I personally think it’s a huge mistake – there are so many great Serbia attractions for each taste. I’ve been a few times in the country, both in Serbia tourist places and some less known destinations, and I always enjoyed it there.
And so today Rodrigo from Out of Your Comfort Zone blog share with us the best places to visit in Serbia. Hopefully, this list will inspire you to visit Serbia too!
Best places to visit in Serbia
Historic cities, canyons 500 meters high, medieval fortresses, wineries on the banks of the Danube, orthodox monasteries, and art nouveau palaces – there are so many great Serbia tourist attractions. This is such a unique and surprising destination in the Central/Eastern part of Europe.
Check out below the best Serbia points of interest, right in the heart of the Balkans.
Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is known for its nightlife. Land of a lively, loud, and party people, the city has activities for all tastes. Here, you will see many great things to do in Belgrade and realize that tourism in Serbia has a lot to offer to all types of travelers.
Belgrade is strategically located at the meeting between the West and the East. For this reason, it has been the target of numerous attacks over the centuries.
Although this resulted in the destruction – and consequent reconstruction – of the city on several occasions, it also caused it to incorporate a rich mix of diverse cultures and styles. So, getting to know the city is an opportunity to taste history, culture, art, and fun, all at the same time!
Kalemegdan Fortress, Kalemegdan Park and Pobednik
The Kalemegdan Fortress (or Belgrade Fortress) is at the meeting point between the Danube and Sava rivers and is one of the greatest symbols of the Serbian capital and a Serbia must-see place.
The Fortress is located in Kalemegdan Park and is one of the clearest legacies in the country’s long history. It started to be built in the 2nd century by the Romans and suffered attacks and devastation by the Gothic, Huns, Avar, and Slavic peoples.
Today, the Fortress reaches the upper city and the lower city and is surrounded by Kalemegdan park, which used to be a battlefield. In the area, there is also the Sahat Tula, a clock tower from the 18th century that still conserves its old form. Watching the sunset over there is an incredible experience.
Around the Fortress, it is also possible to visit the Military Museum with the rest of an American Stealth Fighter jet hit by Serbian forces during the Balkan Wars in the 1990s.
The church, covered with vegetation, used to be an arsenal in the 18th century and was transformed into a military chapel between 1867 and 1869. Damaged during the First World War, the church was restored in 1925. Inside, there are chandeliers made by soldiers of the First World War with casings of bullets, rifles, and parts of cannons.
St. Michael’s Cathedral
Located in Kosančićev Venac, Belgrade’s oldest neighborhood (built where there used to be a Roman necropolis), the Cathedral is close to Belgrade Fortress and Princess Ljubica’s Residence.
Although its origins date back to the 16th century, its current structure in neoclassical style was made in the 1830s.
Inside, it is possible to see icons and murals by the artist Dimitrije Avramović and relics of the 14th century belonging to the king and saint Stefan Uroš V. In the Cathedral are also the tombs of national heroes like Vuk Karadžić, who reformed the Serbian language in the 1800s.
Princess Ljubica’s Residence
This palace was built in the early 1830s by Prince Miloš Obrenović to be a residential palace for his wife and children. However, with the Ottoman occupation, the prince was forced to abdicate and was never able to enjoy the residence.
Subsequently, the residence became a high school, a grammar school, and the Supreme Court of Appeal. The building was then renovated in the 1970s to become a museum. There, you can see how the Serbian elite lived at the time the residence was built.
Knez Mihailova Street and Republic Square
Knez Mihailova Street is the main pedestrian area in Belgrade and is protected by law as one of the most important landmarks in the city and one of the beautiful places in Serbia.
The name of the street is a tribute to the Serbian prince Mihailo Obrenovic, assassinated in 1868. The prince was considered the most illuminated ruler in Serbia and was a crucial figure in the independence of the Balkans from Ottoman rule.
The Republic Square is in the heart of Belgrade. Surrounded by the National Theater and the National Museum, its center is decorated by the statue of Prince Mihailo on his horse.
