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- Passports, travel and living abroad
- Travel abroad
- Foreign travel advice
Warnings and insurance
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ( FCDO ) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice .
Areas where FCDO advises against travel
Your travel insurance could be invalidated if you travel against FCDO advice. Consular support is also severely limited where FCDO advises against travel.
Zvečan, Zupin Potok and Leposavic, and the northern part of the city of Mitrovica
FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the municipalities of Zvečan, Zubin Potok and Leposavic, and the northern part of the city of Mitrovica.
Find out more about why FCDO advises against travel .
Before you travel
No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide and see support for British nationals abroad for information about specific travel topics.
Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram . You can also sign up to get email notifications when this advice is updated.
If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance . Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency.
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Caution November 6, 2023
Worldwide caution, update november 6, 2023, information for u.s. citizens in the middle east.
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Kosovo Travel Advisory
Travel advisory july 26, 2023, kosovo - level 2: exercise increased caution.
Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information.
Exercise increased caution due to terrorism . Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
Reconsider Travel To:
- North Mitrovica, Leposavic, Zubin Potok, and Zvecan due to the potential for civil unrest due to ethnic tensions.
Country Summary: Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in the Balkans region, including Kosovo. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.
Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Kosovo.
If you decide to travel to Kosovo:
- Avoid demonstrations.
- Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
- Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter .
- Review the Country Security Report for Kosovo.
- Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
- Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist .
North Mitrovica, Leposavic, Zubin Potok, and Zvecan – Level 3: Reconsider Travel
Tensions within and between communities in the north of Kosovo remain a source of potential unrest in North Mitrovica, Leposavic, Zubin Potok, and Zvecan.
Although recent unrest has been politically-related and does not involve tourists or members of the international community, bystanders can be affected.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the north of Kosovo as U.S. government employee travel to North Mitrovica, Leposavic, Zubin Potok, and Zvecan is restricted.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas
Travel Advisory Levels
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COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers
Kosovo travel advice
Latest updates: Editorial change.
Last updated: October 26, 2023 04:55 ET
On this page
Safety and security, entry and exit requirements, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, kosovo - take normal security precautions.
Take normal security precautions in Kosovo
Northern Kosovo - Avoid non-essential travel
- North Mitrovica
- Zubin Potok
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NATO forces and Kosovo Police have blocked access to municipal buildings in certain municipalities in northern Kosovo following disputes over boycotted elections in majority ethnic Serb communities. The increased NATO and Kosovo Police presence is in the following municipalities:
If you are in northern Kosovo despite this advisory, avoid areas with an increased NATO and Kosovo Police presence as tensions may escalate rapidly and violent outbursts could occur.
Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008. Serbia doesn’t recognize Kosovo as an independent state. Ethnic tensions between Kosovo Serbs and Kosovo Albanians are ongoing.
There is a risk of inter-ethnic violence and civil unrest, particularly in the municipalities of:
Occasional security incidents may include:
- arson and grenade attacks
- violent and spontaneous protests
- attacks on government buildings and police forces
Tensions may escalate rapidly, and local authorities' capacity to enforce the law may be limited.
Avoid non-essential travel to these areas. If you travel to northern Kosovo despite this advisory:
- remain vigilant at all times
- monitor local media for information on the security situation
- avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- follow the instructions of local authorities
Crimes of opportunity and petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occur. Thieves could target foreigners, particularly in Pristina and in crowded public areas such as:
- public transportation hubs and facilities
- hotel lobbies
- restaurants, patios and outdoor cafés
- tourist sites and attractions
While you’re in Kosovo:
- ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
- don’t keep your passport and other types of ID in the same place and carry a photocopy rather than the original
- avoid showing signs of affluence or wearing expensive jewellery
- avoid carrying large sums of cash or unnecessary valuables
- avoid deserted streets at night
- pay attention to your surroundings, particularly in crowded and tourist areas
- be extra cautious when withdrawing cash from ATMs
Residential break-ins occur, especially in main cities. Burglars sometimes target houses or apartments owned or rented by foreigners.
- Choose well-secured accommodation
- Make sure you lock doors and windows at night and when you’re away
Car theft, break-ins and carjacking occur. Rental and luxury vehicles are a target of choice.
- Familiarize yourself with your route before starting the trip
- Keep your windows and doors locked at all times
- Keep your belongings out of reach
- Use secure parking facilities, especially overnight
- Never leave belongings unattended in a vehicle, even in the trunk
Organized crime-related violence occurs. Criminals often use firearms. In some instances, they have used hand grenades or improvised explosive devices.
While violent incidents don’t typically target foreigners or tourists, there is a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Always be vigilant and aware of your surroundings.
Credit card and ATM fraud
Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. When using debit or credit cards:
- pay careful attention when others are handling your cards use ATMs located in public areas or inside a bank or business
- avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
- check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements
Cybercrime also occurs. Perpetrators may compromise public Wi-Fi networks to steal credit card or personal information.
- Avoid using unsecured public Wi-Fi networks
- Avoid making purchases on unencrypted websites
- Be cautious when posting information on social media
- Be particularly vigilant when contacting or meeting individuals known over the internet
- Never click a suspicious link in an email or text message asking for your credit card details
Demonstrations occur occasionally due to ongoing political tension, particularly in Pristina and in the northern areas of Kosovo. They usually take place around governmental or international organizations' buildings.
Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Mass gatherings (large-scale events)
Soccer matches and sports events
Sports events sometimes lead to rowdy behaviour and violent incidents.
Be vigilant if you attend soccer matches and sports rallies.
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. Be particularly vigilant during:
- sporting events
- religious holidays
- public celebrations
- major political events, such as elections
Terrorists may use such occasions to mount attacks.
Landmines and unexploded ordnance
While most of the territory has been cleared, landmines and unexploded ordnance may still pose a serious risk in forested and isolated areas, particularly in:
- the mountainous regions bordering Albania, Montenegro and North Macedonia
- the Dulje Pass in central Kosovo
- the areas bordering Serbia's Preševo Valley
If you plan on visiting or hiking in these areas:
- pay attention to signs indicating the possible presence of landmines
- remain on paved roads
- avoid open fields, road shoulders and unmarked trails
- report anything suspicious to local authorities
Mountain activities, such as hiking, can be dangerous, especially if they are not well-organized. Trails are not always marked and weather conditions can change rapidly, even in summer.
If you intend to go hiking or climbing:
- never do so alone
- consider hiring an experienced guide from a reputable company
- buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
- ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- ensure that you’re properly equipped
- stay informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
- inform a family member or friend of your itinerary
- obtain detailed information on trekking routes before setting out
- do not venture off marked trails
Feral and stray dogs
Feral and stray dogs are common throughout the country.
Don’t approach or feed them as they could be aggressive.
Power and utility outages are frequent in Kosovo, including in Pristina. They may affect the provision of essential services.
- Make sure your phone is and remains charged at all times
- Keep supplies of food, water and fuel on hand in case of lengthy disruptions
Firing weapons to celebrate is common in Kosovo. It sometimes coincides with fireworks displays and may take place:
- at weddings
- on certain holidays and days of national observance
- following elections
- after soccer matches and sporting events
Injuries and deaths due to stray bullets have occurred.
Avoid areas where celebratory gunfire is taking place.
Road conditions and road safety vary throughout the country.
Secondary roads are often narrow, poorly lit and poorly maintained. Mountain roads sometimes lack guardrails. Low-speed farm equipment, horse-drawn carts and wandering livestock are common hazards.
Roads may also become impassable due to heavy snowfall, mudslides or seasonal flooding.
Drivers don’t always respect traffic laws. They don’t always yield to pedestrians.
Avoid driving at night.
Safety standards vary on public transportation. Buses and trains are often overcrowded. Periodic disruptions of bus services may occur.
Taxis are widely available and reliable.
