In TRAVEL

Last week I ventured across the world with 5 friends to explore Serbia, located in Southeastern Europe. It was an incredible trip filled with authentic Serbian cuisine, history, beautiful attractions, lively nightlife, outdoor adventures, and so many cool cultural experiences. We spent most of the trip in Belgrade, the capital city of Serbia and a couple days exploring the rural areas on the eastern side of the country near Romania. My travel buddies: John, Blake, Katie, Becca, Kit (and Jenn & David our hosts!). [Professional photography in this post shot by John Philp Thompson.]

Air Serbia started our trip out right with an awesome flying experience that made the 11 hour flight so enjoyable –  I don’t know how I’ll ever top an airline experience with a reclining massage chair, wine tasting, and white table cloth dining experience! When we landed, we met with our guide Srjdan who walked us through the heart of Belgrade and gave us a little overview of the city. The cobblestone streets were filled with locals eating & drinking, gypsy bands, a mix of modern & historical architecture, unique art, a farmer’s market, coffee & pastry shops, dogs (literally, dogs everywhere), and scenic views of fortresses in the distance along the Danube. We quickly found out ‘Serbian time’ is a bit different than our sense of time, and in this part of the world, the pace of life is much slower.

 

Just a little bit of history…

Serbia is a landlocked country in Southeast Europe that was previously part of Yugoslavia (made up of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia). Since Yugoslavia collapsed, the country has struggled with ethnic conflict between Christian Serbs and Muslim Kosovo Albanians.  The capital city of Serbia, Belgrade, lies in between the Danube & Sava rivers and is one of the most coveted cities in the world – it’s been occupied or destroyed over 40 times in the past 2,000 yearsHere are some of the amazing things we did during the trip that should absolutely be added to your itinerary when exploring Serbia:

Golubac Fortress along the Danube – the stunning medieval fortresses in Serbia looked like something straight out of a fairy tale!

St. Sava Temple – The largest Orthodox church in the world (Christian Orthodox is the main religion of Serbia).

Viminacium – a former Roman military camp. Yes – dressing up as little Roman women was definitely one of my trip highlights (haha). I say ‘little’ because the average height of a Roman woman was 5′ – shorties! We got to act as Romans for the day wearing traditional robes, tasting red wine from ancient amphora, and touring ancient ruins including the public baths they’d relax in for hours each day.

Boat Ride along the Danube – we cruised along Europe’s second largest river, right in between Serbia & Romania while drinking authentic Serbian beer & coffee.

Bukovo Monastery – vast vineyards & wine tasting

Lunch at Kapetan Misin Breg –  an authentic open-air art gallery serving authentic Serbian food with an amazing view of the Danube. How pretty is that display of food!?

Soko Banja – hiking to the top of ancient ruins in Eastern Serbia

Sicevo Gorge – it was an incredible view from the top. To get here, we drove along a winding road through tiny towns where the people were so surprised to see cars driving through!

(wearing my Nike Juvenates below, my fave!)

 Hotel Moskva in Belgrade – the oldest hotel in the city covered in luxurious decor. This hotel has hosted over 40 million guests including – Albert Einstein, Elizabeth Taylor, and Brad Pitt!

(Bindya Scarf | Steve Madden Shoes | Tobi Romper)

The Splavs (nightclubs on boats): Serbia is known for it’s nightlife scene which has turned the city into a nightlife destination. Serbs don’t typically start the party until midnight! We had quite the night getting to experience VIP service at Freestyler, their most popular nightclub.

The FOOD, a few notes about Serbian cuisine

Meat. Potatoes. Veggies. Most of our meals consisted of some form of potatoes, vegetables, and dairy. It’s common for a plate of sausage, prosciutto, beef, etc. to be set on the table as an appetizer. The national dishes include pljeskavica – a ground beef/pork patty and Karađorđeva šnicla – schnitzel. But, the vegetable dishes were my fave – we had so many fresh salads!

Turkish Coffee – strong, muddy, and gritty coffee Serbians like to slowly drink over the span of 2-3 hours. Served with a chewy Turkish Delight! Best coffee spot: Restaurant Question Mark (sign looks like“?”) in Belgrade.

