My Novi Sad Travel Guide (Plan Perfect Visit in 2024)

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My Novi Sad Travel Guide is your golden ticket to a land where relaxation rules, laughter is the universal language, and nature and history hot spots are as plentiful as shots of rakija at a local bar.

This city isn’t famous, it’s not a top attraction in the world. Yeah, I get it, it’s not even close. And we’re not talking about Rome or Paris here—nope, no Colosseum or Eiffel Tower in sight.

Get ready to chill out, because this city’s soul is more soothing than a hot stone massage at a luxury spa! And let me tell you, that’s worth more than all the grandiose landmarks in the world.

Novi Sad Travel Guide
Monument to the Victims of the Raid, Novi Sad

So, if you’re ready to start planning on the most chill three days of your life (fingers crossed you’ve got that much time to spare), then this Novi Sad travel guide is your ticket to paradise. 

Novi Sad Travel Guide

Where Is Novi Sad

Novi Sad is a real gem tucked away in northern Serbia, right on the banks of the Danube River. It’s not as big as Belgrade, but it’s got its own charm that’s hard to resist.

What’s cool about Novi Sad is that it’s kind of like the hub for the northern province of Vojvodina. So, while it’s not the capital, it definitely holds its own in terms of importance.

Petrovaradin Fortress & Danube in Novi Sad
Petrovaradin Fortress & Danube in Novi Sad

Now, if you want to get a sense of where it is compared to Belgrade, it’s less than 50 miles away, or roughly 80 kilometers. Just close enough for a day trip, but far enough to feel like a whole new world. By the way, if you want to get a better sense of where Novi Sad is compared to Belgrade, you can check out this interactive map.

How To Get To Novi Sad

When you visit Serbia, you’ll likely start off in Belgrade since that’s where the main airport is. Then, if you’re up for it, you can head over to Novi Sad for some more exploring.

Here’s how you can make that trip:

  • Bus: Buses run pretty regularly between Belgrade and Novi Sad. You can catch one at the main bus station in Belgrade (it’s called Autobuska Stanica Beograd) and get dropped off at Novi Sad’s station (Autobuska Stanica Novi Sad) in about 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic.
  • Train: Trains also chug along from Belgrade’s central train station, Beograd Centar, to Novi Sad. It’s a bit slower than the bus, but you’ll get there in about 1.5 to 2 hours. If you take the Soko express train, you’ll reach Novi Sad in less than an hour.
  • Driving: If you’re feeling up to it, you can rent a car and drive from Belgrade to Novi Sad. It’s about 80 kilometers (or around 50 miles) and takes roughly 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on traffic.
  • Taxi or Uber: For the ultimate in convenience, you can always grab a taxi or book an Uber. Just keep in mind it’ll cost you more than the other options.

No matter how you choose to get there, the journey between Belgrade and Novi Sad offers a chance to take in Serbia’s scenery. So, pick your preferred method and enjoy the ride!

Getting Around the City

Sure thing, here’s a more relaxed version:

Navigating Novi Sad is pretty straightforward, and you’ve got a few ways to get around:

  • Stroll Around: Novi Sad isn’t too big, especially the central area, so you can easily wander around on foot. It’s a great way to soak in the sights at your own pace.
  • Hop on a Bus: If you’re going a bit farther or want to explore outside the center, buses are a handy option. You can grab tickets from kiosks or the driver.
  • Catch a Cab: Taxis are all over the place here. You can flag one down or call for a pick-up. Just make sure they’re legit and use the meter.
  • Pedal Power: Novi Sad is bike-friendly, with rental options available. It’s a fun way to explore, especially if you’re into cycling.
  • Rent a Car: If you want more freedom to roam, you can rent a car. Just be aware that parking can be tight in some areas.
  • Rideshare: You might also find rideshare services like Uber around, which can be pretty handy.

