WHY TO VISIT SERBIA
Belgrade, the capital, is dominated by the Kalemegdan fortress, which was the object of recurrent battles for the Romans, Celts, Turks and Slavs. You will discover in the old town and a great long pedestrian avenue, lined with sidewalk cafes and beautiful facades and a large esplanade where stands the National Museum, and Skadarska Street which combines gypsy musicians and street artists.
See also: St. Sava cathedral and its golden dome, the Palace of Princess Ljubica, the banks of the Danube and the pastel houses of the suburb of Zemun. Novi Sad, in the autonomous province of Vojvodina, is also a city where to stop: very dynamic and cheerful, it offers visitors its parks, outdoor cafes and along the streets, its always lively pedestrian street and a renowned music festival as part of its citadel Petrovaradin every year in July. There is also a regional museum to admire the costumes and the local crafts and a host of churches.
The Danube Valley held its landscape dotted with fortresses and castles citadel of Smederevo, Golubac fortress from the 14th century on a rocky outcrop with battlements and towers, but also impressive natural sites such as the gorges of the Iron Gate Canyon Kazan and its high cliffs of 300 meters, and the Djerdap National park, whose forests conceal wolves, bears and lynx.
We can not talk without mentioning Serbian monasteries, 5 of which are classified by UNESCO: Decani Djurdjevi Stupovi, Sopocani, Stari Ras and Studenica. But these treasures are many more, and each of these monasteries have their peculiarities, white marble walls, frescoes, domes, depending on the time of their construction and architectural style.
Do not forget the national parks: the two most important are located in Sandzak, in the south. Tara, west, home to gentle mountains interspersed with canyons carved by torrents, where you can hike and discover the beautiful village of Sirogojno. Near Kosovo Kopaonik Park is home to the highest peak in the country, Mount Pancic (2016 m) and a ski resort.
WHAT TO SEE IN SERBIA
Top destinations in Serbia are:
- Novi Sad
- Fruška Gora
- Gornji Milanovac
WHEN TO GO TO SERBIA
Weather in Serbia
Best period to visit Serbia is from May to September.
Serbia’s north is marked by long cold winters and sweltering summers – plan to start your travels early in the interior in particular to avoid midday meltdown – while the south has a typical Adriatic climate. From late autumn onwards the mountain ranges become impassable; in some areas the skiing season begins in November and lasts until April.
The best time to visit Serbia for good weather is during the summer months but, beyond the massive EXIT Festival in early July (which draws revellers from across Europe), Serbia doesn’t see huge influxes of visitors, making it an ideal spot to avoid the crowds just about year-round.
Following a list of typical festival and celebrations of Serbia
- Cinema City Film Festival. Despite its name, Cinema City is more than merely a film festival. This Novi Sad event features more than 150 film screenings and workshops during its eight days in June, but its opening event is a lively concert at the city’s historic Petrovaradin Fortress. Film screenings and premieres take place at four outdoor, and five indoor, cinemas throughout Novi Sad.
- EXIT Festival. Few of the world’s rock concert venues boast as much history as Novi Sad’s Petrovaradin Fortress, where many of the world’s hottest musicians perform each July at the EXIT Festival. All six of the festival’s main arenas are situated within the fortress. This festival, among Eastern Europe’s biggest, also features an outdoor cinema, technology zone, and extreme sports arena.
- Guča Trumpet Festival. Each August, more than 600,000 trumpet fans from around the world make the three-hour bus journey from Belgrade to Guča, a small Serbian town with a population of 2,000. This annual brass band festival is also sometimes called the Dragačevo Assembly. A few dozen of the world’s best brass bands battle it out during the main Sunday competition, but the festival also boasts a Friday opening concert, featuring previous winners who perform for brightly dressed folk dancers.
- Belgrade Beer Festival. Visitors attending Belgrade’s annual beer showcase in August only have to shell out for the price of drinks. Between 2004 and 2010, the festival’s attendance numbers skyrocketed from 75,000 to 900,000. Many of these people arrive from other countries to sample more than 30 domestic and foreign brews that are available for tasting. Each of the festival’s four nights is filled with live music and fun.
