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Peja

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Mountain peak
Not to be confused with Pécs.


Peć (Пећ), or Peja/Pejë in Albanian, is a city in the west of Kosovo.

Understand[edit]

Located at the foot of the impressive mountian Bjeshket e Nemuna the city has been ruled by different dominating powers throughout history, giving it a diverse cultural character. The Orthodox influence has resulted in the construction of impressive religious sites and monasteries. Serbian UNESCO world heritage site is Peć Patriarchate, built during medieval Serbian empire. Under Ottoman rule Peja/Peć took on a more oriental character with the construction of narrow streets, old-style Turkish houses and mosques. One of these is the Bajrakli Mosque, built by the Ottomans in the 15th century, from the remains of Serbias medieval Monastery of Holy Archangels. You can even find traces of the brief presence of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the early 20th century in the shape of some handsome buildings in the city centre, as well as some massive socialist buildings and apartment blocks. The mountains bordering the city form an extraordinary background, and are a great place for all kinds of outdoor activities like hiking, skiing or rock climbing.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Pristina international airport is located around 70 km east of Peja. Many international flight companies operate regular connections between Pristina and other European cities, such as from Budapest and Adria Airways from Ljubljana. There is no public transportation from the airport to Peja, but you can walk (around 20 minutes), hitch-hike or take a taxi to the main road between Pristina and Peja and take a bus from the crossroad of main road and road to the airport. Buses from that junction to Peja costs €3 and they run every 20 minutes. Taxis from airport to Peja cost €35.

By bus[edit]

Peja is well connected with the larger cities in Kosovo. Buses run about every twenty minutes between Pristina and Peja (€4 one way) and every half hour from Mitrovica, Gjakova and Prizren (€5 one way). The last bus leaves relatively early at 8pm.

By train[edit]

Recently, the train connecting Peja and Pristina has started to run again, though it takes a while to get from one city to the other; you should count on a travel time of a little less than 2 hours. The train costs €3. There are two trains daily, one in the early morning around 7 am, one around 4 pm from Pristina.

By car[edit]

Get around[edit]

You can easily get around Peja/Peć on foot, it's probably the best way of seeing the city. If you're tired or in a hurry there are numerous taxis available for little money; the average cab ride doesn't exceed € 2,00. If you prefer you can also use one of the city buses that cover the region for 50 cents .

See[edit][add listing]

City of Peja is located just on the doorstep of Bjeshket e Nemuna/Prokletije, Accursed Mountains.

Patriarchate of Peć.
  • Patriarchate of Peć - UNESCO World Heritage Site. If exiting Peja going to Rugova gorge, one can't be without noticing a KFOR checkpoint and high stone walls, barbwire and other stuff not usually associated with monasteries. Those high walls hide a gem safeguarded from local Albanian citizens - a beautiful Orthodox monastery area which is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery was founded in the XIII century, and the church complex is comprised of four churches, dedicated to the Synaxis of the Holy Apostles (central), Saint Demetrius (north), Holy Virgin Hogedetria (south) and a small chapel dedicated to Saint Nicholas attached to the outside of the church of the Holy Virgin. There is also a beautifully decorated chapel dedicated to the Synaxis of Serbian Saints in the monastery's living complex, which may be closed to visitors from outside. There are many tombs of Serbian Archbishops and Patriarchs inside the main churches, as well as the holy and wonder-working icon of the Virgin Hodegetria of Peć. In the church courtyard, there is an 800-year old mulberry tree. The nuns are especially accommodating, and are very proud of the spring water that flows from a fountain. Entrance is free, but you need to have your passport. Be careful not to photograph any military installations, or else you will be forced to delete all pictures on your camera before entering.
Medieval fresco from the Patriarchate of Peć.
  • Orthodox Church of the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist is located in the heart of the city, on the Korza street, but hidden from view by the high buildings on the street. Entrance is a bit tricky to find, you have to turn from Korza right into William Walker street, and then again right at an old dilapidated building. It was built some 30 years ago, but destroyed by Albainan vandals in 2004. It was again rebuilt in 2011.
  • Dečani Monastery - UNESCO World Heritage Site in the eponymous town south of Peja.
  • Hotel Korza this pink building located in the heart of Peja is the most easily recognizable monument of the city. It has been unused since the war. The main pedestrian zone carries the same name - Korza.
  • Gryka Rrugoves (The Rugova Canyon). Following the river Lumi Bardhi (White River), a spectacular gorge with vertical walls reaches on one end almost to the footsteps of Peja city, and from the other end opens out to a beautiful valley. Walk, cycle, or drive by car in the canyon. If you are lucky, you may see a mountain goat.
  • Gryka a Madhe, the Great Canyon, is not a canyon but actually a cave system. Enter the cave from the road which runs in Rugova gorge, by climbing stairway around 170 m up. The entrance to the cave system is closed and only accessible with professional guide, for safety reasons.
  • The beautiful mountains
  • The city's main road Korza for a night out.

