Spread out throughout 640 sq. kilometers on the slopes of the Šar Mountains in southern Kosovo is town of Prizren. While town of Pristina, situated roughly 53 miles to the northeast, is Kosovo’s official capital, Prizren is the nation’s historic capital, in accordance to the Constitution of Kosovo. It is among the oldest settlements in each Kosovo and the western Balkans. Indeed, numerous probably the most thrilling issues to do in Prizren, Kosovo, contain its historical past.
The History of Prizren
The Prizren space has been inhabited for the reason that Bronze Age round 2000 BCE. The metropolis can be generally related to the Roman-era city of Theranda. The modern-day metropolis was first referred to as Prisdriana in the yr 1019. During the Middle Ages, town surrendered to the Ottomans in 1455, the yr after they invaded Kosovo. It grew right into a booming middle for commerce, in addition to the cultural and mental middle of Ottoman Kosovo.
Prizren, which had a 70% Muslim inhabitants in 1857, later grew to become the political and cultural capital for Kosovar Albanians. Following the autumn of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century, Prizren was conquered by the Serbian military in the First Balkan War in 1912. After the battle, Kosovo grew to become a part of the Kingdom of Serbia, and later, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. That kingdom was renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929.
Just six years after Yugoslavia’s dissolution in 1992, the world surrounding Prizren suffered drastically in the Kosovo War of 1998-1999. After the battle, most of the metropolis’s Serb and Romani residents had fled. In 2004, unrest in Kosovo led to many Serb cultural monuments being destroyed in Prizren. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia 4 years later, on February 17, 2008.
Today, Prizren is a cosmopolitan metropolis recognized for its culturally and ethnically various inhabitants. Most of the residents are Kosovar Albanians, however there are nonetheless distinguished Turk, Bosniak, and Romani communities as properly.
It’s often known as Kosovo’s most lovely metropolis, and after arriving in October of 2020, I can see why. Between its charming cobblestone streets, lovely mosques, and Ottoman-era landmarks and structure, town is beautiful.
From its historical past to its tradition to its meals, Prizren is the whole lot I like about journey condensed into one place. It’s a cultural and geographic melting pot the place completely different civilizations and ethnic teams met and interconnected. Despite town’s sometimes-rocky historical past, it was a deal with to expertise the concord there first-hand.
The folks have been fairly variety and pleasant, and I discovered myself falling for town after being there for only some hours. It’s certainly one of my favourite locations in the nation, for certain. These are the highest 10 issues to see and do in Prizren, Kosovo.
Explore the Local Shops and Sites
When you set out to discover Prizren, I extremely suggest beginning in town middle. There, you’ll discover quite a few outlets, in addition to some fascinating personalities inside them! The space can be house to a number of fascinating landmarks, together with Shadervani Fountain.
This cultural monument, situated in the center of town sq., is certainly one of Prizren’s most important symbols. Its 4 streams are mirrored in its identify, which interprets to “fountain with many streams” in Persian.
The fountain is usually seemed on the level the place social, financial, and cultural improvement intersect. It’s additionally related to a neighborhood fable, which states that when you drink from the fountain, you’ll marry a neighborhood woman and keep in Prizren ceaselessly!
The outlets across the metropolis middle are as assorted because the communities that decision Prizren house. One of my favorites was a sweets store known as Tetova, which sells jellies, sours, nuts, dates, and far more. Their walnuts and salty, roasted nuts make for a pleasant snack as you’re exploring town. They additionally promote some very candy gummies!
If you’re into aromatic oils, I like to recommend testing Uje Dukati, which sells perfumes from all around the world! The store itself smells heavenly, with the fragrant scents of tantalizing, worldly fragrances hanging in the air. The pleasant and beneficiant proprietor is of Syrian descent and makes his perfumes by mixing oil, water, and alcohol collectively. He even sprayed some on me and gave me some as a present!
