What’s Serbia Known For? Fortresses, Food, Festivals & More

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Wondering what Serbia is known for? I don’t know where to start when it comes to exploring this Balkan nation. Whether you’re interested in history and culture or outdoor activities and adventure, Serbia has something to offer. Some of the things that Serbia is known for include the following.

Rostilj

Rostilj in Serbia! Let me tell you, my friend, if you’re a meat lover, you’re in for a treat. Rostilj, or Serbian BBQ, is a staple in the country and can be found on nearly every corner.

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Expect to find mouthwatering skewers of juicy meats, such as cevapi (grilled minced meat) and pljeskavica (a type of meat patty), along with delicious sides like lepinja (a type of bread) and kajmak (a creamy dairy product).

And don’t forget about the ajvar (a spicy red pepper relish) for some added kick.

But beware, one taste of this heavenly cuisine and you may never want to leave. So, pack your stretchy pants and come hungry, because rostilj in Serbia is not for the faint of heart (or stomach).

Trust me, you’ll want to try a little bit of everything. And don’t be surprised if you find yourself dreaming about it long after your trip is over.

Rakija

Serbia is the land of rakija, the fruit brandy that’s taking the Balkans by storm. This heady brew is made from fermented and distilled fruits like plums and grapes, and packs a punch with its 40% ABV.

But don’t let that fool you – home-brewed rakija can be even stronger, clocking in at a hefty 50%. In Serbia, the most sought-after type of rakija is lozovača or komovica, made from grapes.

But why stop at just the fruit? Rakija is often mixed with other ingredients like herbs, honey, and sour cherries to add extra depth and flavor. And if you’re lucky, you might come across a barrel-aged rakija, giving it a golden color and an irresistible aroma.

 

Serbia is known for producing high-quality rakija, and it’s best enjoyed in small glasses holding 30 to 50ml – just enough to warm you up on a chilly Balkans night.

Monasteries

Oh boy, where do I start with Monasteries in Serbia? These beautiful religious structures are not just a sight for sore eyes, but a true testament to the country’s rich cultural heritage. Travelers can expect to be awestruck by the stunning architecture and intricate frescoes that adorn the walls. But don’t just take my word for it, go and see for yourself!

When visiting a Serbian Monastery, you can expect to find a serene and peaceful atmosphere, perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Many of the Monasteries are located in picturesque locations, nestled among rolling hills or perched atop a hilltop, offering breathtaking views.

Inside, you’ll find intricately painted frescoes that will transport you back in time. These works of art are not only beautiful but also hold historical significance, depicting scenes from the bible and the lives of saints.

But the Monasteries in Serbia are not just about history and art. They also serve as an important spiritual center for the local community and many still host monks who reside within the Monastery. Visitors can attend services, light candles, and pray.

In short, Monasteries in Serbia offer a unique blend of history, art, and spirituality that is sure to leave a lasting impression on any traveler. So, if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind cultural experience, put Monasteries in Serbia on your travel bucket list!

Here are the most famous ones:

  • Studenica Monastery: This is one of the most famous and important monasteries in Serbia, known for its stunning architecture and intricate frescoes. It is located in the Raška region of Serbia and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Decani Monastery: This is another important monastery of the Serbian Orthodox Church, located in western Kosovo. It is known for its beautiful frescoes and its location on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • Sopocani Monastery: This is a 13th-century monastery located in the Rasina District of Serbia, known for its stunning frescoes and its location in a picturesque setting.
  • Gracanica Monastery: This is a 14th-century monastery located in the Kosovo and Metohija region of Serbia, known for its well-preserved frescoes and its location on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Fortresses

These bad boys are not just any old castles, they are the stuff of legends. Travelers can expect to be transported back in time as they explore these ancient structures, each with its own unique history and character.

When visiting a Serbian Fortresses, you can expect to find a mix of awe-inspiring architecture and stunning views. Many of the Fortresses are located on hilltops, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Imagine standing on the walls of a medieval fortress, looking out over rolling hills and valleys, it’s quite the experience!

Inside, you’ll find a labyrinth of winding staircases, secret passages, and underground tunnels. Each fortress has its own story to tell, from battles fought and won to sieges that lasted for months. Imagine standing in the same spot where history was made, it’s quite the feeling!

But the Fortresses of Serbia are not just about history, they are also an important part of the country’s cultural heritage. Many of them have been well-preserved and offer insight into the daily lives of those who lived within their walls.

The Fortresses of Serbia offer a unique blend of history, culture, and breathtaking views that are sure to leave a lasting impression on any traveler. So, if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind adventure, put Fortresses of Serbia on your travel bucket list!

You don’t want to miss these:

  • Smederevo Fortress: This is the largest lowland fortress in Europe and one of the most important fortresses in Serbia, located in the city of Smederevo.
  • Belgrade Fortress: This is one of the most famous and important fortresses in Serbia, located in the capital city of Belgrade. It offers panoramic views of the city and the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers.
  • Golubac Fortress: This is a medieval fortress located in the region of Branicevo, on the banks of the Danube river. It is known for its strategic location and its well-preserved fortifications.
  • Petrovaradin Fortress: This fortress is located in the city of Novi Sad (2nd largest city in Serbia, definitely worth your visit), in the northern province of Vojvodina. It dates back to the 18th century and offers great views of the city and the Danube river.
  • Nis Fortress: This is a medieval fortress located in the city of Nis, known for its well-preserved fortifications and its role in the city’s history.

Read about Serbian currency (Dinars)What Is the Currency of Serbia?

Kafana

Kafana, the soul of Serbia, is the place where locals and travelers alike come to unwind, catch up with friends, and indulge in some delicious food and drink.

