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Eastern Europe , Europe , SERBIA

Ultimate travel guide to novi sad, serbia.

Ultimate Travel Guide to Novi Sad, Serbia

The beautiful city of Novi Sad, situated in the north of Serbia, is probably most famous for the EXIT music festival that happens here every July.

Visit at any other time of the year however, and you’ll find a laidback, very local city that oozes friendly charm, unpretentious sophistication, culture, history and some gorgeous surrounds.

When I visited Novi Sad in Serbia as part of my summer eastern Europe adventure in 2018, there were very few other tourists around. But I have a feeling that may well have changed now given Novi Sad has been named the European City of Culture 2022!

Yes prepare for this place to become wildly popular… and for a good reason!

Because from an ancient fortress and quaint Old Town, to beautiful Danube views, a riverside beach, a lively café culture and even a national park on the doorstep, there’s no question Novi Sad is a delightful stop – one which can provide a welcome relief from treading the busy traveller route of Prague , Berlin and Budapest .

So, if you’re looking for somewhere a little different, yet still bubbling with a vibrancy and diverse range of things to do, look no further than Novi Sad.

Here’s my ultimate travel guide to visiting this great Serbian spot…

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My stay in Novi Sad was kindly sponsored by Varad Inn Hostel but, as always, all views are my own.

Why Visit Novi Sad?

Serbia, Novi Sad, Shopfront

Named the European Youth City in 2019, as well as the European Capital of Culture in 2022, Novi Sad is on the rise!

Long known within Serbia as a happening, student city, with a vibrant culture and tradition of activism, Novi Sad is becoming well known on a bigger scale as a place that makes the perfect addition to a Belgrade excursion…. or even an ideal city break in its own right.

If you’re visiting in July, EXIT festival held annually at this time, is the perfect excuse to go and party Serbian style (oh how the Serbs love to party!), but at other times of the year, Novi Sad is a wonderful addition to a longer eastern Europe excursion.

Allowing just a few extra days here on your way south from Budapest , west from Sarajevo , north from Belgrade or east from Romania or Bulgaria is a great idea and a superb chance to get away from simply visiting the capital cities and ticking those sightseeing boxes!

Oh and did I mention Novi Sad is also crazy cheap?!

Get here before the world catches on and the pries go up!

When to Visit Novi Sad?

Serbia, Novi Sad, Exit Festival

Being a complete winter-phobe, there’s no question I’d suggest visiting Novi Sad in the summer, when film festivals, music festivals, street performance festivals, dance festivals and general merriment is in full swing.

That said, making this a winter break would bring a snowy splendour of a time – especially with the city’s picturesque setting on the banks of the Danube. just make sure you travel with a thick coat and some even thicker socks, gloves and boots if you’re planning on doing this.

How to Travel to Novi Sad?

Serbia, Train, Carriage

Situated in the north of Serbia, about an hour from Belgrade, backpackers can make their way to Novi Sad from a variety of directions.

Here’s the most common…

#1 Belgrade to Novi Sad

The nearest airport to Novi Sad is Belgrade, find a cheap flight here using Skyscanner and then hop on a local bus straight from the airport to Novi Sad – it will take less than 1.5 hours.

If you’re arriving into the centre of Belgrade from another European city, then hopping on a bus is again your best bet.

Leaving from the Main Station in Belgrade every 20 minutes or so, the bus to Novi Sad costs around 10€ and takes 1.5 hours.

If you’re travelling from Bosnia, Croatia, Romania or Bulgaria, you’re likely to arrive via international bus into Belgrade, so stay at the station and head straight out to Novi Sad.

Essentially bus is the way to go here, so buy your tickets in advance (to save the queues) via Busbud .

#2 Budapest to Novi Sad

Top tip alert!

Bus and trains from Budapest travelling south generally stop in Novi Sad.

This makes it the perfect city to break up the journey as you travel from the Hungarian capital, south, to elsewhere in Europe.

How Long to Stay in Novi Sad?

Serbia, Novi Sad, Old Town

Novi Sad is a small city, but it does offer a ton of stuff to do.

As such, I’d allow at least 2-3 nights for your trip here.

On day 1, I’d advise spending your time exploring the Fortress as well as the Old Town here, along with the modern centre of the city and its many shops, cafes, restaurants and churches.

Strolling along the Danube, checking out one of the many parks and hitting the Strand Beach are also must-dos.

With another day or 2 up your sleeve, there’s plenty of day trips you can make from Novi Sad, including to the surrounding national parks, vineyards and monasteries. Scroll to the bottom of this post to learn more…

Alternatively, if you are on a short timeframe and are only just squeezing Novi Sad in, then it pays to know you can also this city as part of a great day trip from Belgrade .

Which means there really is no excuse not to come here!

Top Things to Do in Novi Sad

Serbia, Novi Sad, Fortress View

Where to start when it comes to the best things to do in this city?

So the first thing to do in Novi Sad is a hike up to the Fortress – hello FREE activity! – and snap the amazing Danube and countryside views from the top.

Next stroll through the Old Town and across the bridge to the city centre.

Here you can wander the shops, cafes, churches, parks and squares to your heart’s content.

You should also return in the evening when all the streets here come to life with alfresco diners and drinkers bringing a great atmosphere to this pedestrianised area.

Zmaj Jovina is the main eatery / bar strip in the city centre, so head here and the surrounding streets if you’re after a good time.

For something more relaxing, walking along the Danube to the Strand – Novi Sad’s answer to a beach, which is loads of fun and costs just 75 Dinar entrance – about $1 USD!

With grass and sand to lie on, take a towel, a good book and enjoy catching some rays here on a summer’s day – it’s Novi Sad perfection!

Best Day Trips from Novi Sad

Serbia, Sremski Karlovci, Tractor

As talked about earlier on this in this article, I said we’d discuss the best day trips from Novi Sad, after all, I definitely recommend enjoying at least 1 or 2 of them if you can.

Here’s my pick of the bunch…

#1 Sremski Karlovci

If you’re staying at Varad Inn, this is a super easy day trip because all you need do is take the #61 or #62 bus from basically outside the hostel door!

In 15 minutes you’ll be in the quiet town of Sremski Karlovci .

Situated on the banks of the Danube, this place is famous as a local wine-growing region, so cellars and wine shops abound with plenty of tastings on offer.

Get stuck in with this great guided day trip there!

The panoramic view across the city and Royal Gardens also deserve a special mention.

#2 Iriški Venac

Situated in the heart of Fruška Gora National Park, this is a great day trip if you want to take in the beauty of this landscape here without having to plan a multi-day hike or hire a guide.

Enjoy the views as you feast over a delicious Serbian lunch and then head out by local bus to explore the ancient monasteries, such as the Novo Hopovo Monastery, that dot the scenery here.

How to Get Around Novi Sad?

Serbia, Novi Sad, Me in Fortress Tunnel

Both bus and trains to Novi Sad arrive into stations that are located next to each other, just north of the city centre.

Hop on bus #61, #62, #64 from these stations to get to the city centre or simply walk across the bridge to the Fortress and Old Town.

Once in the downtown area, it’s then safe and easy to walk everywhere in Novi Sad.

Strolling along the promenade, adjacent to the Danube, is particularly pleasant, with cyclists, runners and rollerbladers all making use of this car-free track.

Taxis are extremely reasonable in Novi Sad too and, quite amazingly in my experience, never rip you off.

Short trips around the city won’t cost you more than a dollar or 2 in a taxi, but do make sure the meter is in use!

Alternatively, Car:Go is a great rideshare app to use across Serbia, that works like Uber.

Top Spots for Eating & Drinking

Serbia, Novi Sad, Pogon

No trip to Novi Sad would be complete with getting stuck into some Serbian beer, wine and rakija (local lethal spirit made from fruits like plum, apple and quince!)

Local foods worth trying include Burek and Kajmak.

Here’s my following recommendation for eating and drinking in Novi Sad:

Breakfast: Kombinat

Coffee: Pogon

Craft Beer: Mazut

Lunch: Protein

Live Music: Corto

Dinner: Toster Bar

Best Place to Stay in Novi Sad?

Serbia, Novi Sad, Vard Inn 1

As far as I’m concerned there’s only place you should stay in Novi Sad if you’re a budget traveller and that’s the fabulous Varad Inn Hostel .

Recommended by Lonely Planet’s Eastern Europe guidebook , as well as me!, this family-run guesthouse, set in a heritage building, is perfectly located below Novi Sad’s Fortress in the gorgeous Old Town.

With dorms, privates, ensuites, a small guest kitchen and cute courtyard, this is a wonderfully chilled spot, with some of the friendliest staff ever!

Staying 3 nights, I had a hard job to pull myself away from the lightning wifi speed, relaxed feel and the new Serbian friends I made here!

Altnertiavely, if you want something with a  little more space and comfort, then check out Crystal Apartments in the centre of Novi Sad, which came with brilliant ratings and reviews.

4 Key Packing Items for Novi Sad

Serbia, Novi Sad, Strand

#1 Good Camera – You will be snapping aplenty during your time in this city and will need a good camera to do this unique place justice. I highly recommend the Sony A6000 , which I use for all my travels and love, not least because it’s light, compact and robust!

#2 Good Walking Shoes – There will be a lot of walking in Novi Sad, so make sure your feet are comfortable therefore with a pair of New Balance Trainers . I love mine.

#3 Good Water Bottle – All that Serbian sightseeing is thirsty work, so make sure you have a metal water bottle that you can refill as you go, because tap water in Novi Sad is drinkable… and free!

#4 Good Backpack – And to carry your water bottle, camera and guidebook, you’re going to need a decent backpack that will help you balance the weight as you walk. In my opinion, you can’t go past the Bobby Anti Theft Backpack , which is also perfect for helping you avoid pickpockets too.

Travel Insurance for Serbia

Serbia, Novi Sad, Me in the Fortress

Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.

When to Visit After Novi Sad?

Serbia, Novi Sad, Statue

Well the obvious option if you’re not coming from there already, is Belgrade is the alluring capital of Serbia has a lot of fun to offer.

Check out my list of the top things to do in the city here .

Otherwise, Budapest is another easy city to get to from Novi Sad and you certainly need to visit here and relax in the amazing baths at least once in your life!

Check out my list of the top things to do in Budapest here .

Otherwise, Timisoara in Romania, Zagreb in Croatia or Sarajevo in Bosnia Hercegovina are also good options!

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The Ultimate Backpackers Guide to Novi Sad, Serbia {Big World Small Pockets}

So there you have it, my ultimate travel guide to visiting Novi Sad in Serbia.

Have you been to this gorgeous city before?

What was your favourite thing to do there?

Tell me all in the comments box below…

Just enter your details below and I'll email it you - simple!

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novi sad travel blog

Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie adventures the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile

2 thoughts on “ Ultimate Travel Guide to Novi Sad, Serbia ”

novi sad travel blog

Thanks for the helpful description. I will visit Novi Sad in November for work. Can you tell me whether private apartments are as correct as they give on the site (accommodation yard in the center of Novi Sad for example – “prenoćište dvorište apartmani”) or are hotels a safer option? Thanks in advance.

novi sad travel blog

Hi Anet, great to hear you are heading to Novi Sad, I’m sure you will enjoy working there. Unfortunately, I don’t speak Serbian so can’t help with translation, but I imagine that both private apartments and hotels would be safe options here. As always when it comes to security, just ensure you read reviews carefully and employ your common sense. Best of luck, Steph 🙂

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The World Was Here First

13 Things To Do In Novi Sad, Serbia: A One Day Itinerary

Last Updated on March 5, 2024

by Maggie Turansky

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. That means if you click a link and make a purchase, we may make a small commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see our privacy policy.

novi sad travel blog

Many people who are visiting Serbia set their sites solely on lively and edgy Belgrade and fail to notice humble Novi Sad when in their trip planning. And this is a real shame. While we are always advocates in spending time in cities outside of the capital, there are many things to do in Novi Sad that really make a case for it. Where Belgrade is gritty and raw, Novi Sad is colourful and charming.

As the capital of the Vojvodina region of northern Serbia, Novi Sad makes for a logical stop if you’re coming from Hungary, on a longer trip in the Balkans , or even as a day trip from the capital. Its compact nature means that visitors can experience the highlights of this city in just one day, however, there is enough to do that you can stay occupied for two or even three days.

After spending several weeks in this beautiful city, we got to know it at an intimate level and can assist you in figuring out the best things to do in Serbia’s second-largest city!

Table of Contents

Getting To and Around Novi Sad

As the second-largest city in Serbia, Novi Sad is actually quite well connected in the region and is fairly easy to reach depending on where you are coming from.

If you want to visit Novi Sad from Belgrade, whether as a day trip or for a longer stay, you have a couple of options available. If you’re coming from the city centre, countless buses leave from the central bus station each day, roughly every half hour. The journey is affordable and it takes about 1.5 hours to get to Novi Sad. You can book and see schedules here.

As of the time of writing this article, there is no train running between the two cities.

While there is no international airport in Airport in Novi Sad, you can easily reach the city with a transfer from Belgrade airport. You can either grab a taxi or bus to Belgrade’s central bus station and hop on a coach from there or you can book a private transfer from the airport.

Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad

Travellers can also reach Novi Sad if coming from Hungary and it makes for a logical stop between Budapest and Belgrade. Though the train service is disrupted as of right now, there are buses available between the two cities (mostly en route to Belgrade).

If you’re visiting Novi Sad as a day trip from Belgrade and aren’t keen to try and go independently, there are also countless guided tours available.

Most tours from Belgrade like this full-day tour or this full-day tour include both a guided visit to Novi Sad itself along with wine tasting in the nearby town of Sremski Karlovci.

Once in Novi Sad, its compact nature means that it is actually quite easy to get around on food and all of the stops and things to do on this itinerary are intended to be carried out entirely on foot. There is a robust bus network if needed, though it’s not necessary.

Name of Mary Church

What to do in Novi Sad in One Day

The first day of this Novi Sad itinerary will see you exploring the city centre and its highlights. If you’re only planning on visiting Novi Sad as a day trip or for only one full day, then follow the first day of this itinerary.

Petrovaradin Fortress

Begin your one day in Novi Sad at arguably its most famous landmark, the Petrovaradin Fortress. Located on the south side of the Danube across the river from the city centre, this is the site of the world-famous EXIT Festival — a music festival that is held each July. Musical acts aside, however, the Petrovaradin Fortress is a great place to visit any time of year.

Originally constructed in the 17th Century, the Petrovaradin Fortress is home to a number of points of interest for visitors. You may be interested in visiting the Museum of Novi Sad, for instance, which makes its home in the grounds of the fortress. For something a bit more creepy, consider visiting the Petrovaradin Catacombs.

Because you are likely going to be visiting this spot in the morning, it can also be a great idea to grab a coffee at one of the many cafes up at the fortress. You can take the time to enjoy the views of the city and river below while getting excited about your day of exploration to come.

Walking up to the Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad

Monument to the Victims of the Raid

Crossing the bridge to the north side of the Danube, take the time to walk along the river before heading into the city centre. Not only will you be greeted with fantastic views of the imposing fortress but you also get the chance to visit a truly moving sculpture: the Monument to the Victims of the Raid.

This sculpture of a family along the banks of the Danube is there to remember the murdered victims of the “January Raid” carried out between the 21st and 23rd of January in 1942. This was when the occupying Hungarian Fascist regime brutally executed over 1,000 Jews, Serbs and Roma people.

There are plaques in both Serbian and Hebrew describing the horrific events in detail.

Monument to the Victims of the Raid in Novi Sad

Dunavski Park

Now it’s time to walk along the river bank and start turning into the city centre – but not before making a stop in the lovely, leafy Dunavski (Danube) Park! This lush green space offers a great respite from a warm day and is always lively and bustling no matter what time of day it is.

There is ample grassy space, plenty of shady benches, and a lovely pond where you can even spot bullfrogs and turtles if you’re lucky.