- Leskovac Grill Festival. In September 2009, a 106-lb Serbian pljeskavica - grilled during this annual Leskovac tribute to meat - was declared the world’s biggest burger. That same year, the people who attended Serbia’s answer to Munich’s Oktoberfest also set an attendance record of 500,000. Each September, Leskovac’s main thoroughfare is closed to motorized traffic during this five-day festival filled with carnivals, fashion shows, concerts, and plenty meat!
- Festival of Street Musicians. More than 150 of the world’s most talented street musicians performed during the latest incarnation of this festival, held in central Novi Sad over four early September days. In addition to musicians playing a variety of instruments, the street performances also include dancers, actors, and even acrobats.
- Belgrade Music Festival. None of Serbia’s classical music festivals date further back than the event held in the nation’s capital each October. Although the festival’s focus is on traditional Balkan music, orchestras and performers from throughout the world may take part in the many concerts held at Belgrades’s Kolarac Hall, Yugoslav Drama Theater, and many other elegant venues. Musicians also have the opportunity to learn from some of Serbia’s finest artists during the creative master workshops.
HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THROUGH SERBIA
by plane, main airports in Serbia are:
GENERAL INFORMATION ON SERBIA
country entry requirements: for not EU nationals, passport + visa
health tips & vaccination: prefer bottled water to the tap. No specific vaccination needed.
local currency: Serbian dinar
local time zone: GMT+1 (+2)
electricity: type C and F (230 V - 50 Hz)
mobile phone operators:
WHAT TO DO IN SERBIA
typical food in Serbia
- Pljeskavica: national dish, a spiced meat patty mixture of pork, beef and lamb, served with onions, kajmak (milk cream), ajvar (relish), and urnebes (spicy cheese salad), either on plate with side dishes or as an hamburger with lepinja (flatbread).
- Pihtije: Jellied pork or duck.
- Ćevapčići: charcoal-grilled skinless sausages on sticks.
- Raznjici. Skewered meat.
- Sarma or Japrak: Vine or cabbage leaves stuffed with meat and rice.
- Pljeskavica: Meat patties of pork, beef and lamb.
- Karađorđevašnicla: Stuffed and bread veal steak, served with tartar sauce.
- Srpskiđuveč: Casserole prepared with tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, rice, hot chilli peppers, diced pork and onion, first fried and then baked in the oven.
- Telećišumadijskikotlet: Veal cutlet served with Serbian cheese, tomatoes, bacon, sour cream, potato, rice and hot chilli peppers.
- Dimljenavešalica: Smoked, grilled strip of pork.
- Pasulj: Serbian beans preapred in a broth or a soup cooked with onion, bay leaves, bacon or smoked spare-ribs.
- Riblja čorba: A fiery fish stew made with plenty of pepper and paprika.
- Sarma: grape, cabbage, or chard leaves rolled around minced meat (usually beef, pork, lamb or veal).
- Pečenje: roasted meat (whole roasted pork, lamb and goat)
- Đuveč: stewed vegetables and pork.
- Tavče gravče: stewed vegetables.
- Karađorđeva šnicla: breaded rolled steak stuffed with kajmak (a diary product).
- Moussaka: made with aubergines/eggplant, potatoes or zucchini.
- Mućkalica: diced pork with a pepper and tomato hot sauce.
- Podvarak: stewed sauerkraut, usually with meat and bacon pieces.
- Prebranac: baked beans in sauce.
- Rezanci s makom: noodles with poppy.
- Pasulj: thin bean stew.
- Slivovica: Potent plum brandy.
- Rakija: Traditional regional spirit derived from grapes.
souvenirs from Serbia
- wooden icons
- embroidered tablecloths
- coffee mills
Hello: Здраво (Zdravo)
Goodbye: Довирења (Dovirenja)
How are you?: Како си? (Kako si?)
Thank you: Хвала вам (Hvala vam)
What is your name?: Како се зовеш? (Kako se zoveš?)
How much is it?: Колико је то? (Koliko je to?)
Sorry: Извињавам се (Izvinjavam se)