Things to do in Pristina, Kosovo
· ·

Things to do in Pristina, Kosovo: a 2024 guide

Thinking of heading to Kosovo and exploring the capital city, Pristina? I did just this last year, and had no idea what to expect before visiting. Having carried out plenty of research beforehand and seeing as much of the city as I could, I thought I’d share my top tips on the best things to do in Pristina so you can make the most of your trip.

Set in the heart of the Balkans, Pristina, the vibrant capital of Kosovo, is a city of youthful energy, rich history, and burgeoning cultural scenes. As Europe’s youngest capital in terms of both its population and independence, Pristina offers a unique blend of traditional charm and modern dynamism. I found it a truly fascinating city, and loved speaking to locals about their experiences of living in Pristina. Kosovo itself has one of the youngest populations in Europe, with a large portion of its residents aged under 30, making it a dynamic, energetic, and inspiring place to visit. If you’re planning to explore this often-overlooked gem in 2024, here’s my essential guide to the must-visit spots and best things to do in Pristina.

Quick tips for visiting Pristina

Get this: a full day tour of both Pristina and Prizren, so you can explore the best parts of two of Kosovo’s most intriguing cities in one.

Don’t miss: a visit to Pristina Bear Sanctuary, where rescued bears find refuge and rehabilitation. This was one of the highlights of my trip to Pristina.

Flights: find the cheapest flights to Pristina with Skyscanner.

Stay: Find the most affordable hotels in Pristina on

The best things to do in Pristina

Having visited Pristina last year for several days, here’s my pick of the best things to do in Pristina, Kosovo:

Discover the Newborn monument

Begin your Pristina adventure at the NEWBORN Monument, an emblem of Kosovo’s independence from Serbia, declared in 2008. Pristina is said to be Europe’s youngest capital city, and so it’s an iconic symbol of the city, as well as serving as a great reminder of the country’s fight for independence and a sign of hope for the future. The dynamic installation is repainted annually on February 17th, reflecting the country’s growth, challenges, and achievements. It’s a powerful spot for photos and reflection on Kosovo’s journey, and you can’t miss it along the bustling Luan Haradinaj street in the city.

Newborn Monument, Pristina

Considering heading onto Skopje after exploring Pristina? I took this exact journey, and have written a guide on travelling from Pristina to Skopje so you can take the same trip easily and affordably.

Explore the Ethnological Museum (Muzeu Etnologjik)

Housed in a beautifully restored Ottoman-era building, the Ethnological Museum (part of the Kosovo Museum) offers an interesting glimpse into the country’s rich cultural heritage. One of the best things to do in Pristina, the museum’s exhibits cover the traditional way of life in Kosovo, showcasing everything from folk costumes to household items, providing insight into the diverse ethnic backgrounds of the region. I liked learning about what life was once like in Kosovo, and you can see an example of a living room you’d once have found in a traditional Albanian household. It’s also completely free, so well worth a visit.

Feast on Kosovan cuisine

I had no idea what to expect when it came to food and drink in Pristina, but I was so pleasantly surprised! The cuisine is a unique blend of traditions from Ottoman, Serbian, Albanian, and Mediterranean influences. Try as many dishes as you can – traditional plates include foods like flija (a multi-layered pancake with sour cream), tavë kosi (a savoury lamb and yogurt casserole) are a must-try. Trying the local food isn’t simply about the unique flavours and ingredients, it’s also about the country’s culture and traditions. Restaurants in Pristina that stood out for me especially include Liburnia, which serves large, hearty portions of deliciously traditional home cooked food, and Soma Book Station, a cool gastropub where I had some really tasty pasta. Food and drinks are generally very affordable in Pristina.

Wander through the Old Bazaar

No visit to Pristina is complete without a stroll through the Old Bazaar. Though smaller than its counterparts in other Balkan cities like the North Macedonian capital of Skopje, Pristina’s bazaar has bags of character. Explore the array of shops selling everything from local crafts to antiques, and don’t miss out on sampling some traditional Kosovo dishes at one of the many cosy restaurants. The bazaar itself is a maze of narrow streets, overlooked by buildings housing cafes and shops. Be sure to pick up some unique crafts, like handwoven textiles and jewellery. Here, you’ll get an insight into local life in Pristina.

