Novi Sad or Athens of Serbia is a city that offers a lot of interesting and diverse spots and activities. The capital of Vojvodina attracts the attention of both foreign and domestic tourists, first-time visitors, and people who keep coming back. Novi Sad hosts one of the most loved music festivals in the world, has some of the best wineries of Serbia surrounding it and it was named the European Capital of Culture for 2022. Some of the things we'll go through in this blog are:
About Novi Sad
- A brief history of Novi Sad: The second largest city in Serbia has been considered one of the most important cultural cores of the country for many years. In the 18th century, Novi Sad became the center and guardian of the tradition of Hungarian Serbs, when the rapid development of art, literature, and architecture began. The emergence of the Serbian National Theater, the first institution of this type in the South Slavic area, and then the Matica Srpska, the oldest cultural institution in Serbia, founded this city as one of the key cultural hubs of the country.
- Tradition and culture of Novi Sad: Novi Sad is a city of museums, theaters, libraries, and art studios. Today, the center of Vojvodina is a large, modern European city. Not only is it one of the industrial centers and a university city, but also the host of some internationally known cultural and sports events. In it, all the beauties of the metropolis overlap with the gentle and lovely way of life of the plains of Vojvodina. This combination gives the city its unusual charm and striking atmosphere.
- Novi Sad location: The excellent geographical position of Novi Sad makes this city a very accessible and visited tourist destination. The city is located in the north of Serbia, on the border of Backa and Srem. Novi Sad stretches on both sides of the Danube, a river to which the course of life in the city has always been closely linked. Near Novi Sad, the Mali Bačka Canal flows into the Danube, which is part of the Danube-Tisa-Danube canal system. Novi Sad is also a great starting spot for you to explore Serbia, with the help of our blog.
- Driving through Novi Sad: In order to bring you closer to all the attractions, but also the energy of this magical city, we present you a unique virtual tour through Novi Sad. An interactive ride, in which you manage what is in front of you, will take you through the most famous parts of Novi Sad. In addition to being great for orientation, this tour will take you on a trip before the trip.
How to get to Novi Sad?
Novi Sad has an excellent road, railway and river connection with other city centers of Serbia, but also with the countries of the region. Pan-European corridor 10 passes through the city, which connects as many as eight countries on its main route from Salzburg to Thessaloniki. Novi Sad is also well connected by water, because it is located on the Danube corridor that connects the countries of Western Europe with the Black Sea. Novi Sad is connected to the Danube-Tisa-Danube canal system, which enables traffic connections by water, upstream to Central Europe and downstream towards the Black Sea. Due to all these facts, you can easily reach this city:
- By car: Novi Sad is located on the E-75 highway, and the E-70 highway is only 70 kilometers south of the city in the direction of Belgrade.
- By bus: There is also a bus station in the city, covering international as well as intercity traffic that connects Novi Sad with most of the cities and towns in Serbia.
- By train: Railway in Novi Sad is on of the stops on the international train route Vienna-Budapest-Belgrade-Istanbul. If you're coming from Belgrade this is also the fastest way to reach Novi Sad, as the newest express line Soko only takes 30 minutes to reach Novi Sad.
- By bicycle: The EuroVelo 6 bicycle path passes through Novi Sad. It connects it with the European bicycle corridor that stretches along the Danube in Serbia.
- By boat: Several travel agencies also offer an interesting program of cruising the Danube to Novi Sad.
Novi Sad attractions - Things to see in Novi Sad
Where to even start. Should we talk about one of its many churches, magical streets and squares, parks and the coast, or about the lively neighborhoods, shops, restaurants and all the little things that create a special atmosphere in the city? Whether you're looking for unique architecture to take pictures of or want to learn about the history of Vojvodina, stick around. We'll go over some of the most prominent attractions in Novi Sad, from one of the most popular castles in Serbia to the city center.
