Novi Sad Serbia Travel Guide

Novi Sad Serbia Travel Guide
A Vagabond Life

Novi Sad Serbia Travel Guide - A Vagabond Life

Welcome to Novi Sad, a dynamic and picturesque city in northern Serbia, perched along the banks of the Danube River. As the capital of the autonomous province of Vojvodina, Novi Sad is a cultural and economic hub that offers a rich blend of historical significance and modern vibrancy.

Novi Sad’s history dates back to the late 17th century when it was founded by Serb merchants. The city quickly grew as a center of trade and culture under Habsburg rule, earning the nickname “Serbian Athens” for its role in the Serbian Enlightenment and its flourishing arts scene. This cultural renaissance is still evident today, with the city boasting numerous museums, galleries, and theaters.

One of the city’s most iconic landmarks is the Petrovaradin Fortress, a sprawling fortification known as the “Gibraltar of the Danube.” Built in the late 17th century, it stands as a testament to the city’s strategic importance and offers breathtaking views of the river and the city below. Today, the fortress is also the venue for the world-renowned EXIT Festival, which attracts music enthusiasts from all over the globe.

Novi Sad’s Old Town charms visitors with its well-preserved architecture, featuring a mix of baroque, neoclassical, and modernist buildings. Key attractions include Liberty Square, the vibrant heart of the city, and the magnificent Name of Mary Church.

Beyond its historical and cultural treasures, Novi Sad is surrounded by natural beauty. Just a short drive away lies Fruška Gora National Park, known for its rolling hills, hiking trails, and ancient monasteries. The nearby town of Sremski Karlovci offers a glimpse into the region’s winemaking traditions and baroque architecture.

Whether you’re exploring its rich past, enjoying its lively cultural scene, or relaxing in its scenic surroundings, Novi Sad promises a memorable and enriching travel experience.


How To Get To Novi Sad Serbia

Novi Sad, Serbia’s vibrant second-largest city, is an increasingly popular destination for travelers seeking a blend of rich history, cultural events, and natural beauty. Located about 70 kilometers northwest of Belgrade, getting to Novi Sad is relatively straightforward, whether you’re arriving by air, rail, road, or even river. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to reach Novi Sad.

By Air

The closest major airport to Novi Sad is Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport (BEG), which is about 85 kilometers away. This international airport is well-connected to numerous European cities and several intercontinental destinations. From the airport, you have several options to reach Novi Sad:

  • Shuttle Services: Various companies offer direct shuttle services from Belgrade Airport to Novi Sad. These shuttles are convenient and usually run multiple times a day.
  • Taxi: Taxis are readily available at the airport. A taxi ride to Novi Sad typically takes about an hour and is a convenient but more expensive option.
  • Car Rental: Renting a car at the airport allows you to travel at your own pace and explore the surrounding areas. The drive to Novi Sad is straightforward via the A1/E75 highway.

By Train

Serbia has a growing rail network, and Novi Sad is well-served by trains from Belgrade and other major cities. The journey by train from Belgrade to Novi Sad takes about 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on the service. Serbian Railways operates several daily connections, offering a comfortable and scenic way to travel. The main train station in Novi Sad is centrally located, making it easy to access the city’s attractions upon arrival.

By Bus

Buses are a popular and economical way to travel to Novi Sad. The city is connected to Belgrade and other Serbian cities by an extensive bus network. The journey from Belgrade to Novi Sad by bus takes approximately 1.5 hours. Buses are frequent, with departures throughout the day, and they arrive at the Novi Sad Bus Station, which is conveniently located near the city center.

By Car

Driving to Novi Sad is a convenient option, especially if you’re planning to explore the surrounding regions. The city is easily accessible via the A1/E75 highway from Belgrade. The drive takes about an hour and offers scenic views of the Serbian countryside. There are several parking options in Novi Sad, including public parking lots and street parking.

By River

For a unique and scenic approach, consider traveling to Novi Sad by river. The Danube River, which runs through the city, is a major waterway for river cruises. Various European river cruise operators include Novi Sad as a stop on their itineraries, allowing you to arrive in the city in style and enjoy breathtaking views along the way.

Getting Around Novi Sad Serbia

Novi Sad is not only a destination brimming with historical charm and cultural richness but also a city that’s relatively easy to navigate. Whether you’re exploring its historic sites, attending the famous EXIT Festival, or simply soaking in the local atmosphere, getting around Novi Sad is straightforward and convenient. Here’s a guide to help you move around the city effortlessly.


