Prishtina is the largest city in Kosovo, and its capital. It has around 572 square kilometers, with its 48 surrounding villages. It holds 400 thousand inhabitants within the city, while with the villages it holds around 470 thousand. After the flux, of the last ten years, it is estimated to hold between 500,000 and 600,000 inhabitants. Most of them being ethnic Albanian, however there are other minorities such as Turks, Bosnians, Roma, Serbians etc.
Prishtina can be reached via different routes, since as a capital city it has good links with the world and other cities in Kosovo.
The International Airport of Prishtina is located 18 km South of Prishtina and 3 km South of village Sllatina; however it is not more than 80 km away from any other city in Kosovo. From the airport, probably the best way from the airport is taxi service, costing 10-15 euro.
The traffic may be, occasionally, jammed due to constant reconstruction of roads and bridges. For a lower cost ties with Prishtina, one may definitely try by bus. There is no transportation linking downtown Prishtina with the Bus Station, however the distance can be easily walked in about 2 minutes. One may also use taxi services, located outside at the Bus Station.
For more information on different destinations, please call these numbers: 038 550 011 and 038 540 142. One may also travel to Prishtina by rail from Skopje, twice a day. Then from Prishtina to other cities connected to railroad. The main train station is in Fushe Kosove, 7 km West of Prishtina. The train station in Prishtina is located 1 km away from downtown Prishtina.
Sports & natureSport:
Football: Before there were any clubs or competition, after the end of the First World War, in 1919 football was played by soldiers, officers and students who studied abroad in the Universities of France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, England, Romania, Hungary etc. and began to return home to Pristina. One of these students, studying in France, brought the first football in Pristina in 1919. The ball was a present from a French doctor. After the arrival of the first ball in Pristina, it was mostly youngsters who kicked it around, unorganized and with no institutional support. During that time, only friendly matches were played.
The city of Pristina was a small town of 16,000 citizens when in 1922, the first “blue” club named Kosova” was founded. The club consisted mainly of Pristina Garrison soldiers and did not participate in official competition due to not being registered.
The oldest club of Kosovo was not competing in official levels, but was playing friendly matches with other teams, domestic and from the region. In 1926, Bashkimi football club was also founded in Pristina and consisted mainly of craftsmen. With the advantage of strong material consolidation in comparison to KF Kosova, Bashkimi was registered in the Sub league of football in Banovina, Skopje. In 1945, Bashkimi won the championship title in Kosovo, a success which they also repeated a year after. After World War II, KF Bashkimi and KF Kosova continued to be active in the football field and they were joined by other clubs, such as Milicioneri, Bratsvo and Radniçki.
In 1947, KF Bashkimi and KF Kosova merged into one club by the name of Proleter. This change uplifted the team, and their biggest success was being placed in the quarterfinals of State Championship in Yugoslavia, where they lost 2:0 to Partizan.
Proleter changed its name to Jedinstvo in the 1948/1949. Jedinstvo which was strong in both economic and organizational aspect merged with Bratsvo from Pristina and Zheleznicari from Fushe Kosove.
The new team named Kosova became leader in state championship by winning in two consecutive seasons during 1951/52 and 1953/54. Since 1960 the club has won 19 championship titles, including the last season of 2012/2013. During this period, KF Prishtina has become the only Kosovar football club to win the Kosovar Superliga and Kosovar Cup trophies in one season (2012/13). Their fan club is called Plisat. Some of the most notable players of this club who found their success in international clubs later on include Debatik Curri, Fadil Vokrri, Armend Dallku, Ardian Kozniku, Kushtrim Shala, Goran Dorovic, Zoran Batrovic.
Basketball: Sigal Prishtina is the most successful basketball club in Pristina and in Kosovo and is now part of the Balkan League, their first non-local competition.
Joining it in the Superleague is another team from Pristina, RTV 21. Sigal Prishtina has dominated national basketball since 2002 by being crowned champions of the national Superleague 8 times (2001/02, 2002/03, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11), champions of Kosovo National Cup 10 times (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005,2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013) and one time champion of the Supercup of Kosovo in 2005.