Enjoy Pristina’s cafe culture

One of my favourite things to do in Pristina is simply enjoying the city’s cafe culture. Pristina itself is such a youthful city, with European influences, but even I was surprised at how many cute little cafes there are. Each has its own unique ambiance, from modern, chic establishments to cosy, tucked-away spots. I found the cafes in Pristina to be more than just places to enjoy coffee – they’re vibrant social hubs where people from all walks of life meet to chat, work, and relax. We spent a fair bit of our first day cafe hopping, sipping lattes and watching the bustling city go by. A few cafes I recommend visiting include Sachcaffe and Half & Half. Make sure you order a cake too – all the pastries we tried were really tasty!

Cafe culture in Pristina, Kosovo

Visit the Imperial Mosque

Visiting the Imperial Mosque is a journey into the rich culture of Islamic architecture and history in Kosovo, and is a must-do when visiting Pristina. The Imperial Mosque, also known as the Xhamia e Mbretit, stands as a testament to Pristina’s Ottoman past. Built in the 15th century, the architectural marvel is worth a visit for its historical significance and beautiful interior decorations. It was actually converted into a cathedral during the Austro-Turkish wars for a period of time before being converted back into a mosque again when the Ottomans regained control over Pristina. Just over the road from Mother Teresa Boulevard, the mosque has striking features, including a beautifully decorated minaret and intricate calligraphy that adorns the interior walls. Do note that respectful attire is required to enter.

Check out the National University Library of Kosovo

The National Library of Kosovo is famed not only for its extensive collection of books and manuscripts but also for its incredibly unique architecture. Its distinctive appearance, featuring a mix of domes and cubes, sparks debate among visitors. Some admire its unusual look, whereas others hate it. I’ll be honest, I think it’s SO ugly! That said, it does get noticed and it gets people talking – it’s certainly imposing. What do you think? The library was first established back in the 1960s, and has since become one of the most important cultural spots in Kosovo. It’s open to the public should you fancy a snoop around, and it’s free to enter.

National University Library of Kosovo

Relax at Germia Park

For those after a natural escape within Pristina, Germia Park offers lush greenery, hiking trails, and a large public pool. This expansive green oasis stretches over a large area on the northeastern edge of the city, offering a lush, forested landscape that contrasts sharply with the urban environment. Germia Park is well-loved for its wide range of recreational activities. It’s the perfect spot for a leisurely walk, a picnic with friends, or a refreshing swim during the warmer months. The park is also equipped with playgrounds, making it a family-friendly destination where children can play freely. Whether you’re looking for active recreation or a peaceful retreat, Germia Park offers a refreshing change of pace and a breath of fresh air in the heart of Kosovo’s capital.

Discover the city’s art scene

Without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Pristina is to explore the city’s art scene. It’s currently thriving, with various galleries and events that showcase both local and international art. The art scene is representative of the city’s vibrant culture and creative expression. There’s a number of galleries and exhibition spaces including the National Art Gallery of Kosovo, which features contemporary artwork and the region’s artistic evolution. Additionally, smaller independent galleries scattered throughout the city provide a platform for experimental and avant-garde artists, showcasing cutting-edge exhibitions that challenge and inspire. The city’s art scene is not confined to galleries alone. Street art is a significant aspect of Pristina’s urban landscape, with murals and graffiti that often convey political and social messages, adding layers of meaning to public spaces. Dua Lipa is from Kosovo originally – if you’re a fan, go and spot the mural dedicated to her.

Dua Lipa street art in Pristina, Kosovo

Enjoy Pristina’s nightlife

Pristina’s nightlife is diverse, with something for everyone. You’ll discover cosy bars and trendy cafes to busy nightclubs and live music venues where you can enjoy local raki and beers. The nightlife in the city is a great way to see just how vibrant and youthful Pristina truly is. I recommend starting your night at one of the chic wine bars or traditional breweries, where you can have a few drinks and chat. I really liked Soma Book Station when I visited. If you fancy clubbing, there are plenty of nightclubs with DJs playing everything from chart hits to Balkan music. You might also fancy enjoying some live music, and you can catch jazz to blues to EDM. Pristina’s nightlife is known for its welcoming atmosphere and friendly people, making it easy to mingle and meet new people. Whatever you do, Pristina’s nightlife is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