- Use only officially marked taxis
- Negotiate fares in advance, or insist that the driver use the meter, as you may be overcharged
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Information about foreign domestic airlines
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Kosovar authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada .
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for the expected duration of your stay in Kosovo.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
- Foreign Representatives in Canada
- Canadian passports
Tourist visa: not required for stays up to 90 days in any 180-day period Business visa: not required for stays up to 90 days in any 180-day period Student visa: not required for stays up to 90 days in any 180-day period
Declaration of presence
If you plan to spend fewer than 90 days in Kosovo, you don’t need to apply for a residence permit. However, you must report your presence in the country. Commercial accommodations will generally file the declaration on your behalf.
If you’re staying in a non-commercial accommodation, you must file a declaration of presence with the nearest police station upon arrival.
If you intend to stay more than 90 days, you must apply for a temporary residence permit at the Foreigner Registration Office in Pristina.
Temporary residence permit for foreigners – Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kosovo
Other entry requirements
Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay.
Travel to Serbia
Serbia does not recognize Kosovo as an independent state nor its border crossing points as legal international entry points.
If travelling by land to Serbia from Kosovo, you should transit first via a third country such as Albania, North Macedonia or Montenegro.
Don’t attempt to enter Serbia directly from Kosovo, unless you have a valid entry stamp from the Serbian immigration authorities showing that you initially travelled into Kosovo from Serbia.
Children and travel
Learn more about travelling with children .
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Relevant Travel Health Notices
- Global Measles Notice - 31 August, 2023
- COVID-19 and International Travel - 31 August, 2023
This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.
Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.
Be sure that your routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.
Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary.
There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.
Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- This territory has not stated its yellow fever vaccination certificate requirements.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada * It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus. Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.
Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
In this destination, rabies is carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions , including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.
If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. Rabies treatment is often available in this destination.
Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals).
Safe food and water precautions
Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.
- Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
- Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs.
Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Insect bite prevention
Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:
- Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
- Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
- Minimize exposure to insects
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed
To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.
Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.
Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.
Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.
Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette , which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:
- washing your hands often
- avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
- avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , HIV , and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.
Medical services and facilities
Health care is inadequate. Facilities often lack specialists, essential equipment, and medications.
Techniques and services are usually not up to international standards. Upfront payment may be required.
Medical evacuation can be very expensive and you may need it in case of serious illness or injury.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Travel health and safety
Some prescription medication may not be available in Kosovo.
If you take prescription medication, you’re responsible for determining their legality in the country.
- Bring sufficient quantities of your medication with you
- Always keep your medication in the original container
- Pack your medication in your carry-on luggage
- Carry a copy of your prescriptions
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit , especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad .
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect prison sentences or heavy fines.
- Drugs, alcohol and travel
Authorities may request to see your ID at any time.
- Carry valid identification or a photocopy of it at all times
- Keep a photocopy of your passport in case it’s lost or seized
- Keep a digital copy of your ID and travel documents
There are restrictions on photographing military or police installations, vehicles, and personnel.
Signs advising of the restrictions are generally posted in sensitive areas.
- Refrain from photographing military installations or personnel even if no signs are posted
- Comply with all requests from local authorities
In 2024, the lunar month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around March 10.
In public, between sunrise and sunset, be discreet when:
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Kosovo.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Kosovo, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements .
Travellers with dual citizenship
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Kosovo.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Kosovo by an abducting parent:
- act as quickly as you can
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in Kosovo to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
Kosovar law does not criminalize sexual acts or relationships between persons of the same sex.
However, 2SLGBTQI+ travellers could be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics.
Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics
You should carry an international driving permit.
Third-party automobile insurance is mandatory and can be purchased upon entry into Kosovo.
You must carry tire chains in winter if you plan to drive in mountain areas. From November to March, it is mandatory to use winter tires or tires with more than 4 mm tread.
International Driving Permit
The currency in Kosovo is the euro (EUR).
The economy is largely cash-based; however, credit cards are accepted in some larger establishments. Automated banking machines are available in urban centres.
If you are carrying €10,000 or more, or the equivalent in other currencies, you must make a declaration to customs when you enter or leave the European Union. It includes sums in:
- banknotes and coins
- bearer negotiable instruments such as cheques, travellers’ cheques, promissory notes and money orders
- bonds, shares
- gold coins with a gold content of at least 90 %
- gold bars, nuggets or clumps with a gold content of at least 99.5 %
- any other convertible asset
This does not apply if you are travelling within the European Union or in transit to a non-EU country.
EU cash controls - European Commission
Kosovo is located in an active seismic zone. Even minor earthquakes can cause significant damage.
Earthquakes - What to Do?
Forest fires are common between June and September, particularly in northern Kosovo. The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke.
In case of a significant fire:
- stay away from affected areas, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments
- monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation
- follow the advice of local authorities
Flooding and landslides
Heavy rains, particularly during spring and summer, can cause flooding and landslides. Roads may become impassable and infrastructure damaged. The road between Pristina and Skopje, North Macedonia, is particularly affected by these incidents.
- Exercise caution, particularly in areas around major rivers
- Stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- Follow the advice of local authorities, including evacuation orders
Smoke haze and other types of air pollution can be extremely hazardous in Kosovo. Winter is especially problematic due the heavy smoke from coal and wood burning heaters. Air pollution levels can change quickly.
During periods of high pollution:
- limit your outdoor activities, especially if you suffer from respiratory ailments or have pre-existing medical conditions
- monitor local media
Air pollution in Pristina - World Air Quality Index
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
There is no Canadian government office in Kosovo. If you require consular assistance, contact the Embassy of Canada to Croatia, in Zagreb.
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Croatia, in Zagreb, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services .
take normal security precautions.
Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.
Exercise a high degree of caution
There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.
IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.
Avoid non-essential travel
Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.
Avoid all travel
You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.
Exercise a high degree of caution in Kosovo overall due to the potential for politically motivated violence, especially in the northern municipalities.
Kosovo (PDF 201.04 KB)
Europe (PDF 2.63 MB)
Local emergency contacts
Fire and rescue services, medical emergencies, advice levels.
Exercise a high degree of caution in Kosovo overall.
Exercise a high degree of caution in Kosovo overall due to the potential for politically motivated violence.
Reconsider your need to travel to Leposavić, Zubin Potok and Zvečan municipalities and North Mitrovica.
Reconsider your need to travel to:
- Zubin Potok
- North Mitrovica
due to the high threat of violence.
- There have been violent clashes in the north of Kosovo. Sudden incidents, including the use of firearms, can occur in Mitrovica and other places in the north of Kosovo.
- Two authorities work to maintain security — the Kosovo Police Force and the Kosovo Force (KFOR), led by NATO.
- Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Kosovo.
- Locals discharge firearms on holidays and other occasions. Be careful of celebratory gunfire, especially during major holidays and sporting victories.
Full travel advice: Safety
- Air pollution is a problem, particularly in winter. If you have breathing difficulties, get medical advice before you travel.
- Outbreaks of hepatitis A, trichinellosis, brucellosis and rabies can occur. Drink bottled water. Avoid raw and undercooked food.
- Medical facilities are generally of a lower standard than in Australia. You may need to be evacuated if you become seriously ill or injured. Make sure your travel insurance covers this.
Full travel advice: Health
- It's illegal to take photos of military or police facilities and buildings.
- Always carry a photo ID.
- Same-sex sexual activity is legal but not widely accepted. Avoid public displays of affection.
Full travel advice: Local laws
- Tourists don't need a visa for stays of less than 90 days. Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. You should contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Kosovo for the latest details.
- You no longer require a vaccination certificate or a negative COVID-19 test to enter Kosovo.
- Security along the Kosovo-Serbia border is unpredictable. Serbia doesn't recognise entry points direct from Kosovo. Don't try to enter Serbia from Kosovo unless you initially travelled to Kosovo from Serbia.
Full travel advice: Travel
- The Consular Services Charter details what we can and can't do to help you overseas.
