A New Side to... Kosovo


Pristina, Kosovo

“I’m going on holiday to Kosovo”

This is not a sentence your parents will want to hear… And that’s not fair.

Yes, Kosovo had a war-torn, ethnic-cleansing vibe in the 90s. But things have changed…

Head to the capital city of Pristina to find spanking new cafes, bars and oddball shops.

The first thing you’ll see is the massive NEWBORN monument - basically screaming the ‘city reborn’ message.

Other weird sculptures include Bill Clinton waving with massive hands (the U.S supported Kosovan independence) and a giant yellow lego brick.

But it’s the National Library that’ll have you rubbing your eyes.

It wins the ‘Ugliest Building in the World’ award year after year but there’s something kinda charming about its egg-shell domes and chainmail…

Apparently a blend of ‘Byzantine and Islamic architecture'. Let’s be fair - it’s a brute.

Used as a refugee shelter and Serbian army HQ during the war, this library’s seen some things.

Pristina’s mishmash of scenes (American pop culture V young Balkan liberals) makes for a stomping nightlife - the average age of a Kosovar is 28!

Start with Apartment 197. It serves liquor… with a slice of cake. The city’s most colourful bar in every respect - you’ll eat and drink hard here.

If you like a drop of culture with your night out then it’s off to Soma Book Station with you. Books and records, disco and alcohol... Soma is all of the best things in one exposed-brick-multi-purpose space.

Day time is for reading counter-culture literature with a whiskey sour by your side. But nights are for gigs and club nights feat. disco bangers.

But as progressive as Pristina’s getting, things are still very uncool with Serbia. Along with Russia and a bunch of other countries it doesn’t recognise Kosovo as an independent state and you’ll have trouble visiting Serbia with a Kosovan passport stamp.

Independent or not, there’s no denying Pristina is a wildly different place to the war zone shadow of the past.