Imagine a city which many conquerors tried to conquer, or at least ruin and devastate. If and when they would eventually succeed, the joy of victory was short-term. The city was protected by the magical creatures – every time the fairies would appear and rebuild it. Many more legends, combined with fascinating history, delicious food and modern festivals are hidden in the town on the south of Serbia.
Welcome to Niš.
HOW TO VISIT NIŠ
Two low-cost companies, Ryanair and Wizz air, have weekly flights to Niš International airport. Also, Niš bus station is connected to the most European cities.
WHERE TO DRINK THE BEST HOT CHOCOLATE
I came to Nis by morning flight and since my bus was late in the afternoon I had all day to wander around. I found this amazing place – GNEZDO (nest), and here is their Facebook page for more information. Uniquely designed, the cafe has a variety of interesting details, such as chairs with faces, small toys, and an explosion of color on the walls.
It feels very much like an actual nest where you can relax. Even dough it was full, the staff was friendly and the service was quick. As it is in the south of Serbia, where life quality and economic situation are not among the best in Europe, for this delicious hot chocolate you will pay only 1 euro.
WHAT TO SEE IN NIŠ
Niš Fortress with its breathtaking scenery.
Inside you can see Bali beg’s mosque, enjoy a glass of wine in one of many restaurants, or as I preferred it, near the wall while just enjoying the view. There is also a cute garden hidden among the walls. The whole place is unbelievably clean and it’s visible how much effort is put into it.
See also: Skull tower, Mediana, Bubanj memorial park and Nis Tourism Organisation for more ideas.
Captivating river Nisava is right next to the Fortress.
Shortly after crossing the river, you can find great traditional Serbian food. As I didn’t have much time, I chose a hamburger. Its preparation and taste are different from the world-wide popular fast-food options so give it a try. For a lunch or dinner check this and this out.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR CULTURAL EXPERIENCE EVEN BETTER
There is e-guide which explains the story behind many monuments in this town.
For theater lovers, I recommend visiting Nis National Theater – learn more here.
WHERE TO GO SHOPPING
The really cool place in Nis is an underground shopping area. Many who look for some shops get confused as they end up in the right place, just above it. Again, as the economic standard is not high, the prices are very much affordable. There’s a big shopping center – TC Forum with all popular brands as well. If you’re looking for a gift shop, check Indigo bookshop in the center.
WHEN TO VISIT NIŠ
“Whenever you can” would be the obvious answer, but August is quite ideal as you can visit Nisville – Nis jazz festival. Internationally recognized, it gathers both, visitors and musicians from all around the world.
Also in August or early September, for food lovers there is one more event worth visiting – Burek days. Burek is a pie usually made with meat or cheese, potato or spinach. Named by popular meal, event’s main idea is to let people taste and enjoy its different variations.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
As it is clear to anyone visiting the place, Niš has a rich cultural heritage with many prominent heroes. However, there are some more worth mentioning, who still preserve it and rebuild every day just like the fairies once, even if the history won’t remember them as such.