City center - Sights and hedonism
In the heart of Novi Sad awaits The Name of Mary Church, built in 1894 on the site of so-called Freedom Square. This Roman Catholic church is also the largest religious building in this city, and the people of Novi Sad popularly call it the cathedral. It is just one of the many symbols of this city, but it is mostly the first stop when visiting Novi Sad. Then, on Jevrejska Street, there is the Synagogue, a historically and architecturally famous building. Close by are the Matica Srpska Gallery, the Cathedral of St. Djordje, many little and colorful passages, and numerous restaurants and bars perfect for a quick coffee break. We recommend you check out Gimmi restaurant, Lanterna, Panceta, or one of the very popular Irish pubs.
This street named by the river occupies a special place in Novi Sad. Apart from being one of the most famous, it is also one of the oldest streets in this city. It connects the city center with the scenic Danube park. It is also one of the favorite promenades of Novi Sad residents, but also tourists. Near it is the Museum of Vojvodina, but also numerous high-rise buildings built in the Neo-Baroque style. Danube street is where you'll find boutiques, little cafes and fast food restaurants, all stated in building typical of Vojvodina.
Another symbol of Novi Sad is its fortress, located on the right bank of the Danube. It was built by the Austro-Hungarians in the 18th century, as protection from the Ottomans who posed a constant threat to Western Europe. Apart from its historical significance, the fortress is also one of the most visited sites in Novi Sad. Its symbol is the so-called Drunken Clock, which got its name due to its peculiar hands; the hour hand shows the minutes, and the minute hand shows the hours. Here, you can have a dinner with a view at one of the restaurants with an enchanting panorama of the Rainbow Bridge and Danube. The best spots to explore in the Petrovaradin fortress are:
- Underground military galleries: Originating all the way back to 1783, this unique museum stretches over 16km and 4 floors. This was once a communication and defense system of hallways and rooms, later turned into a keeping spot for gold of the Habsburg monarchy. All visits need to be booked in advance through the official channels of the City Museum of Novi Sad.
- Atelier 61: It was first founded back in the 60s as an Institution of tapestries, and today it is the only complex cultural institution of its kind in the Balkans. On your visit, you can witness the production of tapestries, and also learn more about the history behind some of the best works displayed in the gallery. Atelier 61 is open for visits Monday to Friday from 9 am to 2 pm.
- Belgrade Gate: A walk through this iconic stone gate is a must. It is 20 meters wide and has two lines for vehicles. This is also a place of the former prison in which Josip Broz Tito served some time.
Novi Sad museums
A tour of Novi Sad is not complete without the most recognizable trademarks of the city, its many valuable cultural institutions. It is no coincidence that this city has been declared the cultural capital of Europe. It is almost impossible to visit all the important points in the city. That is why it is best to make a selection according to your own taste, divide and conquer. From history to nature and are, we suggest you check out:
- Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina: The art in its most wide and creative form, made during the second half of the 20th century Vojvodina, can be witnessed in this museum. The Museum of Contemporary art of Vojvodina houses 2.500 different drawings, illustrations, graphics, and mixed media. Some of the most notable artists displayed in the museum are Zoran Petrovic, Ankica Opresnik, Dusan Milovanovic, and many others. Be ready to spend 150 dinars on the ticket.
- Museum of Vojvodina: This rich museum collects and displays over 40.000 artifacts and 50.000 publications. It covers 8.000 years of knowledge and items in the fields of archeology, history, art, and ethnology of Vojvodina and its people. The main building of the Museum of Vojvodina is located on Dunavska street. It's open for visits through the week, except on Mondays, from 9 am to 7 pm on working days and 10 am to 6 pm on the weekend. Tickets sell for 200 dinars.
- City Museum of Novi Sad: Learn more about the everyday lives of the people of Novi Sad, as well as the most important moments in the history of the city. This museum is located in the former war barrack, and it houses the artworks of, among others, Sava Sumanovic and Bosko Petrovic, authentic furniture, clothing, and documents from the 16th to the 21st century. It is open for visits Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 am to 5 pm. The admission fee is 300 dinars, or 500 dinars if you wish to have an English speaking guide.
