Spring is just around the corner, and it’s the perfect time to discover and explore a new place. If you are trying to settle on a location for your next trip, why not head to Eastern Europe and check out Pristina. But beware; you will fall in love with this city.
Most people will only tell you that Pristina is the capital and the largest city of Kosovo.
Other people might tell you something different because Kosovo has a very complex history, plagued with war and other fun stuff. But then again, Bill Clinton came to visit, so it can’t be all bad, right?
Kosovo used to be an autonomous province within Serbia, but has declared independence in 2008. Serbia, however, has never to this day recognized Kosovo as an independent country, and they don’t recognize Pristina as its capital city.
But, we’re here to talk travel, not give you a depressing history lesson. Instead, we’ll show you some of the most interesting landmarks to see in Pristina, as well as some places where you can grab a quick bite and take a break from all the sightseeing.
If you are planning on visiting Pristina, sit back and take some notes. If not, we are sure you’ll change your mind after you read about these fun things to do in Pristina Kosovo.
The Newborn Monument was unveiled on February 17th, 2008; the day Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia. As such, it is an internationally acclaimed symbol of Kosovo’s independence; in fact, the monument was even featured on the cover of The New York Times. The word “newborn” was chosen to represent the birth of a new country.
When it was originally revealed, the monument consisted of yellow block letters. Later, it was redesigned to feature the flags of nations that have recognized the independence of Kosovo. The flag design actually won major awards in 6 international competitions – in the design category.
Today, the monument looks a bit different from the one we showed you. The letters “N” and “W” no longer stand upright. Instead, they now lie on the ground, and there is writing on the concrete that, together with the first two letters, reads: No Walls. A powerful message, isn’t it?
All bookworms know that a city should be judged for its libraries. Well, if we are to judge Pristina based on its libraries, we’d be lost for words. The National Library of Kosovo is the largest library in Kosovo, and Pristina is its home.
The library is at the center of the university complex and quite an architectural treat. It is quite prominent with its 99 domes and a metal fishing net that encapsulates the entirety of the building.
Croatian architect Andrija Mutnjakovic designed the building in the 80s, and many controversies surrounded its design. Many people in Kosovo do not like the design of the library, and some even consider it to be one of the ugliest buildings in the world. We think the design is intriguing, to say the least. If you do go see for yourself, be sure to leave us a picture in the comments!
The Ethnographic museum in Pristina is really a sight to see. In it, you’ll find various items on display from the Ottoman period of Kosovo. These include a number of costumes, as well as everyday tools and utensils from that period.
The museum is split up into two buildings; the main house and the guest house, which are both over 200 years old. A tour guide will show you around these houses, and entertain you with stories about ancient, and modern Kosovan people. You can also explore the museum on your own if you wish.
If you are interested in learning more about the history and culture of people in Kosovo, then definitely check it out. Entrance is free; donations to the tour guide are encouraged, but not necessary. The tour of the museum lasts about 45 minutes; if you can squeeze that into your itinerary, you won’t regret it.
If the weather serves you right on your trip to Pristina, then don’t miss out on relaxing in the Germia Park. It is the perfect place to escape the traffic and get some peace and quiet. You can explore the nature either on foot, or you can rent a bike. And, you might be surprised to learn, the park is only 5 minutes away from downtown Pristina.
The park features a huge outdoor pool, so if you go there in the summer be sure to bring your bathing suit. If you’re not in the mood to swim, don’t stress. There are a number of cafes in the park, where you can just relax and enjoy the fresh air. Or, you can just lie in the grass and enjoy nature at its finest.
When you get hungry, you can go for a picnic in the park, and if that’s not really your style, then you can eat in one of the two restaurants in the park. We suggest the one overlooking the waterfall, as we believe that a stunning view is always a great place to enjoy food.
At some point, you’ll have to do some shopping, right? If you’re tired of shopping malls, we suggest you check out the local Bazaar. It will really give you a sense of how the locals live, and you can purchase pretty much everything you need there.
From fresh produce, to kitchen appliances; the Bazaar is a must-visit if you love shopping. You can buy things like homemade cheeses and creams, and you can even get a great deal on clothes imported from China and Turkey. In the back of the Bazaar, there are also several stalls that sell vintage clothes.
The Clock Tower is also very close to the Bazaar. Fun fact; the Clock Tower was actually built in the 19th century, so that the people working in the Bazaar could know the time. Back then, many people in Pristina couldn’t afford watches, and the Clock Tower was the only way to tell when it was time to go home for some of these people.
You’ll eventually get hungry from all the sightseeing, and you’ll need a good place to eat. Pristina has a lot of fast food and traditional food restaurants, so we decided to show you something that really stands out.
We recommend the El Greco restaurant, as do more than 100 people on TripAdvisor. It is located in the heart of the old city center, so you should be able to find it easily. The menu of the restaurant is Greek (obviously), but also has several vegetarian and vegan options.
A great thing about El Greco is its prices. They are not as cheap as some street food stalls are, but you can get a decent steak for under $10. Now, I like the sound of that!
Be sure to check them out on Facebook and take a look at the mouthwatering snapshots of courses from their menu!
All beer lovers out there know that a trip to a foreign country isn’t complete without a glass of good beer. After all, there comes a time during every trip when you just need to wind down and relax. And, where better to relax than at the most popular pub in Pristina?
The Beergarden pub is just down the street from the Newborn monument, so it should be easy enough to find. And, if you’re a sports fan, this is the perfect spot for you. This gastro pub is equipped with several TVs that will catch you up on your favorite sports events.
The cozy ambient and the friendly staff will ensure that you have a good time. And, well, the beer will help with that too. Even if you’re not a big drinker, it’s still worth your while to check out the pub, simply because of how great the atmosphere is. And, if you’re not up for a beer, you can opt for a non-alcoholic beverage or even a quick bite to eat.
So, now that you have seen what Pristina has to offer, maybe it’s time to plan your next trip to Kosovo, or Eastern Europe!
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!