- Australia doesn't have an embassy or consulate in Kosovo. For consular help, contact the Australian Embassy in Zagreb.
- The British Embassy in Prishtina can provide limited emergency consular help.
- Follow the embassy's social media accounts to stay up-to-date with local information.
Full travel advice: Local contacts
Police forces in kosovo.
The Kosovo Police Force works with the Kosovo Force (KFOR) to maintain security. KFOR is an international peacekeeping force led by NATO.
Check local developments before and during your journey.
- United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK)
- Kosovo Force
- Radio KFOR (Albanian)
Civil unrest and political tension
Anti-government protests happen frequently and can turn violent.
Protests can occur in any region. They mostly happen in Prishtina and Mitrovica.
Demonstrations can begin without warning or notice.
To protect yourself, avoid the following:
- public gatherings
- political rallies
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
- Demonstrations and civil unrest
Tensions and conflict
Tensions and ethnic conflict between the Serbian and Albanian populations can occur, particularly in the north.
Towns in northern Kosovo, including North Mitrovica, Leposavić, Zubin Potok and Zvečan, have experienced sudden violent, armed, inter-ethnic conflict.
Reconsider your need to travel to these areas due to the high risk of violence and security incidents.
Violence can happen along Kosovo's southern border with North Macedonia.
Unofficial roadblocks can be set up at short notice.
If you travel to these areas despite the risks, hire a local guide, especially if you travel alone.
To protect yourself during periods of unrest:
- make alternative plans in case the security situation deteriorates
- check that your travel documents are valid for longer than you expect to travel
The discharge of firearms into the air and the release of fireworks could occur during the following:
- sporting events
- major elections
- other occasions
This can result in accidental injury.
Be careful of celebratory gunfire, especially around major holidays, celebrations and after sporting victories.
Petty crime can occur, including:
- bag snatching
This mainly happens in crowded places, such as:
- on public transport
Carjacking and car theft can also happen.
Assassinations and murders are often linked to organised crime. Violent criminal acts aren't usually directed at travellers.
Privately owned illegal small firearms are common.
To protect yourself from crime:
- take care of your belongings, particularly in crowds
- hold bags and backpacks in front of you or in other ways that make them harder to snatch
- always lock your car doors
- check local media for news on crime
- avoid trouble spots
- use ATMs inside banks, shops and shopping centres
You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you're connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.
Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.
- Cyber security when travelling overseas
Several bomb threats have previously been made in Kosovo, including against transport hubs. Monitor the media for developments and follow the advice of local authorities.
Terrorists are likely to try out attacks in Kosovo and may attack with little or no warning.
Possible targets include airports, public transport, places of worship, sporting venues and areas that attract large groups of people.
To protect yourself from terrorist attacks:
- be alert in public places
- check the security of sites you visit and whether they could be terrorist targets
- check the media for new threats
- take official warnings seriously
- follow the advice of local authorities
Report any suspicious activity or items to the police.
If there's an attack, leave the area as soon as it's safe. Avoid the affected area in case of secondary attacks.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Climate and natural disasters
Bush and forest fires can happen from June to September, especially in northern Kosovo.
Extreme hot and dry periods may lead to water shortages.
Large earthquakes are rare, but earth tremors are common.
To protect yourself if there's a natural disaster or severe weather :
- secure your passport in a safe, waterproof location
- keep in contact with family and friends
- monitor the media and other sources
Register with the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to receive alerts on major disasters.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave.
Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.
- what activities and care your policy covers
- that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away
Physical and mental health
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. Consider whether you may be in a vulnerable category for COVID-19.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
- have a basic health check-up
- ask if your travel plans may affect your health
- plan any vaccinations you need
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
If you have immediate concerns for your welfare or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.
- General health advice
- Healthy holiday tips (Healthdirect Australia)
- COVID-19 (Department of Health and Aged Care)
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Kosovo. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
- what the medicine is
- Your required dosage
- that it's for personal use
Air pollution levels can be high in Kosovo.
During winter, heavy smoke from coal and wood-burning heaters can linger for days or weeks.
Accidental emissions of toxic substances from factories can happen.
Public health warnings aren't always issued.
If you have asthma or other breathing difficulties, seek medical advice before travelling.
Ticks are active from spring to autumn.
If you travel to forest areas, you may be exposed to tick-borne diseases such as:
- tick-borne encephalitis
- Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF)
To protect yourself from disease:
- check your body for ticks during and after a forest visit
if you have a tick, be careful to remove the whole tick
Get medical help if you develop a fever.
Cases of West Nile virus (WNV) have been reported. There's no vaccine to prevent it.
- ensure your accommodation is insect-proof
- use insect repellent
- wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing
Other health risks
Outbreaks of foodborne and other infectious diseases can occur, including:
- hepatitis A
- Coronavirus (COVID-19)
To protect yourself from illness:
- drink bottled water with sealed lids
- avoid ice cubes
- avoid raw and undercooked food, such as salads
- avoid unpasteurised dairy products
Get medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
- Infectious disease
Medical facilities in Kosovo are severely under-equipped.
If you become seriously ill or injured, you may need to be evacuated to a place with better facilities. Medical evacuations can be very expensive.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter . But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and include long jail sentences and heavy fines.
Carrying or using drugs
In Kosovo, it's illegal to take photos of military or police:
Always carry photo ID.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Staying within the law and respecting customs
Same-sex sexual activity is legal, but not widely accepted.
Avoid public displays of affection.
Advice for LGBTI travellers
Visas and border measures
Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering.
Visa-free travel for short stays
As a tourist, you won't need a visa for stays of less than 90 days.
You may need to provide documents showing the reason for your visit when entering.
Border authorities issue a 90-day entry stamp. You can renew your stamp for longer stays.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. For details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules, contact:
- Kosovo Foreign Ministry (Albanian)
- Embassy or consulate of Kosovo
The security situation along the Kosovo-Serbia border is unpredictable.
Political violence often happens at the border crossings of Jarinje and Brnjak, also called Gates 1 and 31.
To protect yourself from possible violence:
- avoid these border crossings
- take an alternative route
Don't attempt to enter Serbia from Kosovo unless you initially travelled to Kosovo from Serbia.
Entering Kosovo from Serbia at Merdare and Dheu i Bardhë, also known as Gates 3 and 5, can mean:
- long waiting times
- long vehicle queues
You need a valid, recent Serbian entry stamp in your passport to travel from Kosovo to Serbia. If not, you'll need to transit via a third country.
Montenegro and North Macedonia are transit options for travel by road. See Safety
- Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Serbian)
- Travel advice for Serbia
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid long enough, consider getting a new passport .
Lost or stolen passport
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
- In Australia, contact the Australian Passport Information Service .
- If you're overseas, contact the nearest Australian embassy or consulate .
Passport with 'X' gender identifier
Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can't guarantee that a passport showing an 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.
- LGBTI travellers
The official currency of Kosovo is the euro. In some places in northern Kosovo, the Serbian Dinar (RSD) is accepted.
You need to declare amounts over 10,000 euro or equivalent when you arrive. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash. If you don't, you may be fined.
Kosovo's economy is largely cash-based. Expect to make payments in cash, especially in small establishments.
Some hotels, shops and restaurants accept credit cards.
ATMs are generally available in major urban centres. It's a good idea to carry some cash, including for minor purchases.
Landmines and unexploded weapons
Landmines and unexploded remnants of war are present in Kosovo. The main areas of risk include:
- mountainous regions in the west between Kosovo, Albania and Montenegro and east near Serbia's Presevo Valley
- regions bordering North Macedonia and Albania
- the Dulje Pass area (central Kosovo)
To protect yourself in these areas:
- keep to the main roads
- look out for hazardous areas marked by red 'MINES' signs
- ask locals about ways to stay safe
- don't travel off-road
- don't hike in woodland areas
To drive in Kosovo, you need to carry your valid Australian licence.
