While the new nation of Kosovo is one that many people don’t know a lot about, there are countless reasons to visit. But where do you stay when you go? Don’t worry — you’re in the right place.
The Best Places to Stay in Kosovo
The 4 best areas in Kosovo include:
- Pristina: Best for nightlife and culture
- Prizren: Best for history and multicultural experiences
- Peja: Best for mountains and Serbian Orthodox churches
- Novo Brdo: Best for mountains and nature
Where to Stay in Kosovo: Best Areas & Hotels
Kosovo may be a small country, but it has a lot to offer. The compact nature of the country works in your favor because it means that no matter where you stay, you will be able to see other regions of the country with just a short trip.
This guide can help you decide which is the best place in Kosovo for your next trip.
Kosovo’s capital is where most tourists stay when they visit the country. It’s no wonder why. The biggest city, it has the most amenities and the most creature comforts for visitors to the country, including a vibrant ex-pat scene and a young English-speaking population.
Pristina is also one of the most creative cities in the world, with a diverse nightlife and cultural scene. In terms of architecture and history, Pristina is not the prettiest city in Kosovo, but it has its fair share of interesting streets and buildings.
The National Library is jokingly called “the ugliest building in the world,” but its combination of brutalism and Ottoman influences is worth a visit.
The Old Town is packed with winding streets and historic mosques, such as the medieval Imperial Mosque. Pristina also has a lot of newer monuments commemorating Kosovo’s turbulent recent history.
The “Newborn” monument, unveiled the day Kosovo officially declared independence in 2008, is a popular photo spot in the city. American visitors will probably get a kick out of the giant Bill Clinton statue in commemoration of his support during the war between Kosovo and Serbia.
Pristina has a burgeoning arts scene that you should check out when you are in town.
Whether you visit formal museums such as the Kosovo National Art Gallery or one of the smaller galleries operated by spunky local artists and curators, you’ll be awed by the creative energy in the city.
One of the best things to do in Pristina is live life like the locals, a fun thing to do. Drink a coffee in one of the city’s countless cafés, take a late afternoon xhiro (similar to the Italian passegiata, a walk through the center of town), and enjoy some local food in the many affordable restaurants.
At night, catch a show in one of Pristina’s many jazz clubs or dance the night away in the other clubs. Pristina is a stunning city with so much more than most people expect.
However, it sometimes feels like a very modernized, very Westernized part of Kosovo, especially since it has a large ex-pat population. If you want a more authentic-feeling Kosovo experience, you may want to stay somewhere else.
Pristina Budget Hotels
- Etnomania Boutique Hotel. This stylish hotel blends modern air-conditioned rooms with traditional ethnographic design touches, plus great service, including room service.
- Hotel Callisto. Guests at this sleek modern hotel enjoy spacious rooms and shared amenities, including free parking.
Pristina Mid-Range Hotels
- Plaza Boutique Hotel. This comfy hotel has rooms with large beds and plenty of space, plus personable service available 24/7.
- Four Points by Sheraton. This Pristina outpost of the famous chain has amenities such as a pool and spa for surprisingly affordable prices.
Pristina Luxury Hotels
- Hotel Diamond Pristina. This 5-star hotel has a wellness center complete with a hot tub, an indoor pool, and an excellent restaurant perfect for pampering guests. It’s also a popular wedding venue.
- Swiss Diamond Hotel Prishtina. This hotel is the true meaning of luxury with one of Kosovo’s biggest spas, complete with an ice cave, a rare cigar bar, spacious rooms, and more.
Prizren is considered by many locals and visitors to be the prettiest city in all of Kosovo. One visit will probably be enough to convince you that they’re right.
The city is filled with stunning historic monuments and old buildings, made even more beautiful by the backdrop of the Balkans. The best way to take in the city is to climb to the Prizren Fortress, a medieval fortress offering spectacular views of the town below and the surrounding valleys.
Another popular photo spot is the Old Stone Bridge, which dates back to the 15th century. If you can make it there by sunset, the stone arches provide the perfect foreground for the cityscape of Prizren in the background.
Prizren is home to many beautiful Ottoman-era buildings, such as the Sinan Pasha Mosque. Tourists are allowed to visit the interior when prayers are not in session, and it is worth a peek for the spectacular tile work and floral decoration.
Prizren is also home to stunning Serbian Orthodox churches, such as the UNESCO-protected Our Lady of Ljeviš, which dates all the way back to the 13th century.
The culture in Prizren is more laid-back than in Pristina, although you can also find bars and clubs in newer parts of the city. A more common pastime is sitting in the many Ottoman-inspired cafés and restaurants and watching the world go by in the winding streets of the Old Town.
Although Prizren also has some nightlife and museums, it is not as exciting as in Pristina. If you were hoping to party while in Kosovo, the capital is a better place to stay.
Prizren Budget Hotels
- Hotel Fjorr. Guests at this simple hotel can enjoy air-conditioned, comfy rooms, free Wi-Fi, and welcoming service.
- Ura Hostel. Kosovo’s hostel scene is a hidden gem, and this hostel is one of the country’s best. Travelers can enjoy modern, clean rooms, great showers, and shared lounges for meeting other backpackers.
Prizren Mid-Range Hotels
- Prior Hotel. This hotel exudes simple elegance and has perks like room service that elevate the comfortable, no-frills rooms.
- Hani I Vjeter Boutique Hotel. This hotel features rooms inspired by traditional décor, an on-site restaurant and bar, and great service.
