How to Get to Kosovo: Exploring Travel Options
Traveling to Kosovo is an exciting adventure, and there are many ways to get there besides flying. While flying is the most common option, there are alternatives that offer a unique and memorable experience. In this article, we’ll explore various modes of transportation that can take you to Kosovo and the key border points you need to be aware of.
If you prefer the road, bus travel is a popular option, especially for those traveling from European countries. There are regular bus services to Kosovo from European countries such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Turkey, Italy, and so on. The lines are quite frequent, especially during the summer months, and the prices are affordable. You can also take buses from any country to Albania, Montenegro, or Serbia, and then travel to either Prishtina or Prizren by bus in just a few hours. Tip: you can take the bus directly from Tirana International Airport - Albania (Mother Theresa) to Prizren.
Here are some shuttle services you can contact directly via Whatsapp or Viber (fast responses):
If you’re looking for a leisurely and scenic way to travel, train travel is an excellent option though trains directly to Kosovo are limited. You can take the train to Belgrade or any other city in the Balkans and from there you can take any direct bus to Prishtina or Prizren.
Udhë is trying to establish something like BlaBlaCar for Kosovo. The offers are growing in popularity, and there are several offers you can choose from. The states it encompasses are Kosovo, North Macedonia, Serbia, Albania and Montenegro.
BKosovo Border Crossings (By Car)
When traveling to Kosovo, it’s essential to be aware of the key border crossings. The main points of entry are the Merdare border crossing from Serbia, the Hani i Elezit crossing from North Macedonia, the Vermica crossing point from Albania, and the Kulla border point from Montenegro.
If you intend to travel from and to Serbia, it’s crucial to note that Serbia does not recognize Kosovo’s border crossings with the other countries, therefore you can’t enter Serbia from Kosovo if you have first entered Kosovo from any other country. If you want to continue into Serbia from Kosovo, you may first go to Macedonia and enter Serbia from there.
For more reliable information on border points and travel routes, we suggest using OpenStreetMap as it provides specific directions to and from Kosovo, even through the Merdare border which is not mentioned in other apps.
Entering and Exiting Kosovo
To enter Kosovo legally, you’ll need to have a valid passport. Citizens of the European Union, Switzerland, and the United States can enter Kosovo without a visa and stay for up to 90 days. If you’re from a country outside of these regions, you may need a visa to enter Kosovo. You can check out more about the visa policy of Kosovo here. There are two main options to enter and leave Kosovo if traveling en route:
1. Enter Kosovo From Serbia and Exit From Serbia
In order to enter and exit Kosovo legally, one of your alternatives is to travel through Serbia. When you enter Serbia lawfully and receive a Serbia entry stamp on your passport, you can freely move back and forth to Kosovo across the Kosovo-Serbia border.
You can go to Kosovo and back as frequently as you’d like once you’re in Serbia via the Belgrade airport, or one of its several borders with Montenegro, Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, or Bosnia-Herzegovina. When traveling from Serbia to Kosovo, you won’t receive a Serbia exit stamp. Ultimately, we suggest that if you enter Kosovo via the Kosovo-Serbia border, you also exit Kosovo via the same Kosovo-Serbia border.
2. Enter Kosovo from Montenegro, Macedonia, or Albania and Exit Kosovo via non-Serbian borders without visiting Serbia
If you want to visit Kosovo without continuing to Serbia, entering Kosovo through Montenegro, Albania, or North Macedonia, or via the airport in Prishtina is your best option. This will give you a Kosovo entry stamp on your passport, not a Serbian one. However, there could be issues crossing the Kosovo-Serbia border without a Serbian entry stamp. To avoid this problem, we strongly suggest leaving Kosovo via one of the three borders you entered from to get both an entry and exit stamp of Kosovo in your passport.
It’s also vital to remember that EU citizens with an EU ID card will not have any difficulties crossing any of Kosovo’s borders—both Serbian and international. This is due to the fact that those ID cards are not stamped upon entry or exit. You can freely and unrestrictedly pass all Kosovo borders if you have an EU ID card.
In conclusion, traveling to Kosovo can be a memorable experience. No matter which mode of transportation you choose, keep in mind that you will need a valid passport to enter Kosovo. Also, be sure to check the latest entry requirements and travel restrictions, if existent.
We hope these tips will help you plan your journey to FOSS4G 2023 in Kosovo. We can’t wait to welcome you to Prizren and share our love of open-source geospatial technology with you!
For more information about travel coordination, join our Telegram group.