Apart from indoor basketball success, CheBar streetball team from Pristina has been crowned champion of the Streetball Kosovo national championship in 2013. This victory coincided with Streetball Kosovo's acceptance in the FIBA.
Handball: Handball activities in Pristina date back as far as 1948 where we see the emerging of the first teams such as Kosova e Prishtinës, along with Trepca e Mitrovicës, Partizani and Milicionari.
Xhavit Spahiu formed the first club of handball, Normalisti i Prishtinës. The team established themselves as the first champion team of the country. From 1954 to 1959 they triumphed by becoming champions six times in a row.
From 1981 and on because of the political situation in Kosovo, handball was in a difficult position and only recovered in 1999. They were accepted in the International Handball Federation (IHF) and European Handball Federation (EHF). The national team held matches in Bosnia, Turkey, Bulgaria and other Balkan nations.
In 28 November 2001 Pristina hosted a match against Kelecolu, a Turkish team and this marked the beginning of continual friendly matches of Kosovo against other nations not only in the Balkans but as far as Great Britain, Scotland, Egypt etc.
KH Prishtina (Handball club of Pristina) with their main playing stadium in the Palace of Youth and Sport have won the Kosovo’s cup in April 2013 against Vushtrri, establishing themselves as the champions of Kosovo for the fourth time.
KHF Prishtina (Handball club of females in Pristina) has won ten championships in a row and are currently holding their fall championship title for 2012/13. Because of their continual successes at home, they have been qualified for the European league for the second time in their history.
Volleyball: Volleyball in Pristina was first played in the gyms of high schools during 1936.
In 1948, Pristina was the host city of the first volleyball championship, which was organized as a competition between 6 teams.
Ten years later, another championship was organized and the winners, the men's team of Pristina, qualified to play in the League of Serbia and the Second Federative League in Yugoslavia. The women's team, called the University of Prishtina, only made it that far after 1975. In 1991, volleyball in Pristina was no longer organized within the Yugoslavian regulations.
The men's team competed in the first tournament organized independently that year, whereas the women's team competed two years later in the first tournament organized as part of the women's league.
Pristina's volleyball teams, although with changes in names and chairspersons, have competed consistently in championships organised since the sport began its independent activity in 1991 Pristina women's volleyball club are current defending champions in the 2013/2014 season.
Another women's club from Pristina, University AAB won the Cup of Kosovo 2012 by beating Pristina in the final. Despite being the current best team in the women's Superleague, Pristina's team is going through financial obstacles, causing problems in organizing matches in their homecourt.
Pristina's Volleyball Club was elected the most successful club in the women's category for the 2012/2013 season Volleyball in Pristina continues to struggle along with the Volleyball Federation of Kosovo, considering that they are not accepted in the International Volleyball Federation and as a result, Pristina and other clubs cannot compete in international tournaments.
Table: tennis is another active sport in Pristina, since the acceptance of the Kosovar Table Tennis Federation in the ITTF in 2003.
Tennis in Pristina is represented by two tennis clubs, KT Prishtina and KT DielliX. They both practice their activity in the tennis courts located near the Ismail Qemali secondary school KT Prishtina was founded in 1992 and is the first tennis club in Kosovo.
Apart from local tennis players, there are circa 30 international players who play under this club. 22 local male tennis players compete in national tournaments, five of whom are in the top ten. In the women's category, there are four active players. KT DielliX was founded in 1997 and is the main organizer of the traditional tennis tournament in Pristina, Dielli Open.
Karate: in Pristina is played in 14 clubs, of which KK Ippon was champion of the National Championship of Karate in 2013. KK Ardhmëria, KK ASLU, KK Bardhoshi, KK Batllava, KK Fan, KK Iliria, KK Kosova, KK Kosovari, KK Përparimi, KK Prishtina, KK Sharri, KK UNSU and KK Vajzat e Dardanisë also represent Prishtina in national championships and other competitions.
Swimming: There are four swimming clubs in Pristina, KN Step, KN Scan Color, KN Prishtina, KN Nemo OP, and all four of them have been awarded year ending prizes by the Kosovo Swimming Federation in 2013.
