Traveling around the small country of Kosovo is easily done, with most of the attractions just a daytrip away from Pristina. Remote villages, historic towns and cities, and the unspoiled beauty of the countryside are all within reach of a few hours or less. As of yet, Kosovo’s tourism industry isn’t fully developed, so foreign visitors will have a vacation trouble-free with stunning views uninterrupted by hordes of tourists.
Pec (Peja) Patriarchy Monastery
The historic city of Peja was the religious center of Serbia and the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Archbishopric from the 14th century until the late 18th century. The Patriarchal Monastery looms over the city from its site on a hill and encloses a treasury, a library and four churches which are famous for their religious frescos. A pilgrimage site for the tombs of Serbian Orthodox archbishops and other holy men, the monastery still has a working community of monks.
Address: outside Peja, Kosovo
Located just 12 miles from Peja, the Decani Monastery is UNESCO World Heritage listed for its Byzantine/Romanesque architecture and unique monumental murals. Constructed in the 14th century, it’s also the mausoleum of Serbian king Stefan Decanski, the founder who died before its completion. Highlights include the Hegoumenos wooden royal throne and the ruler’s sarcophagus, carved between 1335 and 1340 AD.
Address: near Peja, Kosovo
Ethnographic Museum Pristina
Set in an 18th century, traditional heritage mansion that is surrounded by a walled garden, Pristina’s Ethnographic Museum gives a fascinating glimpse into the varied people and culture of Kosovo. Located near the Old Bazaar, the museum has professional English-speaking guides who can take visitors around both the public and private areas of the house. Exhibits include handicrafts, costumes, a setting for marriages, births and burials, and a gift shop.
Address: Rr. Iliaz Agushi, Pristina
Kosovo National Museum
Kosovo’s National Museum is set in an Austro-Hungarian mansion just a short walk from the Ethnographic Museum. Its permanent archaeological collection is extensive, detailing life from the Roman era until the late Middle Ages using English language texts. The highlight is the incredibly ancient statue of a goddess on a throne, dating back to around 4,000 BC. In a nod to troubled modern times, artillery hardware is set at the front of the building.
Address: Sheshi Adam Jashari, Pristina
The traditional village of Brod, an hour by car from Prizren, is a must-see for travelers with a fascination for off-the-beaten path experiences. Located halfway up a ravine in the high mountains, it has been home to cattle-herders for generations and the village is constructed entirely from rocks. Swift mountain streams run through the streets, and the homes are heated by dried manure in winter. Once you’re here, the locals can take you on a mule trip to their high summer pastures and offer you a place to stay overnight. For more luxurious lodgings, a four-star hotel is located several miles away along the valley.
Address: near Prizren, Kosovo
The city of Prizren is worth a visit for its well-maintained Ottoman quarter, a fort dating back to the Roman times, its 15th century Turkish baths, and a number of historic mosques, including the Mosque of Sinan Pasha right downtown. The Serbian Orthodox cathedral was badly damaged during the 2004 ethnic riots, but its restoration is complete and visitors are allowed to explore inside and out.
Address: Prizren, Kosovo
This imposing religious site is located in Gracanica Village, just outside Pristina, and holds a small colony of 24 nuns engaged in iconic painting, embroidery and agriculture. Built at the beginning of the Ottoman era on the foundations of a ruined 13th century church, the monastery is famed for its fine collection of religious artwork, including scenes from the miracle and Passion of Christ.
Address: Gracanica, nr Pristina, Kosovo
Just 10 miles south of Pristina, the Kosovo Caves are located in Gadimje Village and are a work in progress involving about 1,000 ft of caves. A further 4,000 ft and a huge underground lake are undergoing safety checks, and the caves boast stalactites, stalagmites and unique looking rock formations.
Address: Gadjime, nr Pristina, Kosovo
An ancient hilltop metropolis about an hour drive from Pristina, the imposing, fortified ruins of Novo Brdo are reputed to be haunted by workers who lost their lives in its gold and silver mines. Built well before the Ottoman invasion in 1455, it’s a popular tourist attraction for its spectacular views and its hiking, mountain biking and walking trails. Once part of one of the regions’ great trading hubs, the present-day sleepy villages surrounding the ruins are traditional Kosovo at its best.
Address: outside Pristine