Top 15 Things To Do In Niš, Serbia

things to do in nis serbia
| 7 min read

Steeped in centuries of history, Niš is a remarkable city with influences of the past that can still be felt in the present. This ancient city is the third-largest in Serbia, and is filled with fascinating historical attractions from Roman ruins to Ottoman towers. Discover more of the city’s past as you explore important landmarks like the Niš Fortress or explore brilliant archaeological sites at Mediana. Wander through the intriguing galleries of the National Museum, then soak your feet in the mineral-rich waters of the hot springs in Niška Banja. The city is also home to a fantastic variety of eateries and bars! Between its unique landmarks, sombre memorials, and engaging museums, Niš is a brilliant city to explore. Read the list below for more things to do in Niš, Serbia.

1. Wander through the historic Niš Fortress

Niš Fortress, Niš, Serbia
Source: Photo by user MrPanyGoff used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The eponymous fortress of the city is one of the most iconic monuments of Niš, and is one of the best-preserved fortifications in the Balkans. Although the fortress was completed in 1723 by the ruling Ottomans, the site actually encloses many more ancient landmarks, including ruins of a Roman camp from more than 2,000 years ago! Visitors can also explore a Turkish hammam that dates from 1498, stroll through the ornate Stambol gate, and wander through the remains of the Octagon Palace. The fortress is still of cultural importance today, and many music, film, and cultural events are hosted here.

Niš Fortress

Address: Đuke Dinić, Niš, Serbia

Website: Niš Fortress

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

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2. Climb to the top of Čegar Monument

Čegar spomenik
Source: Photo by user Scarix used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Čegar Monument commemorates the First Serbian Uprising battle, and the fight to liberate the city of Niš from the Ottoman rulers. In 1809, Serbian leader Voivoda Stevan Sindjelic and 4,000 soldiers fought against the much larger Ottoman army at Čegar Hill in a battle that raged all day. Faced with the force of the overwhelming forces of the Ottomans, Sindjelic ordered for the last gunpowder magazine to be fired into the fort, killing 10,000 Turks, as well as Sindjelic and his men. The Čegar Monument was built in 1927 to honor the Serbian soldiers who died fighting for freedom, and visitors today can climb to the top of the landmark tower.

Čegar Monument

Address: Niška, Bobiste, Serbia

Website: Čegar Monument

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

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3. Tour archaeological excavations at Mediana

Mediana Ruins of Constantine's Palace Nis Serbia
Source: Photo by Flickr user amanderson2 used under CC BY 2.0

Explore the remains of ancient history at the archaeological site of Mediana. Niš, or Naissus, as the town was known in Roman times, was the birthplace of Emperor Constantine I, and excavations at the site of Mediana have revealed many important historical finds. Visitors can tour the fourth-century villa and peristyle, as well as a thermae, a granary, and a water tower, and admire the stunning collection of floor mosaics.


Address: Bulevar Cara Konstantina, Niš, Serbia

Website: Mediana

Price: 2 USD

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4. Enjoy a delicious meal at Stara Srbija

Posted by Kafana Stara Srbija on Friday, 16 January 2015

For unbelievably delectable Serbian food, look no further than Stara Srbija! This much-loved restaurant has been serving fantastic dishes for the past 135 years. The extensive menu is filled with grilled delicacies and sumptuous roasts, vegetarian options, special offers, and more. Start your day with a Bavarian sandwich for breakfast, or stop by in the evening for a glass of wine and a sample of local cheese or a dessert.

Stara Srbija

Address: Trg republike 12, Niš, Serbia

Website: Stara Srbija

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 11pm; Sat - Sun: 9am - 4am

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5. Visit the grim remains of Skull Tower

Nis skull tower
Source: Photo by user User: Kulmalukko... used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Skull Tower is one of the city’s most unique, albeit, grisly landmarks. After the First Serbian Uprising failed in 1809, the leader of the Turks, Vizier Hurshid Pasha, ordered the skulls to be removed from the Serbian soldiers and made into a tower as a macabre warning against further rebellions. When Niš came under Serbian rule in 1878, a chapel was built around the tower to commemorate the struggle for Serbian independence. The tower contains less than 100 skulls remain from the original 952, but is still a chilling witness to the country’s past struggles.

