Novi Sad

Novi Sad
Нови Сад
Újvidék (in Hungarian)
Nový Sad (in Slovak)
City of Novi Sad
Grad Novi Sad
Clockwise, from top: Petrovaradin Fortress, Bishop Palace, Liberty Square, Family Memorial, The Name of Mary Church, Zepter International and Panorama of Novi Sad in twilight


Coat of arms
Nickname(s): "Serbian Athens"
Novi Sad
Location of the city of Novi Sad within Serbia and Europe
Novi Sad
Novi Sad (Europe)
Coordinates: 45°15′N 19°51′E / 45.250°N 19.850°E / 45.250; 19.850Coordinates: 45°15′N 19°51′E / 45.250°N 19.850°E / 45.250; 19.850
Country  Serbia
Province Vojvodina
District South Bačka
Municipalities 2
Settled by Scordisci 4th century B.C.
Founded 1694
City status 1 February 1748 (1748-02-01)
  Mayor Miloš Vučević (SNS)
  Urban 129.7 km2 (50.1 sq mi)
Area rank 36th in Serbia
  City proper 106.2 km2 (41.0 sq mi)
  Administrative 702.7 km2 (271.3 sq mi)
Elevation 80 m (262 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
  Rank 2nd in Serbia
  Urban 277,522
  Urban density 2,100/km2 (5,500/sq mi)
  City proper 250,439
  City proper density 2,400/km2 (6,100/sq mi)
  Administrative 341,625
  Administrative density 490/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 21000
Area code +381(0)21
Car plates NS

Novi Sad (Serbian Cyrillic: Нови Сад, pronounced [nôʋiː sâːd] ( listen); Hungarian: Újvidék [ˈuːjvideːk]; Slovak: Nový Sad [ˈnɔʋiː ˈsat]; see below for other names) is the second largest city in Serbia, the capital of the autonomous province of Vojvodina and the administrative center of the South Bačka District. It is located in the southern part of the Pannonian Plain, on the border of the Bačka and Srem geographical regions. Bordering the banks of the Danube river, the city faces the northern slopes of Fruška Gora mountain.

According to the 2011 census, Novi Sad proper has a population of 250,439,[2] while the entire urban area of Novi Sad (with the adjacent urban settlements of Petrovaradin and Sremska Kamenica) comprises 277,522 inhabitants. The population of the administrative area of the city, including suburbs, totals at 341,625 people.[3]

Novi Sad was founded in 1694, when Serb merchants formed a colony across the Danube from the Petrovaradin fortress, a Habsburg strategic military post. During the 18th and 19th centuries, it became an important trading and manufacturing centre, as well as a centre of Serbian culture, earning it the nickname Serbian Athens.[4][5] The city was heavily devastated in the 1848 Revolution, but was subsequently rebuilt and restored. Today, along with the capital city of Belgrade, Novi Sad is an industrial and financial center important to the Serbian economy. It was selected to be one of the "European Capital of Culture" cities for the year 2021.[6]


The name Novi Sad means "New Plant" (noun) in Serbian. Its Latin name, stemming from the establishment of city rights, is "Neoplanta". The official names of Novi Sad used by the local administration are:[7][8]

In both Croatian and Romanian, which are officially used in the provincial administration, the city is called "Novi Sad". Historically, it was also called "Neusatz" in German.

In its wider meaning, the name Grad Novi Sad refers to the "City of Novi Sad", which is one of the city-level administrative units of Serbia. Novi Sad could also refer strictly to the urban areas of the City of Novi Sad (including "Novi Sad proper", and the towns of Sremska Kamenica and Petrovaradin), as well as only to the historical core located on the left Danube bank, i.e. "Novi Sad proper" (excluding Sremska Kamenica and Petrovaradin).


Older settlements

Human habitation, in the territory of present-day Novi Sad, has been traced as far back as the Stone Age. Dating from 5000 BC, several settlements and necropoleis were unearthed during the construction of a new boulevard in Avijaticarsko Naselje.[9] A settlement was also identified on the right bank of the river Danube in present-day Petrovaradin.

In antiquity, the region was inhabited by Celtic tribes, in particular by the Scordisci. Celts were present in the area since the 4th century BC and founded the first fortress on the right bank of the Danube. Later, in the 1st century BC, the region was conquered by the Romans. During Roman rule, a larger fortress was built in the 1st century, with the name Cusum, and was included in the Roman province of Pannonia.

