Novi Pazar Serbia

What to See

Many of the most important sites in Novi Pazar can be reached by foot from the city square, Gradski Trg, in the center of the city. To find Gradski Trg, look for the sebilj at the base of the pedestrian street (28. Novembra) or look for the Hotel Vrbak, which straddles the banks of the Raška river. In Gradski Trg you can also find a helpful tourist map with descriptions of major sites and a brief history of the city.

Church of Saint Peter Courtesy of Jessica Collins

Church of Saint Peter
Courtesy of Jessica Collins

Church of Saint Peter (Petrova crkva): The oldest standing church in Serbia, the Church of St. Peter was founded in the 4th century and was initially the seat of the Orthodox See of Raška, playing a key role under the Nemanjić dynasty. The church was expanded upon through the 9th century, and today it features frescoes added from the 10th century onward and a notable surrounding graveyard. Alongside Sopoćani Monastery and Đurđevi Stupovi, the Church of St. Peter is one of the region’s three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The church is located about 3 km from the city center and can be accessed by car or taxi, driving just a few minutes north out of the city, or by foot, walking about 20-30 minutes north from the city center.

Amir-Agin Han: Dating back to the 17th century, Novi Pazar’s Ottoman han once served as a resting place for travelers and merchants passing through the Sandžak region. Novi Pazar provided an ideal resting point between the major trading centers in Bosnia and Dubrovnik in the west and Thessaloniki and Istanbul in the east, so the Han was a popular place to seek accommodation. Located directly off Gradski Trg, the Han formerly offered room for guests upstairs, while the downstairs provided space for livestock. Today it provides a home for a collection of small stores and an event space.

Altun-Alem Mosque Courtesy of Bojan Milović

Altun-Alem Mosque
Courtesy of Bojan Milović

Altun-Alem Mosque: Altum-Alem mosque is located in the heart of downtown Novi Pazar, just a few minutes walk down 1. Maja south from Gradski Trg. The mosque, which is one of the most important buildings in the city from the Ottoman period, was built by Muslihudin Abdul Gani in the 16th century. It is said that the mosque was named after one of the three daughters of a local paša named Altuna, who did not marry and chose to donate her property to the construction of the mosque, leaving behind her name as a tribute.

Ras Museum (Muzej Ras): The city’s only museum, the Ras Museum features historical exhibits from Novi Pazar and the local region. Included in the museum’s collection are archaeological artifacts from ancient times, World War II memorabilia, and traditional clothing and home furnishings from the region. The museum provides a good overview of the city’s dynamic and far-reaching history and the many people who have lived here. In addition, the museum sometimes offers special exhibitions and events. Entrance to the museum, which is located on Stevana Nemanje just north of Gradski Trg, costs 100 dinar.

Sopoćani Monastery Courtesy of Bojan Milović

Sopoćani Monastery
Courtesy of Bojan Milović

Sopoćani Monastery and Stari Ras: Located around 15 km from the city center and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sopoćani Monastery is one of the most important sites in Serbia and a prime example of the style of the Raška School. Founded by King Uroš I in the 13th century, Sopoćani has a long and complex history and is still a functioning monastery. The Church of the Holy Trinity was built in the Romanesque style and is the highlight of the monastic complex, offering largely complete frescoes from the 13th century. On the way to the monastery are the archaeological ruins of Stari Ras, the heart of the ancient Nemanjić dynasty. To get to the monastery and Stari Ras, you can either take a taxi (the ride should take about 15 minutes and cost €12-15 for a trip there and back) or catch a bus from the city station (buses leave at 10:30 and 16:00 and return at 11:50 and 17:20)

Arab Mosque (Arapska džamija): One of the city’s oldest buildings, the Arab Mosque occupies a picturesque location in the heart of the city, with the mosque’s minaret signaling the beginning of the old town. Not much is known about the history of the mosque today, but it is said that the builder of the structure was an Arab, thereby providing the name of the mosque. The mosque dates back at least to the 16th century but was burned and later renovated in the late 17th century. The Arab Mosque is located directly across the Raška river from Gradski Trg on 1. Maja.

Đurđevi Stupovi Courtesy of Bojan Milović

Đurđevi Stupovi
Courtesy of Bojan Milović http://www.milovic.net/

Đurđevi Stupovi: Originally created by Stefan Nemanja as a promise he made to St. George if he were to be freed from captivity and the third UNESCO World Heritage Site in the region, Đurđevi Stupovi was founded in the 12th century and sits atop a picturesque hill in the outskirts of Novi Pazar with commanding views of the region. Despite damage to the church during WWII, the building has been mostly restored, although many frescoes have been moved to Belgrade. The church can be reached by foot, walking from the city center in about 60 minutes, or by taxi in about 10 minutes, costing around €10 for a trip there and back.

