Having spent nearly 5 months of the past 8 months of our Europe trip in the Balkans, we can testify that we genuinely love it here. And after nearly two months of exploring the beautiful country that is Serbia, we can attest to it being one of the most underrated countries in Europe. Overall, Serbia is a vibrant country with a rich history and culture, a true fun and social loving scene, and is one of the most affordable countries you can visit in Europe at this time. Our love letter for Serbia would be too long to write here and that is why we have decided to share with you just a small breakdown of our favourite must visit places in Serbia.
Belgrade is the buzzing capital city of Serbia. Blending history with an emerging modern flair and an unbeatable nightlife, Belgrade has solidified its place as one of Europe’s must visit cities outside the traditional list. No matter what time of day it is, there is something for everyone to do in Belgrade.
Are you an early riser? Then Belgrade’s amazing new coffee scene is for you. We recommend that you visit Belgrade’s Kafeterija for one of Europe’s best coffees and a fresh savoury croissant.
Are you a midday explorer? Then lace up your running shoes and head to one of the many tourist attractions located around the city. We recommend starting at the popular pedestrian street, Knez Mihailova, then visiting the Kalemegdan Fortress for an amazing view over the Sava River, then enjoying a traditional lunch at the quaint and historical Skadarlija street, and ending with a visit to the unfinished but beautiful Church of Saint Sava.
Are you a night owl? Belgrade has one of the best nightlife scenes in the whole of Europe, with a guaranteed party every night of the week. We recommend starting your night with an amazing meal at any of the restaurants along the Sava River, Toro is our personal favourite, followed by a party in the Savamala area or on one of the world famous Splavs, or river nightclubs. We are sure that in a single visit you will fall in love with Belgrade as much as we have!
Novi Sad is a charming city straight out of a mini fairytale. In the quaint downtown you are able to explore the entire city center by foot, with its brightly coloured and unique architecture influenced by the gothic era. Many cafes line the main square giving you the perfect opportunity to sip a coffee while people watching, a favourite past time of ours while travelling. Don’t forget to finish your day with an unforgettable sunset at the Petrovaradin Fortress overlooking the city and the Danube River. Also, if you are lucky enough to be visiting during July, Novi Sad is home to the world famous, Exit Music Festival. So be sure to schedule your trip to Novi Sad with this is mind.
For lovers of nature, a visit to the Djerdap National Park is a must. With ample opportunities for hiking, exploring, and enjoying nature, Djerdap is the perfect escape out of the city. It’s best to begin your journey at the Golubac Fortress and from there you can make your way along or stop at the many lookouts to enjoy the views of the Danube River and into Romania. Don’t forget to pack a picnic, with some traditional Serbian cold cuts, fresh cheeses, and breads, for your adventures and enjoy your lunch overlooking the river at these lookouts along the way.
So technically, Avala, isn’t a city, it’s a mountain overlooking Belgrade. But we have included it in this list because it is a nice spot to get out of the city for an hour or two or overnight if you would like to enjoy the peace and quiet of mountain life at one of the many retreat resorts here. Plus, on a clear day, the views of Belgrade, Vojvodina, and Sumadija, from the Avala Tower are breathtaking.
Subotica is a great city if you want to experience the best of two countries at once, the two countries being Serbia and Hungary. This Serbian city is so close to the Hungarian border that you can cycle there if you’re even inclined to. We loved Subotica for the beautiful amalgamation of the two countries that allowed us to eat Langos in Serbia, practice a little Hungarian language, and admire the unique architecture with its Hungarian influences all without entering the EU. It’s also worth taking a visit to the nearby Palic Lake for some summer fun on a hot day.
Smederevo is a small city in central Serbia. While it is a lot like the other cities in Serbia, the drive from Belgrade is beautiful through the Serbian countryside making for a peaceful half-day trip out of the city. This city is worth the visit if you are interested in visiting the old fortress or the highlight of our daytrip, the small but charming family-run Podrum Dionis Winery, which we so highly recommend.
So, Krupajsko vrelo isn’t a city either, but it’s a small lake in Serbia that, as you can see from the photos above, features a waterhole that looks straight out of a fantasy scene from Avatar. With its stunning bright blue, clear crystal water, and its mysterious cave system, Krupajsko Vrelo is a must visit for all nature lovers and is perfect if you want to capture some Facebook and Instagram worthy shots. After your visit to the waterhole, you can take a dip in the natural lake water or sample some fresh lake trout at the entrance to the waterhole.
We would love to hear your tips for Serbia, so leave them in the comments below! xx