Kosovo, located below Serbia and above Macedonia, is one of the newest countries in the world! 😮
The country fought for its independence from Serbia between 1998 and 1999. During this war, the Serbian Army specifically targeted Kosovan Albanians.
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. 🇺🇸
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! ⛅
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.🍓
Side note: Kosovo is predominantly Muslim with an Orthodox minority. 🕌
Near the food market, you’ll find lots of local clothing shops, where the mannequins have super sparkly dresses and colorful wigs! 😍
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. 🔫 ☮️
My personal favorite spot was the Soma Book Station. They had delicious coffee, books to read, and stunning decor. 📚
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! 💜
Once 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.
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.
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! ☺️