prishtina – a city being reborn

The area that is modern-day Priština (Prishtina) has a long history reaching as far back as 10 millenia. During this time, the city has been under the rule of a number of outside forces including the Roman empire, the Ottoman empire, Austria, Bulgaria, Italy and Germany. Recent history has included a period of suffering and upheaval during the Kosovo War which flared up during the larger Balkan conflicts in the late 90’s. International peace forces stepped in to help end the violence and several governments and NGOs have stayed to help with funding and planning to revive Pristina and the country of Kosovo. In a city of a couple hundred thousand, the international aid groups have brought a distinct international feel to the city and its local hangouts.

Unfortunately, at the beginning of the Yugoslav unification, most of the old parts of the city were destroyed as national and city leaders were seeking to build everything new. Today, there are few historical points of interest from the ancient past. However, there are some key spots that point to the possibility of new beginnings for the city and its’ people. The most visible of these is the NEWBORN sign that is in the heart of the town. A walking street has recently been redone. It is a good place to stroll with friends. When you are ready for a rest, there are a number of cafes and restaurants that are worth checking out. There is a burgeoning underground scene that is advancing meaningful conversation and the arts.

When we go into a city, one of the questions we ask locals is what is great about their city. Without exception, the answer we repeatedly heard in Prishtina was the people. After spending a couple days there, we agree. The people are very open and friendly. The city has a ways to go before it has allure for most tourists, but it is a great place for budget travelers looking to connect with others and experience a new place. Also, the city is a good base point for the adventure traveler seeking to experience the surrounding mountains that are definitely worth checking out.


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