Due to a confusion around our travel insurance, we hadn’t initially planned on visiting Kosovo. One of our travel insurance exclusions is incidents that occur in places deemed to be high risk by our New Zealand Government’s SafeTravel website. Having read a summarised version of the area we were under the impression that all of Kosovo was deemed to be high risk but upon deeper inspection found that it was just northern Kosovo (the border with Serbia) that was deemed high risk, Pristina the capital was only deemed to be ‘some risk’ – meaning that we would be covered!
At that we jumped at the opportunity to visit! We found a bus from Skopje and went.
Now, Pristina itself is still awakening to tourism again after the turmoil it faced in the early 2000s so there isn’t heaps to do, a day will suffice, but what there is is enjoyable. We found a number of quality cafes and restaurants to pass the time in Pristina which is made doubly enjoyable by the fact that the prices were the cheapest we’d seen in Europe. We had Ice Coffee Frappes for €1 each, cocktails for €2.5 each, doner kebabs for €1.5 each, delicious local cakes for €1.5 each. Kosovo presents an awesome opportunity to slow down and enjoy the finer things in life all while supporting an economy in recovery.
Other than the Cafes, bars and restaurants; other attractions include visiting the ’New Born’ monument, installed to celebrate the independence of Kosovo from Serbia and the countries that had recognised that independence (but which was soon graffitied over), the monument opposite it celebrating all those who’ve stood up to report sexual violence during the occupation, the Mother Teresa Church (which is beautiful but still in construction – so be careful and don’t be like us and accidentally get stuck in the elevator for 20mins), the Bill Clinton Blvd, complete with Bill Clinton Statue and the Mother Teresa shopping street.
Overall, like most of Eastern Europe, we had our preconceptions shattered by feeling totally and utterly safe in Pristina. We encourage you to visit, the income generated through tourism will go along way towards regrowing this economy and once again restoring the former prestige to this place.