15 Places Not To Miss When Visiting Serbia

Lonely Planet named Serbia as one of the top 10 countries to visit in 2015. They said it’s one of “Europe’s best kept secrets”. We couldn’t agree more.

This small country will welcome you with warm hospitality, delicious cuisine, breathtaking landscapes and an impressive nightlife and for all us men, the women are one of a kind, in character as well as beauty. You will find its big cities on every tour guide, but whether you are staying in Belgrade, Novi Sad, or any other place, make sure not to miss these 15 places:

1 – Wild River Rafting

Serbia wild river rafting

If you’re a nature lover and enjoy adventures check out Serbia’s wild river rafting. [source]

For travelers who seek adventure and excitement, we recommend rafting on Serbia’s wild rivers. Fast mountain rivers will give you the ultimate adventure, especially for nature lovers.  They are organized from spring to late summer, and you can choose the river and place you like the most – Nisava, Drina, Ibar, Lim. You can choose log rafting, logs connected into a raft, or white water rafting, going down the river in a rubber raft. There is also the famous Drina regatta that attracts thousands of visitors. You’ll get all the equipment necessary to keep you safe, all you need to do is have fun.  After this unforgettable experience, relax next to a camp fire and enjoy good food and company.

If you’re an adventure enthusiast, check out more places you can visit:

2 – Mokra Gora

Mokra Gora valley

Mokra Gora landscape. [source]

The view of Drvengrad

Ethnic village Drvengrad. [source]

Mokra Gora is a beautiful valley between Tara and Zlatibor mountains. Here you can enjoy picturesque landscapes, rivers, springs, forests and many animal species (29 rare bird species live here). It used to be an important old Roman road route, and now you can take a ride on the famous railway- Sargan Eight route. While you’re there, don’t forget to visit Drvengrad (Wooden town), an ethnic village made by the famous filmmaker Emir Kusturica. You can relax in authentic log cabins, eat delicious food and get traditional handmade gifts. Annual Küstendorf Film and Music Festival is organized here every January.

3 – Sopotnica Waterfalls

Sopotnica Waterfalls

A perfect getaway. Enjoy fresh air, hiking and camping in this beautiful place.

Sopotnica Waterfalls are located in southwestern Serbia. The river of the same name branched out and formed a series of waterfalls. This natural attraction is a home to a variety of plants, around 62,  which is a large number for a small area like this. You can enjoy hiking and camping here, and see many old mills and traditional villages located near the waterfalls.

4 – Kopaonik

Kopaonik in the winter

Kopaonik is the largest mountain range in Serbia. [source]

Kopaonik ski trail

It’s a perfect place for winter sports. [source]

The Kopaonik mountain range is the biggest one is Serbia and the most popular place for winter sports enthusiasts. It has the largest ski resort in Serbia, with 23 trails, so you can find the one for you whether  you’re a beginner or a pro. All trails are well connected with ski lifts. If you visit it any other time of the year, you can enjoy numerous activities like hiking, camping, mountain biking. If you are a nature lover, there are some important endemic species located here.

5 – Belgrade And Novi Sad Underground Tours

Belgrade underground tunnels

Belgrade underground tunnels. [source]

Petrovaradin underground tunnels

These tunnels are located underneath Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad. [source]

Belgrade, the capital is known for many things, but if you want to see some of its best secrets, you should explore the underground. There are many tunnels, caves, and caverns, mostly built in the last 300 years by the Austrians, Serbs, and Germans. The city was often a target for many different nations to conquer, so you will learn about its turbulent history and hear many interesting stories.  You will see the Roman Hall, army bunker, gunpowder warehouse and a wine cellar where you can taste many wines.

In Novi Sad, just under the Petrovaratin Fortress hides a labyrinth. It consists of corridors, secret passageways, crossroads, and halls. You can explore a part of this 16 kilometer long underground tunnels.

6 – Belgrade Nightlife

Splav in Belgrade

Splavs- Floating River Clubs [source]

Belgrade is the city that never sleeps. It has a reputation for its nightlife, and if you like partying, it’s a perfect place for it. First of all, every day in Belgrade is a night-out day. Sure, on the weekends it gets crazy, but it doesn’t get really quiet any other day. It’s attractive to visitors for many reasons, from cheap drinks to having many different clubs. Everyone can find something, no matter what their lifestyle is. The most recognizable clubs are the ones on the water, called splavs. There are many of them, each with its own style. These floating river clubs became a symbol of Belgrade’s nightlife. One of them is the well-known Klub 20/44, featured in The Guardian, along with some other great places you should visit.

7 – Ethnic Villages

Ethnic Village Sirogojno

Old Serbian villages. [source]

Kid sitting on the grass with a lot of food around him

Enjoy the traditional Serbian food.

Some Serbian villages preserved the traditional lifestyle. If you like to relax in a stress-free environment, connect with nature and eat delicious organic food, you should visit the countryside. Sleep in wooden cabins filled with traditional crafted furniture, learn the old customs and hear the authentic folk music. Warm hospitality, national cuisine, amazing landscape and fresh air will be a perfect getaway from the urban life. Some of the best preserved old villages are Sirogojno and Trsic.

