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We're Andre & Lisa, adventurers and experienced budget travelers.

We have over two decades of travel experience and since 2018 have led a full-time nomadic lifestyle.

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KOSOVO TRAVEL GUIDE

Kosovo is Europe's newest country and a fascinating land at the heart of the Balkans that rewards visitors with welcoming smiles, charming mountain towns, incredible hiking opportunities, and 13th-century domed Serbian monasteries just for starters.

 

Kosovo is still a disputed territory and after a lengthy and often violent dispute with Serbia, Kosovo declared independence in February 2008. As of 2019, 101 UN states recognize it as independent, and the Republic of Kosovo has become a member country of the IMF and World Bank, despite heavy Serbian opposition. While the legitimacy of the Kosovar government is disputed by many UN countries, from a traveler's point of view the Kosovar government has de facto control of most of the country; local Serb authorities administer five municipalities in the north.

 

It’s safe to travel there now, and indeed is one of the last corners of Europe that remains off the beaten track for travelers.

COUNTRY PAGE

Capital: Pristina

Currency: Euro (€)

Area: 10,887 km²

Population: 1,845 million (2018)

Language: Official: Albanian 95%, Serbian 3% Regionally Spoken: Turkish, Romany

Religion:Muslim 95%, Orthodox 4%, Roman Catholic 1%

Electricity: 230V/50Hz (European plug)

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POSTS ON KOSOVO

SEASONS AT A GLANCE

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

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Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

JANUARY

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AUGUST

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NOVEMBER

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DECEMBER

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Climate Chart with avergae monthly temperatues and rainfall

BEST TIME TO VISIT KOSOVO

Kosovo has a continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. Snow can fall as early as November and as late as April. July and August are invariably hot, although May and June can be too. The night-time/daytime temperature differential is generally greatest in September and October.

 

The best time to come to Kosovo is during spring (late April, May, or early June) when the fields are bright green but there is still some snow on the tops of the mountains and the flowers in the meadows are in bloom. There is still a risk of heavy rain in April but it is rare for this to last more than a day or so. In July, August and early September the flights and roads are busy with travelling not quite as easy or cheap and the weather can easily be too hot to explore - although September generally offers pleasant weather.


  • April - PriFest, the Pristina International Film Festival, brings a touch of international glamour to the capital.

  • May to September - You don't have to worry about high-season crowds in Kosovo!

  • August - The excellent DokuFest in Prizren is Kosovo's best art event.

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KOSOVO TRAVEL COSTS

The newest country in Europe is also possibly the cheapest one to travel in the Balkans. The capital Pristina is modern and full of trendy coffee shops where locals gather to sip delicious coffee and catch up for hours, and Prizren is a small but charming old town, often compared to Mostar in Bosnia.

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TRAVEL TIPS FOR KOSOVO

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. Kosovo has good bus connections between Albania, Montenegro and Macedonia, with regular services from Pristina, Peja and Prizren to Tirana (Albania), Skopje (Macedonia) and Podgorica (Montenegro). There's also a train line from Pristina to Macedonia's capital, Skopje.


REGIONS & HIGHLIGHTS OF KOSOVO

  • See the sights in Pristina's charming bazaar area and discover this bustling capital.

  • Breathe deep at Peja's Saturday Cheese Market.

  • Buy local wine and cheese at the serene 14th-century Visoki Dečani Monastery

  • Wander the picturesque streets of Prizren's charming old town.

  • Trek around the Rugova Mountains.

  • Visit Kosovo's new Bear Sanctuary Pristina and see rescued bears living under excellent conditions.

WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN KOSOVO

Pristina - Far more a provincial town than a great city, Pristina makes for an unlikely national capital, and yet feels more cosmopolitan than the capitals of many larger Balkan nations due to the number of foreigners working here: the UN and EU both have large presences here and the city feels rich and more sophisticated as a result. Pristina is a fast-changing city and one that feels full of optimism and potential, even if its traffic-clogged streets and mismatched architectural styles don't make it an obviously attractive place.

 

Not far in distance, but worlds away from the chaotic capital, the smaller towns of Peja and Prizren both offer a different pace and a new perspective on Kosovar life.

