"A Foray into Serbia" Top 5 Page for this destination Nis by mikey_e
Nis Travel Guide: 180 reviews and 455 photos
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.
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.
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.
The local currency in Serbia is the Serbian Dinar or RSD, which is freely convertible (de facto, if not de jure) into... more travel advice
The people of Nis really do love their monuments, particularly of the smaller kind that laud the efforts of partisans... more travel advice
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Latest: Oct 12, 2013