Novi Sad (Serbian: Нови Сад/Novi Sad) is the capital of Vojvodina, the northern Autonomous Province of Serbia, and the second largest city in Serbia. Situated on the Danube River between Budapest and Belgrade, it is a treasured regional and cultural centre. Novi Sad has a population of around 300,000 people.
Novi Sad is the second largest city in Serbia. It is architecturally (and, to an extent, culturally) different from other larger cities in central and south Serbia such as Belgrade and Niš, since it was not under the Ottoman influence but instead, that of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The buildings in the city centre resemble the ones in Vienna and Budapest.
Novi Sad is a university town, with more than 40,000 students attending the University of Novi Sad, which is on a beautiful green campus near the Danube. Because of the abundance of young people, Novi Sad has many bars, "hipstery" places, and is generally more open-minded than the rest of Serbia.
The people of Novi Sad are known to be relaxed and easy going, sometimes a bit too slow-paced for the other Serbians from the central and south of Serbia (their accent is one example of this).
Novi Sad is very flat (which makes it suitable for biking), with wide streets and lots of trees. For those who love hiking, there is a mountain, Fruška Gora, less than 15 km away, which is a national park featuring beautiful nature and many old monasteries.
Tourists that come to Novi Sad are usually impressed the most by Serbian cuisine, very low prices by Western standards, and by the hospitality of Serbian people. Many tourists come to Novi Sad for Exit Festival which takes place on the Petrovaradin fortress in early July.
The area of Novi Sad was inhabited since the distant past - the found remains of old settlements date back to the Neolithic period (5000 BCE). Before the middle ages, the region was inhabited by different tribes, including Celts, Romans, and Huns. Slavic tribes (including Serbs) settled the region around Novi Sad mainly in the 6th and 7th century. The region was under the medieval Kingdom of Hungary in the 11th and 12th century and afterwards under the Ottomans from 1526 until 1687, when Habsburg Monarchy took over the control.
The settlement was declared a "free royal city” by the Habsburg empress Maria Theresa in 1748, and it gained its present names Novi Sad, Újvidék, and Neoplanta, meaning “new plantation” in Serbian, Hungarian, and Latin, respectively. For much of the 18th and 19th centuries, this was the largest Serb-inhabited city in the world, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the end of World War I in 1918, when it became part of Kingdom of Serbia. During World War II, it was under Hungarian occupation.
After the World War II, the city went through rapid industrialization and its population more than doubled in the period between World War II and the breakup of Yugoslavia after the fall of the Soviet Union. Devastated by NATO bombardment that lasted 78 days during the Kosovo War of 1999, Novi Sad was left without any of its three Danube bridges, and with significant damage to its infrastructure including communications, water, and electricity. Residential areas were cluster-bombed several times while its oil refinery was bombarded daily.
Novi Sad has mostly recovered from the 1990s and it has grown strongly since 2001, shifting its economy from industry-driven to the tertiary sector. It is home of the national headquarters of numerous banks, third largest insurance company in Serbia, and major energy companies. Novi Sad is also a growing information technology center in Serbia.
Novi Sad has a continental climate, with four distinct seasons. The best weather is generally between April and September.
Winters are cold, with temperatures being below zero for a couple of weeks per year, often accompanied with snow (which stays for a couple of days or more at a time). The first snow usually falls in late November/early December.
Springs are short and rainy. On the first warm and sunny day after the winter, usually in March, the people of Novi Sad come out to the city centre to have a drink in a cafe in Zmaj Jovina street, or take a walk on the promenade next to the Danube.
Summers often arrive abruptly, with temperatures above 25°C being very common, starting as early as May. If the weather becomes too hot, you can have a swim at Štrand, a well-maintained public beach on the river Danube, popular with the locals. If you want to have a proper swim, the outdoor pool at Spens is an option. Go early in the morning to avoid the crowds. Short heavy rains occur from time to time in the summer, cooling the air for a couple of hours. The weather remains warm until the middle of September or later.
Autumns arrive usually by the beginning of October, and are not too cold, with the temperatures between 10 and 20°C. Rain is not uncommon in this period, however there are many sunny days too. The leaves changing colours and falling from the trees make Novi Sad quite beautiful, especially in the parks and on the promenade next to the Danube.
