Tiny Kosovo is Europe’s newest (official) country: a handful of landlocked mountains, poppy-dotted meadows and oak forests smack bang in the middle of the Balkans. The shadow of conflict in the late 90s has kept Kosovo off the holiday radar, which is a real shame. But go there today and you can feel that shadow lifting. NATO troops may still guard Serbian monasteries, and proper independence is an ongoing struggle, but the headlines now are increasingly good ones: an emerging tourist trade, film festivals in Peja, Pristina’s trendy cafe scene and world-class walking in the Rugova Mountains. Yep, Europe’s youngest member is definitely making up for lost time.

Kosovo Tours & Travel

All our Kosovo trips

USD $2,540
CAD $3,075
AUD $2,895
EUR €1,793
GBP £1,415
NZD $3,495
ZAR R31,700
CHF FR1,984
Explore the culinary delights of Macedonia and Montenegro on this all-you-can-eat food tour, enjoying cooking classes...
USD $2,280
CAD $2,765
AUD $2,920
EUR €1,895
GBP £1,495
NZD $3,140
ZAR R33,490
CHF FR2,095
Our exclusive, one-off exploratory tour from Tirana combines little-known Balkan highlights with the most beautiful...
USD $2,340
CAD $2,835
AUD $2,995
EUR €1,945
GBP £1,530
NZD $3,220
ZAR R34,370
CHF FR2,150
Explore highlights and hidden treasures while travelling through Bulgaria, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and...

Kosovo trip reviews

Our Kosovo trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 10 reviews in the last year.

Expedition - Kosovo, Albania & Macedonia , June 2016

Betty Harris

Expedition - Kosovo, Albania & Macedonia , June 2016

Walter Adriaanse

Articles on Kosovo

Kosovo: a new adventure on the Old Continent (and why you should get there)

Posted on Tue, 7 Apr 2015

The Balkan states are the last bastion of new adventure in Europe, and Kosovo is the newest of them all. But it didn't feel that way to me.

Read more

About Kosovo

At a glance

Capital city: Pristina
Population: 1,800,000
Language: Albanian, Serbian
Currency: EUR
Time zone: (GMT+01:00) Belgrade, Bratislava, Budapest, Ljubljana, Prague
Electricity: Type F (German 2-pin, side clip earth)
Dialing code: +381

Best time to visit Kosovo

Kosovo’s mountainous terrain means cold, snowy winters, hot summers and some pleasant months in between. Between December and January the temperatures can drop below freezing, particularly up in the hills, but life down on the plains is a little more stable. July and August are the warmest, with average daily temperatures around 27°C with very little rain. If you’re after outdoor activities like hiking and swimming, try late spring or early autumn when the days are mild and the sun is shining.

Geography and environment

It’s hard to drop a ball in Kosovo and not have it roll away from you. Most of the country is steep and mountainous, except for two big plains: the Metohija Basin in the west and the Plain of Kosovo in the east. The countryside is mostly rolling fields and meadows – poppies, wildflowers and so on – with dense forests of deciduous oak and beech trees in between. Every so often you’ll come across a Serbian monastery high up in the hills, or a red-roofed town by a riverbank. You could drive across the whole country in a couple of hours. Fun fact: Kosovo has the only river in Europe (the Nerodimka) that splits and flows into two different seas.

Top Picks

Top 5 travel myths about Kosovo

1. There’s a war going on

Not true anymore. The Kosovo War between Albanian rebels and the Republic of Yugoslavia ended in 1999. These days there is still some tension between the Albanian majority and Serbia (NATO troops still guard isolated Serbian monasteries around Pristina), but the war as it stood is over. Kosovo got its independence in 2008 and is now a recognised member of the EU (at least by most countries). It’s even on the International Olympic Committee.

2. It’s dangerous

While the scars of war still exist, they’re fading fast. The vast majority of old landmines from the Kosovo War have been cleared, conflict with Serbia has eased considerably and the majority of the country is busy looking to the future. Kosovo has the youngest and fastest growing population in Europe, with major cities like Pristina expanding day by day. All that’s required for travelling there are common sense and a little sensitivity. That’s it.

