Visiting Europe’s youngest capital, Pristina, in Kosovo was in the lack of a better word- interesting. It was not a weird or an unpleasant experience, nor was it stunning or a breathtaking destination. It was Kosovo, and unless you have family who live there or emigrating into the country, this location will not be on everybody’s radar. I know a couple of other people who have visited Kosovo, and who like me they have a desire to visit every country in the world. Those passport stamps are worth more than gold!
Video Watch – My Day in Pristina, Kosovo
Going to Kosovo is something that you have to really want to do, and be in the neighboring countries. People do not say that going to Kosovo is their main vacation destination, so if you happen to be in the Balkans and hungry for that passport stamp, then definitely add it to your travels.
I reached Pristina through a popular route from Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia, and it was very straight forward. There is a shuttle bus that leaves Skopje’s main bus station, and arrives in Pristina in just over two hours. I will not sugar coat it, but that bus was very warm and bumpy. It was not the most comfortable of rides. Now I was already used to this type of travel, since I had been exploring the Balkans for a couple of months. It is not for everyone, and like I said you really have to want to go to Kosovo.
Knowing a brief history of the country is recommended in understanding its politics, history, people, and culture. I had done research prior to my trip, and I had also spoken to a good looking Albanian model while on the bus, who was briefing me about Pristina. Yes, that did happen and he was gracious enough to walk me through the streets, and to capital’s main square. I will not lie, but in my mind I was like “Hot Damn! How lucky am I?”
I will always be grateful that he walked me into the city because it made it easier for me to gage where I was. He led me through an underpass, which I would have surely missed, and he also confirmed the bus time for my return trip to Skopje. I have lucked out many times like this while traveling alone before, and it always makes for a great travel memory!
Old Town – Ottoman style architecture
The city of Pristina is the youngest capital in Europe, which does sound exciting but in reality it made the city feel a little rough around the edges. The country does have a recent history of conflict and political unrest, and became an independent country in 2008. Due to the Catalan conflict there are several countries that do not recognize Kosovo as being an independent country, which include Serbia, Russia, China, Spain, Slovakia, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Romania, and Ukraine.
The United States has a unique relationship with the country though, as it established full diplomatic relations at Ambassador level with the Republic of Kosovo. It has considered the US as a great partner in being recognized from the rest of the world. In fact, former President Bill Clinton visited Pristina during the unveiling of an 11 foot statue of himself that sits on a main street named, Bill Clinton Blvd.
Walking the streets of Pristina, was as I said – interesting. It was a mix of old and modern buildings, broken down roads, and newly paved streets. The people either stared or greeted you. In hindsight, I found the city very easy to navigate, it was, safe and the citizens quite friendly.
Sure there were men who out of the blue that asked, “Where are you from?” “Are you Spanish?” “Are you from Japan” and to a simple “Coma Estas!”, but as usual I just kept walking and not made eye contact.
As I had initially said, visiting Pristina was interesting, especially as a solo female traveler. Also, understanding the recent history of this country made it even more of a curious place to travel. Kosovo really is a good destination to visit, especially if hitting countries and getting passport stamps are high on your bucket list.
If you are interested in visiting Kosovo, there are popular attractions to visit that may spark your interest-
- Emin Gjiku Ethnographic Museum
- The Monument At Skanderbeg Square
- Bill Clinton Blvd and Statue
- The Sultan Mehmet Fatih Mosque
- The Bazaar Of Pristina
- The Mesozoic Era Gadime Caves
- The unique National Library of Kossovo
- The Museum of Kossovo
- Saint Theresa (Mother Theresa) Cathedral
Lunch in Pristina: Chicken Risotto and Iced Tea
Fill your life with experiences, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show…
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📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre
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