1 Day Pristina Kosovo: 12 Best Things To Do

National Library in Pristina Kosovo

Pristina is not the first thing that comes to mind when planning a city getaway in Europe. The city is still an unknown destination for many travelers. And when you mention you’re going to Kosovo, you get that facial expression from people just the same reaction when I decided to go to Lebanon. Because all they can think of is the war or is not a safe place I might be safer elsewhere than at home. 

Kosovo is still a developing country in Southeast Europe, so it’s time to visit before the flock of tourists. In 2008 Kosovo declared independence from Serbia. The capital Pristina is the central place for politics, media, and the international community. It doesn’t have a wow feeling, but you should see it with your eye and form your opinion about it.

Is one day enough in Pristina?

One day is definitely enough to see the sites in Pristina. I arrived here at noon and managed to see everything in one day. Also, good to know that the tourist attractions in Pristina are close to each other easy to check the locations on the Google Maps link on this page. I use the offline app Maps. me for navigation.

How do you get to Pristina, Kosovo

Flying to Pristina can be a hassle because there are no direct flights from Brussels and Amsterdam, and I had just a long weekend. I spent hours searching for direct flights but so frustrating because most flights have a stopover in Geneva or Vienna, so it was like take or leave it. 

Pristina International airport
Adem Jashari Prishtina International Airport

My flight was operated by Swiss Air although I booked through Austrian Airlines, but my connection flight didn’t leave till the next day, so I had to book an airport hotel because Geneva’s international airport is not open 24 hours. If you are in the same situation, I can highly recommend the B&B HOTEL Geneva Airport. This was the cheapest hotel close to the airport and with a free shuttle.

However, many travelers cross overland from Albania or North Macedonia, which will be the easiest way because flights to Tirana and Skopje are cheaper than Pristina. If you plan a trip to Tirana, read my other blog, where I spent a long weekend.

This may be interesting: Great things to do for a long weekend in Tirana

Do you need a tourist visa in Kosovo?

Most EU nationals don’t need a tourist visa to enter Kosovo. Pristina Adem Jashari International Airport is the main airport in the country where all international flights arrive. An ID is adequate as a travel document, I never take my passport with me if traveling in Europe. As for non-European passports, check the list if you are eligible for visa-free. 

Mother Teresa Cathedral in Pristina Kosovo

I recommend downloading Maps.me for walking because Google Maps uses mobile data and roaming in Kosovo can be expensive. Pristina is relatively small and compact start wherever you want and I can assure you everything can be done in one day. I indicated the location on Google Maps so it’s easy to identify.

1) Mother Teresa Cathedral and the bell tower

Mother Teresa Cathedral in Pristina
Mother Teresa Cathedral

The feature of Pristina, this modern Mother Teresa Cathedral is the first thing that catches your eye when arriving at the city center. Despite the majority of Muslim religious in Kosovo, this was the main Catholic church in the capital – the construction was completed in 2017. Inside is quite simple where you find ancient and modern themes. One of the highlights here is the bell tower. For 1.50 euros, you can take the elevator to the top and enjoy the 360-degrees view of Pristina.

2) Visit the quirky National Library

National Library in Pristina
Pristina’s library

The National Library is just across the road from the Cathedral with its eccentric style, designed by the Croatian architect Andrija Mutnjakovic. It may not be for everyone it was even voted the ugliest building in the world. Honestly, I find it quite impressive because of its brutal architectural design. This was in fact, one of the highlights of Pristina. The interior of this library may be more interesting with its mosaic marble floor in the main hall and the lights.

3 ) A quick look at Church of Christ the Saviour

Unfinished Serbian Orthodox church in Pristina
Serbian Orthodox church

Just behind the national library is the uncompleted Orthodox Church. Due to the outbreak of war in Kosovo in 1998, the church was never finished it is intended as a place of worship for Pristina’s Serbian Orthodox population. The building is still intact but the interior is decaying. You can even skip this one however, if you are in the neighborhood, it is worth having a quick look and a picture.

4) Have a selfie at Newborn Monument

Newborn Monument in Pristina
Colorful monument isn’t it?

The Newborn Monument more like a piece of art in the street of Pristina. The idea and intention of the monument were interesting for tourists, but this is symbolic for the locals. This landmark of Kosovo signifies independence from Serbia on 17 February 2008. Every year the letters are painted in different designs. When I was here in March, the new color was just redone.

5) A peek at Bill Clinton Statue

Bill Clinton Billboard and Statue in Pristina
Beaming Bill Clinton in Pristina

This was located out of the center. But it’s easy to find the billboard of Bill Clinton as it can be spotted on the corner of a high wall building and underneath is his statue.

It is rather weird to see a Boulevard and a statue of Bill Clinton in Pristina. Obviously, Kosovars had a positive impact on US support regarding the Independence of the country during the war against Serbia. Therefore, he got a spot in Pristina and turned it into one of the city’s attractions.

6) Have a glimpse in Kurrizi (The Back)

Kurrizi in Pristina
Residential complex in Pristina

After taking a picture of Bill Clinton’s statue walk upright on a bit steep. Kurrizi means the back – here you find a design of high-rise apartment buildings and business complexes a nice spot for strolling.