Getting an International Driver's Permit (IDP) is recommended. Get your IDP before leaving Australia.
If you break traffic laws, authorities may take your driver's licence.
- Driving or riding
Driving can be dangerous.
- poorly maintained roads and vehicles
- poor local driving skills
- pedestrians and farm animals in rural areas
- heavy snowfalls
- landslides, particularly on the main route between Prishtina and Skopje in North Macedonia
Roadworks are common, and traffic conditions change frequently.
Heavy snowfalls can severely disrupt road travel.
You must have third-party vehicle insurance to drive. You can buy insurance when you enter.
You must pay any road tolls and fines in cash in the local currency.
Speed limits are strictly enforced.
If you hire a car, the hire company may not let you cross the border to and from Kosovo.
To reduce your risks when travelling by road:
- check your travel insurance will cover you before driving
- understand local road rules
- avoid travelling at night
- always carry identification and vehicle registration papers
Check whether your travel insurance policy covers you for riding a motorbike, quad bike or similar vehicle.
Always wear a helmet.
Use only authorised taxi and limousine services. Arrange these through your hotel.
Unofficial taxis may overcharge.
Buses connecting Prishtina with other major cities are frequent.
Standards aren't the same as Australian buses.
- Transport and getting around safely
Trains operate regular services:
- from Skopje to Prishtina via Hani i Elezit
- from Prishtina to Peja/Pec
Trains are slow but generally reliable.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Kosovo's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
- family and friends
- travel agent
- insurance provider
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
Australia doesn't have a resident embassy or consulate in Kosovo. The Australian Embassy in Zagreb, Croatia provides consular assistance to Australians in Kosovo.
Australian Embassy, Zagreb
Grand Centar 5th Floor, Hektoroviceva 2 10000 Zagreb, Croatia Phone: (+385) 1 489 1200 Fax: (+385) 1 489 1216 Email: [email protected] , [email protected] Website: croatia.embassy.gov.au Facebook: Australia in Croatia
The British Embassy in Pristina can provide limited emergency consular assistance to Australians in Kosovo. This doesn't include passport or visa services.
British Embassy, Pristina
Lidhja e Pejes 177
Telephone: (+381 0) 38 254 700
Fax: (+381 0) 38 606 662
Email: [email protected]
24-hour Consular Emergency Centre
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
- +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
- 1300 555 135 in Australia
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Why Travel to Kosovo
Everything you need to know before your trip to kosovo, the war against prejudices.
Kosovo has always held its position as the hub of its neighbors as well as the entire world, from ancient times and the Ilirians to the modern age of dystopian Utopia disguised as multiculturalism and current conflicts.
On the other hand, curiously and against all the logic, you won’t find this country in any travel guides or lists of popular tourist locations.
Kosovo is just still in the process of competing for a spot on the global tourism stage.
Being from the Balkans, an area infamous for its wars, conquistadors, and communication breakdowns throughout the ages, our team realized we should use the “power” we hold to promote Kosovo in achieving its mission of being a well-known tourist destination.
1. Where is Kosovo?
Located in the Balkans, Southeastern Europe, Kosovo is in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula. It is a landlocked country bordering Montenegro, Albania, Serbia and Macedonia. Current borders were established after the WWII when Serbia declared Kosovo as its autonomous province.
With an area of 10,887 km², Kosovo is today the youngest European country and the 2nd youngest in the world. It has a population of 1.8 million people.
Due to its strategic position it has always been on a numerous wish lists of many conquistadors. Yet again, it managed to gain its independency and so much-needed peace.
❐ Kosovo flag. The six white stars placed above a golden Kosovo map represent six major ethnic groups of the country: Albanians, Serbs, Bosniaks, Romani, Gorani and Turkish people.
2. Is Kosovo an independent country?
Although there is still a long list of countries that have not recognized Kosovo, Kosovo is the youngest independent country in Europe.
That is to say, officially, Kosovo belongs to no other country, neither to Albania or Serbia. It belongs to its people – Kosovars.
Although people of Kosovo often relate themselves as Serbs, Albanians and minorities such as Bosniaks, Kosovo gained its diplomatic recognition as a sovereign state on February 17, 2008.
Kosovo War Tour: Burden of Independency (2Day 1Night)
3. is kosovo safe.
Kosovo is just as safe as any other place you might choose to visit.
You are quite likely to learn about Kosovo for the first time by reading news articles on the instability of the Balkans and the ongoing national conflicts that roil Kosovo and its neighbors.
What the media refers to as “unsafe” is simply the product of a lack of knowledge, enthusiasm, and infrastructure that would make this country more accessible to tourists. Together with the entire Balkans, common sense eventually triumphed over a few radical viewpoints and understood that cooperation, acceptance, and tolerance are the only ways to ensure one’s survival.
In other words, the only war Kosovo is dealing with at this moment is the war against prejudices.
❐ Pristina. Although collective consciousness very often has a negative connotation, we assure you that in the Balkans, of which Kosovo is an unquestionable part as an independent state, the strongest collective awareness is the one representing the need and urge to overcome mediocre ideas that have been oppressing the region and the country for centuries.
4. Is is safe to travel to Kosovo?
Marked by war and political instability, Kosovo still has a long way of gaining its reputation as a desirable tourist destination. However, you won’t often feel as secure and welcomed as you do in this part of the world.
In fact, based on our team’s observations thus far, we cannot identify even a single square mile of this little European heaven as hazardous.
If you are a respectful citizen of the world with an an awareness of cultural differences, safety is a rarely concern. Except in some extreme destinations which, we assure you, Kosovo is not one, the only potential danger might arise only when the traveler neglects respect, tolerance and acceptance of diversity.
❐ Sport and Youth Centre Palace of Pristina. Traveling should teach us how to embrace a gift of having the whole cosmos of differences which will help us learn, grow and become more grateful human beings. In the end, it is those obscure differences that are repeatedly opening a window of understanding our crucial similarities.
5. What is the best way to travel to Kosovo?
The easiest way to reach Kosovo is by taking one of the numerous and quite budget friendly flights to Pristina airport. That is to say, unless you are already traveling through the Balkans.
Kosovo has one international airport – Airport Adem Jashari which is also referred to as Pristina International Airport. The airport is located 15 km southwest of the city of Pristina and has a plethora of flights to numerous destinations.
Some of the airlines flying from Pristina Airport are Austrian Airlines, Edelweiss Air, Eurowings, Pegasus Airlines, SWISS, Turkish Airlines, easyJet and Wizz Air.
On the other hand, you can easily reach Kosovo by public or private transportation whether you are traveling from Serbia, Albania, Montenegro or Macedonia.
❐ Pristina is the capital of Kosovo with a population of more than 200.000 people. It is close to many Balkan countries such as Serbia, North Macedonia, and Montenegro.
Montenegro to/from Kosovo Transfer Tour: Complimenting Dualism of Podgorica and UNESCO National Park Biogradska Gora
Belgrade to Pristina: Transfer Tour between Belgrade and Kosovo
6. can i travel from serbia to kosovo.
Yes, you can easily reach Kosovo by traveling directly from Serbia.
One of the most frequent questions we get from our guests is whether they should be concerned about crossing the border between Kosovo and the neighboring countries.
The myth that we must immediately dispel is the one saying you might meet some issues when crossing the borders. If you heard that you have to enter and exit at the same border crossing, you got the wrong information.
Moreover, if you were wondering whether you are allowed to travel towards Belgrade, enter Kosovo via the “notorious” border crossing between Serbia and Kosovo that leads to Mitrovica, and then continue your journey through Kosovo and exit at any other border, perhaps towards Albania, Montenegro, or Macedonia, the answer is – yes.
❐ Mitrovica. Mitrovica Bridge is connecting the two banks of the river Ibar and, more importantly, the so called “Albanian” and “Serbian” sides. You can freely cross the bridge and explore both sides of the city.
