Serbia is a country who has its own special place in history, being a significant part of the “gunpowder keg of Europe”, i.e. the place that spawned World War 1 and recently, the NATO vs Milosevic conflict. Bottom line, Serbia is located in Eastern Europe, in a highly sensitive part of the world, and I am talking about the Balkans here. The good part of this little preamble is that Serbia has a rich and delightful history and it’s home to a brave yet friendly people, being an interesting destination for this summer if you want to discover the Eastern European spirit. If you’re a history buff, Serbia is the place to visit for achieving this goal, I have no doubt about that.
Being a former part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Serbia is neighbored by Montenegro on the southern border, Bulgaria on the south east, Bosnia and Herzegovina on the western border, Romania on the north east and finally, Macedonia and Albania on the south.
As you can determine for yourself by taking a glance at Europe’s map, Serbia sits very comfortably in the middle of an important land route which connects Turkey/the Near East with Central Europe, being a major player in this regard.
With a population of almost 10 million people and a land surface of 88,361 square kilometers, Serbia is now a parliamentary democracy with the capital on Belgrade.
I can safely assert that Serbia regained much of its former grandeur after the disastrous collapse/war which led to the disappearance of Yugoslavia and now it’s one of the most entertaining travel destinations in the Balkans.
An important role in this matter is played by the capital Belgrade, a city that emerged from its ashes, sort of speak, like the Phoenix, and now it’s one of the most dynamic and cosmopolite cities in Eastern Europe, with a taste for hedonism and night life.
Belgrade also harbors beautiful art galleries and impressive museums, a plethora of bars and restaurants to fit anyone’s taste and, very important for a travel destination, it pulses with nightlife, being home for some of the most exquisite night clubs in the South-Eastern Europe.
Basically, you won’t have time to get bored even if you choose to stay in Belgrade only, not to mention the rest of the country. But I’m getting there, stick around and find out more about the awesome country which is Serbia, after a word from our sponsors!
Okay, I’m just kidding folks; let’s explore the hottest spots in Serbia, from a tourist’s point of view obviously.
What to see, what to do in Serbia
For example, another cool and lively city, besides the capital Belgrade, is Novi Sad, a place bursting with life and joy, featuring a picturesque Centre and beautiful old fortresses, which overlook the river Danube.
The far north of Serbia offers a city which boasts secessionist architecture and an old-school Hungarian charm, namely the city of Subotica.
Just north of Belgrade you can pay a visit in the province of Vojvodina, a place where you can admire the nature’s beauty and old and impeccably preserved Orthodox monasteries. Vojvodina is also a wildlife paradise, with its wetland habitats and immensely rich fauna and flora, wooded valleys and lush national parks.
Getting back to Belgrade, the lively capital, there are a few must-see places while hanging around in here, like the Old Town with its Belgrade Fortress and Kalemegdan Park, the Cathedral of Saint Sava and/or Princess Ljubica’s Konak, an 18’Th century styled private residence.
Also, if you’re a Gourmet, don’t forget to eat in Belgrade’s bohemian quarter, which takes pride in its high-end restaurants, where you can get serenaded if you’re lucky, during your dinner of course.
Another place to see for nature aficionados is the National Park of Djerdap, which spreads over 158,000 acres. Along with Djerdap you may also visit Tara, Fruska Gora, Sara and Kopaonik (national parks too) for fun activities like bird-watching or climbing hills/exploring woodland trails.
Belgrad is also the place to visit for art buffs, featuring lots of art galleries and museums. For example, here you’ll find the Nikola Tesla Museum and the Museum for Yugoslav History, places where you can spend days in a row without getting to the bottom of the story.
Nis it the country’s 3rd largest city and here you can admire an old Turkish fortress, ancient Roman ruins (Mediana city) or the Skull tower.
Food and Drinks
Serbia is the place to be in if you’re a meat eater, because here meat dishes are hugely popular and they include freshwater fish, but almost no veggies.
Specialties are jellied duck/pork, minced meat (charcoal grilled), skewered meat, meat and rice wrapped in cabbage leaves and patties made from beef/lamb/pork meat. Regional drinks include strong plum brandy, spirits (made from grapes), liquors made from cherries and wines (Traminer, Vugava, Riesling). Turkish coffee is a local specialty, which is served after a copious meal and it’s truly delicious, you should try it sometimes.
To enter and visit Serbia, you’ll need a valid passport or an ID if you’re from the EU; no Visa though.