Novi Sad, the second largest city in Serbia, is located in the north of the country on the banks of the Danube River. It was founded by Orthodox Serbs in 1694, and already in the 18-19 centuries it became a cultural capital and an important trade and manufacturing center, for which it received the nickname “Serbian Athens”. Its name, translated from Serbian, means “new plantation”. During the revolution of 1848-1849. and after the bombing in Kosovo in 1999, the city was badly damaged, but each time it was restored.
Today, Novi Sad is part of independent Serbia and has regained the status of the cultural capital: it is here that all the cultural treasures of the region are concentrated: museums, art galleries and architectural monuments.
Note: according to allcitypopulation, the population of Serbia is 6.844 million (2021).
How to get there
The nearest airport is located in Belgrade – 70 km away, so it is most convenient to get to Novi Sad from the capital. This can be done: by bus, car or train.
- By bus
Bus is the most convenient and budget way to get from Belgrade to Novi Sad. Thanks to its favorable location, Novi Sad is connected by bus to all major cities. Buses depart from the city’s main bus station (bus and train stations in Belgrade are nearby).
It is not necessary to buy a ticket in advance, buses run every 10-15 minutes and often leave half empty. You will have to spend about 1.5 hours on the road, the fare is from 370 RSD. The first bus leaves at 3:50, the last at 23:59. Prices on the page are for July 2021.
- By train
Trains and electric trains run between Belgrade and Novi Sad. Electric trains run 6 times a day, the first departs at 7:35, the last at 21:40. Travel time is about 2 hours, the fare is from 395 RSD. There are night trains, but it is better to buy tickets for them in advance on the website of local railways, the train ride will cost a little more.
- By car
Highway E75, connecting Budapest and Belgrade, runs 5 km from the city. This route is paid, travel on it to Novi Sad will cost about 270 RSD.
Weather in Novi Sad
The climate of Novi Sad is temperate continental, with warm and sunny autumns, short and mild winters, rainy springs and sudden summers.
The best months to travel here are April-May and September-October. At this time, there is no suffocating heat, but there is no rain either (only 2-4 rainy days a month), and the air temperature is comfortable for long walks: +18…+23 °C.
Hotels in Novi-Sada
The hotel business in Serbia has been in a state of stagnation for many years and began to revive relatively recently. In big cities (including Novi Sad) things are going faster than in small ones, but still there are still a lot of old “Yugoslav” hotels that have not seen repairs for a long time.
There are enough hotels of a quite European level in the city, but the star rating does not always correspond to the declared one. Some “treshki” in terms of comfort and service are superior to 4 * hotels, and prices in five-star hotels are lower than in 4 *, and the quality of service is the same there and there. So when choosing a hotel, you should focus only on photos and reviews of previous guests, and not on the number of stars. A double room in a 3 * hotel (some of which correspond to 4 *) will cost about 50-65 USD per day. You can spend the night in a 5 * hotel for 70-80 USD, and a 4 * hotel in the style of “expensive and rich” can cost 170-200 USD per day.
As in all Serbia, in Novi Sad there is a system of roadside motels along major highways and at the entrance to the city. Their advantage, in addition to price, is novelty and a good level of service, but they are convenient only for those who travel by car.
Shopping in Novi Sad
In Novi Sad, as in the rest of Serbia, it is worth buying clothes and shoes from popular European brands – prices here are 10-20% lower than in Europe and Russia, especially for genuine leather shoes. Pay attention to local brands, most of these stores are concentrated on Zmaj Jovina and Dunavska streets. The city has a large shopping center – Big Shopping Center, where you can find foreign and Serbian brands, mostly democratic: Springfield, Women’secret, Mango, Koton, Sportina, Lindex, Bata, Quiz, 7camicie, dm-drogerie markt, Link Donna, Timeout, Gigatron, Djak Sport, etc.
Shopping in Novi Sad is not considered complete without visiting the markets. The most popular market in the city is Futoshsky. It opened at the beginning of the 20th century. on Jewish street and is located there to this day. Here you can buy the freshest farm products – vegetables, fruits, fresh meat, homemade cheeses, as well as ceramics, clothes and leather goods. Prices are lower than in stores.
