Tourism in Kosovo
Kosovo is situated in south-eastern Europe. With its central position in the Balkans, it serves as a link in the connection between central and south Europe, the Adriatic Sea, and Black Sea. Tourism in Kosovo is characterized by archaeological heritage from Illyrian, Dardanian, Roman, Byzantine, Serbian and Ottoman times, traditional Albanian and Serbian cuisine, architecture, religious heritage, traditions, and natural landscapes.
The New York Times included Kosovo on the list of 41 Places to go in 2011. In the same year, Kosovo saw a jump of about 40 places on the Skyscanner flight search engine which rates global tourism growth.
Kosovo has a variety of natural features. It is surrounded by mountains: the Sharr Mountains are located in the south and southeast, bordering Macedonia, while the Kopaonik Mountains rise in the north. The southwest borders with Montenegro and Albania are also mountainous, and home to the country's highest peak, Gjeravica, 2,656 m (8,714 ft) high. The central region is mainly hilly, but two large plains spread over Kosovo's west and east, respectively, Metohija plain and Kosovo plain.
The bulk of international tourists going to Kosovo are from Albania, Germany, Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom, Croatia and Austria. Tourism is a growing sector with more tourists visiting the country every year.
Some of the most visited cities include:
- Pristina — the capital of Kosovo. Pristina accommodates the grave of Kosovo's first 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.
- Gjakova — a city with nightlife and historical monuments. Monuments include mosques, churches, bridges and museums.
- Peć— a city along the Peć Bistrica river. It is located near the Prokletije mountains. The center of the city is marked by different craft shops, such as tailors, goldsmiths and leather tanners. Old mosques like the Bajrakli mosque and the Orthodox church are part of the historical monuments of the city.
- Prizren — a town with a well-preserved Ottoman quarter, and a Roman-built castle. Prizren is located on the Prizreni River and is near the Šar Mountains. Prizren contains the Kaljaja Fortress as well as the Serbian Orthodox Our Lady of Ljeviš church.
- Novo Brdo- a municipality in central Kosovo. Novo Brdo offers its visitors various hiking and mountain-biking possibilities. Some archaeological localities of the medieval town include the medieval castle, religious buildings and cemeteries.
- 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.
Via Ferrata Ari is a metallic structure in vertical rock which enables people to climb it. Via Ferrata date as structure from world war one. The one in Peć was built by Marimangat e Pejes in 2013 and 2014 with the support of donors. It has more than 100 stairs and the whole trip is around 3 kilometers.
- White Drin Waterfall - located in the north of Peć. The White Drin is the largest spring in Kosovo.
- Rugova Canyon - located in the North West of Peć, with steep walls reaching up to 300 meters.
- Brezovica Ski Resort - a ski resort in Šar Mountains National Park in Southern Kosovo.
- 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.
- Gadime Cave- an underground marble cave in the village of lower Gadimlje  near Lipljan that was discovered in 1969 by Ahmet Diti. It has Stalagmites and Stalactites.
- Medieval Monuments in Kosovo, a combined UNESCO World Heritage Site including:
- Patriarchate of Peć, this complex of four churches was built between 1230 and 1330 by the medieval Serbian royal Nemanjić dynasty. The church was the seat of the Serbian Patriarchate since 1302. It is considered to be of great national importance to Serbs and Serbia.
- Visoki Dečani Monastery, 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. The monastery is an example of Serbian medieval (14th century) ecclesiastical architecture, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Our Lady of Ljeviš
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. According to the Kosovo Agency of Statistics (KAS), the total number of visitors in the third quarter of 2016 was 36,872 visitors, of which 29.23 per cent were local and 70.77 per cent were foreign. 
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. 
Issues affecting tourism
Serbia considers Kosovo to be an integral part of its territory and thus does not consider the designated crossing with Kosovo to be an international border. Serbia does not apply entry or exit stamps to the passports of those using these crossings. Serbia also does not recognize the designated entry points between Kosovo (including Pristina airport) and third countries because they are not under the control of Serbian authorities. Foreign nationals have been denied entry to Serbia by Serbian border officials if they have Republic of Kosovo entry stamps in their passports. If a visit to Serbia is planned after visiting Kosovo, the initial entry to Kosovo must be via Serbia.
Citizens of former Yugoslav republics may use a national ID card at border crossings with no stamping involved.
- Tourism in Pristina
- Geography of Kosovo
- Culture of Kosovo
- Hiking in Kosovo
- Medieval Monuments in Kosovo
- Cuisine of Kosovo
- Architecture of Kosovo
- Municipalities of Kosovo
Notes and references
|a.||^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has received formal recognition as an independent state from 111 out of 193 United Nations member states.|
- "The 41 Places to Go in 2011". The New York Times. 7 January 2011.
- Kosovo improves on tourism. June 15, 2011
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- Ismajli, Rexhep (2011). Kosova Vështrim Monografik (in Slovak). Prishtinë: Akademia e Shkencave dhe Arteve të Kosovës.
-  Kosovo Travel Guid
- "Rural Tourism in Novo Brdo". tourism-novobrdo.com. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
- "Southeast Europe- People and Culture". http://www.southeast-europe.eu. Retrieved 2013-02-23. External link in
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- "Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements - Kosovo". https://travel.state.gov. US Department of State. Retrieved 20 February 2017. External link in
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Kosovo.|
- Zach, Elizabeth (14 January 2016). "The most striking aspect of Europe’s newest nation: Its normalcy". Washington Post.
- Graham, Adam (20 August 2015). "In Kosovo, a Thirst for Progress, and Beer, Too". New York Times.
- Graham, Adam H (10 December 2014). "Best places to travel in 2015: Pristina, Kosovo". Travel + Leisure.
- Perry, Marc (10 September 2014). "Nine things to know about Kosovo/". Rough Guides.
- Rowley, Tom (2 October 2013). "Kosovo: what to see in Europe's newest country". Telegraph.
- "Prizren: The Best Value European Destination You’ve Never Heard Of". Five Dollar Traveler. 9 December 2014.
- De Blocq van Kuffeler, Venetia (1 September 2011). "Picturesque Kosovo". Diplomat Magazine. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "The 41 Places to Go in 2011". The New York Times. 7 January 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Experience Kosovol
- Be in Kosovo Portal
- Kosovo Guide (Kosovapress News Agency)
- Kosova Tourism
- Kosovo Info Tourism Portal
- View Kosova (frosgroup.com)
- Wine Tourism in Southern Kosovo Facebook Page