Spotting turtles in Dunavski Park

Museum of Vojvodina

Located adjacent to the park lies the Museum of Vojvodina, the northern region in which Novi Sad resides. This can be an interesting stop as this region has a bit of a different history than the rest of Serbia, seeing as it avoided Ottoman rule completely and was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until 1918 when it finally joined Yugoslavia.

If you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating region and putting some context into the place that you’re visiting, then make sure to include the Museum of Vojvodina on your Novi Sad itinerary.

Nearby, the Museum of Vojvodina is the Museum of Contemporary is a great option for art lovers if you’d like to visit another Novi Sad museum.

Riblja Pijaca

Just a bit behind the Museum of Vojvodina lies a place that I consider one of the best things to see in Novi Sad, though there are people who may not agree with me — that is the Riblja Pijaca. It’s simply just an open-air marketplace but I always find there is no better place to understand a culture of a city or country than seeing what people eat and how they shop.

Unlike many open-air markets located close to the city centre, this one is geared toward local shoppers and you won’t find many kitschy stalls hawking cheap goods. Instead, you’re mostly going to find local sellers with stalls upon stalls of beautiful fruits, vegetables and other produce.

This is a great place, for instance, to pick up a souvenir of something like local honey or a small bottle of homemade rakija (the local liquor). There are also a few stalls selling baked goods like burek, butcher shops and fishmongers and even a couple of cafes where you can stop for a refreshment should you choose.

Riblja Pijaca

Break for Lunch

After a morning of sightseeing, you’re likely going to need to refuel with some lunch before taking in any more of these great things to do in Novi Sad. Luckily for you, there are a lot of great places to eat in the city so you are absolutely not going to go hungry!

Our top recommendation would be to head to the wonderful Fish & Zeleniš , a restaurant serving (quite obviously) seafood sourced from the Adriatic. The fish is fresh and delicious and it is absolutely worth taking the time to have a meal here.

If you’re not a seafood fan, then consider heading to Toster Bar for a great burger, fries and even a local craft brew!

Calamari from Fish & Zeleniš

Bishop’s Palace & Serbian Orthodox Church of St George

Now that you’ve eaten and have regained your energy for exploration, it’s time to finally properly explore the beautiful city centre and the top Novi Sad attractions. And there is no better place to begin this than at the Bishop’s Palace and Serbian Orthodox Cathedral.

Located at one end of the pedestrianised Zmaj Jovina Street, this beautiful peach building was first constructed in 1901. Around the corner from the Bishop’s Palace lies the Serbian Orthodox Church of St George. Though often referred to as a cathedral (it isn’t), this church does act as the main Orthodox church in the city.

Built originally in the 18th century and restored several times since then — the latest was in the early 20th century — this is an absolutely beautiful building that is indicative of the Art Nouveau style that is found throughout the city.

Bishop's Palace & The Orthodox Church

Wander Down Zmaj Jovina

After taking in the Bishop’s Palace and the Orthodox Church, take the time to stroll down Novi Sad’s main pedestrian street, Zmaj Jovina. Though a good portion of Novi Sad’s city centre is pedestrianised, this is the largest and most bustling street and it lends for excellent people-watching no matter the time of day.

Lined with countless streetside cafes, shops and eateries, there are lots of things to see and experience here and this is where the true heart and energy in Novi Sad.

Take your time strolling down this lovely lane and let yourself really absorb the lively energy. There are also a few side streets that can be worth veering off at if you’re interested in seeing a quieter side of the city’s pedestrian streets.

Zmaj Jovina in Novi Sad

Ice Cream at Crna Ovca

At the end of Zmaj Jovina in the square behind the Name of Mary Church (see the next stop for that!) lies the Novi Sad branch of an excellent ice cream shop – Crna Ovca .

Translating to “black sheep” in Serbian, this ice cream shop has its flagship store in Belgrade (where I recommend visiting, as well!) but has a smaller outpost right here in Novi Sad.

They make wonderful, fresh ice creams with inventive flavours that change on the regular. And while there are no shortage of ice cream shops in Novi Sad, this one really does stand out with its high-quality product and unique flavours. If you get a chance, make sure to check out their bigger Belgrade shop as well.

Name of Mary Church & Trg Slobode

Now that you’ve cooled down with a scoop or two of ice cream, now it’s time to take in the tallest and arguably most iconic church in Novi Sad and its main square.

The Name of Mary Church is a Catholic church that has a beautiful architectural style, a gorgeous tile roof and an imposing spire and clock tower that defines the skyline of Novi Sad.

Presiding over Trg Slobode (translating to Freedom or Liberty Square), Novi Sad’s main square, you can take in its beauty from one of the many benches lining the square. Occasionally, there will be buskers performing and it is a wonderful meeting point in Novi Sad.

If you look around, you will see countless beautiful examples of the city’s iconic Art Nouveau architecture and you will understand why Novi Sad is definitely an underrated gem in Serbia.

Novi Sad's Main Square

Novi Sad Synagogue

After taking a coffee break, it’s time to head a bit further away from the Old Town until you reach the beautiful Novi Sad Synagogue.

Though this beautiful house of worship is not still in use today (the only active synagogue in Serbia is in Belgrade), it is a testament to the Jewish community that consisted of more than 4,000 people prior to the Second World War. There are currently only about 400 Jews living in Novi Sad today.

The synagogue was originally built at the turn of the 20th Century by Hungarian architect by Lipót Baumhorn in the Hungarian Secession/Art Nouveau style. The building itself is imposing and quite beautiful and its dome can be seen as a major part of Novi Sad’s skyline.

Novi Sad Synagogue

Dinner at Project 72

After seeing all of these amazing sites in Novi Sad, you’ve likely worked up quite the appetite. Luckily this city has no shortage of fantastic eateries, however, if you want some local, unique and inventive, make sure not to miss a meal at Project 72.

This restaurant located on a quite street on the edge of the Old Town, they churn out beautiful, locally sourced dishes. The food can be classified as “modern Serbian cuisine” and Project 72 indeed has some unique takes on classic Serbian dishes — including things like ajvar ice cream.

You can either share some small dishes tapas-style or opt to get your own main dish instead. They also have a large wine list including both Serbian and foreign wines.

If the food here is a bit too adventurous for you, however, there are countless other options available. Pizzeria Savoca , for instance, is located an easy 10-minute walk from the synagogue and they serve great pizzas and other Italian dishes.

Or if you didn’t make it here for lunch, Fish & Zeleniš is also a fantastic dinner option! Alternatively, if you’re looking for something classic and a bit more casual, then head to Sarajevski Ćevap for some traditional Balkan barbecue.

Ajvar Ice Cream from Project 72

Have 2 or 3 Days in Novi Sad?

If you have a bit more time in the city and you’re wondering what to do for a couple of more days, these are all great suggestions:

Head to Štrand

If you’re visiting in the summertime, then no visit to Novi Sad is complete without heading to the beach. Though Serbia is a landlocked country, Štrand is a wonderful stretch of sand along the banks of the Danube that gets absolutely bustling as soon as the temperatures begin to soar in this Serbian city. In fact, in the summer, it is estimated that up to 20,000 people per day visit this city beach.

You do have to pay a fee to enter the beach area, but there are beach bars and cafes and even several sunbeds available for hire.

You can either opt to come here to party the night away or, if you’re looking for a bit of peace and quiet, head here in the morning to experience this popular spot all to yourself.

Štrand - Novi Sad's Beach

Visit Sremski Karlovci

If you’re looking for a great day trip, then visiting the nearby town of Sremski Karlovci is an excellent option for those wondering what to do in Novi Sad.

This small town is located only about 8 kilometres from Novi Sad and is frequently included on day tours to the city. It is known for its charming buildings and atmosphere and also for its wine production!

So if you’re interested in sampling any wine from the region, specifically the regional speciality – Bermet.

This is a sweet, fortified wine with an average ABV of about 16-18%. It is unique because the wine is also macerated with over 20 herbs and spices. Bermet is only produced in Sremski Karlovci by a handful of families in the town and the actual recipe is very carefully safeguarded.

Sremski Karlovci

Hike in Fruška Gora National Park

If you would rather get out into nature than sample secretive fortified wines, then make sure to head out to Fruška Gora National Park. This beautiful natural area is located within spitting distance of the city centre and is an excellent choice for active people.

Fruška Gora is actually the name of the mountain within the park, which stands at about 540 metres (1,772 feet) tall. This is Serbia’s oldest national park and it is an absolutely beautiful green area to explore, especially if you’re interested in getting out of the city for a bit.

Where to Stay in Novi Sad

Hotel Fontana — If you’re after something a bit more upmarket during your stay in Novi Sad, then look no further than this boutique hotel. Located in the city centre, it is within easy walking distance of all of the city’s top attractions. They are a range of comfortable and clean rooms available and even include breakfast in the nightly rate.

Agape Villa Apartments — If you’re keen to live like a local in Novi Sad, or perhaps cook your own meals then consider staying in these apartments. Located a short walk from the city centre, there are a few flats to choose from with everything you need for a comfortable stay.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other hotels in Novi Sad!

Name of Mary Church from Novi Sad's Main Square

Novi Sad is a lovely small city that really deserves as much attention as nearby Belgrade. Though compact, there are many things to do in Novi Sad that can keep visitors occupied for several days and travellers are sure to enjoy the laid-back pace of this beautiful town.

Are you wondering what to do in Novi Sad? Have any questions about visiting this city? Let us know in the comments!

novi sad travel blog

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About Maggie Turansky

Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie

This was such a helpful itinerary for a one-day trip (it was honestly more helpful and informative than the Lonely Planet guide I had with me). Thank you!!

Thanks for your kind words, Carlos! I’m so happy this was helpful and hope you enjoyed your time in Novi Sad 🙂

A great article, but one day is not enough to see everything worth seeing. It’s a beautiful city that has so much to offer. I went there this summer for the Exit festival. Stayed there for one week, took an apartment in prenociste Dvoriste, and saw all that places you’ve mentioned. It was great and I decided to go there again next year. I want to go to Fruska Gora, to see the lake Ledinci, and a few monasteries. This country is incredible.

Thanks for your comment, Carlos. I agree that it’s worth spending more time in Novi Sad if you have it – we spent 2 weeks in the city this past summer and really were glad we did 🙂

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novi sad travel blog

NOVI SAD TRAVEL GUIDE: How to Visit this Capital of Culture city in 2022!

novi sad travel blog

Thanks to the rising popularity of the Balkans, more people are traveling to Serbia and experiencing the county’s unique culture and attractions. 

Although most travelers typically stick to Belgrade on their first trip to Serbia, there’s another city that definitely deserves your attention : Novi Sad!

This historical yet lively city is the ultimate blend of culture and cool . Thanks to its status as a university town, Novi Sad is one of those laid back towns where you just want to stroll around or sit and people watch in a cafe. 

novi sad travel blog

With so many amazing things to do in Novi Sad , it’s the perfect choice if you want to escape the busy crowds of Belgrade to chill and recharge your batteries. 

In fact, it’s no wonder why the city earned the nickname ‘the Serbian Athens.’ Despite being the second-largest city in Serbia, Novi Sad was known the capital of culture in the 19th century among locals, which is a title that i    t still boasts to this day… 

…Because Novi Sad was chosen to be the European Capital of Culture in 2022! No doubt, being the host of such an important title is sure to skyrocket Novi Sad’s popularity and show the world how fantastic it really is. 

If you’re planning to travel to Novi Sad soon, be sure to bookmark this Novi Sad travel guide. It’ll help you with logistics, how to get there, as well as what to do, where to stay in Novi Sad, where to eat, and so much more! 

HOW TO GET TO NOVI SAD

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The easiest way to get to Novi Sad is by bus, train, or car. 

Although the city doesn’t have an airport yet (it’s in the works!), there are plenty of connections to major international cities as well as other Serbian destinations. 

FROM SUBOTICA: If you started your trip to Serbia from the north (i.e. entering from Hungary), you can easily make your way from Subotica to Novi Sad. There are plenty of daily departures for both buses (about 2 hrs) and trains (about 2.5 hrs). 

FROM BELGRADE: Getting from the capital to Serbia’s second-biggest city is a breeze: there are hourly departures for buses and trains, with tickets costing around $3 to $5 USD. There are 3 ‘express’ trains and 3 regular trains that travel between the two cities every day. 

Likewise, you might also consider taking a day trip tour, especially if you only have one day or prefer to have someone else handle the logistics. The most popular is this Novi Sad & Sremski Karlovci Full-Day Tour .

INTERNATIONAL CONNECTIONS: 

FROM SARAJEVO (BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA) : If you’re traveling from Serbia’s western neighbor, you can expect to spend around $25 USD and about 9 hours on a bus from Sarajevo to Novi Sad.

FROM BUDAPEST (HUNGARY): Planning a trip from Hungary to Serbia? One of the best ways is to travel via train from Budapest to Subotica (one of the most charming towns in Serbia!) then make your way down to Novi Sad. Otherwise, it’s a 3 hour drive via car or a 5 hour bus ride.  

Other popular bus connections to Novi Sad include Sofia (Bulgaria), Zagreb (Croatia), Budva and Herceg Novi (Montenegro). 

HOW TO GET AROUND NOVI SAD

Although Novi Sad is the second largest city in Serbia, it’s surprisingly compact and walkable! 

The majority of tourist attractions are scattered around the center, which means you can easily walk from point A to point B. 

Looking to get around quickly? Novi Sad is known as the bicycle capital of Serbia, and for around $1.50 USD, you can rent a bike for the entire day! Check out NS BIKE, which has more than 15 stations around the city. 

For places that are a little further, the city has an excellent bus and taxi system as well. 

WHAT TO DO IN NOVI SAD

Soak in the atmosphere along kralja aleksandra street.

Once known as Main Street, Kralja Aleksandra Street is the central-most part of the city and is filled with beautiful Art Nouveau architecture and granoise buildings like the Roman Catholic Church, Menrat’s Palace, and the City Hall. 

After passing Trg Slobode (Freedom Square), the street turns into Zmaj Jovina, where you can find dozens of cafes, restaurants, and local boutique stores. 

If one of the houses catches your attention, you can check out Novi Sad’s official website — they have some interesting background information on almost every building, including who lived there, when it was made, and other historical details. For example, here are the houses on Zmaj Jovina street . :) 

Learn More About the City at a Local Museum

One of my favorite ways to get to know a city better is to check out the museums, and thankfully Novi Sad has a lot to offer. 

Start off with the Muzej Vojvodine, which offers an incredible look at the region throughout the years. I was surprised at how interesting the Vojvodina province is, especially their traditional costumes (the exhibit is worth the ticket price alone!). 

For something a little more local, the City Museum has a great overview of Novi Sad and is a nice stop while at Petrovaradin Fortress.

Finally, since most people associate Novi Sad with art and culture, you can’t go wrong with the exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Go Hunting For Murals & Street Art

Although it feels like Serbia loves its murals and street art, Novi Sad has a special honor: it has the largest mural in the country!

On the corner of Gagarin street and Petra I Boulevard is a huge mural that pays homage to Petar I Кarađorđević, who was the last king of Serbia.

However, that’s not the end of it: all across the city you can find colorful murals and street art — just be sure to keep an eye out! My personal favorite are Aleksandar Buncic’s murals because they have a special meaning. Every year for his daughter’s birthday gift, Aleks creates a new mural that includes her name (Sonja) and cute characters. :)

To help you out, there’s even an Instagram account that has a collection of local street art, including the location where to find it.

Chill Out at Štrand

Where do locals like to go during summer? To Štrand, of course!

This 1 kilometer stretch of sandy beach is found in the southeast part of Novi Sad and features  everything you need for a day under the sun, including cafes and restaurants, a beach volleyball court, kid’s playground, and outdoor showers. 

If you want to relax and recharge, take the day off and chill at Štrand, which also offers a lovely view of the Liberty Bridge. 

Stroll Along Kamenički Park

 If you prefer something in nature, then Kamenički Park is calling your name. 

Located just across the Štrand on the other side of the Danube, Kamenički Park is the largest park in Novi Sad. 