Most common phrases you might need

Here are some common phrases you might find useful in Novi Sad, provided in both English and Serbian:

  • I need help / Treba mi pomoć
  • Can you recommend a good restaurant? / Možete li preporučiti dobar restoran?
  • Where is the bathroom? / Gde je toalet?
  • Where is the train station? / Gde je železnička stanica?
  • Where is the bus station? / Gde je autobuska stanica?

Luckily for you, the bus station and train station are at the same place, right next to each other 🙂

Now let’s learn important stuff.

  • Where can I find a good barbecue? / Gde ima dobar roštilj?
  • Which bus goes to the Fortress? / Koji autobus ide za Tvrdjavu?
  • Where can I try sarma (traditional dish)? / Gde mogu probati sarmu?

Is Visiting Novi Sad Worth It?

You know what? Novi Sad is absolutely worth a visit. It’s got this delightful, easy-to-walk-around layout with plenty of attractions close by. Sure, it might not have the same buzz and bustle as Belgrade, but Novi Sad has its own unique charm.

If you really want to soak up everything the city has to offer, I’d recommend spending at least three days exploring it. Of course, if you’re in a rush, you could cram it into one day, but honestly, you’d be missing out. It’s better to have a day or two than nothing at all, but trust me, if you can swing it, go for a minimum of three days. It’s an experience you won’t regret.

Best time to visit

I know this might sound subjective, but the best time to visit Novi Sad is probably during the summer. That’s when you can wander around the fortress, take a leisurely stroll along the beautiful Danube trails, and snap some killer pics from the Petrovaradin Bridge.  Plus, you’re just a short walk away from the city center, where you can explore parks and cozy street-side seating areas. If you’re up for it, you can even head to Strand for a swim, but be cautious because the Danube is no joke – it’s recommended for strong swimmers only.

However, winter also has its own charm, although walking by the Danube might not be as pleasant as in the warmer months. And if you’re into music festivals and partying until dawn, the EXIT festival in July is an absolute must-visit. It’s like heaven for music lovers and anyone who’s up for a good time.

If you’re planning on spending a lot of time outdoors and walking around, summer or even spring would be my recommendation. But if you don’t mind the cooler weather, fall and winter can still offer a unique experience, although maybe not for exploring the city all day long.

How many days is enough

If you’re planning a trip to Novi Sad, I’d recommend setting aside at least two days to really soak up the atmosphere. With that time, you can leisurely wander around the city center, learning about its rich history while also mingling with the friendly locals. But if you have the luxury of three days, that’s even better!

You can take your time exploring every nook and cranny of the center, and don’t forget to make a trip to the impressive Petrovaradin Fortress. It’s worth venturing a bit outside the center too, just to experience the authentic local vibe. However, even if you’re tight on time and can only spare a day, don’t worry – Novi Sad has a way of making every moment memorable.

How much money you need

If you’re planning a budget-friendly trip to Novi Sad, you’ll want to have around $50 to $100 per day to cover your expenses. That should sort you out for a place to crash, whether it’s a hostel for around $20 a night or a mid-range hotel for $50 to $100. When it comes to grub, expect to spend between $5 and $15 per meal at local joints or street vendors.

Transportation-wise, budget around $1 to $5 for buses, plus a bit extra for the odd taxi ride here and there. And don’t forget to save some cash for sightseeing – think entrance fees and tours, which can set you back around $5 to $20 per person. Oh, and a little extra for souvenirs and random expenses wouldn’t hurt!

Now, if you’re up for a bit more luxury, aim for $100 to $200 per day. That’ll give you a bit more wiggle room for fancier digs, dining at nicer spots, and maybe splurging on a few extra activities or excursions.

Remember, these are just ballpark figures, and your actual spending might vary based on what you get up to and how much you like to treat yourself. While you’re exploring, don’t miss out on sampling some local delights like rakia, wine, and soaking up the tunes of tamburica music. And let’s not forget about treating yourself to some delectable ice cream! And hey, if you’re up for it, there are plenty of charming boutiques in the heart of the city center just waiting to be discovered.

