If you are looking for the best things to do in Novi Sad, I’m a Serbian local and I’m here to help!
You may wonder what to do in the city of Novi Sad Serbia. Although one of the most popular places to visit in Serbia, Novi Sad is still not a huge city packed with flashy, trendy tourist traps like your usual European metropolis.
Novi Sad attractions, just like its people, have a more laid back nature. It takes a bit of patience to unravel the secret life of Novi Sad Serbia, but it’s definitely worth it.
Take it from me, since I spent 8 years living in Novi Sad, Serbia. I know all the top Novi Sad activities and Novi Sad attractions by heart.
I’m going to give you the best ideas about what to do in Novi Sad. I’m going to include both main Novi Sad attractions, but also the coolest Novi Sad activities. In that way, you can take your pick and make your own list of top things to do in Novi Sad Serbia.
Let’s start with the must-see Novi Sad attractions:
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#1 – Snap a Photo of the Liberty Square
As photo spots in Novi Sad go, the central Liberty Square is one of the best. In the same area, you will find several other Novi Sad attractions worth visiting:
- The Monument to Svetozar Miletić
- Roman Catholic Church of the Name of Mary aka “The Cathedral”
- The Neo-Renaissance style Town Hall
- Tanurdžić palace
These are all important landmarks of Novi Sad city definitely should find a spot on your list of things to do in Novi Sad.
#2 – Stroll Down the Zmaj Jovina and Dunavska Street
These two streets are in the middle of the pedestrian zone in Novi Sad. Zmaj Jovina street starts with Liberty Square.
It stretches to the red, Serbian-Byzantine style Serbian Orthodox Bishop of the Diocese of Backa – Vladičin dom.
The facades of Zmaj Jovina will make you think that the time has stopped here. Same with Dunavska Street that continues from Zmaj Jovina.
Mind you, the entire stroll takes less than 10 minutes!
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#3 – Relax in Dunavski Park
There is nothing among the Novi Sad activities that are as authentic as simply – relaxing.
The entire vibe of Novi Sad city and Vojvodina, in general, is laid back and relaxing.
Dunavski Park is the perfect place for that.
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It is the oldest park in Novi Sad and it is created so that it resembles the marshy are on which Novi Sad city was built. It even has a pond that represents the little lakes that used to be here.
#4 – Spend a Lazy Afternoon People Watching in Zmaj Jovina
Seriously, of all the Novi Sad activities on this list, this is definitely what you should do in Zmaj Jovina. That’s especially true if you are in luck and the weather is fine.
Do what locals do here: Sit in one of the city cafes, order an espresso and sparkling water, put on some shades and watch the people.
The answer to your question – what to do in Novi Sad city today will often be – not much and not right away.
When you think you had enough, pass through the Dunavski park and you’ll reach the Danube waterfront.
#5 – Pay Homage to the Monument to the Victims of the Raid
Among the Novi Sad attractions is the Danube waterfront. There, you will find one of the saddest monuments in this area.
Also called “The Family,” the monument represents the memory of the atrocious act committed by the Hungarian Nazi soldiers during WWII.
Jewish, Serb and Roma families were forced to walk on the frozen Danube. The Hungarian soldiers fired at the ice, so it broke and thousands of people drowned.
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This entire raid happened throughout only three days of January.
Such a harsh history lesson might not be on your list of what to do in Novi Sad.
Still, it is important to honor the difficult bits of this amazing city since they are just as important for this place as the more cheerful Novi Sad attractions.
#6 – Feel the Joy of Summer on Strand
The grim part is over. That’s a promise. The Danube is wide in Novi Sad and one of the top Novi Sad attractions is the city beach Strand.
If you happen to visit during summer and you are wondering what to do in Novi Sad, head to Strand.
All sorts of beach sports laid back cafes and friendly people await.
Even if you don’t have a precise idea about what to do in Novi Sad, the city beach Strand is the perfect place to sit down and make a plan.
#7 – Learn How to Play Picigen
This is definitely one of the Novi Sad activities you should try if you visit in the summer – and you’ll need to enlist some Serbian friends to find out how (we’re surprisingly friendly though!).
