So, you’re planning your tour around Serbia and wondering where to go… We’ve already taken you to Belgrade the capital and beautiful Subotica and there is one more city that is a must-see and that is Novi Sad. The second-largest city in Serbia is the capital of province Vojvodina, a cultural melting pot with 26 ethnic groups and six official languages. Novi Sad (Hungarian: Újvidék) is a multicultural city with so many things that you have to see and experience. We are bringing you the ultimate travel guide to Novi Sad, so keep reading.
Let’s start from the very beginning…
The Beginning of Novi Sad – Almasani Quarter
One of the first settlements in Novi Sad is 300 years old Almaški kraj or Almasani quarter. It’s a quarter where you will stumble upon a few very important and imposing Novi Sad’s buildings. One very important building that you will pass by is the Museum and the Archives of Vojvodina, that originally housed courthouse and prison. There is also the building of Matica Srpska, the oldest cultural, literary and scientific institution of the Serbian people.
Image by Mister No / CC BY-SA 3.0
And one of our favourites is the Bishop’s Palace, a beautiful old pink building that was built under the influence of Viennese architecture and it is one of the Novi Sad’s landmarks.
Image by Vladimir Zubac
There are many other buildings in this amazing quarter that is often being left out during the tourist’s visits, so we are giving special attention to it here. It’s the quarter with the original spirit of Novi Sad and everyone should definitely experience it.
The Beautiful City Square
The main city square called the Liberty Square is definitely one of the most beautiful places in Novi Sad and almost all of the buildings are landmarks and that’s what you’ll see on postcards. The first thing you’ll see there is the City Hall, the Mayor’s office that was once Magistrate, built in the so-called Historicism style.
Image by Jovana Šulić
On the opposite side, there is the Catholic church “Name of Mary” in neogothic style, designed by a famous architect from Novi Sad, Georg Molnar.
Image by Vladimir Zubac
There is also the Hotel Vojvodina and the Bank of Vojvodina, both very beautiful and picturesque buildings with amazing facades. And the main spot on the square is the monument to Svetozar Miletić – famous lawyer, politician and former mayor of Novi Sad. The square is maybe our favourite place in Novi Sad. It’s so wide and open and has all these beautiful buildings, we just loved it.
Image by Vladimir Zubac
You can’t visit Novi Sad and not visit Petrovaradin fortress. It’s one of the most famous landmarks for sure and it was a very important point of defence in the past. It’s a huge fortress, built by Celtics and Romans on the banks of the Danube river and it’s one of the biggest fortifications in the region. The view over the city centre is marvellous. There is much to see on the Petrovaradin fortress, one of the things that we enjoyed the most are the City Museum and the Planetarium. Also, there a complex four-story structure of underground passages, chambers and galleries, that makes this fortress even more unique and significant for the city’s culture.
And one thing cannot be forgotten and we’re pretty sure that you’ve heard about it before… The EXIT festival is held on the fortress every summer.
Image by Tanja Kosanović
Party in Novi Sad
As we already mentioned, there is a big festival held every July on the Petrovaradin Fortress – EXIT festival. It’s an award-winning summer music festival that has been named the best European music festival in Europe. EXIT hosts some of the most famous names in electronic music and promises amazing party.
Image by Exit Photo Team / CC BY-SA 3.0
Novi Sad offers some cool pubs and clubs, too. Just stroll down the Laze Telečkog street and you will see a million pubs and bars where you can have fun no matter what time of the year it is. Also, there are clubs all over the city, even on Petrovaradin fortress.
Culture in Novi Sad
Novi Sad is named to be the European Capital of Culture in 2021 and it sure deserves it, you probably agree. Besides EXIT that is one segment of Novi Sad’s modern culture (and most famous for sure) and Petrovaradin and all of the famous and gorgeous buildings that we’ve already mentioned there is even more to see.
Novi Sad has a few museums, that we’ve also mentioned. But there are numerous art galleries and the Modern Art Museum, too. Also, there are a few theatres, one of them being the Serbian National Theatre. There is also Novi Sad City Theatre and Youth Theatre and a few cinema theatres. And in the summer Novi Sad hosts a Cinema City Festival – international cinema festival when the whole city becomes the cinema. Then there is the INFANT – festival International Festival of Alternative and New Theatre, Novi Sad Jazz Festival, International Comic Festival and many more.
Image by Dennis Jarvis / CC BY-SA 2.0
As you can see, Novi Sad does not lack cultural institutions and manifestations, so there is a lot to experience no matter when you visit. You will have a good time if you visit for a day or two and if you stay for 10 days you will not get bored. Plus, the city is so full of life no matter what time of the year it is and one of the reasons for that, besides all those festivals is its University with a huge number of students.
Best Time to Visit
Novi Sad is most popular and gets crowded in July because of the EXIT festival and in the end of December / beginning of January because of the holiday festivities. And the prices are higher in those periods, of course, especially when EXIT is held. So, if you want to visit in the least crowded (and least expensive) time you should consider travelling to Novi Sad in spring, late summer and fall. But if you are looking for a great party don’t hesitate to spend a bigger amount of money.
How to Get There?
The nearest airport is in Belgrade, about an hour away from Novi Sad. The connection between the two cities is great, there are many bus and train lines so it’s not difficult to get from one city to another.
Where to Stay?
There are a lot of hotels and hostels in Novi Sad where you can stay, but we always prefer renting an apartment from local people. It is always cheaper and more interesting, you can find a really nice place for a smaller amount of money.
We loved Novi Sad, it’s so cute, charming and colourful. As you can see there are so many places to visit and enjoy, no matter when you visit. If you’ve already decided to follow our ultimate travel guide to Novi Sad, we have to tell you that we offer you even more! Download our Cultural Places App and you will find our guided tours through Novi Sad to help you explore all these beautiful places.