Tourism in Kosovo

Kosovo[lower-alpha 1] is situated in south-eastern Europe. With its central position in the Balkans, it serves as a link in the connection between central and south Europe, the Adriatic Sea, and Black Sea. Tourism in Kosovo is characterized by archaeological heritage from Illyrian, Dardanian, Roman, Byzantine, Serbian and Ottoman times, traditional Albanian and Serbian cuisine, architecture, religious heritage, traditions, and natural landscapes.

The New York Times included Kosovo on the list of 41 Places to go in 2011.[1][2] In the same year, Kosovo saw a jump of about 40 places on the Skyscanner flight search engine which rates global tourism growth.[3][4]

Kosovo's monuments are classified as common property for which the society is responsible to maintain them in order to transmit their authenticity to future generations.[5][6]

Kosovo has a variety of natural features. It is surrounded by mountains: the Sharr Mountains are located in the south and southeast, bordering Macedonia, while the Kopaonik Mountains rise in the north. The southwest borders with Montenegro and Albania are also mountainous, and home to the country's highest peak, Gjeravica, 2,656 m (8,714 ft) high. The central region is mainly hilly, but two large plains spread over Kosovo's west and east, respectively, Metohija plain and Kosovo plain.[7]

The bulk of international tourists going to Kosovo are from Albania, Germany, Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom, Croatia and Austria. Tourism is a growing sector with more tourists visiting every year.



Some of the most visited cities include:

  • Pristina — the capital of Kosovo. Pristina accommodates the grave of Kosovo's first president Ibrahim Rugova. The Gërmia and the Italian park are the most visited parks in the city. Other attractions in the capital include the Kosovo museum, the clock tower and the Jashar Pasha Mosque.[8]
  • Gjakova — a city with nightlife and historical monuments. Monuments include mosques, churches, bridges and museums.
  • Peć— a city along the Peć Bistrica river. It is located near the Prokletije mountains. The center of the city is marked by different craft shops, such as tailors, goldsmiths and leather tanners. Old mosques like the Bajrakli mosque and the Orthodox church are part of the historical monuments of the city.[9]
  • Prizren — a town with a well-preserved Ottoman quarter, and a Roman-built castle. Prizren is located on the Prizrenska Bistrica River and is near the Šar Mountains. Prizren contains the Kaljaja Fortress as well as the Serbian Orthodox Our Lady of Ljeviš church.[10]
  • Novo Brdo- a municipality in central Kosovo. Novo Brdo offers its visitors various hiking and mountain-biking possibilities. Some archaeological localities of the medieval town include the medieval castle, religious buildings and cemeteries.[11]
  • Ulpiana- an ancient city of Illyrian Dardania from the 2nd century in the Balkan peninsula. It is known to have been re-constructed by emperor Justinian I.

Natural features

Via Ferrata Ari is a metallic structure in vertical rock which enables people to climb it. Via Ferrata date as structure from world war one. The one in Peć was built by Marimangat e Pejes in 2013 and 2014 with the support of donors. It has more than 100 stairs and the whole trip is around three kilometers.



The Statistical Agency of the Republic of Kosovo publishes hotel statistics on a quarterly basis since 2008. In 2018, the reported number of hotel nights spent by non-residents was 321,308, compared to 273,394 in the previous year. The number of foreign visitors also increased from 162,234 in 2017 to 192,761 in 2018. [15]

The following table illustrates the number of non resident visitors according to country of origin recorded in 2018. The data was issued by the Statistical Office of the Republic of Kosovo.[16]

Rank Country Number
1 Albania37,141
2 Germany17,178
3 Turkey14,848
4 United States13,875
5  Switzerland13,151
6 North Macedonia7,842
7 Serbia7,475
8 United Kingdom6,482
9 Italy6,292
10 Croatia5,926

Issues affecting tourism

Serbia considers Kosovo to be an integral part of its territory and thus does not consider the designated crossing with Kosovo to be an international border. Serbia does not apply entry or exit stamps to the passports of those using these crossings. Serbia also does not recognize the designated entry points between Kosovo (including Pristina airport) and third countries because they are not under the control of Serbian authorities. Foreign nationals have been denied entry to Serbia by Serbian border officials if they don't have a current Serbian entry stamp in their passport. If a visit to Serbia is planned after visiting Kosovo, entering Serbia proper via Macedonia is recommended.[17][18][19]

Citizens of Albania, Montenegro and Serbia may use a national ID card at border crossings with no stamping involved. Meanwhile, citizens of EU countries, Macedonia, Monaco and San Marino may use a biometric national ID card (excluding e.g. Austrian, French and Greek citizens, but including e.g. Dutch, German and Swedish citizens)

See also

Annotations and references

  1. Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the 2013 Brussels Agreement. Kosovo is currently recognized as an independent state by 98 out of the 193 United Nations member states. In total, 112 UN member states recognized Kosovo at some point, of which 14 later withdrew their recognition.


  1. "The 41 Places to Go in 2011". The New York Times. 7 January 2011.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-08-04. Retrieved 2011-12-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "ECIKS". Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  4. Doli, Flamur (2009). Arkitektura Vernakulare e Kosovës (in Slovak). Prishtine: Association for the preservation of architectonic heritage.
  5. Ismajli, Rexhep (2011). Kosova Vështrim Monografik (in Slovak). Prishtinë: Akademia e Shkencave dhe Arteve të Kosovës.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-06-17. Retrieved 2017-01-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. "Visit Prishtina". Retrieved 2013-02-23.
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-11-09. Retrieved 2013-02-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-11-09. Retrieved 2013-02-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. "Rural Tourism in Novo Brdo". Retrieved 2013-02-23.
  11. "Southeast Europe- People and Culture". Retrieved 2013-02-23.
  12. McAdam;D'Arcy; Deliso; Dragičević; Elliott; Marić; Mutić, Marika; Jayne; Chris; Peter; Mark; Vesna; Anja (2006). Western Balkans. Lonely Planet. pp. 269–280. ISBN 978-1-74104-729-5.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  13. Crucified Kosovo. The Voice of Kosovo and Metohia. p. 9.
  14. "Hotel Statistics, Q3 2016 -". Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  15. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-05-02. Retrieved 2019-05-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. "Special press briefing on the UNMIK Regulation No. 2005/16 on the movement of persons into and out of Kosovo and its implementation". UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo. 22 Jun 2005. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  17. "Foreign travel advice Serbia". GOV.UK. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  18. "Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements - Kosovo". US Department of State. Retrieved 20 February 2017.

Official sites

News articles

Commercial sites

Travel publications

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