City Hipermarket 1

City Hipermarket 1 is a good grocery store with lots of good choices.  The first register line accepts VAT forms from the embassy.  Though there is no butcher station at this store, there are frozen meats and just about anything else you could want here.  The condiments selection is very good, as is the snacks, dairy (including ice cream), baby, and produce sections.

Driving Directions:  Starting from U.S. Embassy Bravo gate, go down the hill and take a right onto the main road (Ahmet Krasniqi).  Continue straight until you get to the first traffic circle.  Take the second exit option onto the small road.  Continue following this road for a few kilometers, taking it slow over the train tracks.  The City Park Shopping Center will come up on your right side with blue neon letters.  Park in the big lot; City Hipermarket 1 is straight ahead on the first floor.

Zara Clothing Store

 

Pristina’s Zara is a short drive from the downtown area.  There are women’s and men’s clothes as well as a Zara Kids in the same building.  Prices are reasonable and styles are trendy.  You can try on clothes and they accept credit cards.

Driving Directions:  Starting from U.S. Embassy Bravo gate, go down the hill and take a right onto the main road (Ahmet Krasniqi).  Continue straight until you get to the first traffic circle.  Take the second exit option onto the small road.  Continue following this road for a few kilometers, taking it slow.  The City Hipermarket 1 shopping complex will come up on your right hand side.  Park in the large lot; Zara is on the first floor.

Cavallero Mexican Food Restaurant

 

Cavallero makes a mean mojito with cane sugar and homegrown mint.  There are also good margaritas (blended or on the rocks) and fresh-fried tortilla chips with various dips.  The extensive menu includes all of the Mexican restaurant staples from fajitas to enchiladas to taquitos.  If you are in the mood for Mexican, this is the place to go.  There is indoor and outdoor seating and the staff speaks great English.

Price:  $$ of $$$

Walking Directions:  Cavallero is between the NEWBORN sign and Nene Teresa Boulevard.  From the U.S. Embassy Bravo Gate, take a left to walk up the hill to the Dragodan Steps.  Descend the steps and cross over the main road (Zagrebi).  Bear right as the road splits onto Fehmi Agani.  At the large intersection (with bakery Ma Belle in front of you), turn right onto Luan Haradinaj.  Continue walking a few hundred meters; The Ninety-One will be on your right before you get to the NEWBORN sign.  After this bar, take a left to cross the street and go down the small street which almost looks like an alley.  Cavallero will be on your left.

Passion Hair and Beauty Salon

Passion is a line of hair/beauty salons in Pristina.  This is the home of the 3 euro blow out.  Need I say more?  The staff is professional, courteous, and good at what they do.  Their services include coloring, haircuts, blowouts–the works.  The prices are very reasonable.  One receptionist seems to speak pretty good English, but bringing in a picture of what you would like transcends any language barriers.  Walk ins are welcome; they seem least busy in the morning.

Web site:   http://www.facebook.com/bepassionstudios

Hours:  8 AM to 8 PM

Walking Directions:  (There are a few locations; here is one.) Starting from U.S. Embassy Bravo gate, take a right to walk down the hill to the main road (Ahmet Krasniqi).  When you get to the circle, keep to your right and walk on the overpass over the train tracks and take the first right (onto Tirana).  At the first main road, take a left onto Garibaldi.  Walk straight through the next intersection.  When the road comes to a “T,” make a right and walk toward Mother Teresa Cathedral (on Xhorxh Bush).  On the right side of the road, you will see Aurora’s red neon sign and a white sign with the black letters “Passion” on it.  Walk into Aurora and through the back; Passion is upstairs.

Pork Restaurant near Gracanica

Not too many places serve pork in Kosovo, but this Serbian restaurant near Gracanica makes excellent pork.  There are many different choices as to which cuts and how you would like your pork prepared–ribs, cheek, and wrapped in bacon to name a few.  The menu also has chicken, beef, soups, and salads.  The fried cheese is also very tasty.  The prices are in RSD (Serbian dinars), but they accept euro.  The prices are very reasonable, about 8 euro for an entree, and the portions are good.  The staff is friendly and helpful.  Definitely put this place on your schedule.

Price:  $$ of $$$

Driving Directions:  (~15 minutes)  Starting at U.S. Embassy Bravo gate, take a right to go down the hill and take a right onto the main road (Ahmet Krasniqi).  At the first circle, go around and take the last option, toward Viva Fresh/Maxi (Ferizaj).  At the next circle, take the second option to continue straight through the circle (M2/E65/Ferizaj/Shkup).  Stay straight until you pass Albi Mall on the left hand side.  Take the exit onto the M25-2 toward Gjilan (as if going to Viva Fresh/Albi Mall).  At the end of the exit ramp, take a right to go under the highway.  Go straight past Viva Fresh.  When the road forks a little, stay to the right.  As soon as you enter Gracanica, keep your eyes peeled for a little shed-sized replica of the orthodox church on the left side of the road.  Make the next left after this.

Continue on this road for about a half a mile.  You will see a daycare with kids playground equipment on the left.  The restaurant is the little white building with a reddish sign and Cyrillic writing directly to the right.  Park where you can and enjoy your meal!

Novo Brdo

Not too far from Pristina is Novo Brdo, a medieval fortress ruins.  This is one of those sights that is so uniquely Kosovo.  It’s a must-see.  How many places can you hike peacefully through so much history, up close and personal?  Just nearby are a very old Xhamia (mosque) and a tyrba (tomb), also just amazing to take in.

Web site:  http://tourism-novobrdo.com/

Learn more about the history before you go:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novo_Brdo

Price:  Free

Difficulty:  Easy.  No strollers, but young kids can hike with close supervision (there are some drop offs) and a surefooted adult with a baby carrier should not have a problem with a little one.

Driving Directions:  (~45 minutes to 1 hour)  Starting at U.S. Embassy Bravo gate, take a right to go down the hill and take a right onto the main road (Ahmet Krasniqi).  At the first circle, go around and take the last option, toward Viva Fresh/Maxi (Ferizaj).  At the next circle, take the second option to continue straight through the circle (M2/E65/Ferizaj/Shkup).  Stay straight until you pass Albi Mall on the left hand side.  Take the exit onto the M25-2 toward Gjilan (as if going to Viva Fresh/Albi Mall).  At the end of the exit ramp, take a right to go under the highway.  Go straight past Viva Fresh.  When the road forks a little, stay to the right.  Continue through Gracanica, straight past the monastery.  Continue on the road, past Lake Bodovcit.  Go through the town of Silvovo, through the small town of Progovac.  Very shortly after you see the sign for Llabjan, you will be making a left onto R123, toward Novo Brdo.  The sign says “Novo Brdo.”  After making the left, continue on the road, following arrows on signposts which point you up and around the mountain toward the Kalaja (fortress/castle).  There will be a flat place to park quite close to the castle.  Park and explore!

MiniMax Shopping Center

MiniMax is a department store with many different products.  There are electronics, jewelry, some household knick knacks, kids’ clothes and toys, women’s clothes, men’s clothes, sports clothes, and purses.  There are brands like Burberry, Chanel, and Prada.  Though they are likely not the “real deal,” the prices are very good.  There is also a restaurant/cafe on the first level.

Walking/Driving Directions:  (~15 minutes/~5 minutes)  From U.S. Embassy Bravo gate, go down the hill and take a right onto the main road (Ahmet Krasniqi).  Travel along this road, past the Maxi.  Right before you reach the traffic circle, make a hairpin right to go up the hill past the unfinished gray cement structure (Ferid Curri).  You will see MiniMax on your left; turn into the parking lot.