The sights of Serbia always attract tourists with their originality and unique history. If you love not only good food, health and skiing, but also the amazing ancient cities and shrines, the hospitable Balkans invite you! Excursions in Belgrade and unforgettable experiences await you. What to see in Serbia first? We have compiled a list of the most interesting sights in this country especially for you.
Many guides in Serbia recommend visitors to the country to visit this place. It is the most famous landmark of Serbia - Belgrade Fortress, repeatedly destroyed and finally restored already in the XX century. It was owned by Byzantines, Hungarians and Bulgarians. During the Ottoman rule the fortress belonged to the Turks. The name of the ancient construction (Kalemegdan), built more than 2,000 years ago, is translated from Turkish as “Castle Square. The Turks used to call this place on the banks of the Danube and the Sava, “the hill of reflection. A park has been laid out on the site of the former military barracks. The unique historical museum complex includes Kalemegdan Park, the Upper and Lower Towns. There is also a military museum with innumerable exhibits - different kinds of weapons, from medieval catapults, crossbows, nuclear cannons and self-shooters to modern bombs and missiles. There are also remnants of the Metropolitan Palace, the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the chapel gate of the powder magazine and many towers. One of the symbols of Belgrade, the Monument of Victory over the Turks, rises on the territory of the complex.
Official website: http://www.beogradskatvrdjava.co.rs/
The National Museum of Belgrade, founded in 1844, is dedicated to the history and heritage of the Balkan Peninsula from prehistoric times to the present day. Professional English-speaking guides in Belgrade will tell tourists about the art, history, culture and outstanding personalities of the Balkans. You will learn about the early Neolithic settlements and Ottoman buildings, get acquainted with the fantastic inventions of Nikola Tesla. The main collection of the museum consists of 400 thousand (!) historical, archeological and numismatic items. The rich museum fund is systematized in collections, divided mainly by chronological criteria, but also by the type of artifacts. In the main building of the museum, there is the Gallery of Frescoes, dedicated to the Serbian and Byzantine medieval art. On the territory of this attraction in Serbia you will be shown the archaeological remains of the Balkan Mesolithic and Neolithic cultures from the 6th millennium BC.
Official site: http://www.narodnimuzej.rs/en/
If you’re into mysticism, be sure to go to Devil’s Town. This slightly eerie place is located in the south of the country, not far from Kosovo. They say it’s a must-see in Serbia, otherwise you’ll just regret missing the chance. The unusual pillars in the middle of the forest and the “blood” water flowing around it, both scare and beckon anyone who is hunting for a new experience. The intricate shapes of the rocks suggest to locals and visitors of this place the idea of the existence of evil spirits. It is said that this place has magical powers. Around Devil’s Town there are remnants of ancient mines, where more than once the unfortunate workers were swamped. At night there are often seen mysterious twinkling lights. Officially, it is a national park and one of the trademarks of Serbia. Climbing up the stairs to several viewing platforms, you will discern mesmerizing fantastic rocks, constantly changing their shapes, from different angles. It would seem that there is no place for church buildings in the “devilish” city, but as you stroll through the park, you are sure to come across a chapel and be convinced that God has penetrated into this strange place as well.
Official website: http://www.djavoljavaros.com
Fruska Gora has acquired the status of a national park because of the huge number of rare trees and shrubs. On 22,000 hectares of forests there are roe deer, deer and birds. On the place of Fruska Gora, which is located sixteen kilometers from Novi Sad, until 1941 there were about thirty monasteries. To date, 17 of them have been partially restored. If you are looking for something to visit in Serbia and spend a couple of days relaxing and enjoying the nature of the Balkans, go here. People come to the park with tents for family vacations, roasting kebabs, taking pictures in nature. Numerous restaurants and cozy cafes, which you can find by following the signs, offer the guests delicious Serbian cuisine. You can rent a hotel in the park and spend a weekend here, visiting local monasteries and resting from the hustle and bustle of the cities. You should take souvenirs from the local shops as a memento of this unique Serbian site.
