While many European nations can be said to be a blend of East and West, it’s perhaps Serbia who can claim this most authentically. From the Ottoman era to the Habsburg Empire, a river of passion has run through the country. This is a land where the people are truly one of the best parts of your visit - they’re wonderfully hospitable and kind, going out of their way to ensure that travelers go home with only positive experiences. Here’s why we’re loving Serbia and what you can see when there, from glorious spas to decadent cuisine. 

Reasons We Love Serbia 

There’s Always a Festival Going On. 

Whether it’s the Belgrade Beer Fest or the Nisville Jazz Festival, there’s always something on the calendar in Serbia. In Belgrade alone, there’s practically a festival per month. The jazz festival, named one of the top 10 such festivals in Europe, has been going on for four decades and brings in top talent in the jazz, soul, funk and blues genres. If you love a good music festival, visit during the Guca Trumpet Festival, host to internationally renowned Serbian musician and composer Goran Bregovich. Beyond their musical and cultural offerings, lively Serbian festivals always offer up delicious cuisine, too! 

There’s Decadent Dining Everywhere You Look. 

Speaking of food, head to the southern part of Serbian for the very best fare. If you’re a meat lover, you’re in luck, as much of the cuisine is based on grilled meats. Meal times aren’t just for sustenance, but for socializing as well. Sit for a while and tuck into some sarma, a traditional dish of pickled cabbage, minced meat and rice, prepared in vine leaves. Move on to cevapi, grilled minced meat with chopped onions, or karadordeva snicla, pork or beef stuffed with kajmak cheese then deep-fried. Craving something sweet? Finish your meal with a knedle dumpling - mashed potato dough with plum filling. 

Belgrade Has So Much to Offer. 

To truly feel the soul of Serbia, visit Belgrade. With music, food, art, history, green space and more, this is a capital city that wants to impress - but does so in a quiet manner. It’s not the prettiest of European capitals, but it’s a time capsule that comes to life. As you wander, you’ll see socialist blocks, art nouveau architecture, remnants of Habsburg and Ottoman legacies and the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers and more. Spend time walking the lively pedestrian boulevard that stretches to the ancient Belgrade Fortress. Pop into cool coffee houses. And take your time admiring the galleries of Savamala, the city’s creative epicenter.

There Are Countless Wellness Spas. 

Need R&R? Serbia has a spa for you. The Romans and Ottomans knew what they were doing centuries ago when they harnessed the healing powers of the country’s many thermal springs. The Vrnjacka Banja resort is one such wellness spa, with seven thermal and mineral springs. The baths are set in a lovely natural area with a comfortable climate, making it easy to go from soaking to hiking and back again. Other health-oriented wellness spas in the country include Sokobanja, Niska Banja, Lukovska Banja and Prol-Banja. 

There Are So Many Monasteries to Visit. 

For those interested in ancient and religious history, Serbia offers much to explore, particularly when it comes to monasteries. There are more than 200 of them scattered about the country - 54 of them are recognized as architectural monuments and many are part of the mythical “Valley of the Kings.” Look for Byzantine, Baroque and Romanesque influences in the wide variety of styles and interior decoration. Particularly notable are Studenica, Sopocani and Djurdjevi Berane, which together with Gradac and Zica, are part of the “Transromantica” cultural route. 

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