Yes, Kosovo is a country, though it depends on who you ask. It’s not recognized by much of Asia and South America, but this small republic gained its independence from Serbia in 2008 and has been a hotspot for Balkan tourism ever since. The capital city of Pristina is one of the most affordable cities to visit in Europe, whose most iconic monument spells out the word “newfound.” It seems only appropriate.

Kosovo is working to establish a national identity, as it’s been under control of everyone from the Ottoman empire to the Nazis, Soviets, and Serbia. The result is a place where you can tour the church where Mother Teresa found her calling, then visit multiple Ottoman-era mosques throughout the countryside. Kosovo is truly a country at the crossroads, both literally and figuratively. And spending a few days here will show you just how complex the history of the Balkans truly is.