Spotting brown bears in Kosovo

Spotting brown bears

Once, bears in Kosovo were in cages, close to restaurants, to amuse customers. Now, these brown bears in Kosovo are enjoying a real natural environment. And the best part is that you can visit them.

The Bear Sanctuary is a large place in nature, a twenty-minute drive outside Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. Drive for about twenty to thirty minutes in the direction of Gjilan and follow the signs. Visitors can park their car, buy a ticket for €2 (children till 14 years old: €1, babies for free), and enjoy a pleasant walk. The tour takes between 30 and 60 minutes. Note that there isn’t a lot of shade. So, prepare yourself when it is a hot day.

Before or after watching the bears, you can have a good meal in the restaurant. Kids can play outside in a nice playground. Inside the restaurant, there are some other activities for kids.

bears in kosovo in bear sanctuary
brown bear in bear sanctuary
© Kosovo-Info

Around a dozen of bears live in the park. Some of them are inside, some play outside in the water, and a couple of bears are usually just enjoying the weather. Every animal has his own sign with personal information about his background and his actual behavior.

Bears Sanctuary: opening hours

Visiting hours are 10.00am to 07.00pm from April through October. During the winter months, the park can close more early. Check therefore their facebook page. Because of hibernation, the park is closed for a number of weeks during the winter. For example, the park re-opens in the middle of February. More information is available on their Facebook page, or by calling +383 45 826 072, or by e-mail:

Before or after visiting the Bear Sanctuary, we recommend that you visit the beautiful monastery of Gracanica. This Serbian Orthodox site is well kept, and the church is filled with beautiful paintings and images. If you are lucky, someone will guide you through all the hidden beauty of this monastery. Gracanica is on the way to the sanctuary. You can find directions via this map.

Close to the monastery, you will find the modern looking Hotel Gracanica, which is a unique place in the country. The staff is a mix of several ethnicities. It’s a good place to stop for a coffee, a glass of wine or a meal.

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