The nearest airport is Belgrade 70 km southeast, less than an hour ride from Novi Sad. Some taxi companies run regular cars between Belgrade Airport and Novi Sad, e.g. Autoturist tel. +381 63 504 587, Belgrade Airport Transfer, inexpensive for foreign standards. Belgrade airport is the most convenient for coming into Novi Sad (and Serbia) not only because it is the closest, but also because the transport from other airports includes land border crossings, which can sometimes take hours to cross (the busiest are the ones coming from/to Hungary).
Novi Sad is on the railway line between Budapest (6 hours), Subotica and Belgrade (2 hours). This line is greatly disrupted by engineering works expected to continue into 2022 and in early 2021 no trains are running.
The 1 railway station is 2 km north of the centre, at Bulevar Jaše Tomića 4. It's a boxy functional affair with a cafe, an exchange office and waiting area.
Novi Sad has buses to all the other major cities in Serbia. Buses for Belgrade run every 15 minutes; the quickest zip along the motorway in 90 mins but others take roundabout routes, so the next departure might not be your quickest option.
There are buses to Sofia in Bulgaria, Budapest in Hungary, Zagreb, Vukovar, and Osijek in Croatia, Sarajevo and Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Budva, Tivat, Podgorica, Herceg Novi in Montenegro. Connections from elsewhere across Europe usually mean changing in Budapest.
For local and long-distance bus timetables in Serbian and English, visit the web site of JGSP Novi Sad, the city public transport company.
The bus station is on Bulevar Jaše Tomića 6, next to the railway station. There's ticket kiosks and a cafe, plus adjacent "Mekdonalds".
E-75 between Belgrade and Budapest skirts Novi Sad 5 km north. The toll for a standard car from Belgrade is RSD 240.
For Zagreb and Ljubljana, get onto E-70 highway some 40 km southwest of Novi Sad.
The cycling route EuroVelo 6 connects Novi Sad to Hungary and to Belgrade along the Danube. Novi Sad has dedicated cycle-paths along most of its avenues.
The city centre is quite small and most of the interesting sights, bars and hotels are all within easy walking distance. There are plenty of street maps, especially in the centre, so you can find your way easily.
Taxis are not overly expensive (by Western standards), the minimum fare varies between RSD 80 and 100, with a cross-city trip typically costing RSD 150-200. It helps to have the address written out although many taxi drivers speak fair, sometimes even excellent, English. However, be careful of taxis unaffiliated with one of the major firms (especially at the train station), or you may pay up to four times more than your fare should be. Some good taxi companies: Pan, Vojvodjani, SOS, Delta, Novus, Naš, Lav.
Novi Sad has an excellent bus service. A single ride (no transfers) is RSD 65. Tickets can only be purchased from the driver, using cash. Most of the bus lines operate only during the day, from around 5am until midnight. Since the bus network plan is not incorporated into Google Maps, it is best to ask a local how to get from point A to B, they would be happy to help out.
One should also keep in mind that the timetable shown on the bus stops is the timetable for the bus leaving from the starting bus stop of that route, not the current bus stop. However, the timetable can give an idea on how frequent are the buses around a certain part of the day (it varies from every 10 minutes or less during the middle of the day, to every half an hour late in the evenings).
Novi Sad has a relatively small city centre, with some charming old architecture within the pedestrian area in the centre. The main pedestrian streets are Dunavska street and Zmaj Jovina street, the latter includes the main square (Trg slobode). There are also nice green areas and parks around Novi Sad, such as Dunavski park, Limanski park, and the campus around the University of Novi Sad. The promenade next to the Danube river stretches over around 5 km and is also nice to walk along. Around the middle of the promenade (the part closest to the city centre) there is a square dedicated to the victims of the raid during the World War II (Trg zrtava racije). It offers a place to sit and enjoy the view over the Petrovaradin Fortress, which is across the river. On the other hand, Petrovaradin Fortress provides a beautiful view over the city, especially around the sunset. You can end your sightseeing day by enjoying some food with a view from one of the restaurants at the top of the fortress.
