Flights to Gnjilane
Also known as Gjilan, Gnjilane is a town in the east of Kosovo in the Balkans region of Europe. With a population of over 100,000 people it’s a relatively large city with facilities and services, yet not much in the way of tourist attractions.
Gnjilane doesn’t have its own airport, so most flights to Gnjilane will arrive at the Pristina International Airport (airport code: PRN) instead. It’s a short bus ride between Pristina and Gnjilane. Most flights to Gnjilane (arriving in Pristina) have 2 stops when coming from South Africa, though there are a few 1-stop routes. Turkish Airlines transfers in Istanbul, and British Airways will go through London. If you fly with Lufthansa, you’ll have stops in Frankfurt and Vienna but South African Airways goes via Cairo and Istanbul instead. Most flights to Gnjilane are about 18 hours long.
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The Tourist Attractions of Gnjilane:
To be blunt, Gnjilane isn’t really a tourist destination so if you’re coming to Kosovo this probably won’t be your first choice of destinations. It’s a working city with many businesses and a once booming industrial economy. The urban landscape is one of concrete and multiple-storey buildings with mosques added in between, that give a little bit of interest to the visitor. There is however one section of the city that’s recommended for anyone visiting Gnjilane and that’s the Roma Quarter (called Mahalla). You can ask anyone on the street where it is and most will direct you while others will actually take you there.
If you’re heading to the east of Kosovo and want to go and explore the country some more then Gnjilane is probably a good choice as somewhere to base yourself. It’s the most major city in this eastern part of the country, and with facilities and services to suit the 100,000 or so people who live here, as a tourist you should find some places to stay, shop and eat out. Don’t expect many people to speak English because being a non-touristy destination the locals won’t be so geared up to receiving tourists, though on the other hand this can be of benefit…
Though there’s little to see in Gnjilane the fact that tourism hasn’t hit is great for those visitors who want to get to know the locals and experience the culture of Kosovo. Most people in the Balkan countries are very friendly and welcoming so there’s usually an opportunity to sit down and have a coffee with them, even if you can’t understand each other!
When Should You Visit?:
Like the rest of Kosovo the climate in Gnjilane is closest to continental, though a more temperate continental climate than you might experience in some other landlocked countries. The best time to visit for wandering around is definitely the summer, between June and September, as these are the warmest months and temperatures peak in July and August. You should find relatively sunny skies at this time of year. Winters are in contrast quite cool and there’s often snow in Gnjilane, hence this isn’t a good time to visit.