Kamenički was originally built as a gift by Count Guido Karaconji for his wife, Countess Mary Marcibanji, for her to enjoy while relaxing at their castle (check out the Dvorac Marcibanji-Karačonji, which is right next to the par, if you have some free time). 

However, the most interesting attraction are the “Five Heads,” which are five tall columns with busts of Roman soldiers at the top — although many think that they’re actually members of the Karačonji family! The pillars have been painted over with colorful designs and make for a great spot to take a photo. :) 

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Explore the Tunnels at Petrovaradin Fortress

novi sad travel blog

The Danube River splits Petrovaradin Fortress from the city center, although you can easily reach the other side by taking a short stroll on the Varadin Bridge. 

While there was always some type of fortress found in this area, the Petrovaradin Fortress that’s seen today was built around the 18th century as a type of fortification.

Although you can explore the ground of the fortress with ease, the actual fun happens below: the Petrovaradin Fortress is built atop of 16 kilometers (10 mi) of tunnels that were used to host additional army personnel, as well as for strategic and defensive purposes. 

Although only one or two kilometers are open to the public at the moment, it makes for a fun and informative tour of Novi Sad’s past. To sign up for a guided tour, check out the ticket booth for more details. 

If you’re visiting during the summer, don’t miss the EXIT festival that takes place at the fortress!

Party All Night at the EXIT Festival 

Of course, I can’t finish this section without talking about the Exit festival, which is one of the things that made Novi Sad popular!

As mentioned above, the festival takes place on the second Thursday of July at Petrovaradin Fortress and runs for 4 days. EXIT started as a small event in 2000, but over the years it has grown to be one of the most popular music festivals in Europe! 

The festival is an eclectic mix of techno, rock, dance, hip hop, and other genres. As EXIT grew, so did its headliners — in fact, popular artists like David Guetta, DJ Snake, Tyga, The Cure, Grace Jones, and Martin Garrix were recent guests at the festival. 

WHERE TO STAY IN NOVI SAD ACCOMMODATIONS IN NOVI SAD

Novi sad hotels.

novi sad travel blog

Hotel Pupin Novi Sad — No doubt about it, Hotel Pupin is one of the best hotels in Novi Sad.  

Besides its 9.5 rating on Booking, the hotel is famous for its ultra chic  and modern rooms, friendly staff, and affordable luxury. However, what really makes it stand out are the amazing views of the entire city from your room! 

WHERE TO BOOK: Booking.com | Agoda | Hotels.com  

Boutique Macchiato House — With just 8 rooms, this cute boutique hotel lives up to its name! Macchiato House is decorated in a quaint aristocratic European style and features complimentary breakfast, free parking, and a convenient location right next to the center.

WHERE TO BOOK: Booking.com | Agoda  

NOVI SAD APARTMENTS

novi sad travel blog

Smile apARTment — The name doesn’t lie: this cute teal and yellow apartment is sure to make you smile. :)

Besides its budget-friendly price and cheerful design, Smile also has a terrace where you can chill after a long day of exploring Novi Sad and a complimentary breakfast at the owner’s pizza restaurant!

WHERE TO BOOK: Booking.com | Agoda    

Republic Square Apartment   — Beautiful modern interior? Check. Perfectly located in the center of Novi Sad? Check. Nearly 10-star rating on Booking? Check!

This apartment has everything you need, including a washing machine, f ully stocked kitchen, and parking nearby. 

novi sad travel blog

Modern Naive Downtown — Located just minutes outside of the city center, Modern Naive apartment offers peace and quiet while still being steps away from all of the main attractions in Novi Sad. Best of all, the apartment is located in a new building with a free parking garage nearby and a grocery store on the first floor.

Magic is a huge 110 m2 (360 ft2) apartment that has 3 bedrooms and can host up to 6 guests. If you take the nightly rate and split it among 6 people, that’s only $20/guest per night! Magic Apartment is also located within walking distance to the center and has one of the friendliest hosts in Novi Sad. 

novi sad travel blog

NOVI SAD HOSTELS

Hostel Sova — To be honest, this hostel is so modern and well-decorated that it could pass off as a boutique hotel! Hostel Sova offers both shared rooms for up to 10 people as well as private rooms and family rooms.  

See all 1,300+ accommodations in Novi Sad here

WHERE TO EAT IN NOVI SAD

novi sad travel blog

⭐️ Tri Petice — If you could only go to one restaurant in Novi Sad, let it be this one! Tri Petice is a mix of fusion food and haute kitchen but without the $$$ price tag. 

The restaurant says it best: “We serve flavors that carry the charm of France, the exoticism of Asia, the audacity of Serbia… and that is not the end of our gastronomic journey!” 

When I went there, I tried some of the best ramen in my life (and that’s saying something, since I’ve been to Japan! ), some divine chicken nuggets, and a Serbian dessert to top it all off. Best of all, the menu changes constantly, so you can come here time after time and try something new. 

One last note: the interior decor is gorgeous and really adds to the atmosphere! 

🍽 Kombinat  — If you have no idea what you want to eat, Kombinat will be happy to jog your taste buds. ;)

Tucked off to the side of Freedom Square is this lively restaurant, which features a mix of Mexican, Serbian, and European dishes that will feed you from breakfast to dinner.

Don’t miss the black latte, which is exactly what it sounds like: a carbon-colored cup of coffee! 

🍽 Restaurant Sokace — For something a little more Serbian, Sokace has you covered. This restaurant is always packed with locals, especially during the evening when the live band starts to play. 

🍽 Project 72 Creative Local Cuisine — If you’re bored with regular food, why not kick it up a notch with this fine dining spot? 

If Project 72 had to be described in 3 words, it would be modern Serbian food. The restaurant takes traditional local dishes and reimagines them in a completely new light. Best of all, Project 72 partners with local farmers and co-ops, so the ingredients are always fresh and from the region. :) 

novi sad travel blog

🍽 Lazin Salaš — Situated on a quiet side street but just a few steps from the central square is this cute traditional restaurant. When you walk in, it feels as if you’re visiting your colorful Serbian grandma in the countryside — the decor is so sweet and kitsch! 

Best of all, the menu is huge and you’ll definitely find something that you’ll like.  

🍽 Kalem — What happens when you mix a gorgeous interior design with delicious dishes? Kalem!

This restaurant and bar ticks off all the boxes, from the fantastic view of historic buildings to what’s available (breakfast, lunch, and dinner!), and even the extensive list of fun and innovative drinks. If you want to impress your friends (or yourself), this is definitely the place to go. 

WHERE TO GO AFTER NOVI SAD

To check out the best day trips from Novi Sad, click here for the full post!   

Photo credits: Kralja Aleksandra street – 1913330 (Pixabay) | Peter I mural – Vojvodina Info | Hotels – respective owners | Tri Petice – restaurant 

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One thought on “ novi sad travel guide: how to visit this capital of culture city in 2022 ”.

Wow, very interesting city. Definitely a must visit. Thank you so much :)

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Your Perfect 2 Days in Novi Sad Itinerary

Your Perfect 2 Days in Novi Sad Itinerary

Novi Sad is having a moment. It made the Lonely Planet’s 2019 list of best cities, it was named a European Youth Capital for 2019, and it’ll be one of the European Capitals of Culture in 2021.

With its Austro-Hungarian architectural flair, pastel-colored cityscape, and lively student scene, Novi Sad surprises and delights. If you’re planning to spend 2 days in Novi Sad, we’ve mapped out the best way to do so.

We start this Novi Sad itinerary with the city center of Novi Sad and the lovely Petrovaradin Fortress on day one, and then on the second day, we expand outwards to the charming region of Fruška Gora with its monasteries, wineries, and cute towns. Ready? Here goes!

Your Novi Sad Itinerary: Day One

We’ll go into detail below, but you can use the first day of this itinerary for Novi Sad like a self-guided walking tour. We’ve included a map below.

Start at the Novi Sad Synagogue

Novi Sad - Serbia - White synagogue with ivy covering the side of the building

The Novi Sad Synagogue used to be the heart of Jewish cultural life in Novi Sad, when the Jewish community of Novi Sad numbered some 4,000 Jews. Sadly, only 10% of the former Jewish population still resides in Novi Sad, as thousands of Jews were deported or executed during the Holocaust and many of the survivors fled to Israel after the war ended.

Now, the Synagogue is no longer actively used for religious purposes, but it is occasionally used for concerts and other events.

It’s not always possible to visit the Synagogue (in my two visits to Novi Sad, I’ve only seen it from the exterior), as it is generally closed to the public unless you call ahead of time to make arrangements to visit. The phone number is +38121423882. Other visitors have had luck finding the caretaker and asking to be let in, but this is more of a gamble than calling ahead.

Even if you don’t get the chance to view the interior, it’s really beautiful from the outside, with its Austro-Hungarian design and ivy-covered walls.

Address:  Jevrejska 11, Novi Sad 21000, Serbia

Walk to Liberty Square

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Trg Slobode, translated to Liberty Square in English, is the heart of Novi Sad’s city center and a fantastic place to start getting the pulse of the city. You’ll see what’s often called the Novi Sad Cathedral, but that’s actually a misnomer as the Cathedral of Vojvodina is actually located in Subotica, an hour north of Novi Sad.

In actuality, the ‘Cathedral’ is just a Roman Catholic Church – albeit an exceedingly beautiful one – named the Church of the Name of Mary. This peach-colored church features a colorful roof tiled similarly to what you’d see in Vienna or Budapest.

novi sad travel blog

The City Hall is also extremely beautiful, with its pastel green colors and beautiful neo-Renaissance styling. Since it mirrors the Catholic Church on the other side of the square, it’s hard to miss – nor should you, as we think it’s one of the most photogenic places in Novi Sad .

Address : Trg Slobode, Novi Sad 21000, Serbia

Head to St. George Church and the Bishop’s Palace

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Continuing on your way from Liberty Square, wander along Zmaj Jovina street in the direction of the beautiful peachy-pink Bishop’s Palace.

This building is another one of Novi Sad’s architectural gems and it’s well worth the stop on your Novi Sad itinerary for its photogenic exterior as well as its historical importance as the residence of the Bishop of Bačka (which encompasses Vojvodina) – who still lives there today!

The facade of today’s palace represents the symbiosis of Byzantine cultures, Eastern cultures, as well as the architectural and decorative elements of the medieval Serbian monasteries. The facade is rather unique and combines some Serbian-Byzantine motifs with traditional monastic elements.

Behind it, you’ll see the St. George Orthodox Church, a typical Serbian Orthodox Church. It’s definitely worth a short visit, especially if you’re unfamiliar with Orthodox churches, as they are quite different to their Catholic and Protestant counterparts.

Address: Vladicanski Dvor, Novi Sad 21000, Serbia

Wander on the colorful pedestrianized streets

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You’ll have already strolled down one of the most important streets in Novi Sad, Zmaj Jovina, making your way to the Bishop’s Palace. Now, make your to the lovely Dunavska Street, one of the loveliest and most colorful streets on Novi Sad.

It’s full of joyful colors, cozy cafes and wine bars, and delightful places to stop and have a snack, gelato, or coffee. At the end of Dunvska Street, you’ll be at the next place on your Novi Sad itinerary: Danube Park!

Address: Dunavska ulica, Novi Sad 21000, Serbia

Enjoy the beautiful oasis of Danube Park

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At the end of Dunavska Street is one of the entrances to Danube Park, a lovely urban park that is a great place to sit and unwind after some city wandering.

Sit on a bench by the lake and rest your feet while enjoying the nature at this lovely green space in the heart of Novi Sad.

Address: Dunavski Park, Novi Sad 21000, Serbia

Seasonal: Visit the summer river ‘beach’ at Štrand

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If you’re visiting Novi Sad in the hot summer months and you want to do some relaxing in between your sightseeing, make your way down to Štrand – Novi Sad’s urban beach on the banks of the Danube, with soft sand, beach bars, lively music, chairs and umbrellas for rent, and great views of the bridges over the Danube.

If it’s hot out, be sure to bring your bathing suit so you can go for a quick dip if you like! There’s a shower you can use to rinse off afterward.

End the day the sunset at Petrovaradin Fortress

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Whether or not you stopped at Štrand, you’ll want to make your way towards Petrovaradin Fortress for a late afternoon wander and be sure to stay for the epic sunset views!

Going up the hill to the fortress through a series of steps and tunnels is really magical, and once you get to the top and see the iconic clocktower – a symbol of Novi Sad – you’ll be totally enchanted by the views.

We recommend walking towards Petrovaradin Fortress about 1.5 to 2 hours before sunset, so you have plenty of time to walk around the impressive fortress grounds and marvel at its design. You could also allocate some time to visit the Novi Sad City Museum, which is located inside the fortress complex.

Should you get hungry, thirsty, or desperately in need of caffeine, you can stop at the restaurant on the fortress grounds to enjoy a break with an epic view!

Enjoy the Novi Sad nightlife scene

novi sad travel blog

Novi Sad nightlife offers something for everyone! Want a laid-back bar? Check out Skripa Pub if you want to get introduced to the creative Serbian craft beer scene. We personally love the craft beer from Dogma, a Belgrade-based craft brewery.

More into wine? Visit either the swanky Bouquet Wine Bar on Dunavska Street or the charming Wine Therapy, which has a pared-down Scandinavian DIY vibe and specializes in Serbian red and white wines.

If you want a nightclub, check out either Fabrika or The Quarter.

Your Novi Sad Itinerary: Day Two

For the second day of your itinerary for Novi Sad, you’ll want to rent a car or hire a driver to get out of the city center and check out the surrounding area!

Start your day in Fruška Gora at Krušedol Monastery

Serbia - Fruska Gora - Krusedol

There are several important monasteries in the Fruška Gora region, but the awe-inspiring Krušedol monastery is well worth prioritizing.

It has gorgeous frescoes on the interior and exterior walls, a gorgeous monastic complex, and an adorable pinkish-red gatehouse (which is not original, but beautiful nonetheless).

Serbia - Fruska Gora - Krusedol gate selfie

As it’s the most popular monastery in Fruška Gora, you may occasionally be confronted with some tour groups (as we were on our last visit) so be prepared for this!

However, both times I visited it, I found it totally worthwhile. Should you want a more offbeat monastery in the area, I also enjoyed Novo Hopovo Monastery, which I visited on my first visit to Fruška Gora. This sunny yellow monastic complex hides a gorgeous 16th-century church within it, and it’s absolutely stunning.

Stop at some vineyards to try Serbian wine

Serbia - Fruska Gora - Probus Winery Vera

Before we go into Serbian wine, here’s a caveat: do not plan to drink and drive! The alcohol limit in Serbia is 0.20% BAC, which is quite strict. Limit yourself to half a drink to be safe when driving.

Multiple small wine tastings can really add up fast in terms of alcohol and sneak up on you, so it may be worth it to hire a driver or a taxi for the day if you plan on trying the wines here.

We visited the charming Probus winery on our last visit to Novi Sad, which we arranged as a day trip from Belgrade. We loved the white wines, but we especially loved the bermet – a traditional dessert wine brewed with a secret recipe of herbs from the town of Sremski Karlovci, that was once so beloved it was on the Titanic’s wine list!

Visit the charming town of Sremski Karlovci

Serbia - Sremski Karlovci - High School

Finally, make your way to the downtown of Sremski Karlovci, an adorably cute town just a 10-minute drive from downtown Novi Sad.

Admire the red and yellow gymnasium (Serbia’s first high school!), the palaces which flank the main square of Sremski Karlovci (one of which has been converted into a city museum), St. Nicholas Cathedral, and perhaps stop for a coffee at one of the restaurants in the square.

Should you want to get even more off the beaten path, wander away from the main square a few blocks into the local Beekeeping Museum, which delves into both the honey-producing and winemaking culture of the region!

Where to Stay in Novi Sad

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Here are our top recommendations for where to stay in Novi Sad. Generally, budget means hostel beds for around $10 a night and singles/doubles for around $30, mid-range is from about $40-100 per night, and luxury will cost over $100 per night.

