost is from euro 15 and higher. You can book on +377 44 746 001 & +386 49 110 450 (VIBER), they can speak english. Price per person is normally 15 euros, which includes transport, although it depends also on the distance of the mountain, thay own Log Cabins in Rugova for longer stays. Visit
  • Klubi Alpin Prishtina - is one of the oldest hiking clubs, with some guides that are internationally licensed as mountain guides, first aid etc. Their website has info on the mountains, but as of 15/11/15 it is only in Albanian. However, it is worth knowing that they organise at least one group hiking event a week (normally Sundays), which is open to the public. The post destination details weekly on their Facebook page [5]. All you need to do is call and reserve your place, they speak English. +377 44 312 744. Price per person is normally 10 euros, which includes transport, although it depends also on the distance of the mountain.
  • Balkan Natural Adventure- Is one of the leading companies in offering hiking and adventure tours in Kosovo. The company is based in the western town of Peja or Pec. Services are offered in English and Albanian. You can book different tours with them the cost is from euro 15 and higher. Other than daily tours the company organises also longer stays. facebook page [6] [7] or call 00 386 49 66 11 05
  • Hiking njeri- normally organises one public hiking trip per week, on the weekend. You can check out their facebook page [8] for upcoming hikes, information provided in Albanian and English. You can pre-book on 049 248 716 (viber) or 045 834 141. Price per person is normally 10 euros, although it depends also on the distance of the mountain.


  • Klubi Alpin Dardania- is a group of rock-climbing enthusiasts who, in addition to organising rock-climbing expeditions, spend a lot of their personal time building safe climbing paths, including one at the beautiful Mirusha waterfalls. They also post their public events on Facebook [9] or you can enquire with Menton on 044/153-093. Price per person is normally 6 euros, excluding transport.
  • Marimangat - based in Peja, close to the Rugova Gorge. They offer guided hikes, rock-climbing and climbing on via ferrata, the first of its king in Kosovo - built together with the Alpine Club in Trento, Italy. website or contact +386 49 661 105


Kosovo has the euro (€) as its sole currency along with 24 other countries that use this common European money. These 24 countries are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain (official euro members which are all European Union member states) as well as Andorra, Kosovo, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino and the Vatican which use it without having a say in eurozone affairs and without being European Union members. Together, these countries have a population of more than 330 million.

One euro is divided into 100 cents. While each official euro member (as well as Monaco, San Marino and Vatican) issues its own coins with a unique obverse, the reverse, as well as all bank notes, look the same throughout the eurozone. Every coin is legal tender in any of the eurozone countries.

The Serbian dinar is the official currency in the Serbian-ruled four northern municipalities as well as in larger enclaves with Serbian majority such as Gracanica and Strpce. Exchange offices are found almost everywhere.


Best restaurants to eat at are those that are located in the villages near by big cities; they tend to have the best meat dishes and the best sea food. Trout, seabass and salmon fish are very common and popular and are kept fresh in their pools and are nearly always fried when you order. Prices are pretty average and, for some European countries consider, cheap.

Lots of great burek (baked pastry stuffed with cheese, meat or spinach). Try the drinkable yoghurt (Ayran) - it's superb. Lots of kebabs and other Ottoman Turkish style food. As far as you are in an Albanian territory, you could try Albanian food as well. Fli, a very good pastry, that is similar to pie made of layers of crepes can be found in different traditional restaurants.

At the bakery, you can buy a fantastic loaf of bread for under €1.

The grocery stores have a plentiful supply of Western food.


Like most European countries there is no drinking age in Kosovo.

Beer at Peja is a pretty good brew. It is brewed in Peja (Pec). Peja Premium is a slightly stronger beer from the same brewery but less widely available.

Since 2012, Kosovo is also home to an artisanal brewery called Sabaja, a joint venture between a home brewer named Alex Butler from New York City and his kosovar friends Etida and Genc Zeka. Sabaja produces several brews, including ales. Its still not available widely, but you can find it in most bars in central Prishtina.

Wine is also widely consumed when eating out, some local wine and also Vranac from Montenegro are the most common ones. Even though the Albanians are predominantly of Muslim heritage, drinking is quite liberal.

Raki is also another alcoholic beverage in Kosova. It is made from local fruits (the most common one is from grape) and can be best described as a hard liquor similar to vodka. It can be quite strong so if you have a weak stomach or do not often drink liquor avoid this beverage.

Yogurt/Ayran is also a common local drink and is consumed with pastry foods. Boza is also another common sweet drink drank with cakes and pastries.

  • Crème de la Crème, Mujo Ulqinaku (Peyton Neighborhood), +38649315783, [10]. 21:00-03:00; Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Crème is probably the best all-round bar in the city. It’s run for the amusement of the young, arty owners and not for profit, which explains the more-than-generous pricing arrangements, especially for the perfectly executed cocktails. Its five tiny floors heave on Fridays and Sundays with Pristina’s cool to the variety of beats. €1-5. (42.657024,21.154687) edit
  • The White Tree Terrace (Druni i Bardh'), Mujo Ulqinaku 15 (Peyton Neighborhood, behind Crème de la Crème), +38649166777, [11]. 08:00. It's a beach in the middle of concrete! It's a very cozy place, a good collection of beers and rakia (local spirit/liquor), very good music and nice urban people. It's also the terrace of a nice hostel. 23:00. (42.657095,21.154912) edit


Accommodation in Kosovo can be expensive, meaning it is probably the same as hotels in surrounding countries (starts at €25 and goes over €100) and primarily is designed for people working for the development agencies. Your best bet on finding a place to stay is outside of Prishtina (if you're with the car) and to have a contact there ahead of time (even if its just somebody you met over the internet) and stay with them. Or possibly contact some of the smaller development organisations, such as Balkan Sunflowers and online listing of Kosovo hotels, and ask if they can help you with accommodation staying in a rural community or in the city for a higher price.

