What To Do In Novi Sad – One Of The Best Places In Serbia
We found out about some fun things to do in Novi Sad on our recent unplanned trip to Serbia. As one of the biggest cities in Serbia, Novi Sad, provides visitors with a great spot for a vacation whether traveling as a couple, a family, or solo. One of our top reasons for recommending Novi Sad as a tourist destination is how budget-friendly it can be. I would say that you can choose pretty much any budget for your trip and there are a variety of things you can enjoy at, virtually, any level.
The suggestions we have here for things to do in Novi Sad can be customized easily depending on your budget and preferences. Our budget was in the mid-range and we only spent about a day and a half sightseeing. We would have liked to spend 3 to 4 days because it was so affordable (and lot's of cool things to do!). However, we had already planned a tour to head to Budapest from Novi Sad with friends and could not stay longer. We would rate Novi Sad as the top place to visit in Serbia, so if you are thinking about taking a trip, take a look at what there is to do in the city for more inspiration!
Said to be the second largest city in Serbia, just after its capital of Belgrade, it maintains a lively and vibrant atmosphere. When I say vibrant, I mean full of color! All around. If you're like us and prefer to stay out of big cities that have a bit too much going on, you'll love Novi Sad. While it's not the bustling capital, it still provides lots to do but at a much more chill pace and vibe.
We had never really planned on visiting Serbia, but while we were living in Chiang Mai, we happen to meet another couple from there and soon became good friends with them. So, when they heard we were leaving Thailand and visiting Europe before heading back home to the U.S., they invited us over. The original plan was to just visit Amsterdam and Lisbon, but they suggested we visit there hometown of Novi Sad and then take a bus over to Budapest together. Being the travel lovers that we are, we could never refuse an opportunity to visit a new destination. So, it was on! Two new countries to explore with friends!
Novi Sad's Hapennin' Town Square
Our evening arrival into Novi Sad provided us a chance to witness the electrifying nightlife in the main part of town. It's hard to miss Svetozar Miletic Square with its unique and colorful buildings full of character. Just to marvel at the architecture can make your time pass in a dreamy and effortless way. The summer evenings bring out the locals who want to take advantage of this time to hang out with friends, have their children get out and have fun, or gather for some fine foods and drinks.
Svetozar Miletic Square is the place to go. There are so many restaurants to choose from with a variety of food offerings. Of course, outdoor seating is plentiful, giving visitors a chance to take in all of the beautiful surroundings and experience some of the local culture and people of this place. I know I would be out in this area practically every evening if I was living in Novi Sad. I particularly enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere of the town square which gives it a welcoming feel without the arrogance and pretentiousness that some European cities may have.
The Cathedral-The Name of Mary Church (Crkva imena Marijinog)
A Roman Catholic Parish Church built in 1895, simply referred to as "The Cathedral" by the locals, is the largest church in Novi Sad. With its colorfully decorated tiled roof and stained glass windows, the cathedral is certainly a sight to see. It's easy to find being so large and beautiful so it's no surprise that people use it as a popular meeting spot. It also helps that the cathedral has a 72-meter high tower that you can use as a reference point to find your way in the city center. Tucked in its "backyard is where you'll find Dunavska Street, a pedestrian zone with great shops and restaurants.
The Charming Dunavska Street
If you're into the rustic and romantic, take a walk down Dunavska Street in Novi Sad. Just around the corner from the cathedral, the enchanting facades and street lamps may feel a bit nostalgic as they lead you to Danube Park.
On our first night in Novi Sad, we were introduced to this area and instantly felt energized. We spent the evening meeting new some new people and enjoying some food and drinks with our Serbian friends. The nightlife by the cathedral and square is animated and cheerful so it should be high on the list of things to do in Novi Sad.
A couple of places we recommend for food and drinks:
- Mamut Pub - Почетна страница | Фејсбук
- Toster Bar - Hamburger Restaurant
Try the real Budweiser beer if you get a chance. Made by the Budweiser Budvar Brewery, the original pilsner is way tastier than what we have in the U.S. (just my opinions, anyway).
Stroll Through Danube (Dunavski) Park
This beautiful part complete with its very own pond and fountain is a popular place, especially in the summer. The park provides walking paths, surrounded by native trees and gardens containing several hundred plant species, that meander towards the Danube River. We enjoyed a stroll through the park at the end of the evening and think it is a great place to hang out for anyone who just wants to get away from the city and enjoy some natural, peaceful surroundings.
What To Eat In Novi Sad
We LOVED eating some of the local food during our short time in Novi Sad. Here are some items we suggest you try when you visit:
- Burek Ispod Saca - Eat some "Burek" here like the locals. This is filo dough stuffed with cheese, cherry compote, or meat. It is similar to pie or spanakopita. It only costs around $5 for 6 plates, so try a little bit of all of it! (side note: a cafe latte is about $1.10)
- PikNik - This is a restaurant by the river. Order fish stew with pasta, fried river fish, fresh lemonade.
- Project 72 - We loved the personal service at this restaurant and the dishes were all SUPERB! For a fine dining experience, the cost was about $51UD for 4 people. What an incredible deal!
Our favorite place to see in Novi Sad was the fortress. If you recall, we visited one in Belgrade as well.
Petrovaradin Fortress has never been sieged! this fortress doesn't cost anything for admission and there is a restaurant with AMAZING views of the Danube right at the top. Check out the clock tower there. Fun fact: unlike normal clocks, it has a longer hour hand. Why? This is so that from afar (like those sailing on the river) it can be easily seen.
Take in the views by strolling all around the fortress. It's no wonder this is where the Exit Festival takes place every year! They were setting up for the festival on our visit and we could tell how this would be a fun place to hold it.
After your walk around the fortress, make sure to try some Serbian pudding cake and coffee at Terasa Restaurant.
Where To Stay
We highly recommend staying at an Airbnb near the cathedral while you are visiting Novi Sad. Our two-bedroom apartment was about $38USD/night. IT was conveniently located within a five-minute walk to the city center. Take a look at the views from our apartment in the photo below!
Have we convinced you to visit Novi Sad? If you've already been there, let us know if we missed anything in this post. We'd love to see your comments below.
About the Author
Hi! I'm just a California girl addicted to travel and adventure with a passion for art and dance on the side. Born in Iran, but I consider myself a citizen of Earth, adhering to the belief that "The world is but one country and mankind its citizen." I strive to make a positive impact on everyone I meet and learn as much as possible from them. My degree out of college is in Marketing. However, I entered the hospitality business at an early age and worked my way up to hotel management. After about 13 years in that industry (5 of which I was a hotel assistant manager), I made the decision to move to Thailand and leave the 9 to 5 grind behind. My husband and I set off for a life of living abroad and hopes to continue traveling the world, just 3 months after our wedding. It all started with the two of us, along with our cat, together in Thailand. Can't wait to see where life takes us next!