Official website: http://www.npfruskagora.co.rs
When choosing the most interesting sights in Serbia to visit, go to the Nikola Tesla Museum, which opened in Belgrade in 1952. It is entirely dedicated to the life and inventions of the famous engineer, a genius of the 20th century, who almost became a priest. This museum is now the only place where it is possible to see the original documents and personal effects of the inventor, who was ahead of his time. They were given to Belgrade after Tesla’s death according to his will. Without Tesla’s revolutionary ideas, which were later brought to life, our world might have been quite different. The main development of the scientist was the transmission of alternating current energy over long distances. Today it is used in power lines, electric generators, electric motors. Streetcars, trolleybuses, electric cars, subways, wireless remote controls are all available, thanks to the genius of the scientist. The museum presents many models of devices invented by Nikola Tesla. Tourists here are shown films about the great scientist who “illuminated our world” and the “lord of lightning”, give the opportunity to repeat some of the inventor’s experiments.
Official site: http://www.nikolateslamuseum.org
Tourists wondering what to see in Serbia can go to the Resavska cave, located in eastern Serbia, 20 km from the town of Despotovac. It is located on a limestone hill 485 meters high. Some say it is more than 45 million years old, while others believe it is twice as old. Its formation began even before the Great Ice Age, due to the chemical and mechanical action of the underground river through the limestone rocks. The cave was discovered only in 1962 and opened to the public in 1972, although shepherds with their sheep had taken refuge here in bad weather even earlier. The temperature in the cave is constant (- 7 ° C), while the humidity reaches 80 - 100%. Lime formations begin at the very entrance. Visitors move through the cave along a spiral concrete path. The path passes through various halls on two levels (upper and lower galleries). The bottom of the cave passes at an altitude of - 405 m. In the upper gallery, four rooms are open for visits. In the third hall, the Vestibule of History, tools (stone axe and spears), a skull of an arctic fox and a prehistoric fireplace were found. The cave is included in the 11-hectare protected natural monument area.
Searching for information about what to visit in Serbia and really be surprised by the strangeness of what you see, don’t miss the materials about Drwengrad. This ethno-village was built very recently, in 2004, by a man who wanted to live in the city of his dreams - Emir Kusturica himself. Drwengrad is not on any map and even many Serbs do not know about this miracle. You can get here by a retro train, which appeared in the director’s film “Life as a Miracle”. The speed of this car is only 30 km/h, so tourists have plenty of time to admire the nature of the Balkans. Getting off at the station Mokra Gora, they get to Drwengrad. The rumor that the houses here are built without a single nail is just a myth, so the place looks much more comfortable than an ordinary Balkan village. Here Kusturica receives tourists, holds festivals and loudly declares his views. The streets and houses of the “city of dreams” are named after prominent people. Among them are the house of Dostoevsky and the street of Tarkovsky. Walking along the wooden bridge of the ethno-village, you can meet colorful Serbian grandmothers, offering tourists products made of sheep’s wool.
Any tours in Serbia consider this site as a valuable point in tourist itineraries. The monastery of Zika (Zica), built at the beginning of the 13th century, can be called a truly unique historical site. It was here that Stefan was crowned as the first autocrat of the country, and Serbia became a kingdom. According to the legend, a total of seven rulers of the country were crowned here. Once the ceremony was over, the doors through which the new king passed were immediately bricked up forever. Today the church of the Holy Savior reminds the visitors with its scarlet color and splendor of the invincibility of the Christian spirit, who gave their lives for their faith and willingly shed their blood for Serbia. It is also where the church was built under Bishop Nikola Velimirovic, and where during the renovation was discovered a fresco with the image of martyr Nicholas II, done fifty years before the official canonization of the murdered Russian tsar. Over several centuries the monastery has undergone many disasters. Its buildings were constantly plundered, burned by the Turks; it was almost destroyed by the Nazis. In 1987, part of the walls collapsed due to earthquake tremors. In 1999, the NATO bombing of the monastery almost destroyed it completely. However, the monastery survived, gaining the status of a Serbian landmark. Now, more than 40 nuns live in it.
