The Republic of Serbia is located in the Southeast of Europe, in the centre of the Balkan peninsula. It has eight neighbouring countries: Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Hercegovina and Croatia. The northern part of the country is the Pannonian Plain, while the southern part is mostly covered in mountains. The capital and the largest city is Belgrade, which is located on the border between Vojvodina and southern Serbia.
Serbia has a long and rich history that dates all the way to prehistoric times. All across the country, people can find a lot of historical and cultural monuments dedicated to different periods and ethnicities. Throughout the years Serbia has been occupied and at war many times. The most notable occupation was during the Ottoman Empire which lasted for 500 years. During the Ottoman occupation over south Serbia, Vojvodina was ruled by the Habsburg monarchy, and the difference in the culture of north and south Serbia is quite noticeable. After WWI when the Austro-Hungarian Empire was abolished, many countries arose from its ashes, one of them being The Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The country was officially called The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and within its territory, it held Serbia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and most parts of Croatia and Slovenia.
When you ask people about Serbia, some of them respond with “Siberia? Oh, yes it`s really cold there.” Others, however, recite our accomplishments in sports, culture, science, landmarks and so on. People can be hesitant to visit Serbia due to its image as a country that is most of the time in a war or has political issues, but once they do come people are truly amazed. Visitors are taken aback by Serbian hospitality and kindness, where they treat every person like a family member. Serbian national cuisine and drinks are loved all over the world. In every corner of the planet when someone says the word “rakija” at least one person is going to answer “the devil water”.
Yugoslavia was an internationally known country, and its heritage is becoming more and more popular. Our Novi Sad received the titles of 2019 European Youth Capital and 2021 European Capital of Culture. When it comes to sports, our Novak Đoković made history in tennis, whereas legendary NBA player Vlade Divac and his NBA descendants Bogdan Bogdanović and Nikola Jokić are leaving Serbian prints on NBA game. The naïve artists show our colourful tradition in national attires and seasons changes in landscapes, whereas Marina Abramović carries the essence of problems in the contemporary society. Guca, Exit, Nisville bring international and share national music, while Nemanja Radulović and Slobodan Trkulja represent Serbia in and out of the Serbian borders. Nikola Tesla, Milutin Milanković and Milena Marić Einstein are science masterminds behind contemporary technology and knowledge.
Serbia has something to think about, something to calm your body and something to ease your mind. Serbia is the water for the tired mind of contemporary human being thirsty for relief.
Novi Sad is a city in the Republic of Serbia, the capital of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina. Vojvodina translated in English means ‘Duke’s land’, reflecting its rich history as a part of the Habsburg Monarchy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
This is where cultures meet, it is a blend of East and West.
As a result, many ethnic and religious groups have found shelter here. Numerous peoples had visited and settled: Romans, Gepids, Huns, Avars, Slavs, Germans, Hungarians, Byzantines and Turks. The first fortification on the Petrovaradin rocks was built by Romans. Hungarians rebuilt it in the 13th Century, and Turks took care of it in the 15th Century (TONS, 2019. n.d.).
After the end of Ottoman rule and with Habsburgs coming to this area, a new fortress was built at in the same place. The Habsburg fort, today known as Petrovaradin Fortress, was constructed between 1692 and 1780 as a line of defence against the Ottoman Empire. By the time the Habsburgs finished the fort, the power of the Ottoman Empire declined and it was never used for its original purpose.
In the past centuries, two events stand out: the acquisition of the Free Royal City status in 1748 and the bombing of Novi Sad during the Hungarian Revolution in 1848/49. After the purchase of the status, the schools were established, the churches were built, the trade was developed. In the mid 19th century, the rise of the city was interrupted by the Hungarian Revolt. Novi Sad was destroyed during the uprising. After the bombing, Novi Sad started to recover. It became the centre of the political, cultural and social life of the Serbian people, hence is also called Serbian Athens. Many institutions were established, such as the Serbian National Theater and the Town Hall. Matica Srpska, the oldest and the most important cultural, literary and scientific institution in Serbia, was transferred from Budapest to Novi Sad. Until the end of the century, the first newspapers were issued and political parties were established. The Catholic Church of the Name of Mary was built, as well as many other symbols which will be included in the tour of Novi Sad.
Vojvodina and Novi Sad are a part of the Republic of Serbia since 1918. After World War I, this land became part of the newly established country known as the Kingdom of Serbs, Croatians, and Slovenians. In 1929 the name was changed to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, known also as the First Yugoslavia. After World War II, a Second Yugoslavia was established. The official name the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia marked the golden age of Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia disintegrated in early 1990. Two countries remained united under the name Serbia and Montenegro. Since 2006, the Republic of Serbia is an independent country, with two Autonomous Provinces – Vojvodina, and Kosovo and Metohija
Due to its long and rich history, Vojvodina, even today, has 25 different nationalities living side by side and has five official languages. The Royal Edict bestowed Novi Sad with the title of Free Royal City title, which included different names for the city. Multiple names in multiple languages are one of the reasons why more than 90% of the original buildings are preserved. The Petrovaradin fortress remains one of the best-known symbols of Novi Sad.The city itself is transforming. In 2019 Novi Sad was the European Youth Capital, and in 2021 we will welcome you as the European Capital of Culture!