3. We’re not allowed to travel there

Travel warnings for Kosovo advise caution, but they don’t say not to travel there (except in some areas of the country, check with your relevant government department). It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the current political climate, which is why a group trip in Kosovo makes the most sense. You can travel with a local leader who has their finger on the pulse, and you’ll be informed well in advance if there is any unrest on the horizon.

4. There’s not much history

Even though it’s Europe’s youngest official country, Kosovo has an old soul. Rome conquered the province in the second century BC and ruins of their cities can be found at sites like Ulpiana. Since then it’s been ruled by Bulgarians, Byzantines, Ottomans, Serbians, Hungarians and (recently) Kosovars themselves. There are 13th-century mosques, old churches, Ottoman-style bazaars and crumbling ruins dotted throughout the country – more than enough to keep a history buff happy.

5. The people are unfriendly

Don’t mistake conflict with unfriendliness. The people of Kosovo have earned a reputation in recent years as some of the friendliest in Europe. Ask directions and it’s not uncommon you’ll be led all the way there. Invitations to family meals are common. It’s probably Kosovo’s exposure to international visitors: after the war over 200,000 international workers came to help the country get back on its feet, and the locals have never forgotten it.

FAQs on Kosovo

Australia: No - not required
Belgium: No – not required
Canada: No - not required
Germany: No - not required
Ireland: No - not required
Netherlands: No - not required
New Zealand: No - not required
South Africa: No - not required
United Kingdom: No - not required
USA: No - not required
Tipping isn’t expected in Kosovo, and in Albanian areas in particular tipping can be considered a faux pas.
Internet access is fairly simple in Kosovo. The country has a good broadband network and there are plenty of internet cafes in city centres like Pristina and Prizren. Though more rural areas have been known to suffer outages.
Most Kosovars communicate by mobile, and the coverage is pretty consistent across the country. Prepaid SIM cards are available in most convenience stores and supermarkets if you want to avoid international roaming charges.
Most toilets in Kosovo are flush toilets, but access can be tricky. There are no public restrooms in Pristina, so your best bet is to call in at a cafe or restaurant. It’s not uncommon for Kosovo toilets to be out of toilet paper, so carry a stash of your own just in case.
Beer: 50c
Coffee: 1 EUR
Simple lunch at a cafe: 3 EUR
Dinner for two in a restaurant: 17 EUR
Train ticket: 45c
Bottle of water: 33c
Although the locals say the tap water is safe to drink, it’s probably best to stick with filtered water while in Kosovo, as there have been accounts of contamination.
Cash is still the king in Kosovo. While major supermarkets and upmarket restaurants accept all major credit cards, there are plenty more who don’t, so be prepared and keep some euros on you at all times.
ATMs are the safest and easiest way to get cash in Kosovo, and there are plenty around in major towns like Pristina and Prizren. You’ll struggle to find them in smaller towns though, so make sure to withdraw enough cash to see you through until the next big city.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: intrepidtravel.com/au/booking-intrepid/our-services/travel-insurance
January 1: New Year’s Day
January 2: New Year Holiday
January 7 Orthodox Christmas
February 17: Kosovo Independent Day
April 6: Catholic Easter Monday
April 9: Kosovo Constitution Day
April 12: Orthodox Easter
April 13: Orthodox Easter Monday
May 1: International Labor Day
May 9: Europe Day
May 11: Europe Day Holiday
July 17: Uraza-bairam
September 24: Kurban-balrm
November 28: National Flag Day
December 25: Catholic Christmas

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

Kosovo Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Top responsible travel tips for Kosovo

1. 1. Be considerate of Kosovo’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.

2. 2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.

3. 3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

4. 5. Make an effort to learn some Albanian and Serbian before you go. Locals will appreciate the effort

5. 6. Avoid discussing politics with anyone unless they bring it up first. The Kosovo War is still a very raw topic for locals

6. 7. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

7. 8. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

8. 9. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, especially children.

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
Kosovo: what everyone needs to knowTim Judah
The Hemingway book club of KosovoPaula Huntley
The day of the pelicanKatherine Paterson
Kosovo: a short historyNoel Malcolm