Six years ago I came to this city to university. Before that I visited Novi Sad once, but only for few hours. So coming here to university was my first real introduction to the city.
I’m a girl with bad feeling for orientation and first thing that I liked about the city was it’s simplicity. It’s easy to remember the main parts of the city and you can’t lose. Pretty soon I got used to the way of living in this city and now I’m planing my future here. So, I decided to write a story about it and what made me to stay in it. Hope that will motivate you to visit it some day.
Novi Sad is second biggest city in Serbia, after Belgrade of course (the capital). It’s also capital of Vojvodina, northern Autonomy Province of Serbia. Beautiful and mighty Danube river, Petrovaradin fortress, boulevards make this place gorgeous but at the same time simple. Also, I can say that Novi Sad is multinational and multicultural place where diversity is not a problem. Nice people, a lot of beautiful places to visit, delicious food, famous festivals are some of reasons for visiting this city. I’ll write more about it and make your stay easier.
How to come in Novi Sad?
Novi Sad doesn’t have airport, but the closest one is in Belgrade (Nikola Tesla) and it’s only an hour from Novi Sad. Other ways of coming here are by bus, train or boat. Danube river connects western European countries to the Black sea.
Where to stay?
Hotels, hostels, apartments or some kind of private accommodation… There’s a wide choice and it only depends on the price you’re willing to pay. The cheapest way is to find some private accommodation as you can rent some room, apartment or house. Hotel prices are also acceptable, but of course, price depend on location and service. I’ll write you some famous hotels with best locations. For me the fanciest hotel in the city is hotel ‘Leopold’. It’s located on the fortress and offers a spectacular view on the city. It’s five star hotel and one of the most expensive hotels in the city also, but if you imagine mornings and breakfasts with this view… I think it’s worth it. So, if you’re not worried too much about money my recommendation is this hotel.
Other hotels located in city center are Hotel Centar, Hotel Vojvodina, Hotel Veliki, Hotel Putnik. These are also good choices. You’ re located in center, you can take walk, shop or have cafe whenever you want, everything is near hotel.
Some advice if you’re located a little further you can go by bus or taxi. Novi Sad has great bus service. You buy ticket from the bus driver. Ticket costs about half euro and it’s for one ride, no matter how far you go. Taxis are not too expensive. You can always text your desired pick up address at +38169 5555 021 which will send the nearest car from any of the registered taxi companies. It is safest option, as there are also unregistered taxis, especially at main bus/train station that would cost you more than double.
What to visit?
1) City center
City center is the oldest part of the city. Freedom Square (Trg Slobode) with bronze statue of Svetozar Miletic at it’s center is place where are usually organized bigger events, concerts, different kinds of public meetings. On the west side of the square is City Hall and on the far side is beautiful cathedral from 19th century, St. Mary. Square is surrounded with buildings from 19th century also. Their architecture is influenced by the Austrian-Hungarian style.
Street Zmaj Jovina is one of the oldest streets in the city. It spreads from Freedom Square to Bishop’s Palace. This street is always full of people, especially in spring and summer, when the weather is nice. There are many cafes, restaurants, shops. People like to sit in the garden of these cafes and enjoy their coffee.
At the end of this street begins Danube street. In this street is city library and more shops. To mention, in this street also you can find confection with best ice-cream in town- Stari Grad. It’s so delicious and can be compared with Italian ‘gelato’.
Danube street continues with Danube park. Beautiful open area with small lake is the perfect place in summer period. Fresh air and lower temperature are great on hot summer days.
One of the most important places for visiting in center is big Orthodox Church, St.George and it’s located near Bishop’s Palace.
2) Danube River
Along the Danube river is beautiful promenade and one of the oldest beaches on the complete Danube flow -Strand (German name for beach). Season begins in may and ends in September. Tickets to enter the Strand cost half Euro. In hot summer days, it’s always full of people. Fine sand, stands with delicious food, cafes are what make this place enjoyable. Also in this period of year are often organized daily and nightly beach parties. Some people swim in the Danube, but I’ve never so far. Honesty, I don’t like it and I think It’s too dirty for that. But if you decide to find refreshment in the river, showering immediately after that is necessary.
3) Petrovaradin fortress
For me this is the most gorgeous place in the city. This is one of the biggest fortresses in Europe. It was built in 19th century and represent cultural and historic monument. I love this place a lot! A walk to the fortress and enjoying in the spectacular view on the city is true pleasure. Fortress rises above the Danube river and it’s built with a lot of hidden passages in several levels which reminds on the labyrinth. Once in while are organized tours of these passages. After a tour you get a small medal of valor. I’ didn’t go yet, but when I decide to go, I’ll write you my experience from this touring. 😉
On the fortress are few restaurants. My favorite is ‘Terasa’. They have a nice menu, my recommendations are salad meals, but other courses from menu are fine too.
If you are looking for a souvenir, the best choice is a painting from some of the galleries-ateliers on the fortress. Paintings in this galleries are from the local artists and you can meet them there. They also have a very good selection of paintings with motives of this city. From this fortress you can see town Petrovaradin, part of the agglomeration of city. It’s also known as the “Gibraltar of the Danube”.
Where to eat?
I’m a bit of gourmet and like to try new things when it comes to food. I’ve been to most restaurants in the city, so I’ll write you my recommendations. 😉
My favourite restaurant is definitely ‘Scarpetta’. I have been here so many times, that I feel like home. Menu is delicious and mostly Italian. My favourite things are fried olives and date palms from snacks, pasta of main meal and from dessert-cheesecake with chestnut (It’s best cheesecake I’ve ever eat)! Their wines are good quality too.
Second restaurant which I recommend is ‘Aqua doria’. Located next to the river, just below the fortress. Nice atmosphere in the garden and traditional Serbian food is maybe the best choice if you’re here for the first time. When I’m in the mood for fish menu that is always my first choice.
In the city center restaurants also with nice food are Lanterna, Atina, Panceta.
Places with fast food you can find in Maksima Gorkog street. In this street is also for me best pizza in town and name of pizzeria is ‘Dottore per la pizza’.
Nightlife and events
People in Serbia like to make good parties, drink and have a lot of fun. Friday and Saturday are the days when city is the most live at night. Places popular for nightlife are clubs: Djava, Muzej, Giardino (but this is mostly in the winter ), some pubs in center: Irish pub, Absolut, Martha’s pub, Trcika… There is also street in center, Laze Teleckog, where younger people likes to go out. In summer are more popular parties in open place. Nice club, Giardino, has beautiful garden for this period. It’s located on the roof of one building in the center so it has a gorgeous view on the city too. Also here are often organized theme parties. In summer period are interesting few rafts on ‘Ribarac’ (nice small peninsula near the Strand).
Reason that people from other counties come to Novi Sad in Summer period is the most famous festival in Serbia, but one of the most famous music festivals in Europe too – Exit! This festival last four days and it’s usually in July. This year is from 7-10 July. The world famous singers and DJ’s come to perform here. It’s located on the fortress and there are many stages with different kind of music. This year will perform: The Prodigy, David Guetta, Ellie Goulding, Hurts, Wiz Khalifa, Lost Frequencies, Nina Kraviz, Sister Bliss and many more. Ticket for all four days cost around 100 Euro.
There are also more events in the coming period, but one of my favourite events is wine fair. It’s usually in June and it’s located on Freedom Square. I’m a wine lover so I visit this fair every year. It’s great opportunity to try wines from different part of our but neighboring countries too.
If you decide to visit Novi Sad great fun at least is guaranteed. 😉
Hope that you like this post. If you want to know more about this city feel free to ask.