Having come through the troubles and conflict of the 90s, which saw the independence of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia, it was not until 2003 that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia finally ended and two countries emerged, Serbia and Montenegro. Today, Serbia has become a democracy knocking on the doors of Europe still relatively untouched by tourism with a friendly welcoming people and a host of both natural and ancient sites rich in cultural traditions. Located at the crossroads of central and south-eastern Europe, the country’s geography comprises the fertile plains of Vojvodina in the north giving way to lush rolling hills and wooded valleys, and in turn the Dinaric Alps in the south.
What to seeThe capital city Belgrade, meaning white city, lies at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers and is architecturally a mix of grandiose buildings and Soviet-style blocks, where visitors will find examples of Serbian neo-classicism, art nouveau and neo-Byzantine masterpieces of civic and sacred art – best displayed in the cobbled bohemian quarter of Skadarlija and the pedestrian heart of the city, Prince Michael Street. Novi Sad is the country’s second city founded in 1694 by merchants across the waters of the Danube from the impressive Petrovaradin fortress that today is known as the home of the world-famous Exit music festival. The picturesque medieval monasteries of Manasija, Sopocani and Studenica, listed by Unesco as world heritage sights, remain the keepers of Serbian faith and Byzantine art. Further south by the border of Kosovo lies the picturesque mountain range of Kopaonik, a popular hiking destination in summer and skiing in winter.