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We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again and again and, yes, again. Vojvodina is Serbia’s prettiest region, a land of classical architecture and sleepy towns that will just as likely steal your heart as your mind. Fruška Gora National Park is the main event, but these 10 towns and villages are a more than palatable accompaniment.
Starting at the very top, Subotica is a border town with a difference. The Hungarian influence is clear all over, but the majestic City Hall is a monument to great Serbian architecture. One of the most striking buildings in all of Serbia, the early 20th century structure is undoubtedly the nation’s finest example of Art Nouveau architecture. Lake Palić is nearby too, one of the finest summer spots in the area.
We’ve never made any secret of our love for Sremski Karlovci, and we stand by our frequently stated claim that it is the most beautiful town in the entire country. Life revolves around one square, but the town has long held an importance in Serbian culture that far outweighs its size. The first Serbian high school was built here, in a town that was the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church for many years.
The biggest town in Vojvodina and the second biggest in the entire country, Novi Sad is packed with sights and sounds befitting a city known as the Serbian Athens. The EXIT Festival and Petrovaradin Fortress get most of the press, but don’t miss the city centre and its myriad of excellent pubs either. Zmaj Jovina and Dunajska make up two of the region’s most inviting streets, and all this without mentioning the majestic main square.
If you’re a fan of owls, then Kikinda is the town for you. We’ll admit that that isn’t a sentence we thought we’d get to write, but dreams do come true. More owls station themselves here in winter than anywhere else on the planet, making it one of the most important urban environments for wild beasts going. Situated north of Novi Sad, Kikinda is also home to a full mastodon skeleton, one of the rarest of its kind. The architecture of the town is plenty pretty too, ticking all the boxes that make Vojvodina a genuine delight.
It has been through plenty of names in its history, but Zrenjanin has always offered much in the way of culture and pleasing architecture. Known as the City of Bridges, some have even referred to what was once Petrograd as the ‘New Barcelona’. We wouldn’t go that far, but its still a gorgeous little town with an underrated cultural scene.
Serbia’s hidden weapon. Other towns and cities in Vojvodina get more attention, but few come close to Sombor in the beauty stakes. There is a forgotten charm here, as Sombor offers a window to a past that focused on aesthetics above all else. The town centre is painstakingly maintained and could well take home the award for ‘Best Town Centre’ in the entire country.
Oenophiles, you are well and truly in luck. Serbia’s wine scene often gets lost under the mass of rakija and burgeoning craft beer revolution, but some of the best wines in the region are found on this little patch of land bordering Romania. Vršac is the centre of wine culture up here, and the good stuff flows under the watchful eye of the Vršac Tower. The oldest pharmacy in the Balkans is also here, and needless to say it has dispensed many a hangover cure over the centuries.
It may not carry the same status today, but there was a time when Sremska Mitrovica was one of the four most important towns in the Roman Empire. The Romans even went so far as to refer to it as the ‘Glorious Mother of Cities’, which is heady praise to say the least. Ten Roman Emperors were born in the area, so you can see the reasoning. In the 21st century, Sremska Mitrovica is a peaceful town on the bank of the Sava river.
Bač itself is a small town with little to write home about other than its impressive fortress, the oldest of its kind in Vojvodina. Much like Sremska Mitrovica, Bač’s best days are centuries behind it, but the 14th-century fortress remains one of the most majestic and historic spots in the entire country.
Just 18 kilometres from Belgrade, Pančevo’s past and present are intrinsically linked to the Serbian capital. The town is home to the oldest choral society in the country, which was once chaired by the irrepressible Davorin Jenko, the Slovene composer responsible for the Serbian national anthem’s melody. Known informally as Pančester or Pansterdam, Pančevo is a gritty town with a plethora of cultural institutions within.