Rakija – the national drink of Serbia – homemade rakija – is basically plum brandy but tasted more like moonshine if you ask me.. SO strong.


Hoping my little trip diary and beautiful shots from my trip interest you in possibly exploring Serbia on your own! I’d love to share more details if you’re interested in more info about my experience 🙂 The National Tourism Organization of Serbia did a fabulous job of planning the best things for us to experience and where to stay. Be on the look out for a few of my favorite outfits I wore during the trip and some suggestions for what to wear while traveling & touring in Europe later this week!

xo, liv

 

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Showing 55 comments
  • Reply

    It looks like y’all had SO much fun!! I have never even been out of the country…. 🙁
    That flight looks AMAZING. Definitely hard to top!

    Loved that you included history about Serbia too.
    Try to catch up on some sleep!

    xo,

    Kelly Hoover
    http://www.theglamorousteacher.com

  • Vlado
    Reply

    Olivia, you have brought an AWESOME story and accompanying photos about Serbia! Many of these I haven’t experienced myself while I was living there. So wonderful, thorough and inspiring!
    Thank you!!!

  • Montreal
    Reply

    I was in Belgrade at the same time, and I saw your group walking in front of the Parliament.

  • Yves Bruyere
    Reply

    I’d follow you anywhere !! With or without shoes !!

  • Danica
    Reply

    I am really proud how you described my country.

  • Dragana P.
    Reply

    Beautiful story about Serbia!
    I am glade that you had a great time in our country!
    You are welcome to visit us again and see very interesting areas and natural beauties in other parts of Serbia, too.
    Best wishes,
    Dragana

  • Mirko
    Reply

    Olivia, thank you. Hvala/Хвала in Serbian.
    I hope you had a great time in SRB. Looking at the pics you sure did. Next time try to visit Novi Sad and do a Monastery tour across the country it’s simply amazing.

    One note it’s not Turkish coffee but rather black/domestic/Serbian coffee. Just like the Greeks we have similar problems so please keep that in mind. All the best and veliki pozdrav from Subotica.

  • ArtHistorian
    Reply

    Thank You Olivia for presenting my country this beautiful 🙂 Hope You will come again to visit some more interesting locations and have more comfortable and nice time 🙂

  • Agnes van Duffelen
    Reply

    Wow! what a great experience and a very nice impression of beautiful Serbia! It is very tempting to visit Serbia now. I enjoyed reading it and watching the beautiful pictures.

    Agnes van Duffelen
    Baltus Communications – The Netherlands -EU

  • Jasmina
    Reply

    Beautiful pictures!
    Btw. “Zaječarsko” beer is the best 😀

  • Mila
    Reply

    Wow! I really enjoyed this post. Thank you for representing Serbia in its natural light 🙂 I hope you come back soon – Montenegro would be a great next stop.

  • Goran
    Reply

    Awesome outfits, lady.
    That maxi dress in an aley…
    And barefoot in front if Golubac…
    Can’t say what is better, model or photographer…

  • Goran
    Reply

    Awesome outfits, lady.
    That maxi dress in an aley…
    And barefoot in front of Golubac…
    Can’t say what is better, model or photographer…

  • Stevan
    Reply

    I just can say THANKS to you as one Serbian.
    If you have wish to see the rest of Serbia i will be kind to be your host personal. Just send me e-mail😄 Regards from Kragujevac,Serbia!

  • Sokobanja
    Reply

    What a wonderful journey. Thanks for sharing.

  • Aleksandra
    Reply

    This is amazing! You have been to the Bukovo monastery which is in my hometown Negotin, I was SO pleased when I saw the pictures. I hope you liked Serbia, come again soon! Lots of kisses xxx

  • Natali
    Reply

    I practically grew up in a country next door, Croatia but I haven’t lived there since 2007.
    Your post and photo diary have reminded me of how beautiful our part of Europe is and
    I miss it so much! Seems to me like you also had a blast on this trip and it was a pure, hedonistic
    experience. 🙂

    http://lartoffashion.com

  • Biljana
    Reply

    Thanks for a beautiful and inspiring photo story about Serbia, I’m glad you enjoyed and hope you will come again!

