While people from several European countries are tired of tourists, Kosovo citizens welcome them open-heartedly. Recently, I met Rohan and Max, a couple traveling through Balkans on their way to Azerbaijan, and we were discussing how welcoming Kosovo Albanians are and how they think everything looks pretty modern in Kosovo, contrary to beliefs of Kosovo being still in ruins and a war-torn country.
So, if you were wondering why you should come to Kosovo, let me give you FIVE reasons:
- It’s cheap – a coffee costs only 1 Euro (there are also “morning deals” in certain cafés a coffee costs 0.50 Euro until 10 am); A bottle of beer costs 1.5 Euros and one can enjoy a traditional food with as less as 2 Euros. Public transportation, although not yet very well organized, costs only 0.40 Euro; whereas, taxi companies start their taximeter at 1.5 Euros. Inta-cities buses are also cheap; you can visit Prizren and Gjakova for only 4 Euros (one way), Peja for 5 euros (one way), or Gjilan for 2 Euros (one way). Accommodation is also cheap – you could stay at a hostel for as less as 10 Euro per night, or if you’re looking for something else you could stay at a hotel for under 50 Euros per night.
- It’s well located geographically – this reason has brought problems historically; however, as a tourist why would you bother about it. Kosovo is pretty much in the heart of Balkans and this gives tourists a good chance to connect easily with the neighboring countries. Prishtina to Skopje, Macedonia bus ride takes only about 2 hours and there are many departures during the day, starting as early as 6 am. Tirana, Albania is only about 4 hours away and buses leave Prishtina from 6:30 am. Belgrade, Serbia is about 5 hours away and if one takes the early morning bus of 8:45 could reach it by midday and spend a good afternoon in our northeast neighboring country. If one is more adventurous can also go to Podgorica, Montenegro or Thessaloniki, Greece and Sofia, Bulgaria using connections in Ulqin and Skopje respectively.
- There’s a lot to see for everyone – there are beautiful lakes, rivers, mountains, peaks, cities, castles, villages and you name what else in Kosovo. There are all kinds of attractions for all people regardless of age. Those who like museums can visit the National Museum and Ethnological Museum in Prishtina; those who want to antiquity can visit the Ulpiana ruins just a few kilometers outside Prishtina, or visit the Kullas (towers) in various cities in Kosovo; those who like hiking can go to Rugova Gorge and spend a wonderful time there or go to Brezovica or Prevallë and enjoy the beautiful views there. What about those who like the beach, you might ask?! Well, Durrës, Albania is just about 5 hours away from Prishtina.
- People are welcoming – Albanians (and here I mean Albanians no matter from which country they come – Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia) are known for their hospitality among other things. They would go above and beyond to please their guests. The old saying “mi casa es su casa” (my home is your home) among Albanians is “house first belongs to the guest”. Lots of foreigners I’ve met have shared stories on how locals have made all possible so the guests are comfortable and happy during their stay. I’ve also experienced this myself (although an Albanian myself) when being at sleepovers at my friends in other cities.
- Nightlife – with a very young population, one can be sure that bars and clubs are always full and there’s always something happening, be it a concert, a DJ performance, a beer fest, a wine fest, or just young people hanging out and drinking. It doesn’t really matter if it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday here – one can party every night (well, of course, you can since you’re tourists, but we can do that too).
There are plenty other reasons, but I’ll limit this to only these 5. If you have other reasons you want to share with me and the readers, leave a reply in the comments section.
P.S. Numbers don’t necessarily show the importance/ranking of the reasons.
Where to stay in Kosovo?