Serbia might not be the first country that comes to mind when one thinks of a romantic getaway, but shame on you for such negative thoughts! This is as passionate as Europe is going to get, a state full of destinations perfect for amorous behaviour. Love locks got their start here after all.
Bridge of Love, Vrnjačka Banja
Where better to start than the Bridge of Love? It doesn’t get any more romantic than that. The lovelock craze may have taken over the world, but its beginnings can be traced back over a century to a little bridge in Vrnjačka Banja. The bridge was the meeting place of Nada and Relja, two young lovers from nearby, but everything went to hell when Relja was called off to fight in World War I. He met someone else, and Nada died of heartbreak.
Local girls started locking their romance to the bridge, hoping to avoid the fate of the famous couple. It remains an emotional pilgrimage for romantics worldwide, although try not to go the same way as Nada and Relja.
Aside from having an excellent name, Fantast Castle comes with many stories. It is said that the estate was built by Bogdan Dunđerski in order to prove his wealth, as rumours swirled about his bankruptcy. Bogdan built this most lavish complex and subsequently spent extravagantly on horses, wine and women.
After being heavily bombed during World War II the castle was restored, and it is now a hotel and restaurant just begging to be visited. There is also an ostrich farm, and it doesn’t get much more romantic than that.
Kaštel Castle, Ečka
Sticking with castles in Vojvodina, Ečka is another that sticks its name into the ‘Most Romantic Destination in Serbia’ hat with aplomb. Franz Liszt played piano here as a young boy, and the tender tinkling of the ivories still fills the air in the 21st century. The castle was built in the early 19th century but has been completely renovated since, making it the perfect getaway for lovestruck couples.
Villages don’t come more picturesque than Drvengrad. Hidden away near Mokra Gora, Drvengrad (also known as Küstendorf or Mećavnik) is straight from the unorthodox creative mind of filmmaker extraordinaire Emir Kusturica, and was constructed for his hugely underrated 2004 film Life is a Miracle. It is a collection of small wooden houses that hark back to a simpler time, a place where complexities are eschewed in favour of naked emotion and unbridled excitement. The main street is named after Ivo Andrić, which is alright by us.
There is a cliche about pictures being worth more than words, but we can’t quite put our finger on it right now. What is clear is that aesthetics don’t come much more breathtaking than that of Uvac Canyon, the main event of the stacked bill that is Serbian nature. The meanders of the river are as dramatic as meanders get. If you’re looking for a fairytale spot for that most romantic experience, Uvac is it.
Where better to take the prettiest girl or boy than to the prettiest town in Serbia? Sremski Karlovci has long held a position of importance within the Serbian nation, whether as the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the Habsburg Monarchy or the political and cultural capital of Vojvodina in the 19th century. This is a tiny town with plenty going on, with every street proving as enchanting as the last.
We’d be remiss to talk about romance in Serbia without bringing up the intensely passionate capital city. Belgrade is a city like no other, a town full of energy and life that is as aesthetically jarring as it is spiritually thrilling. It possesses the best parks in the country along with the finest nightlife in the region, not to mention idyllic restaurants and walks to rival anything on the continent. If you’re looking for romance in Serbia, Belgrade is invariably the place to search first.