Budget:  If you’re looking for a nice place to stay in Novi Sad without spending too much, we recommend either of these two cute design hostels:  Tesla Art Hostel  or  Alterna Home Hostel !

Mid-Range:  If you want a nicer hotel in Novi Sad without breaking the budget, we recommend the trendy  Garni CitiHotel Veliki  or  Arhiv .

Luxury:  Since Novi Sad in winter is definitely the offseason, we wouldn’t be surprised if you could snag a fantastic deal on one of these top luxury hotels in Novi Sad:  Prezident Hotel  or  Hotel Leopold I

Planning to visit Belgrade as well on your trip? We’ve curated a list of all the best  Belgrade hotels and hostels.

More Serbia Travel Resources

novi sad travel blog

Hopefully, you can get a good idea of what there is to do in Novi Sad in this post, but if you want more inspiration, we have a guide of the best Instagram spots in Novi Sad as well as what to do in Novi Sad in winter .

Most people to visit Novi Sad also allocate some time for Belgrade – where we have tons of resources. We have this mega-guide to  101 things to do in Belgrade,  the most  Instagrammable spots in Belgrade , and the best  Belgrade street art.  We also have a  Serbian souvenir guide  if you want to do some shopping.

If you love guided tours, here are eleven great  Belgrade tours  to pick from. If you want to get out of the city for a day, here are our guide to  Belgrade day trips  and what you should know before  renting a car in Serbia.  We also have lists of our favorite  places to visit in Serbia  and the  best Serbian towns and cities  if you need more day trip inspiration. 

For country planning, check out our guide to  planning a trip to Serbia  and  Serbia travel advice. 

We have tons more Serbia and Balkans resources, and we publish new content nearly daily. Bookmark our  Serbia  and  Balkans  travel pages so you can find any new resources that come out before your trip!

Headed to Serbia? Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

If you’re planning a trip to Serbia in winter, it’s a good idea to travel with a valid  travel insurance  policy, so that you will be covered in case of an emergency. Travel insurance covers you in case of theft or an accident, which can save your trip if there’s an incident, fall (a big winter risk!), or cancellation or trip interruption.

For travel insurance, I use  World Nomads .  I’ve been a happy customer of theirs for almost three years, and I’ve never had an issue when making a claim. I’m happy to refer them to anyone I meet.

Get a travel insurance quote for your trip here.

Pin This Novi Sad Itinerary for Your Trip!

Planning to travel Novi Sad, Serbia? This 2 days in Novi Sad itinerary will help you plan the perfect trip, covering the best Instagram spots, restaurants,  bars, cafes, and sights in the city, including Petrovaradin Fortress. The second day includes monasteries and wine tasting for the ultimate Serbia travel getaway!

Originally from California, Allison has been living in Bulgaria for the last two years and is obsessed with traveling around the Balkans. She has been published in National Geographic, CNN Arabic, Matador Network, and the Huffington Post. She loves befriending dogs, drinking coffee, geeking out about wine, and cooking food from around the world.

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A Guide to Novi Sad: Exploring Serbia’s Second City

Last Updated on: 13th March 2023, 01:33 am

Novi Sad, Serbia’s second-largest city, is touted by many as the country’s most charming. Despite being just 70 km from the capital, it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the 20th century, giving it a distinct look and feel. Now home to the annual EXIT Festival and having been designated a European Capital of Culture in 2022, the hype surrounding the city is growing. In the following Novi Sad guide, we’ll be covering the top things you shouldn’t miss in town.

Also be sure to check the end of the article for info on transportation and whether or not the city really lives up to the hype.

Novi Sad & Vojvodina: A Brief History

Novi Sad, officially founded at the end of the 17th century, is the capital of the autonomous province of Vojvodina, a region that’s been inhabited since at least the Neolithic Age. This era saw influences from ancient civilizations in both the Balkans and Central Europe, including the influential Vinča culture. 

Various cultures then established settlements throughout Vojvodina in the early Bronze Age. From the 4th century BC, Celtic tribes made their way into the region, while much of Vojvodina was inhabited by Illyrians.

The Romans then conquered the area in the 1st century AD, and much evidence of their reign can still be seen in cities like Sremska Mitrovica .

After the collapse of Western Rome, the Byzantines would establish control over the region, but the Slavs began invading from the 6th century. Then, by the early 9th century, groups like the Franks and Bulgarians came in. 

Later in the Middle Ages, the Hungarians took over, establishing Petrovaradin Fortress in the 14th century. T he Ottomans would control the region from the 16-17th centuries before the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy gained power. Serb-majority Novi Sad would then remain part of Austria-Hungary for centuries until the end of World War I. 

It was during Austro-Hungarian rule in the 18th century that Queen Maria Theresa designated Novi Sad as a ‘Free Royal City’ which gave it much autonomy. Its population soon expanded and it grew into a great cultural and political center, a status which it enjoys in modern Serbia today.

Petrovaradin Fortress Novi Sad Guide

Central Novi Sad Guide

The historical portion of the city is centered around Trg Slobode , or Freedom Square. And it’s here that you’ll find the Roman Catholic Parish Church of the Name of Mary , perhaps the most iconic building in central Novi Sad. 

The Neo-Gothic building was designed by architect György Molnar in the 1890s, and the church towers over its surroundings at 73 m high.

Things to Do in Novi Sad

On the other side of the square is the City Hall , a Neo-Renaissance building constructed in 1895. Interestingly, its tall tower was previously used to warn residents in case of fire. It was designed by the same architect as the nearby church.

In the center of the square, meanwhile, is a statue dedicated to Svetozar Miletić, a leader of an uprising against the Austrian Habsburg dynasty in the 19th century. He also once served as mayor.

Things to Do in Novi Sad

The general area around the square is home to many more notable landmarks. Down Zmaj Jovina Street is the Bishop’s Palace of the Diocese of Backa . Originally built in 1741, the elegant structure represents an eclectic mix of styles that were in vogue at the time.

novi sad travel blog

Just nearby is the Church of St. George , the largest Orthodox Church in the city. Its current incarnation was designed in the early 20th century, and the single-nave church is best known for its beautiful painted iconostasis.

Things to Do in Novi Sad

Another architectural highlight of central Novi Sad is the synagogue , built in the early 20th century by Lipot Baumhorn, an architect from Budapest. 

It features three naves and a dome which rises to 40 m high. It was built in a Hungarian Secessionist style of architecture, a variation of Art Nouveau. 

This area became part of the original Jewish quarter upon Novi Sad’s declaration as a Free Royal City in the 18th century. Amazingly, it’s just one of four or five synagogues left standing in the entire country. 

Things to Do in Novi Sad

As one might expect, central Novi Sad is full of coffee shops and restaurants, most of which specialize in local cuisine. But regardless of your tastes, don’t miss having a coffee at  Trčika , a coffee shop situated in a renovated old tram car!

Central Novi Sad is so elegant, in fact, that even the local H&M looks like it could be a museum!

novi sad travel blog

The Vojvodina Museum

If you’ve already visited the National Museum in Belgrade , leave all your expectations at the door when entering the Museum of Vojvodina. This museum has an outdated look while its signage is in Serbian only. But is it worth visiting?

Vojvodina Museum Novi Sad Guide

While not the most thrilling attraction in this Novi Sad guide, the museum is still worth it for those with a special interest in history, as it contains thousands of items.

While English signage is lacking, you can at least read English translations on laminated sheets of paper placed by each exhibition. It can be a pain to stand there and read so much small text, however.

Vojvodina Museum Novi Sad Guide

The museum also contains a lot of interesting Neolithic artifacts in addition to displays on how different cultures buried their dead.

One of the top highlights is a set of three Roman helmets discovered at nearby Sremska Mitrovica , a city that’s well worth a day trip from Novi Sad .

  • Dunavska 35
  • 10:00 - 18:00
  • Closed Mon.

Vojvodina Museum Novi Sad Guide

Gallery of Matica Srpska

Arguably the top museum in town would be the Gallery of Matica Srpska. Originally founded in 1847, the large museum focuses on Serbian art from the 18th-20th centuries – most of it religious. Many of them were taken from churches around the region, including the nearby town of Sremski Karlovci . 

Comprehensive signage in English details how the art styles gradually changed over time, such as the transition from Eastern Orthodox church art to more of a baroque style.

Gallery of Matica Srpska

Aside from the religious icons, other paintings depict important events from Serbian history. And there’s also a small section dedicated to contemporary art, though the official Museum of Contemporary art is not far away.

A visit to the Gallery of Matica Srpska is easily one of the top highlights of this Novi Sad guide.

  • Trg Galerija 1
  • 10:00 - 18:00 (Sat. & Sun), 20:00 (Tue. - Thur.), 22:00 (Fri.)

Gallery of Matica Srpska

Petrovaradin Fortress

On the other side of the Danube River lies one of the largest fortresses in Europe. No visit to Novi Sad would be complete without a trip to Petrovaradin Fortress.

The hill was originally the site of a medieval Hungarian fortification. Later, upon Austria-Hungary’s victory over the Ottomans in the Great Turkish War of the 17th century, the Austrians decided to build a new fortress here in 1692. Incredibly, construction lasted all the way up until 1780.

Petrovaradin Fortress Novi Sad Guide

Later, following World War I and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia’s takeover of the region, many Austrian fortresses were slated for destruction. While the exact reason remains unknown, the general in charge of Petrovaradin’s demolition simply refused to follow orders. 

As such, it remains Serbia’s only surviving Austrian fortification, and one of the most impressive in the Balkans.

Petrovaradin Fortress Novi Sad Guide

As you’ll notice, the base of the fortress is surrounded by numerous old structures which were originally built as part of a military-residential complex. This Lower Fortress area was once home to prominent officers and nobility.

Walking up, you’ll pass by the Roman Catholic Church of St. George, built in the early 18th century. A tunnel will then take you to the Upper Fortress.

Petrovaradin Fortress Novi Sad Guide

You’ll soon encounter the fortress’s most well-known landmark, its Clock Tower. Notice how the size of the hour and minute hands has been reversed so that fishermen could better see it from a distance.

In addition to some of the old barracks and gates, other structures around the top include the former bishop’s residence and a former convent. You’ll also find plenty of benches from which to take in the views of central Novi Sad below.

Petrovaradin Fortress Novi Sad Guide

Nowadays, the fortress is perhaps best known for hosting the annual EXIT Festival each July. But if you’re visiting during quieter times, you can make a visit to the Novi Sad City Museum.

The City Museum

As the name suggests, the museum details the history of Novi Sad as well as Petrovaradin Fortress itself, which long predates the official founding of the city.

Frankly speaking, however, a visit might not be necessary for those who’ve already visited the Vojvodina Museum, as much of the information overlaps. The signage here, at least, is in English!

Petrovaradin Fortress Novi Sad Guide

One of the most interesting items in the museum is a longboat made from a hollowed out tree. Discovered in the 20th century, it may have been used by the Sarmatian tribes who lived in the area during Roman times.

Also on display are various ancient archaeological findings from the Roman and Byzantine eras when a small fortress was located at this spot.

Petrovaradin Fortress Novi Sad Guide

Before my visit, one of the activities in Novi Sad I was most looking forward to was exploring the fortress’s catacombs. 

Beneath its surface, the fortress is home to vast military galleries spread across four stories and that stretch out to 16 km in total. Supposedly, some of the walls have been inscribed with mysterious Masonic symbols.

Petrovaradin Fortress Novi Sad Guide

But how does one go about exploring the catacombs? Visits are normally organized by the City Museum itself, though these are said to be relatively brief. Apparently, by hiring an official tour guide, visitors can go much further into the deeper levels.

Sadly, during my visit, the museum staff informed me that the catacombs had been closed for quite some time, and they wouldn’t be opening up again for the foreseeable future. I was, at least, able to view a very brief subterranean section that’s always open to museum visitors.

  • 9:00 - 17:00

As mentioned above, Novi Sad is home to additional museums, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Foreign Art Collection. Another city attraction that’s commonly promoted is the Strand, a beach area along the Danube.

As I wasn’t staying too far away, I decided to go visit on foot one day. But it seems that I ended up in the wrong area, as I found everything to be overgrown and abandoned.

It would’ve been too cold to swim anyway, and if you’re traveling in summer, hopefully you’ll have better luck.

Things to Do in Novi Sad

Additional Info

With its recent designation as a European Capital of Culture, Novi Sad has been receiving a lot of hype lately. And when looking at pictures of the historical center in the Novi Sad guide above, the city does indeed appear beautiful.

The reality is, however, that the charming historical section of Novi Sad only makes up roughly 20% of the entire city. A large majority is comprised of drab concrete buildings with absolutely no charm or atmosphere. The more you explore, the uglier the city becomes.

I’d even go as far as saying that Belgrade is the nicer looking city overall, as its traditional architecture is spread far and wide and not just limited to one or two districts.

While Novi Sad may not live up to the hype, it’s still worth a visit, especially since it serves as a great base for other, more charming towns in Vojvodina, such as Subotica, Sremski Karlovci and Sremska Mitrovica.

And for those with their own transport, Novi Sad can be used as a base from which to explore Fruska Gora National Park.

As Serbia’s second-largest city, you’ll find numerous bus routes linking Novi Sad with the rest of the country. Despite having a very different vibe from Belgrade, the two cities are only 90 minutes apart, with buses leaving very frequently.

Belgrade and Novi Sad are also linked by several trains which run throughout the day.

I managed to find a direct bus from as far away as Novi Pazar , while you can also find direct buses from cities like Kruševac and Niš .

Internationally, Novi Sad is connected with many major cities in the surrounding Balkan countries as well as nearby Hungary.

The bus and train stations are located right next to one another to the north of the city. If you don’t have a lot of luggage, you can easily find public city buses to the center or wherever it is you’re staying.

But if you opt to take a taxi from the station, beware.

A Warning About Taxis

Traveling with lots of luggage and staying at the other end of town, I decided to take a taxi from the bus station to get to my accommodation.

While I’ve traveled more than enough to know how shady taxi drivers at bus stations can be, the one I encountered told me he’d use the meter.

I’d heard from my host that a taxi from the station should only cost 400-500 RSD, but the meter ended up showing 1000!

I wasn’t quite prepared for that, as the last time I fell victim to a rigged meter was many years ago in India. Even worse, the guy even wanted to charge me 50 dinars for putting luggage in the trunk!

Standing in front of my rental apartment, I called the host before handing over any money. The driver was threatening to take me to the police station and kept trying to grab my suitcase. But as soon as a local appeared, he suddenly calmed down and said ‘Ok, Ok, 500.’

The ordeal wasn’t quite over yet, as after taking my money, he began insulting me in Serbian and English and things nearly escalated. Fortunately, though, he got back in his car in drove off before the situation got out of hand. Needless to say, this was a horrible first impression of Novi Sad.

Admittedly, my guard had been down after my very pleasant experience with a driver the previous day in Novi Pazar. But what is one arriving in Novi Sad supposed to do?

As ridesharing apps don’t exist in Serbia, be sure to look up a list of official Novi Sad taxi companies online and call them when you arrive at the station. They’ll send you a driver at a fair price.

By far, the best place to stay in Novi Sad is its historical center. Highly-rated options include Garni Citi Hotel Veliki , or for those on more of a budget, Guest House Villa Lord .

In my case, I intended to stay within walking distance of both the main bus station and the city center. Finding a nice-looking rental apartment on Booking at a good value, I checked its location on Google Maps and was relieved that it would indeed be walkable to both.

It wasn’t until closer to my stay that I checked more carefully, noticing that the addresses on Booking and Google were totally different! Despite the names being the same and the pictures being similar, I ended up on the western edge of town, far away from everything. Unfortunately, the booking was non-refundable.

Novi Sad has a decent public bus network so I was still able to get to wherever I needed. But traveling through the ugly modern parts of Novi Sad each day really diminished my impression of a city that’s most well-known for its beauty.

