Kosovo

2 M
Population
Euro
Currency
Safety and security

Crime

Take sensible precautions to protect yourself from street crime. Watch out for pick-pockets particularly in airports and on public transport. As a foreigner, you may be a target for criminals who may assume you are carrying large amounts of cash. Four wheel drive and luxury vehicles are also popular targets. Report all incidents of crime to the local police and get a report.  

Isolated incidents of armed violence and vehicle explosions in major cities are usually linked to organised crime and not directed against foreigners.

Check local developments before and during your journey. In the event of civil disorder, stay at home and restrict your movements as much as possible, especially after dark. Avoid public gatherings, political rallies and protests

Local travel

There is still some danger from residual mines and other unexploded ordnance left over from the 1999 conflict. The main areas of risk are on the border with Albania, in the Dulje Pass area (in central Kosovo), in the west and south of the country and in the mountainous region between South Serbia’s Presevo Valley and Kosovo.

Take care when travelling in all these areas, and keep to the main roads. Most of the remaining dangerous areas are in high mountainous regions covered with dense vegetation. If you see anything suspicious, don’t touch it, but report it immediately to the police or the nearest KFOR patrol.

Northern Kosovo

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the municipalities of Zvecan, Zubin Potok and Leposavic, and to the northern part of the city of Mitrovica due to occasional violence and security incidents there. Avoid travelling between Kosovo and Serbia via Gate 1 (Leposavic) or Gate 31 (Zubin Potok). You should find alternative routes for travel between Kosovo and Serbia where possible.

Road travel

The standard of roads varies from fair to poor. Roads are particularly bad in rural areas and after bad weather. There is a risk of landslides and flooding. You should avoid travelling at night if possible.

You can drive using a UK driving licence. You must have vehicle registration and ownership documents and a locally valid insurance policy. European Green Card vehicle insurance isn’t valid. You should buy local third party insurance at the border or from the nearest town at the earliest opportunity. Make sure you have enough cash in Euros to pay for insurance and fuel. The quality of fuel varies. There are sometimes delays at the border crossings between Kosovo and Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania, and Kosovo and Serbia. These are common around festive periods and during the summer months.

Many Serbian car hire firms will not allow their vehicles to be driven in Kosovo, and vice-versa, due to concerns about the security situation. There have been some incidents where Serbian registered cars have been targeted in more isolated areas of Kosovo.

Taxis are readily available in Pristina, but the condition of the vehicle and standard of driving vary. You should use authorised taxi firms where possible.

Buses connecting Pristina with other major cities are frequent, standards may vary, but reputable companies can be found.

Rail travel

Trainkos operate regular services from Skopje to Pristina (via Hani i Elezit) and also from Pristina to Peja/Pec. Trains are slow, but generally reliable.

Political situation

The political situation is generally calm, but in recent months there have been anti-government protests mainly in Pristina and other towns like Gjakova. Protests in Pristina can turn violent.

Terrorism

There is a general threat from terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.

Local laws and customs

Drug laws are similar to those in the UK. Possession or trafficking of drugs usually attract a lengthy prison sentence.

There are no laws against homosexual activity or same-sex couples in Kosovo. However, Kosovo is a conservative society and homosexual activity is not generally tolerated.

Taking photographs of military/police installations, personnel or vehicles may lead to difficulties with the authorities. 

Carry your passport with you for identification purposes and keep a copy separately in a safe place.

Entry requirements

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Visas

British nationals don’t need a visa to enter Kosovo. You may be asked to provide documentary evidence giving a reason for your stay. A 90-day entry stamp will be issued which is renewable for longer stays. Since 8 May 2013 citizens of EU member states can enter Kosovo on a photo ID card. A photo ID driving licence does not constitute a valid ID card for cross-border travel and British nationals still need to enter Kosovo with a valid passport. With effect from 1 July, Kosovo introduced a visa regime for the nationalities listed on the Kosovan Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

Kosovo/Serbia Border

The authorities in Serbia don’t consider the designated crossing points from Kosovo to be official ‘international’ border crossing points.

Foreign nationals have been denied entry to Serbia if they have Republic of Kosovo stamps in their passports and the Serbian authorities may not allow you to travel into Serbia if you hold these stamps. We are also aware of isolated incidents where Serbian authorities have cancelled Kosovo stamps in passports of foreign nationals.

You cannot travel directly from Kosovo into Serbia if you don’t have a valid entry stamp from either Belgrade airport or one of the Serbia’s border crossings with Montenegro, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria or Macedonia; you will be refused entry without an existing valid Serbian entry stamp. You should take a route which transits a third country. For more information please visit the website of the Serbian Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Passport validity

Your passport must be undamaged and valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required. 

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Kosovo.

Health

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.

The health system in Kosovo is poorly funded. Hospitals lack specialist equipment and there is a widespread shortage of medicines and other essentials. Many doctors and nurses lack training in modern techniques and practices. A small payment in cash (currently €4) is required for treatment but you should make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever is endemic in Kosovo. Most cases occur in the region around Malishevë/o (central Kosovo), but during the summer months other rural areas of Kosovo can be affected.

Mosquito-borne diseases are present, including West Nile virus.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 94 from a landline or 194 from a mobile and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Natural disasters

During especially hot and dry periods there is a danger of forest fires. Take care when visiting or driving through woodland areas. Make sure cigarettes are properly extinguished, and don’t light barbecues.

Kosovo lies in a seismically active zone, and earth tremors are common. The last significant earthquake, of magnitude 4.5, happened in 2010 around 90km north of Pristina.

The US Federal Emergency Management Agency has advice about what to do before, during and after and earthquake.

Money

The Euro is the official currency in Kosovo. The Serbian Dinar is sometimes accepted in Serb-majority areas. Most transactions are in cash. Credit cards are more widely accepted and there are some ATMs in Pristina and other major cities.