Belgrade is Serbia’s capital and a cultural hub in the Balkans. It served as the capital of Yugoslavia and has fended off countless invaders over the centuries. It’s situated at the meeting point of the Danube and Sava rivers. Though historically an advantage for trade and transport, this position led many land-hungry empires to their doorstep. Walk through the city’s streets, and you can see clear evidence of these foreign forces and their influence on Serbia’s architecture, food, and culture.
The capital has a buzzing nightlife, excellent Serbian food and unique attractions. Serbia is a big country, though. Any local will tell you that they consider Belgrade a different country. So to get a real feel for what Serbia’s about, you have to venture outside the city to explore the wealth of amazing places in the countryside.
Just take a short drive outside the city limits and the landscape is dotted with fortresses and mountaintop monasteries. You’ll also find traces of ancient civilizations, some of whom are the oldest known inhabitants of Europe. The countryside is also an untapped gastronomic gem. Foodies and wine lovers should certainly consider taking day trips from Belgrade for the best taste of Serbia.
- 20 Day Trips From Belgrade
- Top Tours
- Day Trips From Belgrade – Under 1 Hour
- Day Trips From Belgrade – Under 2 Hours
- Day Trips From Belgrade – Under 3 Hours
- 12- Visit Elegant Sombor, Serbia
- 13- Meet The First Europeans – Donji Milanovac, Serbia
- 14- Trajan’s Plaque, The Mark Of An Emperor – Tekija, Serbia
- 15- Drina River Rafting – Bajina Basta, Serbia
- 16- Our House, In The Middle Of The River – Bajina Basta, Serbia
- 17- Hiking In Tara National Park- Southwestern Serbia
- 18- Hiking In Mokra Gora National Park- Mokra Gora, Serbia
- 19- Visit Zlatibor, Serbia
- 20- Visit Timișoara, Romania
20 Day Trips From Belgrade
Day Trips From Belgrade – Under 1 Hour
1- Admire Socialist Architecture in Novi Beograd
Though it’s not technically Belgrade, you can easily see Novi Beograd (Serbian for “New Belgrade) from the city centre’s Kalemegdan fortress.
Many locals call this place home and commute to Belgrade proper daily.
As its name suggests, the city boasts the country’s most modern architecture, with huge glass office buildings for companies like Microsoft.
However, walk away from the river and into the city and you’ll start to see huge, concrete monstrosities like you’ve never seen before.
This architecture, known lovingly as socialist-modernist (or socmod for short), became popular in the decades following World War II and dominates this city.
Check out the iconic Genex Tower, two hulking apartment blocks connected at the top by a (now-defunct) spinning restaurant!
This guide documents the most interesting sites for you to save.
If you’re sleeping in Belgrade’s centre, you can easily walk across the bridge, but several buses and trams connect the city.
2- Taste Vojvodinian Wines In Sremski Karlovci
Find one of Serbia’s many wine regions just outside Novi Sad.
Sremski Karlovci is a charming, baroque town on the banks of the Danube (a common theme of this list).
The town has a handful of wineries whose products are popular across the Balkans.
Podrum, Veritas, and Vinum are some household names, but you won’t be disappointed no matter which you pick.
Here you can enjoy a unique piece of Serbia’s landscape.
Beyond the river, the plains of the Vojvodina region extend far into the horizon, and to the south, the mountains begin to take shape.
Tour packages often bundle wine tastings in Sremski Karlovci, Novi Sad and Fruška Gora National Park.
It’s only 49 miles (79 km) from Belgrade and takes under one hour to get there.
3- Hike Fruška Gora National Park
The mountains in the Novi Sad skyline are calling your name!
Fruška Gora National Park is a magical wonderland full of green mountains, charming little villages, and impressive monasteries.
These mountains aren’t high, so the hikes are easy.
The small park is spread over just 31 miles (50km) and full of dozens of orthodox monasteries, such as the lovely Beocin, and many waterfalls.
Learn more about the park and its many sites of cultural importance and natural beauty here, and use this guide to find the best trails suited to your interests.