I imagine that most people who rave about Novi Sad are those who base themselves in the historical center and never leave. And if you can afford it, that would certainly be the best thing to do. Otherwise, basing yourself near the bus station would be convenient for day trips throughout Vojvodina.

If you have limited time in Serbia and are basing yourself in Belgrade, consider this top-rated day tour to Novi Sad, which also includes wine tasting in the scenic town of Sremski Karlovci.

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Ultimate travel guide to Novi Sad Square of Liberty

Ultimate Travel Guide to Novi Sad

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So, you’re planning your tour around Serbia and wondering where to go… We’ve already taken you to Belgrade  the capital and beautiful Subotica and there is one more city that is a must-see and that is Novi Sad . The second-largest city in Serbia is the capital of province Vojvodina , a cultural melting pot with 26 ethnic groups and six official languages. Novi Sad (Hungarian: Újvidék ) is a multicultural city with so many things that you have to see and experience. We are bringing you the ultimate travel guide to Novi Sad , so keep reading.

Let’s start from the very beginning…

The Beginning of Novi Sad – Almasani Quarter

One of the first settlements in Novi Sad is 300 years old Almaški Kraj or Almasani quarter . It’s a quarter where you will stumble upon a few very important and imposing Novi Sad’s buildings. One very important building that you will pass by is the Museum and the Archives of Vojvodina , which originally housed courthouse and prison. There is also the building of Matica Srpska , the oldest cultural, literary, and scientific institution of the Serbian people.

Ultimate travel guide to Novi Sad Matica Srpska

(cc) Mister No  / CC BY-SA 3.0

And one of our favorites is the Bishop’s Palace , a beautiful old pink building that was built under the influence of Viennese architecture and it is one of the Novi Sad’s landmarks.

novi sad travel blog

© Vladimir Zubac

There are many other buildings in this amazing quarter that is often being left out during the tourist’s visits, so we are giving special attention to it here. It’s the quarter with the original spirit of Novi Sad and everyone should definitely experience it.

To learn more about this unique quarter, check out the guided tour on the following link: “ Almaški Neighbourhood “

The Beautiful City Square

The main city square called Liberty Square is definitely one of the most beautiful places in Novi Sad and almost all of the buildings are landmarks and that’s what you’ll see on postcards. The first thing you’ll see there is the City Hall , the Mayor’s office that was once Magistrate, built in the so-called Historicism style.

novi sad travel blog

© Jovana Šulić

On the opposite side, there is the Catholic church “Name of Mary” in the neogothic style, designed by a famous architect from Novi Sad, Georg Molnar.

Ultimate travel guide to Novi Sad Ime Marijino

There is also the Hotel Vojvodina and the Bank of Vojvodina , both very beautiful and picturesque buildings with amazing facades. And the main spot on the square is the monument to Svetozar Miletić – famous lawyer, politician, and former mayor of Novi Sad. The square is maybe our favorite place in Novi Sad. It’s so wide and open and has all these beautiful buildings, we just loved it.

Ultimate travel guide to Novi Sad Square of Liberty

Petrovaradin Fortress

You can’t visit Novi Sad and not visit Petrovaradin fortress . It’s one of the most famous landmarks for sure and it was a very important point of defense in the past. It’s a huge fortress, built by Celtics and Romans on the banks of the Danube river and it’s one of the biggest fortifications in the region. The view of the city center is marvelous. There is much to see on the Petrovaradin fortress, one of the things that we enjoyed the most are the City Museum and the Planetarium . Also, there a complex four-story structure of underground passages, chambers, and galleries, that makes this fortress even more unique and significant for the city’s culture.

Check out our tour guide around this magnificent landmark on the following link: Petrovaradin Fortress –The “Gibraltar on the Danube”

And one thing cannot be forgotten and we’re pretty sure that you’ve heard about it before… The EXIT festival is held on the fortress every summer.

Petrovaradin Fortress

© Tanja Kosanović

Party in Novi Sad

As we already mentioned, there is a big festival held every July at the Petrovaradin Fortress – EXIT festival . It’s an award-winning summer music festival that has been named the best European music festival in Europe. EXIT hosts some of the most famous names in electronic music and promises an amazing party.

Ultimate travel guide to Novi Sad EXIT festival

(cc)  Exit Photo Team / CC BY-SA 3.0

Novi Sad offers some cool pubs and clubs, too. Just stroll down the Laze Telečkog street and you will see a million pubs and bars where you can have fun no matter what time of the year it is. Also, there are clubs all over the city, even on Petrovaradin fortress.

Culture in Novi Sad

Novi Sad is named to be the European Capital of Culture in 2021 and it sure deserves it, you probably agree. Besides EXIT which is one segment of Novi Sad’s modern culture (and most famous for sure) and Petrovaradin and all of the famous and gorgeous buildings that we’ve already mentioned there is even more to see.

Novi Sad has a few museums, that we’ve also mentioned. But there are numerous art galleries and the Modern Art Museum , too. Also, there are a few theatres, one of them being the Serbian National Theatre . There is also Novi Sad City Theatre and Youth Theatre and a few cinema theatres. And in the summer Novi Sad hosts a Cinema City Festival – an international cinema festival when the whole city becomes the cinema. Then there is the INFANT – International Festival of Alternative and New Theatre, Novi Sad Jazz Festival , International Comic Festival, and many more.

Ultimate travel guide to Novi Sad Theatre

(cc) Dennis Jarvis  / CC BY-SA 2.0

As you can see, Novi Sad does not lack cultural institutions and manifestations, so there is a lot to experience no matter when you visit. You will have a good time if you visit for a day or two and if you stay for 10 days you will not get bored. Plus, the city is so full of life no matter what time of the year it is and one of the reasons for that, besides all those festivals is its University with a huge number of students.

Best Time to Visit

Novi Sad is most popular and gets crowded in July because of the EXIT festival and at the end of December / beginning of January because of the holiday festivities. And the prices are higher in those periods, of course, especially when EXIT is held. So, if you want to visit in the least crowded (and least expensive) time you should consider traveling to Novi Sad in spring, late summer, and fall. But if you are looking for a great party don’t hesitate to spend a bigger amount of money.

How to Get There?

The nearest airport is in Belgrade , about an hour away from Novi Sad. The connection between the two cities is great, there are many bus and train lines so it’s not difficult to get from one city to another.

Where to Stay?

There are a lot of hotels and hostels in Novi Sad where you can stay, but we always prefer renting an apartment from local people. It is always cheaper and more interesting, you can find a really nice place for a smaller amount of money.

We loved Novi Sad, it’s so cute, charming, and colorful. As you can see there are so many places to visit and enjoy, no matter when you visit. If you’ve already decided to follow our ultimate travel guide to Novi Sad, we have to tell you that we offer you even more! Visit our Cultural Places platform and you will find our guided tours through Novi Sad to help you explore all these beautiful places.

Old Town of Novi Sad

Discover Novi Sad’s enchanting old town.

Tags: Cultural places Cultural Places app Europe EXIT Novi Sad Petrovaradin fortress Serbia Travel Travel blog Travel guide Travel inspo Travel tips Ultimate Travel Guide to Novi Sad

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The perfect break in Novi Sad: experience the best of this laid-back city

Alex Crevar

Feb 25, 2022 • 6 min read

A young woman sitting on the banks of the Danube river in Novi Sad, Serbia, and enjoying the view of the old Petrovaradin fortress; Shutterstock ID 1348024769; your: Claire Naylor; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Ed; full: Novi Sad weekend update

From the fortress that hosts the world-famous EXIT festival to the vineyards in the surrounding region, here's how to spend an amazing break in Novi Sad Veronika Kovalenko / Shutterstock

As a rule, Novi Sad , which straddles the banks of the Danube in Serbia ’s autonomous province of Vojvodina, keeps a low profile – even though it’s culturally diverse enough to have six official languages. Ask nearly any local to describe the city, and the most common phrases will inevitably be "laid-back" and "relaxed".

In 2021, the town was European Capital of Culture. It also attracted over 180,000 people to the 20th anniversary of award-winning music festival EXIT, the first major music event to take place in Europe since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

About an hour’s drive north from the Serbian capital Belgrade , settlements in the area of the Petrovaradin Fortress – Novi Sad’s calling-card attraction – date back thousands of years. With great wine from the slopes of nearby Fruška Gora mountain, hearty Vojvodinian food, a sandy beach on the Danube, and worthwhile galleries and museums, you’re in for a good time. Here's how to spend a fantastic couple of days in this historic city.

People walk across a square in front of a Baroque church building

Day one: history, culture, and architecture

Tour the iconic fortress in the morning.

Start your pursuit of the perfect Novi Sad weekend where everything began, at the Petrovaradin Fortress . Many today see the ramparts as synonymous with the EXIT festival , making this one of the planet’s most iconic and unusual music venues. History buffs, however, see the site’s 18th-century citadel – on a 40m-high rock guarding the Danube – as one of the most ingenious systems of defence ever created. A maze of trenches, moats and walls constructed by the Austro-Hungarians protected its holdings during conflicts with the Ottoman Empire. After perusing the fortress and its museum , be sure to book a tour of 16km (10 miles) of spooky underground tunnels.

Wander the city center in the afternoon

Coming down from your strategic perch, cross the river and lose yourself in Novi Sad’s city center. Amble to the Gallery of Matica Srpska for one of the country’s most important cultural collections. Approximately 500 pieces from the 16th to 20th centuries provide a deeper insight into Serbian art, heritage, and traditions. After, stroll along the avenues of Zmaj Jovina and Dunavska – a classical Central European cityscape framed by cafes, boutiques, galleries, and Austro-Hungarian pastel- and mustard-colored architecture. A walk through the historic center between the Roman Catholic Church of the Name of Mary , the Orthodox St George Church , the Synagogue , City Hall, and the Bishop’s Palace is an architectural masterclass and a swirl of Secessionist, Neo-Gothic, and Neo-Renaissance styles. Then turn into Misha concept store, which provides a spotlight for around 50 local designers. The well-curated showroom is stocked with clothes, shoes, jewelry, and home items.

Enjoy dinner and live music in the evening

Make your way to Fish i Zeleniš  for an unexpected Mediterranean meal with only organic and in-season ingredients. Servers carry dishes from the kitchen across the street to a dining room with wooden plank floors, blue-and-white checkered tablecloths, and walls covered in old photos and vintage knickknacks like cooking ladles and scales. 

Things rev up in Novi Sad when the sun goes down. Stroll the main pedestrian thoroughfare, known colloquially as Corso, and pause at one of the many bars and pubs for a glass of local wine. Get into the mix at  PUBeraj , which serves cocktails and hosts DJs and live music several times a week.

A wine maker sits in front of several bottles of wine as he hosts a wine tasting

Day two: explore beyond Novi Sad

Spend the morning touring wineries or the national park.

Part of the magic of being in Novi Sad is getting out of it – and into the beautiful surroundings south of the Danube on the slopes of Fruška Gora mountain. Here, vineyards stitch communities together, and wine and food are life’s essential elements. Start in the picturesque town of Sremski Karlovci – the gateway to the national park – where you can visit the region's wineries and winemakers. Follow one of the hiking and off-road biking trails through the forest of the national park, or visit one of the monasteries built in the hills here between the 15th and 18th centuries. 

Sample some local wines in the afternoon

Back in Novi Sad in the afternoon you might feel it's time to try some Serbian reds and whites. "The cultivation and production of wine in this part of Serbia is among the oldest in Europe," says Mirjana Maksimović, the president of Žene i Vino , an NGO committed to promoting Serbian wine. "Though nearly impossible to choose, try a white blend called Neoplanta, from Šijački Winery in the village of Banoštor. For a red, taste Probus, a blend from Milanović Winery in Surduk village."

Party into the evening in the Chinese Quarter

Later, head to Project 72 Wine & Deli , a bistro with a cosmopolitan take on local cuisine – and one of the best meals you’ll have in Novi Sad. The ingredients are sourced from small producers in Serbia and the menu changes with the season.

End the night investigating the so-called Chinese Quarter – a former industrial zone turned creative district comprising 10 buildings that once churned out metal products. Today the neighborhood is a community-driven project and incubator for cutting-edge artists, as well as a venue for music and dance. Check out the gigs and exhibitions at its next-door clubs The Quarter and Fabrika . 

Low tide of the Danube river with people silhouettes walking on the sand islands left after water withdrawal in the Novi Sad

Day three: chill out by the Danube  

Relax on the beach in the morning.

Begin your last day with a stroll to Štrand , Novi Sad’s 700m-long (2300ft-long) beach on the Danube. Luxuriate on the sand or in a cafe overlooking the water, as boats, birds, fishers, and swimmers go drifting along. If the tide is low, you can even cross over from its western end to the green haven of Fisherman’s Island ; or, if you feel like getting active (and the weather is nice), rent a bike from NS Bike or a kayak from Dunavski Rafting to explore the river along the Danube Cycling Path or from the water.

Have a leisurely lunch by the fort in the afternoon 

For a late lunch, go back to where you started – at the foot of the Petrovaradin Fortress you’ll find one of the most iconic restaurants in town, Čarda Aqua Doria . Make sure to secure reservations early and take a riverside seat inside the seductive, dark-wood dining room with views of the bridge. Toast the end of a great couple of days away with a glass of red from Fruška Gora before digging in to a fish stew or other delights from the Danube.

How to plan a great trip to Novi Sad

Novi Sad is less than an hour’s drive from Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport, the increasingly popular regional hub. There are multiple transfer options: bus, shuttle, taxi, and train. In town, there are plenty of lodging possibilities, from classic hotels to Airbnb. The huge rooms at Hotel Veliki , around the corner from happening Zmaj Jovina street, are a great central option. 

You might also like: 7 unmissable experiences in Serbia    Novi Sad: a vibrant hub of art and culture on the Danube    Socialist-era monuments: exploring Belgrade’s stunning Spomeniks   

This article was first published Sep 16, 2019 and updated Feb 25, 2022.

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The Travels of BBQboy and Spanky

The Travels of BBQboy and Spanky

A Guide to Novi Sad – and why we really like Serbia

A Guide to Novi Sad - and why we really like Serbia

Novi Sad is Serbia’s 2nd largest city with a population of about 250,000. It is located about 80km north of Belgrade, about an hour’s drive by bus. Novi Sad is a very relaxed kind of place with pedestrian streets, colorful buildings, and a multitude of squares and churches. You’ll find plenty of nice restaurants as well as a lot of sidewalk bars and cafes. Whereas Belgrade seems grey, imposing, and cold at first sight, Novi Sad almost has a Mediterranean vibe in comparison.

Highlights of Novi Sad

Petrovaradin fortress.

Novi Sad’s most famous landmark, nicknamed “Gibraltar on the Danube”. It was here that, in 1716 , the Austrians fought off a Turkish army of 150,000 men (about double the Austrian forces). It marked the end of the Turkish threat in Central Europe.

Petrovaradin Fortress, on the Danube

The fortress is the 2 nd largest fortress in Europe. It took 88 years, from 1692 to 1780, to complete Petrovaradin. The fortress has about 16km of underground tunnels. Visitors today can take guided tours which will take you through 1-2 km of the tunnels.

Note : This full-day tour from Belgrade covers the highlights of Novi Sad including Petrovaradin Fortress . Recommended.

Liberty Square (also called Freedom Square)

Novi Sad’s main square is beautiful. You might also see a few things that’ll make you go “Hmmm”.

On one end of the square is the Catholic “ Name of Mary” Church. Anyone who’s been to Zagreb will immediately see the similarities with St. Mark’s church, particularly in the beautifully colored roof tiles. 

Name of Mary Church, Novi Sad. Highlights of Novi Sad

In the middle of the square is a statue from famous sculptor Ivan Meštrović . Again, anyone who’s been to Croatia is familiar with the works of Meštrović ( when living in Split we would pass his statue of Grgur Ninski almost every day. Meštrović was in fact Croatian). Here, in Novi Sad, his sculpture is dedicated to Svetozar Miletić , a Serbian lawyer, author, and former mayor of Novi Sad.

