The most beautiful cities to visit in Kosovo
The most beautiful cities to visit in Kosovo
Video: Ivano-Frankivsk region. Carpathians. Kosovo city. Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast. City Kosiv. 2022, September
When you think of the Balkan Peninsula, you may think of places like Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania. This region of Eastern Europe is home to many lesser-known places that every traveler should visit. One of them is Kosovo, the youngest European country rarely visited by outsiders. This small Balkan country is home to beautiful places to visit. Read on to learn about the most beautiful cities in Kosovo.
Pristina is Kosovo’s capital and its political and economic center. It may not be as fascinating as other Eastern European capitals, but Pristina is fascinating in many ways. I have a great cafe culture, unusual architecture, and the people are wonderful. The two non-profits in Pristina are the Newborn Monument, which is a symbol of county independence (Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008) and the inevitably ugly National Library of Kosovo, which was built in 1982 by Croatian architect Andrija Mutnjakovic. It is known for its 99 domes and the giant metal fishing net that covers the entire structure. Don’t forget to enjoy a coffee at one of the two coolest bars in town, Soma Book Station or Dit’n’Nat, both are nice places frequented by students as well as the international community living in town.
Prizren is considered the cultural capital of Kosovo. Although Pristina is more international and has a vibrant nightlife, Prizren is famous for its old architecture, religious buildings and history. It is only an hour by bus from the capital, so you can think of it as a travel destination. The best thing to do in Prizren is to climb to the top of the old Kaladzha fortress and take in the stunning views of the old town. Take your camera with you because the panorama includes several mosques, churches, bridges and red roofs. Then return to the city and visit the Shadervan district, which is the most beautiful area of Prizren, with ancient mosques, crowded cafes and an attractive old stone bridge.
Peja is a town located in the western region of Kosovo, close to the Montenegrin border. The reason everyone should visit it, besides its beautiful kulla (typical architecture of northern Albania and Kosovo), is that Peja is the gateway to Rugova Canyon and the Patriarchate of Peja. If you are busy outdoors and love the mountains, this is the right place for you: you can go hiking, camping or just enjoy the open air in this beautiful region in the Balkans. If you want to admire the beautiful sights, don’t miss the old Patriarchate, a medieval Serbian Orthodox monastery.
Another great day trip from Pristina and a beautiful city to include in the Balkan Trail is a small town near Prizren. The most beautiful part of this charming town is its old bazaar, the oldest and largest market in Kosovo. It is a unique place that is perfect for buying original souvenirs made by local craftsmen and sipping excellent Turkish coffee. Gjakova was severely damaged during the war in Kosovo, but after a big push to rebuild the city with the help of local artists, the city has become one of the most beautiful urban areas of the Balkan Peninsula. Don’t forget to take a walk through the town at dusk to admire Gjakova’s ancient mosques, Orthodox churches and Catholic churches. It will take your breath away.
Tourist attractions in Serbia
It is impossible to list the sights of Serbia in one article. It would require writing more than one thick book, but to cast a glance and at least outline the main points of attraction, we will try in this article.
Serbia is located in Southeastern Europe. Winters in the country are cold, snowy and short. In Serbia, there are four mountain systems. This contributes to the development of ski tourism. Prices for skiing are relatively low, and new slopes appear regularly. The most popular resort is Kopaonik.
The country provides excellent opportunities for recovery. There are thermal springs and incredibly salubrious air. The most famous resorts are Sokobanja, Vrnjacka Banja, Bukovicka Banja. Serbia is very rich in nature. One cannot ignore the Danube and the Djerdap Gorge. Very interesting national park Shar-Planina, Tara, Fruska Gora. In Belgrade, there is a popular piece lake, which is incredibly clean. Belgraders love to spend time in the park near it.
The culture of Serbia has survived for thousands of years. Its monuments are numerous monasteries and churches that are famous for their frescoes. In spite of numerous wars, the Serbian fortresses have been perfectly preserved and are open not only to tourists, but also to various festivals, such as the EXIT music festival. The most popular cities in Serbia are Belgrade, Subotica, Novi Sad and Nis. Tourism in Serbia is relatively inexpensive, but there is much to see. The country has a large number of historical and architectural attractions, many memorable monuments, wonderful nature and pleasant climate, unique souvenirs.
In our review the most striking sights and beautiful places with a brief description.
For more than 1000 years the fortress has been standing on a 125 meters high hill at the confluence of Sava and Danube rivers. Its territory is divided into an Upper Town and a Lower Town. There are interesting sites inside the fortress: two ancient churches, monuments, ruins of Roman settlements, fortified buildings. Above the fortress there are five towers, and you can enter the citadel through 12 gates. You can look at the magical scenery from Kalemegdan Park. There you can also relax in a cafe.
2. Orthodox Monasteries in Kosovo.
This is part of the UNESCO heritage, which consists of three monasteries and one church. A valuable example of Byzantine and Western Romanesque church architecture. They were built between the 13th and 16th centuries. First on the list of protected sites was the monastery of High Dečani. It is famous for its frescoes. It is a valuable example of Byzantine art. The other monasteries were included in the list in two years.