In the 5th century, Cusum was devastated by the invasion of the Huns. By the end of the 5th century, Byzantines had reconstructed the town and called it by the names Petrikon or Petrikov (Greek: Πέτρικον) after Saint Peter. Slavic tribes such as the Severians, Obotrites and Serbs, with its subgroup tribes Braničevci and Timočani, settled today's region around Novi Sad mainly in the 6th and 7th centuries.[10] The Serbs absorbed the aforementioned Slavs as well as the Paleo-Balkanic peoples in the region.[10]

In the Middle Ages, the area was subsequently controlled by the Ostrogoths, Gepids, Avars, Franks, West Slavs, again by the Byzantines, and finally by the Hungarians. It was included into the medieval Kingdom of Hungary between the 11th and 12th centuries. Hungarians began to settle in the area, which before that time was mostly populated by Slavs, and the place was first mentioned under the Hungarian variant Peturwarad or Pétervárad (Serbian: Petrovaradin/Петроварадин), which derived from the Byzantine variant, found in documents from 1237. That same year, several other settlements were mentioned as existing in the territory of modern-day urban Novi Sad.

Belonging to the 13th–16th centuries, the following settlements existed within the territory of the urban areas of modern-day Novi Sad:[11][12]

  • on the right bank of the Danube: Pétervárad (Serbian: Petrovaradin) and Kamanc (Serbian: Kamenica).
  • on the left bank of the Danube: Baksa or Baksafalva (Serbian: Bakša, Bakšić), Kűszentmárton (Serbian: Sent Marton), Bivalyos or Bivalo (Serbian: Bivaljoš, Bivalo), Vásárosvárad or Várad (Serbian: Vašaroš Varad, Varadinci), Zajol I (Serbian: Sajlovo I, Gornje Sajlovo, Gornje Isailovo), Zajol II (Serbian: Sajlovo II, Donje Sajlovo, Donje Isailovo), Bistritz (Serbian: Bistrica). Some other settlements existed in the suburbs of Novi Sad: Mortályos (Serbian: Mrtvaljoš), Csenei (Serbian: Čenej), Keménd (Serbian: Kamendin), Rév (Serbian: Rivica).

An etymology of settlement names reveals that some designations are of Slavic origin, which indicates that the areas were initially inhabited by Slavs, particularly the West Slavs. For example, Bivalo (Bivaljoš) was a large Slavic settlement dating from the 5th–6th centuries.[11] Other names are of Hungarian origin (for example Bélakút, Kűszentmárton, Vásárosvárad, Rév), indicating that the settlements were inhabited by Hungarians before the Ottoman invasion in the 16th century.[12] Some settlement names are of uncertain origin.

Tax records from 1522 showed a mix of Hungarian and Slavic names among the inhabitants of these villages, including Slavic names like Bozso (Božo), Radovan, Radonya (Radonja), Ivo, etc. Following the Ottoman invasion in the 16th–17th centuries, some of these settlements were destroyed. Most surviving Hungarian inhabitants retreated from this area. Some of the settlements persisted during the Ottoman rule and were populated by ethnic Serbs.

Between 1526 and 1687, the region was under Ottoman rule. In the year 1590, the population of all villages that existed in the territory of present-day Novi Sad numbered at 105 houses, inhabited exclusively by Serbs. Ottoman records mention only those inhabitants who paid taxes, thus the number of Serbs who lived in the area (for example those that served in the Ottoman army) was larger than was recorded.[13]

Founding of Novi Sad

Historical affiliations
Habsburg Monarchy 1694–1804

 Austrian Empire 1804–1867
Austro-Hungarian Empire 1867–1918
Kingdom of Yugoslavia[14] 1918–1941
Kingdom of Hungary 1941–1944
 SFR Yugoslavia[15] 1944–1992
 Serbia and Montenegro[16] 1992–2006

 Serbia 2006

Habsburg rule was aligned with the Roman Catholic church and as it took over this area near the end of the 17th century, the government prohibited people of Orthodox faith from residing in Petrovaradin. Unable to build homes there, Serbs founded a new settlement in 1694 on the left bank of the Danube. They initially called it the "Serb city" (German: Ratzen Stadt). Another name used for the settlement was Petrovaradinski Šanac. In 1718, the inhabitants of the village of Almaš were resettled to Petrovaradinski Šanac, where they founded Almaški Kraj ("the Almaš quarter").

According to 1720 data, the population of Ratzen Stadt was composed of 112 Serbian, 14 German, and 5 Hungarian houses. The settlement officially gained the present names Novi Sad and Újvidék (Neoplanta in Latin) in 1748 when it became a "free royal city".

The edict that made Novi Sad a "free royal city" was proclaimed on 1 February 1748. The edict reads:

" We, Maria Theresa, by the grace of God Holy Roman Empress,
Queen of Hungary, Bohemia, Moravia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Rama, Serbia, Galicia, Lodomeria, Carinthia, [...]
cast this proclamation to anyone, whom it might concern... so that the renowned Petrovaradinski Šanac, which lies on the other side of the Danube in the Bačka province on the Sajlovo land, by the might of our divine royal power and prestige...make this town a Free Royal City and to fortify, accept and acknowledge it as one of the free royal cities of our Kingdom of Hungary and other territories, by abolishing its previous name of Petrovaradinski Šanac, renaming it Neoplantae (Latin), Új-Vidégh (Hungarian), Neusatz (German) and Novi Sad (Serbian) "

In the 18th century, the Habsburg monarchy also recruited Germans from the southern principalities to relocate to the Danube valley. They wanted both to increase the population and to redevelop the river valley for agriculture, which had declined markedly under the Ottomans. To encourage such settlement, the government agreed that the German communities could practice their religion (mostly Catholicism) and use their original German dialect.

