Things To Do In Pristina
Pristina, the capital city of Kosovo is scarcely a touring heaven, yet what it has are absolutely worth searching out. Far from the old center, Pristina is now a buzzing energetic city where stylish bars and bistros proliferate. Pristina's restaurants are likewise fantastic, whether they are the prominent or elegant ones spend significant time in Albanian treats, or the modest and lively grill shops with their meatballs and kebabs, or the specialty bread shops and their cheddar based cakes and pastries.
The Pristina of today is basically an Albanian city and it can be to some degree uneventful, with almost nothing much to do or see. This will lead most guests to Pristina to do a lot of travel planning amid their spare time. That being said, the promising city holds a great deal of fascinating gems to inquisitive guests with the right travel outlook.
When To Go:
The city of Pristina has a gentle mainland atmosphere with chilly, frigid winters and warm summers. The months of May, June, all the way to September are the perfect time to spend a vacation. Winter (October to December) is up to your discretion, thick attires and jackets need to be packed in your luggage if you prefer to travel during the winter season. In the high summer months of July and August it can get exceptionally hot – temperatures of 40ºc are not phenomenal, while in the winter snow is normal and it can be extremely icy, despite the fact that the mountains are wonderful around this time.
These are the things to do and places to see in Pristina, Kosovo…
Ethnographic Museum (Muzeu Etnologjik Emin)
The Ethnographic Museum (Muzeu Etnologjik Emin) is a typical house museum that is quite exciting to discover and provides a detailed study of an Albanian family’s life . Upon entrance, a good local guide will welcome you and answer your questions about the museum in all sincerity. They have lots of anecdote to tell and historic information making the place definitely worth a visit. It’s a very exciting museum in the middle of the city. Significantly, it is a history of importance and after a visit the curious guest certainly obtains a better understanding of the country and its history.
It is located along the road where the market and mosque intersect. Its quiet atmosphere provides a stark contrast to the chaos and liveliness of the nearby market and at the same time it is placed in a very secluded location. It was built in the style of Albanian traditional houses of stucco walls and wooden frame. It aims to reproduce the lifestyle of the wealthy people of the Ottoman era from the 13th to 20th century.
Traditional furniture and lighting fixtures can also be seen anywhere inside the museum. The guides are very amusing as they narrate funny stories behind the artifact presented here on this museum.
It is a bit different from the busy downtown and it’s intriguing to see this little historical center and stroll through it without shoes like you are in somebody's home. Really, this is one of the uncommon generally fabricated houses which were not demolished to make more space for current structures. It also highlights a small garden and an all glass portico plus the site is extremely pleasant as it brings you over to a glimpse of the past. There is no admission fee but a considerate donation is required. It is compulsory because a portion of it is used for the maintenance purposes of the museum.
When In Pristina enjoy exploring the Germia Park, it is one of the city’s best kept secrets. Discover the nature of Balkan, and the typical restaurants of Kosovo. To access this site, go to the center of the town, from there you must take a taxi that will take you to a three hour journey through the suburbs of Pristina. This park is one of the first places you must visit once you get there. It is one of the main places of recreation for the citizens of the city. Inside this well-preserved park you can see lots of cafes, very clean, and lots of parking for cars. You can spend the whole day knowing this incredible site.
The recreation center is an extensive drive through or hiking trail perfect for an excursion with friends and family members. If you prefer great dining in the nature park go straight to the restaurant. There are lots of tables and chairs, enough seating accommodation to make your stay comfortable, the best food and drinks you can enjoy on this part of the city.
There nothing to unlike about this place. If you like to enjoy nature, take a stroll, go people watching, this is the right site for you. Germia park is the main spot where your spirit (and your lungs) can rest. Enjoy the promenade area or spend time inside the diner and delight in a serving of the best macchiato.