 

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. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Serbian Orthodox Church of Our Lady of Ljeviš is located in the city. Even though the frescoes in the church are badly damaged (the building was largely destroyed by Albanians during the war), there are some stunning, ancient wall paintings here and the entire experience is a sad and troubling example of how ethnic hatred can fracture previously peaceful societies.

 

Peja - Known as the "City of Tourism", in western Kosovo, sits at the mouth of the Rugova Gorge and adjacent to the newly formed Accursed Mountains National Park. Peja is Kosovo's third-largest city and one flanked by sites vital to Orthodox Serbians. With a Turkish-style bazaar at its heart and the dramatic but increasingly accessible Rugova Mountains all around it, it's a diverse and progressive place that's fast becoming Kosovo's tourism hub.

 

Gračanica Monastery - Explore beyond Pristina by heading southeast to 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.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Site - Visoki Dečani Monastery is one of the most important monasteries of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Just 15km south of Peja, you will find one of Kosovo's absolute highlights - famous for its elegant and peculiar architecture. As an orthodox monastery from the XIII century, it successfully mixes western and eastern church building elements to form a particular hybrid style only known on the territory of old Serbia.

 

DON'T MISS

  • 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.

  • The Rugova Gorge. The Rugova gorge is also to the northwest 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 up to 300 meters.

  • The Gjakova Old Bazaar. A very beautiful old "shopping center" from the 17th century. It was burned down during the war in 1999 and reconstructed recently. In the center 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 normal (with 'normal' not being so good either way).

  • Novo Brdo - Mentioned in the historical documents as early as 1326, Novo Brdo was a metropolis at the time, with a huge medieval fortress built on top of an extinct volcano cone, of which the remains can be visited today. In the outer wall of the fortress, a large cross is visible, built into the stones.

  • 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.

WHAT TO EAT IN KOSOVO

'Traditional' food is generally Albanian – most prominently, stewed and grilled meat and fish. Kos (goat's-milk yogurt) is eaten alone or with almost anything. Turkish kebabs and gjuveç (baked meat and vegetables) are common. Look out for:

 

  • Byrek - Pastry with cheese or meat.

  • Gjuveç - Baked meat and vegetables.

  • Fli - Flaky pastry pie served with honey.

  • Kos - Goat's-milk yogurt.

  • Pershut - Dried meat.

  • Qofta - Flat or cylindrical minced-meat rissoles.

  • Tavë - Meat baked with cheese and egg.

  • Vranac - Red wine from the Rahovec region of Kosovo.

LGBTQ IN KOSOVO

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WHERE TO STAY IN KOSOVO

For a first-time visit to Kosovo, Pristina, the capital city, serves as an excellent base due to its central location, vibrant atmosphere, and rich cultural heritage. Here's why:


Where To Stay In Pristina:

Pristina is the political, economic, and cultural center of Kosovo, offering a blend of historical landmarks, cultural attractions, and bustling nightlife.

Explore attractions like the Newborn Monument, Kosovo National Library, and Ethnological Museum.

Budget:

  • Hostel Han: Hostel Han offers budget-friendly accommodations in the heart of Pristina. The hostel features dormitory-style rooms and private rooms, a communal kitchen, and a cozy lounge area.

  • Hostel Istanbul: Hostel Istanbul provides affordable accommodations near the city center. Guests can stay in dormitory-style rooms or private rooms, enjoy access to a shared kitchen, and relax in the common lounge area.

Mid-Range:

  • Hotel Sirius: Hotel Sirius offers comfortable mid-range accommodations in a central location. The hotel features modern rooms and suites, a restaurant serving local and international cuisine, and a fitness center.

  • Hotel Garden: Hotel Garden provides mid-range accommodations near the Newborn monument. Guests can stay in well-appointed rooms, enjoy access to a restaurant serving Albanian and international dishes, and relax in the hotel's garden area.

Luxury:

  • Swiss Diamond Hotel Prishtina: Swiss Diamond Hotel Prishtina is a luxurious five-star hotel located in the city center. The hotel features elegant rooms and suites, multiple dining options including a rooftop restaurant with panoramic views, a spa, and an indoor pool.

  • Emerald Hotel: Emerald Hotel offers upscale accommodations near the Grand Hamam. The hotel features spacious rooms and suites, a swimming pool, spa facilities, and several dining options including a rooftop restaurant.