Your Novi Sad tour will likely include an excursion in Fruška Gora, but if you want to spend the day there, it’s only 49 miles (79 km) from Belgrade.
4- Ride to Novi Sad In Style
See Serbia’s second-largest city! It’s the easiest day trip on this list, thanks to the brand new Soko high-speed train.
Prepare for an entirely different atmosphere than in Belgrade.
The city has fewer skyscrapers and brutalist block buildings and it feels like life is slowed down.
Serbian street food is everywhere. Don’t forget to try an index sandwich– a Novi Sad specialty.
Relax in one of the centre’s many cafes, then go across the river to the Petrovaradin fortress.
Its story is central to the survival of Serbia, having withstood countless wars between the Ottomans and Austria-Hungary.
Every August, it hosts the EXIT Music Festival, one of Europe’s biggest!
Novi Sad is just half an hour from Belgrade by train, and tickets run you only $3.5 each way. Or check out this tour.
By car, it’s about 62.7 miles (101km) and takes exactly one hour without traffic.
5- Visit Serbia’s Medieval Capital- Smederevo Fortress
Serbia has no shortage of incredible fortresses. It’s been the battlefield of many empires, so it’s to be expected.
This one’s especially significant since it defended Smederevo, Serbia’s medieval capital.
It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site and the fortifications that once turned back the Ottomans still stand mighty.
You’ll see them from miles away when approaching the town.
Smederevo fortress is just 33 miles (52 km) from Belgrade.
It’s a scenic, one-hour drive that straddles the Danube the whole way. Here’s a tour you may like.
6- Do As The Romans Do – Požarevac, Serbia
Drive further along the Danube from Smederevo until you get to Požarevac, a regional hub.
Viminacium, a massive Roman archaeological site, lies on its outskirts.
Serbia is a rare place where you can take a couple-hour road trip and see traces of a range of civilizations that called this land home over the millennia.
It takes about 2.5 hours to explore the excavation site.
Explore the massive ruins of the former capital of the Roman province of Moesia.
On your tour, you’ll see traces of incredible gates, columns, sculptures, and much more.
You can easily visit Viminacium and Smederevo on the same day on a private tour.
Viminacium is 51 miles (83 km) from Belgrade, but it’s also easily reachable if visiting Smederevo (only 41 minutes further).
Day Trips From Belgrade – Under 2 Hours
7- See Serbia’s Art Nouveau City- Subotica
Take a step back into Serbia’s Austro-Hungarian past by visiting Subotica.
This city is situated right on the country’s northern border.
It’s halfway between Budapest and Belgrade and is many people’s first glimpse at the Balkans.
Its architecture and atmosphere differ significantly from the southern regions, and it’s worth your time.
Subotica is home to one of Europe’s most impressive synagogues.
It’s one of the town’s key landmarks and sits in the centre among elegant palaces and orthodox churches built in the same period.
Subotica is 116.8 miles (188 km) from Belgrade by car and the journey takes about two hours. Book a full-day tour here.
8- The Fortress With The Best Views – Golubac, Serbia
Another incredible fortress that served to defend Serbia in a pivotal spot,
Golubac Fortress stands proudly on a cliff overlooking the Danube and Romania on the other side.
It once prevented armies from treading on Serbian land.
Now it’s one of the most picturesque attractions in the entire country.
You can buy a ticket to the site with a tour guide who’ll explain its significance.
However, hop on a boat that takes you out to the middle of the river to get the best look at the fortress.
Golubac fortress is 87.6 miles from Belgrade by car. It’s just under 2 hours to drive through the Serbian countryside.
Visit Golubac Fortress, Lepinski Vir, and Djerdap National Park on this tour.
9- Explore Djerdap National Park And The Iron Gate Gorge – Southeastern Serbia
Djerdap National Park is a protected area on the Danube within sight of the Romanian border.
The park is covered with forested mountains that you can hike.
