Serbia is a country of diversity and contradictions. Although rarely mentioned in international news and travel guides, it’s the land of vibrant culture, fun people, rich history, delicious foods, and mild vices. While it still remains shadowed by other European destinations and hidden among the Balkan hills, this may be the best time to discover the best of Serbia.
If I had to describe Serbian cuisine with just a few ingredients, those would be bread, cheese, pork, and peppers. Traditionally, pork was the easiest to grow and a good source of energy during cold winter months. Now it’s just a favorite and you can find it in most of the dishes: pljeskavica, sarma, goulash, djuvec…
There are also three traditional drinks to accompany you when trying out these traditional Serbian delicacies. Before the main course, people usually serve pieces of hard white cheese, homemade bread and a shot of rakia. During the lunch, it’s common to sip a glass of locally produced red or white wine. After the lunch, it’s common to finish off with a cup of strong Turkish coffee, domesticated by Serbian people.
Serbia may not be the urban center of Europe. On the contrary, there are huge parts of the land with remote nature, untouched by highways, industries, and factories. There are 18 protected natural areas, mostly consisting of lakes, rivers, mountains, hills, and forests. Some of the must-sees, where you can enjoy the creativity of mother nature, are Tara Mountain, Canyon of Uvac, The Old Mountain, and Djerdap Lake.
And while Serbia is a paradise for nature enthusiasts, it’s also a haven for younger population interested in alternative culture and contemporary art. Cities like Belgrade, Novi Sad, and Nis all have a growing community of creative individuals who organize various events, decorate the random streets with street art and transform abandoned old houses and warehouses into art galleries, theatres, culture centers, and concert venues. There is even an old parking lot transformed into a heart of nightlife in Belgrade city center in Cetinjska St.
Belgrade has been branded as The New Berlin when it comes to party life. Whatever is your preference in music, crowd, and ambiance, you can find it here. If you feel like going out on a Monday night to a rave party, no problem. If you feel like listening to some good quality jazz at 4 am, also possible. More of a festival person? You may have a hard time choosing which one to visit: Exit Festival, Festival of Street Musicians, Green Love Festival, or Arsenal Fest.
Serbians are a very proud nation, and they will gladly share with their guests hospitality and everything that they have. In fact, the best way to discover Serbia is through the local people and their stories, bits of advice and traditional food.
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