Life in Novi Sad is usually slow, calm and peaceful. Locals are friendly tranquil people that live at their own pace. Some people say: “in Novi Sad, everything is just twenty minutes away”. Novi Sad is a city with a great vibe, and many places to visit. Besides the places that are known to everyone, there are a lot of hidden places familiar only to the true locals. When you come to Novi Sad, you will have an opportunity to see this city from the perspective of a local.
We are happy to welcome you! See you in Novi Sad for the 19th World Convention of Tourist Guides!
„Whoever had been lucky to wake up in Belgrade this morning, could be satisfied that for today he achieved enough in life. Any further insistence on something more would be immodest” were the words of one of the most famous Serbian writers, Duško Radović. For the 2021 World Tourist Guides Convention, the main airport is Nikola Tesla, located near the E-75 Belgrade-Novi Sad highway. All who land at this airport have an opportunity to see Belgrade from the air. Belgrade is the capital of the Republic of Serbia, as well as the administrative, educational, financial and cultural centre of the country. It is located at the estuary of two rivers, the Sava River and the Danube, offered as a spectacular view from the Belgrade Fortress, which will be visited during the Convention. You will have the opportunity to spend the morning in this city and to see the most important objects that Belgrade and the Republic of Serbia have been proud of for centuries.
Belgrade is one of the oldest capitals in the world, with over 7000 years of continuity. Due to its extraordinary location, it has attracted people since the neolithic times, and several neolithic settlements have been found throughout the city territory, the most important one being Vinča (a Danube suburb of Belgrade). All the people that have lived here and the armies that passed through Belgrade have left their marks on the city. Celts have settled the city around the 4th century B.C. and named it Singidunum. Then came the Romans, developing a luxurious city over the centuries. In the 5th century A.D. it was destroyed by the Huns and later conquered and reconquered by Goths, Byzantines, Slavs, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Serbs, Turks, Austrians until it finally became Serbian again in the nineteenth century. Since then the city grew rapidly, and the old site at Kalemegdan was converted to a park and open-air museum, and the city spread in all directions. The most glorious moments of Belgrade were under the Roman rule (around 4th century A.D.), in the early 15th century under Serbian Despot Stefan Lazarević, and in the early 18th century under Austrian rule. A very important and most visible trail was left by the “Between Wars” society of the twenties and thirties of the 20th century (http://belgrademyway.com, n.d.).
In its rich and turbulent history, Belgrade was battled over in 115 wars and razed 44 times. The first time in history, it became the capital city of Serbia in 1405 and from 1918 it was the capital of many Yugoslovenian states until 2006 when Montenegro separated from Serbia (https://esn.rs, n.d.).
Today, Belgrade, the capital and centre of the Republic of Serbia, has around 1.7 million inhabitants. Thanks to its rich history, it is observed today that Belgrade is a place where East and West meet, in architecture, people, food, lifestyle … Belgrade is a big city, with a rich tourist offer, and all the tourists who want to get to know this city in the right way should stay a few days to visit all the attractions. The main part of the tourist offer is Knez Mihajlova, a shopping street in the city centre, followed by Kalemegdan and Belgrade Fortress, offering a view of New Belgrade and the Sava River, where the rafts are anchored. The rafts represent the main part of Belgrade’s nightlife. Also, nearby are the National Museum, the National Theater and the University of Belgrade. The other popular attractions are the Nikola Tesla Museum, which houses more than 160,000 original documents of this inventor, among other objects. Although significant buildings can be seen in all parts of Belgrade, most are located in the city centre and are easily accessible by foot. Among them are the building of the Beogradjanka and officially Belgrade Palace, a building known as the Old Palace that was the royal residence of the Obrenović dynasty. Today it houses the City Assembly of Belgrade. The building opposite the Old Palace is a New Palace. It was a royal residence of the Karađorđević dynasty of Serbia and later the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Today it is the seat of the President of Serbia. One of the landmarks of Belgrade is the Church of Saint Sava (the Temple of Saint Sava) dedicated to the founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church. It is the largest Orthodox church in Serbia, one of the largest Eastern Orthodox churches and it ranks among the largest churches in the world.
