In the country of Serbia lies a city called Novi Sad. A beautiful and delicate city that lies along the Danube River, it is home to a cultural multitude of fascination that awaits each and every individual visitor. Home of the renowned Exit Festival and Petrovaradian Fortress, this landscape is deserving of the wanderlust and here is why you should visit Novi Sad.
#1 Exit Festival – Marking some of the most important events from 1967 when the revolutionary peace movement began, Exit’s 2017 festival showcases a makeover with the Summer of Love theme. A winner of notable awards, Exit most recently won Europe’s best major festival award in 2013. The festival boasts a huge line-up including performance from Years & Years, The Killers, Hardwell, Paul Kalkbrenner, Duke Dumont, Liam Gallagher, Solomun b2b Dixon and a whole lot more. With an extra day to party between 5th and 9th July, Exit festival is a must for anyone’s raving bucket list this summer. Grab tickets here.
#2 Food – Whether you are peckish for a light snack or the stomach is screaming our for that three-course meal, food can be found around every corner and there is something to everyone’s taste. For those who like to play it safe, the city centre offers an array of restaurants where you can indulge to your heart’s content, checking out Toaster for their burgers, grab quiche from Carica Bakery or visit Churchill for the local cuisine and cozy garden. However, those looking to embrace the heritage and culture vibe ‘Indeks’ is the sandwich for you. A hallmark of Novi Sad, this semi-toasted bread roll is packed with grilled cheese, ham and mushrooms all cooked together, finally topped with salad and condiments of your choice.
Are pancakes your thing? Served either salty or sweet these street pancakes can pack-a-punch. The salty snacks can be lined with sour cream and loaded full on grilled cheese, ham and mushrooms. Those of us with the sweet tooth it is needless to say that these pancakes are served with a healthy stuffing of Nutella (that super pleasurable chocolaty goodness). However, for a more interesting pancake, furnish your taste buds with an old Italian recipe for hazelnut and milk creme by opting to have the Eurocrem filling.
Not all food has to be expensive too. Feast yourself on affordable slices of hand-crafted artisanal pizza at Napoli Centrale located on Dunavska Street. It is definitely worth venturing into the city and feeling the local spirit.
#3 Culture – Novi Sad is a laid-back riverside area. Coupled with outdoor cafes and pretty market, the city has all the spoils without the stress. Novi Sad’s attractions are a short walk away from Zmaj Jovina, the pedestrian thorough-fare which stretches from the town square to Dunavska Street. Relax and unwind with some of the cultural treats that await you such as museums, cinema, art galleries, alternative music scene and much more.
By night the laneway bars pack out nightly where the creative vibe never stops. Novi Sad has secured titles for the 2019 European Youth Capital and will become the first non-EU city to spend a year with the prestigious title of European Capital of Culture.
#4 The Medieval Fortress – This colossal structure fills the landscape with its presence. The Petrovaradian Fortress was built in the medieval times and certainly still captures its character to date. Overlooking the banks of the Danube River it casts an eye over the proceedings in Novi Sad. Since 2001 the Fortress has been the home for Serbia’s largest music festival – Exit. Explore the 16km of uncollapsed underground tunnels or simply be there just before sunset to capture the end of days light across the city.
#5 Picturesque – Around each corner of the city centre, one can find the architecture which was heavily influenced by the Austrian and Hungarian architecture, descending from the Austro-Hungary Empire. Buildings are painted in bright colours which resemble the rainbow and naturally pleasing on the eye. Novi Sad is characteristically cozy with its cute buildings and artistic displays.
#6 Multicultural – Novi Sad has a reputation for its multi-national, multi-cultural and multi-confessional bustling metropolis. The city’s population is made up of at least 5 different ethnic groups. This entwined multicultural blend of different influences is encapsulated through Novi Sad’s nightlife, food, and culture which all seamlessly come together like a delicious cocktail. Witness to the multicultural vibe is the University of Novi Sad which embodies over 19 faculties and specialized departments where lectures are held in languages of national minorities or were founded with that purpose. Furthermore, the passing people of many cultures who thrive at Exit Festival from around the world stimulate that echoed multicultural tone embedded within the Novi Sad culture. The community can still be proud that its 300-year history imprints which are still visible and radiant around the city.
#7 Rakija – A popular drink in south-eastern Europe, Rakija is sure going to put the bounce into your step. Unlike normal vodka which is made from stale potatoes, Rakija is a fusion of delicious fruits such as plum, quince, grapes, melons, and more. While the normal alcohol level is measured at 40%, home-produced Rakija can typically be stronger with levels of alcohol measured between 5o-80%, and in some cases reach 90%. You have been warned.
But do not worry, the beer is just as good and super affordable at 0.70 EUR per 0.5l bottle. Add a bit of the Novi Sad flare to your life with the exciting cocktail scene. Get a cocktail whipped up in a split second which is both affordable and super tasty.
#8 Belgrade – Referred to as the Balkan New York, Belgrade is Serbia’s capital city with its vibrant lifestyle. By no means a ‘pretty’ capital its exuberant character makes it one of the most happening cities across the world. Just an hour drive from Novi Sad, the city is a playground littered with clubs, culture, monuments, friendly people, cheap drinks, and boat parties. This colourful city is awaiting your presence.
#9 The Beach – Take the weight off your every step, untie those shoes and plush your feet into the soft sand on the beach of the Dunabe River. The beach can be found only 15 minutes away from the city and a 20 minute walk from Exit Festival. Visiting the shoreline is the best way to experience the Danube River. Along the golden rich sands, you will find street food, a stage, cafes, and bars, and it is packed with the local Novi Sad vibe.
The Camping area for Exit Festival is located right on the river and during the month of July the weather is gloriously warm, making the river and beach a go-to for thousands of festival-goers from all around the world. Definitely worth the experience.
#10 The wonderful weather – In summer the sun comes out to shine its golden rays across the cityscape. Reaching 30 degrees in summer the weather won’t be melting you to the floor. Instead, it brings joyous vibes and will have you forgetting about the cold. Head down to Štrand Beach and top up the golden summer tan.
#11 Fruška Gora and fine wines – Once an island, now a mountain. The endless greenery of Fruška Gora is home to the single lateral reefs flourishing with oak, hornbeam, beech and basswood forests. What makes the mountain so extraordinary are its rich vineyards and pathways along the wine trails, so take some time out to enjoy a glass of high-quality wine.
The highest parts of Fruška Gora are the most visited and most attractive as they host numerous picnic grounds. Follow your inner nature spirits and take a hike through one of the mountains beautiful forest paths. Decorated with artificial lakes, mountain slopes, and an array of wildlife, who knows what you might bump into next!