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Tourism in Kosovo

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Tourism in Kosovo

Tourism in Kosovo[a] is in its infancy. Overshadowed by the instability following the war, and the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence.

The New York Times included Kosovo on the list of 41 Places to go in 2011.[1][2] In the same year, Kosovo saw a jump of about 40 places on the Skyscanner flight search engine which rates global tourism growth.[3][4] Contrary to general perception, the security and crime situation has much improved and is stable thanks to the close assistance of the European Union Rule of Law and Order Mission EULEX, and NATO-led KFOR to the newly formed Kosovo Police.

Kosovo is known for its cuisine, architecture, religious heritage, unique traditions, and its natural landscapes.

Contents

  • Statistics 1
  • Issues affecting tourism 2
    • Logistics 2.1
  • Attractions 3
    • Cities 3.1
    • Natural features 3.2
    • Architecture 3.3
  • See also 4
  • Notes and references 5
  • External links 6

Statistics

The Statistical Agency of the Republic of Kosovo published hotel statistics on a quarterly basis beginning in 2008. The reported number of hotel nights spent by non-residents was between 10,000 and 13,000 per quarter in 2008; between 14,000 and 24,000 in 2009; between 16,000 and 22,000 in 2010 and 11,000 and 22,000 in 2011.

The following table illustrates the number of non resident visitors according to country of origin recorded in 2011.

The data was issued by the Statistical Office of the Republic of Kosovo. [1]
Country January February March April May June July August September October November December Total
Austria 31 22 47 51 50 57 19 33 35 72 42 41 500
Belgium 0 5 1 7 0 0 6 12 6 2 0 4 43
United States 148 177 231 97 170 145 98 58 49 176 164 115 1628
United Kingdom 52 73 109 144 214 149 74 45 54 121 144 72 1251
France 22 19 49 33 26 26 18 24 17 26 16 16 301
Germany 287 256 336 222 334 255 175 142 218 231 154 140 2750
Greece 2 5 0 3 7 7 5 3 2 1 0 2 37
Netherlands 9 8 14 52 43 32 17 25 7 17 45 9 278
Italy 56 56 62 157 159 257 390 376 156 167 51 51 1938
Croatia 96 116 129 89 80 96 28 41 57 59 48 32 871

Issues affecting tourism

Tourism is safe and considering mountains surrounding the country, you can hike, climb or ski during the winter. There are lakes and rivers and farms with beautiful landscapes. Also the old architecture from Illyrian ancestors makes it even more tempting to visit. An interesting and unique experience is visiting old stoned fortresses where people used to live, which now are under tourists' services.

Logistics

  • If visiting the region from Serbia, no exit stamp is issued when entering Kosovo.
  • Residents of Serbia including frequent visitors to the country can get matching entry and exit stamps; this would mean backtracking and leaving through Serbia via a regular border crossing point, but the traveller should avoid mentioning Kosovo.
  • The traveller can request the Kosovar authorities to not stamp the passport at the border.
  • Citizens of former Yugoslav republics may use a national ID card at border crossings with no stamping involved.
A map of Kosovo in the Balkans

Attractions

Cities

Some of the most visited cities include:

  • Pristina — the capital of Kosovo. Pristina accommodates the grave of Kosovo's president Ibrahim Rugova. The Gërmia and the Italian park are the most visited parks in the city. Other attractions in the capital include: the Kosovo museum, the clock tower and the Jashar Pasha Mosque.
Pristina, the capital city of Kosovo
  • Gjakova — a well known city for its nightlife and historical monuments. Monuments include: mosques,churches,bridges, museums, landscape and hospitality.
The clock Tower of Gjakova.
  • Peja— a city along the Bistritza river. It is located near the Prokletije or Albanian Alps, which are also known as Bjeshkët e Namuna. The center of the city is marked by different craftsmen shops, such as tailors, goldsmiths, leather tanners etc. Old mosques like the Bajrakli mosque and the Orthodox church, are part of the historical monuments of the city.[5]
  • Prizren — a town with a well-preserved Ottoman quarter, and a Roman-built castle. Prizren is located on the Lumi i Prizrenit river and is near the Sharr Mountains. One of the monuments to see in Prizren are the Kalaja Fortress as well as the St. Maria Levishka Church.[5]
  • Novo Brdo- a municipality in central Kosovo. Novo Brdo offers its visitors various hiking and mountain-biking possibilities. Some aercheological localities of the medieval town include: the medieval castle, religious buildings, cemeteries etc.[6]
Old castle in Novo Brdo
  • Ulpiana- an ancient city of Illyrian Dardania from the 2nd century in the Balkan peninsula. It is known to have been re-constructed by emperor Justinian I.

