The Balkan Peninsula’s Synapse

Located in the centre of the Balkan Peninsula, it is little wonder that all roads pass through Serbia. The complex story of the country follows the ebb and flow of the region. The documented history here reaches back to the Paleolithic Period. Over the last millennia, Serbia has watched empires, kingdoms, political systems, unifications, and liberations come and go. Between periods of autonomy and independence, Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, Austro-Hungarians, and Yugoslavia have all left their mark on this stretch of land that is today bordered by eight countries: Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo*, Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary.

The country—once one of six republics within Yugoslavia and then one of two within the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro—is marked by several regions with specific personalities. In the far north, the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina is famous for wine and its fertile plains crossed by the Danube River. The central and southern areas have hills, farms, and welcoming villages. The Dinaric Alps roll into the country from the west.

Tourism here leans heavily on landscape but also culture. Serbia is famous for its Orthodox monasteries dating to medieval times. The country is also famed for its natural food, wine, and schnapps (called rakija), as well as its warmth toward visitors and love of celebrations. Art lovers will marvel at the area’s monuments, which connect Serbia to the post-World War II, Yugoslavian era.

*All references to Kosovo, whether the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nation’s Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.

How to get there?

Visitors can reach Serbia by car, plane—with Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport being the main international airport—bus, and train. Active travelers can also pedal through the country by bicycle, which crosses the border through the EuroVelo 6, 11, and 13 routes, or trek on the Via Dinarica hiking trail, which traverses the entire Western Balkans region.

  • Time Zone
    GMT +1
  • Population
    7 million
  • Capital
  • Official language
  • Currency
    Serbian Dinar, or RSD (1 EUR = 118.42 RSD)

EU citizens do not need a visa to visit Serbia for stays of 90 days or shorter.

Cultural Routes in Serbia

Part of two EU macro-regional strategies—the Adriatic-Ionian and the Danube—there are four Cultural Routes that passes through the country: the European Cemeteries Route, the Roman Emperors and Danube Wine Route, the Réseau Art Nouveau Network, and the TRANSROMANICA – The Romanesque Routes of European Heritage.

European Cemeteries Route

Among this route’s priorities is to focus on the traditions, heritage, artistry, and history associated with European funerals, grave sites, and cemeteries. In Serbia, the site along this route is the New Cemetery in the capital city of Belgrade.

Roman Emperors and Danube Wine Route

This path encompasses five countries along the Middle and Lower Danube. Focusing on the movement of the Romans in the “northern frontier of the Empire,” the sites on the route include archeological sites and wine regions. Serbia figures prominently on the route, and specifically the northern area of the country in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina. Other locales to investigate the route follow the Danube as it heads south and east out of the country. Those sites include: Sremski Karlovci, just south of Novi Sad; Belgrade; the Viminatium Site archaeological near the town of Kostolac; Zaječar, on the eastern border; the Ivanović Winery in the southern third of the country; and the Sirmium Emperors Palace in the town of Sremska Mitrovica.

Réseau Art Nouveau Network

This association aims to raise awareness about the Art Nouveau movement. Cities with significant Art Nouveau heritage have come together to pay homage to the era and its creation. According to the website: “Enterprise and commitment are the Network’s chief hallmarks.” The group’s goal is to inform professionals and educate the public about the heritage as well as the “cultural significance and European dimension” of Art Nouveau. Serbia’s chief place on the route is the city of Subotica.

TRANSROMANICA – The Romanesque Routes of European Heritage

This network, which runs across nine countries, is dedicated to Romanesque art and architecture. The focus of the association is to study “the Romanesque heritage in the regions.” By doing this, the hope is to provide travellers with information while developing the sites for “cultural and tourism purposes.” In Serbia, the objects most associated with the Cultural Route are monasteries from the Raška school of architecture.

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