7 Kosovo Top Destinations

Kosovo top destinations - header

As Europe’s newest de-facto country, little Kosovo was always going to be an interesting place to visit, and it certainly packs a punch far heavier than its weight. The capital Pristina, with its sullen architecture widely at odds with the cool café culture on show, and the beautiful Prizren, with its breathtaking medieval old town, attract the majority of tourists. But look a little further afield and the whole country is dotted with wonderful Orthodox churches, including the four monasteries that make up Kosovo’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites contribution; a host of stunning Mosques and some fantastic mountain scenery. Aided by the most friendly locals in the Balkans, Kosovo is a country that grows on you quickly and deserves to be properly explored. So, here are our Kosovo Top Destinations to help you on your search …

Kosovo top destinations

Kosovo Top Destinations

Pristina2 days

Bill Clinton poster on Bill Clinton Boulevard, Pristina, KosovoEurope’s newest capital, grey and grim architecture and a buzzing café culture, Pristina is a whirl of contradictions and an essential stop on any Kosovan tour. The large presence of EU & UN officials gives the city a very cosmopolitan feel but go beyond the top end restaurants and refined cafés, and the Ottoman influences is still keenly felt in the hillside neighbourhoods of the surroundings. The city centre isn’t exactly beautiful but after a stroll along the main boulevard Nena Tereze, past the Skenderbeg monument and the new Government Building, and on to the historic mosques and market of the old quarter, you may well believe there are worse places to spend a couple of lazy days, sipping macchiatos.

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Prizren1 day

Sinan Pasha Mosque and the Old Town, Prizren, KosovoPrizen, in many ways, in everything Pristina is not – with its well preserved and picturesque medieval city centre helping it to claim the title of Kosovo’s prettiest town. Mosques and Orthodox churches sit side by side, a testimony to its history of religious tolerance, with the most spectacular being Sofi Sinan Pasha Mosque, constructed by the Ottomans in 1615, and the 14th century Our Lady of Ljeviš, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006. Kaljaja (Prizren Fortress) offers fabulous views across the city and the central square Shadervan is a lovely place to do a little people watching. Throw in the internationally lauded DokuFest film festival and it is plain to see why Prizren continues to attract the crowds.

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Peja / Peć2 days

Kosovo Top Destinations: Peja with Rugova Canyon - wiki

Image used under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia.org

Dripping in Ottoman & Serbian heritage, Peja is one of Kosovo’s most beautiful settlements and sits snugly at the foot of Bjeshket e Nemuna (the Accursed Mountains). Visitors are drawn here to explore the breathtaking Rugova Canyon, which measures over 25km in length, visiting the Orthodox monastery and a UNESCO World Heritage SitePatriarchate of Peć on route, but the town itself also contains some unexpected treasures. The 15th century Bajrakli Xhamia Mosque and Orthodox Patriarchy Church are both intriguing sites and the cheese market is not to be missed, feeling reminiscent of a small Istanbul.

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Deçan / Dečani1 day

Kosovo Top Destinations: Visoki Dečani monastery, Decan - wiki

Image used under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia.org

Deçan is most famous for the Visoki Dečani Monastery, which is the most important Orthodox construction in Kosovo, and is included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the Orthodox Medieval Monuments. The monastery was constructed in the 13th century, utilising elements of western and eastern architecture and is notable for containing some of the world’s best preserved medieval frescos decorating its walls. The town itself is relatively small and perhaps best known as a stronghold for the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and its subsequent destruction during the 1998 – 1999 war.

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Gračanica 1 day

Kosovo Top Destinations: Gracanica monastery - wiki

Image used under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia.org

The curiously disjointed Gračanica has undergone rapid growth since the declaration of independence and is the centre of the Serbian community in Kosovo. Its principal attraction is the the Gračanica Monastery, completing the 4 medieval Orthodox constructions that form a joint UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was constructed in the 14th century and contains many stunningly preserved frescos and is unique in the fact that it is the only Serbian monastery found in an urban setting and retains its original archives and school.

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Gjakova / Đakovica 1 day

Kosovo Top Destinations: Gjakova at night - wiki

Image used under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia.org

Although ravaged by the war, lively Gjakova is slowly climbing back to its feet and still manages to contain some of the best night-life in Kosovo. Two nearby artificial lakes, Radoniqi & Komani, make great day trips and the newly reconstructed Grand Bazaar (Çarshia e Madhe) has helped to revitalize the town. Other sites of interest include the Hadum Mosque, originally built during the Ottoman era and Sheikh Emin’s Tekke, a religious complex including mausoleums, prayer-halls, houses and fountains.

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And what would you recommend?

Kosovo map with question mark.

What should be our number 7 in your opinion? We are very curious to hear where you’ve been and what you liked, so please share your knowledge and experience in the comments!

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Kosovo Top Destinations Map

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written by: Jon

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