Hang out at Mother Theresa Boulevard

A key thing to do in Pristina is to visit Mother Theresa Boulevard, the city’s vibrant commercial centre. It’s a major pedestrian thoroughfare, lined with shops, restaurants, cafes, and park benches, making it an ideal spot for relaxing and people-watching. Named after Saint Mother Teresa, of Albanian descent and raised in Kosovo, the boulevard features statues of her and other historical figures including Skanderbeg, the Albanian military leader. On Sundays, the boulevard becomes particularly busy when the road from the square to the Cathedral of Saint Mother Teresa is closed to traffic. It transforms into a hub of activity with ping pong tables, basketball hoops, and makeshift futsal fields, making it a fun atmosphere. Visiting on a Sunday allows you to experience the city at its most energetic and sociable.

Things to do in Pristina
Governmental building and Statue of Gjergj Kastrioti known as Skanderbeg in Prishtina, Kosovo

Climb the Cathedral of Saint Mother Teresa’s bell tower

One of my favourite things to do in Pristina is to admire the stunning views from the Cathedral of Saint Mother Teresa’s bell tower in the heart of the city. Built in 2010, this modern cathedral contrasts with the city’s predominant Brutalist architecture. Its interior features a contemporary design with wooden ceilings and benches, offering a fresh take on traditional cathedral aesthetics. The true highlight, however, is the 70-metre tall bell tower, one of the tallest structures in Pristina. For a small fee of around 1.5 EUR, you can take an elevator to an observation deck at the top. From there, you’ll enjoy a 360° panoramic view of the city, encompassing major landmarks from the National University Library of Kosovo to the Youth and Sports Centre. With its vibrant exterior and towering bell tower, the cathedral is a prominent part of Pristina’s skyline and a must-visit for panoramic city views.

See the statue of Bill Clinton

A must-do in Pristina is visiting Bill Clinton Boulevard, a significant site in the city. Here stands a statue of Bill Clinton, erected in 2009, which captures the former U.S. President smiling broadly with his arm raised. The statue is a monumental 10 feet (about 3 meters) tall and is prominently positioned on the street named in honour of the 42nd President of the United States. Bill Clinton is highly revered in Kosovo, more so than perhaps anywhere else, due to his crucial role in supporting Kosovo during its struggle for independence from Serbia amidst the dissolution of Yugoslavia. The statue symbolises the gratitude and admiration that the people of Kosovo have for his support. The landmark is unlike any other, offering a distinct perspective on the local appreciation for international support during a pivotal moment in Kosovo’s history.

Bill Clinton Boulevard

Go shopping at Prishtina Mall

If you fancy doing a bit of shopping while in Pristina, Prishtina Mall needs to be on your list when visiting the city. Prishtina Mall is a modern shopping and entertainment experience in the heart of the city. As the largest shopping centre in the area, Prishtina Mall houses a wide variety of international and local retail brands, making it a prime destination for shoppers looking for fashion, electronics, and more. Beyond shopping, the mall has a range of dining options, from fast food to sit-down restaurants, catering to all tastes. It’s also a popular spot for entertainment, with a modern cinema that screens the latest international and regional films, and a children’s play area that makes it family-friendly. The mall also hosts various events throughout the year, adding to the vibrant atmosphere of the city.

What to pack for Pristina, Kosovo

When packing for a trip to Pristina, it’s important to consider the season, as the climate can vary significantly throughout the year. Here are some essentials to include based on the time of your visit:

  • SPF 50 – it was pretty warm when I visited in early May, so I can’t recommend a good suncream enough! The sun can be deceptively strong, even when cloudy, and given the Mediterranean climate, you should make sure you take plenty of SPF with you.
  • Plug adaptor – if you’re UK based, you’ll need a plug converter. Like most of Europe, Kosovo uses type F and C plugs. This plug adaptor is amazing as you can use it in most other countries, no matter what the plug type. I don’t travel without one any more.
  • Multi device charger – I can’t travel without one of these any more, either. It’s so handy for charging a couple of iPhones at once (ideal when you’re travelling with someone and are limited on time or plugs for charging), as well as a couple of other devices.
  • Clear toiletries bags – these are an absolute lifesaver at airport security – no more flimsy sandwich bags for a starter! When I visited Kosovo, I’d travelled through the Balkans from Belgrade, and so it was super handy just to shove all my toiletries into one of these while moving about.
  • Rain gear – depending on the season you visit, I’d consider packing a waterproof jacket to stay dry during potential showers. I’d also recommend bringing an umbrella – this one is sturdy, perfect for packing away into a backpack, and I bring it everywhere with me.
  • A backpack – I’ve used this Trespass backpack for as long as I can remember. It’s lightweight, holds up to 30 litres, is really comfy, and comes in a range of colours. You’ll need this if you’re planning on getting in your steps while in Kosovo
  • Comfortable footwear – walking shoes or sturdy sneakers are ideal for exploring the city streets and beyond.
  • Reusable travel water bottle – I don’t go anywhere without one of these any more. It’s super cheap and is easy to just refill and shove into a backpack when you’re out exploring. I always like to have water on me, and don’t like buying single use plastics, so this is perfect.

