Here’s a list of the 15 best things to do in Novi Sad in Serbia along with famous landmarks, museums, and other points of interest.
Novi Sad (Нови Сад) is the second largest city in Serbia and the capital of Vojvodina, an autonomous province in the country. The city was founded in 1694 and was previously known as the “Serbian Athens” due to its cultural significance.
Sadly, much of Novi Sad was destroyed during the 1848 Revolution, but it has been greatly restored and rebuilt since. And in fact, Novi Sad has been selected as the European Capital of Culture in 2021.
In this article, I’m sharing some of the most famous attractions in Novi Sad as well as activities and places that shouldn’t be missed while visiting.
The Petrovaradin Fortress has been built in 1780 and has been declared a “Spatial Cultural-Historical Unit of Great Importance”. The fortress is often called the “Gibraltar of the Danube” and it’s a very impressive defensive structure.
What makes it so attractive is its location, towering high above the river. The views from the top are remarkable and offer a great panorama view of Novi Sad and the surroundings.
The Petrovaradin Fortress is one of the best places to visit in Novi Sad, and within the castle walls, you can also find the City Museum and the Planetarium.
Trg Slobode, (or Freedom Square in English), is a fascinating and lively place in the center. The square is part of a pedestrian zone and feels in many ways like the heart of the city.
The freedom square is surrounded by some of the most important sights of Novi Sad, such as the Name of Mary Church and the Svetozar-Miletić monument.
Visitors can use the Trg Slobode as a starting point for city explorations or just sit down at one of the numerous cafes and people-watch for a while. There are also many great restaurants and shops in this area.
The Dunavska Street is a charming promenade located next to the beautiful Dunvaski Park, halfway between the Danube and the Trg Slobode. It is one of the oldest streets in Novi Sad, particularly known for its historic atmosphere and colorful facades.
You can imagine how the merchants and traders frequented the street and how there were small craft shops situated in the colorful houses. Like the Trg Slobode, the Dunavska Street is a popular meeting point amongst residents of Novi Sad.
Locals and tourists alike often come here to go shopping, have a coffe at a café, or enjoy some of the great food that is served by the many restaurants scattered along the street.
Novi Sad’s Štrand
The Štrand (the German word for beach) is an immensely popular place to unwind and escape the heat of the summer. There is a playground for children, several bars serving cocktails and plenty of ice cream shops.
Visitors can enjoy the beach and rent sunbeds during summertime. There are also dedicated swimming areas, complete with lifeguards to make sure that everyone stays safe.
The Štrand also offer a picturesque walk along the Danube and vibrant beach parties during the summer months. On foot it takes around 30 minutes to reach the beach from the Trg Slobode, alternatively, it is also very straightforward to use a bus to get here.
Novi Sad Synagogue
The Novi Sad Synagogue can be found in the Jevrejska Street (Jewish Street) and is one of the most important landmarks of Novi Sad. The construction of the building was supervised by Hungarian architect Baumhorn Lipót and was completed in 1909.
Of the former 4000 Jewish residents of Novi Sad only 1000 survived the second world war and most of the survivors then left Serbia to move to Israel. This is the reason why the Novi Sad Synagogue is today mostly used for cultural events and concerts.
Because of its historical significance, the synagogue was added to the list of Spatial Cultural-Historical Units of Great Importance. The synagogue complex is built in an attractive recession style of architecture. Visitors should not miss the table at the front wall, it is a witness of the deportation of the Jews of Novi Sad to the concentration camps of the Third Reich.
The Danube Park (or Dunavski Park) is an oasis amidst the busy city streets of Novi Sad. The park dates back to 1885 and is today considered a natural monument.
The park is a perfect place to relax after strolling along the Dunavska Street. It offers an impressive 2.2 hectar of green space, more than 600 trees (some of them over 100 years old) and around 250 different plant species.
Curious visitors can explore some of the sculptures that are located in the park, such as the busts of Branko Radičević (a Serbian poet) and Miroslav Antić (author, screenwriter and painter).
Vladičanski Dvor (Bishop’s Palace)
The palace is designed in the Serbian-Byzantine style of architecture and is one of the most remarkable landmarks of Novi Sad. The palace was built under the supervision of Vladimir Nikolić in 1901 and was intended to serve as a home for Serbian Father Mitrofan Šević.
Vladičanski Dvor is particularly interesting for visitors because of its red brick facade and the yellow tile decorations. When visiting the palace make sure not to miss the many historical artifacts that are on display inside the building.
