Warm, welcoming and a hell of a lot of fun – everything you never heard about Serbia (Србија) is true. Exuding a feisty mix of élan and inat (Serbian trait of rebellious defiance), this country doesn’t do ‘mild’: Belgrade is one of the world’s wildest party destinations, the northern town of Novi Sad hosts the rocking EXIT festival, and even its hospitality is emphatic – expect to be greeted with rakija (fruit brandy) and a hearty three-kiss hello.
While political correctness is about as commonplace as a nonsmoking bar, Serbia is nevertheless a cultural crucible: the art nouveau town of Subotica revels in its proximity to Hungary, bohemian Niš echoes to the clip-clop of Roma horse carts, and minaret-studded Novi Pazar nudges some of the most sacred sites in Serbian Orthodoxy. And in the mountainous Kopaonik and Zlatibor regions, ancient traditions coexist with après-ski bling. Forget what you think you know: come and say zdravo(hello)…or better yet, živeli (cheers)!
Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is the third largest city in South-eastern Europe after Istanbul and Athens. It is situated in South-Eastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula, at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. It is one of the oldest cities in Europe and has since ancient times been an important focal point for traffic, an intersection of the roads of Eastern and Western Europe Belgrade is the capital of Serbian culture, education, science and economy. As a result of its tumultuous history, Belgrade has for centuries been home to many nationalities, with Serbs of the Orthodox Christian religion making up the majority of the population (90%). The official language is Serbian, while visitors from abroad can use English to communicate. This city, living through and surviving numerous wars and destruction during the centuries, is one of the oldest cities in Europe, and thus had a number of symbolic names, such as: House of Winds, Combat Hill, Thinking Hill, House of Freedom…Just over 1,700,000 people live in it. Belgrade is the city of youth. More than 40% of its citizens are between 15 and 44 years of age.
All citizens of Belgrade love to talk of the spirit of the city. Open and ever ready for fun, many Belgraders will claim to be true hedonists – and many of them really are – knowing all there is to know about good food, wine and music. The citizens of Belgrade like all sorts of things: pleasant conversations and long walks, drinking their morning coffee or days off work, they also love it when they find freshly baked warm bread in the local bakery. They like being in motion and therefore the streets, walkways, cafés and restaurants are always filled with people. More importantly, Belgraders like everyone, so get to know Belgrade by getting to know Belgraders!
The second largest city in Serbia, the administrative seat of the province of Vojvodina and of the South Backa district. It is located in the southern part of Pannonian Plain The city was founded in 1694, when Serbian merchants formed a colony across the Danube from the Petrovaradin fortress, a Habsburg strategic military post. In the 18th and 19th centuries, it became an important trading and manufacturing centre, as well as a center of Serbian cultrue of that period, earning the nickname Serbian Athens. The city was heavily devastated in the 1848 Revolution, but it was subsequently restored. Today, Novi Sad is an industrial and financial centre of the Serbian economy, as well as a major cultural center.
The one of the oldest cities in the Balkans, located 240km south of Serbian capital Belgrade. It is a city situated by the river Nišava with more than 250.000 inhabitants, and the centre of the Southeastern region of the country. Positioned at the crossroads, City of Niš connects the Balkans to Europe, and Europe to the Near East. That is why it has always been considered a gateway between The East and The West. It is very easy to reach City of Niš either by Constantine the Great airport or by railroad and highway. University of Niš is composed of 13 faculties with more than 20.000 students. Niš is the birthplace of the famous Roman emperor Constantine the Great who issued the Edict of Milan in 313 embracing Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire. In 2013, the city hosted the Ecumenical Assembly of Christian Churches to mark 1700 years of Constantine’s Edict of Milan.
The city situated in the north of Vojvodina, Serbia, several kilometers South of Hungarian border. Before the First World War it belonged to the Habsburg Monarchy, later Austro-Hungarian Empire, and it was part of Hungary. When Subotica acquired the status of the free royal town in 1779, it was named after the Habsburg queen: Maria Theresiopolis. At that time it was still a village looking settlement. During the first half of the 19th century only a few buildings could be seen rising above the roofs of a small ground level village houses: there were baroque towers of three churches, baroque City Hall and only a very few private two-story houses.
The development of the town at the turn of the century brought the influences of different local European Art Nouveau styles to the provincial town of Subotica: Hungarian Secession, Vienna Secession, German Jugendstil, French and Belgian Art Nouveau and others, thus promoting the town’s multicultural spirit in creating a cosmopolitan atmosphere which is still present today.
The ski resort of Kopaonik is fast becoming one of the greatest ski resorts in Eastern Europe. The beautiful National Park is situated 285 km south of Belgrade (the capital) with stunning scenery and amazing views overlooking Serbia’s neighbouring countries – Kosovo and Montenegro. Kopaonik is one of the most spectacular places in Serbia with snow covering lasting between 160 and 180 days per year and the first precipitation starts as early as November.
Kopaonik is a modern and well designed purpose-built resort, and with skiing above 2000 metres there is fantastic snow coverage throughout the long, cold Serbian winter. The rare combination of a good snow and sunshine record, high quality skiing, and low prices make it a very attractive destination for a budget winter ski holiday.There are 55 km of well-maintained alpine pistes including 3 FIS standard runs, all of which are served by 24 ski lifts. There is plenty of slope-side accommodation, a floodlit slope for night-time skiing and a free ski bus where needed.The fantastic thing about this resort is that all tracks are so well connected, and there’s no need for walks or ski-buses. You can just ski from one slope to another and circle the whole mountain.