The entrancing city centre of Novi Sad, the languid countryside, breath-taking murals in a historic church, unusual museums, these are just some of the things that will give a flavour of the Serbian capital and places around.
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Go for wine and honey tasting at the Museum of Beekeeping and Wine Cellar Zivanovic in Sremski Karlovci
If you want to sip the wine that also made it to Titanic’s list, then this is the place to be. Though this winery stocks many varieties, it is most famous for Bermet, a strong and sweet dessert wine which, is believed, was offered to the super-rich on the ill-fated ship. It has three varieties – white, red and rose and has a dash of aromatic herbs. Keep some time in hand to look at the bee museum here with unusually shaped beehives and sample honey of different varieties.
Visit the unique Match Museum, Sremski Karlovci
The displays from different countries here testify to the fact that the humble matchbox was once a prized possession. Some boxes date back to the early 19th century, some from Italy have reproductions of paintings by famous artists, a few from France display erotic encounters, while some with Japanese art on silk captivate your attention.
Ramble around Novi Sad City Centre & Trg Slobode (Liberty Square)
Outdoor cafes, historic buildings with impressive architecture and happening bars make Novi Sad’s vibrant city centre one of the most charming in Europe. Walk around here and reach the Liberty Square to soak in the lively vibe of Serbia’s second biggest city, which is getting set to become the European Capital of Culture in 2020. No surprises there. The city hosts events and festivals all year round. That includes the well-known music festival, EXIT, when throngs of young people transform it into a buzzing place every July. If you can, catch a breath-taking sunset at the medieval Petrovaradin Fortress that overlooks the Danube.
Spend time at a farm house in Vojvodina
Get a taste of life in the Serbian countryside at a traditional farm, locally called ‘Salas’. At Salas 137 in Vojvodina, which is an easy drive from either Novi Sad or Belgrade, try your hand at horse riding or just sit in the garden under the shade of trees and gorge on slow cooked food made from vegetables plucked from the farm at the restaurant here. The flavours are refreshingly local: the wine is from a village close by, the cheese is made by a local family and the poultry comes from another farm in the vicinity.
Admire the views from Tarpos Winery
On a holiday, nothing can be more enjoyable than having a good meal and sipping excellent wine while gazing at an outstanding view. Experience that at Tarpos winery that overlooks the mountains of Venčac and Bukulja. Succulent grapes, fresh bread, salad and a plate of appetizing starters is followed with interesting local food. The wine is carefully paired with each course but the winner here is clearly nature’s spectacular scenery.
Learn about history and art at Royal mausoleum and St George’s Church in Oplenac
The unbelievably gorgeous interior of the white marble St George’s Church at Oplenac has been designed from murals made with more than 40 million pieces of mosaic in 15,000 different shades, some touches of 14 and 20 carat gold. Fashioned from Murano glass, the incredible mosaic, which is one of the world’s most unusual, spread over 3750 meters covering almost all corners of the church. The memorial complex of the Serbian dynasty of Karađorđević lies in Topola town, about 70 kilometres from Belgrade and members of the royal family are buried in the crypt of the church.
Don’t skip a visit to Belgrade Fortress
This rugged fortress, that witnessed over a 100 battles and the rise and fall of many empires like the Romans, Serbs, Turks and Austro-Hungarians, plugs you into tumultuous history of Serbia. There is a towering statue of a nude man called the Victor Monument that stands in the Kalemegdan Park outside. A symbol of Belgrade, this statue has become the most photographed point in the city. But with the historic fort sitting strategically on a ridge above the city, thoughts of bloody wars vanish as you stroll through the park and take in gorgeous views of the Sava and Danube rivers.
Take a walk at Savamala in Belgrade at sunset
The best time to visit the hip district of Savamala is at sunset. Catch the sun going down by the river as you walk towards Benton Hala where all the bars, restaurants and pubs are located. It’s common to spot people fishing as you go by and do admire the street art.