Best Things to Do In Novi Sad

Let me walk you through some amazing experiences you can have while you’re here:

Here’s your personalized guide to making the most of your time in this enchanting Serbian city:

Conquer Petrovaradin Fortress

Get ready to conquer Petrovaradin Fortress. Climb to the top for breathtaking views and explore the hidden tunnels. And guess what? The reversed clock isn’t just a quirky detail; it’s a handy guide for fishermen on the Danube, a cool piece of trivia to share with your festival buddies!

EXIT Festival 2024
Petrovaradin Fortress

Chill at Strand

Feel the sand beneath your feet, soak up the sun, and maybe even take a dip in the Danube to cool off. Imagine the stories of past festival attendees arriving by tram or boat while you sip on a refreshing drink and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere.

Sunset Strolls Along the Danube

As the music fades and the sun sets, take a leisurely stroll along the Danube. Grab some gelato and capture the mesmerizing hues reflecting off the water. It’s the perfect way to wind down after a day of festival fun and create unforgettable memories with your crew.

Shop and Snack on Dunavska Street

Browse through eclectic boutiques, sample local treats from quaint cafes, and snap Insta-worthy pics at every corner. It’s a shopping spree and culinary adventure rolled into one!

Escape to Danube Park

Head to Danube Park for some downtime amidst nature. Wander along shaded paths, unwind in the peaceful surroundings, and recharge your batteries under the canopy of trees. It’s the perfect antidote to festival fatigue.

Discover Hidden Gems at Futoska Pijaca and Riblja Market

Dive into the local culture by exploring Futoska Pijaca and Riblja Market. Engage with friendly vendors, sample mouthwatering delicacies, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere. It’s a culinary adventure you won’t want to miss!

Catch a Show at the Serbian National Theatre

Immerse yourself in the cultural scene of Novi Sad by catching a performance at the Serbian National Theatre. From captivating dramas to mesmerizing ballets, the theater offers a diverse array of shows that promise to enchant and entertain. 

Marvel at the Churches

Take a moment to admire the architectural splendor of Novi Sad’s churches. From the Saborna Ortodox Church with its intricate frescoes to the neo-Gothic majesty of the Name of Mary Church, each sanctuary is a testament to the city’s rich religious heritage. 

Pay Tribute at the Monument

Take a moment to pay your respects at the Monument to the Victims of the Raid. As you reflect on the solemn significance of this memorial, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the resilience of the city and its people. It’s a poignant reminder of the importance of remembrance and solidarity, even in the midst of celebration.

Novi Sad travel guide
Monument to the Victims of the Raid

Experience Cultural Marvels

Step inside the stunning Novi Sad Synagogue, admire the intricate artwork at the churches, and immerse yourself in history at the museums. It’s a chance to enrich your festival experience with a dose of local heritage.

Street Art Hunt

Keep your eyes peeled for vibrant street art as you roam the city streets. Novi Sad’s walls are adorned with captivating murals and graffiti, each telling a unique story. 

Retail Therapy at Promenada and Big Center

Treat yourself to a shopping spree at Promenada or Big Center. Whether you’re hunting for fashion or souvenirs to remember your trip, these shopping destinations have you covered.

Day trips from Novi Sad

Novi Sad is surrounded by tons of cool places to check out, offering all sorts of experiences, from chilling in nature to exploring quaint towns. Here are some ideas for awesome day trips:

Fruška Gora National Park

It’s super close to Novi Sad and it’s like a nature lover’s dream with its lush forests, awesome hiking trails, and old monasteries like Grgeteg, Velika Remeta, and Jazak. You can easily spend a day soaking up the natural beauty and history here.


About 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Novi Sad, Sombor is this cute little city known for its chill vibe and green spaces. You can wander around the peaceful city center, hang out in the parks, or have a picnic by the Veliki Bački Kanal. Plus, there are some great local restaurants to grab a bite.


