Beautiful castles, Medieval monasteries, beautiful rural villages, and lively towns with baroque parks and art-deco architecture are among Serbia’s numerous attractions.
Cities and villages
Its capital, Belgrade, is a vibrant and developing European metropolis with the Sava and Danube rivers flowing through it. It is far from a dull city, with a variety of fascinating attractions, both ancient and modern. Stroll along Prince Michael Thoroughfare, the city’s major pedestrian street, or stop at one of Skadarlija’s numerous restaurants for a drink. There are many ancient structures on all four banks, notably the massive Kalemegdan Fortress, which was constructed, rebuilt, and modified over 2000 years by Celts, Romans, Byzantines, Serbs, Austrians, and Turks. It was formerly an important military stronghold, but it currently serves as a major park in Belgrade, with stunning views to the north and west. There is a zoo, a military museum, a couple of historic churches, galleries, parks, sports grounds, and so on inside the fort. It features a plethora of different towers and ports, as well as two lengthy walking/biking routes that go along both rivers. The contemporary Temple of Saint Sava, the National Museum, and the Old Court Palace are among the other attractions in Belgrade. If you don’t want to bathe in pools, the river island Ada Ciganlija offers an artificial lake and an 8-kilometer-long gravel beach. To the contrary, Tasmajdan Park, which includes the renowned St. Mark’s Church, is packed with pools and even has a water polo team. It’s a busy area with plenty of sports and entertainment, as well as cafés and restaurants, some of which are open all year. Zemun, currently part of the Belgrade metropolitan region, grew up under Hungarian and subsequently Habsburg control for the most of its history and is a lovely area with an unique vibe that differs from Belgrade itself. It has a lot of entertainment and restaurants on the Zemun quay, which is on the Danube’s bank.
Novi Sad is another charming city, with the Petrovaradin Fortress (one of Europe’s largest and best maintained XVIII century fortifications) as its major attraction. The city also boasts a lot of beautiful parks that beg for a leisurely afternoon walk or picnic. Sremski Karlovci, near Novi Sad, has a rich history, as well as many monuments, museums, churches, galleries, and well-known wine cellars. Novi Pazar, your last stop before reaching Kosovo, has an unique Turkish history and a plethora of excellent monasteries in the surrounding region.
Mokra Gora is a traditional-style hamlet in the famous alpine area of Zlatibor. In the same area, there is the hamlet of Sirogojno, which has a beautiful open air museum and a variety of traditional crafts on exhibit. Nearby lies the medieval hamlet of Drvengrad, also known as Meavnik, which was created for the Serbian film director Emir Kusturica’s film Life Is a Miracle. After you’ve seen the towns, Zlatibor has some fantastic ski resorts, hiking routes, and scenery. Alternatively, use the argan Eight, a narrow-gauge historic railway that runs from Mokra Gora to the argan Vitasi station (Zlatibor and Tara mountains). Sargan Eight is unique in Europe in terms of the number of bridges and tunnels, as well as the climb of 18 per thousand, and a ride on the 8-shaped track is a famous tourist attraction.
Serbia is home to a large number of Medieval orthodox monasteries, several of which include outstanding fresco works. One of the best examples is the 12th century monastery of Studenica (near Kraljevo), which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its two churches are made of white marble and have magnificent Byzantine artwork from the 13th and 14th centuries. ia, located in Kraljevo, was built about 1207 and painted red as a sign of the blood of early Christian victims. The frescoes at Sopoani (near Novi Pazar) are regarded as some of the best examples of their period, and the monastery is on the World Heritage list with the remains of old Stari Ras, formerly the capital of the Serbian kingdom of Raka but abandoned in the 13th century. The fortified Manasija monastery in Despotovac is defended by huge walls and towers, and although many of its original frescoes were destroyed beyond restoration under Ottoman control, it is nevertheless well worth a visit. Ravanica near Uprija, located in the magnificent Kuaj mountains, has been attacked, destroyed, and rebuilt many times throughout history. It is the last resting site of Lazar of Serbia, a saint of the orthodox Serbian church and a hero of Serbian epic poetry. Mileeva monastery in Prijepolje, with its world-famous “White Angel” fresco, and Kruedol near Srem are two more beautiful monasteries. The notable medieval monasteries that have been preserved by UNESCO are: The Pec Patriarchate (monastery), Gracanica monastery, Visoki Decani monastery,…
If you only have time in Belgrade, be sure to visit the Murals Museum in the city center, which will give you a taste of Serbian fresco paintings by displaying replicas of the most renowned and magnificent frescoes from different monasteries.
Fruka Gora is without a doubt one of the finest national parks and natural places in the country. Its wide plains are dotted with old monasteries and wineries, and it mixes orchards and vineyards with dense woods. Tara National Park, located in the country’s west, spans 20.000 hectares. The deep gorges of the Drina river and the high mountain summits offer magnificent vistas that make the lengthy walk worthwhile. The hilly terrain of Kopaonik in the south provides excellent skiing and snowboarding possibilities, as well as beautiful vistas and a diverse flora.
Erdap is the country’s largest national park. Located in the country’s east, near the border with Romania. It comprises of the Djerdap (Iron Gate) canyon, through which the Danube flows, and its magnificent, nearly unspoiled natural environs. It’s absolutely beautiful, and it’s best seen from a boat. It may also be visited by bus or vehicle, with numerous belvederes to stop and enjoy the scenery. It is also crossed by the EuroVelo 6 bicycle route.
Spas and resorts
Serbia is a spa country. There are many thermal and mineral water springs, and the most of them have been converted into therapeutic and relaxing resorts. Vrnjaka Banja is the biggest and most popular of them, and it has long been a favorite tourist destination for relaxation and pleasure. It is the only mineral spa with water that is 36.5 degrees Celsius, the temperature of the human body. Sokobanja is another well-known spa and tourist destination in Serbia, renowned for its mild continental temperature and unspoiled environment – vast expanses of forests, clean air, and a variety of thermo-mineral sources. Pali is a beautiful northern city. Its baroque gardens, art nouveau architectural landmarks, and lengthy culinary history made it a popular summer resort and spa for the 19th and 20th century aristocracy.
Viminacium, near the town of Stari Kostolac, is a significant archaeological site that was the location of Serbia’s first excavation effort in the 1880s. It was the provincial capital of the Roman province of Moesia (today’s Serbia) in the first century. There are archaeological remnants of temples, streets, squares, a huge amphitheatre, palaces, hippodromes, and Roman baths at the site. Gamzigrad is another important archaeological site that also serves as a resort. It is home to the ruins of Felix Romuliana, an ancient Roman complex of palaces and temples, and is regarded as one of the most significant and well-preserved late-Roman monuments.
Lepenski Vir, located in the national park Erdap, 160 kilometers east of Belgrade, between the villages of Golubac and Donji Milanovac, is the site of Europe’s earliest neolithic settlement and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is very beautifully maintained and well-known for its fish-like carvings. There is also an archaeological site Vina from the Neolithic era, which is less impressive but nonetheless worth seeing. It is located in the Belgrede neighborhood of Vina, 20 kilometers from the city center.