Novi Sad, the third biggest city in Novi Sad is lesser known to visitors and is seldom visited. I decided to head to this city to find out more about what they have to offer.
Heading to Novi Sad is a breeze. I took the local train which runs directly between Belgrade and Novi sad and there are multiple trains per day. These trains are the newer type used by Serbian railways which uses the european (I believe its Swiss made) and are very comfortable compared to other local trains.
Train ticket can be bought directly from the main station and costs only 620 dinars for a return ticket (cheap isn’t it?).
Ride to Novi Sad is pleasant and I recommend sitting on the right side of the train in the direction of travel. You will pass small villages and towns, farms and rolling hills.
Train rolls into the communist style run down station away from the centre of the town and most touristy points. I think they were being quite arty with the fancy zig zag roof.
There is little of interest to a day visitor in the immediate vicinity of the train station. Its time to head directly into see something you are here for, something more dramatic and inviting.
Walk into the main part of town can be long. Alternatively take a taxi to your first point of interest and save some energy for the most important stuff.
Following is a list of interesting places around Novi Sad.
Things to do in Novi Sad
Also referred to as the ‘fortress with two birthdays’, its the main point of interest in Novi Sad. Fortress was first used by the Austrian army in the 17th century when they built a fortress on top of an existing Hungarian fortress. Then forgotten, it was once again used in the first world war and survived complete destruction by a Yugoslavian general who probably fell in love with it.
Its certainly big and probably bigger than some other fortresses I’ve visited recently (in terms of its size by area at least), but its not the most impressive.
When inside, you can visit the city museum which is impressive.
Entrance to the fortress is free and the views from the top are gorgeous especially on a sunny day. You can walk around the fortress and have 360 degree views of the surrounding.
Do not forget to admire the interesting clock tower. Whats most interesting is that fact that the dials are reversed. Those days, clocks used to be expensive and those who could see the clock from their house could be charged a tax. As a result, this clocks’ dials were adjusted so local citizens couldn’t read the time from their homes and wouldn’t be charged a tax.
City museum, war well and war tunnel
It is interesting that the city museum is actually inside the city walls. City museum covers a range of subjects including military occupation of the fortress and the most loveliest of them all is the hall which contains the items from local noble families.
Long hall with furniture is chronologically ordered and a museum worker will usually accompany you and tell you interesting stories about certain items IF you are a foreigner. So being a foreigner does count here! 🙂
Entrance fee will let you in to see the war tunnel as well. Its one of the biggest and well preserved well’s I’ve encountered especially since its located within the building that houses the museum. Well was built during the military occupation to guarantee safe drinking water in case of troubled times.
This is usually closed off to visitors and I believe the museum workers open this for foreign visitors and I did have plenty of free unclustered time enjoying this beauty.
Make sure you ask about the tunnel as you purchase the museum ticket. You may be lucky that a tour group will be visiting and you can probably enjoy a free tour with them. One of the museum workers were so kind to let me know that a tour was happening and let me go in with the tour although the tour was in spanish.
It takes about 30 minutes for the tour and goes to some unlit areas but its all safe and fun. Do enjoy it if you happen to go inside!
Main square and Cathedral
There is a lot of action around the main square in Novi Sad. Its full of tourists and locals and you can see why. Pedestrian walks and roads leading and away from it are full of boutique shops, hip cafes and restaurants and the picture is clear.
Main square is dominated by the awesome cathedral where visitors have a first hand view of this masterpiece with unobstructed views. Sitting by a cafe near the square overlooking the cathedral will definitely be a highlight of your day.
Also surrounded by period architecture, this square reminded me of western Europe.
Well, it looks like this is a short list, but is based on what I managed to do in half a day. I’m sure there are other places that one could explore given they have more time, but until next time this list would hopefully serve as a start to someone looking to explore Serbia’s third largest city.