It’s easy to see most of the city if you spend just one day in Novi Sad. It’s much smaller than Belgrade and a very walkable city. In my opinion, it’s one of the top must visit places in Serbia.
How to get from Belgrade to Novi Sad
The train from Belgrade to Novi Sad is easy and straight forward, just make sure that you get a return ticket. Write it down in Serbian if you can as I ended up with a one way ticket and had to pay to get back without realising. The train from Belgrade to Novi Sad takes around 1hr 40 minutes and so it is doable as a day trip.
The easiest way to get there is to book a private transfer or a taxi from Belgrade to Novi Sad. Serbia is reasonably cheap compared to Western standards and the price of a private transfer is not soo expensive if you book your ride in advance. Travelling by car will take you door to door and will take approximately an hour and a half. You can book transfers for as little as $20.
How to Spend One Day in Novi Sad
This walking tour of Novi Sad starts at Petrovaradin Fortress and leads you past the clock and over the Danube to the historical part of the town. If you would like to read about how to get from Petrovaradin station to Petrovaradin Fortress, click here. I did this as a day trip from Belgrade, but if you want to stay overnight in Novi Sad you can stay at Arhiv or Garni Boutique Hotel Arta. For Vegans there is the fabulous Vege & Vegan Restaurant and Accommodation complete with Vegan breakfast.
Petrovaradin Fortress, City Museum and Novi Sad Clock
If you are taking the train to Novi Sad, get off at the stop ‘Petrovaradin’ one before Novi Sad and then you will be able to enjoy the fortress followed by this one day in Novi Sad walking tour. The fortress is about 15 minutes walk from Petrovaradin station.
Petrovaradin Fortress was Austrian built to protect the Serbs against the Turks – you can tell this from the red brick construction. It is the largest fully preserved C18th fortress in Europe and well worth visiting.
The City Museum
While you are up near the Fortress, if you have time – go in the City Museum of Novi Sad. It is full of atillery and historical memorabilia from WW1 and WW2. A very interesting museum if you are into World War history and want to learn more about the history of Serbia.
Novi Sad Clock
It is still fully functional and rings on the hour. If you look carefully, you will see that the hour and minute hands are reversed – this was so that the hour could be seen from afar – it was built to show the time to boats and ships on the Danube.
Crossing the Bridge from Petraveradin Fortress to Novi Sad
To the left of the clock platform, you will see a row of shops and restaurants. Look for the tunnel round the corner (you will see lots of people going in and out – see picture below) and this houses a long staircase that will take you directly down to the bridge connecting Petrovaradin to Novi Sad.
It is not very disabled friendly as there are a lot of uneven steps, so be aware of this if you have accessibility issues. There are alternative routes down, they just take longer.
At the bottom head towards the bridge where you may notice the ‘shark’ street art!
Crossing the bridge from Petrovaradin to Novi Sad should be about a 15-20 minute walk. Everything is clearly signposted when you arrive on the other side of the Danube.
The tourist information centre is on the main road straight ahead, if you need to stop for any advice or to pick up a map of the area. However, be aware that the Tourist Information centre in Novi Sad is closed on weekends. I rocked up on a Saturday expecting a nice city centre map, but it was closed! So, I had to rely on the good nature of the locals who directed me to the main pedestrianised zone.
Before I headed on to explore the main square, I stopped off for a lovely lunch and to make use of the Wif-Fi at Pizzeria Gondola.
Walking from the bridge across the Danube, go straight ahead until you come to Danube Park on your right hand side. Head diagonally right through this park and you will arrive at the stunning main pedestrian zone.
The City Centre
The centre of Novi Sad is, in my opinion, much more beautiful than the hotch-potch of architecture that is Belgrade. The main historical square and surrounding streets are pedestrianised.
Dunavska Street and the Serbian Orthodox Church
I headed down the beautiful Dunavska street, one of the most beautiful and popular streets of Novi Sad.
There is an outside cafe culture in Novi Sad and this street is bustling, especially during the summer months.
My first stop was a visit to the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of Novi Sad, built between 1860-1905 (the foundations were built in 1734).
You can go inside the Novi Sad Serbian Orthodox Church for free. Just remember to respect that it is a place of worship (silence and no mobile phones). Girls do not need to cover their heads in the Serbian Orthodox Church. You will see the beautiful Iconostatis directly in front of you as you enter…
Exploring the streets near the Serbian Orthodox Church, I found some fantastic street art.
I then walked past Vladicanski Dvor (The Bishops Place) which was one of the most stunning buildings in Novi Sad. Please be aware that you are not allowed to enter!
The Main Square – The Town Hall and Catholic Church
I then walked from the Bishops place down Zmaj Jovina to the main square. On Svetozar Miletic Square (the main square sometimes called Liberty Square), you will see the Town Hall and the stunning Catholic Cathedral called ‘The Name of Mary Church’.
Novi Sad Catholic Cathedral is a striking structure in gothic architectural design.
The city is known for being religiously inclusive, as there is also a Jewish Synagogue in the city centre. That means that Novi Sad has an Orthodox Cathedral, a Catholic Cathedral and a Synagogue all within 500 metres of each other.
It had been a long day, and it was time to head back to Belgrade, ready for my flight the next day. Many local people stopped to help me to find my way back to the train station, and they all seemed to speak perfectly good English. I wish I had more time to spend in Novi Sad, but that’s always the way! 😉
One last thing, look out for the Steam Train on display outside the train station!
Key Points on seeing Novi Sad in One Day
- Small enough to walk around all of the attractions.
- Petrovaradin 18th Century Fortress.
- Religiously diverse and architecturally pleasing pedestrianised historical zone.
- Set on the Danube.
- Tourist Information open business hours Monday to Friday only.
- If you get lost, people will stop and help you and many speak English!
If you visit Petroveradin Fortress and Novi Sad, I hope that you have a truly wonderful time there. Connect with me on Facebook for more pictures and advice.
You might also like to read about Underground Belgrade with Travel Time Collection and Exploring Belgrade with my New Russian friend Sergei!