Attractions on the Danube
The most popular and most beautiful treasure on the Danube in Novi Sad is called Strand. This is a city beach perfect for a swim on a hot summer's day. From June to August, many events are held on Strand, such as the TID regatta or Danube Day. We suggest you get to Strand early to grab the best sunbathing spot. In between swimming and tanning, check out tennis and basketball courts, alongside a beach volleyball area that is also perfect for daytime parties. Swimming season on Strand starts on the 1st of May, and you will have to pay just 50 dinars for an entrance fee.
If you prefer a more active vacation, Suncani, Beogradski, and Kej of victims of the raid, with a total length of five kilometers will be more your speed. Besides being great for walking and jogging, these quays are rich in sports fields. One of them is a tennis court named Monica Seles, after a famous tennis player of Hungarian origin. There is also an outdoor fitness center for adults and children with disabilities. Fifteen historical locations have been set up along the entire quay, and the development of Novi Sad during the 20th century can be traced on each of them.
If the Danube seems interesting to you, learn even more about it in our blog - Serbian Rivers.
Map of Novi Sad attractions
Before we move on to the activities in Novi Sad, we present you with a sights map. The map shows the attractions and locations that we introduced you to, and it can also be used as help when planning visits to this city. In addition to being good for orientation, you can also use it to prepare travel routes.
Experience Novi Sad - Things to do in Novi Sad
Novi Sad is a city where traditional and modern combine, which means you will never get bored. There are countless events and activities in this city, so much so that you will definitely need a few days if you plan to visit most of them. From the best festivals to enjoyable walks through the historical center of Novi Sad, let's go through some of the most exciting activities Novi Sad has to offer.
Source: ©shurford from Getty Images via Canva.com
A walk through Novi Sad
The best way to get to know Novi Sad is to walk through its always lively streets. Apart from the representative symbols of Novi Sad, you will get to know it from a different angle with your own direction and route. There are four walking routes prepared by the Tourist Organization of Novi Sad. You can opt for one of them or make your own. The routs that these tours follow are:
- Red route: City Hall, Monument of Svetozar Miletic, Hotel Vojvodina, The Name of Mary Church, Cultural Center of Novi Sad, Roman Catholic Parish Office, Laze Teleckog Street, Grckoskolska Street, Serbian Orthodox Church of St. George, Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj Grammar School, Matica Srpska, Serbian Orthodox Church of Relocation of the Relics of St. Nicholas, Almaska Church, Slovak Evangelical Church, Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, Novi Sad Theater, The Assumption Church, Reforme Christian Church, and Novi Sad Synagogue
- Blue route: Zmaj Jovina Street, Monument to Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj, Orthodox Bishop's Palace, "At the White Lion", Danube Street, City Library, Foreign Art Collection, Youth Theater, Danube Park, Museum of Vojvodina, Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina, Fish Market, Banovina Building, the Matica Srpska Gallery, the Memorial Collection of Pavle Beljanski, the Gallery of Fine Arts, The Museum of Unification of Vojvodina in 1918 and the Monument to King Petar I Karadjordjevic.
- Yellow route: Petrovaradin Fortress, Chapel of Saint Apostles Peter and Paul, House of Josip Jelacic, Belgrade Gate, Church of St. George, Clock Tower, Terrace of the Fortress, Planetarium, Underground Military Galleries, City Museum of Novi Sad, Art Circle Association, Leopold's Gate and Atelier 61.
- Green route: University Campus, SPENS, Natural Collection of the Institute for Nature Protection, FC Vojvodina Stadium, Strand City Beach, Sunny Quay, Chinese Quarter and Monument to the Victims of the Family Raid.
Cycling through Novi Sad
Novi Sad is mostly a walkable city, but people here are also big on cycling to almost everywhere. That's why you'll see bike trails all over Novi Sad. One of them is the so-called EuroVelo 6 bicycle route, which is located right next to the Danube. Also, in this city bike trails follow most of the important city roads, which is a great way for you to witness the sights of Novi Sad. The left and right banks of the Danube are connected by a scenic trail you cannot miss. You can rent a bike through one of the bike rental systems and get information about all the further steps.