Habsburg Monarchy and Austria-Hungary

For much of the 18th and 19th centuries, Novi Sad remained the largest city inhabited by Serbs. Reformer of the Serbian language, Vuk Stefanović Karadžić, wrote in 1817 that Novi Sad was the "largest Serb municipality in the world". It was a cultural and political centre for Serbs (see also Serbian Revival), who did not have their own national state at the time. Due to its cultural and political influence, the city became known as the "Serbian Athens" (Srpska Atina in Serbian). According to 1843 data, Novi Sad had 17,332 inhabitants, of whom 9,675 were Orthodox Christians, 5,724 Catholics, 1,032 Protestants, 727 Jews, and 30 adherents of the Armenian church. The largest ethnic group in the city were Serbs, and the second largest were Germans.

During the Revolution of 1848–49, Novi Sad was part of Serbian Vojvodina, a Serbian autonomous region within the Austrian Empire. In 1849, the Hungarian garrison, located at the Petrovaradin Fortress, bombarded and devastated the city, which lost much of its population. According to the 1850 census, there were only 7,182 citizens left in the city, compared to 17,332 in 1843. Between 1849 and 1860, Novi Sad was part of a separate Austrian crownland known as the Voivodeship of Serbia and Banat of Temeschwar. After the abolishment of this province, the city was included into the Batsch-Bodrog County. The post-office was opened in 1853.

Following the compromise of 1867, Novi Sad was located within the Kingdom of Hungary, the Transleithania, which comprised half of the Austria-Hungary empire. During this time, the Magyarization policy of the Hungarian government drastically altered the demographic structure of the city, i.e. the predominantly Serbian population became ethnically mixed. In 1880, 41.2% of the city's inhabitants used the Serbian language most frequently and 25.9% employed Hungarian. In the following decades, the percentage of Serbian-speakers decreased, while the number of Hungarian-speakers increased. According to the 1910 census, the city had 33,590 residents, of whom 13,343 (39.72%) spoke Hungarian, 11,594 (34.52%) Serbian, 5,918 (17.62%) German and 1,453 (4.33%) Slovak. It is not certain whether Hungarians or Serbs were the larger ethnic group in the city in 1910, since the various ethnic groups (Bunjevci, Romani, Jews, other South Slavic people, etc.) were classified in census results according to the language they spoke.[17]

Similar demographic changes can be seen in the religious structure: in 1870, the population of Novi Sad included 8,134 Orthodox Christians, 6,684 Catholics, 1,725 Calvinists, 1,343 Lutherans, and others.[18] In 1910, the population included 13,383 Roman Catholics and 11,553 Orthodox Christians, while 3,089 declared themselves as Lutheran, 2,751 as Calvinist, and 2,326 as Jewish.[19]

Yugoslavia and Serbia

On 25 November 1918, the Assembly of Serbs, Bunjevci and other Slavs of Vojvodina in Novi Sad proclaimed the union of Vojvodina region with the Kingdom of Serbia. Since 1 December 1918, Novi Sad was part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes; and in 1929, it became the capital of the Danube Banovina, a province of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In 1921, the population of Novi Sad numbered 39,122 inhabitants, 16,293 of whom spoke the Serbian language, 12,991 Hungarian, 6,373 German, 1,117 Slovak, etc.[20]

In 1941, Yugoslavia was invaded and partitioned by the Axis powers, and its northern parts, including Novi Sad, were annexed by Hungary. During World War II, about 5,000 citizens were murdered and many others were resettled. During the three days of the Novi Sad raid (21–23 January 1942) alone, Hungarian police killed 1,246 citizens, among them more than 800 Jews, and threw their corpses into the icy waters of the Danube.

The total death toll of the raid was around 2,500.[21][22] Citizens of all nationalities—Serbs, Hungarians, Slovaks, and others—fought together against the Axis authorities.[22] In 1975 the whole city was awarded the title People's Hero of Yugoslavia.

The Yugoslav Partisans, from Syrmia and Bačka, entered the city on 23 October 1944. During the military administration of Banat, Bačka and Baranja (October 17, 1944 – January 27, 1945), the Partisans killed tens of thousands, mostly Serbs, who were perceived as opponents to the new regime.[23]

Novi Sad became part of the new Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Since 1945, Novi Sad has been the capital of Vojvodina, a province of the Republic of Serbia. The city went through rapid industrialization and its population more than doubled in the period between World War II and the breakup of Yugoslavia, after the fall of the Soviet Union.

