Land-locked at the heart of the Balkans, Kosovo is an intriguing land of medieval architecture, snow-capped mountains, glinting lakes and contrasting cultures.
Its vibrant capital, Pristina, is home to Europe’s largest youth population, which tells in its wealth of lively bars and cozy cafés. Watch life go by in downtown Pristina, or embrace what is known locally as ‘xhiro’, and join the locals for a drink in the main plaza.
To the west, a countryside of dramatic scenery awaits more adventurous travellers. Hike mountain trails, explore the Rugova Canyon, discover subterranean waterfalls and lakes of Peja Cave, or visit the picturesque Monastery of Visoki Dečani in the mountain town of Deçan. Kosovo’s status as an independent republic is disputed by Serbia, which it borders to the north. Despite this, many Serbs continue to live peacefully among a Kosovan population that is largely Albanian-speaking and Muslim. This diversity is plain to see in the southern city of Prizren, where Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries sit alongside Ottoman-era mosques and Hammams. If you want to get off the beaten track in Europe, this is it. The majority of accommodation options can be found in Pristina, with a range of hotels, hostels and private apartments available. There are some others in smaller towns and cities like Prizren, Peja and Gjakova.