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The Raichle palace in Subotica, Serbia
The Raichle palace in Subotica, Serbia | © Nenad Nedomacki/Shutterstock
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How To Spend 24 Hours in Subotica, Serbia

Picture of John William Bills
Updated: 28 April 2018
While all of Serbia’s cities deserve more than 24 hours, sometimes that’s all the time travellers have to spare. It is easy to get caught up in coffee drinking instead of making the most of a town in a short space of time, so luckily for you we are here to guide you through a perfect day in Subotica.

Morning

Get the camera ready

Subotica’s city centre is one of those that fits the descriptor ‘small but perfectly formed’, and it is possible to see the best of the best in the city centre in one big stroll. The border town is home to Serbia’s finest examples of Art Nouveau architecture, and they don’t come much better than the absolutely magnificent City Hall.

Disregard the architectural style — this is one of the finest constructions in the entire region. We’d say that it is Subotica’s most photogenic building, but that may well be the most superfluous point we have ever made. Give the hall plenty of attention, but don’t forget to check out the Synagogue, Raichle Palace, City Museum and the rest.

One of the marvels of Serbian architecture
One of the marvels of Serbian architecture | © Nenad Nedomacki / Shutterstock

Afternoon

Head to the lake

The reason for rushing through a morning in the city centre will soon become apparent, as the delightful expanse of Lake Palić opens up in front of you. The lake is situated just outside Subotica, and predictably becomes the centre of life during the warmer months. With an afternoon in Palić confirmed, there are a couple of options to take up the time.

The first of these is the fairly obvious option of sitting and relaxing by the lake. Is there anything better? With the sun beating down, the distant patter of laughter close enough to regale but far enough to avoid intrusion, a book in one hand and a beer in the other – it really ticks all of the boxes. You can easily spend the afternoon at Lake Palić doing a grand total of nothing.

Alternatively, you can join one of the many wine tours that traverse the area. Touring the wineries can be done independently, but joining a tour gives the added advantage of removing the transport conundrum. Best to focus purely on sampling the fine wines without having to worry about breaking the law behind the wheel.

The tranquil beauty of Lake Palić
The tranquil beauty of Lake Palić | @ Zdravko Ciric / Shutterstock

Evening

Time to fill that stomach

The plentiful food samples that come along with wine tasting should tide you over until the evening, when a trip to one of Subotica’s fine restaurants will become equal parts essential and exciting. Subotica’s geographical position makes for a unique gastronomical offer, with the excitable elements of Hungarian food tempered by the more pragmatic and functional Serbs, although you won’t find those two adjectives used to describe the Serbs too often.

The city is full of great restaurants, with Bates, Gostiona Gurinović and Vinski Dvor among the best. There are plenty of international options, but why not dive into the local way of life with two feet?

Subotica, Serbia
Subotica, Serbia | © Nenad Nedomacki / Shutterstock

Night

A little bit of culture or a whole lot of alcohol

With the sun long gone, there are two major options when it comes to spending the night in Subotica. The cultural option is to take in a show at the National Theatre, a culture house unique due to its dual language program. If you think ethnic harmony is impossible in Serbia, you’ve simply not visited Subotica.

The other option is one that can still be taken once the curtain falls of course, and that is to party the night away in one of the town’s bars, pubs and clubs. Subotica has a vibrant and energetic population, with plenty of young folk vying for attention alongside the hardened drinkers of the town. The Klein House Social Bar and Art Gallery is the undoubted heart of creative life in the city, although people seem to be imbibing a little more than they are creating. Best join them!

Subotica_townhall_at_night copy
Subotica’s City Hall lit up at night | @ Prissantenbar/WikiMedia Commons