Our backpacking Serbia itinerary explains the best way to spend 5 days in Serbia without a car.
We travelled Serbia with public transport. In our Serbia travel blog, we show you how to create your own Serbia itinerary using only buses and trains.
Many travellers choose to rent a car in Serbia. This is by no means necessary. We found the public transport in Serbia amazing. Big and small cities are well connected by buses and trains. It’s super easy to move around as well as go on day trips with public transport.
Belgrade is the capital of Serbia and a must-see!
The highlights of central Belgrade include:
We stayed at Up Hostel. The location right on Skadarska Street was amazing. The bedrooms, kitchen, and bathrooms were clean and the beds with curtains were very sturdy and private.
In the morning, your itinerary brings you to the Church of Saint Sava, the largest Orthodox Church currently in use. Make sure to also check out the crypt.
On the way, there are plenty of sights like the Ruins of the Radio Television of Serbia HQ from the 1999 NATO bombing.
In the afternoon, the former Hungarian border town of Zemun is worth a visit. Notice how it is completely different from Belgrade. The highlight is the Millenium Tower with its amazing view.
Novi Sad is our favourite city in Serbia. It’s colourful, walkable, and full of nice bars and restaurants. The second-largest city in Serbia was declared the European Capital of Culture in 2022 for a reason!
The best things to do in Novi Sad are:
You can either take buses or trains. There are loads of options during the day. We took the train because a local told us it’s cheaper and more scenic but there’s one caveat: Belgrade moved its train station to the middle of nowhere – we walked and we still have MAJOR regrets.
We stayed at Hostel Stari Grad. The location is a 10/10: It’s on the way from the bus and train station to the city centre and very close to the centre. To be honest, though, the feeling was a bit off. There were many men living long term which resulted in a different vibe than a traveller vibe where you can meet other people. If you only look for a place to stay it’s perfect though.
Sremski Karlovci is mainly known for two things: The former seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church and wine. These are the main things to do:
Explore around the main square.
Have a wine tasting.
Hike to the viewpoint.
Roam around a bit.
Sremski Karlovci is only 10 km (6 mi) away from Novi Sad. Buses and trains leave regularly.
Subotica is super close to the Hungarian border. It is known for its Hungarian architecture (mostly Art Nouveau). The best thing to do in Subotica is to hunt down architectonic gems like
Palic is a spa town close to Subotica. It is mostly known for its lake, its spa architecture as well as its wineries.
Comprehensive travel guide including Subotica what to see and Palic what to see.
While there are two daily trains from Novi Sad to Subotica, buses are the more frequent and convenient option.
We stayed at Hostel Put Svile and could not recommend it more. The location at the bus station is extremely convenient, it’s spotless clean, and the owners are super friendly and helpful. Additionally, it is amazing value for money for a private room.
Last but not least: Do we think Serbia is worth visiting? Yes, Serbia is absolutely worth a visit be it on its own or as part of a bigger Balkans backpacking trip.
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