After 1992, Novi Sad became part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Devastated by NATO bombardment during the Kosovo War of 1999, Novi Sad was left without any of its three Danube bridges (Žeželj Bridge, Varadin Bridge and Liberty Bridge), communications, water, and electricity. Residential areas were cluster-bombed several times while the oil refinery was bombarded daily, causing severe pollution and widespread ecological damage. In 2003, FR Yugoslavia was transformed into the state union of Serbia and Montenegro, then these two states separated in June 2006 (following the May 2006 Montenegrin independence referendum), making Novi Sad now part of the Republic of Serbia.


The city lies on the S-shaped meander of the river Danube, which is only 350 meters wide beneath the Petrovaradin rock.[24] A section of the Danube-Tisa-Danube Canal marks the northern edge of wider city centre, and merges with the Danube. The main part of the city lies on the left bank of the Danube, in Bačka region, while smaller parts Petrovaradin and Sremska Kamenica lie on the right bank, in Srem (Syrmia) region. Bačka side of the city lies on one of the southern lowest parts of Pannonian Plain, while Fruška Gora side (Syrmia) is a horst mountain. Alluvial plains along Danube are well-formed, especially on the left bank, in some parts 10 kilometres (6 miles) from the river. A large part of Novi Sad lies on a fluvial terrace with an elevation of 80 to 83 metres (262 to 272 feet). The northern part of Fruška Gora is composed of massive landslide zones, but they are not active, except in the Ribnjak neighborhood (between Sremska Kamenica and Petrovaradin Fortress).[25]

Panoramic view of Novi Sad from Petrovaradin Fortress

The total land area of the city is 699 square kilometres (270 sq mi), while the urban area is 129.7 km2 (50 sq mi).[24]


Novi Sad has an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfb),[26] closely bordering a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification: Dfb) with a January mean of 0.2 °C (32.4 °F). The city experiences four distinct seasons. Autumn is longer than spring, with long sunny and warm periods. Winter is not so severe, with an average of 22 days of complete sub-zero temperature, and averages 25 days of snowfall. January is the coldest month, with an average temperature of −1.9 °C (28.6 °F). Spring is usually short and rainy, while summer arrives abruptly. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Novi Sad was −30.7 °C (−23.3 °F) on 24 January 1963; and the hottest temperature ever recorded was 41.6 °C (106.9 °F) on 24 July 2007.

The east-southeasterly wind Košava, which blows from the Carpathians and brings clear and dry weather, is characteristic of the local climate. It mostly blows in autumn and winter, in 2–3 days intervals. The average speed of Košava is 25 to 43 km (16 to 27 mi) per hour but certain strokes can reach up to 130 km/h (81 mph). In winter time, accompanied by snow storms, it can cause snowdrifts.

Climate data for Rimski Šančevi, Novi Sad (1981–2010, extremes 1948–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 18.9
Average high °C (°F) 3.7
Daily mean °C (°F) 0.2
Average low °C (°F) −3.1
Record low °C (°F) −30.7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 39.1
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 12 10 11 12 13 12 10 9 10 9 11 13 132
Average snowy days 6 7 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 6 24
Average relative humidity (%) 85 79 71 67 66 69 68 68 72 76 82 86 74
Mean monthly sunshine hours 64.8 99.0 156.4 190.1 250.8 269.4 303.6 285.8 205.7 158.9 92.4 58.4 2,135.3
Mean daily sunshine hours 2.1 3.5 5.1 6.3 8.1 9.0 9.8 9.2 6.9 5.1 3.1 1.9 5.8
Source #1: Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia[27]
Source #2: Meteo Climat (record highs and lows)[28]


Novi Sad is a typical Central European town in terms of its architecture. There are only a few buildings dating from before the 19th century. The city was almost completely destroyed during the 1848/1849 revolution, so architecture from the 19th century dominates the city centre. Small older houses used to surround the center of town, but they are now being replaced by modern multi-story buildings.

During the socialist period, new city blocks with wide streets and multi-story buildings were constructed around the city core. However, not many communist-style high-rise buildings were erected. The total number of apartment buildings, with ten or more floors, remained at about 50, the rest having mostly three to six floors. From 1962–64, a new boulevard, today called Bulevar oslobođenja, was cut through the older neighbourhoods, establishing major communication lines. Several more boulevards were subsequently built in a similar manner, creating an orthogonal network which replaced the primarily radial structure of the old town. These interventions paved the way for a relatively unhampered growth of the city, almost tripling the population since the 1950s. Despite a huge increase in car ownership, traffic congestion is still relatively mild, except for a few major arteries.


Some of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city are Stari Grad (Old Town), Rotkvarija, Podbara and Salajka. The areas of Sremska Kamenica and Petrovaradin, located on the right bank of the Danube, were separate towns in the past, but today belong to the urban area of Novi Sad. Liman, as well as Novo Naselje, are neighbourhoods built during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, with contemporary style buildings and wide boulevards. (Liman was divided into four sections, numbered I–IV.)