Skull Tower

Address: Bulevar Dr Zorana Đinđića, Niš, Serbia

Website: Skull Tower

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 9am - 7pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 2 USD

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6. Visit the Crveni Krst Concentration Camp

Crveni Krst concentration camp 05 - Top floor with cells
Source: Photo by user Dimtche used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Crveni Krst Concentration Camp is a sobering memorial to the populations who were detained and killed during the Nazi regime of the Second World War. During the camp’s three years of use, as many as 35,000 people of Serbian, Jewish, and Romani descent were imprisoned here, and the preserved camp serves as a reminder to the horrific brutality that these groups endured. A museum on the camp’s grounds details the somber history of the camp, and the scope of the tragedy that occurred here.

Crveni Krst Concentration Camp

Address: Bulevar 12. februara, Niš, Serbia

Website: Crveni Krst Concentration Camp

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10am - 4pm; Sun: 10am - 3pm (closed on Mon)

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7. Watch a performance at National Theater

Ниш 30
Source: Photo by user Manojlovic80 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The city of Niš has a rich cultural history dating back to the first recorded theatrical performance here in 1883! Since the subsequent founding of the Sinđelić Theater in 1887, over 10,000 plays have been staged in the city, and the magnificent legacy continues with the productions of the National Theater. Today, the National Theater stages breathtaking performances year-round of both modern productions and classic dramas. The theater also hosts many festivals throughout the year.

National Theater

Address: Sinđelićev trg, Niš 700190, Serbia

Website: National Theatre

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8. Delve into the past at National Museum

Celokupna železnička mreža bila je opterećena internacijama ka nacističkim radnim logorima sirom Evrope, i logorama...

Posted by Narodni muzej Niš - zvanična strana on Wednesday, 20 February 2019

National Museum in Niš is an engaging institution that is filled with all kinds of unique surprises from fine art to a life-sized statue of Emperor Constantine. This extraordinary museum features an astounding collection of over 40,000 objects relating to archeology, history, and fine art, and features two memorial collections dedicated to the national figures of Stevan Sremac and Branko Miljkovic. One of the highlights of the museum is the renowned Archaeological Hall that showcases the history of Niš through found objects from the Neolithic Age through the Roman period and on through the Middle Ages!

National Museum

Address: Nikole Pašića, Niš 700140, Serbia

Website: National Museum

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 9am - 7pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 2 USD

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9. Stop by a cafe at Tinkers’ Alley

Kazandzijsko Nis
Source: Photo by user ZivojinMisic slike used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Once a brilliant craftsman’s quarter during the Ottoman rule of Niš, Tinker’s Alley has remained a bustling hub of city life. The street retains its name from when the alley was home to many copper-smiths, but the area has been dramatically transformed into a vibrant collection of restaurants, bars, and hotels. Stroll down the picturesque cobblestones and enjoy a glimpse into the city’s past through the remaining 18th and 19th century architecture, then enjoy a lovely meal at a pleasant cafe.

Tinkers’ Alley

Address: Kopitareva Street, Niš 700140, Serbia

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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10. Admire the interiors of Holy Trinity Cathedral

Holy Trinity Cathedral - Niš
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user MrPanyGoff used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The historic Holy Trinity Cathedral is an impressive marvel featuring a blend of beautiful architectural styles. This massive cathedral was consecrated in 1878 after the country was liberated from the Ottomans, and is second only in size to the St. Sava Temple in Belgrade. With its combination of Byzantine, oriental, and western styles, the interior of the church is wonderfully ornate with floor-to-ceiling paintwork, and iconostasis with works from artist Đorđe Krstić.

