The Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour (Katedrallja e Zonjes Ndimetare) is Prizren's main Catholic church. The history of the Italian inspired church dates back to 1870 when it was commissioned by the Archbishop of Skopje.Inside the church, just above the main door a fresco of the Albanian hero Skenderbeg can be seen.When we visited the...more
The Gazi Mehmet Pasha Mosque, which is also known as Bajrakli Mosque (Bajrakli Xhamia) was built in 1561 and is therefore one of the oldest Islamic buildings in Prizren.The mosque is surrounded by a large garden area. Among other buildings also a hexagonal mausoleum for the founder of the mosque can be found here.When we visited the place a local...more
The Ottoman style Sinan Pasha Mosque (Xhamia e Sinan Pashes) was completed in 1615. It is said that the stones for the mosque were taken from the nearby Holy Archangels' Monastery, which was out of use at the beginning of the 17th century.With a ground area of 14 m by 14 m it is one of the largest mosques in Prizren. The minaret has a height of...more
The Gazi Mehmet Pasha Hamam (Hamsmi i Gazi-Mehmet Pashes) is a typical early-Ottoman Turkish bathhouse. It was probably constructed in the second half of the 16th century.The building was designed with separate sections for men and women, who also had their own entrances. Nowadays the Hamam is used as a museum for temporary art exhibitions as well...more
The history of the Arasta Minaret dates back to the end of the 16th century when a large mosque complex, named Arasta was built. In the 1960's most of the mosque except the minaret was destroyed by socialist town planners.The minaret was renovated in 2007 and it is now even planned to remove some of the small kiosks in the vicinity of the place to...more
The Maksut Pasha Mosque ((Xhamia Maksut Pasha) is one of the smaller mosques in Prizren. It was built in oriental style in 1833, whereas the histroy of other structures in the vicinity date even back to the middle of the 17th century. A mausoleum of the Saadi Order and some old gravestones can be found in the neighbourhood of the mosque.more
The Emin Pasha Mosque (Xhamia e Emin Pashes) was named after Eduard Schnitzer aka Emin Pasha, who was a German explorer of Africa. His white marble grave can be found in the mosque's cemetery, where also other old gravestones can be seen.The mosque was built in arabian-style by the well-known Rrotulli brothers in 1831.more
The small Serbian Orthodox Church of Saint Nicolas (Kisha e Shen Nikolles) is also known as Tutic's Church. Its history dates back to the 14th century when it was built in late Byzantine style as a feudal family church.During the incidents in March 2004 the church was massively destroyed, but reconstructed later again. When we visited Prizren in...more
Bea's is a local fast food chain with two restaurants in Prizren. It seems to be frequented mainly by the younger crowd.We once chose their riverside restaurant for a quick lunch break and some people watching. They have some tables right at the river bank from where both the Sinan Pasha Mosque and the bridges can be seen.The menu offers a...more
Restaurant Alhambra used to be called Te Syla; both names still seem to be well known among the local people. It is one of the traditional Balkan riverside restaurants, which is specialised in local grilled meat dishes.They have s few outside tables right by the river bank as well as next to the restaurant on the other side of the street..As main...more
On our first evening in Prizren we had dinner on the outdoor terrace of the Restaurant Besimi Beska. It is a family run Kosovar restaurant, which we liked a lot so that we even came back for a second visit on our last evening.The menu offers the full range of local grilled meat dishes from Qebap and Qyfte to Pleskavice. Several salads are available...more
Prizren has many many cafes and bars. Actually, there's not much difference between the two, as both seem to stay open late and serve both alcohol and hot drinks. I tried out several, in the name of research, and arrived at my favourite...Cafe Haus, in the alleyway leading up the side of the large Serbian church with the yellow belltower, just off the square. Why was this such a great cafe? Well, the waiters were friendly, the coffee was good, the music cool, the ambience trendy without being pretentious or ridiculous or pricey. And it offers the chance to sit outside, right next to the barbed wire barricade surrounding the church...a very unusual view, beautiful and sad at the same time. In the evenings, this is prime people-watching soil...
The square has several cafes, with people-watching terraces...look out for the little hole in the wall selling fresh donuts, open only in the evenings. Off the square is a strange modernish building with some incredibly busy bars inside, along with live bands playing. Up river, under the castle cliffs with a backdrop of gutted buildings, is a series of pubs, with very crowded outdoor terraces by the river. Over the river, a noisy club with what sounded like traditional Turkish music was the lively Up Club, in the direction of the bus station. All over Prizren, trendy cafes and bars pop up in the most unlikely places, often right next to a derelict or burnt-out house...it would take weeks to hunt them all down!
Prizren, somewhat surprisingly, is a very happening place at night.