An important place to purchase souvenirs for family members is Luli Filigran, a jewellery store that dates again to 1968. There, the jeweler sells attractive, handmade creations, a few of that are made in-shop. He additionally imports different merchandise from all over the world. The overwhelming majority of his choices are for ladies, however you can even discover some good objects for males adorned with the Albanian double eagle!
In my travels, I’ve discovered that it’s exceedingly uncommon to discover stitching outlets on the principle avenue of a metropolis nowadays. So after I discover one, I all the time like to go inside to test them out. Near town middle is a stitching store known as A&A Armendi that’s run by a person who has sixty years of stitching expertise. He makes use of a century-old ironing board and a 60-year-old iron. For only one Euro, he’ll repair any ripped merchandise of clothes, so pay him a go to when you want some garments mended!
Eat at Tiffany National Restaurant
When you’re prepared to have a chunk to eat, there are few locations in city higher than Tiffany National Restaurant. This in style eatery boasts an open-air kitchen and an out of doors terrace with grape vines clinging to the roof overhead. They promote genuine Kosovar delicacies, which is kind of wealthy in meat, dairy, bread, and greens.
I can’t suggest the creamy Elbasan tava, which accommodates veal and cheese, sufficient. If you need some veggies along with your meat, you can even strive the meat-and-veg tava, which accommodates veal, tomatoes, and carrots. The veal is so tender it melts in your mouth! Eating this dish is definitely among the many finest issues to do in Prizren, Kosovo!
I additionally counsel attempting the mantia, that are meat-filled dumplings, in addition to tacky dolmas. They even have some smoky meat patties with onion, some thick cheese with dill, meatballs, and peppers with cheese.
One of my favourite elements of the meal was the ajvar, a red-pepper-and-tomato paste that you simply unfold on bread. Speaking of spreads, there’s additionally a incredible garlic, carrot, and cheese paste that has a spicy kick!
If you’ve sufficient room in your stomach after the starters and most important course, have some baklava for dessert. This crispy, layered, Ottoman-era dessert accommodates a honey-like syrup known as ora, which provides a robust, candy taste. I’m not often a fan of sweets, however this one was too good to cross up!
Tiffany National Restaurant
16 Marin Barleti
Check out the Top Things to See and Do in Valbona, Albania
Check out Ura e Gurit (Stone Bridge)
If you’re a historical past lover, you’d be remiss when you didn’t cross Ura e Gurit in your means into Prizren’s Old Town. Better often known as Stone Bridge, this Ottoman construction spans the White River between the Arasta and Nalet Bridges.
Because of the type of the bridge, the supplies used in its development, and the strategies used to construct it, it’s thought Ura e Gurit was constructed someday in the late 15th or early 16th century.
The bridge has been named a Cultural Monument in Kosovo, making it a protected archaeological website. I’ve visited numerous Ottoman bridges in my travels all through the Balkans, and their magnificence by no means fails to blow me away.
It could also be smaller than most of the bridges I’ve seen in locations like Albania and Bosnia. That mentioned, it’s nonetheless a spectacular feat of engineering and structure! Checking it out is definitely certainly one of my prime issues to do in Prizren, Kosovo!
Visit Sinan Pasha Mosque
There are a excessive variety of distinguished landmarks in Prizren’s Old Town. One that’s nearly inconceivable to miss is Sinan Pasha Mosque. This Ottoman mosque overlooks the principle avenue and dates again to 1615. Built by a Turkic bey or chieftain named Sofi Sinan Pasha, the Republic of Serbia declared a Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance in 1990.
It is extensively believed that the stones used in its development have been taken from St. Archangels Monastery close by. The mosque boasts one massive dome in addition to a smaller half-dome. Inside, the partitions and inside of the dome are painted with Quran verses and floral patterns.
The work are very colourful, and the mosque itself is huge. I estimated that its ceilings will need to have been not less than 100 ft excessive! It’s fairly lovely and certainly one of my favourite issues to do in Prizren, Kosovo.