Holy Trinity Cathedral

Address: Prijezdina 7, Niš 700140, Serbia

Opening hours: 7am - 7pm (daily)

Price: Free

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11. Pay tribute at Bubanj Memorial Park

Spomen park Bubanj
Source: Photo by user Mikica Andrejic used under CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the most moving sites of the city, Bubanj Memorial Park honors the approximate 10,000 victims who died under the Nazi regime during the Second World War. Bubanj Hill was the site of mass executions of prisoners from the nearby Crveni Krst Concentration Camp, but was turned into a park commemorating the victims after the war ended. The park includes a poignant monument of three monolithic fists raised skyward symbolizing the men, women, and children who died here. In addition to this sculpture, the park also has a relief featuring words of resistance by local Niš poet Ivan Vučković.

Bubanj Memorial Park

Address: Vojvode Putnika Street, Niš 700140, Serbia

Website: Bubanj Memorial Park

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

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12. Hike to Latin Church

Latinska crkva
Source: Photo by user Suncocvet used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Located atop Metoh Hill, the breathtaking Latin Church overlooks the nearby village of Gornji Matejevac and is a stunning example of Byzantine architecture. This wonderful church was built in the 11th century, and is one of the few buildings remaining from before the Nemanjić dynasty, an empire which ruled much of southeastern Europe during the Middle Ages. One of the unique features of the church is its façade of alternating white stone and red brick.

Latin Church

Address: Niš, Gornji Matejevac, Serbia

Website: Latin Church

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13. People watch at King Milan Square

Ниш 32
Source: Photo by user Manojlovic80 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the best places to watch the city go by is King Milan Square. The open plaza is located across from the Niš Fortress, and is filled with lovely cafes, restaurants, and charming 19th century houses. A highlight of this beautiful plaza is a sculpture by Yugoslavian artist Antun Augustunčić. This wonderful statue is known as the Monument to the Liberators of Niš, and commemorates the liberation of Serbian from the Ottoman Empire. Scenes from the Battle of Čegar are presented around the sides of the monument, and the top of the statue is crowned by a man carrying a flag to symbolize the new era of freedom.

King Milan Square

Address: Generala Milojka Lešjanina 8, Niš, Serbia

Website: King Milan Square

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

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14. Soak up the healing waters of Niška Banja

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jovana Aleksic used under CC BY-SA 4.0

After a busy day of sightseeing, take time to rest, relax, and rejuvenate at Niška Banja! The five mineral springs have shown traces of civilization dating back to Neolithic times, and also attracted the attention of the Romans, who built a bathhouse and two pools to soak up the revitalizing waters. In modern times, visitors and locals alike still flock to these springs just south of the city to indulge in the benefits of the mineral-rich waters and mud. According to local beliefs, the springs are especially adept at treating heart and stomach ailments, but the warm waters are also just a wonderful place to relax. The nearby Institute of Niška Banja also offers many health and wellness services, including a hot tub with thermal waters, aromatic baths, and massages.

Niška Banja

Website: Niška Banja

Opening hours: 8am - 8pm (daily)

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15. Indulge in the food culture of Serbia (from USD 31.0)

Enjoy a taste of southern Serbia as you explore Niš on this walking tour! On this three-hour expedition, your guide will lead you to a variety of restaurants and bakeries and provide fascinating cultural background to the dishes you will try. Sample local favorites like burek and pljeskavica in between visiting famous pedestrian squares and bohemian quarters of the city. The tastings are equivalent to a small meal and you can sample a variety of traditional dishes.

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Nis Food and Culture Walking Tour

Duration: 3 hours

The novel attractions of Niš

From renowned museums to poignant memorials, there is so much to discover in the vibrant city of Niš. This southern Serbian city is filled with one-of-a-kind attractions and has a long, and fascinating history. Delve into the city’s cultural legacy, and add these items to your itinerary. Start planning your trip today and check out these things to do in Niš, Serbia.

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Hannah is a freelance writer, list making aficionado, and world traveler currently based in Germany. She is an avid explorer, and believes in creating new experiences to put on her bucket list to...Read more

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