24 Hours in Kosovo

Kosovo, located below Serbia and above Macedonia, is one of the newest countries in the world! 😮

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The Newborn Monument was unveiled in 2008 when the country became independent. Each year, the structure is painted with a new theme. This year’s theme is biodiversity. NEWBORN is an acronym and painted as follows: N-nature; E-energy; W-water; B-bio;  O-oxygen; R-recycle; N-nature

The country fought for its independence from Serbia between 1998 and 1999. During this war, the Serbian Army specifically targeted Kosovan Albanians.

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They suffered much violence during this war, and a reported 20,000 Kosovan Albanian women were raped. They memorialized the event with this monument. Each metal represents one woman affected.DSC_4932

The country’s independence was largely backed by the U.S. and the Clinton administration, so you’ll see statues, shops, street signs, and monuments in honor of both Bill and Hillary, plus lots of love for the good ol’ USA. 🇺🇸

IMG_2756DSC_5002IMG_2757IMG_2762DSC_5033DSC_5038They even have their own mini Statue of Liberty. 🗽

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As I just mentioned, because of the U.S. coordinated NATO intervention, Kosovo was able to become independent. That being said, Serbia STILL doesn’t recognize their existence. As such, if you hope to cross the border into Kosovo and receive a stamp on your passport, you’ll have to enter and exit from a country other than Serbia. I decided to take a bus from Macedonia. The journey from Skopje to Pristina took about 3 hours and cost 5 Euros. I even met this Italian girl on my way there who was going to Kosovo to interview locals for a new podcast she’s starting. She’s hoping to hear what it’s like to travel on Kosovan passport, since it’s difficult to get a visa for many places around the world. Anyway, when I arrived, I noticed that Kosovo didn’t even show up on Weather.com. It only listed coordinates! ⛅

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Now I only had 24 hours in Kosovo, so here’s my report on great things to see and do! 😊

First, visit the local market and mosque.🍓

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Side note: Kosovo is predominantly Muslim with an Orthodox minority. 🕌

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abandoned Orthodox church in Pristina

Near the food market, you’ll find lots of local clothing shops, where the mannequins have super sparkly dresses and colorful wigs! 😍

DSC_4965IMG_2811While you’re near the mosque, check out the National Museum of Kosovo, which showcases lots of ancient artifacts and items from the war.

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What a contrast of violence and peace! You pass a mosaic of Mother Theresa as you make your way into a gallery of war weapons. 🔫 ☮️

DSC_5031DSC_5032DSC_5027DSC_5034Another place worth visiting is the Ethnological Museum, which showcases a well-preserved Ottoman  home from the 18th century.

IMG_2809IMG_2790DSC_5024DSC_5019DSC_5013Afterwards, stroll the main promenade, Bulevardi Nënë Tereza, and check out the trendy shops and restaurants, unique street art, and Soviet architecture. 🛍️

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My personal favorite spot was the Soma Book Station. They had delicious coffee, books to read, and stunning decor. 📚

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Side note: The average age in Kosovo is around 25, so the city feels very youthful. Lots of hip places to appeal to a younger crowd! 💜

DSC_4944DSC_4923DSC_4928DSC_4921DSC_4945DSC_4991DSC_4950DSC_4926DSC_4942DSC_4952DSC_5011DSC_4957Speaking of books, a must-see spot in Pristina is the mind boggling National Library. 📚

DSC_4981With 73 small domes, concrete cubes, and metal wrapping around the building like chain-mail, it appears futuristic, Brutalist, and almost like a prison. 😮

DSC_4987 Apparently, at one time, it was used to house Bosnian and Croatian refugees. Now it’s home to over 2 million items, including books, magazines, and rare manuscripts. So unique! 😍

DSC_4988Once you’re done sightseeing, eat lots of delicious food, like chicken kebab, burek or shawarma, which is meat cooked on a rotisserie. These meals were less than 3 USD and the burek was always less than 1 USD.

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the burek can look like a pizza pie or cylinders…they had cheese or spinach…it’s best to go there right when it opens and eat the burek while it’s still warm!

Side note: The country is so small, they don’t have their own currency. You use Euros to pay for everything.

Accommodation: While in Pristina, I stayed at The White Tree. Although I could literally feel the springs poking me in my bed, I had a nice Kosovan roommate who chatted with me the whole time I was there. She works in the other Kosovan city of Prizren at a bank, and had to come to Pristina for her job. She told me how a guy she liked years back turned out to be her new client here. 😳 She turned red like a tomato when she saw him, but now she was excited to see him again, so I helped her pick out a nice outfit for the next day. The hostel also offered a complimentary welcome drink, which was tasty and strong.

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Anyway, after 24 hours in Kosovo I left feeling inspired, satisfied, and with the addition of some new friends. Up next, I made the massive journey from Macedonia to Moldova. Stay tuned to hear all about my trip, including how much I saved! Until then! ☺️

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5 thoughts on “24 Hours in Kosovo

  1. I am really enjoying these visits, most of us know so little about these new little countries that have sprung up. Those wall murals are wonderful and the library the strangest building I have seen. Good luck to Kosovo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I felt incredibly safe. There were lots of families out and about, and everyone was very friendly. I was out late at night and early in the morning without a problem. I would highly recommend a visit! Safe travels!

      Like

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