On the right side of the Temerinsky put is the curious Nylon flea market, which is loved by both tourists and locals. On Fridays and Saturdays, antiques are brought here from old German village houses and mansions, and on weekdays you can literally find everything in a row: furniture, firewood, agricultural machinery, firewood and even livestock.
Read more about what is profitable and interesting to buy in Novi Sad and other Serbian cities on the page Shopping in Serbia.
Cafes and restaurants in Novi Sad
Authentic Serbian cuisine is best tasted in traditional kafanas – establishments with simple “rustic” interiors and live music. In Novi Sad and other large cities it is not easy with them, so you will have to catch the Serbian spirit in bakeries, small eateries and a couple of traditional restaurants that are still there.
There are bakeries in the city at every turn, and each one is tasty and cheap: a large piece of pizza costs about 100 RSD, and you can also find all kinds of Balkan pies, sweet buns and other pastries there. Everything trendy and hipster has reached Novi Sad, so there are a lot of burgers here. The best burgers in town are served at Toster Burger, which also has good craft beer.
As for restaurants, it is worth visiting Lazin Salas – a restaurant of homemade Serbian cuisine, decorated in the style of a village hut. Local hits are stuffed chicken, sausages and honey brandy. The Piknik bar-restaurant serves excellent veal with horseradish and other Serbian dishes, while for beer and royal meats you need to go to Krilce I Pivce – here you will find the best chicken wings in Novi Sad and a good selection of craft beer.
If you want something more chic (and expensive), you should choose the Project 72 Wine & Deli restaurant. There are rustic interiors, but gourmet cuisine, a rich wine list and delicious smoked tuna.
Entertainment and attractions
Petrovaradin Fortress – a powerful fortification structure, which is also called the Hungarian Gibraltar – was founded in 1692. The Austrians captured Petrovaradin (a city on the territory of modern Novi Sad) during the Great Turkish War in 1687 and began to build modern fortifications in place of the old ones. It was here that the decisive battle between the Turkish and Austrian armies took place: the Austrians won, thus putting an end to the Turkish threat to Central Europe. The fortress was completed for almost 100 years and, in addition to the outer walls, it has 16 km of underground tunnels. There is a city museum, an observatory (only open in clear weather) and a planetarium (can be visited on Saturdays).
Since 2000, the Petrovaradin Fortress has hosted the State of Exit music festival every summer. It usually lasts 4 days. Eminent performers and popular bands in a variety of musical genres perform at the festival – the organizers deliberately rely on any musical taste. On this stage, you can hear both pop hits and metal, EDM disco rhythms and hooligan punk. In 2007 the festival won the British Festival Award for Best European Festival.
The old town of Novi Sad is a place of concentration of churches and temples built in the 18th and 19th centuries. There are among them Orthodox churches, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Uniate churches, synagogues and mosques. The main Orthodox church in the city is the Church of the Great Martyr St. George, built in 1742, and the Catholic Church of the Holy Virgin Mary is rightfully considered the architectural dominant of the city center. It is easily recognizable by the characteristic features of the Gothic style. In addition, you can visit a building belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a magnificent synagogue in the city center.
The rich historical heritage of the city is preserved in museums and galleries, among which the Museum of Vojvodina and the ethnic complex of Brvnar, the City Museum of Novi Sad in the fortress and its collection of foreign art, the Theater Museum of Vojvodina, the Museum of Modern Art, the Cultural Museum of Zivanović stand out.
60 km north of Novi Sad is the well-preserved Dundzher Castle. In the 20s. of the last century, the local landowner Bogdan Dundzhersky made his dream of a fairy-tale castle come true. Today, a hotel is open here, and the racehorses from the castle stables are known among connoisseurs throughout Europe.
From the south, Novi Sad is protected from the winds by the northern slopes of Fruška Gora. The reserve of the same name is designed to protect the unique flora and fauna of this place. On Fruška Gora, 16 Serbian Orthodox monasteries from the early 16th century have survived to this day. Some of them have been restored only partially, and some are still in ruins.
Between the densely forested slopes of Fruška Gora, a small Ledinachko Lake, formed as a result of NATO bombings, hid. In 2009, the lake was drained and the mining company continues to develop the quarry over the objections of environmentalists. Representatives of the company assure that after the operating permit expires, the bowl will be filled with water again and the lake will become a center of attraction for tourists visiting the Fruska Gora National Ecological Park.