Tip: Consider visiting Pristina during the spring or autumn months for milder weather and fewer crowds and explore local markets for authentic Kosovo cuisine and handicrafts.


Additionally, for those interested in exploring cultural and historical sites, consider staying in Prizren:


Where To Stay In Prizren:

Prizren is known for its well-preserved Ottoman architecture, cobblestone streets, and historic mosques, offering a glimpse into Kosovo's rich heritage.

Explore attractions like the Prizren Fortress, Sinan Pasha Mosque, and Old Stone Bridge.

Budget:

  • Hotel Centrum Prizren: Hotel Centrum Prizren offers budget-friendly accommodations in the heart of Prizren. The hotel features simple yet comfortable rooms, a restaurant serving local and international cuisine, and a bar.

  • Hotel Albatros: Hotel Albatros provides affordable accommodations near the city center. Guests can stay in clean and cozy rooms, enjoy access to a restaurant serving Albanian dishes, and relax in the hotel's garden area.

Mid-Range:

  • Hotel Theranda: Hotel Theranda offers comfortable mid-range accommodations in a central location. The hotel features modern rooms and suites, a restaurant serving Albanian and international cuisine, and a terrace with city views.

  • Hotel Prizreni: Hotel Prizreni provides mid-range accommodations near the Old Stone Bridge. Guests can stay in well-appointed rooms, enjoy access to a restaurant serving local specialties, and relax in the hotel's courtyard.

Luxury:

  • Hotel Centrum Prizren: Hotel Centrum Prizren is a luxurious boutique hotel located in the historic center of Prizren. The hotel features elegant rooms and suites with traditional decor, a rooftop restaurant offering panoramic views of the city, and a spa.


Tip: Book accommodations in advance, especially during cultural festivals and events, such as the Dokufest Film Festival in August, and take advantage of guided walking tours to explore Prizren's hidden gems and local cuisine.


Where To Stay In Peja:

Peja (also known as Peć) is a charming city in western Kosovo, renowned for its picturesque surroundings, cultural heritage, and outdoor activities. Here are some accommodation options in Peja across different budget ranges:

  • Budget: Hostel Sarac offers affordable accommodations with dormitory and private rooms, located near the city center and attractions like the Patriarchate of Peć and the Rugova Gorge. The hostel provides basic amenities and a friendly atmosphere, ideal for budget travelers.

  • Mid-range: Hotel Dukagjini is a popular mid-range option in Peja, offering comfortable rooms with modern amenities such as air conditioning and free Wi-Fi. The hotel's central location allows easy access to attractions like the Peja Bazaar and the Visoki Dečani Monastery.

  • Luxury: Hotel Camp Karagaq provides luxurious accommodations with upscale facilities, including a spa, fitness center, and outdoor swimming pool. Located in a serene environment surrounded by nature, this hotel offers a tranquil retreat while still being within reach of Peja's main attractions.


Tips for Peja:

  • Consider visiting Peja during the summer months (June to August) for pleasant weather and opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking in the Rugova Mountains or exploring the Rugova Canyon.

  • Don't miss the chance to sample traditional Kosovar cuisine at local restaurants in Peja, known for dishes like flija (layered pancake pie) and tavë kosi (baked lamb with yogurt).

  • Explore Peja's rich cultural heritage by visiting landmarks such as the Patriarchate of Peć, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Rugova Gorge, known for its stunning natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities.


For hassle-free bookings, use platforms like Booking.com for competitive rates or Holiday Swap for unique homes worldwide. Ensure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, and align your preferences with nearby activities such as surfing, snorkeling, or cultural exploration.

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FLIGHTS
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. These are our favorite flight search engines. They index other travel websites and airlines across the globe to easily find you the best deal.

ACCOMMODATION

Booking.com is our number one resource for researching and booking accommodation. In addition to Booking.com, we have found Agoda.com to consistently returns the cheapest rates in Southeast Asia. For longer stays, find unique homes worldwide on Holiday Swap, the most affordable travel platform that allows you to book homes anytime, anywhere in only a few clicks.

TRANSPORT

DiscoverCars.com is a leader in online car rental bookings; we compare car rental deals from many companies so that you can choose which is best for your trip. 12Go connects the world door-to-door, from transfers to flights, under the same user-friendly ticket.

INSURANCE
Travel insurance can protect you against unexpected illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

 

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