New neighbourhoods, like Liman, Detelinara and Novo Naselje, emerged from the fields and forests surrounding the city. Following World War II, tall residential buildings were constructed to house the huge influx of people leaving the country side. Many old houses in the city center, from the Rotkvarija and Bulevar neighbourhoods, were torn down in the 1950s and 1960s, to be replaced by multi-story buildings. Since the city has experienced a major construction boom in the last 10 years, some neighbourhoods like Grbavica have completely been transformed.

Neighbourhoods with single family homes are mostly located away from the city center. Telep, situated in the southwest, and Klisa, in the north, are the oldest such districts. Adice and Veternik, both located west of the downtown area, have significantly expanded during the last 15 years, partly due to an influx of Serb refugees fleeing the Yugoslav wars.


While Novi Sad’s urban municipalities, which include Petrovaradin, Sremska Kamenica and Novi Sad proper, have a combined population of about 277,000, its suburban areas have approximately 65,000 inhabitants. Some 23.7% of the administrative city’s total population resides in the suburbs, which consist of 12 settlements and 1 town.[3] The largest numbers live in Futog (pop. 20,000) and also in Veternik (pop. 17,000) to the west. Both places have grown bigger over the years, especially during the 1990s, and have physically merged with the city.

Suburbs like Futog are officially classified as an "urban settlement" (town), while other suburbs are mostly considered to be "rural" (village). Ledinci, Stari Ledinci and Bukovac are all villages located on Fruška Gora’s slopes, with the last two having only one paved road. Stari Ledinci is the most isolated and least populated village belonging to Novi Sad’s suburban areas.

Towns and villages in the adjacent municipalities of Sremski Karlovci, Temerin and Beočin, share the same public transportation system and are economically tied to Novi Sad.

No. Name Status City municipality Population[3]
1BegečVillageNovi Sad3,325
4ČenejNovi Sad2,125
10RumenkaNovi Sad6,495
11Stari LedinciPetrovaradin934
12StepanovićevoNovi Sad2,021
13VeternikTownNovi Sad17,454


Historical population

Novi Sad is the second largest city in Serbia (after Belgrade), and the largest city in Vojvodina. Since its founding, the population of the city has been constantly increasing. According to the 1991 census, 56.2% of the people who came to Novi Sad from 1961 to 1991 were from Vojvodina, while 15.3% came from Bosnia and Herzegovina and 11.7% from rest of Serbia.

In the 1990s and 2000s, the city experienced significant population growth. According to the 2011 census,[2] the city's population is 250,439, while in urban area (including adjacent settlements of Petrovaradin, Sremska Kamenica, Veternik and Futog) there are 277,522 inhabitants. Metro area which encompass territory within administrative city limits has 341,625 inhabitants.[3]

Ethnic groups

The ethnic composition in the city administrative area (last three censuses):



Serbs 173,420 225,995 269,117
Hungarians 20,245 15,687 13,272
Slovaks 8,165 7,230 6,596
Croats 8,848 6,263 5,335
Romani 1,133 1,740 3,636
Montenegrins 6,226 5,040 3,444
Rusyns - 2,032 2,160
Yugoslavs 32,803 9,514 2,355
Muslims 1,737 1,015 1,138
Macedonians - 1,144 1,111
Romanians 902 860 891
Gorani - 358 709
Ukrainians - - 484
Germans - - 429
Slovenians - - 412
Albanians - - 356
Russians - - 329
Others 18,211 22,416 31,861
Total 265,464 299,294 341,625

All of the inhabited places in the municipalities have an ethnic Serb majority, while the village of Kisač has an ethnic Slovak majority.


According to the 2011 census, the population of the administrative area of Novi Sad (comprising both municipalities) included 270,831 Orthodox Christians, 21,530 Catholics, 8,499 Protestants, 4,760 Muslims, 84 Jews, and others. The city is the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Bačka and of the Muftiship of Novi Sad of the Islamic Community in Serbia.


Novi Sad is the administrative center of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, and as such, home to Vojvodina's Government and Provincial Assembly.

The city's administrative bodies include the city assembly as the representative body, as well as the mayor and city government defining the executive bodies. The mayor and city assembly members are chosen through direct elections. The city assembly has 78 seats, while the city government consists of 11 members. The mayor and members of the city's assembly are elected to four-year terms. The city government is elected by the city assembly at the proposal of the mayor.

As of the 2012 election, the mayor of Novi Sad is Miloš Vučević of the Serbian Progressive Party. While his party holds the majority of seats in the city assembly, the Socialist Party of Serbia, the Democratic Party of Serbia, as well as other parties and groups, are also represented.

The city of Novi Sad is divided into 46 local communities within two city municipalities, Novi Sad and Petrovaradin, which are separated by the Danube river.