Among the green hills of the bright Resava Gorge, surrounded by the magnificent towers of the medieval fortress, is the Monastery of Manasija, built in the best traditions of Serbian architecture. The history of the holy place goes back to 1407. At that time, the ruler of the country, Stefan Lazarevic, decided to build a quiet, secluded house for rest. The result was a magnificent monastery complex of a fortress of 12 surrounding towers. Protected from the wind and weather by high hills, surrounded by beautiful nature, the monastery became a true pearl of Serbian architecture, culture and art. During more than 600 years of its existence, the monastery was destroyed many times. The most careful restoration was done in 1956, but works on restoring the unique frescos are still going on. Today you will see scenes from the lives of Jesus Christ and the apostles, the faces of the prophets of the Old Testament, the image of Stephen himself with a scepter in one hand and a small model of the monastery in the other. Like many other places of interest in Serbia, the monastery has become an important cultural monument.
Official website: http://manasija.rs
Customers who have asked tour operators what to see in Serbia from the fortresses will certainly be advised to go to Novi Sad and visit Petrovaradin. This is the biggest fortress in Europe, fully built only at the end of the XVII century - the works lasted almost a century. As a result, there was a very powerful complex with thick walls, towers, terraces, hidden loopholes, underground passages and galleries. On the most prominent place in the open square, the famous clock was built, which always showed the exact time. By them the captains of ships passing on the Danube were guided. It has become the trademark of the fortress - the tourists who come to see the sights of Serbia are necessarily photographed against it. There is a museum and a military hospital in Petrovaradin. The peculiarity of the structure are numerous shelters, wells and labyrinths, invented for the sake of protection of the fortress. These tunnels form a labyrinth that is up to 20 km deep. The underground part of the fortress even today is ready to serve as a shelter for 30,000 people. Today, a rock and pop music festival is held on the upper grounds of the complex during the summer.
The Smederevo fortress was erected back in the 15th century. It is said that the idea for its construction belonged to a woman, but that information seems to be only a beautiful legend. The huge fortress to defend the town of Smederevo, which was at that time practically the capital of the country, was built very quickly. It required extremely strenuous efforts, and the workers were exhausted to death, calling the construction site and the Serbian ruler’s wife, who ordered the work to be accelerated, “cursed.” Today, the fortress is a masterpiece of Serbian medieval architecture. Constant excavations are being conducted on its territory. Not so long ago, the tomb of an unknown noble lady, adorned with jewels, was unearthed in the basements of the buildings. To this day, many adventurers are engaged in the search for hidden (according to legend) in the walls of the fortress treasure. If you are an adventurer looking for treasures in Serbia with a mysterious past, you should try your luck in the treasure hunt here. The Smederevo fortress will interest even those who are indifferent to history. In summer, shows and parties are held there, and the mysticism of the place turns them into unforgettable events. Smederevo is not far from Belgrade, and you can get here by bus.
Official website: http://www.smederevskatvrdjava.com
In the village of Sirohaino, 26 kilometers from Zlatibor (the center for tourists), there is an open-air museum called Staro Selo. Work on its construction began in 1979. Old log houses were brought here from all over Zlatibor. The museum is two groups of houses. The first includes the old, unrestored structures that have retained their original appearance. There is also a shepherd’s lodge - a small wooden house with a fireplace, a room for storing milk products and a bed for the shepherds to rest. The second group of buildings - a hall, a souvenir store, a hotel, houses for accommodation - offers everyone who is looking for something to see in Serbia to rest, relax and buy souvenirs in comfort. Exhibitions, seminars, literary meetings, theater performances and concerts are held in the hall and on the summer stage. Local exhibitions sell antique handmade items and copies of museum pieces made by rural artisans. The restaurant offers specialty dishes cooked the old-fashioned way. The local blacksmith and pottery workshops hold lectures about these crafts in the summer. The church of St. Peter and Paul, built back in 1764, has also become part of the open-air museum.