Festivals in Novi Sad
Without a shred of exaggeration, it can be said that Novi Sad is one of the cities in Serbia with the best and most diverse festival program in Serbia. Only Belgrade can match it. However, Novi Sad stands out for its world-famous music festival, the largest outdoor event in Serbia and the region. Festivals you cannot miss are:
- Exit Novi Sad: It is impossible to make a list of Novi Sad festivals without mentioning the most famous one. EXIT is a music festival held once a year at the Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad. It is considered one of the largest music festivals in Southeast Europe. The Association of the Largest European Festivals awarded EXIT the award for the best festival of 2007 and Best Summer Music Festival in Europe in 2016. Every July, this festival gathers numerous world and domestic music stars who perform on over twenty different stages, which are mostly divided by genre. The price of the tickets varies depending on how many days you plan on attending and if you need accommodation at the Exit festival camp. Be quick tho, even the most expensive ticket sell out fast!
- Festival dedicated to Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj: In the name of the most famous poet from Novi Sad, Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj, the famous festival of children's literature is being organized. It includes multimedia programs for children and youth during which all types of artistic creation for children are represented, and it includes theater, literature, and musical performances. Traditionally, in the first week of June, festival activities or organized at several locations in the city and its surroundings including the city center, Sremska Kamenica and the Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj Memorial Collection Center. Admission to all programs is free.
- Music festivals in Novi Sad: Music is a big part of the festival scene in Novi Sad all year around. Some of the most interesting and visited festival are the Street Music Festival, Novi Sad Jazz Festival, Euphonia International Accordion and Chamber Music Festival.
Things to do with kids in Novi Sad
There are many wonderful destinations for family vacations in Serbia, and Novi Sad, without a doubt, is one of the best. Whether it is a quick visit to Danube Park, or exploring the Petrovaradin Fortress on a long walk, numerous locations are interesting to visitors of all ages. Although most children love close encounters with animals and the secrets of the starry sky, sometimes tireless little ones desperately need a place to get rid of excess energy. Well, Novi Sad offers it all:
- Planetarium: The ancient Novi Sad fortress hides many secrets, and one of them is the beautiful planetarium. Along with the Belgrade Planetarium, which, interestingly, is also in the embrace of the old fortress, it is the only attraction of this type in Serbia. Embark on an atmospheric evening walk along the enigmatic paths of Petrovaradin, and then complete the evening with a meeting with the stars. The planetarium is open for public visits on Thursdays from 8 pm, and the entrance is free. Energetic and knowledgable quids will take you on a wild ride through the exciting sky, showing you stars and planets along the way.
- Trampoline Park Amplitude: The largest park of this type in Vojvodina. Fantastic fun for all ages awaits you here, enjoying exciting activities and an unforgettable experience of jumping on big trampolines. You and your kids can try jumping into a pit filled with soft cubes, jumping and climbing over obstacles or playing a game with instructors. The price is 500 dinars for an hour of jumping on trampolines on weekdays, and 800 dinars on weekends. Working hours are from 2.30 pm to 9 pm on Mondays and Fridays, and on weekends the park is open from 9:30 am to 9 pm.
- Adrenalin Park in Novi Sad: Named Land of the wonders, this park is perfect if your little ones are outdoorsy. There are more than 16 obstacles scattered throughout the park, divide based on the difficulty and height of the climbers. Kids will test their motor skills and strength on monkey bars, ladders, floating platforms, and a rock-climbing wall. A well-deserved break, with a snack and a cold drink, awaits you in the Relaxation Zone. You'll have to pay 600 dinars for yourself and 400 dinars for your kid. Family tickets start at 1.400 dinars.
Day trips from Novi Sad
If you want to take a short break in nature, Novi Sad is completely surrounded by it. Apart from numerous beautiful parks in the city itself, there are several picnic areas outside its strict borders. Very close is one of the most visited National Park in Serbia and a town especially famous for its rich history, architecture, and great wine.
