Places to Visit in Kosovo

Monday, February 5, 2018

You want to explore the Balkan Peninsulainfo-icon but don’t know what places to visit in Kosovoinfo-icon?

Kosovoinfo-icon is a small and disputed country in Eastern Europeinfo-icon. After a dramatic civil war, Kosovoinfo-icon declared its independence from Serbiainfo-icon in 2008. Some countriesinfo-icon recognize it, some don't, but after almost 10 years you can easily consider Kosovo a state. Check the travel conditions before you begin your journey and prepare for an interesting list of places to visit in Kosovo.

Despite its political situation, Kosovo can be an attractive destination. Its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, medieval architecture, old cities, and beautiful landscapes deserve a visit. The largest community here is Albanian, but there are also villages where Serbs have the majority. This mix of cultures and religions has always a special flavor.

Pristina

Amazing view of Pristina

The list of places to visit in Kosovo begins with Pristina, its capital, and largest city. In Pristina the official language in Serbian, but the most popular one is Albanian. English is widely spread among young people, but German is popular too (due to the strong connections between Albanian communities from Kosovo and Germanyinfo-icon and Switzerlandinfo-icon).

So, Pristina is indeed a European city. If you are not convinced yet, visit Pristina Ethnographic museum, hosted by two XVIIIth and XIXth century houses. The museum has modern audio and videoinfo-icon technology and guides you to local history. Traditional costumes and jewelry, rooms left untouched by time, and a lot of stories are waiting for you here.

To have a complete image of the city, visit the Jashar Pasha Mosque, the Serbian Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas, and the Nena Tereze Cathedral. Muslims, Orthodox, and Catholics have been living here for centuries.

After a long day of walking and sightseeing, it is time to relax. If you enjoy coffee, Pristina is the place for you. Coffee shops are everywhere in a good Albanian style. Another quality of Albanians is their gift of working with silver. They were called the silversmiths of the former Yugoslavia.

Prizreninfo-icon

Prizren is amazing city to explore in Kosovo

Another city on the list of places to visit in Kosovo is Prizren. Not far away from Pristina, Prizren is an old city, founded in the XIth century. Its treasure is Kaljaja (Prizren Fortress), a medieval fortress that once was the capital of the Serbian Empire. Conquered by the Ottomans in the XVth century, the fortress was functional until the beginning of the XXth century. Situated on a hill, Kaljaja offers a beautiful panorama of the city.

Like in Pristina, Prizren also has a lot of churches. Church of Our Lady of Ljeviš is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an excellent example of Serbian medieval architecture. Built in the XVth century, the church was converted into a mosque during the Ottomans government.

Damaged and restored, the church is closed and can be visited only with the approval of the sacristan of the Orthodox Cathedral situated nearby. Saint George Orthodox Cathedral built in the XIXth century was also destroyed in 2004 and reconstructed. Church of Saint Nicholas, Our Savior (XIVth century), Saint Kyriaki (XIVth century), Saints Cosmas and Damian (XIXth century), Saint Thomas the Apostle (XIXth century), they all were damaged in 2004 and are now closed for the public.

The wounds of the recent war are not yet healed and monuments can be victims too.

The Gadime Caveinfo-icon

A stunning Gadime cave

The Gadime Cave or the Marble Cave was discovered in 1966 by Ahmet Asllani who was working in his garden. The cave is situated in the village with the same name, only 20 km away from Pristina.

The beautiful karst limestone cave was opened for the public ten years later. Its geo-touristic value attracts also researchers from all over the world. The birth of the cave is dated 200 million years ago and the natural process of forming continues. Of the 1260 meters of the cave, only 500 are open to the public, but the stalactites and stalagmites, and the informative guided tour will complete a day trip.

“Bjeshket e Nemuna” National Park

Breathtaking views in the national park

Declared a natural park in 2013, “Bjeshket e Nemuna” is a 50 km long and 26 km wide mountain area. A representative for the Balkans, the reservation is home for over 1, 000 species of plants, including endemic species. The area is valuable not only for its biodiversity but also for its traditional way of life in the mountains.

Go hiking, biking or just enjoy beautiful landscapes. “Bjeshket e Nemuna” definitely deserves a place on the list of places to visit in Kosovo.

Kosovo is a new country with an old history. You can still smell the damage of war. But Kosovo begins to live again. Young European people animate the cities. Traditions are brought back to life. Monuments are reconstructed. Nature is again a place of beauty and peace. Churches of different cults can again stand proudly together. The future looks brighter for people of Kosovo and they deserve it.

Monica Radulescu a freelance writer for aSabbatical.com
Travelling is a joy. It's a way to become a better and wiser person. Mountain paths and road trips are my favourites.

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