Serbia, a land of remarkable experiences, captivated me like no other. It marked my third international trip, and its diverse offerings left an indelible impression. One aspect that struck me was the temperature, which plummeted to a refreshing 3 degrees Celsius. Joining me on this incredible journey was AFC Holidays, a Dubai-based tour operator known for their impeccable coordination—my go-to choice for travel.

To make our accommodation more cost-effective, AFC Holidays connected us with a travel partner who arranged twin sharing. Sharing this voyage with me was Mr. Arun, a person whose laid-back demeanor and warmth made him one of the coolest companions I’ve ever had. His unwavering support and infectious enthusiasm added immeasurable joy to our group, which also comprised Mr. Gopi and his wife, Miss. Ponnu, as well as Mr. Nikhil, his wife, Miss. Ashwathy, and their family.

Our adventure spanned four incredible days, and now I’ll take you through the places we explored in Serbia.

Day 1: Exploring Northern Serbia

Our first day commenced upon landing at Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport. Due to a minor delay with our Fly Dubai flight from Dubai, we arrived at the stroke of midnight, eagerly anticipating the adventures that awaited us. Following the completion of immigration and customs formalities, we were warmly welcomed by our knowledgeable guide, and without delay, whisked away to our abode for the duration of our stay, the cozy Holiday Inn Express.

Following a delightful breakfast at the hotel, we gathered in the hotel lobby promptly at 10:00 AM, buzzing with anticipation as our tour guide and the awaiting bus stood ready to accompany us on our journey. Day one promised a voyage through the enchanting landscapes of Northern Serbia, unraveling the region’s cultural and historical treasures.

Our first stop was the illustrious Krusedol Monastery, a Serbian Orthodox marvel nestled amidst the picturesque Fruška Gora mountain range in the province of Vojvodina. A legacy of the last Serbian despot family of Syrmia, the monastery’s serene atmosphere and captivating views offered the perfect backdrop for capturing timeless photographs.

Continuing our expedition, we arrived in the charming town of Sremski Karlovci, gracefully situated on the banks of the Danube River. This historical town, a cultural haven within the Habsburg Monarchy, exuded an old-world European charm that instantly transported us back in time. As we explored its cobblestone streets, we were captivated by the presence of railway tracks leading towards Hungary, serving as a testament to the town’s rich history. Additionally, we indulged in a delightful wine-tasting experience at an organic wine shop, savoring the flavors of Serbia directly from the vineyards. The quaint streets of Sremski Karlovci proved to be a photographer’s paradise, offering countless opportunities to capture its timeless beauty.

Our next destination was the iconic Petrovaradin Fortress, fondly referred to as the “Gibraltar of the Danube.” Situated in the town of Petrovaradin, it showcased an impressive blend of historical grandeur and breathtaking views. Exploring the fortress’s underground tunnels and the fascinating uncollapsed countermine system, we marveled at the architectural marvels that have stood the test of time. A highlight of Novi Sad.

As our exhilarating day unfolded, our itinerary led us to the vibrant city of Novi Sad. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we had to forgo our planned lunch, as we were running late for our final destination. Hunger gnawed at our stomachs, and our eagerness to explore overpowered our willingness to heed the guide’s advice. Yet, amidst our rumbling tummies, we managed to catch the guide’s mention of meeting at Liberty Square by 8:00 PM to return to Belgrade.

At Liberty Square, a fortuitous encounter awaited us. There, we crossed paths with Mr. Gopi and Miss Ponnu, accompanied by Mr. Nikhil and Miss Ashwathy. Together, we decided to satiate our hunger at a charming restaurant called Mawa, accompanied by our ever-amiable companion, Mr. Arun. The restaurant treated us to a delectable array of Serbian cuisine, featuring mouthwatering dishes such as Rolled Pork Medallions and Pork Fillet. Mr. Arun, being a vegetarian, opted for a tomato pizza, sparking our surprise as we learned that Serbians include chicken and fish in their vegetarian cuisine. Our lunch-turned-dinner was a delightful fusion of flavors, satisfying our hunger and invigorating our senses.

Following our culinary escapade, we wandered the enchanting streets of Liberty Square, immersing ourselves in the festive atmosphere that permeated the air. Adorned with breathtaking Christmas lights, the square radiated with vibrant colors, offering a picturesque backdrop for cherished memories. We couldn’t resist collecting souvenirs, a tangible reminder of the magical moments we experienced in Novi Sad.

As the clock struck 8:00 PM, our group reconvened at Liberty Square, ready to embark on our return journey to Belgrade. The anticipation of a cozy rest in the comfort of our hotel weighed upon us, but the night had one more surprise in store. Eager to embrace the lively nightlife of Serbia, we decided to take a brief one-hour respite before venturing out once again.

Our destination was Freestyler, a renowned nightclub situated along the picturesque Riverside of Sava. Brimming with pulsating lights, electrifying music, and a safe and vibrant ambiance, Freestyler offered an unforgettable nightspot experience. As we danced and reveled in the atmosphere, the night embraced us with its infectious energy. After bidding farewell to the club, we embarked on a leisurely night walk back to our hotel, savoring the cool evening air and reflecting upon the captivating day that had unfolded before us.

And so, our eventful day in Novi Sad drew to a close, leaving us with cherished memories, newfound friendships, and an insatiable desire to uncover more of Serbia’s hidden gems.

Day 2: Exploring the Charms of Belgrade

With a slight adjustment to the itinerary, our second day took us on a captivating journey through the heart of Belgrade, the vibrant capital city of Serbia. After a satisfying breakfast, we set off at 9:30 AM to uncover the treasures that awaited us.

