While in Prishtina, I took a day trip to Mitrovica. Originally called Demetrius in the middle ages, it was changed to Mitrovica following the Ottoman conquest. Represented by international media perhaps as dangerous or on edge, I assure you at the time of this – I had nothing but a good experience.
Mitrovica is an interesting example of seeing a city divided by two, in the Serbian side – they use the Serbian Dinar and on the Albanian side, the Euro (as the rest of Kosovo)
If you would like to know “How to spend a day in Mitrovica ” click ‘read more’
In this article, you’ll find: (click to be taken there)
The Basics: How to get there.
Getting Around: Transport Options
My Top Choices: What you should see.
My Recommendations: Where to eat & drink, What to listen to & read.
What I did: My diary entry.
Other Recommendations: Things we missed.
All my posts have a key:
⏰ Opening Hours. 📍Location 🕒Distance
💰Cost 🎫Ticket 📝 To note. 🎒What to bring.
♿ Accessibility 🌱Vegan / Veg Options.
- NO ATM COST: BKT; Banka Kombetare Tregtare offers no cash withdrawal fee.
- History: The history of the Kosovo War (1998 – 1999) is still very raw, real and unless locals are happy to discuss with you, should be avoided.
- Recognisation: 105 countries have given Kosovo diplomatic regonisation. Read the wikipedia page here.
- You cannot travel from Kosovo into Serbia.
- Ask where people are from in Mitrovica, do not assume.
- In the Serbian side – they use the Serbian Dinar and on the Albanian side, the Euro.
Getting to Mitrovica.
⏰07:30; every 20 min
💰 €35.00 |$56.92 AUD | $39.62 USD |£31.22
📝They will not take you over the bridge.
⏰ 11:00 – 18:00
📍Rruga Shemsi Ahmeti, Mitrovica
Estabished in 1952, the museum has moved a few times. The museum storage holds 1,005 recorded artefacts but due to limited space, it holds four sections which are Archeology, Ethnology, History and Geology.
The Museum took me a bit to find (I walked around the block twice!!), but once I did – It was worth it. It’s free, and had a lovely member of staff walk me around and explain the contents.
Isa Beg Mosque
📍Luan Haredinaj, Mitrovicë
Constructed by Turkish Masons, it’s the largest mosque in Kosovo. Originally burnt down in 1998, it was rebuilt and opened in 2014.
A 2.500m square facility that’s 48 meters high and accommodates nearly 4000 people, you cannot miss it.
Since the end of the war, this bridge has been a symbol of separation between the north and south and a scene of many disputes. Since then, tensions have been at an all time low so you’ll have no issues crossing the bridge.
– Mitrovica’s Flashpoint Bridge Symbolises Kosovo’s Divisions.
St. Demetrius Church
This church’s construction began in 2001. The location was chosen to ensure visibility from multiple parts of Northern Mitrovica.
A 19 metre tall gateway consisting of two large pillars, said to represent the two groups within Kosovo who fought within the war. Inscriptions are in both in Albanian and Serbian. I don’t know if you an see, but I come up to about halfway of the white.
⏰ 08:00 – 22:00
📍Rruga Shemsi Ahmeti, Mitrovica
📝no english menu.
🌱Basics; fries etc.
What used to be the the cities museum, it has since turned into a bar. Excellent vibe, menu and wonderful service.
🍬 Missini Sweets
⏰ 07:00 – 23:00
📍Shemsi Ahmeti, Mitrovica
Great place to order cakes, sweets and a range of drinks.
Grab some Ice-Cream before you head off to the bus.
WHAT I DID
I took an early bus from Prishtina to Mitrovica, spent 20 minutes looking for the Museum of Mitrovica because as seen in the photos – it’s not entirely clear what sign you’re supposed to look for.
Near the museum, you’ll find an incredible Mosque – the Isa Beg. I didn’t go inside because at the time there were a lot of people coming in and out but the outside view is spectacular.
Once I found the museum, the staff member on duty offered me a lovely tour, free of charge. She told me that she had never gone to the other side of the bridge (the Serbian side) but told me a few places that survived.
One of the mentioned places was the KRAS Chocolate Store, which has been open in Mitrovica for over 60 years.
It isn’t located on google maps, but it is right near a cafe called “Dolçe Vita.”
You’ll notice walking around Mitrovica that there is no shortage of street art. Some very political, others a note of pop culture or written classics.
Other than street art, you’ll also find statues celebrating war heroes.
I knew that the Miners Monument would be accessible from St. Demetrius Church. However, I didn’t know how to get to the church correctly. I figured, “hey – I’ll just walk towards the church, and that’ll do me good.”
It, like usual, did not do me right. I eventually had to ask a lovely woman nearby who pointed in the direction in which two school children were going. They then lead me to the church (they advised they were from Serbia which is why I specify not to assume where people are from.) Eventually, arriving through a derelict house the path eventually lead to an overlook of the Mitrovica and St Demetrius Church.
I finished my day at the Museum Pub for dinner, grabbing ice cream from Ballkan and take away cake from Missini Sweets.
- Zvečan Fortress : One of the oldest fortresses in South Eastern Europe, it was built on an extinct volcano to overlook the river.
Have you been? Do you want to go?
What did you see / eat / do?
Let me know below.
As always, stay cool.