Kosovo is one of those places that is often overlooked by visitors, but once discovered is impossible to not fall in love with. There are many things that everyone misses after moving away from the youngest country in Europe, such as the fantastic food, the vibrant culture, the beautiful natural landscapes and, most of all, the Kosovar people. Let’s discover them together.
The thing that everyone misses the most when moving away from Kosovo is the people: Kosovars are among the most hospitable and polite people in the world. If someone is in trouble or needs help, locals are always happy to help and solve the problem. Today, Kosovo is a safe country, so don’t hesitate to ask Kosovars for help if you need it.
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The incredible nature
Despite its small size, Kosovo offers visitors some of the most incredible natural landscapes in the Balkan Peninsula. Just an hour’s drive from the capital city of Pristina, it is possible to discover gorgeous natural areas, such as Rugova Canyon, the Brezovica Mountains and Rahovec, known for its excellent wine production.
It’s impossible to resist Kosovar food: it is amazing. Restaurants, cafés and bars serve great dishes prepared using the freshest seasonal products from local markets. To taste excellent vegetarian food, head to Babaghanoush in Pristina, one of the best vegetarian restaurants in the Balkans. For meat options, the best choice is Liburnia, a traditional Kosovar restaurant situated near Pristina’s Old Town.
The quirky architecture
Kosovo is home to some of the quirkiest works of architecture in the world. The National Library of Kosovo, situated in Pristina, is one of the most interesting Brutalist pieces of architecture in Europe. The immense building is made with iron and has 99 glass domes. Make sure to venture inside to admire the domes from a different perspective.
The Old Town of Pristina
Pristina might not be the prettiest town in the Balkans, but it has its charm. The most interesting area in the capital is the vibrant Old Town with its old mosques, clock tower, Ottoman-era houses, antiquity shops, the Great Hammam and the Emin Gjiku complex that is home to the ethnographic museum of Pristina.
The café culture
No one can say they have been to Kosovo without spending some time drinking coffee and chatting with locals. Kosovo has a strong café culture and is a true haven for the coffee lover. The towns are full of beautiful cafés, such as the stylish Soma Book Station and Dit’e’Nat’ in Pristina. For traditional Turkish coffee, head to Gjakova, an historical town located near Prizren, with the oldest bazaar in Kosovo and plenty of typical cafés.
Kosovo is a multicultural country where many ethnic groups live together. The principal group is made up of Albanians, but Serbs, Turks, Croatians, Bosnians and a wide community of expats live in the country, too. It is undoubtedly one of the most multicultural places in the Balkans and, as a consequence, the country is home to a variety of religious buildings, such as mosques and Catholic and Orthodox churches.
Prizren is the most beautiful town in Kosovo, and everyone misses it when they move away from the country. The Old Town, which is one of the most interesting to visit in the Balkan Peninsula, is filled with Ottoman-era houses, ancient mosques, lovely churches and stone bridges. But the place that everyone misses the most is Kalaja, the old fortress that offers breathtaking views over Prizren.
The day trips
Kosovo is a small country and can be easily visited in one week. The best place to stay is Pristina, which is a great base to explore the whole country. The capital is centrally located, and there are regular buses that lead to every city in Kosovo, and Skopje, too, for just a few euros.
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