However, try to find a motel, they are cheaper(around 10€ or 15€ one night) and conditions are excellent. You can find one, around any major city in Kosovo.

  • Buffalo Backpackers, 274 Musine Kokolari (next to the ambulance in Ulpiana), +377 45 643 261, [12]. checkin: 12pm; checkout: 11am. Located in the city center, great, young staff very passionate about Kosovo, breakfast included, Free Wifi and computer access, free coffee and tea, kitchen with cooking facilities, homemade raki and ice cold beer, large garden, exhibition room about Kosovo's history, XL jenga and Cornhole toss, fire pit, multiple balconies, luggage storage, lockers, lounge area and more! 10€.  edit
  • The White Tree (Druni i Bardh'), Mujo Ulqinaku 15 (Just 5 minutes from the city center, Peyton Neighborhood, behind Crème de la Crème), +38649166777, [13]. checkin: 12:00; checkout: 11:00. The best hostel in Pristina? Drawing from our hostel experiences while traveling, we decided to bring together the best of what we saw internationally with the well-known local hospitality. After much deliberation, we rented a ramshackle space with a dead tree in the middle. We painted it white, added colorful twinkling jar lights and we gave life to the White Tree Terrace and Hostel! Great staff and owners, great cozy atmosphere, capacity of 28 people, one private room, 3 bathrooms, fully operational kitchen, Free WiFi and computer, lockers, lounge area, quality mattress, a great terrace outside and the best nigh club right behind. It's a 3 in 1 experience! €10-30. (42.657095,21.154912) edit

Stay safe[edit]

Avoid getting too much into politics in Kosovo, although ask as many questions (within reason) as you like. They are very open about their hatred of each other and more than willing to tell you about it.

Don’t let the politics stop you from visiting; tensions have risen in a few moments in the past decade, but nearly all have been in the divided city of Mitrovica in the north of the country and with a 10,000+ NATO peace keeping force and a large international Police force, you are very safe from pretty much everything and the chance of a full out conflict is very low with such international supervision and even if one is to occur, all foreigners would be evacuated within 48 hours. You will most likely find peacekeeping soldiers from your own country to help you if you need it.

There is pretty much no physical or criminal dangers you need to worry about people in general—both Albanians and Serbs—are extremely friendly and hospitable to tourists. Kosovo is a country that is used to having a vast amount of foreigners from all over the world. Since the end of the war, there were more than 200,000 international workers from over the world came to aid the rebuilding and peace effort in the country and the locals are very used to people from outside and very friendly.

The corruption level is extremely low and the Kosovo police corruption is again very low thanks to the supervision of the EULEX international police, which means it is one of the only countries in Eastern Europe where bribery is pretty much unheard of unless you have committed a major crime and are offering tens of thousands, but that is a different story between the police and organised crime and has nothing to do with regular people and tourists.

Use only registered taxis as they have fixed fares and you will not get scammed with unlicensed taxis; they are safe, but they will always scam you if you use the meter, so if you have to use an unlicensed taxi, make sure you come to a deal before hand so he does not use the meter.

Even though same-sex isn't illegal, it isn't recognized. And homophobia is somewhat of an issue and people don’t take kindly to homosexuals, but again, physical harm is not an issue unless you openly display affection or manners.

Land mines[edit]

Like much of the Balkans, land mines were heavily used during the Yugoslav civil wars. Though this was a major problem in the country in the first four years after the war, now it’s a very rare that you encounter them, most suspicious areas are listed in local tour guide books, most of the mined areas are places where conflict took place (Central Kosovo countryside and Kosovo–Albania border region).

It's very safe to go hiking and camping — just ask before you do so to make sure it's not a suspicious area and most hiking and camping takes place in areas where war did not occur, like the Sharr mountains where there is a ski and camping resort.

Open manholes[edit]

Open manhole in Pristina

Likely stolen to sell as scrap metal, one should keep an eye out for this potential hazard. Whilst not an issue on busy city streets, walking even a few kilometres outside downtown Pristina can be dangerous - particularly when walking in tall grass beside roads or pavements. Local residents use a small pile of sticks and stones to cover an open sewer pit and care should be taken not to step on these either.

Stay healthy[edit]

It is possible for foreigners to obtain treatment at the public hospital in Pristina (staff from your accommodation may come in handy as translators). However, the state of the hospital is far from ideal: The toilets have no soap, infusions are hanging from improvised stands. Kosovo has no public health insurance system and you will be required to pay your bill in cash. A visit to the doctor and a few pills from the pharmacy will cost you around 20 €. If you know what you need you may visit the pharmacy directly as no prescription is needed.


Don't pet dogs — stay away from them!!!

Whilst most are not aggressive when they are in packs, they can very well be, so make sure you stay away and don’t run away from them either as dogs chase you when you run; sometimes, the best defense is an attack so charging at them a little usually scares them away. But again, this is only a problem in the outskirts of the cities and at night, as during the day, you will hardly encounter them and they will stay away from humans.

Get out[edit]

There are direct flights from Pristina International Airport to London, New York City, Zurich, Geneva, Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Vienna, Zagreb, Hamburg, Hannover, Dusseldorf, Berlin, Frankfurt,Podgorica, Munich, Stuttgart, Bremen, Rome, Milan, Verona, Ljubljana, Budapest, Tirana, Istanbul and Antalya. Soon, there will be direct flights to Sarajevo and other destinations.

There are direct bus links to most cities in Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Albania, Turkey, Macedonia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Serbia.

Note that if you plan to go to Russia after Kosovo, you may encounter a bit of trouble entering the country as Russia considers the declaration of independence of Kosovo to be illegal.

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