Perhaps your first association upon reading the title was Siberia, the north part of Russia. You are smiling, right, as I was correct? Well, I am sorry to disappoint you, but what you are about to read has nothing to do with cold and remote parts of Asia but jaw dropping, gorgeous nature, almost Mediterranean climate, energetic people and decadent cuisine. Also, it is known as one of the Europe's most affordable destinations. Want to hear more? Keep scrolling.
The country, officially known as the Republic of Serbia, is located in the central and southeastern part of Europe, covering the central part of the Balkans which make the must see Serbia places exceptionally diverse as far as natural wonders are concerned. Serbia has something for everyone, from lively urban attractions, glorious spas and mountain chains, to calm and peaceful towns and villages with the magnificent countryside. Serbia is a buzzy country with great energy, offering the visitors both Belgrade’s urban hedonism and the gentler pace of the smaller towns and national parks. Charming multicultural towns, impressive monasteries along the hillsides, mighty mountains enriched with a myriad of beautiful forests and pleasant lakes, and last but not least, a great folk music tradition, both melancholic and joyful, which you simply must experience.
Aside from a wealth of cultural and historic relics to enjoy, there is also an amazing bar and restaurant (kafana) culture as well as some of the world’s best music festivals. Serbia’s population brings a bubbling energy, producing an adrenaline-charged nightlife unmatched anywhere else in the Balkans. As Serbia is my country of origin, you may assume I am slightly biased, but rest assured you will believe me upon taking this trip. Ready to go? Now let me introduce you to the top cities in Serbia you simply should't miss.
Belgrade - Serbia’s capital is situated between the Danube and the Sava rivers, and it offers you an eclectic mix of old and new styles. Belgrade is for everyone, with its monumental dominating Kalemegdan Fortress, located in Kalemegdan Park, and the Military Museum that offers more insights into the the military history of the region.
Aside from the fortress there are Orthodox churches, colourful facades, and lovely squares that will not disappoint you. Looking for something more unexpected? Head over to the island of Ada Ciganlija (Gypsy island), an improvised beach resort, where you will find plenty of bars and restaurants as well as enjoy in water sports. If you are just into hiking, there is a waste parkland area, where you can explore the flora and fauna of the region.
What I would warmly recommend you, is to simply have a stroll at the Knez Mihajlova street at the very center, enjoy the breeze of people passing by and stop by to get some freshly made popcorns at the chain street-store called Pecina. Believe me, the smell is so captivating that you will not be able to resist it.
Novi Sad - Charming, second largest city in the northern part of Serbia, Vojvodina, one of the country's most ethnicaly diverse regions, will most certainly promise you a great time. The city, well-known for its beautiful architecture, offers its dominating landmark, the Petrovaradin Fortress, originating from the 17th century. Spend an afternoon there, sipping coffee while enjoying the captivating view. Also, instant association to Novi Sad is surely the EXIT music festival that is held annually in July, and is known as the key summer music festival, attracting visitors from all over the world.
If you are in a more chill mood, this city is the perfect spot for you as its mere energy is just soothing. Have a walk around the beautiful, narrow streets and enjoy in the picturesque sights. Stop by for some coffee at the trendy LOFT Bar in the very center of Novi Sad. Feeling hungry? Have a bite at the place that surely offers the best pljeskavica in town, Dubocica. You will be amazed by its freshness, taste, as well as extremely affordable portions. But I need you warn you, you might need another stroll or two around the city to digest all that decadence. ·
Niš - Now we are heading all the way to the south, to the third largest city of Serbia, Niš. As it is primarily a university city, there is an exciting and fun vibe to it. However, Niš offers you plenty of attractions of historical importance. No wonder the inhabitants are full of pride as the city is the birthplace of Constantine The Great, the Roman emperor responsible for the conversion of the whole empire to Christianity. Thus, you may see the Memorial of Constantine the Great, right in the very centre of the city. Another monumental spot of is the Niš Fotress, dating back the 18th century, reminescing of the Serbian history. It is a spot where you may also enjoy in plenty of cafes and restaurants as well as the lively student atmosphere.
Finally, these have been the three major cities of Serbia that you simply cannot miss. However, there is way more to it that I did not get a chance to mention so stay tuned as I promise you all the amazing tips for the Serbian gastronomy, restaurants, nightlife and sports activities. I hope I have inspired you to include Serbia when visiting Balkans. Pack your bags and let's go on this journey together! :)
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