Belgrade Fortress stood as a formidable testament to the city’s rich history. With its old citadel and enchanting Kalemegdan Park, the fortress commanded a commanding presence at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. As we wandered through its ancient walls, we couldn’t resist indulging in the vibrant street souvenirs and glimpsing the remnants of old military weaponry that added an intriguing touch to the experience.

Next, the Church of Saint Sava beckoned us with its awe-inspiring grandeur. Perched on the Vračar plateau, this Serbian Orthodox church paid homage to Saint Sava, the founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church and a revered figure in medieval Serbia. Its majestic dome, reminiscent of the iconic Hagia Sophia, captivated our gaze, while the meticulous symmetry and magnificent gold mosaics within left us in awe of human artistry.

As the day unfolded, we found ourselves meandering through the charming Skadarska Street, a culinary haven in the heart of Belgrade. Our taste buds delighted in the flavors of Sarma, a traditional dish prepared with pickled cabbage, minced meat, and rice—a true Serbian favorite. And then there was Cevapi, those grilled finger-shaped minces of meat served with chopped onions, reminiscent of the flavors we cherish in Arabic kebabs.

Immersing ourselves further in the city’s architectural wonders, we visited iconic landmarks such as Republic Square-National Assembly, the Central Post Office of Serbia, and the mesmerizing Tesla Museum, paying homage to the man who harnessed the world’s power. Here, we reunited with Mr. Nikhil and Miss Ashwathy, our fellow explorers, and shared in the marvels of science and innovation.

A delightful detour to a nearby chocolate shop indulged our sweet tooth before we retreated to our hotel for some much-needed rest. But the allure of Belgrade’s nightlife called to us once more. At midnight, Mr. Arun and I ventured to Romansa, a nearby night club, where we reveled in the enchanting atmosphere and embraced the spirit of Serbian nights. Sleep eluded us, as the allure of these magical moments held us captive.

Day 2 marked a journey of discovery, where the past gracefully intertwined with the present, and our souls danced to the rhythm of Belgrade’s vibrant heartbeat.

Day 3: From Snowy Peaks to Hidden Caves of Zlatibor

On our third day, we embarked on an early morning adventure to Zlatibor, the picturesque western part of Serbia. As we left the cozy comfort of Holiday Inn Express after a delightful breakfast, the anticipation for a snowy experience in the mountains filled the air. Zlatibor, nestled close to the borders of Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro, promised breathtaking landscapes and an authentic European charm. With our guide’s reassuring words, we embarked on a scenic 3.5-hour journey, punctuated by a refreshing coffee break along the way.

Upon arriving at Zlatibor, we were greeted by the world’s longest panoramic gondola lift, beckoning us to embark on a thrilling adventure. The ascent was nothing short of a mesmerizing experience, as we marveled at the vibrant green hills and occasional patches of glistening snow. Half an hour later, we reached the peak, where a winter wonderland awaited us. Excitement filled the air as we frolicked in the snow, capturing countless memories against the stunning backdrop. It was a pure European dream come true. At the base of the gondola, we happily reunited with Mr. Gopi and Miss Ponnu, who had enjoyed their own exploration.

Our next stop was the Stopića Cave, a captivating limestone cave located near Sirogojno. This natural monument held a special place in Serbian history, as it served as a hiding place for the local population during the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman army. The cave’s unique allure and breathtaking views left an indelible mark on our hearts, making it one of my personal favorites.

Although we regrettably had to skip the Sirogojno ethno village due to time constraints, we learned about its cultural significance. This village, declared a Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance, boasts an open-air museum known as the Old Village Museum. Its sprawling 5-hectare area showcases authentic elements of everyday life from the 19th century, preserving the heritage of the Zlatibor region.

As evening approached, we savored a delectable dinner at a local eatery in Zlatibor. It was here that I mustered the courage to try Turkish coffee for the first time, discovering its bold and intense flavors. With only a few remaining hours in Serbia, we ventured across the Sava River to explore the vibrant pubs and indulge in the local culinary delights. Despite our fatigue, the lively atmosphere and the joyous sight of families dancing and reveling in the weekend festivities invigorated our spirits. Saturday night in Serbia was a testament to the country’s vibrant nightlife.

We strolled back to our hotel through the charming streets, cherishing the memorable moments of this trip. The blend of natural beauty, cultural immersion, and the warmth of Serbian hospitality made this day an unforgettable chapter in our journey.

Day 4: Farewell, Serbia – Until Next Time!

On this final day of our Serbian adventure, we awoke to the realization that our time in this captivating land had reached its end. As we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, the tranquility of the Sunday morning settled upon us, bringing a sense of peacefulness before our departure.

With heartfelt appreciation, we checked out of our beloved Holiday Inn Express, leaving behind a piece of our hearts in the comfort it provided throughout our stay. The bus awaited us, ready to whisk us away to the airport where our flight to Dubai with Fly Dubai awaited. My heart carried the gentle yearning for the presence of my beloved babe in this trip, adding a bittersweet layer to the memories we forged on this unforgettable journey.

As our journey drew to a close, we bid a bittersweet farewell to the enchanting land of Serbia. Its rich history, warm hospitality, and captivating landscapes left an indelible mark on our souls. With hearts full of gratitude and a suitcase filled with precious memories, we boarded our flight back to Dubai, cherishing every moment spent in this extraordinary destination.

Serbia, with its timeless treasures and hidden delights, has woven its magic into our travel story. Until next time, Serbia, we carry your spirit and the promise of new adventures in our hearts.Until we meet again, farewell