You can’t miss the Iron Gate Gorge, though. If you’re visiting the sites above from the list, you’re a stone’s throw from the park.
If driving from Belgrade, it’s 80 miles (129 km) away, so you can be in the heart of the park in under two hours.
It covers a huge territory and has three different entrances.
Previously mentioned tours include Djerdap, but this one focuses on the gorge.
10- Take A Wine Tour In Vršac, Serbia
Wine lovers can’t miss this little region to the northeast when visiting Belgrade.
It’s one of the country’s most celebrated wine regions despite being neglected by wine tour providers.
Their winemaking traditions date back to the periods when Rome ruled the region.
Drašković Vineyard is a local favourite, but there are dozens more.
Vršac is 53 miles (86.1 km) from Belgrade.
It’s only an hour and a half away, so you can hire a private car to take you back to Belgrade if everyone wants to partake in the wine tastings.
From there, you can find wineries just outside town in every direction.
11- Šumarice Memorial Park – Kragujevac, Serbia
Lovely Kragujevac is located just off the A1 highway connecting Europe to Turkey via Serbia.
It’s another wonderful spot to escape the hustle and bustle of Belgrade and see how the other side lives.
Their food is incredible and cheap. Street food shacks stand on every corner selling delicious grilled meat in different styles.
One of the town’s most iconic features is the Šumarice Memorial Park, erected during Yugoslav years to commemorate 2,400 civilians killed in World War II.
Despite its dark past, it makes for a peaceful afternoon and has some amazing examples of Yugoslavian Spomeniki (memorials).
There’s a museum dedicated to the 21 October 1941 incident onsite for history buffs.
Kragujevac is 86.3 miles (139 km) south of Belgrade. You can get there in under 2 hours by taking the A1 toll highway.
Day Trips From Belgrade – Under 3 Hours
12- Visit Elegant Sombor, Serbia
Sombor is in the far northern reaches of the country, like Subotica.
Its architecture is more typical to the region, boasting elegant Art Noveau palaces and theatres rather than grey concrete everywhere.
Stroll down the many open promenades, or enjoy a night at the theatre.
It’s one of the most elegant in Europe, and tickets are cheap.
Even though you’re still in Serbia, don’t be surprised to see signs in Hungarian and restaurant menus featuring Hungarian goulash.
You can visit Sombor alone or book it as part of an itinerary, including Subotica and the breathtaking Lake Palić.
It’s 113 miles (182 km) from Belgrade. The journey takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes, but you can easily work it into a day trip with Subotica.
13- Meet The First Europeans – Donji Milanovac, Serbia
This is easily one of Serbia’s most unique attractions and a source of pride for its people.
Ask any Serb what you should see in their country, and most will direct you to Lepenski Vir.
It’s another archaeological site on the banks of the Danube.
However, Lepenski Vir is different as it’s the oldest-known city in Europe, estimated to have lived around 9500 to 7200 BC.
It sits under a huge dome that protects it from the damp regional climate.
You only need an hour to watch a short film, walk through a room with statues and pottery, and then see the site itself.
It’s an unforgettable look at the lives of the first Europeans.
The site is 103 miles (166 km) from Belgrade.
Tourists often visit it and Golubac Fortress on the same day.
14- Trajan’s Plaque, The Mark Of An Emperor – Tekija, Serbia
The Roman emperor Trajan literally left his mark on this region of Serbia.
Hanging on a cliff over the Danube is a huge marble plaque in his honour.
It’s one of the many Roman heritage sites you can explore along the mighty river.
Seeing it is a little tricky, though, as the only viewpoint from land is across the river in Romania.
However, plenty of boat tour offers will bring you up close to the plaque, which beats the ant-sized appearance of the plaque from the other side.
The plaque is 132 miles (213 km) from Belgrade.
If you’re already in the Danube area, drive 29 miles (47.8 km) down the same highway as Lepinski Vir and Golubac to reach it.
Unfortunately, Danube River tours don’t include this site.
15- Drina River Rafting – Bajina Basta, Serbia
The Drina is calling!
