Accommodation In Serbia: Where To Stay In Belgrade And Across Serbia In 2019
This 2019 accommodation in Serbia guide was written by Cal Bailey from MountainLeon.com – a travel blog he started after two years backpacking around the world.
Serbia lies on the Balkan Peninsula, a geographical area in southeastern Europe. Although it’s not as globally known as other vacation hotspots in the area, such as Croatia or Montenegro, Serbia’s cultural charm, history, and key summer music festivals make it the perfect destination for your next European trip.
Read on for tips on where to go and where to stay in Belgrade, Nis, the Fruška Gora Mountain and other places to visit in Serbia.
Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, lies at the intersection of the Danube and Sava River and offers an eclectic mix of old and new. Orthodox churches, 19th-century architecture, Art Nouveau buildings, colorful facades, and quaint squares, there’s always something interesting to see.
As well as soaking up plenty of history at the Kalemegdan Fortress, a stroll through the park provides incredible panoramic views and is one of the best places to enjoy the sunset. Then, after seeing all the best Belgrade sights, this is where to stay in Belgrade.
Like any other large city, Belgrade, too, is divided into several smaller districts and municipalities. These are further divided into local communities or neighborhoods. It’s these numerous Belgrade neighborhoods, each with its own distinct character, that makes exploring Belgrade so much fun.
Although there are a bunch of them, there are some that more interesting to visitors than others. Below, you’ll find an overview of the top neighborhoods in Belgrade you should explore during your visit.
Stari Grad (Old Town)
The Old Town is the beating heart of most, if not all, historic European cities. Same goes for Belgrade. This bustling neighborhood is the location of Knez Mihailova Street, Belgrade’s main pedestrian street. Lined with shops, cafes, and galleries, it brings you to many of the city’s most significant highlights.
Start your visit to Belgrade in Stari Grad. Visit the Kalemegdan Citadel, home to a bunch of attractions, including the Belgrade Zoo, the Victor Monument, the Military Museum and the Observatory. From the citadel, you’ll also have a superb view of the confluence of the Sava and Danube Rivers.
Of course, it goes without saying that there’s more food and drinks than you can possibly consume in the Belgrade Old Town, too.
A historically shabby part of town, Savamala has gotten a much-needed uplift in recent decades with the establishment of many bars and nightclubs. In fact, this is one of Belgrade’s hotspots for nightlife and alternative culture. It’s also the location of the Belgrade Waterfront development project, which is a controversial project that aims to transform the neighborhood into a luxurious skyscraper-filled residential area.
Near Savamala lies Kosančićev venac, a beautiful historic quarter characterized by cobbled streets, museums and art galleries. There’s no lack of coffee houses and taverns either, including The Question Mark, which is Belgrade’s oldest traditional restaurant.
For people watching with a cup of coffee, there’s no better Belgrade area than Dorćol. This historic neighborhood used to be an important crossroads and trading area when Serbia was part of the Ottoman Empire. So, it comes as no surprise that there are plenty of great food shops and coffee houses here.
As a previously Bohemian quarter, it was frequented by writers, poets and actors and, nowadays, you can still hang out at so-called “kafanas” or taverns. Additionally, there are a number of fantastic, yet often pricey, restaurants as well. If you’re looking for the best hotels in Belgrade city center, this would be a good area to look into.
Located in the hills just outside the Old Town, the Vračar district is one of the best places in Belgrade to stay and live. It may be the smallest of the city’s municipalities, but it’s definitely interesting.
Here, you’ll find several top places to visit in Belgrade, including the busy Kalenić Market, the National Library and the massive Church of St. Sava. Additionally, this area is also home to the Nikola Tesla Museum, one of Serbia’s greatest museums.
If you’re looking into where to stay in Belgrade, Dedinje probably won’t show up. That is because this is mainly a residential area. As the wealthiest of all neighborhoods in Belgrade, it’s full of chic villas and mansions, some of which belong(ed) to politicians, businesspeople, and diplomats.
Although you might not stay here, it does make for a great place to go for an afternoon wander. While you’re there, don’t miss the Museum of Yugoslav History and the Royal Compound, which is open to the public.
Formerly a separate town, Zemun is now officially part of Belgrade. Yet, long-term residents still consider themselves “independent” from the big city. This is one of the most charming Belgrade neighborhoods, located on the outskirts of the city.
This is where you’ll find excellent fish and seafood restaurants, great views of downtown Belgrade and quaint historic streets. A beautiful waterfront along the Danube River invites visitors and locals alike to go for a walk or jog.
Novi Beograd (New Belgrade)
New Belgrade is a name that wasn’t given for no reason. This area was built on flat wetlands and is entirely different from the Old Town. A testament to the purpose-forward architectural styles that swept the Balkans after World War II, it consists of towering apartment buildings and sprawling residential blocks.
Although concrete and gray dominate the cityscape here, it’s also where you’ll find many of the most exceptional restaurants in the city, as well as other modern establishments. Come summertime, the banks of the Sava River transform into all-night party scenes on river barges. Music lovers will certainly want to check this area out.
Best Hostels In Belgrade
Green House Hostel
With an expansive terrace and great views of the river, the Green House is one of the most popular cheap Belgrade hostels.
San Art Floating Hostel And Apartments
If you’re searching for cheap Belgrade hostels, look no further. Comfortable, inexpensive, and set in a pedestrian zone, this is a great option if you’re looking for a tranquil atmosphere close to the city center.
Best Hotels In Belgrade Serbia
Accommodation in Serbia does not get much better than this! Located in a quiet area and about 2 kilometers from Belgrade’s historic core, Hotel Mint features modern rooms with air conditioning, and free Wifi and parking and reasonable rates.
Garni Hotel Vozarev
This is an ideal base if you’re interested in sightseeing and exploring the old town. It’s about 3 kilometers from the center, but there’s a bus and tram stop just a few minutes away.
This elegant hotel located in a superb spot on Student Square offers high-end dining, style, and character.
Belgrade Art Hotel
Sitting on Knez Mihailova, the main pedestrian area in Belgrade, this classy hotel offers the perfect base for exploring the city. It also has a spa, so you can unwind after a busy day.
IN Hotel Belgrade
Business travelers might want to check out IN Hotel Belgrade. Located in the heart of the financial and business district, it is ideal for business people.
The hotel offers free WiFi, while the rooftop bar has both awesome views and a wide range of drinks.
Garni Hotel Crystal
Situated in a chic residential area, Garni Hotel Crystal is a fantastic base to explore Belgrade. It lies near the stunning Church of St. Sava, and in its vicinity, you’ll find numerous restaurants, bars, shops, and even a beauty salon.
The hotel’s own restaurant specializes in Mediterranean cuisine, while the bar serves a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Free WiFi is available.
Mercure Belgrade Excelsior
The popular Mercure Belgrade Excelsior lies in the middle of the city, opposite from the National Assembly and City Hall.
It’s a stylish place to stay in Belgrade, featuring well-appointed rooms and suites, as well as a bar and modern restaurant. Surrounded by two city parks, it’s a short walk from many attractions, such as Kalemegdan Fortress, plenty of eateries and bars, and the wonderful old quarter of Skadarlija.
Hotel Metropol Palace
For luxury, book yourself a room at the five-star Hotel Metropol Palace, positioned strategically near the very heart of Belgrade. Knez Mihailova Street, for example, is only 10 minutes away on foot.
The hotel itself boasts many modern amenities, ranging from a souvenir shop and free WiFi to a large spa center with a gym, steam bath and sauna.
Housed on a local landmark building in Stari Grad, Hotel Moskva has the perfect location on the city’s main street. Major highlights like the old quarter of Skadarlija, the Church of St. Sava and Republic Square are within easy walking distance.
During your stay here, you can freely use the wellness center, spa, and gym, as well as the WiFi. An a la carte restaurant provides excellent sustenance, while the hotel’s famous pastry shop will satisfy all people with a sweet tooth.
Hotel Constantine Belgrade
Hotel Constantine Belgrade boasts some of the best locations of any of the best Belgrade hotels. It lies near famous attractions such as Knez Mihailova Street and the Botanical Garden as well as Kalemegdan Park, Belgrade Fortress and the historic Skadarlija neighborhood.
The hotel has its own restaurant, the Edict Restaurant, which serves a buffet breakfast and (inter)national dishes. You can kick back at the bar, or conduct business at the meeting rooms.
Hotel City Savoy
Located only a few minutes from Republic Square and other major Belgrade sights, Hotel Savoy Belgrade is blessed with a glorious location in the Belgrade Old Town.
It features numerous amenities and facilities, from free WiFi and private parking nearby (for an extra fee) to a spa, wellness center, on-site restaurant, and car and bicycle rental services.
Novi Sad is the second largest city in Serbia and famous for its domineering landmark, the Petrovaradin Fortress. It’s also home to one of the best music festivals in Europe, EXIT, which is held here every July.
As well as plenty of picturesque spots, it’s the perfect place to hop on a Danube River cruise, visit museums and art galleries, or soak up the atmosphere at one of the many bars and cafés.
Best Hostels In Novi Sad
This is an ideal choice for high-quality, low-cost accommodation. Located in a baroque-style building close to the fortress, the Varad Inn has a lovely garden, communal café, and rooms with private bathrooms.
Close to some of the best bars in town, shops, and restaurants, this hostel is a great place to meet other like-minded travelers in Novi Sad.
Downtown Hostel Novi Sad
Located in the pedestrian zone in the heart of the city, Downtown Hostel is one of the best cheap places to stay in Novi Sad. All major attractions lie a stone’s throw away, including the Cathedral, the Danube River and Danube Park.
The Petrovaradin Fortress, famously home to the EXIT Festival, lies only 15 minutes away on foot. Dorms and rooms come with cabinets, while bathrooms with showers are shared. Free WiFi is available.
Best Hotels In Novi Sad
ARTA Boutique Hotel
With spacious rooms and affordable rates which include a buffet breakfast, the ARTA hotel is close to the center and good for accessing the all the main attractions the city has to offer.
With the choice of both rooms and apartments, this hotel offers excellent breakfasts and is only three blocks away from the main pedestrian street.
This hotel offers affordable luxury with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, spa, gym, lounge bar and an international restaurant.
Hotel Leopold I
Great views of the Danube, a fitness and wellness center, and friendly staff are just a few of the things that make Hotel Leopold I one of the top places to stay in Novi Sad.
Hotel Sheraton Novi Sad
A trusted name in the accommodation industry, Sheraton also has one of its sophisticated hotels in Novi Sad. This four-star hotel features a spa center, sauna, fitness center, and restaurant, as well as a business center.
Garni Hotel Centar
As its name might suggest, Garni Hotel Centar is in the center of Novi Sad. While staying there, you’ll be near points of interest like the Serbian National Theater, the Cathedral, and the Danube River. Amenities at this stylish hotel are modern and include everything you can expect from a four-star hotel.
You can grab breakfast at the morning buffet and wind down in the evening with an aperitif at the bar. Additionally, there’s free WiFi available and even a 24-hour guarded underground parking garage, which is a huge bonus.
Fruška Gora Mountain
Accommodation in Serbia’s Fruška Gora region is just where you need to be for pure relaxation. It is on the border with Croatia and known as “the jewel of Serbia” thanks to its spectacular scenery and relaxed pace.
There are a lot of vineyards and wineries – Serbian wine is not to be missed – and the area is popular for hiking, climbing, and dotted with stunning picnic areas.
As well as the Fruška Gora National Park, it’s well worth visiting the many Orthodox monasteries, which are scattered across the countryside.
Best Hostels In Fruška Gora
Hostel Fruska Gora
There’s not a lot of choices when it comes to hostels in Fruška Gora, but this is a good option if you’re on a tight budget. The location is excellent, and they offer free use of bicycles.
Best Hotels In Fruška Gora
At Aria apartments, you get a lot for your money. Each apartment has a fully-equipped kitchen and guests have access to a terrace, garden, barbecue area, and a pool. You can also rent bikes for free.
Hotel Premier Aqua
This modern five-star hotel provides the perfect starting point for any of the activities offered in Fruška Gora, from wine tasting to hiking. Its thermal settlement also makes it an ideal place to relax.
Etno Naselje Vrdnička Kula
Almost like a small village, this is the place to stay if you’re looking for a green getaway. As well as the onsite wellness area, which features a hot tub and sauna, guests can also use the Premier Aqua’s facilities.
Nis is a university town in the south of the country, known for its relaxed and fun vibe. Some of the most famous spots include the memorial of Constantine the Great and the Niš Fortress. After a busy day filled with sightseeing, the rows of cafés in front of the fortress offer the perfect place for a rest.
Best Hostels In Niš
Just a five-minute walk from the central square, Sweet Hostel has a variety of shared rooms and apartments.
Hostel Day ‘N’ Night
Its central location, comfortable beds, and friendly staff makes this one of the most highly rated hostels in Niš.
Best Hotels In Niš
Located in the heart of Niš, this quirky hotel features modern rooms with paintings from local artists and has numerous bars and restaurants nearby.
Just 300 meters from the bus station, Good Night’s minimalist design and cozy rooms make it a top pick for mid-range hotels.
Best Western Hotel My Place
Located right on the Nišava river and facing the fortress, My Place is the place to stay if you’re looking for affordable luxury. Its restaurant has panoramic views, and breakfast is included in the room rate.
New City Hotel
Positioned centrally within the city, right across from the main square, New City Hotel lies close to various top attractions in town, such as Niš Fortress. Accommodation is available in 12 different rooms with various interiors.
All rooms, however, come with air-conditioning, satellite TV, a desk, mini-bar, and private bathroom. There’s also an on-site restaurant, two spacious multi-functional rooms, as well as free WiFi.
Serbia has varying climates depending on where you decide to venture. So, if you are planning an epic country-wide adventure, you should be ready for different weather conditions depending on the direction in which you travel.
The northern part of Serbia is known to have a continental climate, and that means winters that are cold, but not freezing and summers that can be very hot and humid. Rain in this part of the country is spread evenly across the year.
If you head to central Serbia, you can expect a moderate continental climate, which is a slightly less extreme version of what you will experience in the north.
Heading south, however, you will find winters that experience snowfall, often substantial, with freezing temperatures, before the mercury soars during the summer, with very little rain at this time.
What To Do In Serbia
We have a whole post on the top 50 things to do in Serbia, but here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Explore Nature At Palic
Close to the town of Palic you will find a dedicated and stunning nature park, which is home to a natural spa on the northern section of the Palic Lake. You can spot wildlife until your heart’s content here, with countless species of birds to look for.
Enjoy A Cycling Tour Of Belgrade Sights
If you want to be active and see some sights at the same time, I Bike Belgrade organizes guided cycling tours around the city’s central areas, which means you can get some exercise, see the main highlights, and do it all with the help of a guide.
All you need to do is grab a Belgrade sightseeing map and pedal off on your adventure.
Save Your Legs With The Hop-On Hop-Off Belgrade Sightseeing Bus
A Belgrade top 10 list is never complete without this bus. This is an excellent family-friendly trip around the city, all without giving yourself blisters and hearing the kids moan about all the walking.
Use the hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus to its maximum potential. It has several routes, and you can choose the path that suits your interests, hopping off if you want to explore further, before re-joining the next tour.
Other Accommodations In Europe And The Balkans
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