THINGS TO SEE NEAR & OUT OF BELGRADE
To enjoy more of Serbia, its landscapes, its historical monuments and its hospitable people, we suggest you to take some of the offered half day excursions inthe surroundings of Belgrade. These tours are available both for groups and individual visitors. As for Belgrade, for tours outside the city we can organise the transportation – guide and coach or guide and car. This offer is valid both for visitors of Belgrade – residing or just in transit for a few hours.
Mt. Avala (3hours)
Mt. Avala is located 16 kilometers south-east of Belgrade. The entire area of the mountain belongs to the Belgrade City area. It stands at 511 metres above sea level, which means it enters the mountain category just by 11 meters, but is the only one for tens of kilometers around the capital city. On its top peak, instead of the ruins of the once Žrnov medieval castle, in 1938 a monumental Mausoleum to the Unknown Hero was built. Beside the artistic vision of the mausoleum’s author, the greatest Yugoslavian sculptor Ivan Meštrović, visitors will enjoy a magnificent panoramic view from the Avala 204.5 m tall telecommunication tower to the Sava and Danube rivers confluence at Belgrade, as well as to the Vojvodina part of the Pannonian plain to the North and to the Šumadija hills in Central Serbia to the South. It is currently the tallest structure in Serbia and the Balkan region.
Vinča (3 hours)
Vinča is an archaeological site within the village of the same name near Belgrade. It is almost entirely made up of the remains of a human settlement since the times of the Early Neolithic (c. 5700 BC), having been the centrally located urban settlement of an unknown to us human civilization – one of the earliest ones in Europe. Along with other sites dating from a period much older along the Danube river and other rivers, Vinča, Starčevo and LepenskiVir change some long-term historical scientific truths, making the middle part of the Danube the cradle of European pre-historical age. Those long-forgotten people were living in an urban way, whose preserved pottery, jewelry, tools and other exhibits within the site’s museum prove they have been tradesmen and not warriors, meaning that the whole region was war-free for thousands of years.
Pančevo (3 hours)
Pančevo is a lovely little town at the coast of Tamiš River, just a little way outside of Belgrade, only 18 kilometres from city center. Due to its easy connection via the Pančevo Bridge, it has almost felt like a distant suburb of Belgrade. Pančevo with its slow pace of life, lovely green squares and beautiful mix of typical Vojvodina architecture much of which remains from its time as a part of Austro-Hungarian Empire. One of the symbols of the city is the striking Church of Dormition of the Virgin Mary, with its double towers and stunning iconostasis. The Vajfert Brewery just up from the Tamiš River is the oldest brewery in Serbia and one of the oldest breweries in all of the Balkans. Visitors can check out the tower part of the brewery which was recently converted into a museum – the George Weifert Brewery Museum. During the warmer months the Tamiš Quay is a wonderful place to spend some time at one of its few riverside restaurants or journey a bit further to the mouth of the Tamiš where you can see two identical lighthouses that are somewhat unique in the region.
Naive Art of Kovačica (3 hours)
Kovačica is home to a school of naive art which has garnered fans across the World. In the Municipality of Kovačica you can visit several galleries, museums and resorts, enjoy many events and try various gastronomic specialties out of traditional cuisines of Slovaks, Hungarians, Romanians and other national minorities living in this region. Just because of that, the Municipality of Kovačica is also being called „Small Vojvodina“. The Gallery of Naive Art has put in one place displaying the best works of art of these painter-farmers, most of them being women and housewives, and those admiring naive art have been presented with a complete picture of their poetic visual arts creative endeavour. The most significant painters of naive art of the Gallery are Zuzana Halupova and Martin Jonaš.
Topola & Oplenac (5-6 hours)
This excursion out of Belgrade will take you to the heart of the hilly Šumadija region, known as the cradle of Serbian uprisings against Ottoman rule in the 19th century (1804 and 1815). Upon arrival to Topola(appr. 80 km)we will visit: the Church of Our Lady, built by Karadjordje in 1811-1813, the Residence of Karadjordje (now a museum dedicated to the leader of the First Serbian Uprising), two sturdy stone towers preserved from what was once a mighty fortification, and more. Then, a short drive to the St. George Church, built after WWI by King Petar I of Serbia, on top of Oplenac Hill (337 m). This church is unique among all the monuments in Serbia, with columns made of Carrara marble, an iconostasis of local marble and mosaics covering almost 3,500 sq. meters and including 725 scenes and 1,500 human figures. After sightseeing, an optional lunch can be arranged in the nearby town of Arandjelovac. On our way back to Belgrade we will also visit Bukovička Banja Spa and its attractive park ornamented with many modern white marble sculptures (‘Marble and Sounds’ Festival from 1968). a brief stop at the village of Orašac where at the historic 1804 meeting of Serbian chieftains Karadjordje was proclaimed Vožd (Leader) of the First Serbian uprising.
