Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions in Kosovo are hazardous. Although some modern highways exist, most roads remain narrow and crowded and are used by a variety of vehicles, from NATO-KFOR armored personnel carriers to horse-drawn carts. Mountain roads can be narrow and poorly marked, lack guardrails, and quickly become dangerous in inclement weather. Dense fog can obscure visibility while driving.
- Driving in Kosovo is difficult for many reasons: unfamiliar traffic patterns, largely unobserved traffic laws (e.g., illegal left turns from the far right lane, passing on blind curves, driving into oncoming lanes of traffic without yielding), oddly-shaped road signs in a foreign language, stray livestock, horse-drawn carts, infrastructure problems and the construction projects implemented to fix them.
- Roads frequently flood and are impassible during rainy months. Mud and road slides occasionally shut down main throughways.
- Pedestrians should exercise extreme caution, whether on the sidewalk or crossing the street, even when using crosswalks. Drivers generally do not slow down or stop for pedestrians. For situational awareness, pedestrians are strongly advised not to use headphones.
- Local residents often walk in the roadway and wear dark clothing, making it difficult to see them at night. Additionally, stray dogs often lay or run in the roadway and are often difficult to see when driving.
- The U.S. Embassy recommends that you travel during daylight hours. Leave a travel itinerary and contact telephone numbers with someone before you go.
Traffic Laws: Drivers with a blood alcohol level higher than 0.05 percent are considered intoxicated and will be arrested and prosecuted.
- The use of seat belts and headlights is mandatory at all times.
- It is illegal to use a cell phone while driving unless it is hands-free.
- It is the law that all accidents, including minor fender-benders, be reported to police. If you are involved in any type of accident, it is recommended that you not move your vehicle until police arrive to take a full report.
- When police impose a fine or penalty, they may legally confiscate your driver?s license and vehicle documents until the penalty is paid. The U.S. Embassy is not able to retrieve these documents.
- Review Kosovo traffic safety laws for complete information on driver?s licenses and imported or foreign-tagged vehicle registration requirements.
- Drivers of motor vehicles registered outside of Kosovo may need to purchase liability insurance at the border. Kosovo is not a member of the European motor vehicle third party liability (?green card?) system.
Public Transportation: Taxis are generally an inexpensive, safe, and reliable means of transportation. It is recommended to use established taxi companies instead of a personally-owned vehicle converted to a taxi. Make sure the taxi has a meter and that the driver activates it upon departure.
- Rail transportation is very limited and unreliable, and safety equipment is often lacking or outdated.
- There has been some improvement with new buses introduced in Pristina, but generally buses can often become overcrowded
See our Road Safety page for more information.
Aviation Safety and Oversight: Pristina has a modern airport terminal and control tower. International airlines fly to Pristina on a regular basis. Flights can experience significant delays and/or cancellations due to weather conditions, especially during the winter. When heavy fog or smog is present, flights may be diverted to Skopje, North Macedonia or Tirana, Albania. Airlines typically bus passengers to the Pristina airport, which takes approximately 2 hours.
As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Kosovo, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Government of Kosovo?s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Kosovo is not a member of ICAO. Flights are frequently delayed or cancelled due to poor visibility as a result of heavy fog. Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.