14th Jul 2012 1:36pm | By Kelly Griffin
Annual music festival Exit has fast become one of the world’s top summer party destinations, not least because it’s held in the stunning 18th-century Petrovaradin Fortress which overlooks the blue Danube.
10:00 But while Exit may have put Novi Sad on the map, this Serbian city has much more to offer the fun-loving traveller. Start your day by soaking up the atmosphere along one of Novi Sad’s oldest, and certainly most beautiful, streets, Dunavska Street.
Meander through nearby Dunavski Park and along Zmaj Jovina, the city’s main shopping stretch.
Be sure to stop at one of the many bakeries or food stalls and grab a burek, a favourite Balkan breakfast dish consisting of layers of crispy, oily dough and melting cheese – though it can be made with meat, potato or spinach.
12:00 The Petrovaradin Fortress is undoubtedly Novi Sad’s main attraction. It’s one of Europe’s oldest and best- preserved fortresses and, proudly, has never been taken by the enemy.
If the clock tower looks peculiar, it’s because the hands are reversed. The little hand, in fact, counts the minutes while the big hand tells the hours. Apparently this is so sailors can tell the time from farther away.
It’s affectionately known as the ‘Drunken Clock’ because in cold temperatures, when the timepiece’s metal contracts, its time slows down, while in summer, when the mechanism relaxes, the time speeds up.
14:00 Boasting breathtaking panoramic views of the city across the Danube, the fortress also has a museum, Novi Sad City Museum, which charts the development of the city from prehistory to present.
Visitors can also explore artist studios, cafes and a delicatessen. The Serbians have a huge coffee culture, so grab a hit of caffeine on the terrace and take in the views.
7:00 A vast number of catacombs lie beneath the fortress, and while many are blocked off from tourists, you can explore a select few by joining a tour group. For maximum chills, go when the light is dimming at sunset.
19:00 If it’s a clear night, stick around the fortress until 7pm, when the observatory opens, and peer up into the night sky.
20:00 For dinner, head to the Balkan Express (Dr. Vase Savica 3a) for hearty Serbian dishes (try the calf’s head with entrails), plus ales and live music. Service is excellent, too.
The restaurant is made from wood and thatch, with musical instruments hanging from the ceiling.
21:00 Novi Sad is a university town, which we all know is code for ‘party town’, and, as such, the city comes alive when the sun goes down. High-tail it to Route 66 (Despot Stefan Boulevard 5) for live music – anything from rock, pop, blues, funk and ska to drum’n’bass, reggae, dub and electronic music.
23:00 Street Laze Teleckog is the go-to place for partying and you can stop off at any of the clubs here, such as Cuba Libre House (13 Laze Teleckog). Known for its Caribbean carnival atmosphere, prepare for strong cocktails.
00:00 For a truly memorable night out, you’ll want to go back towards the fortress to club Jelisavetin Bastion. Entering along a dark and narrow hallway, you’ll hear music wafting through the air, getting louder and louder as you approach the main area.
Once inside, you’ll see the venue is laid out so that different music can be played in different parts of the club, including a large outdoor space where revellers dance until dawn.
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