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Kosovo Travel Guide
“Someone, somewhere, remembers these two and is glad that guns were silenced and tanks were turned back and hatred was not allowed its reign over this piece of land.”
– Naomi Hamill, How To Be a Kosovan Bride
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Europe's Newest Country
Europe’s youngest nation is wise beyond her years. Take everything you already know about Kosovo and put it to one side – if you come in with an open mind, you’ll end up leaving with a new outlook.
The best thing about travelling in Kosovo is meeting the people, whose warmth – forged in fire as it may be – is completely overwhelming at times. This is a country where you’re often greeted with a comforting hand on the shoulder, where strangers approach you on the street with a genuine curiosity, and bakers beckon you to join them in front of their ovens and taste the fruits of their labour. Kosovar hospitality is just one of the many things that made my two weeks in the country so special. That, and the coffee – baristas here make the best macchiatos on earth.
Kosovo is tiny, but there is no shortage of tourist attractions. The untamed splendour of Rugova Canyon and the Accursed Mountains are worth a mention, but it’s the cities that really make an impression. Pristina, the capital, is a cacophony of cafes, street art, restaurants and creative spaces. Take a selfie at the Newborn Monument, a sculpture that evolves its appearance every year to keep pace with Kosovo’s ongoing metamorphosis.
Prizren, the cultural capital, is a perfect juxtaposition, with its stone bridge, elegant mosque and cobbled old town. There’s Peja, the gateway to nature, and my favourite place in Kosovo, Gjakova, with its sprawling undercover bazaar and artisan workshops. Meanwhile, the divided city of Mitrovica and contested Medieval Monuments in Kosovo are a reminder that ‘country’ is still a contentious word in this part of Europe.
Of the 12 Balkan countries, Kosovo surprised me the most and is the one place I tend to recommend wholeheartedly to anyone who asks.
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Bjeshket e Nemuna National Park (from Peja).
Flija (layered pie with a creamy filling) & a macchiato.
Cafe hopping in Pristina.
Hand-made filigree jewellery from Prizren.