The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel to the municipalities of Zvečan, Zubin Potok and Leposavic, and to the northern part of the city of Mitrovica. Please check with your relevant national government.

Europe's newest country, Kosovo is a fascinating land at the heart of the Balkans rewarding visitors with welcoming smiles, charming mountain towns, incredible hiking opportunities and 13th-century domed Serbian monasteries brushed in medieval art – and that's just for starters.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, and while it has been diplomatically recognised by 111 countries, there are still many nations that do not accept Kosovan independence, including Serbia. The country has been the recipient of massive aid from the international community, particularly the EU and NATO. Barbs of its past are impossible to miss, though: roads are dotted with memorials to those killed in 1999, while NATO forces still guard Serbian monasteries. No matter what many people who've never been to Kosovo might tell you, it's perfectly safe to travel here. Despite this, Kosovo remains one of the last truly off-the-beaten-path destinations in Europe.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Kosovo.