Shooting: as a sport began in 1948 in Pristina. Nowadays it is practiced by four clubs: Dardania, Hajvalia, Polici and Zenel Hajdini, and all four of them operate in the Youth Palace of Prishtina.
- Duplex Club Prishtina-Club
- Star Sun-Local Business
- District Prishtina-Lounge
- Designer's Bar-Bar
- Konak bar-Bar
- House Pub-Bar & Grill
- Crème de la Crème-Night Club
- Caffe Bar Online-Bar
- STAY BAR-Bar
- Industry Club-Night Club
- Bar Académie -Bar
- Caffe Bar "Arijoni"-Bar & Grill
- People's-Wine Bar
- Purple ClubP -Club
- Capital Club -Night Club
- Riga Restaurant-Bar & Grill
- Camel Pipe-Bar
- Kafja e vogel-Bar & Grill
- Zanzi Jazz Bar-Night Club
- Sharra Pub-Pub
- 01 Cafè Bar-Bar
- Birraria Shallter-Bar
- Miles Bar-Bar
- Glasses Caffe-Bar
- Bar Restaurant Damastion-Pub
- Blink Club-Night Club
- Legend'ss Pub-Bar
- D&G Lounge Bar-Bar
- Caffe Bar Relax-Bar & Grill
- Ora Bar-Bar
- Podium Bar-Bar
- Hubble Bubble-Bar
- HOOK Food & Coffee-Bar
- Latino Caffe 1-Bar
- Pino Caffe-Bar
- Nero1-Bar & Grill
- Twist Cafe-Bar
- Capitol Caffe-Bar
- Snack Bar 01-Bar
- Amma Bar-Bar
- CAFE BAR 57-Bar
- Zar Bar-Bar
- Shpija Rudit-Pub
- Large Bar-Cafe
- Lounge i Vogel-Coffee Shop
- Sabaja Craft Brewery-Brewery
- Amadeus Restaurant Bar & Cafe-Cafe
- Atele Caffe-Cafe
- Tingëll Tangëll-Cafe
- Shpija DUDI-Cafe
- Qosh Bar-Bar
- Caffe Avenue-Cafe
- Puzzle Cafè-Cafe
- Apartment 196-Bar
- Avenue Bar-Bar
- City Pub-Bar
- Crème de la Crème-Bar
- The Cuban-Bar
- Queen's Shilling-Bar
- Strip Depot-Bar
- Xhoni's Bar-Bar
- Zullu Bar-Bar
- Zone club-Dance bar
- 13 Rooftop-Night club
- The Backgarden Pub-Tapas Bar & Restaurant
- Hard Rockers Club-Pub
- Chupa Cabra-Bar
Culture and history infoCulture
Even though it doesn’t seem to offer much, at first sight, it still has a lot to offer; from the different building that unfold its history, cultural activities, night life, and many other attractions, but above all is the love that its citizens have for their city. The city has inspired many generations that have given it a rich cultural life.
For a promenade through historical compounds and monuments, one should start at the Mother Theresa Square, recently constructed, even though it has served as a walking boulevard, long time ago.
Through the walk in the square, at the first street on the right, there are the old city pubs known as the Rakia (Balkans strong alcoholic drink) places.
These are pleasant pubs, serving homemade Rakia with different appetizers, mostly grilled meat and different salads followed by old traditional Albanian music. At café Tirona, you may also experience the breezy terrace and a collection of city’s old images, so little preserved nowadays.
Along the square, after passing the Ministry of Culture – in the walls of which you may see portraits of Kosovar artist – is the Mother Theresa statue and statue of Skenderbeu – our hero, known worldwide – a copy of the original statue in Kruja, Albania. A similar statue is also found in Skopje and Tirana.
Opposite to the statue are the debris of the old Hotel Union, an Austro-Hungarian architecture compound, which has served as the referring point for the city. Just beside, is the National Theatre, where one may see the schedule for incoming plays. The same road leads you to the Government Building, and the National Assembly building.
Following is the Prishtina Municipal Assembly building, on the way to the old part of the city. On the left side, you may see an old monument dating from Communist Yugoslavia, symbolizing Unity and Brotherhood. Walking towards the old part, you may see small shops with wooden roofs, silver and goldsmiths, offering mainly fabricated silver and gold, but one may also find hand-crafted jewels.