Coat of arms

The design consists of three white towers placed in the center, set against a blue sky. A white dove holding an olive branch flies above the larger middle tower. All three structures have rooftops with crenallations, as well as opened windows and closed gates. Below the towers lies a green background, with a wavy white line depicting the Danube River.

City holidays

February 1 On this day, in 1748, Novi Sad gained "free royal city" status.
October 23 The partisan forces from Srem and Bačka entered and liberated the city from occupation on this day, in 1944.
November 9 Troops of the Kingdom of Serbia entered the city on this day, in 1918, led by commandant Petar Bojović.
November 25 In 1918, the Assembly of Serbs, Bunjevci, and other Slavs of Vojvodina (Banat, Bačka and Baranja) in Novi Sad proclaimed the unification of Vojvodina region with the Kingdom of Serbia.

The city also commemorates the year 1694, when it was established.


Novi Sad is the economic center of Vojvodina, the most fertile agricultural region in Serbia. The city also represents one of the largest economic and cultural hubs in Serbia.

Novi Sad had always been a developed city within the former Yugoslavia. In 1981, its GDP per capita was 172% of the Yugoslav average.[32] During the 1990s, the city, like the rest of Serbia, was severely affected by an internationally imposed trade embargo and hyperinflation of the Yugoslav dinar. The embargo, along with economic mismanagement, led to a decay or demise of once important industrial combines, such as Novkabel (electric cable industry), Pobeda (metal industry), Jugoalat (tools), Albus and HINS (chemical industry). Practically the only viable large facilities remaining today are the oil refinery, located northeast of the town, and the thermal power plant.

Novi Sad Fair Convention Center
Aleksandar Bulevar Centar

The economy of Novi Sad has mostly recovered from that period and grown strongly since 2001, shifting from an industry-driven economy to the tertiary sector. The processes involved in privatizing state and society-owned enterprises, as well as strong private incentives, have increased the share of privately owned companies to over 95% in the district, with small and medium-size enterprises dominating the city's economic development.[33]

The significance of Novi Sad as a financial center is already proven, by being home to the national headquarters of numerous banks, such as Erste Bank, OTP bank, and Crédit Agricole;[34] as well as the third largest insurance company in Serbia, DDOR Novi Sad. Furthermore, the city is home to major energy companies like Naftna Industrija Srbije oil company and Srbijagas gas company. It is also the seat of the wheat market.

Novi Sad is also a growing information technology center within Serbia, second only to Belgrade.

The following table gives a preview of the total number of employed people per their core activity (as of 2016):[35]

Activity Total
Agriculture, forestry and fishing1,457
Processing industry15,983
Distribution of power, gas and water2,601
Distribution of water and water waste management2,403
Wholesale and retail, repair25,254
Traffic, storage and communication7,554
Hotels and restaurants4,705
Media and telecommunications7,579
Finance and insurance4,935
Property stock and charter612
Professional, scientific, innovative and technical activities8,586
Administrative and other services8,693
Administration and social assurance7,978
Healthcare and social work13,280
Art, leisure and recreation3,056
Other services3,112


In the 19th and early 20th century, Novi Sad was the capital of Serbian culture, earning it the nickname Serbian Athens. During that time, almost every Serbian novelist, poet, jurist, and publisher had lived or worked in Novi Sad at some point in their career. Some of these cultural workers included Vuk Stefanović Karadžić, Mika Antić, Đura Jakšić, among others. Matica srpska, the oldest cultural-scientific institution in Serbia, was moved from Budapest to Novi Sad in 1864, and now contains the second-largest library in the country, the Library of Matica srpska, with over 3.5 million volumes. The Serbian National Theatre, the oldest professional theatre among the South Slavs, was founded in Novi Sad in 1861.

Today, Novi Sad is the second largest cultural center in Serbia, after Belgrade. Municipal officials have made the city more attractive with numerous cultural events and music concerts. Since 2000, Novi Sad is home to the EXIT festival, one of the biggest music summer festivals in Europe. Other important cultural events include the Sterijino pozorje theatre festival, Zmaj Children Games, International Novi Sad Literature Festival, Novi Sad Jazz Festival, and many others.[36] Novi Sad also hosts a fashion show twice a year, attracting local and international designers. Called Serbia Fashion Week, the event also features the works of applied artists, musicians, interior decorators, multimedia experts and architects.[37]

In addition to the Serbian National Theatre, other prominent playhouses consist of the Novi Sad Theatre, Youth Theatre, and the Cultural Centre of Novi Sad. The Novi Sad Synagogue also houses many cultural events. Other cultural institutions include the Detachment of the Serbian Academy of Science and Art, Library of Matica Srpska, Novi Sad City Library and Azbukum. The city is also home to the Archive of Vojvodina, which has collected numerous documents from the Vojvodina region dating back to 1565.

Novi Sad has several folk song societies, which are known as kulturno-umetničko društvo or KUD. The best known societies in the city are: KUD Svetozar Marković, AKUD Sonja Marinković, SKUD Željezničar, FA Vila and the oldest SZPD Neven, established in 1892.

