As convivial as a rakija toast – and at times just as carousing – Novi Sad is a chipper town with all the spoils and none of the stress of the big smoke. Locals sprawl in pretty parks and outdoor cafes, and laneway bars pack out nightly. The looming Petrovaradin Citadel keeps a stern eye on proceedings, loosening its tie each July to host Serbia's largest music festival.
Great adventures await south of Belgrade. Zlatibor's rolling hills are a peaceful privilege to explore any time of the year. Dramatic Kopaonik is a popular ski destination for Europeans in the know. Trumpets blast from small villages, where food and wine are made as they have been for centuries.
A romantic region of gentle mountains, traditions and hospitality, Zlatibor encompasses the Tara and Šargan mountains in the north and the Murtenica hills bordering Bosnia and Hercegovina. The town centre (tržni centar) has everything you could need, but not far beyond are quaint villages where locals are oblivious to ski-bunny shenanigans.
At the edge of Fruška Gora on the banks of the Danube is the photogenic village of Sremski Karlovci. Lined with stunning structures like the Orthodox cathedral (1758–62), the baroque Four Lions fountain and the Chapel of Peace at the southern end of town (where the Turks and Austrians signed the 1699 Peace Treaty), Sremski Karlovci is also at the heart of a famed wine region.