The rules are quite simple and there’s no winner.
You just need to be in shallow waters, in a circle of friends and keep a small ball from hitting the water. As you do it, it is recommended that you be as dramatic as possible.
After all, it is all about fun and nothing more.
#8 – Cross the Varadinska Duga Bridge
The Danube separates the city of Novi Sad from Petrovaradin.
Petrovaradin Fortress is just across the Danube and you can reach it by walking across the Varadinska Duga Bridge.
During the night, the bridge, one of the Novi Sad attractions, glows in the colors of the rainbow.
That’s where the name Duga comes from. It means – a rainbow.
#9 – Take a Peak at Artist’s Ateliers at Petrovaradin Tvrdjava
Crossing the Danube will land you at the bottom of the Petrovaradin Fortress. Plan in advance by signing up for this walking tour of the fortress.
Now, it’s the time to climb way to many stairs to reach the famous “drunk clock.” It got its name because the small hand shows minutes and the big hand shows the hours.
One of the top things to do in Novi Sad – Snap a selfie with a clock and the gorgeous Novi Sad city panorama.
Next to the clock plateau, there is a line of ateliers in which Petrovaradin artists create their art.
Some of them are closed to the public, others won’t mind you inspect their art and some will even sell it.
Moreover, some of them even offer coffee.
#10 – Explore the Petrovaradin Fortress Catacombs
Basking in the sun, right by the Danube, you’ll find the Petrovaradin Fortress.
What is not visible at the first glance is the mysterious underworld of the Petrovaradin Fortress.
Namely, it is said that there are over 10 miles of underground corridors that branch out underneath the Petrovardin Fortress.
However, only a small portion of them are available to the public.
These corridors are most likely an elaborate countermine system rather than catacombs. People of Novi Sad call them the catacombs, even though that’s not the best name.
#11 – Visit the Festival of Street Performers
Usually sometimes by the end of August, one of the most amazing Novi Sad attractions takes place – the Festival of Street Performers.
The entire festival lasts for days and it has been taking place ever since the year 2000.
Today, it takes place at the foot of the Petrovaradin Fortress and it gathers hundreds of different performers from all over the world.
This colorful event is not to be missed since it’s fun and ever so cheerful. Also, all the events are free.
#12 – Let Loose at Exit Fest
For years, Exit Fest was the first thing on the list of Novi Sad things to do.
It is safe to say that this festival put the city of Novi Sad back on the touristic map of Europe.
For all the music and festival lovers, this is still the answer to the question – what to do in Novi Sad.
Exit Fest takes place on the Petrovaradin Fortress.
Being one of the Novi Sad attractions, this festival was awarded twice as Best Major Festival award at the European Festivals Awards.
#13 – Experience the Night Life of Laze Telečkog
What to do in Novi Sad city when the night walls? Start with Laze Telečkog.
This is the street at the city heart of Novi Sad, packed with different types of bars.
Bar hopping should definitely be on your list of Novi Sad activities.
A lot of locals will tell you that Laze Telečkog is not what it used to be and that there are too many “turbo-folk” places there now.
Still, Lazino Tele Pub still manages to maintain the rock and roll vibe, so it’s worth visiting.
Especially if it is getting dark and you are wondering what to do in Novi Sad.
#14 – Enjoy the Jazz and Blues in Foxtrot
The city of Novi Sad has a long and good tradition of blues and jazz. The best place to feel this is the Foxtrot Club.
For more than 30 years Foxtrot was one of those iconic venues that every big city has.
So, if you don’t know what to do in Novi Sad, this might be a good idea.
After all, one of Novi Sad activities on your list should definitely be – sipping a drink and enjoying amazing old-school music.
#15 – Live Out the Whole Tamburitza and Wine Thing
You haven’t been in Novi Sad city unless you participated in one of the most authentic Novi Sad activities – going to see tamburaši.
The setting is – old-school bar in Novi Sad, amazing food, gallons of perfect wine and tamburitza music.
Tamburitza is the national instrument of Vojvodina and it’s lovely sounds usually go with the idyllic lyrics about Vojvodina and love.
It is hard to describe. You have to put it on your list of what to do in Novi Sad and see for yourself.
