Getting to the center of Pristina from the international airport

For starters, how do you get to the city from the airport?  It is super easy, the 1A bus leaves to the city every two hours and you can catch it from -literally- just outside the main entrance.  Taxis are also widely available and they will take you to the center for around 20 euros.

Payments, credit cards, debit cards in Kosovo

An important point to note is that Kosovo uses the Euro as their local currency.  It might come to a surprise to many, especially if you are coming in from the Romanian/Bulgarian side (which both have their own currencies and are actually part of the EU).  Another very relevant point is that even though the Euro makes things easier, the majority of bars, cafes, and restaurants do not accept credit or debit card payments.  Large chains, like supermarkets, fast food franchises will all take your international credit or debit cards, but be sure to ask every time you intend to pay with your credit/debit card if they take your form of payment…it will spare you from very uncomfortable situations.

Perhaps something to keep an open eye on…when you pay in Euros, and get your change, CHECK YOUR EURO BILLS! I received some pretty dodgy bills that I am pretty sure were not legit… Don’t make a big fuss, just ask politely for them to give you a different Euro bill if you are not comfortable with what you got.

Alcohol, beer, wine, and spirits in Kosovo

Even though Kosovo produces their own local brews, this is not the same as saying e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e drinks alcohol. No. The city has a large Muslim population which does not partake in the ritual of consuming alcoholic beverages.  If you are used to having a few beers with your meals -especially when traveling- you should ask before you sit down if the establishment serves alcohol or not.  Taking a guess from my experience during this trip, about 50% of the restaurants will serve alcohol.   

Now, moving on with the brews…  There seems to be 2 major beer brands that dominate the market:  Peja and Skopsko.  Peja is a beer that tilts to the sweeter side, like Leffe.  Skopsko on the other hand, is much more sparkling (I mean in terms of the carbonated water), in fact, my first sip almost tasted like a spritzer.  Skopsko is a proper lager beer, and from the 2, that would have my preference.

Most wines in Kosovo are imported, but there are local wine producers such as Stone Castle which bottle a very palatable Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Raki is one of the most consumed local spirits, which is synonymous with the rest of the Balkans, Greece, and Turkey.  When in Pristina, do try.

Food – Eating out in Pristina

For breakfast, you will not be disappointed with the early morning offerings from Cafe Baristas.  They serve a killer latte, and the wide range of breakfast meal choices is simply wonderful, especially suited for large groups with picky eaters. 

When in the Balkans, you must try the meat!  From the dishes I tasted during my visit, “Muskuj viqi ne tave” has certainly found its way to my list of favorite meat dishes!  I want to call it a stew, but it’s not really that…the taste resembles stew, but perhaps the copious amounts of melted cheese on top made me think otherwise.  Its main ingredients are pork/veal, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, and melted cheese on top…it’s just gorgeous!  I can’t put my finger on the cheese, but it is certainly in the realm of mozzarella.  Simply delicious dish, a must when you visit Pristina!  I found a great restaurant tucked into an alley that serves one of the best “Muskuj viqi ne tave”, AGA Restaurant.

Metropol restaurant has a very nice offering of local and international dishes.  It has both an indoor as well as an outdoor sitting area.  

Diagonal is probably the cutest / coziest spot to sit down for a meal or a drink in Pristina.  It has a nice selection of warm and cold drinks, as well as snacks and warm meals…but again, their main attraction is simply how pretty it is inside.

A place worth stopping by if you are mostly interested in cocktails and drinks is the wonderfully named “Coño”.  Nice ambience, with a few drinks.

Food – Supermarkets and outdoor markets in Pristina

As a final note on the food subject, let’s touch on markets.  Pristina has a huge variety of supermarkets, outdoor markets and “Mom and Pop” shops all over the city.  I would dare say, you are not 5 minutes away from food anywhere in Pristina.

Large supermarket chains are just as well stocked as any supermarket in western Europe, so no need to lower your expectations.  One thing to note is that not all supermarkets sell alcohol; one of the largest supermarket chains that does sell alcohol is Interex, and bare in mind, when I say alcohol, I mean everything from beer, to Raki, wine, and hard liquor such as vodka, whisky, and gin. 

Something to keep in mind is that Pristina has 24 hour supermarkets (Super Viva is one of the biggest)…something you can’t find in most large European cities, so yes, this is a very cool point Pristina can boast about 😉

Pristina’s open air market has just about everything you could long for…at a very friendly price.  If you are into fresh produce you won’t find anything better than this.  Some very nice local eateries also surround the market, so it might be an idea to take a peek.

The Church of Mother Theresa

To many, one of the main reasons to visit Pristina is to pay homage to the great life endeavors and charity work of Mother Theresa. Standing tall in the center of the city, you will find the gorgeous church of Mother Theresa.

The inside of this church is a bastion of peace, serenity, and goodness. An impressive interior where the color white takes center stage. Beautiful clean and elegant details mark this beautiful structure. Gorgeous mosaics and colorful windows give it just the right balance of colors to create a sublime visual experience.

This article continues here: Solo visit to Pristina – Part 2

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