Why you should visit...

Novi Sad

How Novi Sad, Serbia stole our hearts during a trip through Eastern Europe.

Why We Love It:

Several years ago, while traveling through Eastern Europe, Amanda & I happened to pass through Novi Sad, Serbia. We had never heard of it before we arrived & yet today, five years later, I consider it one of the treats of all the places we have been together. It’s one of those places that reminds you that traveling isn’t just about ticking boxes and photographing iconic landmarks. It’s about the unexpected surprises, the stumbled-upon destinations that lodge in your memory and make you yearn for more.

Novi Sad’s history is as diverse as its streets. A part of the Habsburg Empire, then Yugoslavia, and now Serbia, it has undergone change upon change in its history. Its past is layered and complex, a beautiful mosaic of cultural influences and turbulent events, all adding to the city’s distinct character.

Our favorite & most unexpected treat was The Strand, a sandy beach on the banks of the Danube River that comes alive each summer. Picture a sprawling playground teeming with life, joy, and the carefree spirit of vacation. Lovers walking hand in hand, dogs bounding after frisbees, a cacophony of food vendors hawking their scrumptious fares, and the tantalizing aroma of fresh pastries wafting in the air. It was a spectacle in every sense, a symphony of simple joys that stirred within us that childlike wonder that great travel always provokes.

Beyond the Strand, the quaint charm of Novi Sad continues. It doesn’t boast the high-octane appeal of a metropolitan city, but it has its fair share of treasures. The city center is a vibrant hive of cafes, boutiques, and a pedestrian track that encircles the city, offering glimpses into its gentle rhythm. It’s the perfect path for a long, exploratory run – and I absolutely partook. As my feet pounded the cobbled streets, I came across tucked-away cafes, art installations, and unexpected views from both sides of the Danube.

Speaking of views, the Petrovaradin Fortress is a spot that shouldn’t be missed. Perched on the other side of the Danube, it offers a panoramic vista of Novi Sad that leaves one with a sense of awe and wonder. Exploring the old fortress, with its whispers of bygone eras, felt like peeling back layers of history. Every stone and corner had a story; we did our best to listen.

At the end of the day, there was no better place to unwind than the city center, which thrummed with life as the sun dipped below the horizon. The city’s gastronomic scene introduced us to traditional Serbian dishes, each bursting with flavor. The perfect end to a day of adventure.
The following day, as we sipped coffee at the Freeshka Coffee Co, watching the city wake up and embrace a new day, I realized the magic of travel. It’s not just about visiting places; it’s about experiencing them, immersing yourself in their rhythm, and walking away with memories that cling to your soul.

Our two-day visit to Novi Sad was unplanned, an afterthought in our itinerary. Still, it became an experience that was etched into our hearts. It reminded us of the thrill of discovery, the joy of uncovering the unexpected, and the beauty that lies between the places you circle on your map. Novi Sad wasn’t just a city to us; it was a treasure trove of experiences, a testament to the beauty of serendipitous travel.

Region: Eastern Europe
Days Needed: 2
Highlights: Food, Culture, Beaches, Photgraphy
Primary Language: Serbian
Cost ($-$$$$): $$

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