European countries don’t come much more unorthodox than Serbia, so it stands to reason that the Balkan nation is full of weird and wonderful attractions. Some are more unusual than the rest, however, from bizarre statues to utterly pointless bridges.
Dry Bridge, Zrenjanin
We’ll start with the aforementioned utterly pointless bridge. Zrenjanin’s Dry Bridge wasn’t always superfluous, but the redirection of the Begej river in 1985 left this overpass without a purpose. Originally known as the Captain’s Bridge, it has become a somewhat ironic symbol of the city, and has thus resisted all calls for it to be pulled down. Bridges are generally there for a reason, making this redundant example one of the most unique of its kind.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Rocky Balboa, Žitište
Serbia is full of statues of military leaders, poets and politicians, but it is also home to a statue of the world’s favourite fictional boxer. The people of Žitište, an agricultural village in Vojvodina, were looking for an idol to celebrate the values of hard work, perseverance and discipline. Who better than Rocky Balboa? The statue was unveiled at Chicken Fest (yes) in 2007, and the rest is history.
Šalinac Grove, Šalinac
There is something peculiarly beautiful about dead trees, and anyone who echoes that sentiment should make a beeline for the little village of Šalinac right away. The nearby grove of the same name is home to a few hundred old trees, many of which are as dead as the dodo. This is the last example of the oak and ash forests that were once king in these parts, although all that remains is an eerie atmosphere and some magnificent aesthetics.
The world’s oldest alligator, Belgrade
Belgrade Zoo isn’t a particularly great place to be, but it is home to a true curiosity on the planet. It is in the confines of the Kalemegdan park that we find Muja, widely believed to be the oldest living alligator in the world. Muja has been here since September 1936, and is among the residents of Belgrade who can say they have lived in four different countries without leaving home.
Partisan monuments, everywhere
Found all over the country, the Partisan monuments of Serbia (and the wider former Yugoslav region) have become some of the most iconic memorials in the world. Each is different to the last, and all of them have a story to tell. Many of the so-called spomeniks (spomenik is Serbian for ‘monument’) have been left to rot, but even those present a fascinating window into the complex history of the region.
Jagodina Wax Museum, Jagodina
Get that pinch of salt ready. Jagodina holds a strange reputation within Serbia, and not without good reason. It is home to a wax museum that everyone has heard about but not everyone has visited, both of which are due to the same reason. The Jagodina Wax Museum is one of the most befuddling we have ever experienced, a small house of distorted figures that confuse and enthral in equal measures. It is a rollicking good time, although maybe not in the way you expected it to be.
Bob Marley, Banatski Sokolac
A tiny village in the very east of the country, Banatski Sokolac isn’t likely to ring many bells among readers. Less than 400 people live here, but the village gained international notoriety in 2008 when it unveiled a statue to Jamaican reggae legend and worldwide superstar, Bob Marley. Much like the Rocky statue in Žitište and the Bruce Lee equivalent in Mostar, the idea was to celebrate a figure of peace and co-existence.
Genex Tower, Belgrade
The capital is full of imposing architecture, but few buildings in the city inspire as much awe as the Western City Gate. Known colloquially as the Genex Tower, it looks for all the world like the headquarters of an evil genius and his much-maligned cat. One of the towers is actually abandoned, while the other is home to fairly basic apartments. The spaceship on top was once home to a rotating restaurant, and we can neither confirm nor deny the existence of the aforementioned evil genius there today.
It might seem strange to recommend an entire city as a weird attraction, but there is something truly jarring about the western city of Užice. Nowhere in the Balkans is the juxtaposition of historical and brutalist architecture so stark, and the city centre is a jolting mixture of old buildings and monolithic blocks of concrete. The town itself is a lot of fun, but spots like Hotel Zlatibor will more than likely be the prevailing memory once you’ve left.
The House on the Drina, Bajina Bašta
Sitting sweetly on the Drina is a tiny house, a most unusual sight in Serbia’s natural wonderland. The house was built in 1968 by a group of friends looking for somewhere to rest while swimming, although its precarious position has seen it destroyed on multiple occasions in the years since. The house managed to avoid the international press until 2012, when it was feature as the National Geographic’s ‘Photo of the Day’. None of this changes the fact that houses shouldn’t exist in the middle of raging rivers.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.