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Leaving Skopje (Macedonia) To Pristina (Kosovo)

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Two days in North Macedonia covering both the small capital city Skopje and historic town Ohrid should be adequate, in the case where you are pressed for time. Or else, you can plan to stay longer but not for me, cause I'm going to make another move again.  

From North Macedonia which is the third country for this trip of mine, I hopped on to the following country, Kosovo. Kosovo consider to be the youngest and newest country in Europe after it successfully gained its independence from Serbia in 2008. The country was only 11 years old when I visited there last year. Meanwhile the capital city of the nation, Pristina is where I'll be heading to from Skopje. 

Distance from the city center of Skopje to the bus station is approximately 20-25 minutes of walk. Like I shared in my previous post, taking the public bus is not an ideal option if you are in Skopje for a short period of time. As for the bus ticket to Pristina, I purchased a day earlier in order to secure a seat. The bus departs daily at these following hours; 6am, 7am, 8am, 9am, 10.10am, 2pm and 3.45pm. The fare is 350 denar (approx. to RM27 / €5.70) and the bus journey is about 2 hours.

2019 North Macedonia Skopje Bus Station
#1: Skopje Bus Station - serves both domestic and international transfer.

2019 North Macedonia Skopje to Pristina Bus
#2: You can see that the seats to Pristina is pretty limited, hence it's wise to buy the bus ticket earlier.

Again, as the journey crossed from one country to another, hence there will be border checkpoint. Remember to always standby your passport and place somewhere it's easy for you to reach.

2019 Kosovo Pristina Bus Station
#3: Pristina Bus Station

It's about 15 minutes of walk from Pristina Bus Station to the city center. But this round, I chosen to take the local bus instead of walking. I have to admit I was quite exhausted and need some rest. Kosovo is using Euro (€) as their local transactions, hence I don't have to bother about exchange currency. And a-single ride on the bus only costs €0.40 (approx. to RM1.90) - consider pretty affordable to travel around within the city. Hop-on to the bus #7C and it will takes you to the city center, as well as the hostel I'm staying in Pristina.  

2019 Kosovo Pristina Statue of Bill Clinton
#4: Bill Clinton Statue - came across this when I was lost in Pristina on the first day.

Pristina is a city changing fast and one that feels full of the optimism and potential that you'd expect from this Europe's newest capital city. It has an international vibe and a "new-born" feel that will make visitors leave blown away by the sights and sounds of the city.

Navigating around the city is easy as the city center is relatively small and walkable.

Newborn Monument
This is one thing you shouldn't miss out when visiting Pristina. It might not be as stunning and impressive as it seen, but this is the significant monument to the nation to commemorate as independent and new country.

#5: Newborn Monument

2019 Kosovo Pristina Palace of Youth and Sports
#6: Palace of Youth and Sports, a fascinating building behind the Newborn Monument. One of the reasons why this building attracts me is because the structure resembles Sabah State Museum (click here).

National Library of Kosovo
Built by Croatian architecture, he came out with the idea to combine both cube and dome to represent a blend of Byzantine and Ottoman architecture styles. However due to its outside appearance, it cause many other controversies and the worst part, it has been listed as one of "The World's Ugliest Buildings". Do you think this building is really that ugly? I don't think so and I found the structures are pretty impressive, where I felt it looks like enormous concrete Lego bricks and covered with chain mail.  

2019 Kosovo Pristina National Library 1-1
#7: National Library of Kosovo

2019 Kosovo Pristina National Library 2
#8: Another shot of myself using tripod

2019 Kosovo Pristina Church of Christ the Saviour
#9: Church of Christ the Saviour - located next to the library

Skanderbeg Square
This public square is quite near to my hostel, therefore I kept passing this place. The square not just dotted with hipster cafes, restaurants and shops but there is also a historic monument and war memorial dedicated to the victims of Kosovo war.

2019 Kosovo Pristina Skanderbeg Square
#10: Skanderbeg Square

2019 Kosovo Pristina National Theatre
#11: National Theatre of Kosovo

There are few things that I missed out when in Pristina - Ethnographic Museum and Kosovo Museum cause I wasn't into history. Frankly speaking, I'm more into architectures and structures of buildings. So if you a history buff, you should include two of the above in your itinerary.

One thing that I didn't expect in Pristina is the food - there are wide variety of restaurants with something for everyone's tastebuds. And surprisingly, I found not one, but two restaurants served Thai cuisines.

2019 Kosovo Pristina Lunch & Dinner - Thai Cuisines
#12: Thai food for lunch, Thai food for dinner - I was craving for something spicy and savoury.
Left: Thai curry noodle cost me €4 (approx. to RM18.60)
Right: Three course meals cost me €12.40 (approx. to RM57.70)

2019 Kosovo Pristina Oda Hostel
Oda Hostel
Date Stayed: 17 April - 19 April 2019 (2 nights)
Room Rate: €15.34 for a bed in 6-bed dormitory room for 2 nights. They even provide free breakfast to all the guests. (Booked from Booking.com)

Apart from the one I stayed in Brasov, I can say that this is one of the hostel I enjoyed throughout my trip. Both of the hostel staffs were exceptionally friendly and they even gave me great advise of what to do and which restaurant I shouldn't miss out. I went to that said restaurant on my second night in Pristina (will share in my next post). And on my last day, they even purposely went out to buy breakfast for me when it hasn't reach breakfast time yet. Both of the room and bathroom were spotlessly clean and there is more than a bathroom. Don't have to worry during emergency period. 

Albanian might be the main language of Kosovo, but don't worry as English is widely spoken here. I don't have any issues when communicate with the local and they are quite friendly and helpful as well.

However, there's one thing you should take note if you are interested to visit the Balkans Peninsula - do not enter Serbia from Kosovo. This is because Serbia doesn't recognise Kosovo as a country. It's very complicated and if you want to know more, you can check out here. For me, I didn't include Serbia for this trip cause visa is required for Malaysian passport holder. The hardest part, the application of Serbian visa could only be made at the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in Jakarta, Indonesia. That's why I skip Serbia.


1 comment:

  1. I agree with you that the Palace of Youth and Sports has the similar structure that resembles Sabah State Museum.

    I find the National Library has strange design. If they built it plain and let plant creepers to grow over to cover up, they might win award for the most Eco-Green Library building. LOL

    The church gave me the instant impression of the famous atomic bombed building in Hisroshima. So similar.


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