Kosovo is a country in Europe that not many people know much about (or know exist at all as I found out!). The country has had a tumultuous past with many countries still failing to acknowledge their independence from the bordering country Serbia. Unfortunately because of their history many people have an altered idea of present day Kosovo and might even be nervous to travel here. Coming from Ireland, the only time I would have heard of Kosovo before Rita Ora was that we sent out troops during the Serbian war for peace keeping purposes. (I didn’t think I would ever put Rita Ora and peace keeping in the same sentence together!) . After the Kosovo War they gained their Independence and while there is still unrest in certain parts of the country, for the most part it is growing from strength to strength.
My boyfriend and I were only thrilled to get to explore Kosovo for a day or two while we were so close during our road trip around Albania, North Macedonia and Greece. We only stayed one night but you could easily stay for a full weekend. The country is cheap, inviting and felt so incredibly safe.
Sitting at the foot of the Shar mountains, Prizren is everything you would expect Kosovo to look like and more. A complete other world to their capital of Prishtina, Prizren is the hub for culture in Kosovo. Located a short 20 minute journey from the Albanian border, Prizren has ancient mosques, narrow cobblestone streets and Ottoman houses ready to admire.
We visited Prizren as a stop over between Albania and our final destination Prishtina and with a plentiful amount of cafés and restaurants dotted through weaving cobbled streets it was a welcomed pit stop! If you have more time, you can visit the Fortress of Prizren and take in the surrounding views. We attempted to visit here bit ended up getting lost wandering the streets instead!
While you are in Prizren, take in the views, walk across the ‘Old Stone Bridge’. visit the Sinan Pasha Mosque and simply get lost among the streets of the Old Town.
To say that we fell in love with Prishtina would be a massive under statement! Having visited quite a few Eastern European destinations at this point I have seen my fair share of capital cities, some which surprise in a good way and others than completely underwhelm – Prishtina falls into the former.
As we spent a lot of our day in Prizren we didn’t have a huge amount of time in Prishtina. Despite this, it still managed to make quite a lasting impression on both my boyfriend and I. The city is filled with quirky cafés, restaurants and bars. Everywhere we passed or went into had interesting decor, beautiful flower filled outdoor seating areas and incredibly friendly staff that all went hand in hand with amazingly cheap price lists. As far as I am concerned their offering in the hospitality department far exceeded that of most European capital cities, Dublin included! To put into perspective for dinner in an upmarket restaurant for two main courses, two drinks (one alcoholic, one regular), a side and a bottle of water cost us €12.50!
If you are looking to do more than just eat and drink your way around the Kosovan capital here are a few things that you can do:
- Visit the Newborn Monument
- Visit one of their many mosques
- Visit Skanderberg Square
- Visit the Kosova National Art Gallery
- Grab a corn in the cob from a street vendor
- During the Summer you can venture out to Germia Park
I think Pristhina would be the perfect weekend getaway with your other half or a group of friends! The city has so much to offer and the prices are almost too good to be true. Regarding the issue of safety while there are parts of the country still under unrest we found Prishtina to be much safer than most placed. Both men and women were walking through the city by themselves at night time, phone in hand which is something that you don’t really see in a lot of capital cities – especially Dublin, so safety was by no means an issue that we saw.
Have you ever visited Kosovo, or would you consider visiting there?