  • Rachel @ Better LIVIN
    Reply

    Wow! What a fun trip! I love learning more about destinations that are a little off the beaten path. If’m definitely tired of Iceland or Italy photos on Instagram. The plane ride looks like the best part though- WOW!

  • Frida
    Reply

    Rakija is a fruit brandy, the use of fruit differs so it is not just plum.

  • Lexi Berra
    Reply

    Your trip looked amazing!!! Where did you get the backless Maxi that you were wearing in the vineyards? It’s perfect, I need it!! Loving the blog!

  • Ivana
    Reply

    Really an amazing story! I enjoyed reading it so much! Glad to hear you had fun here!

  • Jelena
    Reply

    Very nice image of my country…The tour they organized for you was one of the best! Hope you will visit Serbia again😊😊Jelena

  • Dajana
    Reply

    Realy nice story about our contry! Thanx :*

  • Biljana
    Reply

    Truly Beautiful! Everything,… the pictures are amazing, and now I want to go, get a tour guide and visit all these awesome places I have never visited in 🇷🇸 Serbia!

  • Branislava
    Reply

    Serbia is my homeland. Thank you for this photos and awesome story.

  • Steve Slepcevic
    Reply

    Great story on your trip to Serbia, with so much more to see should you revisit it in the future. Loved the pictures and some places I never heard of, but look forward to visiting since we travel to Serbia often. Thanks again for sharing. Sincerely Steve Slepcevic

  • Cristian
    Reply

    I been i serbia and is the country i think im going to retired…beautiful , clean and green u miss to go to nis the other bigger city..

  • LJK
    Reply

    The Danube is beautiful in Serbia!

  • Aleks
    Reply

    Thank’s Olivia for showing our country in all of her beauty. Serbia had so many thinks to offer. I’m glad that you spent nice time. 🙂 🌸

  • Nikola ♿️
    Reply

    Thanks girls I am wery happy for you and your great time in Serbia.You are welcome anytime!
    Nikola.

  • Lea
    Reply

    Hi Olivia,
    I think you captured it truly accurate, an awesome unbiased revew. I enjoyed reading it. Good job!
    Regards,
    Lea

  • Milan
    Reply

    Well next time I am going with you and my wife is totally ok with the idea😄, and to visit Republic of Srpska which is part of Bosnia and Herzegovina to fish for ultimate salmonoid fish called Mladica at river Drina or Vrbas, plus white watter rafting and to visit the last rainforest in Europe🇷🇸😄

  • Jovana
    Reply

    This story about Serbia is just wonderful! Hvala, Olivia!

  • Ana
    Reply

    Dear Olivia,
    Thank you for those beautify words that you saying about my country. You must come again because you visited only a part of the this wonderful land.
    Thank you again 😊

  • Keri Elaine
    Reply

    Wow! I never would have thought of visiting Serbia, but you did so much there! These pictures are stunning and I’m glad to hear there are a lot of food options!

    https://kerielaine.com

    Keri Elaine

  • Tanja
    Reply

    This is what I call the perfect travel blog and it is about my country. I hope you’ll enjoy many more beautiful sightseeing all around the world! 🙂 🙂 Come to Serbia again! <3

  • Sasha LjJV
    Reply

    One of many beauties of Serbia is that over 90 percent of all people that you see anywhere – in a city center, a night club, the main pedestrian area, shopping mall, a tourist spot, any cafe or restaurant anywhere and everywhere – are the Serbs and locals, not foreign tourists like in other places – to name just a few: Rome, Paris, London, Prague, Venice …
    It is far from being infested by tourists yet, and you can actually see the indigenous people along with the country, which is so rare today.

  • Pavle Stanimirovic
    Reply

    Now , this is exactly what Serbia needs. A little Truth with PR. Thank you, one day soon
    I would like to find my self on the same trip to visit on my own terms, with plenty of time to see all the great Historic sites and places . Serbia is Historical.