3. Djerdap Gorge
This is one of the most beautiful places in Europe, where the Danube is in all its glory. The Djerdap gorge, near Golubac, is the widest river in Europe at 6.5 kilometers and the deepest at 82 meters. Tourists are taken on cruises through the whole gorge, which consists of four smaller gorges and three basins. In some places 300 meter high rocks rise above the river. On the banks of the Danube there are also many ancient forts.
4. Studenica Monastery
This monastery is a monastery, which is located in the mountains on the right bank of the river Studenica. It is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and is one of the most luxurious and richest Serbian Orthodox monasteries. Studenica was founded in 1190 by Stefan Nemanja. Inside the monastery there are two churches: the Church of the Virgin Mary and the Church of Joachim and Anna. The monastery is famous for its frescoes in the Byzantine style.
5. Smederevo fortress
The fortress was erected in 1430, when Smederevo was the capital of the country. The fortress is in the shape of a triangle. On one side, it bordered on the Danube, and on the other on the Jezava River. The third side was protected by fortifications. The fortress was defended by a 2-meter wall and 25 towers. In the Small Town there was a printing house, a jewelry workshop, two churches, a palace and other buildings. Velikiy Grad was a trade and craft center.
6. City of the Devil
It is a place shrouded in legends, on Mount Radan, 27 km from the town of Kursumlija. It consists of 202 stone pillars. Their height varies from 2 to 15 meters. The tops of the pillars are topped with stone hats. The City of the Devil was formed due to weathering, but the locals have invented many legends. Therefore, many excursions are held there at night.
This place belongs to the category of “attractions of Belgrade”. It is a neighborhood that is located along the 600-meter-long Skadarska Street. Its history dates back to the 1830s. Gypsies, craftsmen and traders settled there. A few decades later the street was inhabited by artists and writers. That’s why it is the most bohemian old quarter in Belgrade, with many galleries, antique stores, cafes and restaurants.
8. Shar-Planina National Park
Shar-Planina is a mountain range with a length of 85 km. It is located in the central part of the Balkans. The area of the park is about 40 thousand hectares. The height of more than 100 peaks reaches 2000 meters, and about 30 peaks are more than 2500 meters. On the territory of Serbia is the highest mountain Bistra, whose height is 2651 meters. The park is incredibly rich in flora and fauna. In addition, on its territory there are more than 40 churches and monasteries, tombs and fortresses.
9. Ada Ciganlia.
One of the biggest piece lakes in Europe is located just a few kilometers from the center of Belgrade. It is located near the peninsula of Ada Ciganlija, the favorite picnic spot of Belgraders. Owing to the filters erected on the dams, the water in the lake is the purest. A curative microclimate has formed there, and there is a lot of greenery on the island. There are more than 50 sports facilities for active recreation on Ada Ciganlija.
The Orthodox monastery in the Raška valley was founded by Uroš I in 1263. A little later completed the church of the Holy Trinity, which survived to this day. Trinity church is interesting with its frescos. They have light, light colors and depict biblical images and scenes from the lives of kings of the Nemanjic dynasty. It is an incredible achievement of Serbian culture that has been perfectly preserved.
11. Petrovaradin Fortress
The impregnable fortress, which was the place where the treasures of the Habsburg dynasty were kept, is very well preserved. It was founded on the Danube in 1692 by Prince Kruja for protection against the Turks. At that time there were 16 kilometers of underground passages under the fortress. Today, on its territory archive, museums, cafes, restaurants, hotels, galleries. She also annually receives music fans who come to the festival EXIT.
This is an open-air museum. Its area is 15 hectares. On it you can see the old huts, built without a single nail, household items, smithy, bakery, the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. There you can also buy the previously immensely popular knitted clothing made of warm wool. Sirogojno is surrounded by beautiful nature, and the air there is considered curative.
13. Tara National Park
This is a park in western Serbia. It occupies a part of the Tara Mountain, and its area is 22 thousand hectares. On the territory of the park are gorges, canyons, gaps, bays, and caves. There is also the shortest river in Europe – Vrelo. Its length is 365 meters. In the park you can fish in the cleanest piece lakes, try the local alcoholic drink – rakija “Klekovaca”. The park is rich in flora and fauna, and in the summer there are various festivals.
14. Niš Fortress
The history of the fortress dates back to the II century BC. It stands on the banks of the river Nisava, and its area is more than 22 hectares. On its territory were preserved Byzantine and Roman buildings. The present appearance of the fortress was given by Turkish architects in the 13th century. Inside the fortress there is a park, an art gallery and a cafe. And if you restore its gates, it can become architecturally and functionally complete.
15. The Monastery of Manasseh
The monastery was founded by the despot Stefan Lazarević at the beginning of the 15th century. It is located near the town of Despotovac. The monastery was fortified with walls and 11 towers. On its territory there was a huge library, books were being copied. It was a valuable monument of Serbian culture. Also popular are the frescoes of Manasia. The monastery includes cells, refectory and church of the Holy Trinity.
