Serbia is one of Europe’s best-kept secrets, especially when it comes to nightlife and festivals. Situated at the heart of South-East Europe, it boasts a number of annual festivals, including the Guča Trumpet Festival or Exit in Novi Sad, recently awarded as the Best Major European Festival. Then there’s Belgrade, with its hedonistic floating nightclubs, which can easily be placed alongside Ibiza. Of course, it’s not all partying in Serbia: in Belgrade, the cobbled streets of Skadarlija hide beautiful galleries and museums and boast a lively cultural scene. If you head further, to the suburban hills, you will discover calm monasteries, whimsical villages and breathtaking creations of nature. Last, but not least, Serbia is a country of forthright, fun-loving people, who are sure to bring a smile to your face. Not to mention that it is still astonishingly inexpensive…
In comparison to its European neighbors, Serbia is astonishingly inexpensive and real value for money. If you are in search of a luring destination away from pricey places, then Serbia is definitely the place to be. Although a landlocked country, the atmosphere, friendly local people and delicious food make up for the lack of beaches. Try some delicious food and experience the vibrant nightlife or adventurous rafting on the Drina River; stay in superb hotels or rejuvenate your body and soul in the thermal resorts that dot the countryside in one of Europe’s most affordable countries.
Serbian cuisine is a fusion of Turkish, Hungarian and Mediterranean influences. From paprika – not the spice commonly associated with Hungarian food, but the red pepper itself, which you will find in salads, grilled, pickled, stuffed, mashed or as a relish (ajvar) – to dairy products, including kajmak, a skimmed heavy cream that goes well with grilled meats (pljeskavica, ćevapi), another characteristic of Serbian cuisine. You also can’t go past cabbage (kupus) and beans (pasulj and prebranac) and to finish off, you must definitely try rakija – a type of brandy and the national drink of Serbia. But have only one shot, no more…
Alhough Belgrade shouldn’t be missed, there are many other places and sightseeing spots worth visiting in Serbia. Apart from the great number of monasteries and culturally and architecturally rich sites dotted across the rolling plains, there are as many as 5 national parks and 22 nature reserves. With plenty of hiking and rafting tours to choose from, as well as an abundance of cascading waterfalls and rushing rivers combined with overwhelming hospitality, you’ll definitely fall in love with this land.
Literally “Belgrade” translates as ‘White City’, but the fascinating Serbian capital deserves a much more colourful name. Boasting hedonistic floating nightclubs, grandiose cafés, bars and restaurants and lively pedestrian streets in the centre, Belgrade is one of the top places to visit if you are looking for endless parties and legendary nightlife. While you are there, be sure to take a walk along Knez Mihailova Boulevard, or visit the ancient Kalemegdan Citadel, the real crown of the city. Then there’s Savamala, a rundown area near central Belgrade, which has gained the title of the city’s creative hub and definitely shows that the Serbian capital is a cultured city on the move.
For some, Serbia's second city of Novi Sad is a synonym for the annual Exit Festival in July. For others who have already been there, Novi Sad is much more: it’s the hometown of the imposing Petrovaradin Fortress, an old town with the most pleasant pedestrian zone, numerous churches and noteworthy museums and galleries, which make it comparable to much larger cities. Its location at one of the continent's crossroads makes it an ideal starting point for tours into the suburbs surrounding area??. A stone’s throw away lies the National park of Fruška gora, which extends over an area between the Sava and the Danube rivers and boasts as many as 35 Serbian Orthodox monasteries, and the town of Sremski Karlovci, known for its excellent wines and mystical rustic cellars.
If you come in winter, head to Kopanonik for skiing, or Zlatobor if you’re not so much into sliding on the slopes. While Kopaonik is Serbia’s prime ski resort, with over 70km of pistes and 24 lifts, Zlatibor is a region of gentle mountains and traditions, encompassing the Tara and Šargan mountains in the north and THE Murtenica Hills close to Bosnia. Spend a few days there and explore the folklore, superstitions and traditions of the proud villages, such as Drvengrad, and take in the tunnels, bridges and mountain gorges of the delightfully disorienting Šargan 8 Railway.
Djavolja Varos – Devil's Town – is one of the most alluring natural phenomena in the world. This freakish collection of 202 natural stone pyramids is more like the location of Western films than what you'd ever expect from Serbia's mostly Arcadian landscape. Legend has it that the volcanic rock towers from 2 to 15 metres high were formed after guests at an incestuous wedding were turned to stone.
It used to be one country called Yugoslavia. Ride 111.000 km (68.350 mi.) all the way from coastline of Adriatic Sea to the untouched countryside of today 7 independent countries of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro.
Once the capital of former Yugoslavia, now of Serbia, once a barrier of the West on the Balkans peninsula, now a party town that welcomes young and those who feel young at heart.
From its mountain chains to the Black Sea Coast, from the rose valley and the vineyards to the monasteries and the old cities, Bulgaria is a very diverse country in the heart of the Balkan peninsula well-worth visiting.
Rich with history dating back to the Ancient Greece and Alexander the Great, Macedonia has a lot to offer: from Lake Ohrid, called the Jerusalem of the Balkans, to the capital Skopje, home of Mother Teresa and much more.