7. How easy is to travel around Kosovo?
Most towns in Kosovo have frequent, reliable public transportation, and the majority of the buses have air conditioning for your comfort.
Even though there are metered taxis in the majority of cities, you should be ready to bargain when the meters aren’t in operation. However, taxi service in Kosovo is trustworthy, and rates are fair, whether it is a metered cab or a negotiated fare. You might meet some issues in case you are into exploring some remote places though.
The easiest way to travel around the country is still through a travel agent.
In case you are traveling with your own car, do note that Kosovo is not a member of the Green Card System. However, you can purchase insurance at the border (10 EUR).
Kosovo roads and traffic rules are something different. With lack of infrastructure, roads are usually jammed with both, pedestrians and vehicles. Although driving in Kosovo cities might shock you at first, if you are a patient driver and not in a rush, once you understand the rules, you will soon feel comfortable and safe driving around.
❐ Rugova Gorge. The road along the Rugova gorge will be one of the most spectaciular rides you had. Driving through the hairpin turns plunging into hand-made tunnels and re-emerging beneath the amazing views of striking peaks, powerful springs, waterfalls and caves is a truly unique experience.
8. What is the main religion in Kosovo?
Although we believe people should never be judged by their beliefs, we understand the potential fear of the unknown and the need for information.
While there is a significant Orthodox Serb community in Kosovo, the majority of people in that country are Sunni Muslims. Christianity, on the other hand, has a long history dating back to the Roman Empire.
Although religion plays an important role in everyday life, Kosovars are very easygoing and relaxed people, so if you were worried you might find yourself on the edge of extremism, rest assured you will meet no such issues and you will be respected no matter your own religion or beliefs.
❐ Prizren. Neslted on the slopes of the Sharr mountain and banks of the Prizren Bistrica, this amazing city is the cultural and political capital of the Kosovar Albanians.
9. Do people in Kosovo speak English?
The main languages are Albanian and Serbian. However, especially during the last decade, the majority of local people can speak English too. English is widely spoken amongst young people who are taught the language at schools starting from primary education.
The elderly people might not be as fluent but they will make up for it with their kindness which will overcome the language barriers. You will never be “alone in the world” when in Kosovo.
❐ Vibrant Kosovo Bazzar. Despite might appear stern on the outside, Kosovars are amiable and friendly people, so there is no need to worry about potential communication difficulties.
10. Is Kosovo cheap?
The Kosovo economy, which was the weakest in the former Yugoslavia, is currently developing. Kosovo, in contrast to several popular Balkan destinations like Croatia and Slovenia, will actually help you save money while on vacation.
By heavily investing in the development of the tourism industry, this country will enable you to get incredible lodging for less than 30 EUR (depending on what you’re searching for) and eat like a king for 10 EUR, which will easily include a good local beer as well.
A bottle of water costs 0.5 EUR, and as the official currency is the EUR, conversion is simple.
❐ Gjakova. On the route connecting Shkodra and Constantinople during the Ottoman era, Gjakova operated as a commerce hub. Moreover, it was one of the Balkans’ most advanced commercial hubs at the time.
Travel to Kosovo (5D4N All-Inclusive Package): Breaking the Prejudices
11. how is food like in kosovo.
Food in Kosovo is a mouth watering, orgasmic experience in Kosovo. Kosovo cuisine consists of traditional dishes of each of the Kosovo native ethnic groups.
It is significantly influenced by Albanian cuisine, but your taste buds will actually feel as the whole Balkan cuisine found a safe haven here.
Make sure to try some of the famous stuffed paprikas and sarmas along with the famous Resenik, grilled meat and cabbage pie traditional for this part of the world.
❐ Flija. One of the most popular meals found in both Albanian and Kosovan cuisine. It is made up of several layers that resemble crêpes and is served with sour cream and butter. The name means “sacrifice” in English and is definitely one of the most popular meals to try while in Kosovo.
12. What’s the problem between Serbia and Kosovo?
Seek for the answers. Everyone in the Balkans has their own story and will be more than happy to share it with you.
The best thing we can do is work to understand one another and the motivations behind various acts and behaviors in a society where we need to think there is no pure evil nearby. While everyone has their own motivations, it is important to understand that, unless you really want to, you are not required to choose a side or become fully involved in difficult political or historical events.
Right now, you should just grant yourself the freedom to have a rather unique experience and travel a different country, leaving the whole of your biases behind.
❐ Christ the Saviour Church. Its construction started in 1995 under the auspices of the Milosevic regime and was halted by the Kosovo war.
13. Is it worth visiting Kosovo?
Absolutely. The world of pride, diversity, historical enigmas, everlasting conflicts, incredible stubbornness and endurance will most likely be a life lesson that you will remember for the rest of your life. Kosovo will engage all your senses, intrigue your mind and lead you to the conclusion that you will never want a trip that offers less of the same again.
It’s spectacular mountains, limestone peaks, European’s deepest gorges, captivating streams, waterfalls and abundance of caves, curvy roads and medieval villages, and warm welcoming culture which erected as a mixture of European and Eastern culture will 100% provide a trip to you will not only remember but will be able to feel even once you leave the country.
Read more of our articles
10 Reasons to visit Mostar
Jewish Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina
LIVNO – A Small City With Big Cultural Heritage
Reasons to visit Banja Luka
Things to Do and Places to See in Kotor
- Our Ministers
If you’re travelling to Kosovo, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.
- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
Safety and Security
Local laws and customs, additional information, embassy contact, security status.
Latest Travel Alert
While the overall security situation remains calm in most of the country, there are ongoing tensions in northern Kosovo and violence can flare up in the city of Mitrovica without warning. Any Irish citizens already in Kosovo are advised against travel to northern Mitrovica and to the northern municipalities of Leposavic, Zubin Potok and Zvecan as there is an increased risk of disturbance in these areas.
For further information read the safety and security section of this page.
General Travel Advice
Irish citizens do not require a visa to enter Kosovo
A valid passport is required for travel to Kosovo. Passports should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. Passport cards cannot be used.
For more information on visas and passports, please see the Additional Information tab.
Visitors to Kosovo are advised to follow the guidance of national and local authorities and stay fully informed of what's going on by monitoring local news and social media.
Citizens can also follow the Irish Embassy in Budapest on social media (Twitter @irlembbudapest and Facebook ) to ensure access to relevant updates and alerts.
The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
You can contact the emergency services in Kosovo by dialling 94. Specific emergency numbers are:
- Police: 192
- Fire brigade: 193
- Ambulance: 194
Our tips for Safe Travels:
- Get comprehensive travel insurance that covers all your planned activities.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
As there is no Irish Embassy in Kosovo we are limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in Budapest .
Safety and security
The Republic of Kosovo formally declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Ireland, and the majority of our EU partners, fully recognise the Republic of Kosovo as an independent nation.
However, the government of Serbia and many Serbs in Kosovo reject Kosovo's declaration of independence and this has led to increased tensions. Although the overall security situation in much of Kosovo remains calm there’s a danger that it could deteriorate.
The situation in the north of the country is especially unpredictable. Avoid non-essential travel to northern Mitrovica and to the northern municipalities of Leposavic, Zubin Potok and Zvecan as there’s an increased risk of disturbance in these areas and violence can flare up in the city of Mitrovica without warning. You shouldn’t try to enter Kosovo from Serbia via Leposavic and Zubin Potok at present.
A number of police and customs border posts between Kosovo and Serbia have been attacked and border control points may close as a result of disorder. You should therefore consider alternative routes of travel to Serbia.
Always keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser. And avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, which can sometimes turn confrontational.
Although the threat from terrorism in Kosovo is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.
There are still residual mines and other unexploded ordnance in Kosovo and you should be particularly careful in the areas of the Dulje Pass (central Kosovo), the west and south of the province, the border with Albania and the region between South Serbia’s Presevo Valley and Kosovo. Don’t stray off main routes, particularly in rural areas, and always check with your local contact or tour operator before travelling to affected regions.
