Novi Sad Serbia
Many visitors make a big mistake leaving out Novi Sad from their itinerary. It ‘s a common error that many plan to visit only Belgrade, skipping this beautiful town, which is just an hour’s drive from Belgrade.
This city, the second largest in Serbia, has about three hundred thousand inhabitants. It’s the capital of autonomous province of Vojvodina.
It lies on the left bank of the Danube river, at the point where the Danube is narrowest and most suitable for crossing. Although located in the Pannonian Plain, nearby Fruska Gora mountain, offers the wonderful nature, since the mountain is a national park as well.
There are many legends about the foundation of this city. Since prehistoric times, many nations have lived in this area. One of the symbols of the city is Petrovaradin fortress. It dates from the Middle Ages, but Austro-Hungarians gave its today’s look.
During the ages, that settlement grew into one of the most beautiful cities in this part of Europe. Novi Sad is known also as ‘the Serbian Athens’ due to its remarkable culture and history.
How to get to Novi Sad?
This city is in the vicinity of the most significant highway routes. From the north is connected by E-75 and from the west by E-70.
It’s only 294 km from Budapest and just 80 km from Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. The closest airport to this city is ‘Nikola Tesla’, Belgrade’s main airport.
How to travel from Belgrade airport to Novi Sad? There is no direct public transport connection! Taking indirect ones via Belgrade is somewhat of a hassle. The simplest way is to arrange in advance a door-to-door transfer! Check these transfers from Belgrade airport to Novi Sad.
The best and cheapest way to reach this city is taking a bus. The city bus station has good international and intercity connections. There are numerous departures to many cities in Europe and all parts of Serbia. From/to Belgrade several companies keep regular bus connections, every 30 minutes.
As the city lies on the Danube river, there is also possibility to visit Novi Sad by boat. There are few Danube river cruising tours that stop at city river port. Here are some of most popular:
- Gems of Southeast Europe 2020 8 days cruising. Starts from Budapest, visiting Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania ( Giurgiu )
- From the Tisza to the Danube, through the Real Hungary (port-to-port cruise). Experience 9 unforgettable days,
What to do in Novi Sad?
This city has a lot to offer its visitors. However, many places and attractions can remain hidden for those coming for the first time. For this reason, I’ve suggested, a list of the most interesting things that you should not miss.
Most of the city center is a friendly waking area. There is an important pedestrian zone with many most important city’s attractions.
This zone consists of several streets like Zmaj Jovina Street, Pasic Street, Svetozar Miletic and Danube street. All these streets are located nearby Trg Slobode (Freedom Square), considered the nucleus of the city center. (photo on the top of the page)
The square is dominated by two face-to-face buildings: the Town Hall (an identical copy of the one in Graz Austria) and the Church of the Name of Mary. It’s a Roman Catholic church known as the Cathedral.
Read these suggestions of two travel bloggers about Novi Sad. What to do and see while walking around city’s streets:
Don’t miss the walk along the probably oldest street in Novi Sad – Dunavska ulica (Danube street), as well as relaxing in the Dunavski park, the most beautiful park in Novi Sad.
While strolling this street take some time to visit two important museums. One is City Museum of Novi Sad at Dunavska 29 and The Museum of Vojvodina at Dunavska 35 to 37.
It is very popular among young people who want to spend a good time having fun. For this reason, this street has been included in the tourist offer of Novi Sad and tourist brochures.
Some of the most popular establishments in the street are: ‘Club London’, ‘Cuba Libre House’, ‘Lazin salaš’, ‘Lazino tele’, ‘Atrium’, ‘Cactus’, ‘Two Angels‘ and others.
Štrand - Novi Sad city beach
Summers in Novi Sad are very hot and sultry. To find some refreshment, the only way is to go to the Danube river beaches.
One of the best beaches along the Danube, is Strand, the 700 meters long sandy beach. The beach offers many bars and other recreational activities attracting thousands of sunbathing enthusiasts.
