Chances are if you're old enough to remember the 1980's, chances are you're old enough to remember hearing about the country of Yugoslavia. Today the former Yugoslavia is now known as Serbia, who gained its independence from Kosovo back in 2008.
Whatever it was, or is, called the capital city of Belgrade is still the center of cultural life in the region. Its Old Town is full of many centuries of architecture, although its Orthodox Cathedral and Belgrade Fort are two of the biggest attractions.
To see a little more of Belgrade's "Bohemian" side, you'll want to to to Skadarlija; a neighborhood in the city that's full of fantastic art galleries and delicious restaurants. The fall of the Iron Curtain certainly opened up the creative sides of the Serbians.
They must be inspired by the Serbian landscape. Places like the Djerdap National Park with its deep Djerdap Gorge, not to mention skiing from December to March. Hiking through the Fruska Gora is a treat--and majestic enough to be an artistic muse to almost anyone. Hidden within the Fruska Gora area are all sorts of indigenous birds, and monasteries.
One of the most famous monasteries in Serbia is the Monastery of Zica, site where many a King was crowned. There's more to Serbia's history than just its kings, and there's more to Serbia's culture than just Belgrade.
This is a country that loves museums, so be sure to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Serbian Orthodox Church, and the Nikola Tesla Museum. Over in the town of Nis, you'll find a charming Roman town; and the Turkish Fortress and Skull Tower unique pieces of architecture.
The season will determine if you're going see all this swathed in bright colors or covered by lily-white. Serbia's winters can be cold, and heavy snowfall isn't unheard of. From June to August you'll find the country to quite hot without a whole lot of rain.
Who cares if it does rain--it never hurt anyone, right? Just use the time to go shopping for some fantastic lace and embroidered items, or buy yourself a Turkish Coffee set. Scope out the pedestrian-only Kneza Mihaila for cute shops.
Shopping knows no language barrier, but you shouldn't have one no matter what you choose to do. Besides using the Cyrillic script, they use the Latin one too--so English speakers, you'll be all right. But, if you speak Hungarian or Albanian, you'll do even better.
Shopping, hiking, sightseeing, and museum going can make you hungry. Whatever you choose to eat, don't worry--it's all safe--and delicious. The Cevapcici is a grilled minced meat dish, but you could opt for the mutton and sauerkraut instead.
Two great beverage choices in Serbia are either the Laza (made with morello cherries), or Turkish coffee that's known as Turska Kafa around here. While it does taste delicious, it is strong enough to put hair on your chest.
There are a good number of internet cafes found in Serbia, perfect places to send messages back home about how wonderful Serbia is--all you need is a simple passport, no worry about a visa or even a return ticket.
Sweet! You might decide to stay.
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