Go beyond the guidebooks and live like the locals do instead
Who better to truly showcase the very best that Serbia has to offer than those who live (and love it) there? From the best kafanas to visit to the must-try dishes, and from where to dance the night away to where to play a round of golf in the heart of the city, our Serbia Tourism insiders share their best-kept secrets, hidden gems, surprise tips and traditions that make the country such a wonderful place to visit.
Where to eat
Belgrade’s restaurant scene will leave you spoiled for choice, but it’s not the only place to eat out in Serbia. There are gastronomical gems to be found throughout the country. Not least:
Salas 137 (near Novi Sad): This authentic farm restaurant is oozing with charm, serving up authentic home-grown produce.
Nislijska Mehana (Nis): A genuine Serbian kafana, with great traditional food, wine and music.
Meanwhile, back in the capital, make sure you visit:
Mala Fabrika Ukusa (Belgrade): A family restaurant nestling in Neimar, a beautiful part of the Old Town, offering a warm welcome and a large garden setting.
Madera (Belgrade): A firm favourite of Belgrade’s bohemians, artists and writers since it first opened its doors in 1937, and for good reason.
What to eat
Don’t leave Serbia without sampling the very best traditional delicacies, including:
Peglana kobasica: A spicy and notably-shaped (its name translates as ‘ironed sausage’) sausage from the city of Pirot, made from a mix of goat, sheep and beef meat.
Cevapi: Another sausage-shaped national dish, this one is typically made from beef, lamb or pork (or a mix), and served grilled.
Sarma – cabbage leaves stuffed with ground meat, rice and seasoning, and then simmered for a long time.
It’s all about the festivals, say our insiders, of which Serbia has plenty in the spring and summer months. Our pick of the best include:
Belgrade Dance Festival (March – April): Celebrating contemporary dance, with international performances and educational workshops.
Nisville Jazz Festival (August): Southeastern Europe’s biggest jazz festival offers a unique blend of heritage jazz and traditional Balkan music.
Go outside: Sport and adventure
Play golf in the heart of Belgrade, at the Golf Club Belgrade. Situated on Ada Ciganlija island, the course has nine holes.
Serbia’s rivers are seemingly made for whitewater rafting, with their canyons and rapids adding to the thrills. Find out more about the best waterways to head to here.
Serbia might be landlocked but that doesn’t mean it can’t compete with the best of the beaches in Europe. Our insiders’ favourite, unanimously, is Strand city beach, on the banks of the Danube at Novi Sad.
Entertain the kids: Family-friendly activities
With 20 slides, six pools and a water castle, Aquapark Petroland is waterpark heaven. It’s located near Novi Sad, and is open throughout the spring and summer.
Give the kids a view to remember (and a history lesson at the same time) at Mount Avala and its telecommunications tower. It’s in the suburbs, and although it might be 16km outside of downtown Belgrade, it offers views of up to 100km on the clearest days.
For the grown-ups: Nightlife
Belgrade is often referred to as the city that never sleeps, thanks to its young and vibrant social scene. What really sets it apart from all other party capital contenders, however, are its floating nightclubs that turn the Danube and the Sava into the places to go to drink, dance and be seen.