Like the Danube in the East, the pristine, blue Drina river makes up most of Serbia’s natural western border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
It’s been the site of battles over the centuries, but now vacationers from both countries frequent the river.
It has makeshift beaches and families come to the area in droves to raft and barbecue together.
Bajina Bašta is a town on the river that’s a great jumping-off point for rafting and hikes (see next section).
Bajina Bašta is 109 miles (176 km) southwest of Belgrade, and you can make the journey in under three hours.
16- Our House, In The Middle Of The River – Bajina Basta, Serbia
A road trip through Serbia’s countryside resembles Route 66 – it’s full of quirky roadside attractions that make the journey more interesting.
If visiting the Drina or Tara National Park, see one of these attractions in Bajina Bašta.
The Drina River House lives up to its name – it’s a wooden house that someone built on some rocks in the river’s choppy waters.
There’s no bridge to the house, but rafters have a chance to see it up close.
Most Drina Valley tours include a stop at the iconic house.
17- Hiking In Tara National Park- Southwestern Serbia
Serbia’s borderlands are all full of natural beauty, and Tara National Park on the Bosnian border is no exception.
The park has several incredible lookout points over the Drina River Valley, easy hikes, and numerous cycling paths.
It’s one of Serbia’s most well-maintained hiking areas.
Don’t miss Rača, an amazing orthodox monastery situated among the mountains.
Tours take you to Tara’s best viewpoints atop the mountains and a charming wooden village commissioned by Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica.
If your Belgrade day trip first takes you to Bajina Bašta, then it’s just another 16 miles (26 km) up the mountain to Mitrovac, a popular starting point for several trails.
Otherwise, it’s 124 miles (200km) from Belgrade and you can make the journey in exactly three hours or take this private day tour of Tara National Park.
18- Hiking In Mokra Gora National Park- Mokra Gora, Serbia
Just south of Tara National Park is another gem – Mokra Gora, a nature park with impeccable views.
Day trips from Belgrade are perfect because the hiking trails are short.
What’s more, they have a scenic tourist railroad that takes you up to the mountain.
It’s called Sargan 8, and the 8 comes from the shape the train’s route takes around the mountains.
Instead of hiking, you can sit back and let the train do the work, taking in the mountain views along the way.
Tour providers include Mokra Gora and Sargan 8 on tours passing through the Drina River Valley.
It’s 155 miles (250 km) from Belgrade. The journey takes almost exactly three hours.
19- Visit Zlatibor, Serbia
There are few better towns to escape the capital and get a more typical Serbian experience than Zlatibor.
The town is in Serbia’s southwest region at the foot of the mountains and close to the Bosnian and Montenegrin borders.
In a hurry? Get to the nice viewpoints in no time, thanks to a nine-kilometre cable car ride that takes you straight from the centre into the mountains.
You shouldn’t skip the town centre though.
Sample the many sweet and savoury local treats like Ariljska Malina, a Serbian type of raspberry, Užička pršuta and Zlatiborska pršuta smoked ham and Zlatarski sir, traditional Serbian cheese.
Visit the Zlatibor memorial Šumatno Hill before heading into the mountains.
Zlatibor is 139.8 miles (225 km) south of Belgrade, and the drive is shy of three hours.
You can easily visit Zlatibor and Mokra Gora through tour providers.
20- Visit Timișoara, Romania
Timişoara is a big city in Romania that is closer to Belgrade than Bucharest.
Despite being right across the border, connections are limited.
However, you can easily get there in your own car or by private tour.
Once there, enjoy a stroll, soaking in one of Romania’s oldest, most charming cities!
Instead of dreary block buildings prevalent in the rest of the country, Timişoara boasts the Austro-Hungarian style found in Northern Serbia.
Check out the tiny Museum of the Communist Consumer.
It’s a gallery of products and knick-knacks you’d find in a typical communist Romanian home.
Timişoara is 94.4 miles (152 km) from Belgrade.
Getting there takes 2 hours and 41 minutes.