16. Church of St. Sava
On the Belgrade Plateau, rising proudly above the city, is one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world. This is the church of St. Sava. It was started to be built in 1935 on the place where the relics of St. Sava were burned. But the work was interrupted and resumed only 40 years after the war. To this day, there is finishing work in one part of the temple. The height of the shrine is 82 meters, and the dome weighs 4 tons.
This is a convent in the historic region of Raska. It was founded in the early 12th century. The Ascension Cathedral of the monastery was a place for the coronation of rulers of Serbia. In total, 19 rulers were crowned there. In the temple of the Ascension, paintings of 1220-1221 have been preserved. Because of the war, the monastery was severely damaged, and its medieval frescoes were destroyed. Today Žića is one of the biggest monasteries in Serbia.
18. Nikola Tesla Museum
This is the only museum in the world that possesses the scientist’s real personal belongings: patents, drawings, letters, photographs, drawings and books. It was founded on December 5, 1952, in a mansion in Belgrade. On the first floor you can not only see but also try out the inventions. Visitors have a chance to feel like a Jedi, to try out a Tesla Coil. The second floor holds special attractions of the great scientist – his personal belongings.
It is a monument to Serbian history and culture. It is set a few kilometers from the site of the battle at the Kosovo Field. It bears the text of the Kosovo oath, which Prince Lazar took. The number of Turkish troops was several times greater than the Serbian army. One of the Serbs killed the Sultan, but his son became the commander of the army. In the same battle Lazar died, his daughter was sent to the harem, and the Serbs lost their independence.
20. Chele Kula
This is an impressive and somber monument of history. It was built by the Turks when they suppressed a Serbian rebellion in 1809. The leader of the rebels shot into a powder magazine, destroying both himself and his army. Then Turkish troops skinned Serb skulls, stuffed them with straw and sent them to the sultan. They built a gloomy tower from 952 Serb skulls. To our days only 58 have survived, they are surrounded by a chapel.
This is an architectural ensemble located in eastern Serbia. It was built in the III-IV century by order of the emperor. On its territory there are a palace, fortifications, cathedrals, a triumphal arch, and a memorial. The complex can be considered a small town. It is a vivid example of traditional Roman architecture. In 2007 it was included in the UNESCO heritage list.
22. Resava Cave.
This is a natural cave 20 km from Despotovac and is one of the most visited. Its length is 2850 m and the length of the tourist route is 800 m. It is lavishly decorated by nature. Inside the cave there are stalagmites, stalactites, columns and petrified waterfalls. This cave is about 80 million years old. Its territory is divided into four observation halls. It is also said that before the Battle of Kosovo, the Serbs hid treasures in the cave.
23. Vrnjacka Banja
This is the most popular balneology resort in the Raška region. It treats diseases of the digestive system and diabetes. It is known for its thermal springs, whose temperature is equal to human body temperature. They are located in a park area, and near them there are monasteries and ancient buildings, which are included in the list of UNESCO.
24. Pokajnica Monastery
This is an Orthodox monastery located in central Serbia near the town of Velika Plana. It is one of the few monuments of wooden architecture in the country. The monastery was built in 1818 by Vujica Vulicevic. A year before it was built, he was involved in the murder of his godfather. According to legend, the monastery received its name as a sign of the prince’s repentance.
25. Drwengrad village
A separate and very bright chapter in the book “Sights of Serbia”. The village was created by the Serbian director Emir Kusturica for the filming of “Life as a Miracle”. It is the embodiment of his childhood dream of an ideal village. It is located on the slope of Mokra Gora Mountain near the town of Uzice. Today, the village welcomes tourists and has a hotel, a cinema, a library, a gallery and a church. There is a restaurant, pastry shop, swimming pool and much more. All the houses are made of wood.
26. Shargan Eight.
This is a narrow gauge railroad, which runs between the settlements Mokra Gora and Shargan-Vitasi. Its laying began in 1916. Today the train travels on a tourist route in the shape of eight. Tourists are welcomed by stunning views, the fortress in Uzice and old stations. Carriages are rare, you can climb on them and touch everything.
A resort in eastern Serbia near the city of Nis. Sokobanja lies between the mountains. The Sokobanska Moravica river flows next to the resort. It is a health resort for the treatment of nonspecific lung diseases. It is rich in thermal springs, rich in radon. Ionized mountain air of the resort is considered useful. The climate there is pleasant, without fogs and winds.
Zlatibor is a tourist destination in the mountainous region of Serbia. It is located 30 km from Belgrade. Zlatibor is a health resort famous for its healing air. The numerous small towns are quiet and very clean. There are built cottages and hotels for tourists, the prices in the restaurants and cafes are not expensive. The center of the region is a town called Kraljevo – Vode surrounded by pine trees. Very picturesque in this area are hills. Tourists like to take pictures here.
The sights of Serbia can be appreciated at any time of year. For Russians, you need only a passport. A visa to sisterly Serbia is not required.