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Things to do in Pristina

Enjoy a dip in Pristina's gigantic pool

A few minutes outside of central Pristina, Germia Park offers a hive of activity from forest walks to basketball and in the winter, cross-country skiing. Come summer it is also the place locals convene to cool off. Head there early to secure a spot at the park's enormous swimming pool.

Frolic under a waterfall

Visitors looking to leave the sweltering city should strip down to their bathers and spend a couple of hours at the nearby Mirusha Waterfalls. Among crystal clear waters, there is no prettier place to refresh. Daring locals do jump from the top of the falls. Imitate at your peril.

Go gorge climbing up a Via Ferrata

Thrill seekers who see rocks as a challenge rather than a landscape feature should make the hour and a half's drive to Rugova Gorge near Peja. This is the site of Kosovo's first Via Ferrata, a steel climbing route embedded into the rock face. Marimangat (tel: +386 49 661 105; www.marimangat.org) can help guide you up.

Head for the mountains on a hike

Kosovo is full of wild countryside and magnificent mountain ranges that are ripe for rambling. Klubi Alpin Prishtina (tel: +377 44 312 744; http://klubialpinprishtina.com) are experts in the lay of the land and a good starting place for visitors looking to tread some trails. English speaking, the club organise group hikes that take place every Sunday.

Hit the slopes at Brezovica

As winter cloaks the peaks around Pristina in powdery white snow, Kosovans head south of the capital to the ski resort of Brezovica (tel: +381 200 36 599; www.brezovicaresort.com). The slopes may seem small compared to larger European resorts but with challenging, tree-laden downhill trails and wide open bowls, they still offer plenty of fun.

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Hotel Ambasador

Small and boutique in size, Hotel Ambasador's contemporary rooms represent one of Pristina's classiest options. Winter chill is kept at bay by indoors saunas and a roaring log fire in the dining room.

Hotel Victory

There's an air of triumphalism about Hotel Victory with its palatial exterior and rooftop Statue of Liberty. Comfortable if chintzy rooms with excellent highway access making it popular with business clientele.

Hotel Afa

Perched on a quiet hillside location with views over the city centre, Afa's large airy rooms are extremely popular with internationals and NGOs. Discounts are available to citizens from countries recognising Kosovo.

Guesthouse Velania

Run by a professor, this guest house is a real cheapie in a three-storey building located in Velania's leafy neighbourhood. It exudes a homey ambience. Breakfast not included.

Grand Hotel

Hulking ex-Yugoslav monolith with a cavernous interior stay at Pristina's famous Grand Hotel for a retro trip down Eastern Bloc's memory lane. Blessed with the most central location in Pristina on Nënë Tereza.

Hotel Begolli

Boxy outside appearance with brightly furnished no-thrills rooms. Excellent value for the budget-conscious and close by the old Ottoman quarter and market.