To learn more about delicious Serbian food, check out this video:

8 – Viminacium

Viminacium Old Roman Town Archeological Site

Parts of old Roman town. [source]

mamoth skeleton in Viminacium

A million years old mammoth skeleton was found here. [source]

Viminacium was a Roman town and military encampment built from the 1st to the 6th century. In the 3rd century, the town got the highest status a town can get in the Roman Empire- the Roman citizen colony. Over 40,000 items were found here and nearly 14,000 graves. You can see what Roman villas looked like, visit the archeological museum and several atriums. In 2009, a million years old mammoth skeleton was uncovered here, and the works on a gladiator arena started a few years ago.

9 – Palic Lake and Wine Route

Palic lake

Lake Palic. [source]

Wine Cellar Palic

One of the many wine cellars. [source]

Subotica view of the City Hall

Town of Subotica is really near (5km) and is also a place you should visit. [source]

Palic lake is located on the very north of Serbia. This place is ideal for relaxing. You can visit spa centers, thermal waters, enjoy the lake view, walk or ride a bike. This area is famous for its Art Nouveau architecture. There is also a big Zoo tucked in the park next to the lake. For entertainment and nightlife, Subotica is really near. The big city offers many options to have fun. The climate and the land around Palic is perfect for vineyards and you can take a wine tour and visit some of the best wine cellars in the area.

10 – Monasteries

Manasija monastery Serbia

Manasija is a fortified monastery from the early 15th century.

Zica monastery Serbia

Zica is a 13th-century monastery built by the first Serbian king- Stefan Prvovencani. [source]

Studenica monastery Serbia

Studenica is a monastery from the 12th-century built using white marble.

There are 212 monasteries located in Serbia, build in various architecture styles. Some of them date back to the 12th century. They represent an important traditional and cultural inheritance. Many of them were built by famous rulers and monarchs and have medieval items still preserved. Walls are decorated in unique frescoes and paintings. Some of the most important ones are located in The Valley of the Kings and on Fruska Gora.

11- Uvac Canyon

The view of Uvac canyon

This canyon has a unique look. [source]

Uvac river and the canyon

There are many rare animal species living here. [source]

The beautiful canyon of the River Uvac looks unreal. The curving meanders are a result of years of natural convulsions. The canon is a home to many monasteries and rare animal species like Griffon vulture and Golden eagle. This natural reserve is also the largest cave complex in Serbia. You can explore the caves, enjoy a boat ride, hiking and sightseeing.

12 – Fortresses

Belgrade fortress wooden bridge

Belgrade Fortress. [source]

Old Church In Belgrade Fortress

An old church in the Belgrade Fortress. [source]

The view of Petrovaradin fortress in Novi Sad

Petrovaradin fortress in Novi Sad. [source]

Belgrade Fortress and Petrovaradin are one of the largest fortresses in Serbia. They are located in Serbia’s two biggest cities, Belgrade and Novi Sad. Both were built as defensive structures right next to a river and have big cultural and historical importance.

Belgrade Fortress was built around 535 by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. It was built on a place where two rivers meet, Danube and Sava. It consists of the ‘Lower Town’, ‘Upper Town’ and the beautiful Kalemegdan park that surrounds it.

Petrovaradin  Fortress is located in Serbia’s second largest city, Novi Sad. The construction started in 1692 and it’s one of the most complex, largest and best-preserved artillery bastions in this part of Europe. This fortress is also a home to one of the largest festivals in Europe, Exit Festival.

You can take tours and learn all about the rich history of these two fortresses. There are more fortresses in Serbia worth of mention, like the one in Smederevo and Nis.

13 – Djavolja Varos – Devil’s Town

Djavolja Varos- Devil's town Serbia

‘Devil’s Town’ is a true natural wonder. [source]

Djavolja Varos Serbia

These stone formations are a result of many years of erosions. [source]

This is a rare natural phenomenon- stone formations made by erosions. It looks mystical and was nominated for one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. There are also two springs with acid water, high in mineral content. You can enjoy and relax in this natural spring spa.

14- Festivals

Exit Festival Main Stage

Exit Festival is one of the biggest in Europe. [source]

Guca Festival Trumpet players

Traditional trumpet festival in Guca. [source]

Exit and Guca are the two largest festivals in Serbia. They are completely different.

Exit Festival is one of Europe’s biggest music festivals, located on the beautiful Petrovaradin fortress. It hosted some of the finest musicians from all around the world.

Guca is the trumpet festival that keeps the Serbian traditional spirit. Thousands of people visit it every year and enjoy folk music, traditional food, and drinks. Nisville International Jazz Festival and Belgrade Beer Fest are also worth of mention.

15 – Lepenski Vir

Lepenski Vir Archeological Site

Right next to the Danube River lies this huge archeological site you can visit. [source]

Lepenski Vir Serbia in 1968

The archeological site next to the Danube river, 1968. [source]

This prehistoric archeological site dates from 6500 to 5500 BC. It was a settlement next to the river Danube. Many round rock that were shaped like human figures were found here, with fish or deer motives. The most famous are the ones with fishlike human heads. Also, many sketches with landscapes, letters and numbers were found on this site.

Watch this short video about Belgrade

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