Novi Sad is a pedestrian-friendly city, and many of its major attractions are located within walking distance of each other. The compact and flat layout of the city center makes it ideal for exploring on foot. Strolling through the streets, you can easily visit key sites like Liberty Square, the Name of Mary Church, and the bustling Zmaj Jovina Street with its cafes and shops. Walking is the best way to soak in the local ambiance and discover hidden gems in the Old Town.

Public Transportation


Novi Sad has a reliable and efficient public bus system operated by JGSP Novi Sad. The city is well-connected with numerous bus lines that cover most areas, including suburban neighborhoods. Buses are frequent and affordable, making them a popular choice for both locals and tourists. You can purchase tickets at kiosks, from the driver, or through the mobile app, and single tickets are quite economical.


Taxis are widely available throughout Novi Sad and offer a convenient way to get around, especially if you’re traveling with luggage or during late hours. Licensed taxis are metered, ensuring fair pricing. It’s recommended to use reputable taxi companies or apps like CarGo to book your ride. Taxis can be hailed on the street or found at designated taxi stands around the city center and major transport hubs.


Novi Sad is becoming increasingly bike-friendly, with several cycling lanes and bike rental services available. Renting a bike is an excellent way to explore the city at your own pace, and it’s an environmentally friendly option. You can rent bikes from various shops or through bike-sharing programs. The city’s flat terrain makes cycling an enjoyable and practical mode of transport.

Car Rentals

If you prefer the flexibility of driving, car rentals are readily available in Novi Sad. Several international and local car rental agencies operate in the city, offering a range of vehicles to suit your needs. Renting a car is particularly useful if you plan to explore the surrounding areas, such as the scenic Fruška Gora National Park or the historic town of Sremski Karlovci. Parking is generally available, with both street parking and public parking lots.

Things To See & Do In Novi Sad Serbia

Petrovaradin Fortress:

Petrovaradin Fortress

Petrovaradin Fortress, perched majestically above the Danube River in Novi Sad, Serbia, is a historic and cultural landmark that captivates visitors with its rich past and stunning views. Built between 1692 and 1780 by the Habsburg Monarchy, the fortress was designed by Austrian military engineer Sebastian Vauban and played a crucial role in the defense against Ottoman advances.

The fortress is often referred to as the “Gibraltar of the Danube” due to its strategic importance and impregnable design. Its extensive underground tunnels, spanning over 16 kilometers, are a testament to the fortress’s military significance. These tunnels served as storage, shelters, and passageways for troops, adding to the fortress’s mystique and historical intrigue.

Today, Petrovaradin Fortress is not only a historical monument but also a vibrant cultural hub. The fortress hosts the renowned EXIT Festival, one of Europe’s largest music festivals, attracting thousands of visitors every July. The Museum of Novi Sad, located within the fortress, offers exhibitions on the history and culture of the region, providing deeper insights into the fortress’s past.

Visitors can also explore the Clock Tower, with its reversed clock hands, offering panoramic views of Novi Sad and the Danube. The Artists’ Colony within the fortress is another highlight, where you can discover local art and crafts. Petrovaradin Fortress is a must-visit destination, blending history, culture, and breathtaking scenery.

Novi Sad City Museum

The Novi Sad City Museum, located within the historic Petrovaradin Fortress, offers a fascinating journey through the city’s rich past. Established in 1954, the museum features diverse collections spanning archaeology, history, ethnography, and art. Highlights include exhibits on the fortress’s military history, local cultural artifacts, and fine art pieces from prominent Serbian artists. The museum’s unique location in the fortress’s former barracks adds to its charm, providing visitors with stunning views of the Danube River and Novi Sad. It’s a must-visit for those interested in exploring the cultural and historical heritage of this vibrant Serbian city.

Danube Park

Danube Park

Danube Park, located in the heart of Novi Sad, Serbia, is a serene and picturesque urban oasis that offers a welcome respite from the city’s hustle and bustle. Established in the 19th century, the park spans approximately 3.8 hectares and is one of the city’s oldest and most beloved green spaces. Its creation was part of an initiative to beautify Novi Sad and provide a communal recreational area for residents and visitors alike.

The park is named after the Danube River, which flows nearby, and features a variety of well-maintained paths, lush lawns, and beautifully landscaped gardens. A central highlight is the charming pond, home to ducks, swans, and various aquatic plants. The pond is crossed by picturesque bridges, adding to the park’s enchanting atmosphere.