On the right side, is Carshi Mosque or the market Mosque which was built in the 15th century by Sultan Bajazid. In the yard of the mosque, is the fountain which separates the mosque from the National Museum, which had served as the administrative building for the Vilayet of Kosovo, during the Ottoman Empire. For a period of time it has also served as the headquarters of Yugoslav Army. Currently it serves as Museum, worth visiting for the significance of historical remains exposed there. “Mbretëresha në Fron” (the Sitting Goddess) is among the relics that were stolen during the war.
In the vicinity is the Jashar Pasha Mosque, dating back to 1834. If you continue forward on, you may see Kullën e Sahatit (Clock Tower), which is right next to the city’s tyrbe (tombs of the dervish muslim sect). Opposite to it is the Grand Mosque, and the most beautiful mosque in city. With beautiful paintings in the front wall and a cute yard in front. This mosque was built by Sultan Mehmet II, aroung 1460 – 1461, some eight years before conquering Constantinople. Once upon a time, it had the title of having the biggest cupola in the region.
If you continue through the causeway, along the market to the left and the road to the right; there are many compounds of high cultural significance. Ethnologic Museum of Kosova, old traditional houses compound called Emin Gjiku, which gives the exact impression of how the old Prishtina looked like. The Museum works from 10 am till 6 pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays, entrance costing 2 euro.
Other worth visiting places, are the Sports Palace (used to be called Boro and Ramizi), a compound of different shops and sport halls. Just behind the Sports Palace is the city stadium and ODA Theatre.
Shpend Ahmeti (Current mayor of Prishtina), Astrit Ajdarević (Swedish football player currently playing for Charlton Athletic), Visar Arifaj (Politician and leader of Partia e Fortë), Xhavit Bajrami (Swiss kickboxer), Besart Berisha (Albanian football player currently playing for Brisbane Roar), Etrit Berisha (Albanian football player currently playing for Lazio), Ilir Berisha (Albanian football player currently playing for Örebro SK), Lorik Cana (Albanian football player currently playing for Lazio), Debatik Curri (Albanian football payer playing for Hoverla Uzhhorod), Armend Dallku (Albanian football player currently paying for Vorskla Poltava), Labinot Haliti (Australian football player currently playing for Western Sydney Wanderers), Ahmet Haxhiu (Albanian political activist), Albulena Haxhiu (Albanian politician), Albin Kurti (Political activist and leader of Vetëvendosje), Ermir Lenjani (Albanian football player currently playing for St. Gallen), Xhevdet Llumnica (Kosovar football player currently playing for Limhamn Bunkeflo), Isa Mustafa (Politician, ex-mayor of Prishtina), Jasmina Novokmet (Serbian conductor, Professor of Conducting and former Associate Dean at the University of Pristina Faculty of Arts), Rita Ora (singer-songwriter and actress), Atdhe Nuhiu (Austrian football player currently playing for Sheffield Wednesday), Slobodan Petrović (politician), Petrit Selimi (leader of the Independent Liberal Party), Granit Xhaka (Swiss football player), Taulant Xhaka (Swiss football player).
The surrounding territory of Prishtina has been inhabited since the antique age; Neolithic ruins in Matiqan, Graqanica and Ulpiana date back to VIII B.C. During the Roman Empire, city of Ulpiana was one of the most important areas in the Balkans.
The first written artifact about Prishtina, goes back to year 1342 by the Byzantium Emperor, Johan Kantakuzen, who describes Prishtina as a village. After that year, there must have been the Catholic Church of Saint Mary, since in documents of that time there are names of Albanian priests like Don Lasio.
Since during antique age there was the city of Ulpiana (Ulkiana), while during early middle age it was known as Artana, as city of miners, one can come to conclusion that until the period of Ottoman Empire, has not had a significant role. During XIV and XV centuries when Prishtina, Kosovo’s capital today, starts its development period; the capital also starts to become as a significant trading center. The old city was situated between the rivers Vellusha and Prishtevka, whereas none of them can be seen today, since both rivers have been covered.