Adjusting your packing list according to these suggestions will help ensure that you are well-prepared for your visit to Pristina, regardless of the time of year.

Things to do in Pristina: FAQs

Here are some of the most common questions I’m asked about what to do in Pristina.

Is Pristina worth visiting?

Yes! I’m super grateful to have had the chance to explore Pristina. Pristina is definitely worth visiting for those intrigued by a city that combines rich historical layers with a vibrant, youthful energy. As the capital of Kosovo, Pristina offers a unique mix of cultural heritage sites, such as the Imperial Mosque and the National Library, alongside modern attractions like the sprawling Germia Park and the bustling Mother Theresa Boulevard. The city’s cafe culture and nightlife provide a lively atmosphere that’s ideal for visitors. The welcoming nature of its residents also adds a warm, inviting touch to the urban experience. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or simply soaking up the local lifestyle, Pristina is an enriching travel destination that stands out in the Balkans.

Is Kosovo good for tourists?

Kosovo is a great destination for tourists looking for a blend of rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural landscapes. As Europe’s youngest country, it’s a unique travel experience with less crowded attractions, making it ideal for those who prefer off-the-beaten-path adventures. Tourists can explore historic sites like the medieval monasteries of Peja and the Ottoman-influenced architecture of Prizren, enjoy the lively arts and cafe scene in Pristina, or hike through the beautiful, unspoiled national parks like Bjeshkët e Nemuna. Kosovo also boasts a warm hospitality culture, with locals often eager to share their traditions and stories. The country’s growing tourism infrastructure, combined with its affordable living costs, makes it a strong choice for both cultural enthusiasts and nature lovers.

What is there to do in Pristina for free?

Pristina has a variety of free activities that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the city’s culture and history. You can wander through the bustling streets of the city centre, where landmarks like the Newborn Monument and the Bill Clinton statue offer insights into Kosovo’s recent history and resilience. A visit to the huge Germia Park provides a natural retreat with plenty of walking trails and scenic spots perfect for picnicking. Exploring the historic sites, such as the Imperial Mosque and the ruins of the ancient Ulpiana city, also costs nothing. You can also simply stroll down Mother Theresa Boulevard and soak in the lively local atmosphere, people-watch, and catch street performances or public art installations. These free activities not only offer enjoyment but also a deeper understanding of Pristina’s dynamic cultural landscape.

Is Kosovo expensive for tourists?

Although Kosovo generally offers a budget-friendly travel experience compared to many other European destinations, I’d say it was slightly more expensive than I expected. This is mainly because the currency is the Euro. While prices vary depending on the region and type of accommodation or activity, you can find affordable options for accommodation, dining, and transportation. Local eateries and markets offer good meals at relatively reasonable prices. Public transportation is also pretty cheap, making it easy to explore the country’s attractions without breaking the bank. Many cultural sites and natural attractions in Kosovo are also either free or have nominal entrance fees, allowing you to enjoy experiences without the expense. Overall, Kosovo is a pretty affordable destination, and accessible to a wide range of travellers with different budgets.

Pristina is a city of surprises, offering a mix of history, culture, and modern energy waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re wandering through the historical streets, indulging in the local cuisine, or exploring the city’s natural beauty, Pristina promises an unforgettable adventure for all who visit.

I hope you found my guide on the best things to do in Pristina useful! If you have any questions about visiting, let me know in the comments below and I’ll do my best to help.

Similar Posts

One Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.