Liberty Square. A Guide to Novi Sad - and why we really like Serbia

On the opposite end of the square from the Name of Mary Church is the City Hall building, built in 1895. It’s actually a copy of the City Hall building in Graz (Austria).

The whole square is beautiful, with banks, hotels and museums in different colors.

Other highlights in Novi Sad’s Old Town

Novi Sad has a few pedestrian-only streets filled with pretty squares, colorful buildings, and churches. A short walk from Liberty Square you’ll find the Bishop’s Palace which is another impressive building. Right behind is the small but beautiful St. George’s Cathedral . It’s the main Orthodox Cathedral in Novi Sad. In the old town you’ll also find Dunavski Park (Danube Park) which is another symbol of the city.

Bishops Palace, Novi Sad

Just outside the old town, just past the Serbian National Theatre , is the best museum in Novi Sad – the Matica Srpska Gallery . It features the most valuable collection of Serbian art in the world. You’ll see paintings, sculptures, religious art, as well as modern art. If you can make it to a museum in Novi Sad, it should be this one.

Matica Srpska Gallery. Highlights of Novi Sad

How long do you need to see the sights in Novi Sad? 2 days should do it, it’s not a big city at all and the location of the highlights are concentrated. But if you’re in no rush, Novi Sad is a nice city and a good place to chill out for a few more days (we were there a week and really enjoyed our time).

Recommendations in Novi Sad

Restaurants.

Veliki . Excellent breakfast, good traditional Serbian food. Popular. Petrus . Really good lunch and dinner, European menu. Also very popular. G.IMI . Excellent upscale restaurant. Fish & Zeleniš . Mediterranean food Wine&Deli . French, Italian, tapas Lanterna . Italian Gusan pub . Lots of beer, excellent burgers and fried chicken. Zak . French food

Coffee Cups. Best cafes in Novi Sad

Coffee Cups , Loft , Pogon , Izlet in Dunavski park.

Accommodation

Garni Hotel Centar , Garni Hotel Mediterano , Hotel Fontana . All excellent hotels located in the center.

Visiting Novi Sad…and why Serbia is one of our favorite countries

Why we really like Serbia

This was our 2 nd time to Serbia. A few years ago we spent a week in Belgrade . I wrote at the time about our impressions of Belgrade . This time we saw the country from south to north, entering Serbia from Montenegro on the famous Bar to Belgrade railway . The nature in the south is stunning, full of mountains and lakes. 

Our 2 weeks in Serbia deepened our appreciation for the country. We’ve realized that we really like Serbia.

  • We find people friendly and welcoming. We had a few people strike up conversations with us on this trip, curious where we’re from. 
  • The level of English is very good in Serbia, making it an easy country to travel.
  • Serbia is where the Balkans meet Central Europe. We discovered cafés with that old world charm that you find in Central Europe. Same with restaurants. And unlike places like Croatia, you see locals in restaurants and cafés, mostly because of my next point…
  • Serbia is inexpensive. And that’s primarily because you don’t have the tourist pricing you see in Croatia and Montenegro (which might not seem high to the tourist but which are totally out of whack with the local economy in those countries). Prices in Serbia haven’t been inflated by huge tourist volumes and pricing is in line with the local economy.
  • Serbia is definitely off the tourist trail. You won’t see the tourist hordes here, which is another big plus.
  • Another plus: Serbia is increasingly becoming a medical tourism destination. They are said to have excellent medical/dental facilities. Serbia is also know for thermal baths and spas.

The bottom line is that Serbia is a country we would come back to.

Related: 27 Pictures that will inspire you to visit Belgrade, Serbia

novi sad travel blog

Related: What’s Zagreb like? Reflections on scams, graffiti, and pleasant surprises

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Related: Why I’ve had it with Instagrammers (and some travel bloggers)

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Reader interactions.

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November 15, 2021 at 4:22 pm

Wow, what an article! Novi Sad is an amazing city! Last summer I went there for Exit, and stayed for one week. Slept at a small and cozy place called Prenociste Dvoriste, and managed to see all of the places you wrote about in your article. Hope to go there again next year.

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November 16, 2021 at 2:43 am

Thanks Carlos. Good to hear others like it as well 🙂

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May 26, 2020 at 2:18 am

I visited Novi Sad in 2004 as a day trip from Belgrade. really pleasant place but not a lot of information available online or via guidebook back then. I climbed to the fortress. I had hardly any sleep but it still was a rewarding day trip. Would like to spend some time there in the future.

May 26, 2020 at 12:26 pm

Maybe we’ll meet you there Andy. We want to go back to Serbia one day.

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May 22, 2020 at 7:36 pm

Interesting that you found Belgrade to be grey, imposing, and cold at first sight -my first impression was that it had so much green space! Looks like Novi Sad is a nice destination. I’d love to see more of Serbia.

May 22, 2020 at 10:15 pm

I’d say it’s quite green around Kalemegdan park and along the river – but the city center itself (while it does have some parks) is pretty grey compared to many other Balkan capitals. Yes, Novi Sad a nice place. Where are you guys at these days? Still in Germany Patricia?

May 24, 2020 at 7:20 am

No, I retired two years ago and we moved back to the U.S.

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May 21, 2020 at 6:52 pm

Thank you, Frank, you brought back some happy memories! I along with three other people did the London to Istanbul trip by car and drove the full length of Tito’s Yugoslavia in 1967. My colleague had an uncle who was Novi Sad’s Communist Party Secretary (or chief). We stayed at his home and were taken one evening to have dinner on the fortress ramparts overlooking the Danube! Quite an experience!

May 21, 2020 at 7:46 pm

That must have been quite a trip Keith. And not too many travellers at that time so it must have been a unique experience. Dinner looking over the Danube – very nice! We love Croatia, but some of our best adventures were travelling in the interior: Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia. We’d like one day to make it to Albania.

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May 16, 2020 at 12:33 pm

I second Felipe’s comment.

I’ll come back to this post on Novi Sad when we finally get to visit Serbia.

And a side note: I did not know that Montenegro was a tourist highlight with inflated prices. I’ve been eyeing it for a few years now thinking it was overlooked. Dang!

As always, thanks for sharing your travels Frank.

May 16, 2020 at 3:24 pm

Thank you very much Colleen.

We were surprised by the pricing in Budva which was ridiculous (and we didn’t much like Budva anyway). Kotor is amazing, prices still high (comparative to coastal places in Croatia). One of the most beautiful places we’ve been, the whole Bay of Kotor is incredible. But generally yes, very much tourist pricing in these places and Serbia much cheaper.

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May 14, 2020 at 5:05 pm

Nice pics, Serbia is definitely on my bucket list! I really enjoy reading your blog. Your quarantine articles are very interesting showing how’s the situation in Spain at the moment. But also these posts about cities and your past travels are very entertaining to get our heads off of this whole different reality we are living right now. I like reading it for future travel plans. I’ve been following you for a while. I really like your writing style and tips.

Cheers from Vancouver,

May 14, 2020 at 5:24 pm

Very kind of you Felipe! Appreciate what you’re saying – I haven’t been sending out posts on destinations to readers because I don’t think many of them thinking of travel right now. But you’re not the first person who’s told me that they still like to read about destinations…so it’s good to know. Serbia is a place we would go back to, for travellers who try to be careful with their money it’s a great country. Plus the people appreciate tourists, unlike many other places where they just get too many of them. Thank you very much for taking the time to comment, always love the feedback.

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May 20, 2020 at 9:22 pm

Thank you, Frank! I, too, am wanting to travel to places without tourists. Wife feels the same. Novi Sad sounds great, and I can get pointers from Macedonian company up in Tokyo. The folks there swear they miss Skopje, getting drunk, smashing glasses, etc. Duncan in Nara (Virtually ‘No-lockdown Nara’ and the deer are fine, healthy as ever.)

May 21, 2020 at 5:00 pm

Skopje is nice as well Duncan, a bit bizarre but nice and really, really cheap. Glad all good in Nara and that you don’t have deer running around in masks.

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Travel Guide to Novi Sad

  • Where to sleep
  • Where to eat
  • Novi Sad with children
  • Sremski Karlovci
  • Petrovaradin Fortress
  • Fruska gora

Welcome to Novi Sad Travel Guide – a city of culture!

In a place where rich history meets a modern lifestyle, nestled on the bank of the magnificent Danube and overlooked by a fairytale like fortress sits the ever-buzzing city of Novi Sad. Known for its culture, many festivals , manifestations , diverse nightlife, theaters, beautiful women and handsome men (ranked top 5 in the world) – Novi Sad is the perfect place for anyone to visit.

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As the capital city of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Novi Sad is a perfect representation of this area. Novi Sad can be found as a buffer between Backa and Srem, right at the bottom of the scenic mountain Fruska Gora . From the imposing fortress to the old town center with its long pedestrian zone filled with shopping , bars and restaurants , the city known as the Danube Gibraltar does not leave anyone indifferent. Step outside the city and you will find lovely restaurants with authentic cuisine, traditional farms from Vojvodina that are open to the public, monasteries of Fruska Gora , and plenty of open-air activities . One of the things that make Novi Sad so special is its uncanny ability to accommodate every visitors needs. A plethora of indoor and outdoor sports and breathtaking nature can wow even the biggest adventurists, while the cities infrastructure and local businesses are there to provide an amazing experience for city dwellers. Not to mention the extreme friendliness and hospitality you will encounter on every corner of this wonderful city. Public transport is extremely well organized and affordable, however you can rent a bike  and is the best way to get around and explore while feeling like a true local. As long-time capital of culture it deservedly carries the nickname “Serbian Athens”. In 2019 Novi Sad will have the honor of carrying the coveted title of the European capital of young people and in 2021 the even more coveted title – the Capital of Culture . From fine dining and museum hopping to getting lost in the history filled streets of the city keeping your travels on a dime will not be an issue you encounter in Novi Sad.

On this website you will find all the information you could need to make your visit to the multicultural Novi Sad a memorable one. However must warn you, the compelling nature of this city makes it a difficult place to visit only ONCE.

Subscribe today and get some info that we do not reveal to everyone

Subscribe today and get some info that we do not reveal to everyone

Planing to visit novi sad.

If you are thinking of traveling to this lovely city, make sure to check out our Novi Sad travel guide. Here you will discover everything you need to know in order to make your trip a memorable one! No matter how long your planning to stay you’ll find that we have carefully researched and categorized every detail so all you have to do is relax and have a pleasant trip enjoying everything Novi Sad has to offer.

We will take you on a tour of the rich history of this town. From monuments , museums , the Petrovaradin Fortress , nightlife , dining , parks and shopping , to the hidden gems known only to the locals – with our help your time during this trip will be fully utilized!

find most useful info

transport, sight seeing, history and much more

find out what Novi Sad has to offer to it’s visitors

enjoy many museums , all the natures beauty or it’s night life

What to see in Novi Sad?

The sky is the limit! Novi Sad is equally rich in culture and history as it is in modern conveniences and fun activities. Whether you are traveling alone or with the family, with our help, you are sure to have a trip to remember.

One of the many charms of this city is how 18th century infrastructure is perfectly complimented by wonders of the 21st century. We have highlighted some of the most beautiful and most popular places that are a must see for anyone who visits this city.

Best restaurants in Novi Sad

Wherever you decide to travel, one of the things that you always have to think about is where would you eat.

If you are a gourmet that enjoys fine food or a person that tries to be fit and watches what he eats, Novi Sad is a city that will offer you all of that.

We will help you make your decision, and represent you with river restaurants that offer fish from Danube river,or if you like a high class meal on a ancient fortress with a panoramic view of Novi Sad, it’s just up to you to chose.

People from Novi Sad are widely known as very good hosts, so we advice you to always ask for their specialty of the day that is always very good.

find out which are the best restaurants in Novi Sad

if you fancy traditional, farm house, Chinese, or vegan restaurants-Novi Sad has to offer all

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Going Up The Country

Serbia 5-day itinerary: Novi Sad and Belgrade

  • September 23, 2023

In front of you is a blog post – Serbia 5-day itinerary: Novi Sad and Belgrade!

Welcome to Serbia, a country of rich history, warm hospitality, and dynamic cities. This 5-day itinerary takes you on a captivating journey through Novi Sad and Belgrade, two of Serbia’s most vibrant urban centres. From the historic charm of Novi Sad to the bustling energy of Belgrade, you’ll experience the cultural, culinary, and architectural highlights that make Serbia a truly remarkable destination.

Day by day, you’ll discover the unique character of each city, explore centuries of history, savour traditional Serbian cuisine, and immerse yourself in the local culture. Whether you’re a history buff, a food lover, or simply seeking an authentic travel experience, this itinerary offers a taste of Serbia’s diverse offerings and will leave you with cherished memories of your visit to the heart of the Balkans. So, let’s embark on this unforgettable journey through Novi Sad and Belgrade, where every day brings new adventures and discoveries.

Day 1: Arrival in Novi Sad – Serbia 5-day itinerary: Novi Sad and Belgrade

Your adventure begins in Novi Sad, the second-largest city in Serbia, nestled along the banks of the Danube River. Upon arriving at your pre-booked accommodation, we recommend the centrally located Hotel Planeta Inn. CLICK HERE to reserve your room.

Your first stop is Liberty Square (Trg Slobode) in the heart of Novi Sad and the Church of the Name of Mary. Liberty Square serves as an excellent starting point for exploring Novi Sad and its surroundings. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, this square has something to delight everyone.

Serbia 5-day itinerary

Since you’re likely tired from your journey, make a reservation at one of the local restaurants for the evening. There, you can savour authentic Serbian dishes while enjoying live music.

CLICK HERE and read more about Novi Sad.

Day 2: Novi Sad – City of Culture – Serbia 5-day itinerary: Novi Sad and Belgrade

First stop – The Synagogue in Novi Sad! The Synagogue in Novi Sad was built between 1906 and 1909 in the Art Nouveau style and is considered one of the most beautiful synagogues in the Balkans. It reflects a rich history and the Jewish community’s contribution to the cultural diversity of Novi Sad. Today, it serves as a venue for cultural events and activities and is open to visitors eager to explore its unique architecture and cultural heritage.

Serbia 5-day itinerary

Next, it’s time to visit the Petrovaradin Fortress, one of the largest fortresses in Europe. Take a leisurely stroll through its ancient streets, soak in the Danube River views, and feel the heartbeat of the past.

For lunch, head to one of the traditional taverns and savour local specialities that will delight your taste buds.

In the afternoon, treat yourself to a walk-in at Dunavski Park, a peaceful green oasis where you can relax by the lake and enjoy nature’s beauty.

Day 3: Journey to Belgrade – Serbia 5-day itinerary: Novi Sad and Belgrade

In the morning, embark on your journey to Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. The drive takes just under two hours and will lead you through picturesque landscapes.

Upon arrival in Belgrade, check into your hotel. We stayed at the Moscow Hotel for a touch of luxury. ** CLICK HERE to reserve your indulgent stay!

Begin with a walk through Skadarlija, the bohemian quarter, where you can sample excellent Serbian cuisine and enjoy live music. Next, take a stroll through Kalemegdan, the city’s historic fortress area, offering breathtaking views of the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers and the Belgrade Fortress.

Serbia 5-day itinerary

In the evening, take a leisurely walk along Knez Mihailova Street, Belgrade’s main pedestrian zone. Here, you’ll discover shops, restaurants, and street performers, creating a vibrant and lively atmosphere.

This bustling street is the perfect place to soak up the city’s energy, do some shopping and savour local delicacies. Enjoy the evening at your own pace, exploring the heart of Belgrade’s urban life.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Belgrade!

Day 4: Belgrade – City of Life

Your final day is dedicated to exploring the lively city of Belgrade.

Continue your walk to the Church of Saint Sava (Hram Svetog Save), one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world, which will mesmerize you with its architecture.

novi sad travel blog

To conclude your day, head to Belgrade Waterfront , where you can relax by the river and immerse yourself in Belgrade’s vibrant nightlife scene.

Day 5: Farewell, Serbia!

