Headed to Kosovo in December and wondering how to celebrate the winter holidays here? Head to beautiful Prizren, where you can enjoy a European-style Christmas Market in the middle of this beautiful medieval town! The event, named Cultural Winter, is the perfect blend of European Christmas Market traditions with local Kosovar customs.
We spoke with Fatime Uka from the Department of Tourism for the Municipality of Prizren to help you get everything you need to plan the perfect visit to the Prizren Christmas Market this year!
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How to Visit the Prizren Christmas Market
Here’s everything you need to know to plan your trip to the Cultural Winter Festival and Prizren Christmas Market.
What are the dates and times for the 2019 Prizren Christmas Market?
The Cultural Winter festival will go from December 23, 2019, until December 29, 2019. There is a possibility that events will be extended, so if you’re there at the beginning of January 2020, definitely look around!
Where is the market located?
What kind of entertainment will there be for adults?
Many decorated wooden huts are settled and open for business in the Square of Martyrs in Prizren, where different sellers and craftspeople will offer their products, starting from food and drinks to handicrafts.
What kind of entertainment will there be for children?
There will be wooden huts that sell toys and other entertainment for children, starting from decorated balloons to other seasonal decorated toys.
What kind of goods will be for sale?
The wooden huts will sell many different products and goods, including books, hot drinks (coffee, tea, salep), bio drinks, diverse traditional food, traditional pastries, and souvenirs.
What kind of food and drinks will be available?
There will be traditional food and pastries, as well as traditional drinks like salep, along with coffee, tea, and mulled wine.
Is there a ticket price to get into the events?
Are there any other special festivities in Prizren this December or January that travelers might want to attend?
During the Cultural Winter, on December 24th, 2019, we will be organizing a tourism fair where will be presented the tourism offers of Prizren Municipality and will also be present the representatives of Berat (Albania), Cair, Skopje (North Macedonia), Ulcinj (Montenegro), Kusadasi (Turkey) and many more visitors and guests.
During this event will also be organized a panel discussion on the topic “Gastronomy and Tourism”. Also, during the “Cultural Winter” the visitors will be welcome to be part of other activities, such as a presentation of traditional filigree works, local woodworks, decorative works with ceramic handicrafts, the traditional face painting from Zhupa (local) region, embroidery works, jewelry workmanship, which will be presented and promoted each night of the event.
How can travelers learn more?
Prizren is a great year-round destination, which makes Prizren a city worth to visit also during the winter. Considering that the city is surrounded by high mountains, and is only 33 Km from Brezovica (a well-known ski resort), Prizren offers many winter activities starting from December until February (or March, depending on the weather).
In Prizren, you can join activities such as One day Snow-Shoeing at Sharri Mountains (with a Mountaineering and snow-shoeing guide, for a humble price of 20 EUR per person), One-day alpine ski in Brezovica ski center (with a guide instructor), One-day ski-touring in Brezovica (Tour includes: Equipment- skis, helmet, skins, avalanche beepers, poles and boots Transport, coffee and breakfast in Prizren –burek in city center, lunch pocket and certified mountain guide.), and many more others which you can find in our info points.
You are very much welcomed to warm this winter up together!
We have our recommendations and resources for visiting Prizren below. I want to thank Fatime from the Department of Tourism for the Municipality of Prizren for answering our questions about this spectacular event! For more detailed information about the market, check out Prizren’s city website.
Where to stay in Prizren
We are in the process of creating comprehensive guides on where to stay in various Kosovar cities, but for now, we recommend checking out Booking.com as early as possible since this is a popular time to visit the city.
What to Pack for Kosovo in Winter
We are still working on our Kosovo Packing List, but in case you just want the quick version, here are a few essentials you shouldn’t forget to pack!
A good guidebook: While travel blogs are great, we still think a good guidebook is always handy. We suggest Lonely Planet Western Balkans which includes Kosovo and many of its neighbors.
Plenty of winter clothing: You can check our packing list above for our full winter packing suggestions for men and women. At a minimum, you’ll want to bring a warm winter jacket (I love this North Face parka), cozy snow boots, warm wool socks, touch-screen friendly gloves, a scarf, and a winter hat.
Moisturizer: Travel will beat your skin up in the best of times — and winter travel in addition to skiing will do a number on it! If you use a moisturizer at home, bring it. If you’ve never used a moisturizer before, you really should start. You’ll be happy to give your face a boost before heading outside in the cold all day.
Sunscreen: We strongly suggest wearing sunscreen when you spend time outdoors, no matter the weather outside. The higher altitudes combined with the reflection of the sun off the snow can lead to unexpected sunburns. I love this solid Neutrogena sunscreen – it’s mess-free, works well in carry-ons, is ultra-protective, and blends in well.
More Kosovo Travel Resources
Headed to Kosovo? We have some great travel resources to help you with your trip.
If you’ll be spending time in Pristina, you can check out our list of the city’s most Instagrammable places and our favorite things to do. We also have a Balkan currency guide which explains how money works in Kosovo and local tipping customs.
If you’re still putting together your itinerary, here’s a great list of places to visit in Kosovo to help you choose.
If this will be one of your first trips in the Balkans, check out our massive list of things to know before traveling the Balkans as well as our Balkan bus, road trip, and itinerary guides.
We publish new articles and trip advice nearly daily! For more information about traveling to Kosovo and the Balkans, bookmark our Kosovo and Balkan travel pages, where you’ll find our entire archive plus anything new we publish before you leave for your trip.
Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!
I’m sure you’re aware that travel insurance is essential for Kosovo and for travel in general! This is especially true when you’re talking about traveling in a city where tourists can be targeted for petty theft. In addition, while the political situation in Kosovo is generally stable, the occasional flare-up means you’ll be happy to know you have insurance to cover you if something goes awry.
Allison and I have both been paying customers of World Nomads for the last three years. We love the peace of mind it gives us in case of emergencies, accidents, illnesses, theft, or trip cancellation or disruption.
While Kosovo is perfectly safe to travel around, there’s always a risk inherent in everyday travel, so it’s better to play it safe. The saying goes “if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel” is true!
Pin this Guide to Visiting Prizren at Christmas for Your Trip!
Stephanie has been living in and traveling around the Balkans for the past three years. She’s written for National Geographic Online, appeared on CNN Arabic and in the New York Times, and ridden more Balkan buses than is good for a person.