Kosovo is Europe’s newest country, (although it is not recognized by some countries, including its’ neighbour, Serbia), and probably the least-known and the least-visited.

Kosovo declared it’s independence in 2008, after quite a few years of being under the United Nations, which followed years of war in the Balkans. As a relatively new country, one that not everyone acknowledges as a country, and with questions as to whether or not it’s safe to visit, tourism in Kosovo is slowly but surely increasing. Definitely not as popular of a destination as its’ neighbouring Balkan countries, but just as lovely and even better – not as busy! Add to that, Kosovo uses the Euro as currency and it’s still as cheap as it’s fellow Balkan countries.

You need to pay it a visit.


Prishtina, Pristine, Pristina. This is the capital and probably one of the first places you’ll visit in Kosovo. It’s not as pretty as some of the European capitals, and some would say you could skip it or just spend a day, but I’ve got to tell you, it has its’ own kind of charm.

I’m not sure why, as it’s nothing I can put my finger on, but Prishtina was one of the nicest places we visited. It definitely isn’t the prettiest. It doesn’t have amazing, famous sites to see (although there ARE quite a few things to see….scroll down for our list). It doesn’t have history like some of the other Balkan cities. And it definitely doesn’t have the beaches of the Mediterranean coast. But the people are friendly, warm and welcoming and certainly proud of their country. Prishtina has a vibe of a smaller town, but with a mix of Western modernism and a young population open to change and looking forward to the future.  

As a relatively new country, tourism isn’t as established as it is in other countries. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing! Without the masses of tourists and attractions geared to tourists, you get to see the real Kosovo! 

Prishtina does have a small tourist info office, right on the main street. It’s a tiny kiosk about halfway down the street. Keep an eye out for the “i”. They provide a map and can answer any questions you have. There’s also a free walking tour, meeting every day at 11:00, just outside the National Theatre. Or you can just wander and experience the city for yourself!

If you’re heading out on your own, here’s some suggestions of things to see or check out this One Day Itinerary.

Newborn Monument

Unveiled on the day Kosovo declared their independence, it represents the birth of a new country and was the first public monument to commemorate Kosovo’s independence. Each year, it is painted with a different design.

Newborn Monument, Pristina, Kosovo

Heroinat Memorial

Heroinat Memorial, Pristina Kosovo

Located opposite the Newborn monument, this memorial is made from 20, 145 medals, which honours the contribution and sacrifice of ethnic Albanian women during the 1998-1999 war in Kosovo.

National Library of Kosovo

One of the most interesting buildings I have seen, this library is a series of cubes, covered in grey lattice, with white domes on top. Many call it one of the ugliest buildings in the world, but that seems a little harsh. It’s definitely unique though! Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of it, but if you go and snap a pic, let me know!

Ethnographic Museum

Located in the old bazaar area, this museum is a bit hard to find, but it’s worth the trouble! Two well-preserved Ottoman-style houses show what traditional Kosovar life was like. English speaking guides will lead you through the house, showing you the kitchen and utensils downstairs and the sitting rooms and bedrooms upstairs. The natural heating made by hollow bricks is interesting!

Ethnographic Museum (Pristina, Kosovo)

Skanderberg Statue

Skanderberg Statue (Pristina, Kosovo)

The Skanderberg Statue, overlooking Skanderberg Square, was erected after the conflict in 1999, when Kosovo was no longer Serbian rule. Skanderberg was an Albanian who fought against the Ottomans in the 1400’s. He is seen as a national hero, and statues of Skanderberg are also found in Skopje, North Macedonia, and Tirana, Albania.

Also worth a visit is the Cathedral of St. Mother Teresa, located just south of the National Library. At the opposite end, north of the main pedestrian area is the King Mosque, and Clock Tower.

If you have a few more days and the chance to explore a bit more of the country, here’s some ideas.

Prishtina Bear Sanctuary

Located about 20 km outside of Prishtina near the village of Mramor, the Bear Sanctuary is a great half day trip. For many years, there was no law against keeping bears as pets. Many bears were kept in cages outside restaurants, so they became known as “restaurant bears”. In 2010, it became illegal for bears to be kept privately and so the Bear Sanctuary came into existence to provide a home for some of these bears. Here’s our post on visiting the Bear Sanctuary.


Although it’s the second largest town in Kosovo, it still has a small town feel. The Old Town is full of cobblestones and cafes, with an old stone bridge crossing over the river and the Kaljaja fortress towering over it all.

You can easily spend your time wandering the town, stopping at any of the numerous cafes (if you can grab a seat) to sip a coffee and people watch.

Shadervan is the main square and has one of the most unique fountains we have encountered on our travels.

Shadervan Fountatin (Prizren, Kosovo)

Kaljaja fortress is a bit of a hike, and the path actually starts a bit of a distance from the Old Town. It’s an easy path and you’ll find all kinds of people out for a walk (or run!) along the way. For kids, the path was an easy (but long) hike with the added bonus of two playgrounds at the bottom of the path. We saved those for the hike down and by then it was dark, but the boys still loved playing there – I don’t know how they still had the energy!

The fortress is free to enter and you can wander around the ruins all day if you like. The view of the town is worth the hour long hike up! Apparently the sunset is fantastic as well, but the day we hiked it was overcast and no sunset for us.

View of Prizren from Kaljaja fortress

Although we only visited these two cities, I wish we had stayed longer and explored more of the country. These are on our list for next time!


Although we didn’t make it here, I wish we had! It’s only an hour from Prishtina, which makes it an easy day trip. The city is divided into the Southern (Albanian) part and the Northern (Serbian) part, which sounds really interesting and is said to be safe to visit.  


A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this town came highly recommended, but we didn’t have time to visit this trip. It’s about an hour and a half bus ride from Prishtina.

We completely underestimated this country and a week didn’t give us anywhere near enough time to explore. We will be back for sure!

Pin: A week in Kosovo

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