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A guide for visiting Subotica in Serbia

February 17, 2024 10 Comments

There’s underrated destinations and there’s places that people would not want to visit. Serbia falls into the latter category. However, that makes it ideal for people who like to travel away from crowds, discovering small towns that most people have never heard of. Enter Subotica in northern Serbia. Just 10kms away from the border with Hungary, this town is mostly popular with people needing to leave the Schengen zone so they don’t max out their stays. But whether you’re a visa runner or just visiting Serbia to see what on earth this country has to offer, Subotica is a wonderful town to visit. Quaint and picturesque offering that quintessential European charm that everyone seems to crave, Subotica is offering it without the high prices and crowds. This is your essential guide for visiting Subotica in Serbia.

How long do I need?

Honestly Subotica can be a day trip if you have your own vehicle. However, I travelled by bus and wanted to go at a slower pace. So I spent two nights. I would advise at least spending a night if you can.

How do I get there?

Subotica is well connected by road and rail. You can get a bus or train here from any major city in Serbia. I use this site to plan my routes and purchase tickets.

Where to stay?

Since we travelled as a group of 3 people, it made the most sense for us to book an apartment. I was very happy with Downtown Lux Apartments which had an EXCELLENT location right in the town square.

Most of the landmarks below can easily be visited on foot, with the exception of Lake Palić, which involves hopping on a local city bus. Here’s my recommendations for what to see and where to eat at:

Photograph the buildings of Subotica


Subotica is a whole other world. Some of the buildings look like whimsical illustrations come alive! Many of the remarkable buildings around town were built in the Hungarian Secessionist style of the early 20th century. A large number of these are examples of the Art Nouveau style, which was quite popular in Europe from around 1890 and 1910. This style of architecture placed a strong emphasis on forms and curves that were inspired by natural forms.

Take time to admire each one.


Raichle Palace- while arguably one of the prettier buildings- also doubles as a modern art gallery. However at the time of my visit, I did not think the ‘art’ on display was worth paying to see. I would skip it if I could.

Explore Subotica Synagogue

One of the most remarkable structures in Subotica is the synagogue, which is one of the few remaining in the entire nation. Being the only synagogue in the world to use Hungarian Art Nouveau, it’s also one of the most distinctive.

But the exterior aside, it’s the inside that is the real marvel. Pastel shades, floral motifs and delicate chandeliers. The sunlight pouring through the stained glass will easily take your breath away so don’t miss the opportunity to stroll up to the second story in order to enjoy the aerial views.

Entry fee: 250RSD per adult
Time spent: 1 hour

Eat pastries at Mali Patisserie

I don’t normally recommend a bakery as a ‘must do’ but there was something so special about Mali’s Patisserie. It gave me Luke’s Diner in Stars Hollow vibes- if you know what I mean. The interior is cute and cosy with a homely interior design. There are just a handful of tables available in the front to make room for the bakery in the back. You know what that means? Amazing aromas and guaranteed freshness.

I know they probably change their menu regularly but if you have the opportunity to sample their coconut tart and pistachio puff, do not miss out!

Visit Lake Palic

Palić was a posh spa and resort in the 19th and 20th centuries. While it is still very busy in the summer, it was incredibly quiet when I visited. I can only picture the masses of people strolling along the shore, having picnics on the grass, and packing the cafés and benches that face the water. There are also some pretty buildings surrounding the lake so even if you just go for a stroll there are plenty of photo spots.

How to get to the lake: Follow the blue signs in the direction of Lake Palic and find a bus stop with buses heading in that direction. Bus number 6 will take you all the way to the lake and will cost you 120RSD per person which you can pay directly to the driver. You will see the lake from the window. The bus runs every 30 minutes to and from the town.

Where to eat in Subotica

Denis Gastro Temple

As with most places, walking a short distance away from the main square is where you will find some of the best food. This restaurant boasts a stunning exterior (very photo worthy), but also has an extensive food menu with some of the best food I ate in Subotica.

Bodis & Porto

An unsuspecting bistro offering delicious and large breakfast portions. While I enjoyed the breakfast there, I wish they had a non-smoking section. It’s hard to enjoy your food while the air is thick with cigarette smoke.

Restaurant Renaissance

Another great breakfast restaurant with huge portions and something for everyone. The restaurant is not much to look at but the food is good and offers great value for money.

Boss Caffe

This is probably the busiest and most popular eatery in Subotica. And with good reason too, the food is quite good. Even though I didn’t love the setting (it was a bit cramped), I was grateful that they had a non-smoking section.

Kinder’s Cake

Just opposite Boss Cafe is this delightful diner offering every kind of crepe and pancake under the sun. The cafe is small but cute (look out for the pancake themed decor).

LASTLY,


If you’re looking to escape city life for a day or two and are somewhere between Budapest and Belgrade, Subotica could be the best place for you to unwind. For a little town that used to be part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire up until World War I the town perfectly fuses Serbian and Hungarian culture. I saw a lot of Hungarian on signs, which is not surprising considering the people who live in Subotica. To be completely honest, Subotica delighted me even more than I thought it would. I would definitely put it on your travel lis-t using this guide for visiting Subotica in Serbia-if it isn’t already!

If you liked this post, you may also be interested in:

Visiting Golubac Fortress and Veliki Buk Waterfall

I also have a wealth of information on my Instagram. Do have a look. If you enjoyed this guide for visiting Subotica in Serbia, please pin it using the pin below:

Have you considered spending the day in Subotica, Serbia? Or have I just put it on your list? Let me know in the comments below!

expatpanda

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10 Comments

  • Pree February 19, 2024 at 2:10 pm

    The buildings are indeed otherworldly I’m the most magical way!

    • Pree February 19, 2024 at 2:10 pm

      *in

    • expatpanda February 23, 2024 at 7:33 pm

      When I am at work, it might be worth you taking day trip out there 🙂

      • Pree February 24, 2024 at 5:50 am

        I was thinking that!!

  • Travel with a Pen February 20, 2024 at 9:43 pm

    What a beautifully written guide! Love the buildings; they look like artworks themselves!

    • expatpanda February 23, 2024 at 7:33 pm

      The buildings definitely looked otherworldly!

  • Tanriverdi Travels February 22, 2024 at 2:28 pm

    Added to the bucketlist!

    • expatpanda February 23, 2024 at 7:33 pm

      Yay so happy to hear that!

  • leightontravels March 23, 2024 at 6:54 pm

    Thanks for reminding me of the many delights of underrated Subotica. I still have my own visit to write up from a few years back. Too many articles to do, such little time. It really is an architectural gem, I’m glad you made it into that fabulous synagogue.

    • expatpanda April 5, 2024 at 3:39 pm

      You are most welcome. It really is a charming little town. I hope to visit again but in a different season to see how everything looks at another time of year.

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