Take normal, sensible precautions while in Kosovo:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
- Be aware of mugging, bag snatching and pick-pocketing, particularly on busy public transport, in train stations, markets and other places frequented by tourists. You should also be aware that the incidence of car-jacking and car theft continue to increase, particularly in the city of Pristina
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Kosovo, report it to the local police immediately and get a report. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Budapest if you need help.
If you’re planning to drive in Kosovo, you should be extremely careful. The general standard of roads is poor with conditions worsening in rural areas, particularly in bad weather. There are risks of landslides on the main route between Pristina and Skopje. We strongly recommend that you avoid driving at night. If you want to drive:
- Bring your full Irish driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance. European Green Card vehicle insurance is not valid in Kosovo. You should buy local insurance at the border or, if not available, the nearest town
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
You should be aware that many Serbian car hire firms will not allow their vehicles to be driven in Kosovo due to concerns about the security situation. There have been some incidents where Serbian registered cars have been targeted in more isolated areas of Kosovo.
You should check local developments before starting your journey particularly if you plan to cross a land border with Serbia.
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal.
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.
We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.
Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.
Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.
Your policy should cover:
- All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
- Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.
- 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
- Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
- Lost and stolen possessions.
- Cancellation and curtailment.
- Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).
Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.
Check with your doctor a minimum of eight weeks in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Kosovo.
The standard of medical care in Kosovo is not comparable to that in Western Europe and you should take out comprehensive travel insurance to cover any medical evacuation.
Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever
Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), a tick-borne infection, is endemic to Kosovo. Although most cases of CCHF occur in the region around Malishevo (central Kosovo), during summer months the other rural areas of Kosovo can be affected.
If you’ve visited Kosovo and are suffering from a fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, vomiting, red rash (which does not fade when pressed under a glass), bleeding on the roof of the mouth or any other unexplained symptoms, you should seek medical advice immediately.
There’s also a risk of exposure to tick-borne encephalitis in forested areas.
You don’t need a visit visa to enter Kosovo for periods of up to 90 days. However, you may have to provide documentary evidence stating the purpose of your visit. A 90-day entry stamp will be issued and this can be renewed for longer stays.
Irish passports should be valid for the dates of entry and exit from Kosovo. It’s advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.
Serbia entry requirements
As there are ongoing difficulties in travelling between Serbia and Kosovo, we advise you to make alternative arrangements. Serbian authorities will not allow you to travel into Serbia, from Kosovo, unless you began your journey in Serbia and are returning there directly. In 2008, the Serbian government took the decision not to recognise the Republic of Kosovo’s exit/entry stamps, cancelling these at the entry point into Serbia and replacing them with a Serbian border stamp.
We do not have an Embassy in Kosovo, please contact Embassy of Ireland Hungary. For consular emergencies outside working hours please call the Embassy on +36 1301 4960 and leave a voicemail which is monitored by the Duty Officer. Alternatively you can call the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin on +353 1 408 2000.
Embassy of Ireland Budapest 1054. Szabadsag ter 7. Bank Center, Platina Tower 2, VI. Floor Budapest Hungary
Tel: +36 1 301 4960 Fax: +36 1 302 9599
Monday to Friday 09.30 - 12.30 and 14.30 - 16.30
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.
Contact our Embassy in Budapest for assistance
Know Before You Go
U.S. Embassy in Kosovo
Social / search – en.
- Travel Information
- Emergency Assistance
- Legal Assistance
- Medical Assistance
- Notarial Appointments
- Customs Information
- Residency Permit, Fingerprint and Record Checks
Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.
We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Kosovo enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.
Visit Travel.State.Gov for up-to-date information regarding international travel , adoptions , child abduction prevention , overseas absentee voting , sending money overseas to a U.S. citizen in an emergency , scam warnings , and other American Citizen Services topics. There you can read the Country Specific Information for Kosovo and the Traveler’s Checklist for having a safe trip abroad. We encourage you to explore the wealth of resources on this page to make your trip overseas as safe and enjoyable as possible.
U.S. citizens need a valid passport to enter Kosovo and may be asked to provide documentation stating the purpose of their visit.
- No visa is required for tourist trips of up to 90 days within six months.
- For work, study, or visits longer than 90 days within six months , you must apply for a temporary residence permit. Prior to your arrival in Kosovo, contact Pristina’s Pristina’s Division for Foreigners, Visa and Residence Permit by phone (+383 38-200-190-26/27/17) or email .
- To apply for a temporary residence permit, you will need to provide proof of local health insurance and an official police background check report. The U.S. Embassy cannot assist you in obtaining background checks, certificates of conduct, or fingerprints.
The U.S. Embassy is not able to assist with obtaining a residency permit, extending a stay, or granting of entry into Kosovo.
Kosovo law requires U.S. citizens to present photo identification (driver’s license or passport copy) to prove identity when asked by an authorized official. For more information, please click here .
Many U.S. citizens travel to Kosovo and other countries every year with sports-related contracts and have enjoyable, professional experiences. The U.S. Embassy is aware, however, that a growing number of individuals have entered into contracts with local sports clubs in Kosovo, contracts which were allegedly not honored by those clubs.
Prior to entering into any foreign contract or relocating overseas, we strongly suggest you ensure you are able to financially support your trip and return home to the United States should the contract not be honored.
Footer Disclaimer This is the official website of the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
Visa and Passport
Visa regime is not applied for most visitors entering Kosovo. However, please make sure you check online information on the official web site of Kosovo Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In addition, to visit Kosovo, also check with Kosovo Embassy in your country or the nearest one to your country.
If you want to visit Kosovo, you should consult Kosovo Embassy in your country of origin. In case there is no Kosovo Embassy in your country of origin, then you should consider consulting the closest Kosovo Embassy to your country of origin in order to better understand the procedures that apply to you for entering Kosovo.
According to the official web site of Kosovo Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Countries that can enter without visa in Kosovo
The exemption from the visa requirement applies to the citizens of the following countries:
Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria*, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium*, Belize, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria*, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Croatia*, Cyprus*, Czech Republic*, Denmark*, Dominica, East Timor, El Salvador, Estonia*, Fiji, Finland*, France*, Germany*, Greece*, Grenada, Guatemala, Guiana, Holly See*, Honduras, Hungary*, Iceland*, Israel, Ireland*, Italy*, Japan, Jordan, Kingdom of Saudi, Arabia. Kiribati, Kuwait, Latvia*, Lesotho, Liechtenstein*, Lithuania*, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta*, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco*, Montenegro, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands*, New Papua Guinea, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway*, Oman, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Poland*, Portugal*, Qatar, Romania*, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadine, Samoa, San Marino*, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Seychelles Islands, Slovakia*, Slovenia*, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain*, Swaziland, Sweden*, Swiss Confederation*, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland*, United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela
*EU or Schengen member states
Special Categories Exempted from Visa Requirements
The exemption from the visa requirement applies also to the following categories:
Citizens of the countries which are required to obtain a visa for Kosovo but hold a biometric valid residence permit issued by one of the Schengen member states or a valid multi-entry Schengen Visa are exempt from the requirement to obtain a Visa to enter, transit, or stay in the territory of the Republic of Kosovo for up to 15 days.
Citizens of: EU and Schengen Zone Member States; Holy See; Principality of Andorra; Principality of Monaco; Republic of San Marino, Republic of Albania, Montenegro, and Republic of Serbia are allowed to enter, transit, and stay in Kosovo for up to 90 days for a six-months period with a valid biometric identification card.
Holders of diplomatic and service passports issued by Russian Federation States, People’s Republic of China, Egypt, Indonesia and Ukraine shall be allowed to enter, transit or stay up to 15 days in the territory of the Republic of Kosovo.
Holders of valid travel documents issued by Special Administrative Regions of People’s Republic of China: Hong Kong and Macao are exempted from the obligation to obtain a visa.