Your extended weekend getaway in Serbia is coming to an end. Before departure, savour one last Serbian breakfast and purchase some souvenirs to take back home. We recommend local vegetables, honey, cheeses, and, of course, rakija, as perfect reminders of your memorable time in Serbia.

The Ideal Serbia 5-day itinerary

Embarking on a trip to Serbia is an unforgettable experience. The beautiful Balkans, rich history, and vibrant culture await you, along with the warm hospitality of the locals. When you return home, you’ll treasure the memories of your time spent in Serbia. Its unique charm, culture, and beauty are sure to capture your heart.

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Swedish Nomad

15 Best Things to do in Novi Sad (Serbia)

By: Author Swedish Nomad

Posted on Last updated: September 24, 2020

Categories Serbia

Home / Europe / Serbia / 15 Best Things to do in Novi Sad (Serbia)

15 Best Things to do in Novi Sad (Serbia)

Here’s a list of the 15 best things to do in Novi Sad in Serbia along with famous landmarks, museums, and other points of interest.

Novi Sad ( Нови Сад ) is the second largest city in Serbia and the capital of Vojvodina, an autonomous province in the country. The city was founded in 1694 and was previously known as the “Serbian Athens” due to its cultural significance.

Sadly, much of Novi Sad was destroyed during the 1848 Revolution, but it has been greatly restored and rebuilt since. And in fact, Novi Sad has been selected as the European Capital of Culture in 2021. 

In this article, I’m sharing some of the most famous attractions in Novi Sad as well as activities and places that shouldn’t be missed while visiting. 

Petrovaradin Fortress

The Petrovaradin Fortress has been built in 1780 and has been declared a “Spatial Cultural-Historical Unit of Great Importance”. The fortress is often called the “Gibraltar of the Danube” and it’s a very impressive defensive structure.

What makes it so attractive is its location, towering high above the river. The views from the top are remarkable and offer a great panorama view of Novi Sad and the surroundings.

The Petrovaradin Fortress is one of the best places to visit in Novi Sad, and within the castle walls, you can also find the City Museum and the Planetarium.

Petrovaradin Fortress

Trg Slobode

Trg Slobode, (or Freedom Square in English), is a fascinating and lively place in the center. The square is part of a pedestrian zone and feels in many ways like the heart of the city.

The freedom square is surrounded by some of the most important sights of Novi Sad, such as the Name of Mary Church and the Svetozar-Miletić monument.

Visitors can use the Trg Slobode as a starting point for city explorations or just sit down at one of the numerous cafes and people-watch for a while. There are also many great restaurants and shops in this area.

Trg Slobode

Dunavska Street

The Dunavska Street is a charming promenade located next to the beautiful Dunvaski Park, halfway between the Danube and the Trg Slobode. It is one of the oldest streets in Novi Sad, particularly known for its historic atmosphere and colorful facades.

You can imagine how the merchants and traders frequented the street and how there were small craft shops situated in the colorful houses. Like the Trg Slobode, the Dunavska Street is a popular meeting point amongst residents of Novi Sad.

Locals and tourists alike often come here to go shopping, have a coffe at a café, or enjoy some of the great food that is served by the many restaurants scattered along the street.

Dunavska Street

Photo: Vladimir Mucibabic / Shutterstock.com

Novi Sad’s Štrand

The Štrand (the German word for beach) is an immensely popular place to unwind and escape the heat of the summer. There is a playground for children, several bars serving cocktails and plenty of ice cream shops.

Visitors can enjoy the beach and rent sunbeds during summertime. There are also dedicated swimming areas, complete with lifeguards to make sure that everyone stays safe.

The Štrand also offer a picturesque walk along the Danube and vibrant beach parties during the summer months. On foot it takes around 30 minutes to reach the beach from the Trg Slobode, alternatively, it is also very straightforward to use a bus to get here.  

Novi Sad’s Štrand

Photo: Andrej Privizer / Shutterstock.com

Novi Sad Synagogue

The Novi Sad Synagogue can be found in the Jevrejska Street (Jewish Street) and is one of the most important landmarks of Novi Sad. The construction of the building was supervised by Hungarian architect Baumhorn Lipót and was completed in 1909.

Of the former 4000 Jewish residents of Novi Sad only 1000 survived the second world war and most of the survivors then left Serbia to move to Israel. This is the reason why the Novi Sad Synagogue is today mostly used for cultural events and concerts.

Because of its historical significance, the synagogue was added to the list of Spatial Cultural-Historical Units of Great Importance. The synagogue complex is built in an attractive recession style of architecture. Visitors should not miss the table at the front wall, it is a witness of the deportation of the Jews of Novi Sad to the concentration camps of the Third Reich. 

Novi Sad Synagogue

Danube Park

The Danube Park (or Dunavski Park) is an oasis amidst the busy city streets of Novi Sad. The park dates back to 1885 and is today considered a natural monument.

The park is a perfect place to relax after strolling along the Dunavska Street. It offers an impressive 2.2 hectar of green space, more than 600 trees (some of them over 100 years old) and around 250 different plant species.

Curious visitors can explore some of the sculptures that are located in the park, such as the busts of Branko Radičević (a Serbian poet) and Miroslav Antić (author, screenwriter and painter).

Danube Park

Photo: Nenad Nedomacki / Shutterstock.com

Vladičanski Dvor (Bishop’s Palace)

The palace is designed in the Serbian-Byzantine style of architecture and is one of the most remarkable landmarks of Novi Sad. The palace was built under the supervision of Vladimir Nikolić in 1901 and was intended to serve as a home for Serbian Father Mitrofan Šević.

Vladičanski Dvor is particularly interesting for visitors because of its red brick facade and the yellow tile decorations. When visiting the palace make sure not to miss the many historical artifacts that are on display inside the building.

Bishop’s Palace novi sad

The Name of Mary Church

The Name of Mary Church is located right in the center of Novi Sad on the Trg Slobode. The church is referred to as “cathedral” ( катедрала ) by the local residents.

The reason for this nickname is that the 72-meter high Name of Mary Church is the biggest church in the city and overall a very imposing landmark.

The “cathedral” is built in a Neo-Gothic style of architecture and the construction of the building was completed in 1894 by the architect György Molnár. The three-nave basilica and the colorful roof tiles are some of the most fascinating aspects of the church.

The Name of Mary Church

Photo: Sanga Park / Shutterstock.com

Saint George’s Cathedral

The Saint George’s Cathedral is the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Bačka and another landmark of Novi Sad. The cathedral’s construction was completed in 1905.

It is located in close proximity to Vladičanski Dvor on the Trg Slobode, so you can combine a visit to both of them. The ornamented inner space of the Saint George’s Cathedral is very beautiful, and if you enjoy visiting religious buildings, this is easily one of the best places to visit in Novi Sad. 

Visitors should not miss the beautiful iconostasis. It features 33 icons and several historical pictures above both choirs. The throne icons painted by the renowned artist Paja Jovanovic are also not to be missed.

Saint George's Cathedral

Coffee stop at Trčika

One of the most unique cafés you will ever visit is the Caffe Bar Trčika. Even though trams haven’t been used in Novi Sad since 1958 this café is located in the remains of one of the first locomotives of Novi Sad’s former public transport system.

The café is located on a part of the remaining train tracks, halfway between the Theatre Museum of Vojvodina and the Bulevar Mihajla Pupina. Visitors have the choice between the upstairs section that resembles an old dining carriage with a long bar and the downstairs section with beautiful blue velour seating.

The Caffe Bar Trčika is the perfect place for a break from sightseeing in the city Just take a seat, enjoy the historic atmosphere while your sipping on a cup of coffee. 

Trčika

EXIT Festival

The EXIT Festival is a world-renowned annual music festival that focuses on rock and electronic music. The festival is also famous for its scenic location, the Petrovaradin Fortress.

Each year some of the biggest names of the music world perform here and attract thousands of party-lovers to the city of Novi Sad. The festival takes place in summer and usually lasts 3 to 4 days.

Visiting Novi Sad during the festival is a great way to combine hardcore partying with cultural sightseeing. It’s one of the city’s main events, and joining the big celebrations of EXIT festival is one of the best things to do in Novi Sad. 

EXIT Festival

Photo: Aleksandar Kamasi / Shutterstock.com

Laze Teleckog street

The Laze Telečkog street, located only a few meters to the north of Trg Slobode, is another pedestrian area that is full of life and energy. Laze Telečkog is known for its colorful houses that are mostly built in the Austro-Hungarian style of architecture.

The street is best enjoyed while sitting in one of the many restaurants and watching the interesting people of Novi Sad pass by. But Laze Telečkog is not just popular because of its restaurants and the historic architecture.

The street also welcomes visitors to spend the evening and late nights in the bars located here. A great way to meet people and have fun!

Laze Teleckog street

Fruška Gora

Only around 20 to 30 kilometers south of the city center of Novi Sad lays the Fruška Gora. A mountain with an elevation of 534 m that is part of the oldest national park of Serbia.

The Fruška Gora is a paradise for nature-lovers and ideally suited for cycling and trekking tours. For the residents of Novi Sad this area is a popular getaway for day trips into largely pristine nature.

The area around Fruška Gora also hosts a large number of Orthodox monasteries that are worth exploring. Wine lovers will find the area interesting because of the many vineyards that are situated here. The popular dessert-wine Bermet is considered a local speciality but internationally known wines like Riesling are also produced.

Fruška Gora

Sremski Karlovci

Sremski Karlovci is a picturesque town located on the banks of the Danube, around 10 kilometers south of Novi Sad. Despite its humble size, the town was considered the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church during the times of the Habsburg Monarchy.

Because of this cultural significance, it comes as no surprise that the town features an old-world charm with a large number of interesting buildings. The best way to explore and experience the town is to go on an extended stroll through Sremski Karlovci.

Visitors shouldn’t miss the Roman Catholic Church Holy Trinity and the St. Nicholas Cathedral, both located in close proximity to the center of the town.

Sremski Karlovci

The Gallery of Matica Srpska

The Gallery of Matica Srpska is located just south of the Bulevar Mihajla Pupina and is considered to be one of the most influential galleries of Serbia. The gallery is also one of the oldest in Serbia and its history goes back as far as 1847.

In 1979, the gallery was declared a Monument of Culture of Great Importance. Visitors of the gallery come across a very extensive collection of paintings (around 500 exhibits), including the works of the most important masters of all periods of the national history of art.

The gallery is very well looked after and features all the modern amenities that you would expect from a top-class art gallery. Visitors should keep in mind that the gallery is closed on Mondays.

The Gallery of Matica Srpska

Photo: -Nenad Nedomacki / Shutterstock.com

Want more recommendations on things to do in Novi Sad, Serbia? Leave a comment below! 

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One day in Novi Sad: The best things to do and see

Searching for an unforgettable day trip from Belgrade? Hop on a fast train to Novi Sad, a culturally diverse city known for its rich history, amazing architecture, and enticing cuisine.

The capital of Vojvodina and the second-largest city in Serbia , Novi Sad is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Compared to Belgrade, life here in Novi Sad is slow-paced and unhurried. It is a city of art galleries, theaters, museums, and libraries.

To help you make the most out of a day trip from Belgrade to Novi Sad, I’ve put together this one-day itinerary. I’ll cover the best things to do and see in Novi Sad in one day (with a few bonus attractions if you will have more time).

novi sad travel blog

Don’t have time to read it all?

This day trip tour from Belgrade to Novi Sad covers all of the must-sees in the Vojvodina region. It even includes wine tasting in Sremski Karlovci!

How to get to Novi Sad from Belgrade

Being the two largest cities in Serbia, Novi Sad and Belgrade are very well connected so transport is easy and fast. It will take you around 1 hour and 30 minutes to get from Belgrade to Novi Sad by bus .

Driving your car from Belgrade to Novi Sad is also a good option. The journey takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes . Need to book a car for your trip? Check the best offers on Discover Cars .

The fastest way to get from Belgrade to Novi Sad is via the new fast train . For less than 5 euros, you can book a train ticket and reach Novi Sad from Belgrade in less than 40 minutes.

Read also : Driving in Serbia – all you need to know

10 Things to do in Novi Sad in one day

1. visit the 17th-century petrovaradin fortress.

petrovaradin fortress in Novi sad,  Serbia

Kick off your Novi Sad travel itinerary with a visit to the Petrovaradin Fortress. Built between 1692 and 1780, the fortress is the most popular tourist attraction in Novi Sad . It is one of the largest, most complex, and best-preserved artillery bastions in the region!

Nowadays, the fortress is home to one of the biggest music festivals in the region, the EXIT festival . You can also book a tour of the underground catacombs, snap a photo from the iconic Clock Tower in the upper part of the fortress, or shop for cool souvenirs at Studio Radošević.

To learn more about the history of the fortress, I recommend paying a visit to the Museum of Novi Sad. To enjoy panoramic views of the city from the fortress and try delicious food, make a reservation at the Terasa Restaurant.

2. Go For a walk in Dunavski Park

Novi Sad has a beautiful park that is located right in the heart of the city center . Dunavski Park is a charming public park that dates back to the end of the 19th century. With numerous walking paths, this tiny park in the center of Novi Sad is an ideal spot for a nice and quiet stroll around nature.

The park is home to nearly 250 species of trees, flowers, and plants. Visitors will come across numerous monuments and statues, a small artificial lake, a gazebo, and colorful flowerbeds. Dunavski Park hosts a wide range of cultural events throughout the year including everything from art exhibitions to concerts and festivals. In winter, a part of the park is transformed into an ice skating rink.

3. Learn about history at the Museum of Vojvodina

If you are interested in the history of Vojvodina and wish to know more about the archeology, history, art, and ethnology of this region, spend a few hours at the Museum of Vojvodina. Located adjacent to Dunavski Park, the Museum of Vojvodina is one of the best cultural attractions in Novi Sad.

This fabulous museum is situated inside a beautiful 19th-century palace and houses more than 40,000 artifacts and 50,000 publications. Guests will have an opportunity to see collections of art paintings, colorful folk costumes, a large collection of period furniture, and famous paintings of the renowned artist Sava Shumanovic. In addition to the permanent exhibition, the museum organizes various guest thematic exhibitions.

4. Shop for local produce at Riblja Pijaca

To mingle with the locals and purchase groceries visit Riblja Pijaca! Located just a 3-minute walk away from the Museum of Vojvodina, Riblja Pijaca is an open-air marketplace where locals arrive early in the morning to purchase everything from veggies and fruits to meats, fish, cheeses, and other produce.

One of the best things to do when you arrive at a new destination is to check out the local market, so you can get a real feeling of the local culture and gastronomy. This is why a visit to Riblja Pijaca is a must-do during your one-day trip to Novi Sad.

In addition to food, this vibrant market is also a great place to score homemade liquor (rakija) , buy flowers, and get your morning coffee fix. Keep in mind that most of the stalls at Riblja Pijaca are closed in the afternoon, so make sure you go there during the morning time.

5. Wander down Zmaj Jovina

Novi Sad Serbia

Lined with ice cream parlors, bookstores, boutiques, cute cafes, and restaurants, Zmaj Jovina is the main street in downtown Novi Sad . Go for a stroll down this busy pedestrian-only street to admire the beauty of art nouveau buildings, sit in one of the cafes, and maybe go on a shopping spree.

The only downside of Zmaj Jovina is that it gets super busy with both locals and tourists. During busy hours, you may have a challenge to find a free table and get a drink. However, there are a bunch of quieter side streets here that offer a more laid-back vibe.

Zmaj Jovina is one of the best areas to go to in Novi Sad for an afternoon snack or a coffee.

6. Admire the beauty of the Catholic Cathedral

Novi Sad Serbia

Your next stop will be the grandiose Catholic Cathedral. Located right in the main square in Novi Sad, the Catholic Church is definitely the most beautiful historical site in Novi Sad . With an impressive neo-Gothic design with stone carvings and a bell tower, this late 19th-century church looks absolutely amazing. It was rebuilt from the WW2 bombing and today proudly stands in the main square.