Official website: http://www.sirogojno.rs/en
Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to the Tara National Park near Bosnia, just outside the village of Kusturica, every year. From the observation deck of Banjska Stena there is a marvelous view of the mountains and the winding Drina River and dense forests. If you want to spend a day on the full tour of this interesting site in Serbia, then you will have the unique opportunity to take a closer look at the caves, gorges and canyons of the place, walk through the woods and maybe even meet some roe deer or chamois. If you don’t have enough time, stay in inexpensive apartments or hotels, or even pitch a tent right in the reserve itself. However, the latter option may not be safe - there are bears living in the forests here, as signs on the trees warn of. The park is known for its beautiful peaks, dense forests and deep caves, impressive waterfalls and noisy mountain rivers. In summer tourists can go rafting and water sports here, and in winter they can go skiing. Children are offered recreation in the camp complex Mitrovac.
Official website: http://www.nptara.rs
The Orthodox church of St. Sava, larger than the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, is still unfinished. The construction of this beautiful edifice, begun in the 16th century, was repeatedly interrupted by wars. Choosing what to visit in Serbia first, you will come here later anyway. Every day at noon in Belgrade you can hear the ringing of its fifty bells. The walls of the temple bring together tens of thousands of believers, and its sacred spirit is protecting the sky over Belgrade. The biggest orthodox temple in the Balkans is a true expression of grandeur and Christian splendor. The 82 meter high building is crowned with a 70 meter high dome and a 12 meter gilded cross. The central dome weighs 4,000 tons and took 40 days to lift. It is planned that after the completion of the temple, its interior will be decorated with many mosaics, and on the central dome will be placed the face of Christ Pantocrator. The surface of the temple is covered with white marble and granite, but the magnificence of this Serbian temple is not in its size, but in its spiritual significance for the Balkan people. St. Sava’s Church has become a beacon of faith, spirituality, culture and freedom. Here every needy person will be supported, sharing their joy and sorrow.
Official website: http://hramsvetogsave.rs/ru/
Even before you start sightseeing in Serbia, you will encounter the most modern of them all - the Aviation Museum, located near the Nikola Tesla Airport. The construction of a large and complex building with the surface of more than 10,700 square meters in the shape of an exotic space mushroom began in the 1970s, but the museum itself was not opened until 1989. Next to the museum, gliders and airplanes, including those shot down during the 1999 war, are on display. Its halls contain models of aircraft and photographs of wrecks and air battles. Visitors are always interested in exhibitions of real airplanes, aircraft engines, and documents that testify to the development of national and international aviation in the 20th century. At the entrance to the main exhibition stands an airplane from 1909. Experts think: the most valuable exhibits here are fighters and bombers, including - German Messerschmitt ME-109, Focke-Wulf 190, Russian Yak-3 and IL-2, American B-47 Thunderbolt, Italian Fiat G.50. The museum’s vaults and library hold thousands of books and documents about aviation.
Official website: http://www.museumofaviation.org/
Friendly Serbia, whose capital is famous for its historical monuments, allows you to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Middle Ages for a while. Among the most important sites in the capital are the Belgrade Fortress, Knez Mihailova Street and Skadarska Street, along which there is an entire neighborhood, Authentic Skadarlija. When you arrive at this cobblestone street, it’s as if you are transported back in time a few centuries ago. Walking along the stone path, on both sides you can find antique stores, art galleries and other institutions dedicated to art, and right in the streets people of the creative professions organize entire exhibitions of their works.
Serbia, whose map is a must have for every true traveler, has the most diverse sights. Among them are unique natural sites such as Ada Ciganlija, Belgrade. Once it was an island in the middle of the Sava River, but later it was artificially turned into a peninsula, which became a favorite place of rest and escape from the heat. Unique is the fact that now this peninsula even has its own lake and a wide pebble beach, all created by man. The humidity here is high, and the temperatures are, on the contrary, kept lower than the average daily mark on the rest of the land. The lake has facilities for swimming and diving, as well as a number of sports facilities.