The oldest national park in Serbia is a mosaic composed of dense greenery and valuable pearls of architecture hidden in its forests. Fruska gora offers a perfect refreshing holiday during the hot summer months and is an oasis of nature that is very easy to reach. This is, above all, a destination intended for lovers of nature, as it is filled with great picnic spots and clear little lakes. During your stay on this mountain, be sure to check out:
- Tour of Fruska Gora monasteries: Fruska Gora is blessed with 18 monasteries that you can still visit today. The most famous ones are Novo Hopovo, Krusedol, Velika Remeta, Jazak, and Vrdnik, but the other 13 also deserve some love. All about the location and brief history of the monasteries is mentioned on our Monasteries of Fruska Gora page.
- Visit to the town of Vrdnik and the Vrdnik Tower: This neighborhood is located on the south side of the mountain, and its history started in the 14th century. Besides it being rich in coal, Vrdnik is also famous for its Tower from the Roman ages, over 100 wooden houses, and thermal springs.
- Hiking trails: The longest hiking trail in Serbia is located right here on Fruska gora. It's 5.5 km long, taking you through the woods on a broken brick road. You can have a full training session along the way, as it has outdoor exercise equipment on 17 different sites.
Accommodation on Fruska gora
Fruska Gora accommodation offers a wide selection, from hotels and private apartments to mountain homes and camping in the eco-park. Today, Fruska gora aspires to become a serious tourist center and one of the most important holiday destinations in Serbia, with two luxury hotels on its slopes. You can choose from:
- Hotel Premier Aqua: Located at the thermal water spring, Premier Aqua offers its visitors a modern spa, outdoor and indoor pools, restaurants and well-equipped rooms and suites. The price per night starts from 9.165 dinars.
- Spa Resort & Hotel Fruške Terme: This four-star hotel is located in Vrdnik. The price per night starts from 5.150, and it offers top-notch service, modern rooms and a great view. It also offers premade packages, depending on the type of your stay, that cover everything from food and beds to entertainment and special treatments.
- Hotel Norcev: In the village of Grgeteg, 8 kilometers from the monastery Novo Hopovo, there is also the hotel Norcev. The price per night starts from 5,875 dinars for a single room.
- Apartments: A much cheaper accommodation option. Apartments Fruska Gora are located throughout the national park and the price per night starts at around 1,900 dinars.
No small place in Serbia has such a rich history and tradition as Sremski Karlovci. The lovely town in Vojvodina used to be a bastion of Serbian culture and the seat of the Metropolitanate. Discover the Patriarchal Palace, the first Serbian high school ever, the Monastery dedicated to the Presentation of the Most Holy Mother of God, the Roman Catholic Church, the Theological Seminary and the Fountain of the Four Lions. It is believed that if you drink water from the Four Lions Fountain, you will return to Sremski Karlovci. Now you know what to do if this town captivates you with its charms.
Accommodation in Novi Sad
As one of the largest administrative and tourist centers in Serbia, Novi Sad has developed a large number of accommodation units of various structures, capacities and prices. There are standard hotels, much more affordable private apartments, but also rural tourism within households and farms.
- Hotels in Novi Sad: It has as many as 31 hotels. They are all different in structure, equipment and price, so you will easily be able to choose the right one. Most of the hotels are located in the very center of the city or its vicinity, so if you decide for this type of accommodation, you will easily be able to visit the most famous tourist spots of the city. Depending on the quality of the hotel, a night for two will cost you from 2000 to 10000 dinars.
- Apartments in Novi Sad: are, as always, the most affordable and affordable type of accommodation, which offers the best value for money. Apartments Novi Sad are distributed throughout the city, and all are very high quality and equipped, so you can spend longer and shorter stays in them. A night in the apartments is available for as little as 8 euros per person.
You are now ready to face this glorious city on your own. Whether you're planning on spending a calm vacation by the Danube or cannot wait to dance the night away at Exit Festival, we are more than sure you'll keep coming back to Novi Sad. This could be a start of your journey though Serbia, don't you agree?