It’s a bit farther from Novi Sad compared to Sombor, but it’s totally worth it. Subotica is all about cool architecture, especially the Art Nouveau buildings. You can spend the day checking out the beautiful buildings, chilling in the squares, and soaking up the culture. Don’t forget to visit the iconic Subotica City Hall and nearby Palic Lake.

Sremski Karlovci

This place is steeped in history and charm. It’s known for its old-school architecture, cute streets, and famous wineries. You can take a leisurely walk through the town, visit the awesome Orthodox Cathedral, and try out some local wines at one of the old cellars. It’s just a short drive from Novi Sad, so it’s perfect for a day trip.


If you’re just beginning your journey in Novi Sad, consider extending your travels to Serbia’s vibrant capital city, Belgrade. Belgrade has so much to offer – rich history, cool culture, and a crazy nightlife. You can explore places like the Belgrade Fortress, stroll down Knez Mihailova Street, and stuff your face with delicious Serbian food. It’s an adventure you won’t forget!

No matter where you go, each day trip from Novi Sad promises some awesome experiences and a chance to see the beauty of Serbia in a whole new way.

Rent a car

Renting a car in Novi Sad can be a smart move if you’re keen on exploring the nearby areas, especially places like Fruška Gora, which I highly recommend. Getting around Novi Sad itself isn’t too bad either, and heading out to Subotica or the surrounding regions is quite doable with your own wheels. Rent a car here.

However, if you’re thinking about trekking all the way to Belgrade from Novi Sad, especially if you’re new to the area, I’d advise against it. It’s a bit of a haul, and navigating the roads as a tourist might not be the smoothest experience. In short, Belgrade’s traffic can be pretty crazy, especially for tourists.

The city is bustling with activity, and navigating its busy streets can be overwhelming, to say the least. From congested roads to aggressive drivers, it’s not exactly the most relaxing driving experience. So, if you’re planning a trip to Belgrade, it might be best to consider alternatives like public transportation or organized tours to avoid the hassle of dealing with the chaotic traffic.

But for checking out the charming spots around Novi Sad, having your own car can be a game-changer. You’ll have the freedom to zip around the city and venture off the beaten path. Sure, most of the touristy stuff is concentrated in the center, but once you start chatting with some locals, you’ll likely uncover some hidden gems beyond the usual hotspots. So, if you’re up for a bit of exploration, renting a car in Novi Sad is definitely worth considering.

Rent a car here –

Best Places to Eat In Novi Sad

In Novi Sad, you’ll find a delightful variety of dining options, from Chinese and Italian eateries to cozy street food joints serving up domestic Serbian specialties like cevapi, pljeskavice, Karadjordjeva snicla, and sarma. And here’s the best part: all these places are in the city center. Plus, you can enjoy a satisfying meal for under $10, while fancier dining experiences might run you around $20, including drinks.

You can enjoy a good meal for around 1000 dinars (about $9.3 or 8.5 euros). Just keep an eye on prices and feel free to use converters to check in euros or dollars. Most places take dinars, but credit cards, dollars, and euros are often accepted too.

Here are my top picks.


Špajz is a cozy spot where you can enjoy genuine Serbian food in a friendly atmosphere. Think homemade dishes like stews and grilled meats that really hit the spot. It’s not just about the food though; it’s about soaking up Serbian culture and hospitality. If you’re curious about trying authentic Serbian cuisine, this is the spot for you! Check out the menu here.

Fish & Zelenis

Next up, we’ve got Fish & Zelenis. Their menu has dishes ranging from $5 to $25, and they’ve got options for vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free diets. You can swing by for lunch, dinner, brunch, or even late-night eats. They specialize in Mediterranean cuisine and healthy choices. Want to see what others think? You can read reviews on TripAdvisor!