Official website: https://www.adaciganlija
The real tourist attraction is the one on Mount Cegar, where in 1809 in a battle the Serbian insurgents were defeated by the Ottoman troops. As a sign of their victory, the Turks had a tower erected on the mountain, and its walls were covered with the skulls of slain and decapitated Serbs. The tower was to serve as a warning to all who tried to rebel against Ottoman rule. Today the Tower of Skulls is an object of exceptional historical significance for Serbia, subject to state protection. This tragic monument, 3.5 meters high, consisted of 952 skulls, but today only 58 of them remain.
On the Serbian-Romanian border, there is a picturesque nature reserve, which impresses with its beauty and richness. The Djerdap gorge is a real treasure house of nature, where the biodiversity of the mountainous landscape is complemented by unique historical monuments, such as the Mesolithic hunters’ camps, remains of Roman fortifications and an antique bridge. In the depths of the gorge, steep banks of which are beautifully vegetated, the Danube River flows. The most interesting part of the gorge is the territory of Gerap National Park. It is here, in the so-called Iron Gate, that the river narrows and passes through a narrow isthmus, reaching as much as 90 meters in depth.
The predominant religion in Serbia, as in Russia, is Orthodox Christianity. Monasticism is a solid foundation of the Serbian faith, which is why the role of monasteries in Serbia is so great. One of the best examples of that is the monastery of Studenica. This place is amazing for its spiritual power that has been unshaken for eight centuries. The founding year of the monastery is believed to be 1186, and its founder was Serbian Prince Stefan Nemanja. The monastery complex is situated on a wide glade, on one of the banks of the Studenica river. Its unique architecture, which combines Romanesque and Byzantine styles, and the old interior decoration made the monastery a part of the world heritage. Among the shrines are portions of many God-pleasing saints, including St. Nicholas the Wonderworker.
Official website: http://www.manastirstudenica
Hospitable Serbia, which will require a visa for a long tourist tour, simply does not leave a chance to return from a trip quickly - because so many interesting places are sometimes difficult to cover in the limited framework of the vacation. A visit to the major national parks of Jerdap or Shar-Planina is worth a visit. Shar-Planina National Park stretches over an area of 39 hectares. This vast area combines a large number of ecosystems, characteristic landscape and a huge variety of flora and fauna. For example, about 150 species of butterflies, over 200 species of birds, as well as bears, lynxes, martens, and chamois inhabit these territories. And there are also some monasteries, tombs and monastic hermitages functioning here to this day.
The monastery of SopoCani, with its Church of the Holy Trinity, was founded in the 13th century by King Uros I as a tomb for the royal family. The complex got its name from the spring near where it was built. At the best of times the monastery included monastic cells, dining room, stone wall surrounding the complex. During the 14th century Turkish invasions the monastery was put to fire, later on it was restored, but in the period of new rebellions against the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century it was destroyed again, after which it remained in ruins for 4 centuries. This could not but affect the condition of the monastery, but its priceless element remained intact - the temple of the Holy Trinity with its frescos reflecting biblical subjects and purely Serbian motifs.
Palace of Princess Ljubica - former residence of the spouse of Prince Milos Obrenović, Princess Ljubica and her sons. The reconstructed interiors of the rooms are furnished in a variety of styles, which were popular in Serbia in the century before last. It gives an idea of how members of princely families lived. The museum has an interactive guided tour “Coffee with Princess Ljubica”, where one can learn in detail about the lives of members of the Obrenović dynasty.
37 kilometers northeast of Kragujevac, near the town of Velika Plana is an extraordinary monastery in wood, which is one of the few monuments of wooden architecture. The church of the monastery was erected in 1818 by Prince Vujica Vulicevic, and is dedicated to carrying the relics of St. Nicholas. The very name “Pokajnica” symbolizes the act of repentance of the Prince of Smeredevo, who shortly before the foundation of the temple became an accomplice in the murder of his godfather Karadjordje. The church was a parish church until the mid-20th century, and then a monastery was established here. A few more years later Pocainitsa was officially included in the list of sites of exceptional historical significance.