The Name of Mary Church
The Name of Mary Church is located right in the center of Novi Sad on the Trg Slobode. The church is referred to as “cathedral” (катедрала) by the local residents.
The reason for this nickname is that the 72-meter high Name of Mary Church is the biggest church in the city and overall a very imposing landmark.
The “cathedral” is built in a Neo-Gothic style of architecture and the construction of the building was completed in 1894 by the architect György Molnár. The three-nave basilica and the colorful roof tiles are some of the most fascinating aspects of the church.
Saint George’s Cathedral
The Saint George’s Cathedral is the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Bačka and another landmark of Novi Sad. The cathedral’s construction was completed in 1905.
It is located in close proximity to Vladičanski Dvor on the Trg Slobode, so you can combine a visit to both of them. The ornamented inner space of the Saint George’s Cathedral is very beautiful, and if you enjoy visiting religious buildings, this is easily one of the best places to visit in Novi Sad.
Visitors should not miss the beautiful iconostasis. It features 33 icons and several historical pictures above both choirs. The throne icons painted by the renowned artist Paja Jovanovic are also not to be missed.
Coffee stop at Trčika
One of the most unique cafés you will ever visit is the Caffe Bar Trčika. Even though trams haven’t been used in Novi Sad since 1958 this café is located in the remains of one of the first locomotives of Novi Sad’s former public transport system.
The café is located on a part of the remaining train tracks, halfway between the Theatre Museum of Vojvodina and the Bulevar Mihajla Pupina. Visitors have the choice between the upstairs section that resembles an old dining carriage with a long bar and the downstairs section with beautiful blue velour seating.
The Caffe Bar Trčika is the perfect place for a break from sightseeing in the city Just take a seat, enjoy the historic atmosphere while your sipping on a cup of coffee.
The EXIT Festival is a world-renowned annual music festival that focuses on rock and electronic music. The festival is also famous for its scenic location, the Petrovaradin Fortress.
Each year some of the biggest names of the music world perform here and attract thousands of party-lovers to the city of Novi Sad. The festival takes place in summer and usually lasts 3 to 4 days.
Visiting Novi Sad during the festival is a great way to combine hardcore partying with cultural sightseeing. It’s one of the city’s main events, and joining the big celebrations of EXIT festival is one of the best things to do in Novi Sad.
Laze Teleckog street
The Laze Telečkog street, located only a few meters to the north of Trg Slobode, is another pedestrian area that is full of life and energy. Laze Telečkog is known for its colorful houses that are mostly built in the Austro-Hungarian style of architecture.
The street is best enjoyed while sitting in one of the many restaurants and watching the interesting people of Novi Sad pass by. But Laze Telečkog is not just popular because of its restaurants and the historic architecture.
The street also welcomes visitors to spend the evening and late nights in the bars located here. A great way to meet people and have fun!
Only around 20 to 30 kilometers south of the city center of Novi Sad lays the Fruška Gora. A mountain with an elevation of 534 m that is part of the oldest national park of Serbia.
The Fruška Gora is a paradise for nature-lovers and ideally suited for cycling and trekking tours. For the residents of Novi Sad this area is a popular getaway for day trips into largely pristine nature.
The area around Fruška Gora also hosts a large number of Orthodox monasteries that are worth exploring. Wine lovers will find the area interesting because of the many vineyards that are situated here. The popular dessert-wine Bermet is considered a local speciality but internationally known wines like Riesling are also produced.
Sremski Karlovci is a picturesque town located on the banks of the Danube, around 10 kilometers south of Novi Sad. Despite its humble size, the town was considered the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church during the times of the Habsburg Monarchy.
Because of this cultural significance, it comes as no surprise that the town features an old-world charm with a large number of interesting buildings. The best way to explore and experience the town is to go on an extended stroll through Sremski Karlovci.
Visitors shouldn’t miss the Roman Catholic Church Holy Trinity and the St. Nicholas Cathedral, both located in close proximity to the center of the town.
The Gallery of Matica Srpska
The Gallery of Matica Srpska is located just south of the Bulevar Mihajla Pupina and is considered to be one of the most influential galleries of Serbia. The gallery is also one of the oldest in Serbia and its history goes back as far as 1847.
In 1979, the gallery was declared a Monument of Culture of Great Importance. Visitors of the gallery come across a very extensive collection of paintings (around 500 exhibits), including the works of the most important masters of all periods of the national history of art.
The gallery is very well looked after and features all the modern amenities that you would expect from a top-class art gallery. Visitors should keep in mind that the gallery is closed on Mondays.
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