Holders of travel documents issued by Taiwan shall be exempted from the obligation to obtain a visa provided that they preliminarily notify the Diplomatic or Consular Mission of the Republic of Kosovo, at least 2 weeks in advance.
Holders of Travel documents issued by EU Member States, Schengen zone States, United States of America, Canada, Australia and Japan based on the 1951 Convention on Refugee Status or the 1954 Convention on the Status of Stateless Persons, as well as holders of valid travel documents for foreigners, may enter, pass through the territory and stay in the Republic of Kosovo up to 15 days without a visa.
Holders of Laissez-Passer, regardless of their nationality, issued by United Nations Organizations, NATO, OSCE, Council of Europe and European Union, are also exempt from the visa requirement.
KOSOVO TRAVEL GUIDE
Kosovo is Europe's newest country and a fascinating land at the heart of the Balkans that rewards visitors with welcoming smiles, charming mountain towns, incredible hiking opportunities, and 13th-century domed Serbian monasteries just for starters.
Kosovo is still a disputed territory and after a lengthy and often violent dispute with Serbia, Kosovo declared independence in February 2008. As of 2019, 101 UN states recognize it as independent, and the Republic of Kosovo has become a member country of the IMF and World Bank, despite heavy Serbian opposition. While the legitimacy of the Kosovar government is disputed by many UN countries, from a traveler's point of view the Kosovar government has de facto control of most of the country; local Serb authorities administer five municipalities in the north.
It’s safe to travel there now, and indeed is one of the last corners of Europe that remains off the beaten track for travelers.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO VISIT
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KOSOVO QUICK FACTS
Capital : Pristina
Currency : Euro (€)
Area : 10,887 km²
Population : 1,845 million (2018)
Language : Official: Albanian 95%, Serbian 3% Regionally Spoken: Turkish, Romany
Religion :Muslim 95%, Orthodox 4%, Roman Catholic 1%
Electricity : 230V/50Hz (European plug)
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KOSOVO PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 7 January, Orthodox Christmas
- 17 February, Independence Day
- 9 April, Constitution Day
- 1 May, International Labor Day
- 9 May, Europe Day
Also, Easter Monday, Orthodox Easter Monday, Eid al-Fitr, and Eid al-Adha.
FESTIVALS IN KOSOVO
BEST TIME TO VISIT KOSOVO
Kosovo has a continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. Snow can fall as early as November and as late as April. July and August are invariably hot, although May and June can be too. The night-time/daytime temperature differential is generally greatest in September and October.
The best time to come to Kosovo is during spring (late April, May, or early June) when the fields are bright green but there is still some snow on the tops of the mountains and the flowers in the meadows are in bloom. There is still a risk of heavy rain in April but it is rare for this to last more than a day or so. In July, August and early September the flights and roads are busy with travelling not quite as easy or cheap and the weather can easily be too hot to explore - although September generally offers pleasant weather.
April - PriFest, the Pristina International Film Festival, brings a touch of international glamour to the capital.
May to September - You don't have to worry about high-season crowds in Kosovo!
August - The excellent DokuFest in Prizren is Kosovo's best art event.
KOSOVO WEATHER SYNOPSIS
Kosovo has a predominantly continental climate, with warm summers and cold winters. In the southwest Dukagjini Plain, this transitions to a mild Mediterranean climate with more frost-free days and higher annual rainfall. Average temperatures range from -27°C in winter to 39°C in summer. Annual precipitation ranges from 600 mm in the eastern Kosovo Plain to 1300 mm in the western mountains.
KOSOVO TOURIST SEASONS
Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists.
Off Peak Season
Moderate months:, cold months:, wet months:, dry months:, sport & activities, snow sport in kosovo.
The snow sports season in Kosovo is in January and February, boasting some of the cheapest skiing opportunities in all of Europe.
HIKING & CYCLING IN KOSOVO
The best time for outdoor activities in Kosovo is from April to December. Remember to pack a rain jacket when hiking in the mountains!
BEACH OPTIONS IN KOSOVO
Surfing in kosovo, kitesurf in kosovo.
Kitesurfing spot details and weather
HEALTH RISKS IN KOSOVO
Be aware of possible health risks in
Yellow fever - The yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. The virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no medicine to treat or cure an infection. To prevent getting sick from yellow fever, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and get vaccinated.
Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.
Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.
Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.
For the latest travel health notices and recommended precautions click
KOSOVO TRAVEL COSTS
The newest country in Europe is also possibly the cheapest one to travel in the Balkans. The capital Pristina is modern and full of trendy coffee shops where locals gather to sip delicious coffee and catch up for hours, and Prizren is a small but charming old town, often compared to Mostar in Bosnia.
Kosovo travel tips.
The best way to travel intercity in Kosovo is by bus. Buses are relatively cheap - Pristina to Peja is €4.00, for example. Within Pristina, rides cost €0.40. Kosovo has good bus connections between Albania, Montenegro and Macedonia, with regular services from Pristina, Peja and Prizren to Tirana (Albania), Skopje (Macedonia) and Podgorica (Montenegro). There's also a train line from Pristina to Macedonia's capital, Skopje.
SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS OF KOSOVO
See the sights in Pristina's charming bazaar area and discover this bustling capital.
Breathe deep at Peja's Saturday Cheese Market.
Buy local wine and cheese at the serene 14th-century Visoki Dečani Monastery
Wander the picturesque streets of Prizren's charming old town.
Trek around the Rugova Mountain s.
Visit Kosovo's new Bear Sanctuary Pristina and see rescued bears living under excellent conditions.
Pristina - Far more a provincial town than a great city, Pristina makes for an unlikely national capital, and yet feels more cosmopolitan than the capitals of many larger Balkan nations due to the number of foreigners working here: the UN and EU both have large presences here and the city feels rich and more sophisticated as a result. Pristina is a fast-changing city and one that feels full of optimism and potential, even if its traffic-clogged streets and mismatched architectural styles don't make it an obviously attractive place.
Not far in distance, but worlds away from the chaotic capital, the smaller towns of Peja and Prizren both offer a different pace and a new perspective on Kosovar life.
Prizren - The most historical city in Kosovo, capital of the Serbian empire in the XIV century. It has plenty of beautiful examples of Serbian and Ottoman medieval architecture. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Serbian Orthodox Church of Our Lady of Ljeviš is located in the city. Even though the frescoes in the church are badly damaged (the building was largely destroyed by Albanians during the war), there are some stunning, ancient wall paintings here and the entire experience is a sad and troubling example of how ethnic hatred can fracture previously peaceful societies.
Peja - Known as the "City of Tourism", in western Kosovo, sits at the mouth of the Rugova Gorge and adjacent to the newly formed Accursed Mountains National Park. Peja is Kosovo's third-largest city and one flanked by sites vital to Orthodox Serbians. With a Turkish-style bazaar at its heart and the dramatic but increasingly accessible Rugova Mountains all around it, it's a diverse and progressive place that's fast becoming Kosovo's tourism hub.
Gračanica Monastery - Explore beyond Pristina by heading southeast to one of the most beautiful examples of Serbian medieval ecclesiastical architecture. This monastery was built by the Serbian king Milutin in the Serbo-Byzantine style. It is noted for its frescoes, and being the only medieval Serbian monastery found in an urban setting complete with an old school and archives.
UNESCO World Heritage Site - Visoki Dečani Monastery is one of the most important monasteries of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Just 15km south of Peja, you will find one of Kosovo's absolute highlights - famous for its elegant and peculiar architecture. As an orthodox monastery from the XIII century, it successfully mixes western and eastern church building elements to form a particular hybrid style only known on the territory of old Serbia.
Velika Hoča , a beautiful village with 13 medieval churches and a centuries-old tradition of wine-making.
Waterfall Of The Drini River - Located north of Peja behind the Berdynaj village.