Whatever your itinerary, it is worth visiting the most beautiful cities of Serbia, or at least some of them - their splendor will surely leave a vivid memory of the trip. One such city is Nis, a place known for its stunning historical monuments. Among them are medieval temples, towers and fortresses. Thus, the fortress of Nis is an important cultural and historical site that has become a symbol of the entire city. It was built by the Turks in the 18th century - during the Ottoman rule, and the foundation was an old fortress, left by the Romans. Nowadays on the territory of the fortress there is a cozy shady park, and from the hill, on which it stands, you can observe the panorama of the city.
Tours in Serbia are remarkable because while traveling through the country, sometimes it’s enough to leave the route in any direction, and you’re sure to find some historical landmarks - so rich is the history of the Balkan lands. Not far from the town of ZajeCar in a place called Gamzigrad there is an entire archaeological park - the ruins of the Roman city Felix Romuliana. Once there was a magnificent palace ensemble, built by the Romans at the turn of the 3rd and 4th centuries. Today, only its remains can be seen on these grounds. It was on this ground that the last Roman emperor was buried. All the relief elements of the facade decorations symbolize immortality and are meant to immortalize the glorious name of the ruler.
Some interesting places on the Balkan Peninsula are worth visiting, if only to learn their glorious, centuries-long history. Among them is Gazimestan, a medieval tower, which has become a memorial that reminds us of the bloody events of the Battle of Kosovo in the 14th century. It can be said that this battle changed the course of history, not only for Serbia, but for the entire Balkans. Here, the joint armies of the Balkan states, under the command of Serbian Prince Lazar, stopped the offensive of the troops of Turkish Sultan Murad I with heavy losses. This field was the place of death of Lazarus and most of his soldiers. The stele, which became a symbol of Balkan confrontation with the Ottoman Empire, is located 5 km northeast of Pristina.
There are places in Serbia that are beautiful in their own way at any time of the year. Serbia in January is famous for its balneotherapy resorts, where in the warm thermal waters you can get warm even in winter. Vrnjacka Banja is one of the health resorts, where one comes for a relaxing vacation and, of course, to improve one’s health. Winter here is fairly mild, without severe cold, and the beautiful views of the mountainous terrain dispose to rest in January. It is noteworthy that the temperature of thermal springs located here throughout the year is 36.5 degrees, which fully corresponds to the temperature of the human body. The resort has a developed European infrastructure - it has everything not only for the treatment, but also for a good rest: hotels, restaurants, stores and souvenir shops.
Serbia offers its guests not only cultural but also health-improving vacation. Where to swim - such a question does not arise for those who already know how rich is the land of this country with thermal waters. Dozens of healing springs gush out from the ground, forming whole pools of healing water. Over two dozen therapeutic resorts were founded in the country on the springs, among which is Sokobanya resort. This is a major health center, whose main specialization is the treatment and rehabilitation of pulmonary diseases. The surrounding areas of the resort are literally buried in verdure, so the air there is extremely rich in ozone. The impression is complemented by amazingly beautiful views of the mountainous terrain.
Serbian monuments of history, culture and nature are so diverse that every visitor to the country can choose the most attractive sights of Serbia. The presentation of this review ends with another interesting site - the narrow gauge railroad, which goes right through the rock. At the beginning of the last century, the construction of this road began in the Shargan Mountain, and its goal was to connect Serbia with Bosnia. Through strenuous work, they had driven almost 16 kilometers through the solid rock, and to cope with the altitude difference, they had built the road along the slope in a figure-of-eight curve. Today, this narrow gauge railway has become one of the most popular routes in the country. Not far from Serbia in the west lies Croatia, the country of a thousand islands. While in Serbia, how about visiting this extraordinarily beautiful country as well? Read about sights of Croatia and get inspired for your next trip to Europe!