Pristina is one of the liveliest capital cities in the Balkan Peninsula, and while it may not be as beautiful as others, it has its charm. If you are travelling to Kosovo, you cannot avoid visiting it: Pristina is the cultural, economic and political centre of the country and has a lot to offer visitors. Walk around Bulevardi Nene Tereza, Pristina’s main pedestrian street, and admire some of the buildings that were built during the Yugoslav-era. Then sip a coffee in the lovely Dit’n’Nat restaurant, hidden behind the street. Two not-to-miss places to visit in Pristina are the National Library of Kosovo (one of the most famous Brutalist monuments in the world), and Old Town with its beautiful mosques.
While Pristina is a modern and vibrant town, famous for its intense nightlife, Prizren is the historical and cultural hub of Kosovo and one of the most beautiful towns in the Balkan Peninsula. Dotted with Ottoman-era buildings, mosques, churches and bridges, Prizren is a jewel that every traveler should include in their Balkan itinerary. To admire the best view over Old Town, climb to the top of Kalaja, the ancient fortress that offers great panoramic vistas.
It might not be as famous for its wine as Italy or France, but Kosovo has great wine production. In the heart of the country, between the historical cities of Prizren and Gjakova, hides the Rahovec Valley, one of the most important wine producing areas in the peninsula. Once here, you will want to visit the Bodrumi i Vjetër cellar, which is the oldest winery in the country, established in Kosovo by the Yugoslav government in 1953. A tasting-tour costs about 8-10€ ($10-12 /£7-9); make sure to taste the award-winning 2014 Elephant Chardonnay.
If you are a rosé fan, you’ll want to visit Stone Castle Vineyards and Winery. Their aromatized rosé is unforgettable.
If you love outdoor activities, don’t miss the chance to hike the Bistra Peak. This mountain peak can be found along the trans-Balkan trail via the Dinarica trail. It is one of the most exciting outdoor experiences in the area, as it is among Kosovo’s highest summits. Bistra is close to the Macedonian border, and it was once used as a trading path between Skopje, the capital city of Macedonia, and Prizren, Kosovo’s second largest town. From the peak, you’ll have the chance to admire breathtaking views over Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania.
The Rugova Canyon, a 25 km (15.5 mile) long canyon in Kosovo, is one of the most beautiful places you will see. This natural area, which is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, is located near the Montenegrin border. You’ll want to start your exploration of the canyon in the lovely town of Peja, famous for its kulla or typical Albanian buildings. Another destination situated at the entrance of the Rugova Canyon is the Patriarchate of Pec, a beautiful Serb monastery.
Only a handful of people know that Kosovo is one of the top destinations for skiing in the Balkan Peninsula. It might not be as popular as other ski resorts nearby, such as Kolašin in Montenegro or Jahorina in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the Brezovica resort has great potential. Located in the Sharr Mountains near the Macedonian border, Brezovica is mostly frequented by expats who live and work in Kosovo and go in search of great snow and ski touring options.
As you can see, Kosovo is a paradise for fans of outdoor activities. The last great trip to take in Europe’s youngest country is one that crosses the border of Albania and leads to the Valbonë Valley National Park, the largest park in northern Albania. The journey takes visitors to some of the country’s most beautiful natural panoramas, as well as typical Albania sights, such as bunkers.