6

Similar questions have been asked, but they were from 7 years ago, so I want to see if there has been any diplomatic updates. My goal is to bike from Pristina, Kosovo to Sofia, Bulgaria. Google maps recommends going all the way south to North Macedonia. I have a time limit, so if that is the case I will have to plan a different route altogether. (This is just for vacation, so if the crossing would involve anything to risky, I'll just plan a different route.)

On Google maps I placed Park per fushen e futbollit, Rruga Madenit, Karaçevë e Epërme and Restaurant Oxygen, Te Lisi Karaçevë e Epërme XK, 62000 as the start and end. It appears that both are in Kosovo (although maybe the destination is a Serbian enclave). Google still recommends travelling through North Macedonia. route

Before I give up on this plan, I am wondering if Google is misleading me. What makes me suspicious is that I see that R124 in Kosovo connects the two places (The only article I found about that route was from a Dutch wiki https://www.wegenwiki.nl/Rruga_regjionale ). So supposedly some people cross that border. I am an American citizen, can I cross the border?

9
  • 1
    I did a bit of searching and found news articles from December 2022 reporting closure of border crossings. I have no idea about the current state of affairs, but I wouldn't be surprised if Google maps is reflecting it relatively accurately.
    – phoog
    Apr 18, 2023 at 11:09
  • On the contrary, I'd say the Google Maps route is illogical. The shortest route between those two points does not cross any border, so why take a detour through multiple border checkpoints? Is the road really impassable for bicycles? Unlikely. Apr 18, 2023 at 11:21
  • 1
    Google Maps bike routing can be very strange indeed. I've seen some crazy detours. Apr 18, 2023 at 15:59
  • @ChrisH-UK but in this case its pedestrian routing as there are no bicycling directions available in the area.
    – phoog
    Apr 18, 2023 at 16:01
  • @Johnnyjanko indeed, I had assumed that there must be a border blockade to the west of the actual border (and of the restaurant), but the restaurant's online presence makes it seem unlikely that it's accessible only from the eastern side of the border. Apple maps shows that you can drive from Muhovac to Karaçevë e Epërme on the R-214, but ViaMichelin (which I started using when they had detailed coverage in Sarajevo long before Google did) shows that you have to go through Bujanovac, making it a 49 km trip. Still better than the 127 km from Google.
    – phoog
    Apr 18, 2023 at 16:21

2 Answers 2

16

Please note: when you are in Kosovo, you already entered Serbia, from the serbian legal perspective.

If you directly enter Kosovo from outside Serbia, from the Serbian perspective you never officially and legally entered Serbia. Therefore, if you manage or try to enter Serbia from Kosovo, it means (from the serbian perspective) you already entered illegally in Serbia. So they will not allow you to stay in Serbia (from their point of view Kosovo is Serbia). Even less to further travel through Serbia.

See the informations provided by the serbian consulate in Lebanon: http://www.beirut.mfa.gov.rs/consularservicestext.php?subaction=showfull&id=1581599779&ucat=17&template=MeniENG&

0
6

Unless your last entry to Kosovo was from Serbia (Serbia-Kosovo-Serbia), you'll be refused entry to Serbia from Kosovo on a foreign passport as the Serbs don't issue entry stamps at those checkpoints, with a Kosovan entry stamp NOT deemed a valid substitute. An ID card would've done the trick for eligible nationalities, but US passport cards aren't valid for Serbia.

So you indeed have to travel via Macedonia (or Montenegro)

5
  • It is possible that I can do a clockwise circle from Sofia to Nis (Serbia) to Pristina (Kosovo) and then cut through Serbia to Sofia. The question is, can I cross the boarder on route R124?
    – HanMah
    Apr 18, 2023 at 17:23
  • What would happen if you travelled EU - Serbia - Kosovo - N. Macedonia - Serbia? Would the entry stamp from the first entry to Serbia cause problems at the second entry? Apr 19, 2023 at 9:03
  • montenegro is not macedonia, and is on west side. so, if he wants to go to bulgaria, he should not go to montenegro Apr 19, 2023 at 10:10
  • @HanMah Yes, Bulgaria-Serbia-Kosovo-Serbia-Bulgaria is perfectly fine
    – Crazydre
    Apr 19, 2023 at 21:44
  • 1
    @CharlieHarding You mean the lack of a Serbian exit stamp? Currently no; the Kosovan exit stamp at the Macedonian border shows when you left the territory Serbia claims as theirs
    – Crazydre
    Apr 19, 2023 at 21:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .