25 Epic Things To Do In Novi Sad Serbia That We Loved

Chasing the Donkey may include affiliate links - if you decide to make a purchase through these links, we receive a commission without any additional cost to you. Disclaimer & privacy policy.
Post author Guru

Written by our local expert Guru

Written by a local specialist we know and trust to bring you the most up-to-date travel information.

Written by travel writer Sam Ross from The Hammock Hombre & the Chasing the Donkey team.

Here are the best things to do in Novia Sad, Serbia, for every type of traveler. We’ve covered a dozen Novi Sad attractions to keep you busy.

Serbia Travel Blog_Epic Guide To Novi Sad

Tourists who visit Serbia tend to make the same mistake: they’ll go to Belgrade but skip Novi Sad. Or they’ll make just a day trip from Belgrade to Novi Sad, which, in my opinion, isn’t enough time to explore this remarkable Serbian city—just an hour’s ride from the capital city.

How could you miss the “Athens of Serbia,” the 2019 European Youth Capital, and the 2021 European Capital of Culture?

With its grandiose architecture, vibrant art and music scene, and welcoming locals, Novi Sad is a no-brainer. Rent a car, pack your travel essentials, and come. I think it’s an absolute must-visit city in Serbia.

Below, we have written all the Novi Sad travel advice we think you’ll need to have a grand time exploring this top Serbian city.

Best Active Attractions In Novi Sad

Are you still wondering what to do in Novi Sad? Here is a list of tourist attractions that make it worth visiting for those who like a little action in their travel day.

1. Join A Free Walking Tour

If you’ve only got a day to visit Nova Sad, this is the best way to find all the famous places in Novi Sad. Free walking tours help you find and see all the key attractions while hearing insider stories from your tour guide.

2. Visit The Cathedral

Though not technically a cathedral, locals fondly refer to it as “the Cathedral.” Decorated with bright, colorful tiles on its roof, the Cathedral is a sight that’s impossible to miss, especially under the Novi Sad sun.

Wander Liberty Square afterward to snap some unique shots and see other interesting Novi Sad attractions:

  • The Neo-Renaissance-style Town Hall
  • Tanurdžić palace
  • The Monument to Svetozar Miletić

3. Stroll Through Dunavska Street And Danube Park (Dunavski Park)

Serbia Travel Blog_Things to do in Serbia_A Local's Guide to Novi Sad_Dunavska Street Facade
Dunavska Street Facade. Photo Credit: Byron Howes

In Novi Sad city center is Dunavska Street, a quaint, charming, nostalgic, and romantic street. This vibrant street is filled with unique facades, old-fashioned craft shops, a bustling marketplace, and gorgeous architecture, all feeling very much like the 19th century.

Danube Park, a green haven within the city, is not far from this magical street. This is undoubtedly the place to be, with more than a hundred benches, a peaceful lake with swans and ducks, and beautiful monuments. Covered with endless greenery, Danube Park is the perfect spot to breathe fresh air and enjoy nature’s serenity.

4. Play Picigen At Štrand beach

A guy playing Picigin

Joining locals for a round of Picigen at Strand beach, a traditional sandy beach game resembling volleyball, is a fun and unique way to mingle with residents. Often played along the banks of the Danube, it provides a peek into the local life and the city’s spirited vibe.

It’s a lighthearted, engaging way to enjoy the city’s riverbank, absorb the lively energy, and perhaps make a few local friends along the way.

5. Varadinska Duga Bridge & The Petrovaradin Fortress

Petrovaradin Fortress and cityscape with Danube river in Novi Sad, Serbia

After enjoying the beauty of Danube Park, make your way to the Varadinska Duga Bridge, which is connected to the famed Petrovaradin Fortress, the number one tourist spot in Novi Sad. This bridge can be crossed on foot and is a worthy activity on its own! If you cross it at night, it will be illuminated in rainbow colors.

The Petrovaradin Fortress is famous for never being infiltrated by an enemy army. To appreciate the fortress’s history best, go with a tour guide who can explain the story behind it. If you’re lucky, they’ll also take you through the underground tunnels that are part of the fortress that were used during the war.

EXIT Festival

If you’re a music fan you may like to know that the EXIT Festival is held at the Petrovaradin Fortress. This historic fortress provides a unique and picturesque backdrop for the festival, which is one of the biggest music festivals in Europe and attracts visitors from all over the globe.

6. Climb To The Drunken Clock Tower

Clocktower in Petrovaradin fortress - Novi Sad Serbia - architecture travel background

Located at the top of the Petrovaradin Fortress, this is a must-see Novi Sad attraction for those who like a good vantage point.  Once you reach the top, you will find the “Drunken Clock,” named as such because its shorthand shows the minutes and its longhand the hours, which made telling time easier for sailors on the Danube back in the day. Additionally, the clock is known to speed up in warm weather and slow down in the cold. 

You can access the clock via stairs outside the fortress, and the climb is worth the panoramic view of Novi Sad from the top! Local artists often sell and display their works near the clock tower. 

7. Climb The Fruška Gora Mountain

Fruška Gora National Park - Best Day Trips from Belgrade, Serbia
Fruška Gora National Park – Photo Credit

The Fruska Gora Mountain promises a pleasant hike for hiking enthusiasts and a chance to enjoy nature fully.

8. Take A Monastery And Wine Tour Just Outside Novi Sad

Just a fifteen-minute drive away, you’ll find places to visit in Novi Sad for history and wine buffs. It is here that you discover countless monasteries and local wineries. Krušedol is a particularly well-loved winery as it sells homemade honey, the famous Balkans moonshine named rajika, and wine made by the monks themselves.

9. Petrovaradin Fortress Catacombs

Delving into the catacombs of Petrovaradin Fortress takes you on a thrilling journey through a network of underground tunnels and rooms. Originally built for military purposes, these catacombs have evolved to fascinate visitors with their mysterious allure and historical significance.

Embarking on a guided tour here will unveil stories of the past, hidden beneath one of Novi Sad’s most iconic landmarks.

10. Wine Tasting In Sremski Karlovci

A short trip to Sremski Karlovci from Novi Sad offers a delightful escape to one of Serbia’s renowned wine regions. This charming town invites visitors to explore its lush vineyards, participate in wine-tasting sessions, and learn about the rich tradition of winemaking in the region.

Exploring the cellars, savoring the local wines, and absorbing the serene landscapes of Sremski Karlovci provide a delightful and palate-pleasing excursion.

11. Go Shopping

While in Novi Sad, visit some of these places and indulge in some shopping to pick up a souvenir or two:

  • Zlatara As Or The Shops Along Zeleznička: Cheaper, high-quality jewelry
  • The Manual Company Or Zmaj Jovina Street,18: Top-notch luxury leather goods
  • Mercator: A shopping mall for all your needs
  • Futoška Pijaca And Riblja Pijaca: Open public markets with cheap clothes, fresh produce, and Hungarian groceries
  • Limanska Market: Fresh produce, smoked sausages, dried meat, cheese, and kajmak

12. Artist’s Ateliers at Petrovaradin Tvrdjava

Petrovaradin Tvrdjava is a historic fortress and a thriving hub of contemporary art and culture. The lower town is dotted with numerous artist ateliers, where you can explore the vibrant local art scene, interact with artists, and even purchase unique souvenirs.

Wandering through these ateliers provides a fascinating insight into the city’s modern creative expressions while being enveloped by its historical ambiance.

13. Walk Along The Strand

Novi Sad Beach on the Danube. Photo Credit: Nick Savchenko

Lined with stalls, bars, and various activities, the Strand is the perfect beach to have yourself a good time. The Strand is a popular spot to be if you’re looking for Novi Sad’s nightlife.

14. Liberty Square – Main Square

Novi Sad - Best Day Trips from Belgrade, Serbia

Liberty Square, or Trg Slobode, is one of the central and most beautiful areas in Novi Sad. It’s a bustling spot where historical architecture meets the lively energy of city life, making it a must-visit for any traveler.

The impressive City Hall and the stunning Name of Mary Church bookend the square, providing a splendid backdrop to numerous cultural events, festivals, and casual strolls.

15. Zmaj Jovina And Dunavska Street

Zmaj Jovina and Dunavska Street offer a delightful stroll through the vibrant history and modern allure of Novi Sad. Both streets, while distinct in their charm, represent the pulsating life of the city, offering a beautiful blend of historical architecture, local shops, and quaint cafes.

Whether you’re exploring local boutiques, savoring Serbian cuisine, or simply people-watching, these streets offer a lively and authentic experience of the city.

16. Monument To The Victims Of The Raid

The Monument to the Victims of the Raid is a somber and important reminder of Novi Sad’s painful history during World War II. The monument honors the innocent lives lost during the Hungarian occupation, serving as a place for reflection and remembrance.

Visiting here allows you to pay respects, understand the depth of the city’s past, and appreciate the resilience and spirit of its people.

Brands We Use And Trust


Where To Find The Best Arts & Culture In Novi Sad

Are you looking for Novi Sad activities of the artsy type? If so, read on…

17. Appreciate Art At The Foreign Art Collection

Found in the City Museum of Novi Sad, the Foreign Art Collection houses Serbia’s largest international art collection. You could spend a whole day here immersed in the art and culture of art lovers.

18. Visit The Museum Of Vojvodina

This art and natural history museum is perfect for those seeking a deeper understanding of Serbia.

19. Museum Of Contemporary Art

This fascinating Museum of Contemporary Art is within walking distance of the Museum of Vojvodina. This museum celebrates the region’s modern works of art and culture with a mission to preserve these unique contributions to the art community. 

20. Festival of Street Performers

The Festival of Street Performers in Novi Sad is a vibrant event where the streets come alive with artists, musicians, and performers, creating a dynamic and colorful atmosphere. From acrobats to musicians, the variety is boundless, and the city transforms into a massive stage where creativity knows no bounds.

This festival provides a fantastic opportunity to witness eclectic performances, engage with the city’s cultural scene, and enjoy a myriad of entertaining acts that delight and surprise in equal measure.

21. Experience Jazz And Blues At The Foxtrot Club

Novi Sad has a long history of jazz and blues music and is the most iconic place to enjoy a drink and listen to the smooth tunes of the Foxtrot Club. It’s an experience that should be on every itinerary in the city!

22. Attend The Festival Of Street Musicians

If you find yourself in the city in early September, enjoy the performers who bring acrobatics, dances, and street shows featuring all types of unique instruments to the streets. This annual festival is free, and the colorful performances can be viewed at the base of the Petrovaradin Fortress.

23. Concert At The Novi Sad Synagogue

Attending a concert at the Novi Sad Synagogue is a musical delight and an experience steeped in rich history and splendid architecture. Renowned for its exceptional acoustics and stunning interior, the Synagogue hosts a plethora of events, from classical concerts to vibrant cultural festivals.

Immerse yourself in enchanting melodies, surrounded by the splendid ambiance of one of Novi Sad’s architectural gems.

24. Kill Some Time At Bulevar Books

Bulevar Books is a fun shop for avid readers, making it an excellent stop for music lovers. Live bands often play on the weekends in the shop, making the atmosphere quite chill. 

25. Omladinski Centar CK13

Omladinski Centar CK13 is a youth center and a unique cultural hub in Novi Sad, offering various events, workshops, and social activities. From engaging talks to vibrant concerts, CK13 is dedicated to nurturing creativity, social activism, and cultural exchange among the youth and the wider community.

Spending time here allows you to delve into the city’s contemporary cultural and social scenes, perhaps providing new perspectives and inspiring conversations.

Best Time To Visit Nova Sad Serbia

Novi Sad experiences warm summers and relatively cold winters like the rest of Serbia. In July and August, temperatures reach up to 81°F, while January and February can get as cold as 27°F. Because of this, we recommend visiting in the spring and fall.

How To Get To Novi Sad Serbia From Belgrade

Novi Sad Serbia

Novi Sad is connected to all other major Serbian cities, and the fastest way to get there is by bus. The most common route is from Belgrade, which is only an hour away. You can also take the train from Belgrade, which takes about an hour and a half.

Where To Stay In Novi Sad

Now you’ve got your list of what to do in Novi Sad; it is time to look at the best places to stay. Novi Sad offers some of the best hostels you’ll ever find for backpackers and budget travelers. Many apartment-sized hotel rooms come at very affordable prices.

Best Hostels In Novi Sad

Serbia Travel Blog_Guide To Novi Sad_Downtown Hostel Novi Sad
Photo Credit: Downtown Hostel Novi Sad
  • Varad Inn: This accommodation in Novi Sad is a top 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
  • Hostel Sova: This hostel is a great place to meet other like-minded travelers in Novi Sad, close to some of the best bars in town, shops, and restaurants
  • Downtown Hostel Novi Sad: Located in the pedestrian zone in the city’s heart, Downtown Hostel is one of the best cheap places to stay in Novi Sad. All major attractions, including the Cathedral of the banks of the Danube River and Danube Park, lie a stone’s throw away. The Petrovaradin Fortress, famously home to the EXIT Music 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

Serbia Travel Blog_Where to Stay in Novi Sad_Garni Hotel Centar
Photo Credit: Garni Hotel Centar
  • ARTA Boutique Hotel: With spacious rooms and affordable rates, including buffet breakfast, the ARTA hotel is close to the center and suitable for accessing all the city’s main attractions
  • CitiHotel Veliki: With the choice of both rooms and apartments, this hotel offers excellent breakfasts and is only three blocks from the main pedestrian street
  • Prezident Hotel: This hotel offers affordable luxury with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a spa, a gym, a lounge bar, and an international restaurant
  • Hotel Leopold: 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 SadA 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, restaurant, and business center
  • Garni Hotel CentarAs its name might suggest, Garni Hotel Centar is in the center of Novi Sad. While staying there, the amenities at this stylish hotel are modern and include everything you can expect from a four-star hotel. You’ll be near points of interest like the Serbian National Theater, the Cathedral, and the Danube River. You can grab breakfast at the morning buffet and wind down in the evening with an aperitif at the bar. There’s also free WiFi and even a 24-hour guarded underground parking garage, which is a huge bonus.

Where & What To Eat In Novi Sad

Serbia Travel Blog_Things to do in Serbia_Local's Guide to Novi Sad_Where to eat in Novi Sad
Photo Credit: Aqua Doria
  • Savoca Picerijia: The best pizza in town
  • Fish & Zelenis: Mediterranean fine dining
  • Aqua Doria: A great restaurant to discover local cuisine
  • Ananda: Cheap and delicious European food
  • Toster Bar: Great burgers that will satisfy your stomach and your wallet
  • Bistronomija: Have a taste of French and European food

While in Novi Sad, find some ćevapčići, which are Balkan sausages. You can easily find this in any barbecue restaurant across Serbia.

Also, don’t miss trying the famous Index Sandwich, a popular street food you can find at Vanessa’s or Maja’s.

Novi Sad’s Nightlife

Serbia Travel Blog_Things to do in Serbia_A Local's Guide to Novi Sad_Pub Two Dogs
Photo Credit: Pub Two Dogs

After you have found all the key landmarks in Novi Sad, it is time to unwind…

Best Bars

As mentioned earlier, the Strand is where the party’s at, but Novi Sad has a few other bars that will also guarantee a good time:

  • Pub Two Dogs
  • Skripba Pub
  • Gerila Bar
  • Pub Lazino Tele
  • Martha’s Pub
  • The Quarter

Best Nightlife Experiences

Tamburitza and Wine

The Tamburitza is the national instrument of Vojvodina (an autonomous province that occupies the northernmost part of Serbia), and a night out in Novi Sad wouldn’t be complete without listening to this lovely stringed instrument while sipping on wine. It was truly one of a one-of-a-kind experience!

Night Life of Laze Telečkog

Laze Telečkog is the place to be for nightlife in the city’s heart! This narrow street is lined with bars, pubs, clubs, and cafes and is a favorite of the younger crowd.

Wrap Up On Fun In Novi Sad

Whether you visit for a day, stay for a full week, or a month, this list of things will keep you busy in Novi Sad, thanks to its thriving art, music, cultural scene, and colorful architecture. Novi Sad is a city you can keep coming back to again and again and still find something new and fun in Novi Sad to please you.


Comments (4)

  1. The fortress is so awesome!! My dad grew up there and it was cool to see the city and all the history surrounded by it.

  2. Thanks for the helpful description. I will visit Novi Sad in November for work. Can you tell me whether private apartments are as correct as they give on the site (accommodation yard in the center of Novi Sad for example – “prenoćište dvorište apartmani”) or are hotels a safer option? Thanks in advance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Move This Adventure To Your Inbox & Get An Instant Freebie

Subscribe To Unlock Your FREE Customizable Travel Packing List & All Our Best Tips!