The Best Spas and Wellness Retreats in Serbia

Healing H2O near Sokobanja, Serbia
Healing H2O near Sokobanja, Serbia | © Cedomir Zarkovic / WikiMedia Commons

‘Tranquility’ and ‘Serbia’ might not be two words that get put together in the media too often, but the Balkan nation is home to some of Europe’s most impressive and underrated wellness centres. If the chaotic nightlife of the country has left you frazzled, make a beeline for one of these spots.
Serbia can be a tumultuous place to visit at the best of times, but serenity isn’t far away. Every corner of the country comes complete with a spa or three, centres of wellness waiting to take those stresses away through healing waters and absolute equanimity. Serbia might not be an obvious option for spa tourism, but thinking outside the box certainly has its rewards.


Where better to start than where it all began? The healing waters of Sokobanja have been known for centuries, but it wasn’t until the Ottoman yoke had been removed that people came here for touristic purposes. Miloš Obrenović demanded the development of spa tourism in eastern Serbia, and Sokobanja soon became the spa of choice for the cultural elite. This was a place where the nobles and artists crossed paths, so choose your side and put those feet up.

Sokobanja spa, Serbia

Vrnjačka Banja

A small town that packs one mighty punch, Vranjačka Banja is one of the most popular towns in all of Serbia. People have been coming here to heal themselves since the days of the Romans, and they show no sign of stopping any time soon. There are seven thermal springs here, leaving plenty of choice for the picky visitor. Vrnjačka Banja is also the starting point for the love lock craze that has spread across the world, adding romantic history to the serene wellness.

The very first love lock bridge in the world

Niška Banja

Niš is famous throughout Serbia for its energetic atmosphere and absolutely unbeatable food, but 9km (5.6mi) east of the city lies one of the most popular spa centres in the country. The spa is located at the foot of the Suva Planina mountain, which adds an extra aesthetic element to this idyllic scene. Tourism here only really caught on in the 20th century, but it hasn’t looked back since.

The healing waters of Niška Banja

Banja Koviljača

Sokobanja might get the plaudits when it comes to celebrating the start of Serbian spa tourism, but you must travel west to Banja Koviljača in order to find the oldest spa. Also known as the Royal Spa, it is defined by the majesty of its natural surroundings, hemmed in as it is by the iconic Drina river and the Gučevo mountain. Vuk Karadžić wrote about this place in the 19th century, adding an extra layer of national pride to the whole thing.

The entrance to the spa in Banja Koviljača, Serbia


It doesn’t get much more elegant than this. Bukovička is the golden belle of Serbian spas, a blissful centre for health that once hosted some of the most fashionable parties in Yugoslavia. The Obrenović dynasty spent plenty of time here, and if it’s good enough for one of the two royal families than it’s good enough for doe-eyed 21st-century visitors. Knjaz Miloš is also bottled nearby, so happy sipping!

Banja Vrujci

Sticking with iconic Serbian mineral water, the unusually packaged VodaVoda is sourced from the area around Banja Vrujci in the northwest of the country. Here we find bathing pools built on the thermal water springs, adding a flowing nature to the whole thing. it makes for a unique experience at this spot just 48km (30mi) from Valjevo. The undulating hills are reason enough to visit, and the health benefits are the (sugar-free) cherry on top.

The center of the spa in Banja Vrujci

Novopazarska Banja

Novi Pazar is the magnificent ‘other’ of Serbia, a throwback to the Ottoman years that is far and away the youngest city in the country. The town’s spa is equally unusual, sat just outside the town some 500m (1,640ft) uphill, making it one of the highest spas in the country. The treatments are fairly standard, but there is something unmistakably ‘Novi Pazar’ about it all that really attracts.

Banja Vrdnik

Fruška Gora is one of the most fantastically idyllic parts of Serbia, so it’s no surprise to find a typically tranquil spa within its forested land. Just 24km (15mi) from Novi Sad, Vrdnik also offers an impressive array of swimming pools, including one outdoor Olympic-sized beast that is nigh on impossible to resist. The Ravanica monastery is also nearby, as if the spa wasn’t tranquil enough.

Culture Trips 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. 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 places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article