Prizren Travel Guide & Places to Visit

Despite being small, Prizren is a city filled with various stories. It is one of the rare Balkan cities that still retains the texture of the Ottoman Empire. According to local rumor, Prizren is said to be a copy of our province of Amasya. The city is also a powerful symbol of the history and cultural heritage of Kosovo, Europe’s youngest country. If you’re planning an extensive visa-free Balkan tour, Prizren should definitely be on your list. You can easily explore the city in 2 days.

Before starting the article, let’s remind you: Don’t forget to download the Piri Guide mobile app to explore Prizren step by step with your personal and digital tour guide! 😊

Where is Prizren?

Prizren is located in the southwest of Kosovo, quite close to the border with Albania. Situated at the foot of the Sharr Mountains, Prizren also shares a border with North Macedonia.

How to Get to Prizren?

Unfortunately, there is no airport in Prizren. Therefore, the most logical way to travel is to directly reach Pristina or Skopje airports. Both cities have direct buses to Prizren.

From Pristina, there is a bus every half hour to Prizren. The bus journey takes only 1.5 hours. Prizren can even be visited for day trips from Pristina.

Many buses departing from Skopje also go to Prizren. However, some of them first stop in Prizren and then proceed directly to Pristina. Therefore, it’s advisable to inquire when buying tickets. Buses from Skopje depart every 2 hours.

If you plan to visit Skopje as well, don’t forget to check out our Skopje travel article.

Best Season to Visit Prizren?

One of the most popular times to visit Prizren is spring. During this period, the weather is generally warm and sunny. With the rejuvenation of nature, the city becomes adorned with colorful flowers. Summer months are also a good time to visit Prizren. During this time, with the rise in temperatures, the tourist crowds in the city also increase. Keep in mind if you prefer to avoid very crowded times. Autumn could be a quieter time to visit Prizren. With the decrease in tourists, the city takes on a more peaceful atmosphere. If you enjoy cold weather, winter in Prizren can be quite cold, and the city can be covered in snow.

Places to Visit in Prizren

We’ve made a list of must-visit places in Prizren. Yet, we should remind you that you can find more on the Piri Guide mobile app. Piri Guide detects your location, offers you the best travel routes, and starts telling you the hidden stories of wherever you are. All you have to do is to get your headphones or earbuds and follow the path at your own pace. Then, don’t set out for your trip before downloading the digital travel guide! 😊

Our Lady of Ljeviš Churhc

Our Lady of Ljeviš Church in Pristina is one of the structures listed on UNESCO’s “World Heritage List.” According to sources, there was a temple here in ancient times. In the following centuries, a Byzantine church was built on the site of the temple. That church was a three-aisled basilica, meaning it consisted of three corridors. In the 12th century, the city was invaded by Stefan Nemanja, who founded the Serbian state. The church was destroyed during that invasion. In the early years of the 14th century, it was repaired by King Stefan Uroš Milutin. More precisely, it was rebuilt. During this time, two more aisles were added to the structure.

Now, why is this structure called the Friday Mosque? Prizren was conquered by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in the mid-1450s. The Sultan stayed in the city for a while and ordered the conversion of this building into a mosque. It is said that he prayed here on a Friday. Therefore, the people began to refer to the mosque as the Friday Mosque.

Old Stone Bridge

We can say that the Stone Bridge is the symbol of Prizren. If you type “Prizren” into your web browser, you will see this bridge in the first images that appear.

The construction date of the Stone Bridge is not clear. It is thought to have been built in the late 15th century. Unfortunately, this bridge is not the original one built in the 15th century. In November 1979, there was a major flood in Prizren. The floodwaters destroyed the bridge, carrying away its stones. According to some experts, the main reason for the bridge’s collapse was that one of the arches was filled and unable to function properly. Three years later, with the efforts of engineers and the support of the Yugoslav Government, the bridge was rebuilt. It was opened on November 17, 1982, on the anniversary of the flood.

Shadrvan Square

Shadrvan Square, the heart of the city! The square takes its name from the small fountain located in its center. You know how in Rome, if you throw a coin into the Fontana di Trevi, also known as the Lovers’ Fountain, it is believed you will return to Rome one day… Well, there’s a similar belief here. It’s said that whoever drinks from the water of this fountain will definitely return to Prizren one day. Some even say that those who drink from this water will find love and get married in Prizren. If you visit during the summer, you’ll often see people drinking from this fountain and washing their faces in the square. If you enjoy exploring a city with your own water bottle, you can fill it up here.

Prizren Castle

Prizren Castle was rebuilt by Emperor Justinian when the region was under Roman control. By the way, Justinian was also a Rumelian, born in North Macedonia. He is also the person who commissioned the symbol of Istanbul, Hagia Sophia. In the 15th century, it was annexed to the Ottoman territories by Fatih Sultan Mehmet. The castle was strengthened by the Ottomans and actively used for many years. Structures such as caravanserais, baths, and mosques were built inside. We can’t see these structures today because the castle suffered significant damage during the Balkan Wars. The buildings were destroyed and disappeared. However, the castle has been preserved as a “cultural heritage of extraordinary importance” since the 1940s.

The castle is situated on a dominant hill overlooking Prizren. If it’s summer, I wouldn’t recommend going up to the castle when the sun is at its peak. My recommendation is to explore Prizren during the day and ascend to the castle as the sun sets. You’ll notice that many tourists also climb up to the castle to watch the sunset in the same way.

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