Do[edit][add listing]

You can go to the river and cool down on a hot summer day. You can jog around Parku i Madh(big park). You can hike on the mountains behind the school that's across Camp Caffe (lusha's place). You also can go to public pools or go on the Internet and keep in touch with your friends and family back home. The people of Peja are very enthusiastic and welcoming to tourists. Visiting the mountains in winter time are more challenging than in other seasons. Recently skiing stages and escalators have been put up, meanwhile the road has been fixed, which makes it an easier driving in winter.

Apart from the skiing, you can also spend nights in Rugova but remember to book the place before going there. There are restaurants and bars on the way and at the spot as well. Generally is cheap but bear in mind that you’re on vacation anyway.

As a result of different natural conditions we can find in this very small region many natural rarities and very interesting natural phenomenons, like thermal and mineral hot-springs 13km north-east from the city of Peja, in a small place called Banja e Pejes(Peja Baths). Not so far away from here, there are at least three karstic rivers appearing at different places, like one at the village Radavc, were you can find the most powerfull waterfall-called Burimi i Drinit te Bardhe,(White Drini Spring)-around 30m high, and the cave system nearby with the same name, then spring at the village of Vrelle, and one near the small town of Burim.

From the town of Peja going west and following the river-Lumebardhi you will enter the magnificient canyon with the name of Gryka e Rugoves, or Rugova Gorge, which is more than 23km long, and has few waterfalls and so many water-springs, like Uji i Zi-Black Water, Kroi i km-5, 5-th Km Spring,and so on, than hundreds of caves, most of them still unexplored, like Gryka e Madhe, or Great Canyon-cave system, until now only around 11km explored, then Shpella e Karamakazit-Black Scissors cave, and Shpella e Kallabes-Kallaba Cave were are foud the archeological remains of ancient humans, and hundreds of others caves waiting to be explored...

Boge-Rugova Valley had built a new ski center around 33km from Peja, where you can go skiing at a low cost.

You can go hiking, mountaineering, rock climbing, mountain biking, caving, skiing, with so many local clubs and associations.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Peja has a few malls and around 100 stores. You can shop for anything you want. You can find all sorts of items, electronic, ceramic and granite tiles (Qeramika DEKOS), clothes and groceries in fair prices. Most furnished stores are located in and around the center. Meanwhile in the suburbs in some places you only find the basics.

Eat[edit][add listing]

The restaurants near the center are filled with tourists.

  • Art Design, Rr. Enver Hadri Nr. 53, +37744222254. Celebrating traditional decor incorporated into a classy interior so you can enjoy some of Kosovo's culture as well as its food.  edit


  • Ranch Peja (located on the outskirts of the cit in the direction of Zatra neighborhood, 2 km from the city center), (Zatra). Traditional food with panoramic views.  edit
  • Route 66. A fast food restaurant serving classic American styled burgers and fries. They also have free wifi internet connection.  edit
  • Sofra Pejane, (near the old youth center). Offers the opportunity to meet with some popular singers.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Cafés dominate the appearance of Peja's center. Trendiest places are filled with youth during school breaks and holidays. Locals can sit hours sipping their macchiatos, and there is always time to drink coffee. In most cafées a cup of macchiato of Nescafé costs 0,50€. Most of cafés have free wi-fi connection, and in those which don't you can usually connect to internet by using neighbor cafés wi-fi. As typical in Balkans, smoking is allowed almost anywhere, so don't expect to breathe fresh air in a terrace. Only non-smoking café is Sweet Bean. It is also almost only café which serves also something to eat with your coffee - American style cookies, brownies, cakes etc.

Tap water in Peja comes from the mountain springs and is safe to drink.

The best beer from Kosova Birra Peja is brewed in Peja and you can order it in practically every café and restaurant.

Local strong alcohol, raki, is worth trying. Drink a shot after eating to stimulate your digestion or let it warm your body in cool night in the mountains.

Try the wine from the Rahovec region, it's the only local wine in Peja. They serve it as the house wine at "Art Design," and you can also find it in most supermarkets. It's a light-bodied wine, with a clean taste.

