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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Novi Sad: Hipster & History in what is perhaps the coolest town of Serbia.

This town. Great vibes and good food. Plus the odd corner, district or street that has yet to see its “coming of age”. Novi Sad, you’ve honestly fascinated me in a way that I haven’t felt for a long time. And who would have thought: Discovering a creative (wool) art studio inside the town’s main fortress?! Glancing at a clock tower that reminds me so much of the one in our Austrian city Graz, only 600 kilometres further north? “Yes, Novi Sad has always been connected to Austria in a way, especially thanks to the Empress Maria Theresia”, Milos Dunjic tells us, explaining that “it is her who has given this town its present-day name, ‘Novi Sad’, literally referring to fresh sowing, or new garden.”

Milos, our city guide for the day full of stories, stands in front of the clock tower at Petrovaradin Fortress, located at the southern rim of this mighty old fortress. From here, you can enjoy generous views over the town of Novi Sad, including the Danube river as well as the gently undulating hills of the Fruška Gora forest beyond, a travel destination that besides Novi Sad is also truly worth your while.

 

Creative Novi Sad. Where fortress meets fun.

But back to the old fortress now. What first comes to mind, conjured up by Milos’ stories of old, are images of huge armies and battlefields, right here at the crossroads of the Ottoman (Turkish) as well as the Austro-Hungarian empires. Today, though, on this mild sunny September morning, those tales seem rather removed given what the fortress can offer its visitors now: “A new designer store with really cool prints”, Milos points out, “as well as, right round the corner, the creative wool ladies of ‘Atelier 61’. Come with me, I’ll show you.”

PS: Did you know that Novi Sad will be European Capital of Culture in 2021? Super suitable, it seems.

Guten Morgen Novi Sad ...

“Dobre Dan” : Good morning Novi Sad …

 

... guten Morgen Kreativität ...

… good morning creative vibes meet old history …

 

... die Drucke und Designs des coolen Ladens gleich neben dem Uhrturm der Festung begeistern uns ...

… check out the prints and designs inside this cool little store by the clock tower of the fortress …

 

... und etwas weiter an der südlichen Front der ehemaligen Militärkaserne ...

… and head on out, along the southern walkway …

 

... befinden sich heute ein Hotel sowie ein Künstlerquartier ...

… to find “Atelier 61”, a studio of these rather lovely, creative wool artists …

 

... das für Besichtigungen offen steht : Vielen Dank für den herzlichen Empfang hier!

.. one of them, Goranka Vukadinović, is particularly keen on receiving us and explaining the history of this rather peculiar, and colourful place: Find out more at “Atelier 61“.

 

Auch die Stadt selbst, "Downtown Novi Sad" wenn Ihr so wollt, ist einigermaßen kreativ, wie diese heiteren Popcorn-Standln hier ...

Besides, downtown Novi Sad offers more glimpses into its “creative everyday life”, such as these fancy popcorn booths here …

 

... Schweben durch Novi Sad beim offensichtlich jeden Tag hier auftretenden Seifenblasenkünstler ...

… and why not go chasing soap bubbles with the kids down by one of the city’s main squares …

 

... uns Erwachsene zieht es bald darauf mehr zum Wein ...

… I do admit we soon pass to find ourselves sampling Serbian wines …

 

... und überhaupt wäre es jetzt mal an der Zeit für etwas Ausschau nach richtig guten Lokaltipps und Restaurants, nicht wahr?

… and right about now, it’s time I told you about some of the city’s great foodie places, right?

 

Culinary Novi Sad: This is where you should eat at.

Yes, there’s a lot to Novi Sad in culinary terms, even though you may first know little, or next to nothing, about Serbian cuisine. Downtown Novi Sad beckons you to try the country’s more Mediterranean-style cuisine, which we have sampled at “Fish & Zelenish” (Fish & Vegetables, exactly what you’re in for here). Their website, too, will get your taste buds going, so do check out the menu here: http://www.fishizelenis.com. On Instagram, they happily brag about the beauty and variety of their meals – and rightly so.

Zu Tisch ...

À table …

 

... mitten in Novi Sad: Schon alleine die Fassade des Restaurants ist irgendwie ansprechend ...

… right inside downtown Novi Sad: I love the cluttered, creative facade of this restaurant …

 

... vom

… as well as this plum-beetroot-nut-and-cheese salad, which actually my friends have ordered but which I have to steal a bite from every now and then …

 

... doch auch mein eigenes Thunfisch-Steak mundet mir ehrlich gesagt sehr: Mahlzeit !

… though mind you, my own tuna steak & veggies are really really good too: Getting hungry again here !

 

Further on, you may head over to Sokače Restaurant offering typical BBQ meals from Serbia. They also have vegetarian, even vegan options though, and I love eating my way through the variety of food, particularly as is the custom in southern Europe to share different plates among yourselves.

Abends im Restaurant Sokače ...

At Sokače restaurant in downtown Novi Sad, you may well be able to sit outside even in September …

 

... die Inneneinrichtung bietet viele kuriose und spannende Details ...

… the interior, too, is full of funny little details, such as this fancy aquarium inside an old TV …

 

... die Speisen sind in jedem Fall sehr gelungen: Mahlzeit Aleksandra, Christina (von links nach rechts)!

… let’s eat first now, right, dear Aleksandra, Christina (from left to right)?

 

Corners of Novi Sad (that aren’t on your usual map): Chinese Quarter it is.

“So why is this part of town called ‘Chinese Quarter’?”, we ask Milos, who continues to guide us around town. He first came to Novi Sad as a student and now knows the city, its many different districts and developments very well. A broad grin spreads on his face. “Well. It’s called like that because so many people used to walk and work around here. Not necessarily Chinese but .. well, you know what people are like.” Walking around a part of Novi Sad that is likely on the verge of gentrification right now, we cannot help but agree to Milos’ statement: “It’s not so nice now, but it could be.” During the day, it’s worth your while if you like fancy graffiti and a look at some of the lesser known parts of town, actually located right beside the city’s Danube beach & boat harbour. At night, it’s perfect for pop up concerts, clubs and gigs, definitely a go-to place for the young people and visitors in Novi Sad. I am perfectly sure it will feature high on Novi Sad’s “European Capital of Culture 2021” agenda.

Unterwegs mit Milos Dunjic, unserem Stadtführer in Novi Sad ...

Following Milos, our young city guide, around Novi Sad …

 

... hinein in das sogenannte "Chinesische Viertel der Stadt": "Almost", wie es dieses Graffiti hier treffend beschreibt.

… we let ourselves be guided into the “Chinese Quarter” of town: “Almost” reads the creative foreboding on this graffiti here.

 

... wie dem auch sei, uns gefällt's eine der weniger bekannten Ecken der Stadt kennen zu lernen.

We’ve really enjoyed our walk around here!

 

Abends

Nightlife, too, is well worth it here, what with some of the old factory halls and storage rooms converted into small and big venues for musicians and other artists.

 

Fancy knowing more about Serbia? My other two blog posts feature a journey near Novi Sad, into Fruška Gora, as well as its capital city Belgrade.

 

 

Christina and Maria, by the way, have also written and shared about their experiences in Serbia:

 

Disclaimer: We have been invited by Serbia Tourism on this trip to Belgrade, Novi Sad & Fruška Gora. All opinions are my own.

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
Going horse riding at Dobro Prase Ranch near Novi Sad in Serbia.
Belgrade or: The story of an up & coming Balkan city destination.

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