The still-disputed Republic of Kosovo is known for its historical change of rulers from the Byzantine kings to the Ottoman Sultans. The country is small in area but rich in art and history, there are plenty of places to visit in Kosovo.
There are many Kosovo points of interest. The mosques built during the Ottoman rule and the castles and the monasteries constructed during the Byzantine Empire still exist beautifully in this landlocked country. Some of the ancient establishments of this Republic even come from the 13th century.
The country has a lot of areas to develop for sure, but the elegant natural beauty of this country is unbound to any limitations.
The state is full of young spirits as more than 50% of Kosovo’s people are below the age of 25. Pristina is the capital of the Republic of Kosovo, whereas Pec and Prizren are other famous towns. The cities are full of adventure as they seem to reflect a high culture interested in serving their tourists.
The best natural places to visit in Kosovo are the National Park, the Gazivoda Lake, Rugova Mountain Ranges, Germia Park, and the Mirusha waterfalls.
So what are you waiting for? Book a trip to Kosovo for the next vacation and come across this new country seeing some very ancient monuments and the best of nature and also, it’s in Europe!
The hilly mountainous forest ranges include skiing opportunities in winter, hiking opportunities in summer, and beautiful sceneries throughout the year. Remember, this is a developing country, so don’t go expecting any skyscrapers or insanely bright nights like Vegas. But it packs up a grand tour with traditional pubs and some cozy places.
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Table of Contents
- What are the top places to visit in Kosovo?
- Check out these activities in Kosovo
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What are the top places to visit in Kosovo?
National Park Bjeshkët E Nemuna
A national park situated in the west of Kosovo occupies a considerable area of 624.88 square kilometers. It was established in 2013 with a view of creating a new tourism site in the country. The name Bjeshkët E Nemuna means the cursed mountains.
The environment is ever-green with a variety of flora and fauna residing here. The park has a lot to offer, including a lovely river, some beautiful streams, and magnificent hilly mountains with green plants and trees.
Activities include sightseeing, fish catching, hiking, and mountain climbing. This national park is at the very top amongst the list of places to visit in Kosovo. The highest peak of Kosovo, Gjeravica, with a height of 2656 meters from the Adriatic Sea level, is also placed here.
The capital and the largest city of Kosovo have mostly Albanian residing here. With near about 20 monuments, a few mosques and a church from the Ottoman and Byzantine ages, the town is rich in history, as well as the center of the country’s commerce, entertainment, and healthcare.
There is the UNESCO’s world heritage site listed Gracanica Monastery from the fourteenth century, the elegant Kosovo Museum, the Ottoman Bath, a clock tower, and a public fountain.
The local people love enjoying festivals throughout the whole year-round in the city. Visit the local coffee shops, the swimming pools, and the shopping malls if you’re looking for activities in Kosovo’s capital. Also, taste the local Peja beer while in the pubs of Pristina as the city also has a vibrant nightlife.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Pristina
It is the largest lake in Kosovo. The lake is formed due to the dams of the river Ibar. The lake is shared by both Kosovo and Serbia. Its area is near 12 square kilometers of which, Kosovo has more than 9 square kilometers, and Serbia has about 3 square kilometers.
With an average depth of more than 100 meters, this lake is the abode to many aquatic faunas and a variety of fishes. A magnificent scenery can be seen from the hilly areas outside the vast lake. Tourists all across the world visit this lake when they reach Kosovo for a tour.
Placed Northwest from the city of Peja or, locally, Pec, Rugova is a natural ecstasy with mostly forest ranges in mountain surfaces. The best time to visit Rugova Mountains is in the snows of winter as this is also the 4th best Skiing and snowboarding destination in the world, according to the International Ski Federation.
The mountainous Rugova consists of 13 traditional villages in the hilly regions. The entire Peja can be seen from a place in Rugova called Qafa-e-Qyqas (the Cuchoo’s Neck). With a lot of streams, lakes, glaciers, cliffs, and caves, the site is best for experiencing the fun of activities like mountain climbing, hiking, skiing, and snowboarding.
A visit to the mountains of Rugova is an integral part of Kosovo tourism.
Established in 1321 AD, the Serbian King Milutin dedicated the monastery to the Holy Virgin Mary. It is set 5 kilometers southeast of the capital city of Pristina at the Gracanica village.
The monastery is built following a multiple-tombs shape and a Serbian structure. The inner side is designed magnificently and decorated beautifully with an antique Byzantine culture.
The original paintings and treasures were lost in a fire after a jubilee of the establishment. The monastery was listed on the heritage sites list in 2006, due to its architectural beauty and marvelous paintings. The site seems to be attracting tourists on a much grander scale ever since.
Also called Peja in the local tongue, the city of Pec has an area of 602 square meters and 95 villages. The main attractions in Pec of Kosovo are the Patriarchal Monastery of Pec, the Ethnological Museum, the Zenel Beg Tower, the City Center, and of course, the Rugova canyon and mountains.
The Patriarchate Monastery is also included in UNESCO’s world heritage list. The beautiful Bistrica River flows beside the town. You should check out the Peja Bazar as you go sightseeing in the city. Some more establishments back from the 14th century can be seen there.