#16 – Try the Index Sandwich on Your Way Home
I know. Having a sandwich is not really what you hope for when you are thinking about what to do in Novi Sad.
But, hear me out.
Street food in the after-hours, when you are dragging your feet after a night out in Novi Sad city is a big deal here.
Grab your index sandwich at Vanessa’s or Maja’s. Those are iconic spots!
#17 – Get Early to the Limanska Market and Get Some Fresh Produce
Another essential on the list of Novi Sad activities – eating.
Seriously, it is possible to write an entire article on food and places to eat only. People of Novi Sad love their food.
Visit Limanska Market in the early hours and look for smoked sausages, dried meat, cheese, and kajmak.
You will also find amazingly fresh fruit and veggies, as well as eggs from free-range chickens.
Don’t be afraid to ask to taste the produce before you shop. Your request will gladly be obliged.
#18 – See What’s Up at Omladinski Centar CK13
Exploring the musical and cultural scene of Novi Sad city should be at the top of your priority Novi Sad activities.
Start with checking out what CK13 has to offer during your stay.
CK13 is much more than just a place for students and youth, although it certainly is that. It organizes events such as shows, exhibitions, open panels and discussions and much more.
#19 – See a Performance at Bulevar Books
When you have just an hour or two to kill and you don’t know what to do in Novi Sad, check out Bulevar Books.
First, you will find tons of books, even in English there.
Secondly, it is quite possible that they have a band on if it is the weekend.
The band performances are very intimate and interesting there as Bulevar Books don’t have a stage
It’s like a band came to play in your friend’s living room.
#20 – Visit the Museum of Vojvodina and the Museum of Modern Art
Wondering what to do in Novi Sad if you want to see a bit of art in the classical sense of the word? Museums!
Visiting the Museum of Vojvodina and the Museum of Contemporary Art are two Novi Sad activities that you can do within the same day.
They are within the walking distance from one another, so calculate that into your daily itinerary. The Museum of Vojvodina is the perfect place to learn more about the rich history of these parts, which is a topic you cannot avoid when in Serbia, Novi Sad or anywhere in this region.
#21 – Watch a Concert at the Synagogue
A stunning old Synagogue in Novi Sad is one of the most prominent landmarks. While it is still used for its initial purpose, it has been turned into a music venue. People say it has the best acoustics of all the venues in Novi Sad.
So, whip out your list of what to do in Novi Sad and add a concert in the synagogue under your Novi Sad activities section.
Cool fact: there is an inscription on the Novi Sad synagogue from the Book of Isaiah 56:7 ‘… for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations…’ It resonates so much when you know that Novi Sad is a melting pot of many nationalities living in peace with one another.
#22 – Go Wine Tasting in Sremski Karlovci
Sremski Karlovci is a village just nearby Novi Sad.
If you run out of the ideas about what to do in Novi Sad, escape to Sremski Karlovci for a day.
Go wine tasting and you won’t be sorry. Sremski Karlovci are among the best and most popular wine producers in the country.
If you need someone to take care of logistics, this is a great tour to consider joining.
#23 – Go to a Hiking Trip on Fruška Gora
When in Novi Sad, you will see a mountain on its horizon. That’s Fruška Gora National Park.
Vojvodina used to be the bottom of the Pannonian Sea. That’s why it is so flat.
The only two mountains are Vršacke mountains further north and Fruška Gora near Novi Sad.
Fruška Gora is the perfect hiking terrain for both beginners and advanced hikers. You definitely won’t be sorry if you take a day off your Novi Sad exploring and go visit it.
Consider taking this tour of the national park if you’re more comfortable going with a local guide.
Ok so there you have it – a bunch of ideas from a local about what to do in Novi Sad.
You just need to take your pick and enjoy your time in Novi Sad!
There are enough Novi Sad attractions and Novi Sad activities here to last you a day or an entire week. It all depends on how much time you have and your decision about what to do in Novi Sad.
There are a lot of things to do in Novi Sad. Still, it is still not discovered by most of the avid travelers from all over the world.
You will notice not many things to do in Novi Sad cost a lot of money.
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