The spirit of Belgrade can be felt at all times of the day since on Balkan it is considered a city that never sleeps and is known for its nightlife, which is why many tourists visit the Republic of Serbia. Belgrade’s nightlife is best known for its anchored rafts on the Sava River turned into night clubs. When it comes to the nightlife of Belgrade, there is an inevitable bohemian district, Skadarlija. In this part, the most famous is Skadarska Street, because of its proximity to the National Theater, a large number of actors lived in this street in the 19th and 20th centuries. Of course, apart from the actors, many other artists, writers, painters also spent their lives here. Thanks to all the significant people who lived here, a large number of cafes and restaurants opened, which still exist today and serve traditional Serbian dishes. This is one of the main parts of the city for tourist visits, and for tourism purposes, it has been reconstructed to resemble that old Skadarska street where some of the most important Serbian historical figures from the art world of the last two centuries lived and gathered. One of the newer parts of Belgrade is the Concrete Hall, also located by the water, a part of the industrial heritage of the city, which has changed its purpose, and now there are a large number of restaurants and cafes that can be enjoyed in a large number of acoustic gigs, and try a large number of traditional and international dishes and drinks.
All of you who decide to join us on the Pre or Post Convention tours will have the opportunity to wake up in Belgrade and see what the famous Duško Radović was very happy to write about. However, if you have decided to attend the Convention alone, you will still have the opportunity to see Belgrade as part of the convention tours.
We are waiting for you at the 19th World Convention of Tourist Guides.
The “Master” Congress Centre of the Novi Sad Fair facilitates professional organisation of congresses, conferences, symposia, seminars, promotions, presentations, corporate events, fashion shows and similar events. Business people can receive the same quality service as provides by the most renowned European congress centres, all at one place. The Grand Hall and six smaller halls cover 2,230 m2. Within the scope of the Congress Centre are a multipurpose entrance hall, an exhibition hall and a restaurant.
The large congress hall and six smaller ones, with state-of-the-art audio and video equipment, cover an area of 2,700 m2 and can be joined into one hall for the purpose of bigger events.
The Congress Centre also comprises an entrance hall, whose modern architecture and design facilitate organisation of larger events.
The „Master“ Congress Centre will be home to the 19th WFTGA Convention Opening Ceremony taking place on the morning of 3rd February. The Plenary sessions and workshops will make use of the smaller breakout rooms.
Registrations will take place in the entrance hall on arrival, while our refreshment breaks and lunches will be supplied by the Centre team in the in house restaurant. The lobby areas will be utilised for displays by our bidding countries, the WFTGA training teams, and our Host association.
The great variety in Serbia’s cuisine originates from its geographical, national and cultural diversity, and the jigsaw of centuries of population changes. Influences on Serbian cuisine have been rich and varied – it first began as a mixture of Greek, Bulgarian, Turkish and Hungarian cooking.
An old Serbian legend says that during the time of the 14th-century Serbian Empire, under the rule of Stefan Uroš IV Dušan, meals in the Serbian palace were eaten with golden spoons and forks. Historians say that mediaeval Serbian cuisine mainly consisted of milk, dairy produce and vegetables. Beef prosciutto, kajmak, ajvar, cicvara (a type of polenta made from flour, eggs, butter and cheese), rose-petal slatko (a sweet preserve) and other specialities made with dried plums are considered native Serbian foods.
Dough-based foods, such as breads, strudels and pasta, and various kinds of processed meats produced from healthy stocks of cattle and poultry are characteristic of modern day Vojvodina. Spinach pies and spit-roast pork are characteristic of Šumadija. Smoked meat is the speciality of western Serbia and the lamb dishes of Zlatibor and Zlatar are not to be missed. The cuisine of eastern Serbia is noted for its dry shepherd’s pies, lamb cooked in milk, smoked wild boar meat, janjija with three kinds of meat and various vegetables, and Homolj kačamak (a regional type of polenta made from cornmeal, potato and sometimes feta cheese). In southern Serbia grilled or spit-roasted meat dishes, particularly the famous Leskovac grilled specialities, are very popular. Hundreds of tasty dishes, both vegetarian and meat-based, are eaten in Kosovo and Metohija: bingur, pirjanice, various pies and baklava, as well as lamb and mutton specialities.
It is not an easy task to introduce a foreign visitor in Serbia to the secrets of local cuisine. Many dishes cannot be adequately translated into another language, while others are simply not eaten anywhere else, even though they are made from ingredients commonly available in all European countries. That is why if you are keen to investigate Serbia’s national cuisine, which has evolved in a melting-pot of civilisations and ethnic influences, you should let the experienced hands of Serbian restaurateurs guide you.