National minorities express their own traditions, folklore and songs through various societies such as the Hungarian MKUD Petőfi Sándor, Slovak SKUD Pavel Jozef Šafárik, and Ruthenian RKC Novi Sad.


The city has several museums and galleries, both public and privately owned. The best known institution in the city is the Museum of Vojvodina, founded in 1847, which houses a permanent collection of Serbian culture and life in Vojvodina since ancient times. The Museum of Novi Sad, located in the Petrovaradin Fortress, has a permanent collection featuring the history of the old fortress.

The Gallery of Matica Srpska is the largest and most respected exhibition space in the city, with two galleries in the city centre. Other museums include The Gallery of Fine Arts – Gift Collection of Rajko Mamuzić and The Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection, featuring one of the most extensive collections of Serbian art from the 1900s until the 1970s.


Novi Sad is one of the most important centers of higher education and research in Serbia, with four universities overall and numerous professional, technical, and private colleges and research institutes, including a law school with its own publication.[38] The largest educational institution in the city is the University of Novi Sad, a public school established in 1960. As of 2012, it has 14 faculties, 9 of which are located on the main university campus.[39] It is attended by more than 50,000 students and has total staff of nearly 5,000.[39]

Business Academy University and Educons University are private schools also located in the city.[40][41] Other educational institutions include Novi Sad Open University, offering professional courses in adult education, and the Protestant Theological Seminary.

Regarding primary and secondary education, there are 36 elementary schools (33 regular and 3 special) with about 26,000 students.[42] The secondary school system consists of 11 vocational schools and 4 gymnasiums with almost 18,000 students.[42]


Since 2000, the number of tourists visiting Novi Sad each year has steadily risen. During the annual EXIT music festival in July, the city is full of young people from all over Europe. In 2017, over 200,000 visitors from 60 countries came to the festival, attending about 35 concerts.[43][44] Other events include shows and congresses organized by Novi Sad Fair, a local management company, bringing in many businesspersons and entrepreneurs to the city. Every May, Novi Sad is home to the largest agricultural show in the region, having attracted 600,000 attendees in 2005.[45] The tourist port, near Varadin Bridge in the city center, welcomes cruise boats from across Europe that travel the Danube river.

The most recognized structure in Novi Sad is the Petrovaradin Fortress, which dominates the skyline and also offers scenic views of the city. The nearby historic neighborhood of Stari Grad has many monuments, museums, cafes, restaurants and shops. Also in the vicinity, is the Fruška Gora National Park, approximately 20 km (12 mi) from the city center.


Typical Serbian food can be found in Novi Sad, including traditional dishes like ćevapi, burek, kajmak, kiseli kupus, kiflice and pasulj, as well as fish dishes, local cheeses and charcuterie.[46] Restaurants and farmsteads offer fresh produce from local farmers and also regional vintages from Fruska Gora's wineries.[46][47] Modern alternatives are available at some of the city's top restaurants, which prepare traditional fare with an updated twist.[48][49] Pastry shops serve local specialties such as layered cakes made from ground nuts and cream, referred to as "torta" in Serbian. Desserts also often include raspberries, one of the region's largest exports, and historic Dunavska Street is home to many ice cream parlors.[50][51]


Novi Sad has one major daily newspaper, Dnevnik, and among the periodicals, the monthly magazine Vojvodjanski magazin stands out. The city also houses the headquarters of regional public broadcaster, Radio Television of Vojvodina (RTV), and municipal public broadcaster, Novosadska televizija,[52] as well as a few commercial TV stations such as Kanal 9,[53] Panonija[54] and RTV Most.[55] Major local commercial radio stations include Radio AS FM and Radio 021.[56]

Novi Sad is also known for being a publishing center. The most important publishing houses are Matica srpska, Stilos and Prometej. Well-known journals, in literature and art, include Letopis Matice srpske, the oldest Serbian Journal, Polja,[57] which is issued by the Cultural Center of Novi Sad, and Zlatna greda, published by the Association of Writers of Vojvodina.[58]


Founded in 1790, the "City Marksmen Association" became the first sporting organization in Novi Sad. A more widespread interest in competitive sports developed after the Municipal Association of Physical Culture was created in 1959 and when the Spens Sports Center was built in 1981. Today, about 220 sports organizations are active in Novi Sad.

Professional sports in Novi Sad mostly revolve around the Vojvodina multi-sport association. Having won two championships in 1966 and 1989, the FK Vojvodina football club represents the 3rd all-time best team in Serbia, right behind its two Belgrade rivals, Red Star and Partizan. With 13 championship titles, OK Vojvodina is the top volleyball team in the country. As for handball, RK Vojvodina is the current national champion.

