"A Foray into Serbia" Top 5 Page for this destination Nis by mikey_e

Nis Travel Guide: 194 reviews and 513 photos

Spur of the Moment

I went to Nis from Skopje after aonizing a bit as to whether or I should go into Serbia or head directly from Skopje to Sofia. Luckily, the train for Nis left four hours before the bus to Sofia and, having nowhere to store my baggage, I decided to leave rather than sit at the train station. The train trip itself was a blast (despite taking 5.5 hours instead of 4) and Nis really grew on my as I got used to the idiosyncrecies of Serbia. The people of Nis were a bit cold at first, but I came to realize this was just a bit of curiosity and suspicion, as there are not many foreign tourists who come to Nis.

The charm and delight of Nis

I don't really speak Serbian - indeed, I don't speak Serbian - but the few words of Croatian I picked up in Croatia and from Croat friends here, as well as Italian and Russian, helped me to learn a bit of Serbian rather quickly. The effort to communicate in Serbian (even though most people spoke beautiful English) really paid off and after my first few hours in the city I was good friends with the woman working behind the desk at the Ambassador Hotel. I became a regular at the outdoor cafés and, by my last day, I knew I would truly miss having waiters at cafés ask "Decko! sto zelis?". In truth, the greatest thing about Nis and Serbia is the people, who are warm and friendly even if there is a language barrier.

An impressive cultural heritage

Despite the continuing presence of misgivings about Ottoman Rule and the influences of the Turks, as well as the bad years of the ultra-nationalist regime of Milosevic, there is growing awareness of the benefits of highlighting the region's diverse cultural roots. One of the best examples is obviously the Fortress, where Turkish buildings remain in tact even if they are used for other purposes, but there are other examples of Ottoman heritage in the city. Nis also has an impressive number of 19th century buildings that are beautifully maintained and used as government installations. A walk around town will amaze even the most sceptical visitor of the great architectural heritage of this city. Perhaps the greatest example of the city's diversity, however, is the fact that the church closest to the centre is not Orthodox, but rather a Catholic church. Even after the war with Croatia and the bloodshed in Bosnia, it is still possible to see Catholic priests in Nis on a Sunday in their formal attire.

  • Last visit to Nis: Jun 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (16)

Comments (5)

  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo
    May 1, 2015 at 2:44 AM

    Interesting page. Lovely photos. Cheers, Irene

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2009 at 12:53 AM

    Fantastic page with brilliant photos of Nis. We arrived in Nis just yesterday from Sofia and now off to explore the city. Your tips are more than helpful. Well done.

  • bonio's Profile Photo
    Apr 15, 2009 at 1:30 PM

    Thanks for the great tips, visiting Nis next month

  • Zvrlj's Profile Photo
    Aug 10, 2007 at 3:59 PM

    Hope that the idiosyncrecies of Serbia are just past :-) Great tips, but you should see more than just Nis. And square is "Trg oslobodjenja" (Square of Liberation), not "osvobodjenja". Greetings from Kragujevac, Serbia

  • anna-m's Profile Photo
    Jul 8, 2007 at 5:35 AM

    Well done, decko :) I hope you'll repeat your visit to Nis some time in the future :)


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