Kosovo is one of the last European secrets, and on top of being unspoiled and undiscovered, it offers many things for visitors to do throughout the year. While spring and summer are the best seasons for festivals and outdoor activities, autumn and winter are perfect for skiing and visiting museums. Read our guide to know when the best time of the year is to visit Europe’s newest country.
Few people know that Kosovo is one of the best ski destinations in the Balkan Peninsula. The most popular area for skiing in the country is Brezovica, a natural area on Sharr Mountain, near the Macedonian border. The skiing area covers 2,550 hectares (6,301 acres) and is open from November until May. Prices are cheaper compared to Western Europe, and there aren’t any crowds.
Rainfall in Brezovica: 6 days
Temperature: 23°F (-5°C)
Kosovo only gained independence from Serbia ten years ago. Today there are several countries in the world, Serbia included, that do not recognize it as a nation. However, to celebrate the birth of the new country, the city of Pristina built the Newborn monument in 2008 to symbolize the new nation. Every year on the country’s anniversary (February 17), the monument changes its look. This year, for example, the monument contains the number 10 for its tenth anniversary.
Rainfall in Pristina: 11 days
Temperature: 35°F (2°C)
Kosovo is a multicultural country where Albanians, Serbs, Turks, Bosniaks, Croatians and Roma people live together. One of the most beautiful things to do here is to discover the Serbs-Orthodox monasteries hidden in the forests. The three most important are the Patriarchate of Pec, right at the entrance of Rugova Canyon; Decan, on the road between Prizren and Peja; and Gracanica, just 15 minutes by car from Pristina. The start of spring, even if temperatures are still cold, is a great time to visit them because tourists are scarce, and it is possible to enjoy all their beauty in peace.
Rainfall in Pristina: 12 days
Temperature: 52°F (11°C)
When spring comes, one of the best things to do in Kosovo is to visit the Bear Sanctuary. It is a natural area located on the outskirts of Pristina, where you’ll find bears that once were kept in cages. Luckily, this awful practice is illegal today, but until a few years ago, many owners of restaurants used to keep bears in cages as entertainment. The Bear Sanctuary provides homes in a natural environment to many rescued bears in Kosovo and North Albania.
Rainfall days in Pristina: 13 days
Temperature: 61°F (16°C)
May is the best time of the year to visit the gorgeous caves in Peja. This small town is the gate to Rugova Canyon, the largest and most famous natural area of Kosovo. Peja is the perfect place for adventure-fans, where it is possible to explore hidden caves full of crystals, stalactites, stalagmites, waterfalls and secret lakes for incredibly cheap prices. Did you know that these caves were discovered only in 1990? Kosovo is full of surprises.
Rainfall in Peja: 13 days
Temperature: 70°F (21°C)
June is the perfect time of the year to trek the spectacular Rugova Canyon. To reach this natural area, take the bus from Peja or rent a car. The Kosovo tourism infrastructure is still in its first stages, so it can be difficult to plan hiking or trekking trips without an organized tour. With the tour company Peaks of the Balkans, it is much easier to admire the most beautiful peaks and areas of the country.
Rainfall in Peja: 12 days
Temperature: 75°F (24°C)
Pristina is home to one of the coolest festivals: PriFest. This event has taken place every July for ten years. PriFest is an interesting event entirely dedicated to cinematography, which means it screens international cinema productions and focuses primarily on the Kosovar film industry. The festival consists of four competition categories: European film, Balkan film, Middle-length film and Documentary film. During the festivals, the town comes alive with parties and events, including international electronic music concerts, alternative rock music gatherings and performances by locals groups.
Rainfall in Pristina: 8 days
Temperature: 79°F (26°C)
Prizren is the most beautiful town in Kosovo. The historical city centre is filled with Ottoman-era houses, churches, mosques and bridges, and is home to a beautiful fortress, where it is possible to admire breathtaking views over the town. Every August the fortress, as well as other areas of the city like the Ottoman Bridge, is turned into the set of DokuFest, one of the most important cinematographic events of the Balkans.
Rainfall in Prizren: 8 days
Temperature: 81°F (27°C)
Harvest time is one of the best periods of the year to visit Kosovo. Only a few people know it, but Kosovo has a long-history in wine production. The area where the best vineyards are located, Rahovec, is between the two historic towns of Prizren and Gjakova. In Rahovec, and particularly at the Bodrumi i Vjetër’s cellar, excellent wines like Elephant Chardonnay have been produced since the Yugoslav-era. The Stone Castle Vineyards and Winery is worth a look too. Both of them allow visitors to book a tasting tour that costs around 8€. Also, remember that in September, Rahovec hosts the Hardh Fest, which is dedicated to new wines.
Rainfall in Rahovec: 8 days
Temperature: 73°F (23°C)
Fall is a perfect part of the year to visit one of the most beautiful and romantic towns, Gjakova. It is a historic city located between Prizren and Peja and is the right place for a romantic weekend. The town is home to the most beautiful market of Kosovo, which includes plenty of cafés, souvenir shops and street art by local artists. A plus here is the absence of tourists at this time of the year.
Rainfall in Gjakova: 9 days
Temperature: 63°F (17°C)
Pristina is one of the coolest and liveliest capital cities in the Balkans and offers visitors plenty of things to see and do. When in town, two must-stop places are the Ethnographic Museum, focused on the Kosovar culture during the Ottoman-era, and the Kosovo Museum, which houses interesting archaeological pieces. After your visit, don’t miss out on tasting the best coffee in town at Dit’e’Nat’, a beautifully decorated bar in the city center. Order a cup of coffee and a slice of vegan carrot cake.
Rainfall in Pristina: 12 days
Temperature: 48°F (9°C)
December is a month full of festivities: Christmas and New Year’s Eve are two of the most important celebrations, despite most of the population being Muslim. The best thing to do here in December is to dine in one of the typical restaurants, such as Pishat, one of the best in Pristina. Then join in the New Year’s Eve concert that takes place every year on the Boulevard Mother Teresa.
Rainfall in Pristina: 12 days
Temperature: 39°F (4°C)