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Traveling through a partially recognized Balkan country: what to see in Kosovo

Albina PanchenkoNews
Travel guide

When it comes to this country, most people are sure that it is a dangerous place. The long-lasting war has shaken confidence in the Balkan region. However, if you put aside all prejudices and stereotypes and go on a trip to the republic, your opinion will change dramatically.

Kosovo is an ideal option for a budget trip. Still, it is important to note that Ukraine has not yet recognized the independence of the republic and considers it part of Serbia.

Pristina

The capital of a partially recognized country is not at all like classic European cities. It looks like an ordinary province. Here, in the center, laundry is quietly drying or someone's cow is walking, the streets are not too clean, and there are many unkempt houses. But this has its own charm. Perhaps it is precisely because of the imperfections that tourists like to come here.

You should start exploring Pristina from the Main Square. This is where the Newborn monument is located. It symbolizes the birth of a new state. The sculpture is made in the form of capital letters that are repainted in a new color every year. The shades are not chosen randomly, as it might seem at first glance. Each color has a meaning and conveys certain ideas.

The "stars" of the capital - Fadil Vokrri stadium, paintball club, the Regional State Administration Theater, the Palace of Youth and Sports - are found here. There is also the HEROINES memorial, a huge portrait of a girl made of coins. It is dedicated to Kosovo women who became victims of violence during the war.

Be sure to walk along the main street of the city, Mother Teresa Boulevard. You can find here a statue of Skanderbeg, the hero of Albania. There are also two beautiful churches a little further: the Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Savior and the Catholic Cathedral. The National Library, which houses valuable documents, books, and manuscripts, stands in the neighboring alley. A building that is considered the ugliest in the world is not far away. However, it is thanks to this title that the building attracts tourists.

Be sure to visit the Jashar Pasha Mosque, the clock tower, a large hammam, an ethnological museum, and the local market.

Traveling through a partially recognized Balkan country: what to see in Kosovo

Prizren

After exploring the official capital, head to the cultural center of Kosovo. It is located not far from Pristina: about 70 kilometers away. This city has managed to preserve the medieval spirit. And some of its neighborhoods resemble the outskirts of Prague and Paris. Turkish motifs and Carpathian landscapes complete the picture.

The mountain river White Drin winds through the entire Prizren. A stone crossing connects the two banks. Unfortunately, it is not authentic: it was rebuilt in 1982. The old bridge, which had stood here since the fifteenth century, was destroyed in the 1970s.

To see the city in all its glory, climb the fortress wall. It offers an incredible panorama: white houses with terracotta roofs, majestic mosques, Orthodox churches and natural wonders.

Be sure to visit the Main Square. There is a fountain here that is known throughout the country. The locals say that if you drink water from it, you will definitely return to this region.

Traveling through a partially recognized Balkan country: what to see in Kosovo

Peć

The history of the Serbian Orthodox Church began in this city. The residence of the Patriarchate of Peć is located here. Today it is carefully protected. During the armed conflict, Italian soldiers were stationed near the shrine. This was done for one purpose: to prevent radicalized Albanians from destroying the architectural masterpiece of the 13th century.

Peć combines various types of recreation. Here you can go bungee jumping or zip lining, hiking, exploring caves, and paragliding.

Be sure to visit the local market. It sells homemade cheeses every Saturday.

Traveling through a partially recognized Balkan country: what to see in Kosovo

North Mitrovica

It is a city of two systems. Albanians live and Muslim mosques stand tall on the one side of the river, while Serbs dominate on the other.

By the way, not so long ago, air raid alerts were heard here and shells thundered. Although now everything has calmed down, visiting Mitrovica is less safe than previous locations.

Important information

The situation in the region is not stable, although the armed conflict has subsided. The country is currently under the care of the UN. Therefore, you can visit it, but with caution.

We do not recommend taking pictures of the military. It is not punishable by law, but one photo can lead to an unpleasant conversation, during which you will be forced to delete the photo anyway. In addition, do not get into political disputes with the locals. And if you are traveling by car, drive very carefully. Unfortunately, the traffic rules here are written only on paper. In practice, no one sticks to them.

Only verified information is available on our Obozrevatel Telegram and Viber. Do not fall for fakes!

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