Treasures of Vojvodina (7-8 hours)
Drive via the old town of Zemun (brief visit) to the north, where a warm welcome from the province of Vojvodina and its major tourism sights await you. Upon arrival in the region of Fruška Gora, we will visit Krušedol monastery (founded in the 16th century) known for its attractive location, historical importance and a variety of decorative frescos in its church. Next, a stop in the romantic town of Sremski Karlovci, once a hub of the cultural and political life of the Serbs. You will enjoy a panoramic guided walk of the town center, which features the Baroque ‘Four Lions’ fountain on the main square (1799), a 19th century High school, the Patriarchate Palace and the mid-18th century Cathedral church with its fine Renaissance facade and two Baroque belfries. En route to Novi Sad &80 km North from Belgrade) we visit the famous Petrovaradin fortress, built in the 17 and 18th centuries, and once called “Gibraltar on the Danube”. This Austrian artillery fortification is situated above the river and represents the second largest structure of its kind preserved in Europe. Later, you will take a brief panoramic tour of Novi Sad, the capital of Vojvodina, followed by a short walk along picturesque Dunavska Street. An optional Danube-fish lunch and free time for shopping complete the tour. Return to Belgrade.
Danube Castles and Ancient Roman City Viminatium (6-7 hours)
Driving along the highway East of Belgrade to the last-ever capital of medieval Serbia Smederevo, now a vast castle on the Danube surrounded by a modern town. You will tour the 15th century fortress, with its triangular shape, 25 huge towers and its moat and citadel. Next, we pass by Požarevac, the regional center of the Braničevo district and a picturesque 19th century town with an adjacent rich with recent excavations ancient Roman settlement Viminatium, surrounded by a coal mine and related power plant.
En route we will make a brief visit to the recently restored medieval castle Ram, as well as the picturesque, 14 km long and 300 meters wide Srebrno (Silver) Lake for a coffee break or an optional lunch. Then we will drive along the old, slightly winding road to the castle of Golubac, to visit this superb recently renovated castle, situated at the entrance to the Djerdap (Iron Gate) Gorge.
The mighty citadel was built in the second half of the 13th century on an inaccessible rock above the Danube, at the point where the riverbed begins to narrow, allowing the citadel to monitor all traffic across the Danube. With its nine towers, each between 20 and 25 meters high, and all connected by a curtain wall with an average width of 2.8 m, the castle was once used as a stronghold on the right bank of the Danube. A new visitors center has been set close to the castle’s restored splendor. Return to Belgrade.
Smederevo (3 hours)
Smederevo is situated some 50 km east of Belgrade, on the right bank of the Danube. The main attraction is the Smederevo Fortress, built in the first half od 15th century, as a new Serbian capital. The fortification, surrounded on all sides by water, with numerous towers and walls, is modeled after Constantinople. In the small fort there was the palace of despot Djuradj Branković, while the big fort of the Smederevo Fortress included a military camp and residences of local people. Another city attraction, on a hill overlooking Smederevo is a beautiful 19th century villa, built as summer residence of the Obrenović dynasty. Visitors can take a look at the authentic photographs, furniture and personal belongings of Serbian princesses and kings.
Carska Bara Pond (3-4 hours)
Carska Bara, situated 55km from Belgrade was the favorite hunting ground of Crown Prince Rudolf and Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who were not destined to become Austrian emperors, but to whom Carska Bara – Imperial Pond, ouws its name. Today it is nature reserve made up of several lakes, willow growes and steppes, marshes and reeds. This place with permanent ban of hunting, is one of the richest habitats of rare marsh birds, plants and variety of large and small animals. A special attraction is cruising through “jungle” in the middle of the Banat. Nearby is the castle of Ečka, where according to legend, Frantz Liszt in 1820 held his first concert, as a nine year old boy.
Zasavica Reserve (4-5 hours)
In the far west of Serbia, south of the Sava River, there is a unique nature reserve Zasavica. A boat tour passes through the most beautiful parts of the reserve – the ride is about seven kilometers long and offers a marvelous view of the widest part of Zasavica River. The richness of flora and fauna, the traditional way of life along the river, historic heritage from ancient times, make a visit to this reserve, a unique experience for everyone.