Novi Sad, a city known for its world famous Exit Festival has so much to offer besides partying. It is home to some of the most important cultural and academic institutions in the country, and it has an interesting offer for those who love cultural tourism. Unlike Belgrade, Novi Sad has a multi-ethnic feel which makes it different from the capital. There are plenty of galleries and museums with exhibitions that often change, so if you are a culture freak a visit to Serbia would not be complete without experiencing Novi Sad’s cultural offer.

And here are a few cultural attractions in Novi Sad that deserve to be checked out;

Novi Sad City Museum

The museum has a fantastic location on the Petrovaradin fortress and is best known for its underground military tunnels. This underground system was one of the largest among European fortifications as it consisted of 16 km long tunnels. A lot of money was poured here by the Habsburg Empire as the fortress had an important role of protecting the boundaries of the Empire. “Novi Sad from the 18th to the 20th century” is another great exhibition that provides insight into the lifestyle and culture of living in the city. The collection consists of fine arts, old photographs, personal items of its citizens, books, furniture, music material etc. There’s also a memorial collection of Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj – one of the most important Serbian writers. Outside of the museum there’s a cozy cafe with the amazing view of Danube river and Novi Sad.

Novi Sad City Museum

The Gallery of Matica Srpska

Founded in 1826 in today’s Budapest, Matica Srpska represents one of the most important cultural and scientific institutions of Serbian people. The museum was moved to Novi Sad in 1864 and its collection has grown steadily ever since. The gallery mostly showcases the works of art dating from the 16th to 20th century. The works of some of the most famous Serbian painters are showcased here such as: Teodor Iljic Cesljar, Konstantin Danil, Pavel Djurkovic, Katarina Ivanovic, Djura Jaksic and others. The exhibits include post-byzantine icons, baroque paintings and modern Serbian art so don’t miss this once in Novi Sad. The Gallery of Matica Srpska is located at the Gallery Square where another two institutions are also based – the Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection and the Rajko Mamuzic Gift Collection.

The Gallery of Matica Srpska

Serbian National Theatre

This theatre is the center of the cultural life in Novi Sad. The repertoire is large – from classical opera and ballet to modern Serbian drama. Dramas are mainly in Serbian language and the theatre also hosts various festivals and events such as the famous Novi Sad Jazz Festival.

Serbia-0296 - Serbian National Theatre

Photo: Serbian National Theatre (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Dennis Jarvis 

The Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina

The museum has a great combination of exhibits and programs that are well worth the visit. The fund includes paintings, sculptures, conceptual art, film, video and photography from the late 20th and early 21st century in Vojvodina but also the work of foreign artists. The entrance is free.


Where to stay

Novi Sad has many budget stay options and the one I really recommend is Hotel Vigor. Breakfast is included in the price and it has many healthy snacks while the staff is very kind and always ready to help. Rooms are clean and the wi-fi connection is great. All in all, the hotel exceeded my expectations and it’s much better than the number of its stars. However, the location is bit out of the city center, but the neighborhood is so quiet making this hotel a great choice for families. There’s a bus station 2 minutes from the hotel and taxi can take you to the city center for just 2 euros.

How To Get to Novi Sad

Novi Sad has no airport but it has excellent train and bus connections with other cities in the region. Trains from Belgrade run almost every two hours so you can depart at any time of the day. The exact timetable can be seen here. And for buses here.

What other cultural activities would you recommend in Novi Sad? Feel free to comment below.