A Solo Traveler's Guide to Pristina

Germia Park is the green lung of the capital city of Kosovo, Pristina
Germia Park is the green lung of the capital city of Kosovo, Pristina | © Fitore Syla / WikiCommons
Francesca Masotti

Kosovo’s capital city is a great destination for solo travelers. It’s safe (even at night), easy to get around and the perfect base to go on day trips in its surroundings. Whether you want to meet other travelers, go on group tours, or simply want to visit the town and its landmarks by yourself, Pristina will not disappoint you. Read our solo traveler’s guide to the youngest capital in Europe.

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Where to stay in Pristina

Pristina is a cheap destination, but its hotels can be a little expensive compared to other locations in the Balkans. If you’re hoping to keep costs low, the best thing to do is avoid luxury hotels and make a booking at one of the several hostels in town. The White Tree Hostel, for example, is a beautifully decorated hostel hidden behind the Cathedral of Mother Theresa, just few steps from the city center. The rooms are decorated with modern elements, and the hostel’s garden is the perfect place to meet other travelers or just to relax and enjoy the quiet atmosphere after a long day of sightseeing. The White Tree owners also organize tours in Kosovo and Albania.

The White Tree Hostel is one of the best places to stay in Pristina

How to stay safe

Kosovo is legendary for its warm hospitality. However, if you are a solo traveler, you should be careful, just as you would when visiting any other place in the world. Always keep your important items safely hidden in your bag and a small amount of money in your pocket. After dark, stay within the touristy streets where there are lots of people, and avoid wandering solo in the suburbs of Pristina.

Pristina is a safe place, but it is important to be careful just as in any other place in the world

Things to do in Pristina

A great way to see the sites and meet like-minded travelers, is to go on a group tour. Prishtina Free Walking Tours organizes an original city walking tour around the capital, including the town’s main points of interest; like the Ethnographic and Kosovo museums, the Imperial Mosque, the National Library, and the Newborn monument. To admire traditional Ottoman-era buildings, old mosques and churches, ancient bridges and one of the best panoramas in the Balkans, head into Prizren. The cultural capital of Kosovo, just one hour from Pristina by bus, is a must-see for every traveler. Stroll through the narrow streets of the city center, admiring the gorgeous religious buildings and the lovely traditional boutiques. Then, head to the fortress Kalaja for breathtaking views over the old town.

The Newborn monument in Pristina erected in 2008 after the declaration of the country from Serbia

Where to meet people

If the weather is fine and you want to make some local friends, head into Germia Park, known as the ‘lungs of Pristina’. Germia is a national park located just outside the town where the Kosovar spend their free time and weekends. The park is the perfect destination to relax, enjoy nature or embrace outdoor activities like running, walking, or trekking. Germia is also used as a hub for concerts and festivals: every August it hosts Sunny Hill Festival, a big event organized by the Sunny Hill Foundation, which has exhibited local and international artists, like Dua Lipa, Martin Garrix, and Action Bronson – just to name few. Spending some time at one of the local cafés is another great way to meet locals. The Balkans are well known for their coffee culture and Kosovo is no exception. Pristina is home to several beautiful cafés and bars frequented by locals, students and the international expat community. The best places to meet people are Soma Book Station and Dit’ e Nat’, the coolest cafés in the capital with a wide selection of cakes, delicacies and coffees to enjoy with your new companions.

Germia Park is the green lung of the capital city of Kosovo, Pristina

Where to eat and drink local cuisine

Kosovar cuisine is delicious, inexpensive and extremely varied. From old recipes to modern reinterpretations of traditional dishes, Pristina is home to some of the finest restaurants in the Balkan Peninsula where you can feast like a king for only a few euros. To taste traditional gastronomy such as tave kosi, which is a casserole with baked lamb, rice and yogurt sauce; or byrek, the traditional pie made with filo pastry and stuffed with spinach, cheese or meat, head into Liburnia or Pishat. These two restaurants serve typical Albanian-Kosovar food. Pristina is also home to many international restaurants if you are craving flavors from home. Try Babaghanoush for Lebanese-style menus, Nama Sushi for fresh sushi dishes or Punjabi Kitchen for Indian flavors. The falafel bowl at Babaghanoush is a must-try: a tasty dish made with falafel, hummus, tabouleh and avocado rice. Menus generally start from 3-4€.

Tavë kosi is a traditional Albanian-Kosovar dish made with flour or rice, yogurt sauce and lamb
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