I spent 19 days in Serbia and spent an average of $38 per day. I visited 6 different places – Subotica, Novi Sad, Belgrade, Tara National Park, Nis, and Vrsac. There wasn’t too much that I missed out on that I would have liked to see, but I’d love to return to Tara to camp and see more of the sights there. The highlights were the food (although I got sick of meat after just a few days!), the language, the people, and the history.
The best way to get to Romania from Belgrade is to take a bus to Vrsac on the Serbian side of the border and then a train to Timisoara in Romania. Since I had to stop in Vrsac anyway, I decided to take advantage of my new tent and do some camping there before crossing the border. The small, extremely green mountain range just outside the city is perfect for a day or two of trekking, well-marked and easily accessible. Camping is allowed in most of the area.
The city of Niš in Serbia is full of tremendous historical sites spanning hundreds of years. The city is the proud birthplace of Roman emperor Constantine I and tourists can visit the 4th century site of Mediana, where the remains of the palace and some churches have been found. Although not extraordinarily impressive on its own, when coupled with a visit to the National Museum in town a visitor can get an impression of what life was like for the Romans.
National Park Tara is a nearly 50,000 acre mountainous hiking and camping spot near the Bosnian border. I spent two days staying at Hotel Omorika (about 17 euro for a single room a night and includes breakfast and dinner) at the edge of the park and went on a few lovely hikes. I saw a fire salamander, great views of the gorges in the area, and loads of gorgeous flowers.
It turns out that the bus system in Serbia is not as extensive as I had hoped, and accurate information about schedules and destinations is extremely difficult to obtain. As a result, I found myself in the small resort town of Zlatibor en route to Tara National Park because that was the most convenient place I could get to from Belgrade. I took advantage of my day there by hiking and seeing some of the local sights. Although the mountains don’t quite rival the Andes, they were certainly a pleasant respite from the massive cities I’d been in for the previous few weeks.