Affordable prices, incredible food and welcoming locals make Kosovo a must visit this autumn.
Since unilaterally declaring its independence from Serbia in 2008, Kosovo has experienced solid economic growth and is very much a developing, albeit partially recognised, country.
Located in the Balkans and bordered by Serbia, North Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro, Kosovo is an up-and-coming destination that is very much worth a visit.
How to get there
Wizz Air operates a frequent service from London Luton to Pristina (Kosovo’s capital city), with prices ranging from £50-£100 on average for a return flight. The flight time is roughly three hours and 30 minutes.
Upon arrival at Pristina International Airport, a short taxi ride is needed to get into the centre of the city. This should cost you around 10 euros (£8.65), but prices are negotiable. It’s advisable to agree a price with your driver before taking the trip, as is the case with most journeys when you are travelling as a tourist.
READ MORE: ‘I visited the third smallest country in Europe and it was truly mesmerising’
Where to stay
An AirBnB for two adults in the centre of Pristina will cost you anywhere between £22 and £42 a night in total. Generally, the longer you wish to stay in an AirBnB the better value each night becomes.
There are some really quirky and stylish properties available for some incredible prices this autumn, so it’s worth doing some research.
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The highlight of Pristina is the National Library of Kosovo. The distinctive 99-domed building certainly divides opinion, but it’s a stunning piece of architecture. A building that wouldn’t look out of place in a science fiction movie, its round protrusions make for some great opportunities for budding photographers.
The inside of the building is somewhat disappointing as it is, essentially, just a functioning library. Definitely a structure best enjoyed from the outside.
You’ll find the best view of the National Library from the top of the neighbouring Cathedral of Saint Mother Teresa. Admission to the cathedral is free, but you’ll have to pay a nominal fee of 1.5 euros (£1.30) to take the lift to the top. From there you can see the National Library of Kosovo in all of its glory, as well as taking in the site of the Church of Christ the Saviour. The viewing platform offers a great view of the city and the high-rise buildings overshadowed by mountains and hills watching over them.
The inside of the Cathedral of Saint Mother Teresa is peaceful, and offers a chance for a moment of reflection. There are a series of intricately designed and beautifully crafted stained-glass windows, with the highlight depicting Mother Teresa in an embrace with the Pope.
To understand the region’s complex history, it is well worth taking a visit to the Museum of Kosovo. Entrance is free and it offers an in-depth overview of the nation’s past, as well as musing on what its future may look like as an application to join the EU was submitted in December 2022.
Another pleasant activity is to take a stroll down Mother Teresa Boulevard. The pedestrianised stretch is a lively part of Pristina and is the perfect place to soak up the atmosphere of the city. Enjoy food or a drink in one of the many restaurants nearby, with an average dinner for two costing around 20 euros (£17.30). Alternatively, a 0.5l bottle of water in a local supermarket will cost you as little as 20 cents (about 17p).
Two more sights definitely worth seeing are the Newborn monument and the statue of Bill Clinton. The Newborn monument is a sculpture located in front of the Palace of Youth and Sports. Made out of the letters that make up the word NEWBORN, the sculpture changes yearly. This year’s edition spells out NO NEW BR in the colours of the Ukrainian flag, with the BR standing for Broken Republics.
You might be wondering how a statue of Bill Clinton ends up in Kosovo? It was built as a thank you to the former President of the United States as a thank you for his assistance to the country during the Kosovo War and their struggle with the Yugoslavian government in the late nineties.
A trip to Pristina wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Soma Book Station. This trendy cafe and bar is a vibrant place to enjoy a drink alongside locals, and revel in a laid back atmosphere. As the name suggests, there are books dotted around the shelves of the establishment in which customers are welcome to enjoy reading alongside their drink. Slightly more expensive than the average bar in Pristina, a drink shouldn’t cost you any more than a few euros.
Pristina is a place that is going places, and now is the perfect time to visit this exciting and emerging city whilst prices for tourists are still incredibly affordable.
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