- 1 Petrovaradin Fortress (Petrovaradinska tvrđava). A fortress that no enemy has ever taken, it now hosts the annual Exit Festival within its trenches and walls. The fortress offers the best view over Novi Sad, which is especially beautiful during the sunsets. The clock tower on the fortress is a symbol of Novi Sad, specific for its hands being reversed (the large hand showing hours and small one showing minutes). This dates back to the times when people didn't have their own clocks, and were relying on public ones. The hands were reversed so that the one showing hours (therefore being more important) was easier to see. There is also a museum on the fortress, "Muzej Grada Novog Sada", some restaurants with a great view, and even night clubs.
- 2 Town Hall (Gradska kuća), Trg Slobode. The town hall is located on the main square in Novi Sad, which is the default meeting place for the locals. The main square features several interesting sight and is a must see.
- 3 Name of Mary Church (Crkva imena Marijinog), Trg Slobode. Catholic church built in the period 1892-1894, Novi Sad's largest Gothic Revival church and also the tallest in the Bačka region. It is also located on the main square, on the opposite side of the Town Hall. The locals refer to it as "the cathedral".
- 4 Statue of Svetozar Miletić (Spomenik Svetozaru Miletiću), Trg slobode. Svetozar Miletić (1826-1901) was the most prominent political leader of the Serbian people during the Habsburg Monarchy. He was a lawyer, journalist, author, politician, mayor of Novi Sad. One interpretation of the statue is that Miletić is threatening to the Catholic Church, since he is facing the Name of Mary Church that is next to the monument, with his arm up in a menacing fashion. However, most likely he is just presented going out of the Town Hall where he served as a mayor.
- 5 Monument to the Victims of Fascism in Novi Sad (Spomenik žrtvama racije), Kej žrtava racije. This monument stands on a small square next to the Danube river, along the promenade. It offers a great view over the Petrovaradin Fortress. During the warm summer evenings, many young people gather on this square. The monument itself was erected to commemorate the victims of the raid during the World War II. Between 21–23 January 1942, Hungarian police killed 1,246 citizens, among them more than 800 Jews, and threw their corpses into the icy waters of the Danube.
- 6 Church of the Great Martyr St. George (Saborni hram Svetog velikomučenika Georgija), Nikole Pašića 4. Orthodox church, it is the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Bačka. Orthodox Christianity is the predominant religion in Serbia.
- 7 Gimnasium Jovan Jovanović Zmaj (Jovina gimnazija), Trg Republike. The oldest gimnasium (general-knowledge high school) in Novi Sad. It stands next to the Church of the Great Martyr St. George. This school is named after a poet from Novi Sad, and is situated at one end of the pedestrian area, on the Republic Sqaure (Trg Republike), very close to the Fish Market.
- 8 Fish Market (Riblja pijaca), Trg Republike. Great place to buy very cheap, fresh fruit and vegetables, homemade cheese, and many other things! Highly recommended for anyone who is looking for a true Serbian market experience. It is open every day, an it's best to come in the mornings, since the vendors start going home in the early afternoon.
- 9 The Government of Vojvodina building (Zgrada pokrajinske vlade, "Veće"), Bulevar Mihajla Pupina 16. Novi Sad is the capital of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, and the government is situated in this building, which is designed to look like a ship.
- 10 Novi Sad Synagogue (Novosadska sinagoga), Jevrejska street. The only synagogue in Novi Sad, it is protected by Republic of Serbia as a historic landmark. Because of its great acoustics, it is used for many concerts and events.
- 11 Danube's Park (Dunavski park). A beautiful park near the city centre. It is home to a family of swans, with the parent swans know among the locals to be named Isa and Bisa.
- 12 University of Novi Sad campus. The university campus is quite large and features many trees and places to rest, sit and enjoy a sunny day.
- 13 Limanski Park. A large park near the public beach Štrand and close to the university campus.
- 14 Foreign Art Collection, 29 Dunavska. Tu-Su 09:00-16:00. M closed. This is the largest museum collection of foreign art in Serbia. In 1966, Doctor Branko Ilić donated his art collection of 136 paintings of foreign artists, 279 pieces and sculptures, period furniture and other items of applied arts to the town of Novi Sad and the Province. The legacy consists of the works of Western European schools from the 16th century until the end of the 19th century, mostly from the area of Central Europe (France, Germany, Italy and Austria).
