If you are reading this article, it means you got interested to learn more about Serbia, this less-known European country. You may already know some basic info, such as the capital’s name and the country’s position. But what about the fun and interesting facts? That’s why we bring you the list of the most famous things you need to know before visiting Serbia.
Serbia hosts one of the most renowned music festivals in Europe
Even though the country’s capital is Belgrade, there are way more places to visit in Serbia. Starting with Novi Sad. This second-largest city in Serbia is known for hosting the Exit music festival, famous all over Europe. With over 20 years long tradition, this music gathering has brought to the audience some notable names in the industry, such as Calvin Haris, James Arthur, Nick Cave, and The Prodigy. So, every year, during July, people from all over the world come here to enjoy the unique energy of this renowned festival. The festival is held at the magnificent Petrovaradin Fortress, with a beautiful view of the city and the Danube river. The event typically lasts three days, but we encourage you to stay an additional day or two to take in the city’s attractions.
Rakija is the national drink of Serbia
If you are a drinking enthusiast, we dare you to try Serbia’s most famous drink. Rakija is a strong brandy made from the distillation of fermented fruit. The most famous one is called Šljivovica (slivovitza), made of plum. But, be careful, this spirit can contain from 40% to up to 65% of alcohol. People compare its taste to Italian Grappa or Hungarian Pálinka. If you’ve already tasted one of those, you may know what to expect. The best idea to drink such a strong spirit is in combination with traditional Serbian meze. Slices of Serbian prosciutto and homemade cheese will help you not to get dizzy after just one shot of rakija. It is common in autumn for people to make their own rakija, and in the smaller places in Serbia, this is considered almost a holiday. So if you are lucky enough but also courageous, maybe you’ll encounter and take part in this kind of Dionysian feast.
Serbian people are known for their hospitality
This is one of the most common compliments Serbian people get. Everyone who has ever been to Serbia remembers the kindness and hospitality of the Serbs. If you need help in the street, you can stop anyone literally and ask for directions or recommendations. Don’t be surprised if they even walk you to the place you’re looking for, just to make sure you don’t miss it. Younger people usually speak good English, but even if the older ones don’t know it, they’ll still try to give you a hand. If you become friends with one of them, they will gladly invite you to their home as a guest and put in front of you the best Serbian delicacies. Drinking rakija goes without saying. If you are staying with Serbian hosts expect perfect treatment.
Serbia is a well-known country in the world of sport
Basketball, water polo, tennis, volleyball – you name it. There is almost no mainstream sport in which Serbia hasn’t had remarkable success. Serbia truly is a sports nation. Starting off with basketball. Our most famous basketball player, Nikola Jokic, was also proclaimed as the NBA’s most valuable player. But not to leave others in the shade, the whole national team of Serbian basketball players is altogether hugely successful. When it comes to tennis, the greatest name in this sport, alongside Federer and Nadal, is surely the name of the Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic. Yes, there is much to be proud of in Serbian sport, and Serbs don’t hide it. They are huge sports fans, and any bigger contest is always wathced with almost a religious devotion. Don’t be surprised if you enter a pub or cafe and see many cheerful people around the big screen. Cheerful, of course, only if the Serbian team is winning.
Serbia recognizes two alphabets
There are two alphabets that Serbian people use and are proud of. The first one is Serbian Cyrillic which may come as difficult at first sight if you come from a Latin alphabet country. But if you start learning it, you will notice it is the most simple alphabet there is, using one letter for one sound. This means there are no pronunciation guessings, as in, for example, French or English. Don’t be discouraged by what you’ve just read, there is still a chance to read signs on the streets and restaurant menus since the other alphabet used in Serbia is Latin. Both of them are used commonly, taught in school, and are part of Serbian culture.
There you go, some of the facts you should know about Serbia. You can see that there is much exciting information about this country you learned today. But maybe the best way to find out what is Serbia known for is by visiting the country and experiencing all its beauties firsthand.