Also, another great option to consider is Kombinat!  They go above and beyond to accommodate various dietary needs, offering options for vegetarians, vegans, and those with gluten-free requirements. Whether you’re craving breakfast, lunch, dinner, or brunch, they’ve got something delicious waiting for you. Check out the menu here. What’s more, their diverse menu features a mix of cafe, European, and Central European cuisines. It’s definitely a spot worth exploring! See reviews here.

I wanted to keep this list short and sweet but here are few more places worth checking out…

Kafe Restoran Maša

First up is Kafe Restoran Maša. Even though the menu is in English, the prices are not. You can generally expect to spend between $15 and $20, including drinks. They offer a variety of cuisines, including pizza, cafe dishes, seafood, international options, grilled items, and fusion dishes. Plus, they’re vegetarian-friendly and serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, and drinks. You can also read reviews on TripAdvisor, It’s definitely worth checking out!

Lazin Salaš

If you find yourself famished after a day exploring the city, Lazin Salaš is the perfect spot to refuel! Check out their menu here. They cater to vegetarians and offer vegan options too, ensuring everyone’s satisfied. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, late-night munchies, or drinks, they’ve got you covered. Indulge in European, barbecue, Eastern European, and Central European cuisines to satisfy those post-festival cravings. Want to know what others think? Take a peek at their reviews on TripAdvisor. 

Petrus Caffe

Petrus Caffe is a pretty fancy spot, but surprisingly not expensive at all. You can indulge in premium dishes for just $12, or grab a sandwich for $6. Check out their menu here. They offer a range of cuisines including bar snacks, cafe fare, and European and Central European dishes.

If you have specific dietary needs, they’re vegetarian-friendly and offer vegan and gluten-free options too. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, or brunch, Petrus Caffe has you covered.

Want to hear what others think? Check out their reviews on TripAdvisor. It sounds like the perfect place for a fancy yet affordable meal!

That’s it for my top recommendations! But if you’re still on the lookout for more hidden gems, be sure to check out the map. You never know what delicious surprises you might stumble upon!

Where to Stay In Novi Sad

If you’re planning your stay, I’d suggest finding a spot close to the city center. It’s the best move because everything you’d want to check out is just a 20-minute walk away from there – including the awesome Petrovaradin Fortress. Keeping it central means you won’t waste time commuting and can soak up all the sights and vibes hassle-free.

Exit Labirint Centar

Let me introduce you to the first option on my list – Exit Labirint Centar, the most affordable one. Trust me, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how amazing these rooms are. It’s unbelievable to find such quality accommodations just 2 minutes away from the city center at such a bargain price. It’s a real steal and I think you’ll love it! Check availability here.

Corso Rooms City Centre

If you’ve got a bit more budget to play with, you absolutely must check out Corso Rooms City Centre. It’s seriously cool! With private parking, a 4-star inn, and all the fancy trimmings, it’s the epitome of luxury. Plus, it’s conveniently located right on the main city center street! Step out and you’re right in the heart of it all. Believe me, this place is a real find just waiting for you to experience. Check availability here.

Hotel Pupin Novi Sad

Let me tell you about what I believe is the top choice – Hotel Pupin Novi Sad. This place is truly special, and here’s why. Picture this: stunning city views, right from the heart of Novi Sad. They’ve got everything you could ask for – non-smoking rooms, a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, room service, and free WiFi throughout. And let me tell you, the rooms? They’re absolutely classy. You’ll feel like royalty from the moment you step inside. If you want an unforgettable stay in Novi Sad, this is the place to be. Check availability here.

Kids Acctivities 

These three options are usually what kids love the most. 

Start off at Trampoline Park Amplitude, where they can bounce, leap, and giggle their hearts out. The atmosphere is electric as they defy gravity, leaving behind any traces of boredom.

Afterward, it’s time to up the ante with a visit to Adrenalin Park. Watch their faces light up with excitement as they zip line through the air and navigate challenging rope courses. Their infectious enthusiasm will have you eagerly joining in on the adventure.

