PRIZREN never feels like the second biggest city in Kosovo. A jumble of Ottoman, Serb, Albanian and Roman, a few hours from Macedonia, with views across to Albania’s mountains, compact and bustling Prizren’s history bursts from its pretzel-like streets. It welcomes visitors, mostly from the Balkans, and feeds them well, too.
Kosovo has several picturesque and charming old cities, and Prizren is many people's favourite.
Although larger than Pec and Gjakova, it is ideally suited to strolling the historical streets.
Again, the feel is distinctly Ottoman.
Winding, cobbled streets flow outwards from the old Shadervan Square, which throngs in the evening.
Mosques and minarets dot the skyline and streetscape.
Seeing inside can be hit and miss. They are often locked, but also often open for the curious. The wooden Bajrakli Mosque was not.
Two in particular are worth coming back for: the Emam Pasha mosque.
And the central Sinan Pasha mosque.
The larger, 17th century Sinan Mosque is in many ways the hub of Prizren.
Friday prayers overflow into the streets.
The pleasant grounds of the mosque contain a cafe serving breakfast and lunch.
Smaller, less visited, Imam Pasha sits across the river, behind one of the old hammam.
If the imam is around, he is a friendly chap, and will be happy to show off the interiors.
The north side of the river has some of the more interesting parts of the old city.
While most of the south side has been tarted up, there is an authentic, local air on the north.
Old tinkers and cobblers and tailors and fill the shops, not fridge magnets.
The tourist trade is less evident here, and there are a number of historical buildings too, such as this rare watch tower on the hammam.
There are, too, reminders of the bloody past conflicts, like the shuttered Serbian Cathedral Mother of God of Ljeviš.
Many centuries old religious buildings sit side by side in Prizren.
Very little of the pre-Indepence Serb population remains. Some put the figure as low as 20 people.
Prizren was in fact the 14th century Serbian capital.
The site of the Kalaja (fort) shows evidence of settlement from over 4000 years ago.
The fort itself is Roman. The hard 15 minute slog to the top rewards with expansive views across to Albania.
Wandering aimlessly through the streets will turn up more mosques and tumble-down houses and historical places.
Not all sights are historical and famous. Some are a simple reminder of the recent past.
When the daytime heat is gone, Prizren pulses with locals and visitors.
Eateries abound in the square and along the river. Despite the tourist trade, there is no shortage of authentic Balkan fare.
Choose from classic pides and dips, or swing by the famous Al Hambra for a heart stopping lamb indulgence.
Kosovo's second largest city is a gem.