We arrived in Prizren by bus from Pristina, where we got to by bus from Tetovo in Macedonia. The route between Pristina and Prizren is served about every 30 Minutes and a single ticket cost 4 Euro. The trip takes around 2 hours.We also used a bus from Prizren's bus station for a side trip to Gjakova. This route is also served about every 30...more
Although Prizren has a population of around 130.000, it is still small enough to be explored exclusively on foot. All sights are located within walking distance from the city's main square Shadervan.Also a walk uphill to the fortress (Kalaja), which is probably the farthest sight, won't take much more than 30 minutes.Prizren's historic old town has...more
Buses leave from Prishtina every half hour or so...just turn up, climb aboard and buy your ticket on the bus. It takes around 2 hours. If you're visiting Prizren as a day trip, the last bus back to Prishtina leaves around 6pm...check the timetable when you arrive. From Prizren, I saw buses heading to Gjakova, Decan, Isniq and Peja.International...more
When we wandered around the streets of Prizren we recognised many cross country vehicles of all sorts of international organisations, such as the OSCE or the Red Cross. These are all stationed in the area to support the country and the local people to manage their daily life peacefully.Of course we also saw several vehicles and persons of the KFOR...more
Kosovo's most popular local beer is Birra Peja, which is brewed in Peja, a city in north-western Kosovo. The brewery was established in 1968 and brews beer since 1971.The brewery produces a Pilsner style beer and since 2010 also imports beer of the Slovenian Union brewery.Website: http://www.birrapeja.com/more
I found it quite an interesting fact to know that Kosovo is still not a fully recognised indpendent state and neither a member of the European Union nor a member of the so called Eurozone, but that they have adopted the Euro as official currency.In some northern regions of Kosovo the Serbian Dinar is the predominant currency.Of course Kosovo does...more
Prizren, along with Peja, is considered one of the most politically-charged cities in Kosovo. During 2004 ethnic riots, many Serbian houses in the city were burnt to the ground (remains of these houses can be seen on the hillside near the old town). Given it's reputation for being at the center of rebellion, I would suggest stearing clear of...more
Kosovo is divided into military zones, each managed by a different country. When I was there Prizren was in the German sector and, as you would expect, curfew was strictly enforced. On the streets after 11pm? You will spend the night in the slammer. No ifs or buts. The German squaddies (think Robocop meets Baron Von Trapp) are not interested in...more
There did not appear to be much crime in the town, at least the place did not feel threatening. In case of bother, there are German (and Turkish) soldiers everywhere as well as the UN police (called coca-colas due to their red and white Land Cruisers) and the recently formed Kosovo Police.The one thing that does (or should) get drummed into you is...more
For the moment, most tourists visiting Prizren are local...either Kosovans or "internationals" based in Kosovo, or off duty KFOR troops. So tourist traps don't really exist yet. If things remain calm and stable, and Kosovo loses its bad image, I'm sure this will change, and the man who waits to take tourists on his horse and carriage will be charging a fortune...but for now, he'll probably just be glad of some business...
I must admit that I am a huge fan of the "In Your Pocket" guides.
They are usually an excellent resource for information about travels to Eastern and Central European cities.
So I was more than happy to download the Prizren guide from the In Your Pocket website, especially as it was a bit difficult to find good travel guides about Kosovo.
There are two different printed versions available: A free of charge version which seems to be available through guesthouses and hotels; and a pay version for 2 Euro, which can be bought from kiosks in the town.
The guide not only provides helpful basics, but also many off the beaten path tips and background information. Besides info about Prizren, the guide also offers helpful tips about Gjakova and other day trip destinations.
From Prizren we took a half-day trip to Gjakova by bus. The route is served almost half hourly and a bus ticket costs only 2,50 Euro. Unfortunately we missed the last bus back to Prizren and therefore had to take a taxi for 15 Euro, which was still a reasonable price. The bus trip took about 1 hour.Gjakova has one of the largest Catholic...more
If you've got time at your disposal, and fancy escaping the city for a while, make your way past the Maskut Pasha Mosque and head towards the big blue and white striped sports tent. Behind this, a path follows the river for some kilometres upstream through the Zhupa Valley, taking you to a monastery (ruined) and a castle (also ruined). On weekends,...more
Opposite the bus station, a fair distance from all the other sights, is a curious "mini-mosque", the Namazgah. A namazgah is an outdoor mosque, basically an area for prayer out in the open, according to a notice in Turkish and Albanian. I'm not sure if it serves its original purpose nowadays (doubtful), but it is a park, and makes a pleasant...more
Prizren is a city of mosques. I can't remember having seen a town with as many mosques as Prizren.The Sinan Pasha Mosque in the historic old town is probably Prizren's most famous mosque. This and some more are listed in the "Things to do" section of my Prizren page.Other mosques, which we came across when wandering through the streets of Prizren...more
At the time of writing this page (September 2011) more than 80 countries have recognised Kosovo as an independent state, but many other countries are still undecided about this subject. Serbia regards Kosovo as a part of their territory. Also the VT database lists Prizren under Serbia and not Kosovo.On the wall of Prizren's City Hall, all countries...more