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Pristina in a day

by globetrotting_man Online Now Aug 2, 2009 at 12:25 PM

Can anyone give me some suggestions for what to see and do in (or around) Pristina for one day? Unfortunately I don't have a lot of time, but I do want to see whatever I can. I'm not so interested in art/museums/etc. Is there anything outside of the city (but close to the city) that would be worth a day trip?

Thanks!
Ken

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7 Answers
  • maykal's Profile Photo

    Re: Pristina in a day

    by maykal Online Now Aug 17, 2009 at 9:25 AM

    Prishtina in a day? Hmm...well, first, take a taxi to the Grand Hotel (big landmark in Prishtina, all taxi drivers know it), and from there, you can walk up the main street, Rruga Nene Tereze (Mother Teresa Street). At the end is a square with a Skenderbeg Statue, next to the new Parliament building. I've heard of some tourists who asked the guards about tours inside, so maybe that's an option. On the railings outside are photos of the missing from the war with candles and flowers.

    From the parliament building, you should be able to see a couple of old mosques...this is what remains of the old quarter of Prishtina, three ottoman mosques, a clocktower, the Kosovo Museum in a big yellow mansion, and the Emin Gjiku museum in a restored old house. Behind the main mosque (Xhamia e Mrebit) starts the market (treg in Albanian), not a huge or particularly interesting one, but lively and worth a look. There are some good cafes serving qyfte (meatballs) around here.

    With more time, head back towards the Grand Hotel and walk in the opposite direction. After a few hundred metres, you'll come across a huge unfinished Serbian Orthodox church surrounded by barbed wire, and behind it, one of the ugliest buildings I have ever seen...the National Library. Closer to the Grand hotel, there's a sports centre with a strange pointy roof, with a big yellow monument to Kosovo's independence (www.newborn-kosova.com).

    You could also walk up (or take a taxi) to Martyr's Hill in the Velania district, where there are good views over the city, a half derelict monument, and the graves of Ibrahim Rugova (the former leader) and soldiers who died in the war.

    It's a city for walking really. Go cafe-hopping, eat byrek (pastries, usually filled with cheese), drink Peja beer, look out for grafitti, murals and statues, etc.

    Outside Prishtina, you could visit the Serb enclave of Gracanica (only a few miles away) where there is an ancient monastery. Or if you have a full day spare, take an early bus to Prizren, which is about 3 hours away and has a lot more than Prishtina in the way of sights.

    Hope you enjoy your day in prishtina :@P

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  • globetrotting_man's Profile Photo

    Re: Pristina in a day

    by globetrotting_man Online Now Aug 17, 2009 at 10:31 AM

    Thanks for the great tips, especially the byrek and Peja! :-)

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  • globetrotting_man's Profile Photo

    Re: Pristina in a day

    by globetrotting_man Online Now Sep 29, 2009 at 11:00 AM

    Hey, just thought I'd let you know that Pristina was good...your suggestions and advice were spot-on. And yeah, I would have to say that library building is truly ugly...which is so funny since that nice looking (but unfinished) church is right on the other side of that open field. Oh, and the byrek were very good! Thanks again!

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  • malashen's Profile Photo

    Re: Pristina in a day

    by malashen Online Now Oct 28, 2009 at 7:34 AM

    Next time you are in Pristina, make sure to visit Gracanica monastery (one of the top places to visit in the whole of Kosovo) and Gazimestan (the site of the famous 1389 battle). Gazimestan is on the way to Mitrovica, and nearby is the mausoleum of Sultan Murad who commanded the Ottoman troops in the battle and was killed. In Pristina itself, there are a few important mosques of the early Ottoman period in the center of the city and a large public park at the outskirts. Pristina is a bustling and chaotic place, over-crowded and, to my taste at least, not very appealing. Mind you, it swelled as a result of the Yugoslav and Serbian enormous investments during the socialist period (intended to keep the Albanians quiet) and post-1998-99 conflict dislocation.

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  • globetrotting_man's Profile Photo

    Re: Pristina in a day

    by globetrotting_man Online Now Oct 29, 2009 at 12:18 PM

    Thanks for the tips! I actually did get out to Gracanica when I was in Kosovo. As there wasn't too much to see in Pristina, I spent a few hours outside town. It was a beautiful monastery and even more fun because the KFOR troops guarding it were from Sweden, so I walked up to them and spoke Swedish...needless to say they were a bit surprised, but it was pretty cool talking to them about their experiences there.

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  • malashen's Profile Photo

    Re: Pristina in a day

    by malashen Online Now Oct 30, 2009 at 8:15 AM

    About a year ago, there was an article in one of the Swedish newspapers about Kosovo, quite critical of international administration of the province (it was translated into English and did make some stir internationally, including the foreigners working here). It was very positive, though, on the performance of Swedish KFOR at Gracanica during the March 2004 riots, telling how they resisted the siege of huge Albanian crowds bent on tearing the monastery down. Whether it was a true description or not, I cannot tell.

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  • Re: Pristina in a day

    by langolijer Online Now Nov 23, 2009 at 6:07 PM

    Yes, unfortunately it's true.

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