This area is a popular meeting place for young Kosovars. It may look weird in the surroundings, but it is safe. I walked around here taking some pictures the people looked at me like I was lost because they probably don’t see a lot of tourists here, and that’s why you get a strange look. 

7) Stroll through Theresa Square (Boulevard)

Teresa Square in Pristina
Looks quiet in day time

The center of the city is Nene Teresa Boulevard, it’s a wide pedestrian street lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops. And also, there are some features you can discover, so keep an eye on both sides during your walk.

This boulevard comes alive in the evening particularly if the weather is great. I was here at the end of March but it feels like summer at 26 degrees. So if you are looking for a place to dine out it will be hard to find an empty table. The best thing is to have an early dinner before the locals do. I ended up eating in a fast-food restaurant (Burger King) because I couldn’t find a table. Lol.

8) Find the statue of Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa Statue in Pristina
The famous woman in the Balkan

The statue of Mother Teresa is located on Nene Teresa Boulevard in a quiet little spot from the busy street. You barely see it so have a good look at it right in front of Dukagjini Bookstore. Although she was born in Skopje, the world admires her for the great work she has done. Kosovo pays homage to her legacy and the love for people, so it’s a tribute to one of the regions for this famous woman.

9) Great Mosque Xhamia and Madhe

Xhamia Mosque in Pristina
Taken outside the mosque

The location of Great Mosque Xhamia and Madhe is on a busy road in the old town. There are several places of worship, but the Great Mosque is the most visited in Pristina. It looks like no visitors are allowed inside, or I didn’t want to intrude. Outside the mosque is well worth having a look at as well.

Due to its prevailing position, dimensions, and proportion of the minaret, the Great Mosque represents the most historic cultural architecture and one of religious heritage in Pristina. This Mosque was built over 400 years ago and is in excellent shape.

10) Check the clock tower

Clock Tower in Pristina
The time isn’t accurate

The Clock Tower (Sahatkulla) is definitely a nice addition to this quaint city. And worth checking this out while in the old town the location was next to the Great Mosque. An unusual landmark in Pristina but everyone has a different meaning about it. You can climb to the top, I haven’t done it because it was already dark. If you have seen the clock tower in Tirana Albania this resembles its historical and architectural value, which was built in the 19th century.

11) Pristina’s Old Green Market

Old Green Market in Pristina
Local Products of Kosovo

I love visiting markets because it’s a place to mingle with local people and the vendors here are generally very friendly. Don’t get confused this is the old Green Market filled with local produce and housewares. Some mention a bazaar, but it doesn’t look like a Bazaar compared to other places in the Balkans. 

The marketplace in Pristina is relatively small even if you do not intend to buy anything just take a walk around for the atmosphere and watch how people in Pristina shop for their fruits and vegetables. And also, there are plenty of small shops to grab a coffee or local snack.

12) Monument of Brotherhood and Unity

Monument of Brotherhood and Unity in Pristina
Memorial Monument in Pristina

The Brotherhood and Unity is located on a square the purpose is to show one of the most important characteristics of Yugoslavia. Although Yugoslavia no longer exists, the monument still stands and the significant message remains.

The three pillars designed by a Serbian sculptor known for his memorials across ex-Yugoslavia. Each spire represents a different group of people from the region, namely the Albanians, Serbs, and Montenegrins. This monumental complex is a significant cultural site for the citizens of Prishtina.

Where to stay in Pristina

There’s extensive accommodation in Pristina from budget hostels to luxury hotels. As I already mentioned Pristina is compact and walkable. Wherever you choose to stay is not a big deal. If you really want to be in the center and close to everything I can recommend you the Hotel LaCorte Prishtina I based myself here. This place has reasonable price with reliable wifi and the staff was very friendly and helpful. 

Next door is a supermarket that is open 24 hours and plenty of restaurants around. If you take the 1A airport bus, the closest stop to Hotel LaCorte is Ulpiane (ish-Benafi) just tell the driver because they don’t actually stop if no one requests.

How to get from Pristina Airport to the city center

Airport Buses in Pristina
Airport Buses in Pristina

The bus will be the cheapest choice it only cost 3.00 euros to the center of Pristina and 15 euros for a taxi. To catch the bus walk left from the arrival terminal and you see the yellow sign board. There’s a timetable shown on the board when the bus arrives, it also indicates the stops but I wouldn’t rely on it because they don’t stop at least you ask them. 

The bus will terminate at the main station in Pristina, be aware that is a 30-minute walk from there to the center. So make sure to look at the location of your hotel check which one is the closest stop and tell the driver you want to get off there.

What is the currency in Kosovo?

Euros are the local currency in Kosovo, much easier for me as I don’t need to exchange, unlike my recent trips to adjoining lands like SerbiaNorth Macedonia, and Albania I struggle to find an exchange office as I avoid taking cash from the ATMs. You can pay with Credit cards anywhere except for the buses.

How cheap is Kosovo

I thought Albania and North Macedonia were the most economical countries, but I was wrong. Kosovo was the cheapest in the Balkans in terms of food and drinks. A decent meal in my favorite Italian restaurant cost 9 euros with drinks included. American fast food like Burger King costs five euros for a complete meal, insanely cheap. To sum up, public buses in Kosovo may be a bit more expensive than in Albania, but that compensates for food, drinks, and shopping.

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