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Pristina

Photo © Patrick H.

(Redirected from Prishtina)

Travel Guide Europe Kosovo Pristina

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Introduction

Roof dome of the National Library, Pristina, Kosovo

Roof dome of the National Library, Pristina, Kosovo

© All Rights Reserved Utrecht

Pristina is the capital of Kosovo. It is also the largest city with officially around 200,000 inhabitants, though estimates range from twice to triple that amount!

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Sights and Activities

  • Jashar Pasha Mosque, Nazim Gafurri Street (near the clock tower) - It was named after Jashar Mehmet Pasha, a wealthy citizen of Prishtina and mayor of Skopje in 1842. Inscriptions found inside the mosque led to the conclusion that it was built in 1834. Jashar Pasha Mosque is a typical architectural monument for old cities with Ottoman heritage. It symbolizes a sacral building of ‘Kosovar style’ with an acknowledgement of oriental influence. Its aim was to speed up the acceptance of Islam among the citizens of Prishtina. It is composed of a hall for prayers, hayat and a minaret. The mosque is disguised by a cupola supported by four pendentives. The original portico was torn down to give way to an expansion of the neighbouring street.
  • National Museum
  • National Library - an architectural highlight by a Croatian architect
  • Old Hamam remains (Great Hamam, Thermelet a Hamamit), Agim Ramadani Street (Агим Рамадани) - Founded in 15th century. It used to be part of the complex of the Sultan Murat Fatih Mosque and according to the legend, the construction workers who were hired to build Fatih Mosque were ordered by Sultan Mehmet II to take daily baths in the hammam. It had two symmetrical baths, one for women and the other one for men. The hammam is composed of 15 domes with small holes which are used to let the light penetrate in. A fire that occurred in 1994, resulted with an illegal opening of three shops which blocked the old entrance. Unfortunately, a hammam that once used to be a prestigious social venue for men and women, for many years looked abandoned with only few remaining walls full of rubbish, overgrown trees and wastewaters flowing inside of the building.

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Weather

Pristina has a moderate continental climate. Summers are usually hot and dry with temperatures frequently hitting 30 °C or (much) more. Winters are usually cold, with frost at night and snow common for a few months. Still, warmer winters might see temperatures above zero for weeks on end.

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Getting There

By Plane

Pristina International Airport (PRN) is the main gateway by air.
Around 20-25 airlines (a few of which are charter airlines) serve the airport. The main destinations are Ljubljana, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Geneva, Zürich, Vienna, Stuttgart, Tirana, Rome, London, Zagreb, Berlin, Cologne, Budapest, Podgorica, Copenhagen and Istanbul.

By Train

There's a train to Skopje (2½ hours, 2 times daily) from Pristina.

By Bus

International buses serve much of Europe, including Skopje, (1½ hours), Tirana, (6 hours), Istanbul, (20 hours), and Sarajevo, (10 hours). Buses to Serbia include the one from Prishtina to Novi Pazar (3½ hours, 4 times daily) and Belgrade (two times daily).

Domestically, regular buses operate between Pristina, Prizren and Peja on a half-hourly basis.

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Getting Around

By Car

Taxis are readily available starting at €1.50. Make sure to pick a branded/colored taxi since those are metered. No trip around the centre or from the centre to Arberia, Valenia, Sunny Hill (Kodra e Diellit), etc. should cost more than €4.

By Public Transport

City buses are the preferred method of local travel. They run on set routes.

By Foot

Much of central Pristina can easily be explored on foot.

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Eat

There are a variety of restaurants with something for everyone's taste. Radio taxi drivers will know the location of most major restaurants frequented by internationals. Try a traditional qebabtore (you can find one anywhere), or a Turkish doner shop (best ones around the corner from Payton Place, near UNDP) for a real taste of the local food and great value. If you are a foreigner you may have to do a fair bit of pointing to order, but it should be worth it.

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Drink

Cafes and bars are especially crowded on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights. Clubs open up and close down on an almost seasonal basis, but there are some reliable standouts, and neighborhoods where something good is bound to present itself. In cafes, a good cup of coffee can be bought for under €1.

If you like coffee, and have a massive amount of time on your hands, Pristina is the city for you. There are cafes absolutely everywhere, and most of them are packed through the warm season with fashionably-dressed young people, dropping a euro a day to keep themselves amused. Unemployment / underemployment is pervasive throughout Kosovo, and tends to affect people from all walks of life and different levels of education. Which means that dude in the sleeveless t-shirt with streaked-blond hair at the table beside you could just as easily be an economist as a farm kid from Kamenicë, so learn to say "Mirëdita" with a passable accent and feel free to start a conversation. What to order? "Macchiato" (espresso with hot milk, similar to the American latte) is the catch-all term for "coffee" throughout Kosovo. Lately, some top-end coffee bars have installed WIFI zones and access to Internet.

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Sleep

Accommodation can be very expensive in Pristina, as everything is tailored for internationals on expense accounts and hefty per diems. If you look around you should be able to find fliers offering accommodation. If you can find these place(s), go there as the cost is usually €10-15 per night.

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Grand Hotel - PristinaMother Teresa StreetHotel-
Pejton HotelPashko Vasa 14aHotel-

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Keep Connected

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

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Pristina Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Pristina

This is version 6. Last edited at 14:44 on Oct 20, 16 by Utrecht. 8 articles link to this page.

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