What started as a bunch of musical, artistic types getting together to oppose Slobodan Milosevic’s oppressive regime back in the early 00s has become one of the European summer’s must-see music festivals. Exit is held each July in a big citadel (fort) overlooking Novi Sad, a city of 300,000 about an hour north of Belgrade, and attracts the biggest acts going around.
For a city that’s been invaded and rebuilt literally dozens of times Belgrade sure knows how to have a good time. The city is home to plenty of great bars and clubs and you don’t have to pay stupid amounts of money for the privilege of enjoying a decent cocktail.
During the oppresive regime of Slobodan Milosevic in the 1990s, Belgrade’s young people set up ‘secret’ bars in their own homes where they could speak freely. One of the best is the Federal
Association of World Travellers, which feels more like a lounge room than a vibrant bar. They’re slightly more mainstream these days, but are still an atmospheric way to have a drink and something quite different to what you’ll find in most European capitals.
The hills and valleys north of Belgrade are home to some lovely countryside, where you’re just as likely to encounter a tractor as a car (well, almost). There are centuries old monasteries to wander around and some charming small towns that are well off the tourist trail yet still worth checking out.
Eat the meat
Serbians love eating, and dinner time will almost always mean massive servings of meat, mostly chicken, beef and pork. Fortunately, they do it well.
There’s more to Serbia’s second largest city than the Exit music festival, which practically takes over the place one summer weekend each year. Set on the beautiful Danube River, Novi Sad is a bustle of culture — café and otherwise. Check out the Petrovaradin Citadel which dominates the town’s skyline. The view of the river from here is truly stunning.