Being from Serbia, I always feel flattered when the established media like BBC, Lonely Planet, Daily Mail, etc. write about my country as a hidden European gem and a must-visit place. Although interesting, these listicles usually revolve about the country highlights, and while they showcase what makes my country unique, they often lack that one thread of the Serbian spirit and raw life experience that you breathe in the very first moment when you put a foot on our land, and that make so many visitors keep coming back. Driven by traveler’s curiosity and a healthy dose of love for my homeland, I’ve compiled an honest list of 3 more reasons to visit Serbia in 2019, besides the well-known highlights.
Serbia is raw, Serbia has an amazing nature, and I just can’t stress this enough. The mountains of Western Serbia like Tara and Zlatibor secured their desirable spot on the international travelers’ lists, but I encourage you to go east. Mt. Stara Planina is a place that hides more than 90 waterfalls, most of which were discovered no earlier than 2012!
Imagine people with sticks and machetes paving the way through the thick vegetation and conquering the mountain tops for the first time. Imagine a place so wild and so clear, where everything that drips can be drunk safely. Unbelievable, right? That’s why it’s my no.1 reason to visit Serbia in 2019.
The creative minds of young Serbian artists make life in the country so much more enjoyable. For a more sophisticated experience, you can focus on exploring the recently reopened Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, or Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina in Novi Sad. For a more raw and real experience, I encouraged you to get lost in the small streets.
Countless galleries, culture centers, and improvised exhibition places serve as diaries of progress. These are the places where young artists contribute to the art scene by documenting their doubts, struggles, and dreams, growing up in a developing country.
If you are into festivals, the chances are that you have heard of EXIT festival, and probably even visited it. The good news is that it’s the one that started the trend, and now there are plenty. During the summer season in Serbia, it’s all about festivals, celebrations, and parties. Almost every weekend, and sometimes even more often, there are music, arts, and food festivals across the country. The Mount of Artan Festival on the Rtanj mountain serves as a safe house for the region’s alternative scene. The festival on the river island, the festival in the forest, the festival of beans and grilled meats, and still, it’s only a tip of an iceberg. Serbs sure know how to party!
When writing the list, I was tempted to write 13 instead of 3 more reasons to visit Serbia in 2019. A bit of self-control, and a bit of mystery - I decided to leave the rest for you to explore.
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