The Republic of Kosovo formally declared independence from Serbia on 17 February 2008. In common with the majority of our EU partners, Ireland fully recognises the Republic of Kosovo as an independent nation.
The Embassy of Ireland to the Republic of Kosovo is located in Budapest, Hungary.
While the overall security situation remains calm in most of the country, there are ongoing tensions in northern Kosovo. The government of Serbia and many Serbs in the north of Kosovo reject the declaration of independence. There have been incidents in the city of Mitrovica where violence can flare up without warning. As a result, you should avoid non-essential travel to Northern Mitrovica and to the northern municipalities of Leposavic, Zubin Potok and Zvecan as there is an increased risk of disturbance in these areas.
More generally, it is important that you avoid public gatherings, protests and demonstrations while travelling in Kosovo.
Intending travellers should also note that the Serbian authorities will not allow you to travel into Serbia, from Kosovo, unless you began your journey in Serbia and are returning there directly. See section on Entry Requirements.
Citizens intending to travel to Kosovo are strongly advised to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before travelling to Kosovo. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.
Irish Citizens should note that the Irish Government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.
Visit visas are not required for entry to Kosovo for periods of up to 90 days. Please note, however, that you may be required to provide documentary evidence stating the purpose of your visit. A 90-day entry stamp will be issued and this can be renewed for longer stays.
As there are ongoing difficulties in travelling between Serbia and Kosovo, it is advisable to make alternative arrangements (cf. SAFETY & SECURITY below). In July 2008 the Serbian government took the decision not to recognise the Republic of Kosovo’s exit/entry stamps, cancelling these at the entry point into Serbia and replacing them with a Serbian border stamp.
It is advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.
SAFETY & SECURITY
The government of Serbia and many Serbs in Kosovo reject Kosovo's declaration of independence and this has led to increased tensions. Although the overall security situation in much of Kosovo remains calm there is a danger that it could deteriorate. The situation in the north of the country is especially unpredictable.
A number of police and customs border posts between Kosovo and Serbia have been attacked. Border control points may close as a result of disorder. You should therefore consider alternative routes of travel to Serbia. You should avoid non-essential travel to Northern Mitrovica and to the northern municipalities of Leposavic, Zubin Potok and Zvecan as there is an increased risk of disturbance in these areas. You should not try to enter Kosovo from Serbia via Leposavic and Zubin Potok at present.
It is strongly recommended that citizens avoid any demonstrations or public gatherings as there is a possibility that they may turn violent without warning. Stay alert at all times, monitor local media reports and follow directives of local authorities regarding safety or security risks.
There are still residual mines and other unexploded ordnance. Special care should be taken in the areas of the Dulje Pass (central Kosovo), the west and south of the province, the border with Albania and the region between South Serbia’s Presevo Valley and Kosovo.
You should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
You are advised to take normal, sensible precautions to avoid
mugging, bag snatching and pick-pocketing. Please be
particularly careful on busy public transport, in train stations,
markets and other places frequented by tourists. The
incidence of car-jacking and car theft continue to increase,
particularly in the city of Pristina.
All incidents of crime should be reported to the local police and a report should be obtained.
An Irish driving licence may be used in Kosovo. However, European Green Card vehicle insurance is not valid. Local insurance should be purchased at the border or, if not available, the nearest town.
The general standard of roads is poor with conditions worsening in rural areas, particularly in bad weather. There are risks of landslides on the main route between Pristina and Skopje. It is strongly recommended that driving at night be avoided.
You should be aware that many Serbian car hire firms will not allow their vehicles to be driven in Kosovo due to concerns about the security situation. There have been some incidents where Serbian registered cars have been targeted in more isolated areas of Kosovo.
You should check local developments before starting your journey particularly if you plan to cross a land border with Serbia.
You should seek medical advice before travelling and ensure that all required vaccinations are up to date. The standard of medical care is not comparable to that in Western Europe. You are advised to take out comprehensive travel insurance to cover any medical evacuation.
Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), a tick-borne infection is endemic to Kosovo. Although most cases of CCHF occur in the region around Malishevo (central Kosovo), during summer months the other rural areas of Kosovo can be affected. If you have visited Kosovo and are suffering from a fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, vomiting, red rash (which does not fade when pressed under a glass), bleeding on the roof of the mouth or any other unexplained symptoms, you should seek medical advice immediately.
There is also a risk of exposure to tick-borne encephalitis in forested areas.
Kosovo lies in a seismically active zone and earth tremors are
There are risks of forest fires during the summer month, particularly in Northern Kosovo.
DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR MISSIONS
Diplomatic Representation for Kosovo is handled by the Embassy in Budapest. For contact details please click hereTop