Following an excellent stay in Belgrade we made the short drive to Novi Sad, Serbia’s second largest city. Situated on the Danube, Novi Sad is only an hour away from the capital.
After getting settled into our AirBnb we went out to explore the town and were delighted to find a Christmas Market which had recently opened for the holiday season. There was a good mix of booths offering local specialties plus Christmas market staples like mulled wine and hot cocoa.
One of the unique food offerings was Chimney Cake, a sweet bread cooked on a spit and coated with toppings including chocolate, cinnamon, sugar, or nuts.
The temperature did not rise far above freezing during our time in Novi Sad so we made good use of the winter gear we had bought back in Ohrid.
In the evenings there were musical performances, including this choir that sang traditional Christmas carols.
Sometimes called the “Gibraltar on the Danube,” the Petrovaradin Fortress played a role in many of the battles between Turkish and Austrian forces as they fought for control of the region.
The clock tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks of Novi Sad. Uniquely, the hour and minute hands are reversed so that people on the river below can more easily see the hour from afar.
The bridges across the Danube were all destroyed in the NATO bombings in 1999 and had to be rebuilt afterward.
Novi Sad City Museum
Within the walls of the fortress is the Novi Sad City Museum that tells the story of Novi Sad from prehistoric times up until the present. There was a large collection of 19th century weaponry that the kids didn’t find very interesting, so we didn’t stay long.
Novi Sad seemed like a nice enough city but we probably wouldn’t go back there with kids because there just weren’t that many kid-friendly activities there, and we weren’t able to find any centrally located parks with playgrounds.
Our enjoyment of the city was probably lessened by the fact that it was quite cold the entire time we were there. Things might be a bit better in the summer when the Danube Strand is open, but for most families we’d recommend bypassing Novi Sad and spending more time in Belgrade.
Next time, we make our second visit to Zagreb to see if the Christmas Market there deserves its title of the best in Europe from 2016-2018.