  • Misha Radulovic
    Reply

    WOW. What a great story. Beautiful photos. I was born in Belgrade and love my city. I was journalist years ago, wrote a story about Belgrade with photos but never done so beautiful. Thank you to sharing this great article with so many people in America and showing this charming city and country Serbia.

  • Slavica Todorovic
    Reply

    I live here. So wonderful…. 🙂

    Thank you!!!

  • Natasha
    Reply

    Thank you for this beautiful pictures of my country.

  • Jelena
    Reply

    Thank you! Beautiful 💕👏😍🌹❤👍👌

  • Jelena
    Reply

    Thank you for being so nice illustrate Serbia. Literally got me cry. Visit us again, maybe when it is Exit Festival in Novi Sad – classified as one of the best of musical festivals. Sure, next time you visit one of the mountain – Kopaonik, Tara, Zlatibor, etc. Canyon River Uvac (pictures are great there;)). If you love wine, it is recommended to come to Subotica, on Palic (Palic lake) and head wine road – The New York Times also recommended.
    Once again thank you for the wonderful words, beautiful pictures, I hope you enjoyed it.
    Best wishes, xoxo

  • Nemanja
    Reply

    Thank you for such a wonderful post about Serbia!
    Best,
    Nemanja
    Belgrade, Serbia

  • Tanja Bogicevic
    Reply

    I am from Serbia and i live in Serbia, in small town Veliko Gradiste.Your pictures and story about my contry it s a beautiful.Thank you.

  • Svetlana Boskovic
    Reply

    This is real Serbia… and much more. Thank you for nice words and photos from my Serbia, kind regards, Svetlana

  • SrbIn
    Reply

    I love Serbia

  • Alex
    Reply

    Hello Olivia! You are a beatiful woman and your photos look lovely. It seems that you really had a good time in my country, Serbia. We were misunderstood in the 1990s – that’s all over now. Since then Serbia has made a lot of progress. It is still not a destination massively popular by tourists, but more and more people are coming to see the country, which has a unique blend of the Orient (Ottoman Turks ruled the country for several centuries), Communism (especially brutal concrete architecture), the East (Russia, mainly because of religion and the Cyrilic writing), and the West (shopping malls, boulevards, modern glass and marble buildings in New Belgrade, and the Western brands). You will also find a great European influence as well – from Italy, Austria, Hungary… This can be seen in architecture, food, etc. The people are warm and friendly, the food is great, the nightlife is amazing, the nature is unspoiled, and, as you probably saw, for you it was probably cheap, a bargain. Hopefully you can come again, maybe see the beautiful towns of Subotica and Sremski Karlovci, Novi Sad, the mausoleum of the Royal Family at Oplenac, etc, etc. I would love to show you more of Belgrade if you decide to come again. Send me an e-mail if you would like to meet for coffee in Belgrade. Thank you and all the best.

  • Rainer
    Reply

    I’m planning to visit Belgrade, so thanks for that helpful informations and photos! You will find my photos on http://world.wide.photos, Facebook or Instagram 🙂
    cheers

  • Dejan
    Reply

    Olivia,
    you had a blast good time in Serbia!
    That’s wonderful to see. And you brought a terrific story and accompanying photos about Serbia! Thank you so much for sharing it.
    As a native from now Serbia who lives in the USA for years, many of these I have experienced myself while I was visiting there.
    So, this is not a surpise to me. Off to Serbia again this summer…
    To echo other posted above, so wonderful, thorough and inspiring!

    Thank you!!!

    Dejan

  • Teodora
    Reply

    Thank you for visiting my country and describing accurately! The best food and night life in a world!

  • Gordana
    Reply

    Very placarding story about Serbia, exposing a focus on yourself as well. Cheers from Alberta, Canada

  • Danielle Farideh
    Reply

    It looks like you had a blast! Definitely made me add Serbia to my list of places to visit. i always love your posts you seem like such a fun person to travel with!

  • James
    Reply

    Serbia is best country in Balkan.Night life,girls,nature and food are awesome.

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