Natural features

  • White Drin Waterfall - located in the north of Peć. The White Drin is the largest spring in Kosovo.
Bridge in Prizren over the Lumbardhi river
.
  • Rugova Canyon - located in the North West of Peja, with extremely steep walls reaching possibly up to 300 meters.
  • Brezovica Ski Resort - a ski resort with an old infrastructure but great slopes, located in Shar Mountains National Park in Southern Kosovo.
  • Shar Mountains National Park- proclaimed in 1993 within the temporary boundaries of 39,000 hectare in South Western Kosovo. The Shar Mountains are a mountain range that border the Republic of Macedonia. The Shar Mountains are the home of many animal species, such as: bears, wolves, deers, and foxes.[7]
  • Prokletije National Park- a proposed national park since 2001 in the area of the Prokletije Mountain Range in Western Kosovo and part of the larger Dinaric Alps.
  • Gadimë Cave- an underground marmoreal cave in the village of lower Gadime [2] near Lipljan that was discovered in 1969 by Ahmet Diti. It is famous for its Stalagmites and Stalactites.[8]
Marble cave in Gadime.

Architecture

  • Patriarchate of Peja- this complex of four churches was built between 1230 and 1330 by Serbian Nemanjici dynasty.[9] The church was the seat of the Patriarchy of the Serbian Orthodox Church starting in 1302. For many Serbs it is considered to be of extreme national importance.
  • Gjakova Old Bazaar- dating back to the 17th century. It has been reconstructed recently after the 1999 war.
  • Decani Monastery- UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important monasteries of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo. It was built from 1307- 1328.
  • Gračanica monastery- was completed in 1321 by the Serbian King Milutin.[8] The monastery is one of the most beautiful examples of Serbian medieval (14th century) ecclesiastical architecture. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[8]
Gracanica monastery in the municipality of Gracanica, Kosovo
  • Ulpiana- an ancient city of Illyrian Dardania from the 2nd century in the Balkan peninsula. It is known to have been re-constructed by emperor Justinian I.

See also

Notes and references

Notes:

a. ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Kosovo's independence has been recognised by 108 out of 193 United Nations member states.

References:

  1. ^ "The 41 Places to Go in 2011". The New York Times. 7 January 2011. 
  2. ^ http://www.diplomatmagazine.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=510&Itemid&ed=22
  3. ^ Kosovo improves on tourism. June 15, 2011
  4. ^ http://www.visitkosova.org/ VisitKosova.org Portal
  5. ^ a b http://beinkosovo.com/en/what-to-see-in-major-cities-in-kosovo#-peja
  6. ^ "Rural Tourism in Novo Brdo". tourism-novobrdo.com. Retrieved 2013-02-23. 
  7. ^ "Southeast Europe- People and Culture". http://www.southeast-europe.eu. Retrieved 2013-02-23. 
  8. ^ a b c McAdam;D'Arcy; Deliso; Dragičević; Elliott; Marić; Mutić, Marika; Jayne; Chris; Peter; Mark; Vesna; Anja (2006). Western Balkans. Lonely Planet. pp. 269–280.  
  9. ^ Crucified Kosovo. The Voice of Kosovo and Metohia. p. 9. 

External links

News articles

  • "The 41 Places to Go in 2011". The New York Times. 7 January 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  • De Blocq van Kuffeler, Venetia (1 September 2011). "Picturesque Kosovo". Diplomat Magazine. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 

Commercial sites

  • View Kosova (frosgroup.com)
  • Kosovo Guide (Kosovapress News Agency)
  • Gateway Kosovo West - Dukagjini and Rugova Valley
  • Brezovica Ski Resort
  • AirKosova
  • Kosovo Caves
  • Be in Kosovo Portal
  • Kosovo at In Your Pocket City Guide

Travel publications

  • Warrander, Gail & Knaus, Verena. 2010. Kosovo: Bradt Travel Guides
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