Expect a warm and cozy atmosphere, lively music, and a menu filled with traditional Serbian dishes such as cevapi, pljeskavica, and gibanica. But the real star of the show is the rakija, a homemade brandy made from various fruits, and trust me, one sip will transport you straight to Serbia.

It’s not just the food and drink that makes a kafana experience so special, it’s the people – the locals are some of the friendliest and most welcoming you’ll ever meet. They’ll make you feel like part of the family and before you know it, you’ll be singing and dancing along with them.

So, if you’re looking for a true taste of Serbia, a kafana is definitely the place to be. Just don’t be surprised if you leave with a new group of friends and a newfound love for rakija.

Slava

Ah, Slava, the beloved holiday of Serbia. It’s a celebration of family, heritage, and of course, delicious food.

Travelers can expect to be welcomed into the homes of locals as they celebrate their patron saint’s day with a feast fit for a king (or queen).

Expect to see an abundance of traditional dishes such as sarma (stuffed cabbage rolls), koljivo (a sweet wheat porridge), and plenty of homemade rakija (brandy) to wash it all down.

But it’s not all about the food, oh no.

Slava is also a time for prayer, reflection, and of course, good old-fashioned family bonding. You’ll see families gathering around the slavski sto (a traditional table adorned with religious symbols) to light candles and offer prayers to their patron saint.

So, if you’re looking for a unique cultural experience and a chance to indulge in some of the best food Serbia has to offer, then Slava is the holiday for you. Just make sure to bring your stretchy pants, because you’re going to need them.

Danube

Ah, the mighty Danube in Serbia! This majestic river is the stuff of legends and the perfect place for travelers to let their hair down and soak up the beauty of nature. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or just looking for a good time, the Danube in Serbia has something for everyone.

Travelers can expect to be wowed by the stunning scenery that surrounds the river. The Danube winds its way through lush green forests, rolling hills, and picturesque villages, making for a truly breathtaking experience.

Along the way, you’ll also get a glimpse of Serbia’s rich cultural heritage, with ancient fortresses, medieval monasteries, and charming little towns dotting the landscape.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can hop on a boat and explore the river up close. The Danube is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including rare birds and fish, making it a paradise for nature lovers.

You can also take a hike along the river’s many trails and soak in the natural beauty from the comfort of a kayak or canoe.

And let’s not forget the nightlife!

After a day of exploring, travelers can kick back and relax with a cold drink at one of the river’s many bars and clubs. The Danube is also home to a vibrant music scene, with plenty of live acts and DJs to keep you dancing into the wee hours of the morning.

Exit Festival

Exit in Serbia is a wild and crazy ride, folks. Think of it as a giant party on steroids, with a side of Balkan madness. Expect a non-stop music festival, packed with world-renowned acts and local talent, all set against the stunning backdrop of the Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad.

But it’s not just about the music, oh no. Exit is a full-on sensory experience, with an array of food and drink options, art installations, and even a chill-out zone for when you need a break from all the partying.

And let’s not forget the crowd. Expect a melting pot of people from all over the world, united by their love of music and good times. You’ll make friends for life, and possibly even find yourself dancing on tables with strangers.

Kopaonik

Kopaonik, Serbia – where the mountains are so majestic, they’ll make you want to break out into a spontaneous yodel. This stunning destination is home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the country, and it’s a must-see for any traveler looking to experience the great outdoors.

First and foremost, Kopaonik is a skier’s paradise. With over 31 miles (50km) of ski slopes, there’s something for everyone, from beginner to expert.

But even if you’re not into hitting the slopes, the views from the top are worth the ride up alone. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even go paragliding and take in the scenery from a whole new perspective.

But Kopaonik isn’t just about skiing and snow sports. There are plenty of other activities to keep you busy, like hiking and biking through the beautiful national park, or taking a dip in one of the many natural hot springs. And if you’re looking to relax and unwind, there are plenty of spa options available to help you do just that.

And let’s not forget about the food and drink. Kopaonik is home to some delicious traditional Serbian cuisine, and you’ll definitely want to try the local specialties like Kajmak (a creamy cheese spread) and Rakija (a traditional brandy). And if you’re looking to party, there are plenty of bars and clubs to keep you entertained into the wee hours of the morning.

Zlatibor

Zlatibor, the picturesque mountain town in Serbia that will have you feeling like you’ve stepped into a fairytale. Nestled among rolling hills and lush greenery, this charming town is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Travelers can expect to be wowed by the stunning natural beauty of Zlatibor, with its verdant forests, sparkling streams, and majestic mountains. Whether you’re a nature lover or just looking for some peace and quiet, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors here.

But don’t think that Zlatibor is all about roughing it in the wilderness – this town also offers a variety of fun activities and cultural experiences to keep you entertained. Take a stroll through the charming streets of the town center and check out the local shops and restaurants, or head to the nearby Zlatibor Ski Center for some winter sports action.

And let’s not forget about the food – Zlatibor is known for its delicious traditional cuisine, so make sure to indulge in some hearty Serbian dishes while you’re here. Trust us, your taste buds will thank you.

Conclusion

As you can see, Serbia is a country with a rich culture, delicious cuisine, and plenty of things to do.

The historic fortresses and monasteries offer a glimpse into the country’s past, while the ski resorts and mountain destinations provide plenty of opportunities for adventure.

And, of course, the Kafanas and Exit festival offer a chance to experience Serbia’s famous hospitality and vibrant nightlife. So, pack your bags and come experience all that Serbia has to offer!

Hello, I’m Emma! I’ve been exploring the world since 2015. People always ask me lots of questions when I travel and come back. So, I started a blog to answer them all and share with the world. If you are curious about something, use the search bar on my site or send me an email emma@timetositback.com