If you visit during summer there is a tremendous swimming pool located close to the entrance passageway. It only opens for professional swimmers during the season of summer in Pristina. It becomes a favorite hang out place for the young people and usually gets too crowded in summer. Germia is suitable for open air and nature lovers. It is equipped with jogging paths, bikes for rent, and restaurants that will fit whatever you fancy and miss eating. At one time, it was once a site of area for mines according to the guides. If you like the outdoors and a bit of history this is the best place to explore when in Pristina.
Pristina National Library
The Pristina National Library is an original architecture and a set of Pristina to see that does not really count many monuments to visit. Pristina cannot be considered a really beautiful city. Beyond the long avenue and modern (pedestrian) that marks its center, it is a jumble of modern buildings combined with old houses and mosques with a great past that is in full decline. Undoubtedly the thing that stands out the most is the national library, it’s a pleasant place laid in the middle of a wild meadow. It was built in the style of socialist Yugoslavia (turning to the former Yugoslavia, a concept that recurs often), and consists of a structure with 99 glass domes completely closed in a wire mesh.
The library was constructed with modern architectural lines in the Ottoman concept. It is definitely the most interesting building in Pristina. Though the architectural style and concept may look peculiar at first, this library deserves a visit, the staff will tour you inside and show their wide range of book titles and a little information about Kosovo’s troubled past. The only downside is, the park surrounding the only library of the city looks rather deserted and desolate. From inside the bubbles definitely make for very good light and makes the interiors more stunning . The library is definitely worth a visit!
The Newborn Monument is located at the center of the city of Pristina. It is not hard to find this iconic building itself but there is not much to see. Just enough time for a photo and maybe a ride in the shopping center behind that bears the same name. At the beginning of its implementation it looks all nice and truly symbolic, but now it is left to itself and covered with so much graffiti left by its guests. It became more of an emblematic picture of freedom for the country rather than being just an artistic beauty. What it lacks is a simple marker indicating what it is and to remind every guest that it is a national symbol of the country that signifies its treacherous struggle and years of fighting for independence. It is one of the few attractions to see in the city.
The huge letters “NEWBORN” is installed along the busy street. Apparently, the letters from time to time gets a new coat or a repaint. All surfaces are inscribed with decent and indecent inscriptions. For beautiful shots, some people climb on the letters to symbolize they have seen this remarkable place. For its historic meaning, it truly is worth a photo and a visit in the city of Pristina.
Statue of Mother Teresa
Even if it's just an image of the Nobel Peace Prize Winner -Mother Teresa it actually does so many good things and remain as a source of inspiration to her country of origin and its people. The Statue of Mother Teresa is worth stopping by and knowing well. It is inspiring to discover that this small but immense sister has done a great thing not only for her nation but to the whole world. She is the perfect embodiment of peace and hope coming from a country that has long suffered peace issues concerning territorial disputes and hardship of the people.
This Albanian nun deserves all the recognition she is getting form her hardworking missionary life and from serving the “poorest of the poor”. It is just fitting that a monument be erected in her honor here in downtown side of Pristina, amid the busy street and within a stone’s throw away from other noteworthy attractions in Pristina.
Mother Teresa Cathedral
The Mother Teresa Cathedral is a typical church construction project for the Balkan State. There is hardly a major city in the former Yugoslavian state where they did not build a large cathedral for their national saints. Almost all of them made an extra effort to construct a sacred site especially here where Mother Teresa is deeply venerated and revered by her people. In Pristina, you can even discover two other cathedrals within 5 minutes apart. Today, you can see the still unfinished building of the Serbian Orthodox Church which is right next to the National Library.
A sure sign of independence for the state seems to be the construction of large cathedrals in the capital city. However, this cathedral speaks volumes and definitely worth understanding in contrast to other new buildings and monuments in Kosovo. Although it looks very simple, it looks marvelous once you see its interior works and theme. It was built right after her death and said to have cost millions. This big and beautiful cathedral stands on a hill and from it you can admire the whole city at a glance.
