Tara National Park
The first stop on your trip is in the west of Serbia. To get to the Tara National Park, we would recommend hiring a car in Belgrade and then making your way towards the border.
Founded in 1981, the park boasts 37,000 hectares of mountains, canyons, and lakes. It’s between 250 m and 1,500 m above sea level. Three quarters of the park are covered by dense forests, and its diverse ecosystem is one of the most important ones in Europe. The woods are also an interesting site for scientists, who study the rare animal and plant species that live here. The Serbian spruce, for example, can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
Something you definitely shouldn’t miss out on in the national park is a boat tour through the deep canyons. It’s an exciting experience you won’t forget any time soon!
Not far from the Tara National Park, you can find the heritage railway Šargan Eight. Formerly used commercially, the train is now part of a museum and will take you past some of the most beautiful spots in the area.
You can also stay in the Tara National Park overnight, with a bed in a 4-person dorm costing around €13.
The next stop on your trip around Serbia is Zlatibor, a low mountain range in the west of Serbia. It forms part of the Dinarides and is bordered by two rivers. Zlatibor’s highest mountain is Tornik with a height of 1,496 m.
Depending on the season and your preferences, you can also visit a spa or go skiing here! The biggest ski center is in Tornik, about 9 km away. It covers an altitude of 1,110 m to 1,490 m. You can also go hiking, horseback riding, or sledging in Zlatibor.
The area is perfect for relaxing, and it is a very popular health resort. The clean mountain air is said to have a healing effect, especially for bronchial and thyroid diseases. In addition, the weather tends to be very nice in Zlatibor. There are about 2,000 hours of sunshine per year, and – thanks to the region’s mild winters – the annual average temperature is around 18 °C.
In the area around Zlatibor, there are a few more sights you might enjoy. Why not visit the waterfall in Gostilje, which is only about 25 km away? It is an absolutely beautiful sight, which we cannot recommend enough. Alternatively, you could explore the 2,000 m-long Stopica Cave. It’s situated on the right bank of the Pristevica river near the village of Rožanstvo. There’s even a small waterfall inside the cave.
You can find accommodation for the night in Zlatibor, where a bed in a dorm costs around €10.
From Zlatibor, continue towards Sjenica, a small town in the southwestern Serbian mountains. It lies at an altitude of about 1,000 m and is situated on the northern slope of the Pešter plateau. The surrounding mountains are called Jadovnik, Ozren, Giljeva, and Javor. Sjenica is part of a municipality of the same name in the county of Zlatibor. The municipality has a population of 26,000 people.
As Sjenica is one of the highest towns in Serbia, it can be quite cold sometimes – on average, there are 134 days with sub-zero temperatures per year. It usually starts getting cold at the end of September and lasts until the beginning of May. In the summer months, the days are warm and humid, but the nights are cold, whereas in winter the air is dry and always very cold. Don’t forget to prepare yourself appropriately according to the season during which you’re visiting Sjenica.
The town is located in a plain, which is also called Sjenica. It was formed by the two rivers Uvac and Vapa. To the south of the municipality is the Pešter plateau.
You can find a place for the night in Sjenica, where the price for a double room starts at around €10.
Your journey is far from over, and your next stop is a particularly special one – it’s the Studenica monastery! It is said to be the place where the Serbian kingdom was born, and it was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.
The Studenica Monastery is also one of only three Serbian Orthodox monasteries that are lavras. The other two ones are the Hilandar Monastery in Mount Athos (Greece) and the Žiča Monastery near Kraljevo (Serbia).
You can stay in a double room in Studenica for about €17 per night.
The final stop of your trip through Serbia is the country’s capital, Belgrade. The city is home to about 1.6 million people, making it the third-largest city on the Danube. It is divided into 10 neighborhoods and seven suburbs. There are also two state universities and an academy here.
Belgrade has over 7,000 years of history and is therefore one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in Europe. It has also been the location of many wars and conflicts, however, so the cityscape is quite modern overall. Today, Belgrade is a vibrant and dynamic city full of energy and exciting contrasts.
There are many sights for you to discover in Belgrade, which is why we recommend starting your time here with a guided tour of the city. Don’t miss out on the breathtaking ruins of the massive fortress that once surrounded the city. They’re called Kalemegdan and now serve as the city’s main park.
The Temple of Saint Sava, one of the largest Orthodox cathedrals in the world, is also worth a visit. Another sight you should make part of your trip is Tašmajdan Park, a beautiful garden in the middle of the city center.
If you’d rather go shopping, however, Belgrade won’t disappoint you either. The pedestrianized zone on Knez Mihailova Street offers all the shops you could wish for.
After an eventful day, you can regain your strength by trying some of the local specialities. Belgrade is famous for its grilled dishes, such as Cevapcici or Pljeskavica.
To experience the capital’s nightlife, make your way through the city’s many clubs. Belgrade is also home to a very special type of establishment, the “splav”. These bars are floating on the river Danube – just choose one and dance the night away!
You have a lot of choice when it comes to hostels in Belgrade. A night in a 10-bed dorm will usually cost you around €13 per person.