Whilst the people of Serbia are amongst the friendliest I’ve met, they drive like bloody lunatics. Shortly after hopping into our new motor, we witnessed someone reversing down a main road in what can only be described as third gear. He was retreating so quickly that I initially mistook him for a member of the French military.
We only intended to visit Novi Sad on a day trip from Belgrade, but after listening to our friendly hosts at El Diablo hostel, we decided to take their advice and hire a car for a few days to explore the region.
Novi Sad is Serbia’s second city, the capital of the northern autonomous province of Vojvodina, and well known globally for hosting the annual ‘EXIT festival’. I’m far too old and boring to attend something like that, but Novi Sad was still a good place to base ourselves for three nights so that we could drive to the nearby regions of Fruska Gora and Sremski Karlovci.
Renting a car was definitely the way to go for this part of the trip – we picked one up from Zim rentals in Belgrade who were really good, charging us just 30 euro’s per day. Here’s where we took it:
Fruska Gora National Park
I came into Serbia pretty blind without a lot of research, so it was a surprise to find out that Serbia was this green and picturesque! The winding roads in this part of the world were really scenic which made for some great views whilst driving.
A good thing to do in this part of the world is to do a ‘monastery crawl’. Orthodox Christianity is really big in this part of the world, and there are still lots of active monasteries in the area. There are plenty to be found along these roads which are very welcoming of visitors.
They are all laid out in a slightly different style, so it was definitely worth visiting three or four different ones and checking out the different styles.
We heard good things about Sremski Karlovci before we got to Novi Sad; its only a quiet little town outside of Novi Sad but it is well known for its wineries, with four or five wineries next to each other on one of the long streets.
Unfortunately, with us arriving at the end of September we’d left it a bit too late in the season, as everything was closing down for winter and we weren’t able to visit any. Definitely worth calling ahead if you are thinking of popping in at this time of year!
Petrovaradin Fortress is located on the banks of the Danube and makes for some great views across the old town and beyond. It only takes ten minutes or so to walk around the entire fortress, although it took us a bit longer as there were so many good photo spots!
Novi Sad Old Town
The Old town of Novi Sad is pretty cool and a lot more relaxed than Belgrade; we were there for the weekend and during this time a lot of professionals from the capital visit for a city break and bit of relaxation time!
Our final trip at the end of the three days was back into Belgrade to drop our car off and spend one more night in the capital before heading over to Bosnia the next day.
The eight days that we spent in Serbia massively exceeded our expectations so we are looking forward to coming back soon.