Distinguished Lonely Planet’s travel pros had a really difficult task to pick ten most attractive travel destinations for this year. So the list goes – #1 Copenhagen, #2 Shenzhen, #3 Novi Sad, #4 Miami… wait a second, Novi Sad in Serbia? Yes, that’s right – our city is one of the best in travel choices for 2019! And we are so very proud of that.
If you browse Lonely Planet’s official website, you will come across this blurb about Novi Sad:
Elegant yet easy-going, Novi Sad basks in the limelight, defying its second-city status and boldly living up to its moniker. Serbia’s ‘New Garden’ hosts the rocking EXIT festival, whose 20th edition coincides with the city’s stint as the 2019 European Youth Capital. Headlining this revival, the Petrovaradin Citadel’s Lower Town is getting a facelift, and the dilapidated Chinatown has blossomed into an alternative-culture district. Bursting with creative energy, new Gradić Fest is reinvigorating Petrovaradin through music, film, theatre and art, as Novi Sad gears up to wear another crown – that of the 2021 European Capital of Culture.
The text is surely engaging, intriguing and inviting, and this prestigeous title came as a nice recognition of our joint efforts to promote the city worldwide. More and more tourists are flocking to Novi Sad every year, curiously peeking into its hidden corners and photographing its major sights. It has also become of interest for numerous travel journalists, bloggers, filmmakers and international media from far and wide, and we have seen published articles in a variety of travel and lifestyle magazines. However, it is flattering to see that Novi Sad has been recognised as a must-see destination by Lonely Planet, the world’s major travel guide book.
There are three terms with which we like to describe our city: diversity, comfort and magic. So what’s in these words and why is Novi Sad so special?
First of all, it has historical and cultural significance. The city has been inhabited by diverse nations and ethnic groups throughout history that still live together, speak different languages, nurture different customs and traditions and equally celebrate both Julian and Gregorian calendar as public holidays. Material and intangible cultural heritage created during the past centuries is evident in different architectural styles, churches, festivals, artistic legacy and cuisine. Novi Sad has a lot to offer, whether you are searching differences or similarities, diversity or familiarity.
Furthermore, it has an amazing geographical position. Tucked in at the foot of Fruška Gora mountain and by the river Danube, surrounded by the vast Pannonian flatlands and only an hour drive from the Belgrade airport, Novi Sad radiates the laid back lifestyle and easiness of living. It is of the right size, it is walkable, easily navigable, accessible and there is no rush – there is plenty of time for everything. You can walk or cycle, skateboard or rollerblade. You can relax in one of the city parks, or have a quiet drink or coffee with peers in one of the many cafes and bars. You can choose whichever side of the Danube to enjoy the city, but one of the most comforting views is definitely from high up – take a stroll through Petrovaradin suburbium, climb up the cobbled stairs until you reach the fortress‘s upper town. From there, just savour the view of the city, oh what better way to sense the comfort of being here!
The locals are using urban spaces, meeting and greeting one another and simply taking pride in their city. For this reason it surely is a safe haven for us. This feeling is somehow passed on to visitors, who also feel the comfort of home and the easygoingness of hosts. It is no wonder why hospitality is a quality that has long been ascribed to Novi Sad. Here, diversity, tolerance and comfort meet together to create magic, the sense of pleasantness, togetherness and belongingness to the place.