Sometimes this beach can be too crowded. For those looking for so called ‘wild beaches’ there are some wild beaches that are not provided with lifeguards, do not have sun beds or showers.
However, the locals love them because, as they say, they have a lot more privacy, and they can bring their pets there. If you don’t know where are these beaches, ask locals (almost all young people speak English). They’ll be glad to help you!
How to get to Strand beach from the city center? Get on one of these buses – Bus N° 1, Bus N°11 B, Bus N° 72, Bus N° 8. These lines run very close to the Strand beach!
This small island occupies a peaceful setting on the Danube riverbank, 4 km from Novi Sad town center. It’s technically a peninsula.
It’s a wonderful place for excursions or relaxed walks. A large number of restaurants, tourist resort, and rafts that are constantly open are a frequent option for those who want to escape the city’s hustle and bustle.
The Petrovaradin fortress
This fortress is just as important as Kalemegdan fortress in Belgrade. If you don’t visit it, you’ll miss the most important Novi Sad’s landmark.
Petrovaradin Fortress Novi Sad - aerial photo
This impressive fortress, called ‘Gibraltar of the Danube’ is located on the right bank of the Danube river. It was built in period between 1692 to 1780 by Austro-Hungarians. It occupies an area of 112 hectares of land with 16 kilometers of underground corridors. Read more about its history!
Wondering how to get to Petrovaradin fortress from Novi Sad? There are two bus lines from city center to the fortress; Bus line N° 3 and N° 9. If you prefer to walk, from Dunavska street it will take you 20 minutes to reach the fortress.
Touring Novi Sad by bike
Here’s another interesting way to get to know Novi Sad. Take a tour of the city by bike with an experienced guide. He will introduce you to the city and help you get acquainted with its most interesting parts.
Ibike Novi Sad company organizes regular daily bike tours. Your guide will meet you in the heart of the centre, on Trg Slobode (Freedom Square) in front of the statue in the middle of the square.
You will recognize your guide by the yellow iBikeNoviSad shirt. He’ll pick up the bikes and take a short walk through the pedestrian area before getting on the pedals!
The tour price is 24 € per person. The map of the tour is on the map on the right.
Around Novi Sad
After you spend a day or two in Novi Sad city, it’s time to discover few amazing destinations, not far from the city center.
What makes this city special is the Baroque style of construction. Some call it the Baroque City Museum. It is said that every house and street tells some famous story.
This place was first mentioned in history in 1308. When the Patriarchate’s headquarters were moved to Karlovci in 1713, they became the cultural center of the Serbs in the 18th and 19th centuries. The first Serbian gymnasium opened in 1791 is still functioning.
There are also many other sights such as the Patriarchate’s Palace, several magnificent churches, the City Museum, the Town Hall, the ‘Four Lion’ fountain (legend says that whoever drinks from this fountain will return sooner or later to Karlovci).
If you are eager to know more about Sremski Karlovci, I suggest to visit Dvorska Basta park (Courtyard garden). It’s not far from the city center. It’s a a botanical garden, set up by Prince Eugene of Savoy.
Strolling round the park, find the narrow path that leads from the center to the Magaracev Breg (Donkey hill). It’s a viewpoint with an open amphitheater and a beautiful view of the city and its surroundings
The whole area of Sremski Karlovci is also well known for excellent wine production. Don’t miss to visit city wine cellars and sample their products. The Sremski Karlovci is known for its authentic Bermet wine. There is a story that this wine was consumed even on the Titanic.
Fruška gora - National Park
This only mountain in Pannonia Plane, Fruska Gora is only 23 km from Novi Sad. It’s a national park under the state protection. It extends 80 km from east to west and about 15 km from north to south.
Pastures, orchards, vineyards decorate its hills with dense forest and animal species. It’s a perfect place for everyone who loves beautiful and unpolluted nature. An ideal national park for all activities like hunting and fishing, picking mushrooms, hiking, visiting monasteries or wine tasting.