The Rugova Gorge . The Rugova gorge is also to the northwest of Peja and can be found by following the same road that leads to the Peć Patriarchy and driving further. The canyon has extremely steep walls reaching up to 300 meters.
The Gjakova Old Bazaar . A very beautiful old "shopping center" from the 17th century. It was burned down during the war in 1999 and reconstructed recently. In the center of the bazaar is an old mosque that was built in the 15th century.
The Mitrovica Bridge. An interesting symbol of the division of the population in Kosovo. This bridge is the dividing line between Serbs and Albanians in Mitrovice/Mitrovica. It will almost always be safe to approach the bridge and look at it, although the French soldiers who guard it may not let you cross if the political situation is worse than normal (with 'normal' not being so good either way).
Novo Brdo - Mentioned in the historical documents as early as 1326, Novo Brdo was a metropolis at the time, with a huge medieval fortress built on top of an extinct volcano cone, of which the remains can be visited today. In the outer wall of the fortress, a large cross is visible, built into the stones.
Ulpiana , one of the oldest cities in the Balkan peninsula, is just 20-30 minutes away from Pristina towards Gjilan. It was re-constructed by emperor Justinian I.
WHAT TO EAT IN KOSOVO
'Traditional' food is generally Albanian – most prominently, stewed and grilled meat and fish. Kos (goat's-milk yogurt) is eaten alone or with almost anything. Turkish kebabs and gjuveç (baked meat and vegetables) are common. Look out for:
Byrek - Pastry with cheese or meat.
Gjuveç - Baked meat and vegetables.
Fli - Flaky pastry pie served with honey.
Kos - Goat's-milk yogurt.
Pershut - Dried meat.
Qofta - Flat or cylindrical minced-meat rissoles.
Tavë - Meat baked with cheese and egg.
Vranac - Red wine from the Rahovec region of Kosovo.
LGBTQ IN KOSOVO
WHERE TO STAY IN KOSOVO
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Kosovo travel guide, including map of Kosovo , tips on Kosovon culture, places to visit in Kosovo, when to go to Kosovo and Kosovo travel tips
In world terms, Kosovo is a little baby. Long a part of the Ottoman Empire, then an autonomous region of Serbia, it was only in 2008 – following bitter battles and NATO intervention in the 1990s – that Kosovo declared independence from its Balkan neighbour and became a country in its own right.
Landlocked between Serbia, Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia, Kosovo is a small, rugged enclave and a historic cultural crossroads. Here lies an eclectic mix: Mediterranean flavours (even though Kosovo has no coast); Unesco-listed Orthodox monuments; whirling dervishes; well-preserved Ottoman mansions; Islamic schools and elegant mosques. The people living in Kosovo today, largely ethnic Albanians, are eager to welcome outsiders to their nascent nation.
It’s a natural treasure, too. Tiny Kosovo is hemmed in by mountain ranges, looming over 2,500m. These provide spectacular scenes – waterfalls cascading down valley sides, traditional farmers shooing herds up hill, snow-topped crags pricking the skies. And it also offers an untouched playground for the adventure-seeker: skiers can hurtle down pistes while hikers and mountain-bikers, can get out amid a rainbow of wildflowers.
- Soak up the café culture in Prishtina – the Kosovar capital may be slightly shambolic, but has a young, vibrant atmosphere
- Get active in the Rugova Valley – the peaks of the Accursed Mountains are ripe for snowshoeing, hiking and paragliding
- Pay your respects at 12th century Gracanica Monastery, daubed with incredible Byzantine frescoes
- Stroll the streets of historic Prizen, an evocative hub of well-preserved Ottoman architecture lining narrow cobbled alleys
- Hike out into the Dragesh Valley to explore the towering mountains and traditional villages where locals use horse carts and serve up tasty fresh cheeses
- Eat your fill in foodie haven Gjakova, home to a restored mosque, madrasa and old market, as well as some of the country’s best restaurants
- Walk into the forests of Decani Canyon to find 14th century Decani Monastery, a superbly situated showpiece of Orthodox art.
Wanderlust tips for travel in Kosovo
When visiting a Kosovar home, you will be expected to remove your shoes; you may be offered slippers. It is polite to take a small gift – chocolate, sweets etc – when visiting a Kosovar family. If you are given a gift by your hosts in return, accept it graciously.
Squat toilets are common in Kosovo. If travelling in more rural areas, take your own toilet paper.
Crossing the border between Serbia and Kosovo can be problematic. There have been instances where foreigners holding a Kosovo stamp in their passport have been denied entry into Serbia. Check the Foreign Office website for the latest information on transiting between the two, and for the latest security information.
Travel in kosovo: vital stats.
Capital of Kosovo: Prishtina Population of Kosovo: 1.8 million Languages in Kosovo: Albanian (official), Serbian (official), Bosnian, Turkish, Roma Time in Kosovo: GMT+1 (GMT+2 Mar-Oct) International dialling code in Kosovo: +381 Voltage in Kosovo: 200V Visas for Kosovo: Visa information
- Money in Kosovo: Euro (€) . ATMS are widespread but credit cards not widely accepted. Tipping in restaurants is customary but not compulsory.
- Kosovo travel advice: Foreign & Commonwealth Office
- Kosovo Tourist Board: Ministry of Trade & Industry
When to go to Kosovo
Kosovo is best visited in spring – April-June – when wildflowers are blooming, temperatures are pleasant and there’s still snow on the mountaintops. From July to September, Kosovo gets hot (well over 30°C) and busier. In winter ice and snow can make travel in Kosovo more challenging, and rather chilly – temperatures in Prishtina dip below freezing.
Kosovo international airports
Prishtina International Airport (PRN), 15km south-west of Prishtina
Getting around in Kosovo
Driving in Kosovo offers the most flexibility, and hire cars are widely available. However, road quality in Kosovo is poor with large potholes blighting many surfaces, especially side-roads.
Buses connect most towns in Kosovo – they are the cheapest and most convenient way to get around. Trains tend to be slow, and only really useful for long-distance journeys on Kosovo’s north-south line.
Cycling isn’t ideal in Kosovo, due to the poor roads, though there are some excellent offroad opportunities in the mountains.
There are plenty of hotels and motels in Kosovo. Those in cities tend to be quite expensive, catering to business and development workers. Some of Kosovo’s out-of-town motels are often a little shabby and of dubious repute (many rent rooms by the hour...).
There’s no formal B&B network in Kosovo, but making enquiries locally will generally procure a bed in a family home. Campsites are few, though the Rugova Valley and Dragesh area have sites, useful for hikers.
Kosovo food & drink
Kosovo is a surprising treat for foodies, serving up some of the Balkan’s best dishes, accompanied by good service. Carnivores should try lamb, often served in kebab form (generally in bread rather than skewered), and pleskavica, minced beef stuffed with cheese. Trout is the most plentiful fish in Kosovo.
Vegetarians in Kosovo can eat a range of stuffed, baked and grilled peppers, of various spiciness. Cheese is a menu staple too: try the soft cheeses of Kosovo’s Dragesh Valley. Local yoghurt is also good, which can be mixed with the abundant strawberries (from April) and other fruits.
Home-brewed grape raki is Kosovo’s local firewater, frequently drunk as an aperitif. Kosovo produces its own wine – mostly cheap reds of varying quality. Coffee is imbibed strong and often, generally served Turkish style; make it clear if you don’t want sugar. Tea is also popular, and usually comes without milk.
Health & safety in Kosovo
Tapwater is generally safe, though it may be wiser to stick to purified water. Ensure you’re up-to-date on standard vaccinations. Employ tick-avoidance measures if travelling in rural areas between spring and autumn.
Kosovo is generally very safe, but take common-sense precautions against petty street crime – don’t flaunt valuables. Kosovans love to talk politics but don’t push the subject: wait for locals to bring up the topic.
Hikers and cyclists should not deviate from designated tracks in areas known for land mines – seek local advice if unsure.
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