Things to see and do in Kosovo
Attractions in Kosovo
Discover Peja’s (Peć) historic charm
This historical town is nestled close to imposing mountains, a picturesque gorge and straddling the Bistrica River. Ancestral home of the Mediaeval Serbian Orthodox Church, it was heavily damaged by recent conflicts. A bustling central bazaar and lively market still beat resolutely and retain their Old World charms.
Eat meat on a (very) empty stomach
Kosovo, especially Serbian enclaves, is a paradise for carnivores. There is a cult of grilled meat, which is always fresh, competently cooked and served in huge portions. Ottoman heritage is evident with the likes of Tavë prizreni, a bake of lamb and aubergine, and the local markets should not be missed for those wishing to try Kosovo's traditional cheeses.
Feel cultured in cosmopolitan Pristina
Kosovo's capital holds the usual delights: the national museum, theatre and art gallery. There are also several historical mosques, such as Mbretit and Pirinaz, and the Serbian Church of St Nicholas with its rich iconostasis. The boldest statement though, is the modern architecture of Kosovo National Library; discuss its merits in one of the centre's many stylish cafes.
Find a cafe near the frontline crossing
The bridge across the Vardar River in the ethnically divided town of Mitrovica is possibly the most well known symbol of the conflict. Drop in the Dolce Vita café on the Serbian side, where peacekeepers and journalists mingle with local politicians and ex-paramilitaries, but avoid the area during periods of unrest.
Find the frescoes of Gračanica
The Serbian enclave close to Pristina is famous for its Orthodox monastery, founded in 1321. Visit the UNESCO-listed building and be sure to see its finest features – the vibrant coloured frescoes. Nearby are the ruins of the ancient Illyrian city of Ulpiana, one of the country's most fascinating archaeological sites.
Hike to the heart of the mountains
At 2,656m (8,714ft), Kosovo's highest mountain Gjeravica (Äeravica) is a fairly easy climb. It is located in southwest Kosovo, alongside Montenegro and Albania, and offers jaw-dropping panoramas over the Albanian Alps. As you're near the Albanian border, look for the heart-shaped Zemra Lake.
Make for the pink marbled monastery of Dečani
Another Medieval monument that has helped Kosovo on to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list is the perfectly preserved Orthodox monastery, Visoki Dečani. Built in 1335, the pink and white marble church is located in a small town in the west of the country and features a three-wall iconostasis.
Peer out of Prizren from the Kalaja Fortress
This Ottoman city, at the foot of the Sharr Mountains, sports several beautiful mosques and 16th-century Turkish baths. The Kalaja Fortress, whose cannons face out over Prizren, sits above the city and offers superb morning views. Nearby, the Church of Our Lady of Ljeviš is on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.
Seek out the statue on Mother Teresa Boulevard
The main pedestrian drag in Pristina is lined with cafés and restaurants, frequented by Kosovar politicians, foreign officials and peacekeepers. Walk along the tree-lined street to find the statue erected to celebrate the famous missionary, who despite being born in Macedonia, was of Kosovar Albanian ancestry.
Strap on the skis for Brezovica
The Serb-run resort of Brezovica in Sharr (Šar) Mountains, on the border with Macedonia, attracts mostly Albanian clientele, serving as a rare example of peaceful co-existence between two communities. History aside, the resort offers exceptional skiing and is the training base for a number of the national winter sports teams.