Most summers I end up at the beach. In New Zealand, I’ll end up at a small house by the sea. When I lived in Italy, it was the lakes up north, Lago Maggiore and Lago di Como. When I lived in Korea, I made a trip to Fukuoka, Japan, to be by the sea. And one summer when I was living in Madrid, I decided to go to the Greek Islands to spend time with friends, on the Ionian Sea. But I decided I’d take the long way there, which meant I’d spend some of my summer holiday in Kosovo.
After a sleepless overnight bus from Sarajevo and a quick bus transfer in Serbia, I was just nodding off when our bus pulled up at the border with Europe’s newest country: Kosovo. Our passports were quickly stamped and we swiftly made our way to Prishtina, the capital of Kosovo.
We only had just over a day in Prishtina so we hit the ground running. After stopping for burek and coffee that is.
Of all the places we visited in the Balkans, Kosovo’s history is the most raw of all. The country declared independence in 2008, and this NEWBORN sign was put up that very same day. It’s a great source of pride for Kosovars and is repainted annually.
Of course, the one monument you cannot miss in Prishtina is the statue of Bill Clinton. Found on Bulevardi Bill Clinton, it is to thank him for helping them in their quest for independence. In fact, Kosovo was one of the few countries where people were disappointed with a “no” answer to their question, “are you American?”
Before we knew it, our time was up Prishtina and we headed to our bus to Skopje. I know a lot of people only do a day trip to Kosovo, to “tick if off their list,” but for me, one night wasn’t enough. Not enough to see all that Prishtina has to offer, nor to discover other cities and regions of the country. Next time, I’ll be staying longer.
– Getting there: we took an overnight bus from Sarajevo to Novi Pazar and then transferred to another bus to Prishtina – there were no direct buses at the time. It cost about 25 euros.
– If you plan on visiting Serbia after Kosovo, enter Kosovo from Serbia. If not you might have issues leaving Serbia, as Serbia will say you’ve entered Serbia illegally (they do not recognise Kosovo’s independence).
Are you interested in reading more from my trip through the Balkans? I started in Ljubljana, took a side trip to Lake Bled, stopped quickly in Split and Dubrovnik, then went to Mostar and Sarajevo. Click on the links to find out more.