Some special dishes:
Startes – proja (cornbread), sir (soft cheese) and kajmak (kaymak – similar to clotted cream), Pihtije (“pork cheese” – jellied pork), gibanica (cheese and egg pie) or zeljanica (spinach pie)
Soups and broths – goveđa or pileća supa (Beef or chicken soup), teleća or pileća srpska čorba (Serbian veal or chicken broth)
Main courses – ćevapčići (minced beef rolled into finger-size pieces on ice, grilled and served with finely-chopped onion), pljeskavice (beef burgers), uštipci (meatballs stuffed with cheese and smoked ham), kobasice (sausages), krmenadle (pork chops), ražnjići (shish kebab), vešalica (strips of smoked meat);
The Karađorđeva šnicla (Karađorđe steak) is named after Karađorđe, the leader of the First Serbian Uprising against the Turks. A veal steak is stuffed with kajmak, rolled up, and dipped in egg. It is then covered with breadcrumbs and deep-fried.
Sarma – Pickled cabbage/sauerkraut (Kiseli kupus) leaves are stuffed with rice and minced meat (usually pork), cooked with tomatoes and herbs, and then served with a helping of natural yogurt.
Srpska salata (Serbian Salad) consists of tomatoes, peppers, onion, fresh cucumber, a pinch of salt and pepper and a drizzle of oil. If grated white cheese is added then it becomes a šopska salata.
Turšija (pickled vegetables)
Pečena paprika (roasted pepper) is a salad made from a long, pointed variety of pepper, roasted, with garlic, oil and vinegar.
Urnebes salata is a paste made from cheese mixed with powdered chilli peppers.
Ajvar is baked peppers and aubergines – roasted, ground, mixed and then fried.
orasnice (finely chopped walnuts bound together with sugar and egg in the shape of a horseshoe), štrudla sa jabukama, štrudla sa višnjama or štrudla sa makom (apple/sour cherry/poppyseed strudel)
These are only some dishes you will have a chance to taste while in Serbia for 19th WFTGA Convention! We suggest you try all, however have in mind that once you try you wont be able to stop eating as its all very tasty.
We drink Srpska kafa (Serbian coffee) – similar to Turkish, Greek, Cypriot coffee but with Serbian way of preparation.
Rakija – (brandies) made from natural ingredients (fruits and herbs): šljivovica – plum brandy, kajsijevača – peach brandy, viljamovka – pear brandy, dunjevača – quince brandy, lozovača – grape brandy and travarica – herb brandy. It is common to have a shot of rakija before the meal. It is very strong so be careful!
Serbian wine – produced in many regions in Serbia, including charming town of Sremski Karlovci where you can taste Bermet, which was served on the world’s most famous ship TITANIC and in the courts of Maria Teresa.
Krsna slava (a kind of patron saint’s day) is an ancient Serbian Orthodox tradition in which, alongside special rituals and a feast, the Christian saint, the protector of the family, is honoured, his day celebrated in accordance with the church calendar. The slava is a holiday of the ‘little church’ – the basic Christian cell, the family – when through prayer, the household remembers their ancestors who celebrated the same saint. Serbs celebrate their krsna slava with family, friends and festivities – a diverse range of food is prepared and a holiday atmosphere fills the home.
The most common Serbian slava, i.e. the most celebrated saints, are Saint Nicholas, Saint John, Saint Demetrius (Mitrovdan), Saint George (Đurđevdan) and Saint Archangel Michael (Aranđelovdan).
inscribed in the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage list
Folklore is usually linked with traditional music and dance. Variety of folklore in Serbia vast as every small regain has something specific in music, dance or traditional costumes.
Music folklore is preserved in tradition and it depicts the folk art of previous epochs. Epic songs were mostly sung and accompanied by the “gusle”, one of traditional Slavic musical instruments (single string instrument made of a single piece of dried wood), while dances were accompanied by songs and the “gajde” (bagpipes) or the “svirale” (fifes).
Typical form of Serbian folk dances is “kolo”. It is a chain of dancers holding each other’s dancing ideally in a circle. Solo dancing or couple dancing can rarely be seen in central Serbia. It is characteristic of ritual dances (“dodole”, “lazarice”, “kraljice”). These are very old dances and they are traces of pagan fertility and rain rituals, or they are traces of ancient rituals performed in occasions such as birth, initiations, weddings or death.
Traditional folk dance “kolo”, as well as singing to the accompaniment of the “gusle”, are inscribed in the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
learn some Serbian expressions
- Dobro jutro – Good morning
- Dobar dan – Good day
- Dobro veče – Good evening
- Laku noć – Good night
- Zdravo – Hello
- Koliko košta? – How much is it?
- Hvala – Thank you
- Molim – Please
- Gde je…? – Where is…?
- Ne razumem – I don’t understand
- Idemo – Let’s go
- Volim te – I love you
- Srećno – Good luck
- Srećan put – Bon voyage
- Prijatelj – Friends
- Voda – Water
- Kafa – Coffee
- Prijatno – Bon appetite
- Sve najbolje! – All the best!
- Kuvano vino – Mulled vine
- Živeli! – Cheers!
*don’t forget that we kiss THREE TIMES when greeting someone