Danube Park is dotted with statues and monuments, including the iconic figure of Đura Jakšić, a famous Serbian poet and painter. The park is also known for its diverse tree species, including plane trees, birches, and conifers, offering a tranquil environment for leisurely strolls, picnics, or simply relaxing on one of the many benches.

Seasonal events, outdoor concerts, and cultural activities often take place in Danube Park, making it a vibrant part of Novi Sad’s community life. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat or a place to enjoy local events, Danube Park is a must-visit destination that embodies the natural beauty and cultural spirit of Novi Sad.

Liberty Square (Trg Slobode)

Liberty Square (Trg Slobode)

Liberty Square (Trg Slobode) is the bustling heart of Novi Sad, Serbia, and a vibrant focal point of the city’s social, cultural, and architectural life. Established in the late 19th century, the square has been a central gathering place for locals and visitors alike, hosting numerous events, festivals, and public celebrations throughout the year.

Surrounded by some of Novi Sad’s most significant buildings, Liberty Square is a showcase of stunning architecture. The Town Hall, an elegant neo-Renaissance building dating back to 1895, stands proudly on the square’s western side. Opposite City Hall is the magnificent Name of Mary Church, a neo-Gothic Catholic church with an impressive 72-meter-high bell tower, completed in 1894. Both structures exemplify the rich architectural heritage of the city.

A statue of Svetozar Miletić, a prominent Serbian political leader and former mayor of Novi Sad, dominates the center of the square. Created by renowned sculptor Ivan Meštrović in 1939, the statue is a symbol of the city’s enduring spirit and historical significance.

Liberty Square is a lively hub where locals gather for coffee, shopping, and socializing. The surrounding area is filled with cafes, restaurants, and shops, making it an ideal spot for both relaxation and exploration. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or simply enjoying the vibrant atmosphere, Liberty Square is a must-visit destination that encapsulates the essence of Novi Sad.

The Name of Mary Church (Crkva Imena Marijinog)

The Name of Mary Church (Crkva Imena Marijinog)

The Name of Mary Church (Crkva Imena Marijinog) in Novi Sad, Serbia, is a stunning example of neo-Gothic architecture and a prominent landmark in the city’s skyline. Completed in 1894, the church was designed by Hungarian architect György Molnár in response to the growing Catholic community in Novi Sad during the late 19th century.

Its impressive façade features intricate details and a 72-meter-high bell tower that dominates the surrounding Liberty Square (Trg Slobode). The church’s interior is equally breathtaking, with beautiful stained glass windows depicting religious scenes, ornate altars, and a peaceful ambiance that invites contemplation and prayer.

The church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and serves as an important religious and cultural center for the Catholic community in Novi Sad. It hosts regular masses, religious ceremonies, and cultural events throughout the year, drawing both locals and visitors to admire its architectural beauty and spiritual significance.

Visitors to the Name of Mary Church can also explore its serene surroundings, including Liberty Square with its historic buildings and vibrant atmosphere. Whether you’re interested in religious architecture, history, or simply enjoying a moment of quiet reflection, the Name of Mary Church offers a memorable experience in the heart of Novi Sad.

The Gallery of Matica Srpska

Established in 1847, the Gallery of Matica Srpska is one of Serbia’s oldest and most esteemed cultural institutions. Located in Novi Sad, it houses an extensive collection of Serbian art spanning centuries. The gallery’s exhibitions include paintings, sculptures, and artifacts that showcase the evolution of Serbian artistic expression and cultural identity.

The Strand Beach

Situated along the banks of the Danube River, The Strand Beach is a popular recreational spot in Novi Sad. It offers sandy shores ideal for sunbathing, swimming areas, and various sports facilities. The beach attracts locals and tourists seeking relaxation and outdoor activities amidst beautiful natural surroundings.

Fruška Gora National Park

Fruška Gora National Park, near Novi Sad, is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, diverse flora and fauna, and numerous medieval monasteries. It’s a favorite destination for hiking enthusiasts, offering well-marked trails that lead to panoramic viewpoints and historic sites.

Sremski Karlovci

A charming town just a short drive from Novi Sad, Sremski Karlovci is famous for its elegant baroque architecture, picturesque streets, and wine cellars. Visitors can explore historic landmarks such as the Four Lions Fountain and enjoy wine tastings of the region’s renowned local wines.

Museum of Vojvodina

Located in Novi Sad, the Museum of Vojvodina is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history, culture, and art of the Vojvodina region. Its exhibitions cover a wide range of topics, from archaeological finds to artifacts reflecting the region’s diverse ethnic and cultural heritage.

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