- 15 Vojvodina Museum, 36-37 Dunavska St, ☏ , . Tu-F 09:00-19:00, Sa Su 09:00-14:00. Entry price for foreigners RSD 100, or RSD 200 with an English speaking guide. Vojvodina from Paleolithic up to the 20th century. Also, there's Dinaric Ethnic house "Brvnara" in Bački Jarak (15 km north from Novi Sad).
- EXIT Festival. July. Music festival founded in 2000, held in July at Petrovaradin Fortress. The next is on 9-12 July 2020 and it's expected to go ahead within "lockdown" rules, with performances broadcast on various media.
- A stroll around the city's imposing boulevards and along the Danube river, for example the route Kralja Aleksandra - Trg Slobode - Zmaj Jovina - Dunavska - Beogradski Kej - Kej Žrtava Racije
- If the weather is nice, sit down at one of the cafés around Spens and enjoy
- Mountaineering club Naftaš, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Usually organizes a hike on Saturday or Sunday on Fruska Mountain and in the Novi Sad vicinity. GPS tracks of regular hiking paths are available on Naftaš website.
- Železnicar Association of mountaineers and skiers, Trg Galerija 4, 529 978, ✉ email@example.com. Organizes a hiking trip every Sunday on Fruska Mountain and in the Novi Sad vicinity.
- Go to the beach in this distinctly land-locked country: the Strand is a sand beach on the Danube riverbank, usually open mid-May to mid-Sep.
- Coats good quality (particularly for the harsh winter) and very cheap.
- Leather goods at the Manual Company, a modern franchise based on high quality luxury leather, handmade at affordable prices. Various shops, one at Zmaj Jovina 18
- Quality goods, especially sportswear, can be found at Spens
- Mercator (shopping mall)
- 1 Sad Novi Bazaar, Bulevar Mihajla Pupina, 1. M—Sa 09:00-21:00, Su 10:00-18:00. Shopping mall at the city center
- NewNork (renovated shopping mall at the city center across the street from the Opera House)
- Futoška pijaca and Riblja pijaca are two open-air markets in the city center where you can buy cheap clothes, local fresh produce and some groceries imported from Hungary.
After a hearty breakfast with meat, Serbians traditionally work eight hours straight before having their "lunch" between 15:00-18:00. This is by far the biggest meal of the day, with huge quantities of soup, roasted meat and potatoes, and a pickle salad as a side dish. Restaurants are typically open until 22:00.
- Lots of cheap eats (pizza, hamburger, pancakes etc) around Bulevar Oslobođenja leading from the station, Braće Popović near Novi Sad Fair, Zmaj Jovina, and Futoški put. Further out there's another collection around Vojvodina stadium.
- 1 Frustuk bar, Petra Drapšina 43. Excellent vegetarian and non-vegetarian sandwiches!
- Dottore per la pizza - Maksima Gorkog 10 - Best pizza in town, also hot-dogs and crepes.
- Pekara "Djani" - Bakery (you can buy burek here). Rase Radujkova 10, Novo Naselje
- Amigos Chicken - Amigos Wings - Chicken wings are spoken of highly. Jevrejska 15.
- Poslastičarnica Figaro, Mite Ružića Street, behind church in parallel street to Zmaj Jovina. 30 RSD for nice piece of pastry and 50 RSD for Espresso.
- 2 Stevča soul food, Grckoskolska 7. Cheap fast food.
- 3 Mali Niš, Fruškogorska 16, ☏ . Steak house.
- Marina Pivnica Brkina, Trg Mladenaca 4, 424-353. very nice restaurant just few minutes from the centre of Novi Sad. Pleasant, with terrace and good food.
- Chicken Tikka, Dimitrija Tucovića 3, by Vojvodiina stadium. Nice and pleasant.
- Leskovacki Rostilj, Bulevar Oslobodjenja 30. Serbian version of a hamburger. Cheap, tasty and filling.
- 4 Ribarsko ostrvo (Fisherman's Island) has a slew of riverside restaurants and cafes.