Fatih Mosque (Xhamia e Mbretit)
In Pristina, there are not many historical and cultural monuments although the city itself is very well maintained and makes a very pleasant experience. The Fatih Mosque(Xhamia e Mbretit) is one of the few places representing Islamic faith and architectural importance. Be sure to visit this mosque when in Pristina. This mosque recently underwent a thorough renovation and has successfully preserved its authentic style and architecture.
Even if it is small it has remained open to any religion. The resident Imam can even take you on the guided tour and update on its recent reconstruction works. When you tour this mosque always look up, the ceiling and fresco design is one of the best reasons why you must visit this little mosque in Pristina.
Parku i Qytetit
The Parku I Qeytit is a nice recreational park situated in the center of Pristina. It is the best site to go if you need to get physically fit. There are lots of cycling, walking, jogging, and rollerblading areas. It is very clean and well maintained, everywhere there are benches and lots of space to engage in any physical activity. On weekdays it is not too crowded and you can have privacy and intimate time to commune with nature as you exercise.
But come weekends and the place gets filled with families with children all engaged in one physical exercise after another and taking advantage of this huge and spacious park in the city to achieve their ideal weight goals. A visit here is a must if you want to explore the city and get agile and fit at the same time.
Clock Tower (Sahat Kulla)
In Pristina, there are not many attractions but one of the few main attractions is Clock Tower (Sahat Kulla) an imposing timepiece which adorns its majestic city skyline and view. It was built in the early 19th century. This is the famous landmark and meeting place in Pristina.
It has a historic bell that has recently been restored. It is located next to a busy downtown center. However, this site cannot be visited on its interiors and no one is allowed to climb its majestic towers too. It can only be admired and pictured outside. This landmark tower is within the premises of the old mosque (Faith Mosque). You can see both attractions and admire its beauty.
Skanderbeg was one of the incredible Albanian legends who lead the courageous battle in attacking the early Ottoman colonizers. The Skanderbeg Statue stands astride his horse in his most gallant and heroic pose while defending his beloved country. It is located along the busy Mother Teresa road, at the northern part. It is the most photographed statue in the city and favorite place to enjoy long walks even at night(it is totally safe).
Skanderbeg was a well known and brave Albanian military ruler from the 1400s who survived numerous battles yet fell sick and perished from Malaria. In spite of the fact that the territory does require a bit of a clean up the landmark is genuinely amazing. The region is right now experiencing a ton of redesigns so it unquestionably will look extraordinary once done. It is an acclaimed historic point of interest from the old Kosovo/ Serbian war and occupation.
The Kosovo Museum is one of the most beautiful historic buildings in the city. Inside the exhibition focuses primarily on the political developments of the last decades. It also details the transition from being under Soviet rule and Yugoslavian control. It hold a wide range of exhibits and images about the troubled decades in Kosovo. In terms, of its architectural design, this museum is very impressive from inside and the outside. The entrance admission fee only cost 2 Euros. The museum has 3 floors - the bottom of which is given over to the exhibition of artifacts and history of Pristina City and Kosovo.
Field of Blackbirds
The Field of Blackbirds is located about 15 km outside of the Pristina city center. Historically, as a whole it has a great importance. It is here when the great battle in 1389 between the Serbian army and the Ottomans (Turks) took place. Today, there is so little to see and only an imposing monument serves as a reminder of that historic battle. This is also the place where Milosevic spread his fascist slogans of the race which marks the beginning of the brutal oppression of Kosovo Albanians by the Serbs. Every year, this is also the place to the thousands of nationalist Serbs commemorating their national holiday -the yearly pilgrimage held every June 28th that is aimed to celebrate their national heroes.
Although Pristina has not much tourist attractions to offer its eager traveler, the city manages to preserve its important monuments and historic places to make a visit to the city worthwhile and provide information about its recent past that is filled with disputes with neighboring countries. Somehow, the city has also mange to rise from the clutches of oppression and are well on its way to prove that their nation can truly make it on its own.