Visit the local shops to buy souvenirs to take back, and the restaurants to eat and taste the famous Pec Cheese. Activities in Pec include rock climbing, skiing, hiking, and paragliding with the local experts from the Aeroclub of Pec.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Peć
The museum, created in 1949, is the most significant museum of Kosovo inside Pristina. It was working on three particular subjects of ethnography, archaeology, and natural science; the museum started collecting paintings and relics for the exhibition.
Later it also started gathering artifacts that represent the struggle of the Kosovans in their liberation war. There is an ethnological museum and an archaeological park that also belongs to this museum.
The monuments and artifacts express mostly ancient archaeology, alongside some examples of ethnography. The structure of the building is also very refined. Your Kosovo travel guide should include this place only if you are in Pristina and a few days in hand, as the museum is often closed for renovation.
Being the second most populated city of Kosovo, Prizren is also situated at the bank of Bistrica and the base of the Sharr Mountains. The town is famous mostly for the traditionally designed houses and the historically old mosques.
The Kalaja Fortress is amongst the entire Kosovo attractions. There are also some cathedrals and museums in this pleasant city. The Church of Our Lady of Ljevis, listed in UNESCO’s heritage sites list, is another center of Prizren tourism. The Sinan Pasha Mosque, Mustafa Pasha Mosque, and the Bajrakli Mosque are prominent amongst the whole nation.
The Dokufest film festival held in the enchanting Old Town of Prizren is another reason to visit the city for tourists coming from foreign countries. The town also offers tasty Serbian-Kosovan cuisine and some reputable shops. Outdoor activities like hiking and skiing are easily perforable as the town is literally at the foot of a vast mountain.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Prizren
The ethnological museum is located in the town of Peć. The entry fee is only a euro, but it provides so much in their exhibitions. The materials on the show are the ancient weapons used in the Kosovo war, the royal dresses of the past kings and their home utensils, relics from the typical lifestyle of the ancient civilizations in Pec, and some old folk musical instruments that are entirely vintage stuff.
There are also some elements that come from even the Ottoman period and of the old Serbian civilization. The site is indeed one of the Kosovo country points of interest.
The most prominent natural park in Pristina, Germia, is situated in the northeastern part of the capital of Kosovo, with a vast area of 62 square kilometers. Here resides more than 60 species of faunas and more than 600 species of floral species.
The beautiful pathway or the hiking trail of Germia Park is surrounded by pine trees. You can also rent a bicycle for a couple of euros to stay there for two hours and roam around the park.
It offers a rock-climbing wall, a basketball ground, and a playground along the trail. The swimming pool of the park is enormous, and the inner restaurants also provide great food with luxury cuisine.
When you are on the premises of the library, you will be more likely amazed as well as stupefied. The whole architecture or the construction is just shocking to everyone because it is more like small floating rectangles, like a square-shaped tomb.
From being established in 1944, after 70 years, the library has managed to gather more than a hundred thousand books. A Croatian architect designed the building but, there are debates about if it is, only the best or just the worst.
There are two reading chambers with 400 chairs. The total area inside is somewhere around 16,500 square meters. The library, being renowned as an exciting place, is amongst the core places to see in Kosovo if you go to Pristina.
Patriarchate of Peć
This place is mainly an ancient monastery from the 13th century in the order of Serbian Orthodox churches inside the city of Pec in Kosovo, near the Rugova Mountains and Bistrica River.
The main monastery is divided into four different monasteries, and the Patriarchate of Peć controls all of them. There is an extensive collection of religious monuments inside the monastery.
The tall tower and the 750 years old tree inside the monastery area are peculiar matters and of great interest among the tourists. A great Kosovo tourism includes this UNESCO’s world heritage listed site if you visit Pec while in Kosovo.
Mirusha waterfalls are a sequence of moderate waterfalls that form the nearby 13 lakes in Mirusha Park. The waterfalls are magnificent to watch and pleasant to hear. There are some generally unseen birds in the park.
The park also consists of a variety of canyons and caves. The place is very enchanting for nature lovers. The walls of these waterfalls are white and made of stone in some relatively high cliffs. The highest waterfall inside the entire park is about 72 feet in altitude.
The whole park is in a mountainous range, providing the opportunity for a superb view of the lakes.
Sinan Pasha Mosque
It is a very lovely mosque found in the city of Prizren and demonstrates traditional design from the 17th century Ottoman or Turkish rule in Kosovo. The Ottoman rulers built this mosque with the aim of spreading the religion of Islam.
There are some great paintings of Arabic Verses from their holy book of the Al-Quran. The walls inside the mosque are also designed very beautifully with Arabic letters and sentences.
The inner chamber of the mosque was being damaged due to rain, and the mosque was plastered with lead plates later on. This holy religious place is built upon an area of 196 square meters and is rectangular.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Prizren
Also known as the Kalaja fortress, it was built somewhere around the 11th century. It is a magnificent antique fort made by the Byzantines, in the city Prizren too. To reach this splendid fort, you will need a 10-15 minutes hike in the bursting heat if you go in the tour season. But everyone coming back from the place always has a smile of satisfaction, which indicates the hike was worth it.
The place is almost like a small city as it was developed by the Byzantines while they used it as a center of governance. After Byzantine rule, it went into the hands of the Ottoman and later became a ruin of Kosovo’s independent war.
Now it is a great tourism site and undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Kosovo. Travel to Prizren fortress while in Prizren as it is a great site to explore and open to public display.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Prizren