- Surabaja Indonesian restaurant, behind the church. Primorska 26 Novi Sad 413-400
- Fontana Excellent traditional meat restaurant. RSD 90 for great bowl of soup, RSD 290 for traditional Bosnian Cevapcici (ground meat skewers) and RSD 390 for a huge mixed grill. Staff very friendly, nice terrace with fountain in the summer. Also hotel. Nikole Pašića 17 Novi Sad 621-779
- Staro zdanje, Trg Marije Trandafil 1, ☏ . M-F 11:00-22:00. This is the restaurant of a cookery school, so standards vary. They were poor in 2019 but much improved from early 2020.
- Vremplov (Time Machine), Bulevar Oslobodjenja 96. Su-Th 08:00-23:00, F Sa 08:00-01:00. Cafe for desserts, in 1920s retro style, excellent cakes and coffee.
- Zeppelin - Kej Zrtava Racije bb, Lovely restaurant and Cafe on a ship on the Danube with a great look at Petrovaradin fortress and with quality cuisine offering wide variety of meals.
- 5 Žal za mladost, Somborska 189, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 10:00-01:00. An authentic Serbian restaurant with pre-1930s atmosphere. The food is a mixture of traditional and modern Serbian cuisine.
As a university town, Novi Sad has a lively bar scene. Many bars are in the small streets to the west of Zmaj Jovina, around Njegoševa and Grčkoškolska streets.
- Beer Store, Ulica Svetozara Miletića 17. Beautiful bar with great selection of international beer and wine with food to pair with.
- Martha's Pub, Ulice Laze Teleckog. The best honey rakija in town and one of the most popular pubs with an upstairs bar and patio and downstairs bar.
- Trema (Stage Fright), Pozorišni trg 1 (within National Theatre). Probably the largest bar in Novi Sad, musical events, mixed audience.
- Sting, Dimitrija Tucovića 3, Novi Sad 2 (next to Vojvodina Stadium), ✉ email@example.com. Daily 08:00-00:00. Relaxed place for coffee or drinks.
- Absolut, Zmaj Jovina 12 is a quiet place for coffee or cocktails.
- Pivnica Gusan, Zmaj Jovina 12 - one of the best pubs
- Cafe Porta, Katolicka porta 6, ☏ . Nice and quiet place in the center of Novi Sad
- Downtown Hostel, Njegoseva 2, ☏ . Very central hostel close to many bars and restaurants. €11-18 per night.
- Hostel Sova, Ilije Ognjanovica 26, ☏ . Near the main city square, friendly service, clean. €10/night.
- Hostel Smile, Bulevar Oslobodjenja 48, ☏ . in the vicinity of the Main Train and Bus station. $16.21 or €13.50.
- CitiHotel Veliki, Nikole Pašića 24, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Novi Sad 021-4723840. Comfortable apartments, free wi-fi. From €30.
- Fontana, Nikole Pašića 17, ☏ . Average rooms above the restaurant, also a huge apartment. Very friendly staff though limited English. From €25 per night.
- Novi Sad, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Bulevar Jase Tomića. From €34.
- Hotel Prezident". 5 star, part of the Best Western hotels, Futoska 109
- Hotel Park 35 Novosadskog sajma, just opened. €50-400/bed, breakfast, swimming pool, sauna, without a residence tax.
- Hotel Leopold I. On the famous Petrovaradin fortress, spectacular views to the Novi Sad, 58 twin or double rooms and apartments, satellite TV, internet, car park.
- Hotel Mediteraneao. Very close to Zenit, new and modern.
- Hotel Gymnas, Teodora Pavlovica 28, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. B&B Hotel with the largest fitness centre in the city. All guests enjoy complimentary use of gym and sauna. €45-110.
- Sremski Karlovci is an attractive small town 8 km from Novi Sad with well preserved architecture. A wine festival is held there in September.
- Fruška Gora National Park is south of the Danube facing Novi Sad; upland scenery and many monasteries.
- Fantast Dvorac Dunđerski is a well-preserved old castle 40 km north of Novi Sad.
- Palic is a spa resort on a lake.
- Sombor near Novi Sad has delightful old architecture.
- Belgrade the capital is a fascinating cosmopolitan city.
- Subotica on the border is a miniature Hungary. Then cross to reach Szeged, Pécs and of course Budapest.