Have you ever been to the Balkans? Most probably you’ve been to Croatia or Montenegro, as these are really popular summer destination. But have you ever considered going to Serbia? It is a perfect place for a weekend break!
Serbia is the largest country that emerged after the collapse of Yugoslavia. Many people associate this country with war that was there in the 90s and still think that it is a dangerous place to go. Although several buildings still have holes made by bullets in their walls, war is a long forgotten chapter. Serbia is a safe country, and depends what kind of traveller you are you will definitely offer something interesting to see.
What to see in Serbia?
Serbia doesn’t have access to sea, neither it has very high mountains. If you plan to go there for weekend, a must see is Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. From there you can take a one day trip to Sremski Karlovci and to Novi Sad.
How to get to Serbia?
Depends from where you are going, probably the easiest way is to take a plane to Belgrad. However, this can be very expansive as this airport offers a limited amount of cheap flights. You can get to Budapest and from there take a Flixbus for about 25 euro that in 6h will take you to Belgrad. There are also trains which are cheaper (they cost about 15 euros) but it takes 9 hours to get to Belgrad. If you plan to make a tour around Balkan countries there are plenty of buses from other balkan capitals, be careful though as they take quite a long time and can be quite expensive.
What to do?
Belgrad looks like a mix of Budapest and Istanbul. In the center you will find representative buildings from XIX and begining of XX centuries, plenty of nice squares and a huge amount of very nice restaurants and cafes. A must see points are Kneza Mihaila street, the main pedestrain street in the capital, Belgrade Fortress with amazing view over the river and western part of Belgrad, Skadarska street with its bohemian atmosphere and amazing restaurants and bars where you can try traditional rakija shots right on the street for 100 dinar (about 1euro) and Church of Saint Sava which is one of the biggest Orthodox churches in the world, however it is still unfinished. If you are interested in history you should also visit Museum of Yugoslavia with Tito’s grave. Doing all this will keep you busy for 1 day.
Where to eat?
There are many great restaurants in the city. They are located in 3 areas: Skadarlija, Kneza Mihaila street and along the river next to tram stop Pristanište. If you want to taste some traditional food a great choice will be Manufaktura. For a meal with beer you will pay about 700 dinar. Next to it you will find amazing place for a coffee – Kafeterija MAGAZIN 1907, with several floors of tables and amazing interior. If you are more of a budget tourist, around the city you can find very good and cheap street food. For a very big slice of pizza you will pay about 130 dinar, for this price you can also find a really big calzone.
How to get around?
Getting around Belgrad can be more difficult than in other capitals of that size. It is the biggest city in Europe without rapid transport system. Main means of transport are buses, trolleybuses and trams. Be careful though, as trams do now have schedule, so you never know when the tram will come and how lon git will take to get to your destination. Tram salso do not work in the center, for tourists they can be useful to go to the Church of Saint Sava. To get a ticket you need to buy a plastic card in advance and put some money on it. Ticket valid for 90 minutes costs 89 dinar.
To get to the airport you cna take bus A1 that stops right in front of the entrance to the old tain station, in center of Belgrade. Cost is 300 dinar, travel time about 30 minutes. It departs every 20 minutes.
NOVI SAD + SREMSKI KARLOVCI
How to get there?
The easiest way to get to Sremski Karlovci is to take a train. There are several trains per day, you can check the schedule online. Travel time is about 2h, but be careful as trains are very often late. Take into consideration that trains depart from new train station Beograd Centar which is quite far from the center. There is no tram that goes there, from the old train station only bus 36 that has interval of 40 minutes. Getting on foot takes about 50 minutes. Be careful as close to the tain station you will need to walk along the dual carriageway and you might get a bit confused. The train station itself also doesn’t look as you might expect it to look, more like a parking place. Price of the ticket varies between 300 – 360 dinar.
From Sremski Karlovci to Novi Sad you can take the train. According to schedule it should take about 15 minutes, but it can also take 45 😊 Price of the ticket is 70 dinar. Good news is that for trains you can buy ticket inside the train from the controller and they cost the same.
From Novi Sad you can go back by train or take a bus. Bus costs about 600 dinar and takes 2h 10 minutes. Bus station in Novi Sad is located in front of train station. Remember to arrive a bit earlier as you need to buy the ticket before entering the bus station. Good news is that buses in Belgrad arrive right in the center of the city.
What to see there?
Sremski Karlovci is a very cozy little town famous for wine making and the fact that it was a political and cultural capital of Serbian Vojvodina after the May Assembly and during the Revolution in 1848.
You should definitely walk around the town and go to the hill above it to enjoy the view. Estimated time to see the town is 2 hours
Novi Sad, the second largest city in Serbia, has also a very cozy center that can remind you of hungarian towns. To see the city center it takes about 30 minutes, if you have time you can visit Petrovaradin Fortress on the other side of the river. Estimated time of staying in Novi Sad: 3,5h Be careful as it takes about 30 minutes to walk from the city center to the train/bus station.
A very nice thing in Serbia is that there ar emany fountains in the center from where you can drink water. If it is hot, take a bottle with you and fill if with cold water from the fountain!
If it is hot and you’d like to swim go to Savsko jezero in Belgrad. It is a very popular spot for Serbians to swim in Belgrad.