Kosovo, though small, offers many tourist attractions, starting with beautiful mountain trails and ending with historic cities. After visiting Pristina I decided to see two other cities: Mitrovica and Prizren.
They both are totally different places, but on the other hand they present contrasts which are typical for Kosovo and its current politic situation as well.
Mitrovica is located in the northern part of Kosovo, close to the border with Serbia. The largest percentage of Serbs live in this city, and therefore there is a clear division between Serbian and Albanian part.
Right after Kosovo declaration of independence, the biggest riots and even terrorist attacks took place here. We got off the bus at the very center of the bustling city. In short, it’s full of cars, people, colours, shops, and in addition, it’s all in a Balkan style 😉
The Serbian part is divided from the Albanian by the river – Ibar. Crossing the bridge to the Serbian part, suddenly we found ourselves in a completely different reality. The streets were empty, and the houses looked more neglected, it seemed like nobody was living there.
International organisations including: UN, NATO or the EU are trying to alleviate tensions in the city. In order to do that the European Union finances infrastructure investments like rebuilding a new bridge linking two parts.
On the Serbian side of the bridge, there’s one of the few attractions of Mitrovica – Miners’ Memorial. A powerful structure which proudly dominates the city, looks rather bizzare on one of the hills of Mitrovica
From the top there’s an interesting view of the area and the Serbian Orthodox church.
After Pristina and in Mitrovica, it is worth visiting Prizren, located in the southern part of Kosovo. It’s a historic city, which was once the capital of Serbia. Prizren looks completely different from Pristina and Mitrovica.
There is an old town with numerous restaurants and cafés. Its interesting appearance is influenced by Turkish, which is visible in the architecture. It’s worth exploring the side alleys of the old town, where you can see traditional craft workshops.
The atmosphere of the Old Town is highlighted by two mosques of Emin Pasha and Sinan Pasha. Going up to the Kalaja fortress is a must. The views from the top are amazing.
What to eat?
Kosovan cuisine resembles Turkish and Greek. It’s teeming with meat, prepraded in various ways, and grilled vegetables and fish. The popular snack is burek, here called byrek, which is a phylo dough stuffed with cheese, meat, cheese and spinach or potatoes. If you want to try something sweet I recommend traditional baklava and aromatic coffee. The best food is served in Pristina in a cosy restaurant Liburnia.
Bus transport in Kosovo is very well developed, buses are air-conditioned and punctual.
The bus station in Pristina is near Bill Clinton’s statue. Trip to Prizren costs 5€ and to Mitrovica 3€ (data from 2018). In addition to public transport, transport services also provided by local drivers for a lower price.