NOTE: Remember to observe Muslim custom if you go to the mosque. That contains eradicating your sneakers earlier than you enter. Women should additionally cowl their heads earlier than they go inside.
Sinan Pasha Mosque
Prizren, Kosovo 20000
Check out the Things to Do in Theth, Albania
See the League of Prizren
Arguably one of the vital well-known sights in Prizren is the League of Prizren. This constructing holds particular significance to Kosovar Albanians who name Kosovo house. Offically known as the League for the Defense of the Rights of the Albanian Nation, the League was an Albanian political group based in 1878.
That yr, 300 members of the League of Prizren sought to “struggle in arms to defend the wholeness of the territories of Albania” from exterior forces. Before the league ended in the Eighteen Eighties, they have been in a position to carry Albanian nationwide pursuits earlier than the Great Powers. They additionally paved the best way for the League of Peja.
The constructing that housed the League of Prizren is a part of the Gazi Mehmed Pasha advanced. A big constructing in the previous metropolis middle, it now serves as a cultural heritage monument and a museum advanced. It’s the most effective issues to do in Prizren, Kosovo to be taught extra concerning the metropolis’s historical past!
Dine at Besimi Beska Restaurant
As a journey/meals blogger and vlogger, I consider diving into native delicacies is among the finest methods to find out about a brand new vacation spot. Another top-notch restaurant in Prizren that’s properly value a go to is Besimi Beska, which focuses on meat and greens.
Inside the restaurant is a large eating corridor, in addition to a bar and a café. They bake their very own bread, provide a number of tavas, and even make a spicy sausage known as sujuk! But I like to recommend beginning, in fact, with some scrumptious rakija!
Their freshly-baked bread is crispy and pairs properly with their meaty sausage known as cevapcici, cheese, liver, and tacky peppers. Liver is all the time a favourite of mine, so I additionally suggest that and their unbelievable lamb-and-beef sausage.
But the star of the menu is the lamb ribs. They’re smoky and fatty, and have been cooked to tender perfection. I’ve all the time beloved lamb, however these ribs have been on an entire different degree. Of all of the issues to do in Prizren, Kosovo, consuming them was certainly one of my favorites!
Sheshi Shadervanit nr.54
Prizren, Kosovo 20000
+381 29 233668
Check out the Top 5 Things to See and Do in Kukës, Albania
Climb to Prizren Fortress
Undoubtedly, Prizren’s most dominant characteristic and most well-known attraction is Prizren Fortress. Built by the Byzantine Empire in the 6th century, this imposing fort stands on a hill overlooking the jap aspect of Prizren. As a historical past lover, it’s certainly one of my prime issues to see and do in Prizren, Kosovo.
The website itself has been inhabited for the reason that Bronze Age. By late Antiquity, it served as a part of a system of fortifications in the world. These fortifications have been constructed or reconstructed by the Roman emperor Justinian alongside the White Drin River in what are actually Kosovo and Northern Albania.
While the present-day fortress was first constructed by the Byzantines and later expanded by Stefan Dušan in the 14th century, a lot of the present-day website is the work of the Ottomans. The website accommodates fortified gun emplacements, ramparts enforced with towers, depots, labyrinthine corridors, and quite a few inside rooms.
Even although the fortress has been restored, it nonetheless feels very genuine. I extremely suggest climbing up to the fortress, I additionally counsel being in first rate form earlier than you try it. The unparalleled, 360-degree view you’ll get pleasure from of Prizren from the highest is greater than value it. Best of all, the fortress is free to enter, so discover to your coronary heart’s content material!
Visit the Old Town’s Houses of Worship
As you make your means down from Prizren Fortress, you’ll cross by a number of beautiful homes of worship for various faiths. I like to recommend visiting as a lot of them as you may!
Church of the Holy Saviour
One of town’s most distinguished buildings is the 14th-century Church of the Holy Saviour. This attractive Serbian Orthodox church was constructed across the yr 1330. As a Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance, it has been protected by the Republic of Serbia since 1990. Despite being closely broken through the unrest in 2004, the church nonetheless stands at present.
