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What are the best options for getting from Bosnia & Herzegovina to Kosovo? I suppose there are two interwoven parts to this: 1) border crossing possibilities and 2) transport options.

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1) Can you cross without problems from Bosnia to Montenegro, and from Montenegro to Kosovo? If you can, where are the border crossings? (If Montenegro-Kosovo border is not open, I suppose going through northern Albania would work fine?)

NB: to my understanding, going to Kosovo through Serbia would not be feasible (unless you only want to visit the Serb-majority northern parts of Kosovo, but I'm thinking Pristina & the Albanian-majority areas).

2) Transportation-wise, what's the easiest way to get to Kosovo from, say, Sarajevo or Mostar? I'm guessing there are few to none international bus routes… But which Montenegrin town should I aim for best connections towards Kosovo? Once over the border in Kosovo, how are the options for continuing to Pristina?

Any form of public transport is ok (including flying if that's the easiest way). Of course, I'm especially interested in hearing about first-hand experiences. Also, feel free to correct if any of my assumptions above were wrong. Background: I've been to (coastal) Montenegro before; moving around there with buses was easy. Bosnia & Kosovo are new to me.

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2 Answers 2

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1) You should have no problems crossing from Bosnia and Hercegovina to Montenegro and on into Kosovo. The only proplematic part is the Serbian-Kosovo border. It seems the best way to travel to/from Serbia is to use your EU identity card, rather than your passport because they can not stamp it.

2) There is a direct bus from Sarajevo to Pristina, from Wikitravel:

There is a bus every day to Pristina in Kosovo at 22:00 from the main bus station. The bus is listed on the station schedule as traveling to Novi Pazar, Serbia. From there it travels on to Pristina.

So this goes through Serbia, but that shouldn't be a problem. Even if you travel on into Serbia proper and then on into a third country, you do have your Serbian entry stamp. As far as I understand the problematic bit is to enter Kosovo by plane or from the south then moving into Serbia without getting a stamp, and then trying to leave Serbia without having an entry stamp for it.

Anyways, personally I don't recommend that bus because it goes at night, at least some of the area is really beautiful and if you have enough time, travel by day.

There is at least one morning bus from Sarajevo (Lukavica bus station, a bit out of town but reachable by public bus) to Podgorica in Montenegro. There is not that much to see there but there is a decent hostel close to the bus/train station. From there you can take a bus to Rozaje and on to Peja in Kosovo, this is a Montenegro/Kosovo crossing. Within Kosovo there are many buses to Pristina.

Even though there are some information about buses online, like Autobusni-Kolodvor, they don't list all connections especially not the ones crossing borders.

Looking at a map can be misleading, buses on the Balkans usually take much longer than expected by a Western/Northern European. Also in winter certain buses may not run because of closed roads.

If you have enough time, go along the Montenegrin coast into Northern Albania and cross into Kosovo at Vrbnica, lost of things to see on the way.

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I was under the impression you couldn't travel from Serbia through the Serb-controlled northern Kosovo on towards Pristina, but apparently that's not the case after all! (Still, there's been instability there, and e.g. Finnish foreign ministry bulletin recommends against travelling in the northern region of Kosovo, so that's one more reason to prefer the Montenegro route). Good to know the Montenegro-Kosovo border is open, and that there are buses. All in all, great info, thanks! –  Jonik Jul 6 '12 at 22:14
    
From what I know, the problem is entering Kosovo first, and then going to Serbia from there (Serbian authorities regard that as illegal entry). There should be no problem the other way around -- entering Serbia first and then going to Kosovo (and back to Serbia if necessary, as long as you didn't go out to other countries). –  dbkk Apr 5 '13 at 9:57
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I can at least partly answer your question by quoting from my Lonely planet:

International buses serve much of Europe, including Skopje, Macedonia (€5, 1½ hours), Tirana, Albania (€35, 10 hours), Istanbul, Turkey (€40, 20 hours), and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Hercegovina (€30, 10 hours).

And:

It's unwise to bring Serbian-plated cars into Kosovo.

And most important:

Because Serbia doesn't consider Kosovo's entry and exit points to be official international borders, attempts to enter Serbia from Kosovo may be futile unless you initially entered Kosovo from Serbia.

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Thanks. Just curious: which LP book are you quoting, Eastern Europe or Western Balkans maybe? Which edition? –  Jonik Jul 6 '12 at 22:21
    
@Jonik It is Eastern Europe, but the exact edition I don't know. I can look it up, but currently, I'm not at home for some days. –  RoflcoptrException Jul 6 '12 at 23:21
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