The night life in Peja is really nice. Many people get out and the best places to visit is Camp Caffe (Lusha's place) but it's only open during summertime and though the location remains the same the name might change. The owners have been to America and went to clubs in New York and were impressed. So if you can't go to America go to Camp Caffe (Lusha's place) and you'll have fun. It is rated the best in the Balkans. There are also caffebars like : "Sobar", "Mr. Jack, and "Radio Caffe" where you can go and have fun, mostly teens and adults.

  • restaurant semitronix, mbreteresha teut nn (center of city peja), 0038649852162, [1]. 07-23. The best place for visiting peja the Restaurant is in the center of the city at the top of the modern building at 10,th floor international food vey nice place for dinner you can see the all city and also has a revolving bar very nice place  edit


Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Hotel Dukagjini, Sheshi i Dëshmorëve 2, +386 43 300 801 (), [2]. Hotel Dukagjini is one of the dominating buildings in the main square of Peja. There is also a restaurant in the hotel building.  edit
  • Hotel Peja, Petro Marco 7, +377 44 406 777, [3]. Hotel Peja is located one minute from city centre. Rooms are quite small but clean. In the website it's said that breakfast is included to the price, when last time asked it wasn't included though price was same (March 2010). 30€/person.  edit
  • Hotel Gold, Eliot Engel 122. Hotel Gold is located in the main street of Peja, halfway from the bus station to the main walking zone Korza. Single rooms 40e, including breakfast.  edit
  • Hotel Park. It's not exactly the Hilton, but the walk to the centre is only 10 minutes and the rooms are clean. If you are on a budget this is probably your best bet. 10 €.  edit
  • Homestay in the Rugova gorge. Apart from during the winter, there are families who will welcome you in the glorious scenery of the Rugova Gorge. You'll eat well and have clean rooms and a glimpse of rural life in Kosovo. 10 €.  edit

Get out[edit]

Serbian Orthodox Monastery of Visoki Dečani.

Have a day trip or stay longer in beautiful Rugova region of Prokletije Mountains, or jump in a bus and have a day off in the capital of Kosovo Pristina (1,5-2 hours bus ride) or Prizren (around 2 hours bus ride). In addition to the mountains, there are a few destinations to go relatively close to Peja.

  • Visoki Dečani Monastery - UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in the eponymous town of Dečani (Alb. Deçan), some 20 minutes from Peja by car, or a little bit longer with any bus that goes to Gjakova or Prizen. Serbian Orthodox monastery of Visoki Dečani was founded by Serbian king Stefan Uroš III. It was completed in 1335 and the frescoes were finished by 1350. It is dedicated to Ascencion of Christ, and it is one of the largest medieval church buildings in the Balkans. It contains the incorruptible relics of king Stefan Uroš III, glorified as a saint in the Orthodox church, and his sister saint Helen of Dečani. Because of constant threats from Albanian extremists, the monastery is under military protection (international forces), so you will need to provide some identification in order to enter, and it will be returned to you on leaving. Monastery has a gift shop where you can purchase wine from monastery's vineyards, honey, books, icons and other items. Entry is free.
  • Budisavci Monastery located in the eponymous village 17 km east from Peja. It was erected in the XIV century, and is dedicated to the Trasfiguration of Our Lord. It is richly decorated with XVI century frescoes, and houses an icon of Holy Virgin Mary which is venerated as wonder-working because it shed tears in winter of 2012. It can be reached by train, which goes from Peja to Prishtina, but it is not reliable, because it goes only twice a day. There is no other public transportation. You can also take a taxi from Peja.
Medieval log-cabin church in Goraždevac.
  • Goraždevac village is located south of Peja. It is the biggest Serbian village in Metohija region. The village houses the oldest log-cabin church in the region, dedicated to Saint Jeremiah the Prophet, from the XVI century. There is a small collection of old icons and church items kept in the church. There is also a new church, dedicated to the Protection of Holy Virgin Mary. The village can be reached by a few bus lines coming from central Serbia, or by taxi from Peja.
  • Banja e Pejes, "Peja Bath", a few kilometers from the city to Istog there is an area with hot natural springs, and a spa. Located near the border of Montenegro, there is easy access by bus or by car from Peja to Montenegrin cities Rožaje (bus 4€) and Plav (bus 8€). There is no border crossing through Rugova but you have to go around through Rožaje. Buses go all way to Podgorica in 6-7 hours (14 €), by car you can take the journey in 5 hours. Go to Albania through Prizren, and to Skopje through Pristina. The bus station is located about 7 minutes walk from the railway station, turning left after leaving the station for 5 minutes, before bearing left onto the road where the bus station is located.




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