Emin Pasha Mosque
As is typical in components of the Balkans, Prizren is a metropolis pockmarked by minarets. Each one belongs to one of many metropolis’s mosques. One of them is Emin Pasha Mosque, also called Emin Pasa Camii. This historic landmark is understood for its turquoise carpeting and ornate décor inside. There, you may communicate with the imam, who will fortunately clarify the mosque’s historical past to guests!
Located in the Saraçët neighborhood of town, simply throughout the Stone Bridge, is Halvati Teqe. This tariqa, or college of Sufism, dates again over 350 years to the late 16th century. There, they educate non secular practices with the purpose of achieving “ultimate truch,” or haqiqa.
The advanced is made up of the tekke, a shrine, a rites room, a ready room, and a residential constructing. I beloved the structure and the unique stone, in addition to the out of doors courtyard and fountain! It’s positively certainly one of my prime issues to see and do in Prizren, Kosovo!
Check out What to See and Eat in Budva, Montenegro
See the Mahmet Pasha Hamam
Nearly each time I journey to the Balkans or Asia Minor, I like to go to a hamam, or a public tub. Located in the Gazi Mehmet Pasha Mosque advanced is the Mahmet Pasha Hamam. The advanced is among the oldest Islamic websites in Kosovo and dates again to 1573. It additionally contains the mosque, a library, a madrasa, a maktab, housing, and many different buildings.
The advanced’s hamam is among the three largest Turkish baths in the Balkans, after the Husret Bey hamam in Sarajevo and the Daut Pasha hamam in Skopje. Inside, the baths are used largely for occasions like picture exhibitions and chamber music live shows!
Stay at Hotel Centrum Prizren
When you go to Prizren, you’ll want a cushty place to sleep at night time. I counsel Hotel Centrum Prizren, a luxurious resort proper in town middle. The resort is a good looking mixture of conventional and fashionable types. Its central location makes it preferrred for anybody who needs have the ability to discover town’s most important websites with out having to journey far.
Hotel Centrum Prizren boasts 51 luxurious rooms, two convention halls, free parking, and an on-site restaurant. In addition to the 51 rooms, in addition they provide three suites that supply free WiFi, a minibar, satellite tv for pc and cable TV, and direct phone strains. Their company may also have the ability to reap the benefits of room service and laundry service.
My room, 312, had a clear lavatory, closet area, a desk, two twin beds, and a TV. But my favourite characteristic was the balcony, which gave me an unbelievable view of town. From there, I might see seven completely different minarets scattered across the Old Town! Staying there may be among the many issues you’ve to do in Prizren, Kosovo, for certain!
Hotel Centrum Prizren
Bujtinat 1, Prizren
+383 29 230 530
BONUS: Have a Drink at Te Kinezi
If you’re wanting to strive some native alcohol in Prizren that isn’t rakija, you’re in luck! During my night in Prizren, my good friend Erjan from Travel Media EU took me to Te Kinezi. This native bar is a incredible native hang-out whose identify interprets to “The Chinese.”
There, I realized that the contemporary, mountain water in Kosovo contributes to the prime quality of the native beers. I loved a citrus-infused amber ale that was nearly like a bitter, whereas Erjan had a crisp pilsner. If you’re a beer lover, it’s the proper place for you to seize a drink!
With so many choices, together with distinctive outlets, historic sights, and cultural websites, Prizren is a humiliation of riches. Add in a incredible meals scene and the sheer great thing about its websites, and you’ve a metropolis that’s good for vacationers to discover. It’s one of many prettiest cities I’ve visited in the Balkans, and certainly one of my favorites in Kosovo. Book a visit to Kosovo at present to expertise Prizren for your self!
NOTE: If you want to test the visa necessities of a selected nation, click on right here. To apply for a visa, discover up-to-date visa info for various nations, and calculate the price of a selected visa, click on right here!