A Budget Traveller’s Guide to Kosovo

Kosovo is home to Brezovica, one of the main ski resorts in the Balkans
Kosovo is home to Brezovica, one of the main ski resorts in the Balkans | © rolfvandewal / Pixabay
Francesca Masotti

From the lively capital city Pristina to the historic towns, and from the untouched forests to the breathtaking canyons, Kosovo has plenty to offer visitors. Here’s how to visit Kosovo without spending a fortune.

How to get around

Pristina International Airport Adem Jashari is the only airport in Kosovo. Unfortunately, there is no public transport connecting the airport with the capital, so a taxi is your only option. The taxi takes about 25 minutes and is relatively expensive for transport in the area (around £18), so consider sharing your ride with other travellers and splitting the costs if you’re on a tight budget. Once you’re in the city, Pristina is connected by bus to the main Kosovar towns, and with Skopje and Tirana.

Taxis connect Pristina Airport to the city centre

The best time to visit

Kosovo is probably the most underrated country in the Balkan Peninsula and the least visited by tourists, so there’s no risk of running into crowds, even at the peak of the season. The youngest European country is at its best when the weather is sunny and warm, from April to October. However, if you’re a skiing enthusiast, winter is a great time of the year to enjoy the snow and ski in one of the cheapest ski destinations in Europe, Brezovica.

Spring and summer are the best seasons to visit Kosovo

Where to stay

Kosovo has many affordable places to stay; from budget hotels to cheap hostels, it is not difficult to find a place to spend the night without breaking the bank. The White Tree Hostel in Pristina is one of the coolest hostels in the Balkans. Centrally located, it offers comfort and convenience at a cheap price. The owners organise tours around the capital and other areas of Kosovo too, which are great if you want to explore Kosovo on a budget.

It’s not difficult to find a place to spend the night without breaking the bank

Things to see and do

Enjoy the lively atmosphere of Pristina

Pristina may not be the first European capital you think of for a city break, but this vibrant Balkan town is in fact one of the liveliest capitals in Europe. A tour of the city should include the National Library of Kosovo (entry to this quirky building is free of charge); the Newborn monument, which is dedicated to Kosovo’s independence, gained in 2008; the Cathedral of Mother Theresa; and the old town, with its Ottoman-era houses, ancient mosques and the Ethnographic Museum.

The main room of the Ethnographic Museum of Pristina

Taste the local and international cuisine

The country is a true haven for foodies, from Kosovar traditional dishes such as byrek, a stuffed pie made with spinach, cheese or meat, and tavë kosi, a lamb casserole, to Turkish-style kebabs. The most unique dining experience in Kosovo is at Babaghanoush, a Lebanese-style vegetarian restaurant located in the heart of Pristina. The delicious menu starts at just €4 (£3.50).

Cheese, olives and fresh salad at Liburnia, the most famous restaurant in Pristina

Explore the Wild West

The best place to visit for outdoor activities is the city of Peja and its surroundings. The town is known for producing Peja beer, a delicious and typical Balkan drink that can be bought in bars and restaurants in the surrounding area for as little as €2 (£1.80). The area is also famous for the stunning medieval Orthodox monasteries hidden in the forests and for being the gateway to discovering the west of Kosovo. The Rugova Canyons, located between Peja and the Montenegrin border, are some of the most spectacular natural places to see in the region and are definitely worth checking out. You can book guided tours and discover hidden caves for only few euros (tours start from €8–10 or £7–9).

Gurit Bridge in the Rugova Valley, one of the most beautiful natural destinations to visit in Kosovo

Go back in time in Prizren

Kosovo is home to one of the prettiest towns in Eastern Europe: Prizren, a historical city located in the south of the country, not far from the Albanian border. The town is known for its cobblestoned streets, Ottoman-era houses and ancient mosques. But the most famous place to visit is the beautiful fortress that offers breathtaking views over the old town and the mountains. Entrance is free. Every August the fortress is the location of PriFest, a cultural event in Kosovo dedicated to Balkan movies.

The old fortress of Prizren is home to DokuFest, a film festival in Kosovo

Ski in Brezovica

This small country is home to one of the largest ski resorts in the Balkan Peninsula: Brezovica, a budget-friendly alternative to skiing in the Italian or French Alps (a single ride costs €4 or £3.50). Consider visiting this beautiful resort if you want to spend your winter holidays in a cheap destination and enjoy every moment on the slopes without fighting against the crowds.

Kosovo is home to Brezovica, one of the cheapest ski resorts in the Balkans

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