Kosovo, Europe - Stein Travel
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Kosovo

The once war-torn nation of Kosovo is landlocked and bordered by Central Serbia, Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro. It is also surrounded by serene and beautiful mountains and boasts Ottoman mosques, monasteries, rolling green vineyards and KLA war memorials. All these ingredients add up to a recipe for a truly unexpected yet wonderfully exciting and diverse holiday destination.

The capital city of Prishtina has a growing number of shops, bars and restaurants where tourists can indulge in a bit of local fare, heavily influenced by Turkish and Albanian flavours. Visitors will also find themselves becoming coffee connoisseurs as coffee shops abound in this flourishing city.

Kosovo is a former province of neighbouring Serbia, but after a long and violent dispute, which led to the disintegration of Yugoslavia, Kosovo declared its independence in February 2008 and is widely accorded recognition by international states.

Because of the support Kosovo received from the United States of America, The Kosovar Albanians welcome anything and everything American. Bill Clinton's autobiography is one of the highest-selling books in the country, George W. Bush was treated like a celebrity on his visit in 2007 and Kosovo even boasts a Bill Clinton Boulevard in the capital city of Prishtina.

With the Serb minorities located in the north of the country, Kosovo is a largely Albanian speaking and Muslim nation, although a surprisingly large amount of English is spoken.

Travellers should be aware of the threat of landmines as many were used during the Yugoslav civil war and tourists should stay on well-trodden paths and not venture off into the bushes. Rabies is also a common problem and many stray dogs are carriers of this disease. Anyone planning on travelling to Kosovo should make sure they receive a rabies vaccination.

Away from the political and historical situation of the country, which has little effect on foreigners visiting the land, the ?ar Mountains National Park is a key attraction and a must for anyone who loves the outdoors where animals such as the lynx, bear, wolf and chamois can be spotted. The ski resort of Brezovia in the ?ar Mountains boasts fast slopes and favourable year-round climate making it an ideal ski holiday destination.

This is just a taste of what the country has to offer, but one thing's for sure, wherever you're from, you'll never forget the warm and welcoming smiles and hospitality of the Kosovar people.

Information & Facts

Customs

Perhaps understandably, Kosovars tend to be suspicious of foreigners, and reserved in their dealings with them. A very direct communication style is favoured. Visitors to Kosovo might be surprised at how ingrained smoking is in the culture - being offered a cigarette by a new acquaintance is entirely commonplace, and should be seen as a sign of acceptance. Note that, as in many western countries, in Kosovo "Yes" is indicated by nodding one's head; however, if the chin suddenly becomes raised (sometimes accompanied by a clicking sound), this indicates an emphatic "No". Clean shoes are treated as a matter of self-respect in Kosovo.

Duty Free

At present Kosovo still adheres to Serbian customs regulations, which state that visitors may import the following goods duty-free: 200 cigarettes/50 cigars/250g of tobacco, one litre of wine and one litre of spirits, 250ml of eau de toilette and a reasonable amount of perfume, one video and two still cameras, one pair of binoculars, camping equipment, one bicycle and one musical instrument. Weapons and ammunition are prohibited.

Passport Visa

There are no visa requirements for any national to enter Kosovo. However, foreign passengers may be required to provide documentary evidence to local authorities when entering Kosovo, giving a reason for their entry and stay. A 90-day entry stamp will be issued, which is renewable for longer stays. NOTE: It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

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