W.What was once a disputed territory between the Byzantine and Ottoman empires is now a story waiting to be told. While Kosovo is not a fully modernized country, it has a rich history told through classical architectures, some of which have been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Sunset view of old stone bridge and old Ottoman Sinan Pasha Mosque photo via Depositphotos
With the modernization of the areas, the natural beauty becomes a rare commodity, which is why Kosovo is a sight to behold. Here are the places to visit for your Kosovo adventure:
Mother Teresa Street in Pristina via Depositphotos
As the capital of the country, Pristina is the most vibrant city and the hub for entertainment, healthcare and commerce. It also has a rich culture through its historical sites such as mosques and monuments.
This city also has a lively environment as there are many shopping malls, cafes and pubs. Pristina is a good place to stay if you're looking for a good mix of traditional and modern culture.
Photo of Gracanica Monastery via Depositphotos
As you roam Pristina, the Gracanica Monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that you cannot miss. Externally, this place, inspired by Serbian architecture as such, is complemented by grave-shaped structures.
Original paintings, treasures and Byzantine decorations are used internally. Tragically, the original paintings and treasures were destroyed by fire but soon compensated for with similar versions.
Kosovo Museum in Pristina City Photo via Depositphotos
The Kosovo Museum is inspired by Austro-Hungarian architecture, which focuses on archeology, ethnography, and natural sciences.
The gallery shows paintings and relics from the Dardan, Romanian and Illyrian times. The museum later displayed artifacts from the Kosovar war of liberation.
Karrota Newborn Memorial – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC
If any symbol can sum up what Kosovo has been through, then the Newborn Memorial is the perfect representation. This monument was unveiled in 2008 and commemorates Kosovo's independence from Serbia.
This 10 foot tall, 79 foot long memorial is dubbed the "NEWBORN" to mark the rebirth of the country. In fact, the memorial is repainted annually to celebrate years of freedom.
Germany's swimming pool by Bdx – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, CC
Germia Park is a lovely getaway away from the crowds of Pristina. This park is full of forests with several pine trees, faunas and other types of flowers.
The countryside is a great place for hiking, biking, climbing, and playing on the basketball court or playground. You can also go skiing provided it's winter and you have your own equipment.
At the bear sanctuary, you finally have a chance to see these creatures besides seeing them on TV. This 16-acre area serves as a lifelong habitat for bears previously kept as pets and restaurant bears.
In fact, Kosovo banned private ownership of bears as they were trapped in poor traps and used as restaurant attractions. As of now there are 20 bears that count in this sanctuary.
Prizren is one of the best places in Kosovo
If you are looking for a more traditional Kosovo lifestyle, Prizren is definitely the place. Known as the second largest city, Prizren is full of traditional houses and landmarks like the Pasha Mosque and the Church of Our Lady of Ljevis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are also many outdoor activities such as hiking and skiing. Other traditional aspects of Prizren are the Serbian-Kosovar dishes and the Dokufest film festival.
Rugova Canyon By Arba Hatashi – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC
Rugova is a paradise for snow and mountain lovers. This breathtaking valley is full of mountain villages, peaks and gorges.
The regular season is best for hiking and mountaineering. During the snow season, Rugova is a great place for snowboarding and skiing.
Monument to Adrian Krasniqi in Peja, Kosovo via Depositphotos
After the strenuous outdoor activities in Rugova, the town of Peja is just around the corner. Like other cities, Peja has its own share of landmarks like the Zenel Beg Tower, the city center, and the Patriarchate, another UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are also souvenir shops and local restaurants that sell the town's peja cheese.
Ethnological Museum, Pristina Von Ardianlumi – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, CC
Another important part of Peja is the Ethnological Museum. This museum displays artifacts from historical events in Kosovo such as the Kosovar War, Serbian civilization, and the Ottoman Empire.
Some of the relics that you can find are weapons, royal clothes, paraphernalia, and folk musical instruments.
Sinan Pasha Mosque
Sinan Pasha Mosque in Prizren, Kosovo Photo via Depositphotos
The Sinan Pasha Mosque was built from carved stones by the Ottoman Empire to spread Islam. This structure has a rectangular design with a staircase carved out of stone.
In the mosque there are paintings of Arabic verses from the Al-Quran, the holy book of Islam.
Bjeshket E Nemuna National Park
Bjeshket E Nemuna National Park By Gashi Bujar – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, CC
If you are looking for a natural and refreshing atmosphere this park is for you. The geological structure, the geographical location and the hydrological components of the site create an incomparable natural experience.
Some of the things that you can admire here are the flora, fauna, mountains, streams and a river. Since the park has a lot to offer, you can climb, hike, and even catch fish.
Gazivoda Lake By Bobik at Serbian Wikipedia. CC BY 3.0 rs, CC
Gazivoda Lake is a unique body of water shared by Kosovo and Serbia. It was actually formed by the dams of the Ibar.
This lake is full of fish and fauna. The landscape is complemented by hills near the lake.
Mirusha waterfalls in Kosovo by Flutur Gerbeshi via Wikipedia CC
Mirusha waterfalls are an unforgettable sight for nature lovers. It is filled with 13 river lakes and 12 waterfalls, surrounded by a 10 km long canyon.
In fact, the highest waterfall in this area is 22 meters. You can also see caves and cliffs that add to the backdrop of waterfalls.
Stalls at the Gjilan Bazar market photo via Depositphotos
Bazaars are common in the cities of Kosovo. If you need something even if you are saving money, the bazaars can cater to your needs.
Unlike other countries, bazaars offer different products that are not limited to specific items. Affordable items like groceries, hairdryers, and even a deck of cards are available in bazaars.
To help you plan your visit to Kosovo, we have listed the top sights and other amazing tourist attractions in Kosovo. We've also listed some of the best Kosovo travel and tour packages, along with excellent flight deals and accommodations.
Looking for the best hotels, resorts and cheap flights in nearby towns? Check out our list of affordable hotels and resorts in Kosovo through Agoda, Booking, or check out Airbnb hotels available in the city as well.
Do you want more updates on other beautiful tourist attractions in Kosovo? Follow #TeamOutofTown on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.
Also read: The historic city of Vigan: side by side with other world heritage sites