Step inside the cathedral to find soaring ceilings and beautiful frescoes decorating the large windows. There are also many religious artifacts inside the cathedral, as well as a few artworks.

Standing right in that square is the Name of Mary Catholic Church, one of the most prominent churches boasting an impressive neo-Gothic design with intricate stone carvings and a soaring bell tower, the tallest structure in the region .

7. Stop for Lunch or a Snack

The Novi Sad downtown area is home to some of the best dining establishments in the city. After all the sightseeing, it’s time to grab something to eat. From fast food eateries to burger joints to traditional Serbian taverns and upscale dining establishments, there is plenty to choose from when dining in the center of Novi Sad.

If you opt for fast food, I recommend getting the signature Novi Sad Index sandwich . This type of sandwich was actually invented in Novi Sad, making it a must-try street food snack. There are also lots of pizza parlors, places that sell gyros, and other fast-food eateries. In the mood for some tasty burgers? Go to Tosteraj and you won’t be disappointed.

For upscale dining, I recommend Fish and Zelenish and Project 72 which are two of the highest-rated restaurants in the city. To sample traditional Vojvodina cuisine, restaurant Veliki and Lazin Salas is where you should go.

8. Visit the Synagogue

Located just a 5-minute walk from the city center, the beautiful Novi Sad Synagogue is an amazing piece of architecture , which is why it is featured in this guide as one of the top things to see in Novi Sad.

Built in the early 20th Century in the Art Nouveau style by Hungarian architect Lipót Baumhorn, the Synagogue is a Jewish place of worship fitted with an adorable ornate façade and stained glass windows.

The interior with its pulpit and central nave also looks amazing. The Novi Sad Synagogue also serves as a cultural center and houses a wide range of events.

9. Hit the Beach (Štrand)

If you are going on a day trip from Belgrade to Novi Sad in summer, make your way to Štrand Beach. Located close to Most Slobode, this sandy beach along the Danube River is one of the most popular summer destinations among the locals and attracts thousands of people on a daily basis.

With a bunch of cocktail bars, fast food joints, sun loungers, and deckchair rental spots, Štrand offers well-developed beach facilities. There are several playgrounds for the little ones, as well as sports facilities.

If the weather allows it, one of the most popular things to do in Novi Sad is to go swimming in the Danube River. Just keep in mind that Europe’s second-biggest river has strong currents, so you should be careful when swimming here.

10. Go on a shopping spree in Promenada

Located just a short walk from Štrand, Promenada is one of the newest additions to the shopping scene in Novi Sad . This enormous shopping mall is a great place to spend a few hours. It is home to hundreds of stores and boutiques ranging from world-famous brands like Zara and Tom Taylor to local Serbian stores. 

There is an amazing food court on the top floor where you can enjoy both local food delicacies like cevapi and international cuisine. If you are looking for more entertainment, Promenada is also home to a big cinema with regular screenings of the latest Hollywood blockbusters. 

Novi Sad Serbia

Best day trip from Belgrade to Novi Sad

These are my favorite tours for a day trip to Novi Sad from Belgrade:

  • Novi Sad and Sremski Karlovci : This is a full-day tour that will first take you to a wine tasting experience, and then for a tour through Novi Sad. You will be able to explore the city center and have a great feeling of the region.
  • Novi Sad Walking Tour : If you want an in-depth tour of Novi Sad, this is a great option! This tour will take you around town and the historic Petrovaradin Fortress.

Will you have more time in town? Bonus ideas of things to do in Novi Sad

If you have more than one day in Novi Sad, you can visit the nearby Fruska Gora National Park , as well as the cute town of Sremski Karlovci which is known for its wineries and architecture. 

Fruska Gora National Park

Drive your car or hop on a bus to reach Fruska Gora National Park.  Whether you wish to enjoy hiking, visit orthodox monasteries from the 15th and 16th centuries, or admire the beauty of lakes, there is so much to look forward to when visiting this beautiful national park.

Read also: Best hiking destinations in Serbia

Sremski Karlovci

Serbia - Sremski Karlovci

The town of Sremski Karlovci is one of the most popular day trips from Novi Sad. Located just a 20-minute drive from the city center, this historical town is famed for its churches, palaces, and wineries. Stop by Zivanovic Wine Cellar for wine tasting or try the regional specialty called Bermet, a sweet fortified wine only produced here in Sremski Karlovci.

Is Novi Sad worth visiting?

Yes! Novi Sad is definitely worth visiting.

The capital of Vojvodina offers so much in terms of culture and history. Novi Sad is only a short drive away from Belgrade, which makes it a perfect day trip destination . 

Whether you are visiting Novi Sad for one day or you are planning on staying a bit longer, you will probably have a good time here.

Where to stay in Novi Sad?

There is no shortage of accommodation options in Novi Sad, especially in the city center. From rooms and apartments to boutique hotels and villas, there is plenty to choose from. 

The good news is that short-term rentals in Novi Sad are reasonably priced. For example, you can find a small apartment in the city center for less than 40 euros per night . If you wish to stay in a hotel in the city center, expect to pay between 50 and 100 euros for a room.

Here are our top recommendations for places to stay in Novi Sad:

  • Corso Rooms City Centre : A smaller hotel located right in the city center of Novi Sad. They offer breakfast and have great prices for different types of rooms. 
  • Hotel Element : A modern 4-star hotel, Element is a great place to stay in Novi Sad for solo travelers, couples, and even families. It is located a bit out of the city center, which can be a good option if you will be traveling with your own car through Serbia.
  • Boutique Macchiato House : If you like a hotel with a strong personality, this is it. Macchiato House has very unique rooms and styles, which will make for a great experience.

Novi Sad Serbia

FAQ – Most popular questions about visiting Novi Sad

When is the best time of the year to visit novi sad.

I recommend visiting Novi Sad between April and July and from September to November . During the winter season, temperatures here can drop below zero making it difficult to enjoy the outdoors. 

However, if you are into Christmas markets, I definitely suggest staying in Novi Sad during the Christmas holidays  (check our guide about visiting Serbia during winter ). If you are not a fan of large crowds of tourists, avoid visiting Novi Sad at the beginning of July when the popular Exit festival takes place.

Is one day enough to visit Novi Sad?

Novi Sad is not a big city and you can easily see the main attractions in one day . However, if you wish to scratch beneath the surface and get to know the city a bit more, don’t hesitate to book accommodation in Novi Sad for a few extra days.

Is Novi Sad better than Belgrade?

Novi Sad and Belgrade are the two largest cities in Serbia, but they are each unique when it comes to things to do and see. I would not really say one is better than the other… instead, I would recommend visiting both so you can experience a bit of what Novi Sad and Belgrade have to offer.

If you are in doubt about which city is a better fit for your trip, check our comparison guide between Novi Sad and Belgrade .

C onclusion

A visit to Novi Sad is definitely one of the most popular day trips from Belgrade. The good news is that most of the city’s popular tourist attractions are located in the downtown area, making it easy to experience the city in just one day.

Other resources to help you plan your trip to Serbia:

  • Serbia 5-7 Days Road Trip Itinerary
  • 3 Days in Belgrade: A Perfect 3-Day Itinerary
  • Most beautiful places in Serbia
  • How many days do you need in Serbia
  • Best areas to stay in Belgrade
  • Visiting Tara National Park
  • 10 Best Things to Do in Niš (One-Day Itinerary)

Organizing your trip

To help you plan your trip to Serbia, we have put together our favorite planning resources: 

  • Flights : Get affordable flights to Serbia on  Skyscanner.com . 
  • Travel insurance : Make sure you are protected during your trip. We use  VisitorsCoverage  whenever we are traveling abroad. 
  • Renting a car : We always use  Discover Cars  to get the best car deals. 
  • Accommodation : Find the best hotels and apartments on  Booking.com . 
  • Activities : Get fun ideas of what to do and buy unique activities with  Get Your Guide.  
  • SIM Card : Stay connected during your trip with  Airalo.  

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that we get a small commission from any purchase you make, at no additional cost to you!

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‘Laid back’ European holiday destination has music festival held in a huge fortress and a sandy city centre beach

  • Ryan Gray , Travel Reporter
  • Published : 10:01, 13 Jul 2024
  • Published : Invalid Date,

A CITY break destination in Europe is the perfect place to visit for cheap wine and sandy beaches - and it even has a huge music festival every summer.

What's more, it's much more affordable than the big festivals that take place throughout the UK, making it a great budget option for music-loving Brits looking for a summer break.

Novi Sad is famous for the Petrovaradin fortress overlooking the Danube

Novi Sad in Serbia has been labelled as a great cut-price city by several travel experts, keen to explain why people should head there, particularly during the warmer months.

A big part of its appeal is EXIT Festival, which it hosts every summer, attracting people from all over the world.

Tickets for the four day party can be booked from as little as €120 (£101) while day passes will set back visitors as little as €32 (£27).

Those prices are less than half the price of a trip to Glastonbury and, while it may not attract the same level of headline acts, it still hosts some huge names.

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Previous headliners include the likes of Fatboy Slim, The White Stripes, The Pet Shop Boys, Snoop Dogg , Paul Weller, Arctic Monkeys and Guns 'n' Roses, among others.

What's more, the destination is worth visiting alone, with Rough Guide describing it as "a setting that leaves other festivals in the shade".

EXIT is hosted inside Novi Sad's Petrovaradin fortress, which "stands majestically above the lively city".

Stages, food trucks and performance areas are found throughout the fort, which has overlooked the Danube from within the city since the late 1600s.

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It's listed as the number one thing to do in Novi Sad on TripAdvisor , and claimed a TripAdvisor Traveller's Choice Award this year.

EXIT Festival is far from the only reason to visit Novi Sad however, with plenty also heading to sample the local wine , which has been described as "underrated".

The nearby regions of Fruska Gora and Sremski Karlovci are among the top-rated in Serbia, with day tours taking visitors to sample their products.

According to Wine Tourism tours and tasting sessions can be booked from as little as €5 (£4.23).

Travel experts Lonely Planet are also fond of Novi Sad, which claims it has "great wine from the slopes of nearby Fruška Gora mountain, hearty Vojvodinian food, a sandy beach on the Danube".

The beach they're talking about is known as The Strand, a half-mile-long stretch of sand by the river.

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Cafes are found overlooking the water, while boats and kayaks can also be hired, as can sun loungers along the banks.

In the hot summer months, it's a great place to cool off in the water, while it's even possible to cross over from one side to Fisherman’s Island, described as "green haven" jutting out into the river.

Cycle paths run alongside the banks of the Danube too, and bike hire is a very popular way to get around the city.

Getting there is very easy, with connections to the city taking less than an hour’s from Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport

Return flights from the UK can be booked from as little as £35 with budget airlines like Wizz Air .

A night for two in the city can be booked from £13.

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Meanwhile, this is the best value city break for people to head to in 2024.

And this underrated city break destination has 120 music festivals every year.

Novi Sad in Serbia has affordable flights and hotels

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Biden digs in despite lapses, alarming polls, doubts: 6 takeaways from ABC interview

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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden  dismissed concerns about his mental fitness Friday and rejected calls to drop out of the 2024 election as he pushed back at detractors in perhaps the most consequential television interview of his presidency.

Biden, in an interview with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos that aired on primetime television, reiterated he won't withdraw from the race following his disastrous debate last week, downplaying his performance as a "bad night" because of fatigue and a "really bad cold."

The 22-minute interview was Biden's first on television since his dismal debate performance in which the incumbent president struggled to complete thoughts, finish sentences and rebut claims made by former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee.

Here are six takeaways from the interview, which was taped during Biden's campaign visit Friday afternoon to Madison, Wisconsin.

Biden says he won't even entertain exiting race

Biden dug in as Stephanopoulos repeatedly pressed Biden whether he would end his candidacy if Democratic congressional leaders came to him to convince him he can't defeat Trump in November.

"Well, if the Lord Almighty comes down and tells me to do that, I might do that," Biden said, later insisting that his Democratic allies aren't going to demand that he exit.

"I'm not going to answer that question. It's not going to happen," Biden said. "I've not seen what you're proposing."

Biden said he's seen concerns about his candidacy "from the press," but not heard it from most Democrats.

Five Democratic members of Congress have publicly called for Biden to drop out of the race. The Washington Post reported Friday that U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., is working on assembling a group of Democratic senators to ask Biden to exit the presidential race

Biden won't commit to a cognitive test

Biden said he has not taken a neurological or cognitive test to measure his mental fitness, nor would he commit to an independent medical evaluation that includes such an exam.

"No, no one said I had to. They said I'm good," Biden said, adding that he takes a cognitive test "every single day" given the demands and responsibilities of being president.

More: Biden refuses to say whether he'd take independent cognitive test and make results public

"Everything I do, I have that test," Biden said. "Not only am I campaigning but I'm running the world."

Asked again whether he would take a cognitive test to assure Americans of his health, Biden again refused.

"Watch me. There's a lot of time left in this campaign. It's over 125 days."

Biden says he doesn't believe polls showing him losing

Despite Trump leading Biden in virtually all national polls and in most battleground states Biden said he doesn't believe he's currently losing.

"I don't buy that," Biden said. "All the pollsters I talk to tell me it's a toss-up."

Biden also said he doesn't buy that his approval rating is as low as 36%, which some polls have found.

"I don't believe that's my approval rating. That's not what our polls show," he said.

Even before Biden's disastrous debate, Democrats were growing more nervous about a second Trump presidency because of polls showing Biden consistently behind the former president.

When asked whether he's being honest with himself about his ability to beat Trump, Biden responded: "Yes, yes, yes, yes.''

"Look, I remember them telling me the same thing in 2020 − the polls show I can't win," Biden said.

At the end of his interview, Biden gave an answer that is sure to upset his detractors on how he would feel in January if Trump wins the election.

“I’ll feel as long as I gave it my all and I did as good a job as I know I can do, that’s what this is about," Biden said.

'I'm still in good shape,' Biden insists

Biden insisted that he's in good enough physical and mental condition to serve in the White House another four years.

"Can I run a hundred in 10 flat? No. But I'm still in good shape," said Biden, who spoke clearer than he did in the debate but still sounded hoarse at times.

Biden said he is not frail or in worse condition than when he entered the White House three and a half years ago.

"I wouldn't be running if I didn't think I did," he said about whether he can serve another four years, which would make him 86 years old at the end of his term.

Stephanopoulos asked if Biden was being honest with himself.

"Yes, I am. George, the last thing I want to do is not being able to meet that," Biden said.

Biden says he hasn't watched the debate

Biden said he hasn't watched his heavily criticized debate, which was now eight days ago.

"I don't think I did − no," Biden said.

Biden said his performance was "nobody's fault but mine," and that he prepared for it by going over material in "explicit detail," like he does for meetings with foreign leaders with his National Security Council.

Biden said he had trouble keeping up with all of Trump's lies.

Biden was asked about recent comments from former Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling it a "legitimate question" to ask whether Biden's debate performance was a "bad episode" or a sign of a more serious "condition."

"It was a bad episode," Biden said. "No indication of a more serious condition. I was exhausted. I didn't listen to my instincts in terms of preparing. I had a bad night."

Biden says recent travel made him tired because of 'really bad cold'

Biden was pressed how could have been tired from recent overseas travel − which he has claimed − when he returned to the United States 12 days before the debate took place.

"Because I was sick. I was feeling terrible," he said, adding that he felt so bad that he had his doctors test him for COVID and other viruses, which turned out negative. "They just said I had a really bad cold."

Biden spent the six days leading up to the debate at the Camp David presidential retreat preparing with top White House aides.

Reach Joey Garrison on X, formerly Twitter, @joeygarrison.

COMMENTS

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    1. Visit the 17th-century Petrovaradin Fortress. Kick off your Novi Sad travel itinerary with a visit to the Petrovaradin Fortress. Built between 1692 and 1780, the fortress is the most popular tourist attraction in Novi Sad. It is one of the largest, most complex, and best-preserved artillery bastions in the region!

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