National Museum of Serbia
Located in the Republic Square, the museum was opened in 1844 and has more than 400,000 objects, distributed in 34 archaeological, artistic, historical, and numismatic collections (stamps and coins). However, the museum was closed for 15 years, having recently been reopened in June 2018. Being the largest and oldest museum in Serbia, it is worth taking the time to visit it.
Today a neighborhood, Skadarlija used to be a municipality close to Belgrade. Situated in the old town, it is considered the main bohemian neighborhood in the Serbian capital.
The history of Skadarlija began in 1830 when gypsies settled there. However, its bohemian aspect only started to emerge in the last two decades of the 19th century when artists began to frequent the place after the demolition of an inn where they met.
One of the most prominent patrons in the neighborhood was Đura Jakšić, a famous Serbian writer and painter who lived there between 1832 and 1878. A statue of the artist can be seen among the various restaurants in the neighborhood.
Jevremovac Botanical Garden
Jevremovac is a neighborhood and botanical garden at the University of Belgrade. The garden was founded in 1874 and has an herbarium, a greenhouse, a nursery, and a library. During the summer, the place also hosts exhibitions, concerts, plays, and fashion shows.
National Assembly of Serbia
One of the most beautiful buildings in Belgrade, the National Assembly, was the seat of the Yugoslavian Parliament and, later, of the Parliament of Serbia and Montenegro. Today, it houses the Legislative Branch of Serbia, composed of 250 representatives elected for terms of 4 years.
Stari Dvor and Novi Dvor
Stari Dvor and Novi Dvor were built palaces, respectively, for the royal families Obrenović and Karađorđević.
Stari Dvor, or Old Palace, dates from the 1880s and has a Beaux-Arts architectural style. Today, the Palace houses the Belgrade City Hall.
Novi Dvor, or New Palace, was done in historicist/revivalist style and completed in 1922 after damage caused by the First World War. The Palace is currently the residence of the President of Serbia.
A vast park in the Serbian capital, Tašmajdan’s origins dates back to 2,000 years ago when Romans extracted stones from the region to build Belgrade’s predecessor.
Construction of the park began in 1950, and space was opened in 1954. But in 1999, the site was hit by NATO bombing, which destroyed several of its facilities.
The park was rebuilt in 2010, as a gift from Azerbaijan to Belgrade. In gratitude for the gift, Belgrade built a monument in the park in honor of the former President of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev.
Nikola Tesla Museum
Dedicated to honoring the life and work of the most famous Serbian scientist, the museum has interactive elements of science fiction, as well as housing Tesla’s ashes. The museum was opened in 1955 and has more than 160,000 original documents, 2,000 books, 1,200 historical exhibits, 1,500 photographs, instruments and apparatus, and 1,000 plans and drawings.
Saint Sava Orthodox Cathedral (Temple of Saint Sava)
St. Sava Cathedral is one of the largest orthodox churches in the world and the largest in Europe. Dedicated to Saint Sava, founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church, it is located on the Vračar plateau where the saint’s remains were burned by the Ottomans in 1595.
The construction of the Cathedral only started in 1935, 40 years after the initial plan, and 340 years after the burning of the remains of San Sava. The work lasted until the invasion of Yugoslavia by the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan) in World War II when Belgrade was heavily bombed. Construction resumed only in 1985 and was not completed until 1989.
The museum opened in 1962 as a gift from the city of Belgrade to Josip Broz Tito, then President of Yugoslavia, in celebration of his 70th birthday. Tito was a crucial figure in Yugoslavia and Serbia, and after his death, a memorial in his honor was incorporated into the museum.
The museum tells the story of Socialist Yugoslavia and Tito’s life and has an exhibition of all the gifts he received during his government. It’s worth to visit the place for its architecture too since this is one of the examples of famous Belgrade brutalist architecture.
Beli Dvor (Royal Palace)
The Royal Palace was built between 1924 and 1929 by the order of King Alexander I. It has a Serbian-Byzantine style and is surrounded by pergolas, terraces, and swimming pools.
Next to the White Palace, the Royal Palace forms the Royal Complex, which receives visits organized by the Belgrade Tourist Organization. Even today, the Palace is used as a residence for members of the royal family (Prince Alexander, his wife, and their three children).
Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade has more than 35,000 works produced since 1900, in addition to organizing exhibitions of modern art. It was founded in 1958 as the Gallery of Modern Art, and only in 1965 was it transferred to the building where it currently stands.
Splavs or Splavovi are floating anchored in the Danube and Sava rivers that house restaurants, bars, and even clubs. There are more elegant and quiet floats and others more youthful and festive, which can therefore please all tastes. If you like to enjoy the nightlife of the cities you visit, book at least one night to meet a Splavovi.
70 kilometers north of Belgrade following the Danube River is Serbia’s second-biggest city, Novi Sad, one of the best Serbia places to visit.
The city is known as “Athens of Serbia,” with a vibrant cultural scene, ranging from alternative rock bands to important art galleries. Ah, and don’t forget, home of the fantastic Exit Music Festival!
Many of Novi Sad’s main attractions are along Zmaj Jovina, the pedestrian promenade that runs from the central square Trg Slobode to Dunavska Street.
Petrovaradin Fortress and its underground Galleries
Despite the privileged view of the river from the top of its walls, be sure to visit part of the 16km of underground galleries in the Petrovaradin Fortress, known as catacombs.
The clock tower of Novi Sad
Another curiosity is the clock tower of the city, where the hour and minute hands have inverted sizes.
Not far from Novi Sad you can find the town of Sremski Karlovci, known for its wine production. The quality of the wine is so good that legend has it, the region’s winegrowers were released from military service at the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. If you like wine, you have to include Sremski Karlovci in your Serbia sightseeing.
In the far north of Serbia, Subotica – one of the prettiest places to see in Serbia – is proud of its Art Nouveau architectural ensemble, rare in the rest of the country. The wealth of its palaces and public buildings comes from a golden period, at the beginning of the 20th century, when it was an important trading post in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Being on the border with Hungary, the city is almost a mixture of the two countries. Hungarian is spoken by about a third of the population and is present in much of the official and commercial signs. There are also many inhabitants of Croatian origin and from the Catholic minority Bunjevci.
Examples of Art Nouveau in Subotica
Among the best examples of Art Nouveau architecture in Subotica are the Subotica Synagogue (1902), the city hall (1910), and the Raichel Palace (1904), built by the architect Ferenc J. Raichle, one of the masters of this style, and today converted into a center cultural.
National Park Djerdap
Covering 636 square kilometers, it is the largest national park in Serbia, on the stretch where the Danube serves as a natural border with Romania. The main attraction of the reserve is the Djerdap Cliff, known among international travelers as “Iron Gates gorge”, with its rocky walls that can reach 500 meters in height.
In addition to the natural beauty, the region of the gorges has traces of human occupation in the region. The oldest of these is Lepenski Vir, an archaeological site that indicates the presence of humans there for over 11 thousand years.
Much more recent are the Tabula Traiana, a place where there was a bridge built by the Romans that crossed the Danube in the year 103, and the Golubac Fort, a medieval defense post that could not have a more perfect location.
Fruska Gora National Park
Known as the “Jewel of Serbia”, the mountainous region of Fruska Gora lives up to its nickname. Its combination of green hills, artisanal wineries, and ancient monasteries makes the place one of the most beautiful destinations in the Serbian countryside.
The park is ideal for outdoor activities, such as hiking and mountain biking. It is also well known as a bird-watching point. Those who want to stay longer can rent a Vikendice, a small chalet typical of the region.
In the surroundings of Fruska Gora Park, there are 16 monasteries built between the 15th and 18th centuries, with the intention of preserving Serbian culture and Orthodox religion during the period of Turkish rule.
You can visit all of them, as well as part of the wineries that produce some of the most popular labels in Eastern Europe. There are records that the first of these was implemented by the Roman emperor Probus in the 3rd century.
Final thoughts on visiting Serbia
Indeed, the country has a lot to offer, so don’t hurry during your trip to Serbia. Start with Belgrade since it has most of the Serbia attractions, and from there, you can pick your next destination in the biggest federation of what used to be Yugoslavia.
About the author: Article written by Rodrigo Guimaraes from Out of Your Comfort Zone travel blog. Rodrigo spent 2 months in Belgrade working in his blog.
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