Most people will have heard of Kosovo, even if this knowledge comes from the news and is not powered by good reasons. However today we shall find out more about Kosovo and the currency it uses. This currency will be known to you since the state uses the euro in its daily dealings.
The currency used in Kosovo is perhaps not surprisingly the euro. Most of us know the euro is divided into 100 cents, officially known as euro cents but commonly referred to simply as cents. You may see coins in Kosovo that have country designs on them that hail from various other countries in the euro region.
The coins are familiar enough and will be available in a variety of denominations. The smaller ones are the one, two and five cent coins, followed by the 10, 20 and 50 cent coins. Aside from these a one euro and two euro coin will also be found in common use.
In terms of banknotes you can use the €10, €20 and €50 euro notes. In addition there are three larger ones – the €100, €200 and €500 bank notes. These are not as commonly seen, mainly because they can be more attractive to forgers. Shop keepers often don’t like taking the notes as they could potentially leave them out of pocket if they are forged. While many of them are fine to use some people simply don’t like getting hold of them if they can help it.
Kosovo actually adopted the single currency in Europe way back in 2002, which was the time that many other countries first had the coin and banknote version of the currency. This was three years after the virtual version had been launched.
As you might imagine it is very easy to get hold of the euro if you intend to pay a trip to Kosovo at any point. It is very easy to get it before you travel, and indeed this is a good idea. You may not have to book your currency in advance but you might want to order it just to make sure they will have what you require. Shop around to get a good deal on the exchange rate – no two bureaux de change that you can find are likely to give the same rate so you could save some cash here.
In terms of paying for things once you are there, cash can often be the best option. You should certainly make sure you have some cash on you at all times, since paying by credit card isn’t a reliable method. This holds true even in the capital city and other built-up areas. If you intend to pay by card, check before you buy anything that you can pay in this way (especially if eating at a restaurant or similar outlet). Amex cards are generally a no-no so if you have one, leave it safely tucked away at home.
If you don’t have the euro before you go or you are travelling from the US, you can take the US dollar into Kosovo with you. You shouldn’t be presented with any problems exchanging this currency for euros, but again, shop around while you are there to get the best rate you can. If you want to get more cash from cash machines they are available, but you might have to search for them. Again, don’t assume being in the capital will make things easy in this respect!
The euro is pretty easy to locate on any currency converter, even if said converter doesn’t have too many currencies included on it. If you want to find it quickly just use the ISO code, which is of course EUR. This will locate it quickly and enable you to find the conversion rate between your own currency and the single European currency. Remember that shopping for an exchange rate at a bureaux de change will produce a different rate, since they will charge commission for swapping the cash for you.
There is an official embassy for the Republic of Kosovo in London, but you can visit it on a virtual basis by going to the official website instead of going into the city. The website can be found at http://www.kosovoembassy.org.uk/.
If you know anything at all about Kosovo you may already suspect that travel there can be problematic. However only one section of the country can be potentially dangerous to visit, and that is the northern area of Zubin Potok, Leposavic and Zvecan. Part of the city of Mitrovica is also off-limits for safety reasons according to the British government. However you should check the latest safety advice prior to going to the country if you decide to do so. This holds true for the rest of the country as well, since you never know whether the situation may change at any point.
While you should take note of the information above and stay in touch with the latest changes and information if you do decide to visit Kosovo, it is worth noting the vast majority of travellers to this country have no problems at all. It does make sense to exercise some safety precautions while you are there, not to mention avoiding any demonstrations or similar get-togethers that could potentially be dangerous. However, street crime is probably your biggest threat, and if you take adequate precautions here you shouldn’t even be bothered by that. Just be sure you take care with how you carry your money around and don’t make it clear you are carrying lots of valuables. Really this is all common sense and following the basics of travelling safely should see you fine throughout your time in Kosovo.
Kosovo is in the south-eastern part of Europe. It shares borders with Serbia (although Serbia disputes the border and claims ownership of Kosovo), Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia. Its capital is a city called Pristina, which you may also see on maps and signs as Prishtina. Many tourists who visit Kosovo choose the capital as their destination. Many of those who visit other parts of the country start by landing here and exploring before going elsewhere.
There are certainly several landmarks worth seeing if you do ever visit the capital. For example you can see the Kosovo Museum, a fascinating place with many exhibits on display. It includes the Ethnological Museum and also the Archaeological Park, so there is plenty here to see as you wander round and learn more about the capital.
To get away from the busy city itself, you can find Germia Park. This is nearby and yet it provides a stark contrast to the city streets. It covers a wide area and it includes Butos’ Peak, which is over a thousand metres above sea level. You can spend plenty of time exploring here and appreciating the amazing views and scenery around you.
There are also monuments in Kosovo that date all the way back to medieval times. While many of these can be seen in museums in the country, you can also see several medieval monuments that have been recognised by the UNESCO World Heritage List. The first to make it onto the list was the Decani Monastery. In addition, two other monasteries and one church were added in 2006, two years after the original monastery gain the accolade.
Another key place to visit that has a sense of history is Prizren. This is a city with many charming sights to see, including the Old Stone Bridge, the cathedral and even a fortress. The history here dates back to ancient times and there are many signs in the city that give an indication to how far back its history goes. One can spend many an hour wandering the streets exploring every aspect of Prizren and everything it has to offer.
Kosovo may have had a rocky history in some senses, particularly in recent times. However there is every chance the number of tourists that visit Kosovo each year will soon begin to rise. There are many reasons to visit this country and as things settle down the opportunity to visit the capital city and to explore beyond it become more and more clear.
Kosovo certainly has a lot of charm and there is much to be discovered here. If you love a good city break you could certainly book one to Prizren or to the capital itself. Otherwise there is still much to be seen beyond the cities as more of this country becomes discovered in ways that have not occurred before.
So perhaps your next trip abroad will be to Kosovo instead of going to a more familiar country?