Novi Sad marks our entrance into Serbia at the start of our 14 day road trip through emerging travel destinations in Europe: Bosnia Herzegovina (BiH), Montenagro, Albania, Macedonia (FYROM), and Kosovo. Having explored most of western Europe, I’m looking forward to touching the eastern parts of the continent, still raw from the 1990s.
Flying into Belgrade, I was pleasantly surprised by the pristine airport and newly built northern highway that led us to Novi Sad. I had this image of Serbia being this archaic-snowy-backwards-looking Russian country. You’ll be happy to know that none of the above is true, although it is still evident that the country is slowly, but surely, growing out of its war torn, communist era past.
Guide books will say that Novi Sad is the ‘Athens of the North’, but I would say it is more the Budapest of South…but less vast and well-known. A 3 mile radius of newly built rainbow sandstone encompasses the town centre, leaving the rest of the outer radius less aesthetically pleasing.
The famous Danube river lines the outer edge of town. It provides a backdrop to the citadel which sits on the top of a ridge across from the city centre. With stunning views of the rest of the town and laid with artists and swanky wine bars, the citadel was easily the most interesting part of town.
Novi Sad is worth the trip if you use it as a stopover to hike Fruska Gora national park, however, not necessarily recommended otherwise. Happy to have seen it, but not needed if short on time.
On our way out of the city we passed through a beautiful national park called Fruska Gora.
Famous for its 32 monasteries scattered through the forest, it is a beautiful walk worth taking. As an added bonus, wine growers also populate the area primarily focusing on white chardonnays – a perfect way to end a day of walking!