Prizren is a historic city on the slopes of the Sharr Mountains in southern Kosovo. I’ve been there and here is a guide with travel tips based on my visit.
I found Prizren to be an interesting city, full of history and culture. It also has a fascinating mix of East and West with various mosques and churches as well as architecture from different eras.
While some tourists find their way here, I would still say that it’s a hidden gem of the Balkans.
Things to do in Prizren
There are plenty of things to do here as a tourist. Besides the activities below, I suggest that you take a seat at a local cafe near Shandervag square and just people watch while sipping on some freshly brewed coffee.
- Take in the impressive views from the top of the fortress
- Hiking in the Sharr Mountains National Park
- Go for a stroll around the old town
- Attend the Film Festival Dokufest
- Visit the Albanian League of Prizren Museum
- Watch a basketball game
Landmarks in Prizren
These are some of the most notable landmarks and attractions in the city.
- Kalaja Fortress
- Church of St. Savior
- Sinan Pasha Mosque
- Church of Our Lady of Ljeviš (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
- The Halveti’s Tekke
- Holy Archangels Monastery
- The Hammam
- Bajrakli Mosque
How to get to Prizren
The closest international airport is the one situated in Pristina. However, there are also daily bus routes from Skopje (North Macedonia) and Tirana (Albania), so it is possible to get a flight to their airports as well, and then hop on a bus to Prizren.
I traveled from Tirana to Prizren, and then from Prizren to Skopje by bus. It was easy and affordable.
There are several daily buses, almost on an hourly basis between Pristina and Prizren. The journey takes less than 2 hours and costs 4 Euro.
There are daily buses from the Albanian capital to Prizren, which continue onwards to Pristina. The journey takes about 3 hours and the price is 10 Euro. I suggest booking this via a travel agent in Tirana as they then can explain which of the bus stations it departs from.
With a journey time of less than 3 hours, it’s easy to get by bus from Skopje to Prizren. Usually, there are 2 bus routes going between these destinations, and the bus from Skopje departs in late morning and afternoon.
More information about Prizren
Prizren is the second largest city in the country, and it is known as the cultural capital of Kosovo. Visitors can enjoy its rich history, traditional handicraft as well as one of the best gastronomy scenes of Kosovo.
The nearby nature with impressive mountains and hiking trails make it a great base for outdoor lovers. During summertime, there is a renowned film festival, known as Dokufest.
When walking around the town, you can see architecture from the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. When visiting Shadervan square you can feel the Ottoman vibes, and also find a great number of bars and restaurants. The area around Shadervan is very lively, and it is also here you can see the Sinan Pasha Mosque.
The majority of the people are ethnic Albanian, but there is also a large Turkish community.
- Total population: 85,119 people (177,781 in the municipality)
- Country: Kosovo
- Mayor: Mytaher Haskuka
- City area: 22.39 km2 (8.64 sq mi)
Is it safe to visit Prizren in Kosovo?
Yes, Prizren is safe to visit. The war is long since over, and the crime level is low. As a tourist, you’re unlikely to experience something unsafe and locals are generally very welcoming towards foreigners.
The history of Prizren (Prizreni in Albanian) goes back to the Roman empire at least and has since then been ruled by various civilizations. The city has been under Bulgarian, Byzantine and later Serbian rule before the Ottomans came in the 15th century.
It was also here the political organization known as League of Prizren was founded. An organization that defends the rights of Albanians and their liberation and unification.
A view over the city on our way up to the Kalaja Fortress.
Best time to Visit
For the most pleasant trip to Prizren, I suggest visiting in late spring, summer or early autumn. The months of June and September are especially good, and then you can also do some hiking in the nearby mountains.
Even if you come during summer it won’t be too crowded, but it’s still a good idea to book your accommodation beforehand.
There are many good restaurants in the city, and the price level is low compared to other European cities. Having a coffee is a must, and you will see the locals sipping on them in various cafes around town.
Below is a list of some of the best restaurants that I can recommend you to visit.
- Te Syla
- Restaurant Marashi
- Ristorante Natura
- Kafe Libraria Sindikata (For coffee and beer)
- Qebaptore Afrimi (Best kebab in Prizren)
Recommended Hotels in Prizren
These two hotels offer guests a good standard and reasonable price. The location is great too and you will be within walking distance to most of the sites of interest.
Other destinations near Prizren
No matter if you visit during summer or winter, there are interesting destinations nearby as well. For summertime, check out the Sharr National Park and the mountains. For wintertime, check out Brezovica for skiing.
- Brezovica – A popular ski resort during winter. About 1 hour driving from the city center.
- Gjakova – 45 minutes away by bus or car. Famous for having a large Ottoman-era bazaar
- Sharr National Park – About 2 hours away by bus
Have you also visited Prizren in Kosovo? Feel free to share your experience as well!