Prizren Luxury Hotels
- Triumf Hotel. This sleek modern hotel has great rooms, options for add-ons such as airport shuttle services, and free breakfast served in a room with great city views.
- Hotel Tesara. This 4-star hotel has modern rooms with TVs and mini-bars, a shared lounge area, and welcoming service.
Peja (called Peć in Serbian) is another of Kosovo’s hidden gems. For many people, this city is a gateway into Kosovo’s adventure tourism thanks to its location nestled in the mountains.
The mountains and valleys surrounding Peja are also full of Serbian Orthodox monasteries and churches, which are important pilgrimage sites for believers and spectacular sites of medieval art for even secular visitors.
Like most other cities in Kosovo, Peja’s city center retains a strong Ottoman influence. You’ll see this when walking through the Old Bazaar and other parts of the city’s historic heritage.
Peja’s biggest historical landmarks come from an older period in time, from the medieval era when Peja was the center of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
There are many beautiful buildings from that time period, such as the sprawling Patriarchate of Peć or the Visoki Dečani Monastery just outside the city.
Note that most Serbian Orthodox churches in Kosovo are now heavily guarded due to political tensions, and you will need to hand over your passport to enter, but it’s worth it. Peja is also a great place to visit thanks to its status as the gateway to Kosovo’s mountains.
It is close to the “Accursed Mountains,” whose imposing name hides some beautiful landscapes. Beautiful hikes such as the Rugova Canyon hike or the Lake Liqenat hike are easily reachable from Peja — some even by public transportation.
There are also opportunities for other adventurous sports, such as rock climbing or white water rafting. Peja is a great destination to visit if you want to see an aspect of Kosovo’s history that’s a bit harder to find in the capital or if you are an adventurous type.
However, if you are looking for a lively arts and cultural scene, you will be disappointed as Peja is a bit too small to sustain a scene on the level of the capital’s scene.
Peja Budget Hotels
- Hotel Camp Karagaq. This hotel, set in an Ottoman-style building, has comfortable rooms, an adjacent restaurant, and free parking right near the city center.
- Sky Hostel. Book a dormitory bed or private room with a shared bathroom at this sociable hostel, which is clean, modern, and conveniently located.
Peja Mid-Range Hotels
- Doa Boutique Hotel. This stylish modern hotel has air-conditioned rooms, seamless check-in and check-out, and shared amenities such as a hot tub that take it a cut above the competition.
- Chalet Kujta. For a getaway to remember, reserve your own chalet in the mountains above Peja and enjoy the shared garden, outdoor fireplace, breakfast, and even an onsite water park.
Peja Luxury Hotels
- Villa Route Rugove. This hotel is particularly popular in winter when you can rent your own villa in the snow and enjoy spacious homes and great hospitality by the owners.
- Hotel – Kulla e Zenel Beut. This modern hotel boasts comfy rooms with traditional local carpets and luxurious touches such as a spa.
4. Novo Brdo
Novo Brdo, sometimes spelled Novoberdo by local Albanian speakers, is a popular rural area close to the capital Pristina and the industrial city of Gjilan.
It is a popular destination for local Kosovars who are looking to get away into nature, and more and more international visitors are catching on to its charms. Novo Brdo has a few relevant historic sites.
The most famous is the fortress of Novo Brdo, built by the medieval Serbian rulers of the area. Today, trees have reclaimed much of the ruins, and cows graze freely around the fortress, but the towers still stand, a powerful testament to what it must have looked like in its heyday.
Other important sites, such as the spectacular Gračanica Monastery, are a short drive away. The main thing to do in Novo Brdo is to do nothing. People come here to relax, and relaxation is what you will find.
You can go for ambling walks in the countryside or watch the herds of cows grazing (many people living here are still pastoral farmers). For more adventurous travelers, there are a few hikes to do in the area, such as the hike to the top of Mali i Madh.
Before booking your trip, keep in mind that there is not much to do in Novi Brdo. If you’re not looking for a relaxing trip to the middle of nowhere, you are likely to get bored within just a day.
Novo Brdo Budget Hotels
- Villa SEMI. This villa on the road to nearby Gjilan has a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen, plus a balcony perfect for admiring the surrounding views.
- Lura Agroturizem. The best place for an authentic stay in Novo Brdo, this agrotourism complex offers guests the privacy of their own villas and hotel services such as restaurants and playgrounds. The location is great, with hiking trails nearby and perfect views.
Novo Brdo Mid-Range Hotels
- Nuovo Monte Resort. This simple hotel rents entire villas out to guests, where you can sleep in romantic mountain homes under the eaves and take in the great views.
- 4 Stinet. This chalet rental boasts air-conditioned rooms, traditional décor providing authentic touches, and a fully-equipped kitchen and bathroom.
Novo Brdo Luxury Hotels
- Villa Piano. This gorgeous villa boasts three bedrooms, a living room with TV, bathrooms with walk-in showers, and a balcony perfect for enjoying a coffee in nature.
- Cozy 3 bedroom mountain villa with scenic views. This spacious house is perfect for larger groups and even has a garden patio for al fresco dining.
So, Where Should You Stay in Kosovo?
|🎉 Best for Nightlife||Pristina|
|🏰 Most Historic||Prizren|
|⛰️ Best for Mountains||Peja|
|🌳 Best for Nature||Novo Brdo|
Kosovo is a small, young country, but it has a lot to offer the intrepid traveler. If you’re looking for a unique destination that’s both off the beaten path and full of unique areas to which to stay, we think a trip to this country is worth considering. Happy travels!