Now, for the pièce de résistance – Petrovaradin Fortress! As you ascend to the top, the kids’ eyes widen with wonder at the breathtaking views of Novi Sad below. They’re captivated by the cityscape stretching out before them, making this moment truly unforgettable.

Check out this map to see where these kids’ attractions are located. It’ll help you plan your day out in Novi Sad more efficiently!

Tips for Staying Safe In Novi Sad

here are some tips for staying safe in Novi Sad:

Always be mindful of traffic, even when the pedestrian light is green. Look both ways and pay attention to cars, especially at crosswalks.

In crowded areas, keep a close eye on your belongings, including your camera, bags, and pockets, to prevent theft.

When using public transport, keep your belongings close to you to avoid pickpocketing incidents.

If you’re walking at night, especially outside of the city center, be cautious and consider using a taxi, especially if it’s late.

When using ATMs, be wary of your surroundings and avoid isolated or poorly lit areas.

Packing list

Here’s a tailored packing list for your trip to Novi Sad:

  • Clothing: Pack classic winter clothes for colder months, including a warm jacket, sweaters, and thermal layers. For summer, lightweight and breathable clothing is essential, along with a hat and sunglasses to protect from the sun. Don’t forget comfortable walking shoes for exploring the city.
  • Travel documents: Remember your passport, visa (if required), and travel insurance documents. It’s also wise to have a copy of your itinerary and emergency contact information.
  • Money and banking essentials: Bring Serbian dinar for easier transactions and to avoid rejection from local vendors. Consider bringing a money belt or pouch for added security.
  • Toiletries and personal care items: Pack essentials like sunscreen, lip balm with SPF, and moisturizer for both winter and summer. Don’t forget any medications you may need, as well as a basic first aid kit.
  • Travel accessories: Bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated, especially during hot summer months. Consider packing a lightweight umbrella or rain jacket for unexpected showers.
  • Entertainment: Bring books, e-readers, or other forms of entertainment for downtime during your trip.
  • Language essentials: Consider bringing a phrasebook or downloading a language translation app to help you communicate with locals.
  • Comfort items: Pack comfortable shoes for walking around the city, as public transport may not be necessary for short distances. In summer, bring a hat and sunglasses to shield from the sun, along with suncream to protect your skin.
  • Seasonal considerations: If traveling in spring or autumn, pack layers to adjust to fluctuating temperatures. In winter, be prepared for temperatures around -5 to -10 degrees Celsius, but remember that there are plenty of warm places around the city to take shelter.
  • Miscellaneous items: Don’t forget items like a reusable shopping bag, camera or smartphone for capturing memories, and any specific items you may need for planned activities or excursions.

Remember to pack light and only bring essentials, as Novi Sad offers plenty of amenities and comforts for travelers. Enjoy your trip!

The History of Novi Sad

Novi Sad has a long history that goes way back to ancient times. Archaeologists have found evidence of people living in the area around 19,000 to 15,000 years ago, during the Stone Age. They lived near the Petrovaradin fortress, probably in caves.

The city was officially founded in 1694. Over time, it became an important center of Serbian culture, earning the nickname “Serbian Athens.” Today, Novi Sad is a big city with lots of factories and banks. It’s also a place where many students go to school. Plus, it’s known for its culture, science, healthcare, and government.

Novi Sad has many museums, art galleries, libraries, and theaters. It hosts events like economic meetings, art shows, science conferences, and sports games. One of the biggest events is the EXIT music festival, which started in 2000 and brings in lots of people from around the region.

The city works hard to make itself more appealing by organizing fun events and supporting the arts. Novi Sad is a place where people can learn, have fun, and enjoy the rich culture and history of Serbia.

Final words 

I hope this Novi Sad travel guide has helped you plan the most relaxed trip you’ll probably ever experience. Sure, Belgrade might be more famous (it’s the capital, after all). But if you spend a few days here and compare it with Belgrade or any other famous capital in the world, you’ll realize that Novi Sad isn’t just the next best thing—it might just become your favorite city in Serbia.