Athletes from Novi Sad had the honour of participating in the first Olympic Games in Athens. The largest number of Novi Sad competitors, to participate in the Olympics, was at the Atlanta Games. Eleven athletes won 6 medals there. Three also competed at the 1980 Moscow Games, while two participated in the 1976 Montreal Games and the 1956 Melbourne Games.

Many national and international competitions are held in the city. Novi Sad played host to the European and World Championships in table tennis in 1981[59] and the 29th Chess Olympiad in 1990. It also welcomed the European and World Championships in sambo, the Balkan and European Championships in judo, the 1987 final match of the Saporta Cup in European basketball,[59][60] and the final tournament of the European volleyball cup.[59] Furthermore, Novi Sad co-hosted the 2005 European Basketball Championship, as well as hosting the 2017 Volleyball World League matches.[59][61] The year 2018 saw the city welcome the Senior European Fencing Championships and the European Senior Karate Championships.[59][61][62][63]

The city also holds traditional sporting events such as the Novi Sad marathon, international swimming competitions and many other events. The very first "MTB Petrovaradin Fortress Cup" took place in 2018, allowing national and regional cyclists to compete. It is also the first mountain bike competition to be held in Serbia.[64]

Club Sport Founded League Venue
FK Vojvodina Football 1914 Jelen Superliga Karađorđe Stadium
FK Novi Sad Football 1921 First League Detelinara Stadium
FK Proleter Football 1951 First League Slana Bara Stadium
KK Vojvodina Basketball 1948 League B Spens Sports Center
OK Vojvodina Volleyball 1946 Serbian volley league Spens Sports Center
RK Vojvodina Handball 1949 Handball League of Serbia Slana Bara Sports Center
HK Vojvodina Hockey 1957 Serbian Hockey League Spens Sports Center
ŽFK Fruškogorac Women's football 1998 Druga Liga Srbije Sever FK Mladost


Novi Sad's inhabitants engage in a wide range of recreational and leisure activities. With regards to team sports, football and basketball have the highest amount of participants. Cycling is also popular due to the city's flat terrain and the extensive off-road network, found in nearby mountainous Fruška Gora. Hundreds of commuters cycle the roads, bike lanes and bike paths daily.

Proximity to the Fruška Gora National Park attracts many city dwellers on the weekends. They enjoy the numerous hiking trails, restaurants and monasteries located in and around the mountain area. Occurring on the first weekend of every May, the "Fruška Gora Marathon" lets hikers, runners and cyclists take advantage of the many hiking trails.[65] During the summer months, citizens from Novi Sad visit Lake Ledinci in Fruška Gora, as well as the numerous beaches situated along the Danube, the largest being Štrand in the Liman neighborhood. There are also several recreational marinas bordering the river.


Novi Sad lies on the branch B of the Pan-European Corridor X. The A1 motorway connects the city with Subotica to the north and Belgrade to the south. It is concurrent with Budapest–Belgrade railroad, which connects it to major European cities. Novi Sad is connected with Zrenjanin and Timișoara on the northwest and Ruma on south with a regional highway; there are long-term plans to upgrade it to a motorway or an expressway, with a tunnel under the Fruška Gora shortcutting the Iriški Venac mountain pass.[66][67]

Novi Sad currently does not have its own civil airport. The city is about a one-hour drive from Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, which connects it with capitals across Europe. Small Čenej Airport north of the city is used for sport and agricultural purposes. There are plans to upgrade it to serve for cargo and small-scale public transport,[68] but the future of this initiative is uncertain.

Four bridges cross the Danube in Novi Sad: Liberty Bridge (Most Slobode) connects Sremska Kamenica with the city proper. Varadin Bridge (Varadinski most) and Žeželj Bridge (Žeželjev most), connects Petrovaradin with city centre, along with the temporary Road-Railway Bridge, built in 2000 and used chiefly for railway and heavy truck traffic. Four bridges span the Danube-Tisa-Danube canal, running north of the city center.

The main public transportation system in Novi Sad consists of bus lines. There are twenty-one urban lines and twenty-nine suburban lines. The operator is JGSP Novi Sad, with its main bus station at the northern end of the Liberation Boulevard, next to the railway station. In addition, there are numerous taxi companies serving the city. The city used to have a tram system, but it was disassembled in 1958.

International cooperation

Novi Sad has relationships with several twin towns. One of the main streets in its city centre is named after Modena in Italy; and likewise Modena has named a park in its town centre Parco di Piazza d'Armi Novi Sad. The Novi Sad Friendship Bridge in Norwich, United Kingdom, by Buro Happold, was also named in honour of Novi Sad. Besides twin cities, Novi Sad has many signed agreements on joint cooperation with many European cities (see also: Twin cities of Novi Sad). Novi Sad's twin towns are:

Novi Sad is an associated member of Eurocities.[75]

See also


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  • Jovan Mirosavljević, Novi Sad - atlas ulica, Novi Sad, 1998
  • Mirjana Džepina, Društveni i zabavni život starih Novosađana, Novi Sad, 1982
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