Fortress Watchtower Courtesy of Ajtana Dražanin

Fortress Watchtower
Courtesy of Ajtana Dražanin

Turkish Fort and City Park: Occupying an advantageous location in the heart of the city, the Turkish fort overlooks Gradski Trg and offers attractive views of the city and the surrounding hills from its walls. Initiated by Isa-Beg Isaković in the 15th century, the fort was the epicenter of the Ottoman Sanjak of Novi Pazar. The fort was originally a wooden structure built conveniently on the Raška river, but today’s stone construction replaced the original and was continually expanded and fortified through the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Much of the fort remains intact today, including the notable octagonal watchtower, although parts of it were destroyed during World War I. Inside the fort today is the City Park, which offers a café, benches, the city library, and pleasant green spaces to walk around or sit.

Isa-Beg Hammam: Commissioned by Isa-Beg Isaković in 15th century, the Isa-Beg Hammam is located in the heart of the old town, just a few steps from 1. Maja. The Turkish bath is built on a symmetrical plan providing space for bathing for both men and women separately. During the summer, a café is located inside, where you can enjoy a drink with a distinctly Ottoman ambiance.

Market: The city’s central green market (zelena pijaca) is located behind the city’s municipal building, to the east of Gradski Trg at the confluence of the Raška and Jošanica rivers. Although the main market day is Sunday, the market is open all week and offers fresh produce from local farmers alongside everything from slippers to garden tools to kitchen supplies. For clothing in specific, try the northern part of the market.

Biking at the Recreational Center Courtesy of Husein Djulović

Biking at the Recreational Center
Courtesy of Husein Djulović

Recreational Center: Novi Pazar’s recreational center is located by the Hotel Vrbak, just downhill from the city park. It features a track for jogging and walking, a pool, tennis courts, a skatepark, exercise equipment, and more for anyone interested. During the summer, the center also holds a carnival with rides and games, and over the winter it includes a skating rink.

Novi Pazar Spa: Located about 4 km north outside of the city center in the direction of Raška, Novi Pazar’s ancient spa was first discovered by the Roman inhabitants of the territory. During the Ottoman period, the spa was built up in the 17th century and gained renown. Nearby, the city also has a modern spa facility, which includes swimming areas and therapeutic treatments.

Where to Eat

Bakeries:

Map 3: Where to Eat

Aida 2: Aida 2 is one of the city’s most popular spots for burek, a traditional Balkan pastry which is made of phyllo dough and meat, cheese, spinach, or more. 
Located on Stevana Nemanje

Samir: Located just a few buildings down from Aida 2, Samir also serves as a popular spot for burek as well as other sandwich and pastry options.
Located on Stevana Nemanje

H K’O LEB: A small chain of bakeries located across Novi Pazar, H K’O LEB serves up croissants, muffins, djevrek, and much more. 
Multiple locations in city, most central located off Rifata Burdževića

Evropa: With a couple of locations around the city, Evropa is also a solid choice for all kinds of baked goods.
Located on 1. Maja

Ćevapi and Mantije:

Kod Jonuza: One of the leading contenders for best ćevapi in Novi Pazar, Kod Jonuza serves up almost exclusively ćevapi all day long. It is situated right off Gradski Trg and is always speedy.
Located at the beginning of 28. Novembra

Beko: Another contender for best ćevapi in the city, Beko offers both cooked meats and freshly cut meats in two separate storefronts right next door to one another.
Located at the beginning of Stevana Nemanje

Sidro: Arguably the city’s most famous place for mantije, one of Novi Pazar’s most notable specialities, Sidro serves them up freshly made in a small restaurant right off Gradski Trg.
Located at the beginning of 28. Novembra

Sve pod sač: With a convenient central location, this place is another great option to try authentic Novi Pazar mantije and pita.
Located on 1. Maja

Restaurants:

Med Cafe: Located along the pedestrian street next door to Ooh la la and Baška Cafe, Med Cafe offers high quality twists on standard restaurant fare, including meat dishes, salads, sandwiches, and pastas.
Located on 28. Novembra

Baška Cafe: Similar to Med Cafe, Baška Cafe offers a wide variety of great food options, including meats, salads, sandwiches, and pastas.
Located on 28. Novembra

Ukus: For national and local specialities, including sarma, stuffed peppers, stews, and goulash, try Ukus, conveniently located a few blocks down from Gradski Trg on 1. Maja.
Located on 1. Maja 

Taksim: A good option for pizza located just a few minutes from the city center.
Located on 1. Maja 

Avlija: Avlija offers both classical and modern meal options in a traditional Turkish-style atmosphere. Located down a short staircase on a road parallel to Stevana Nemanje.
Located on 8. Marta

Garden: Occupying a peaceful and scenic location right above the Raška river, Garden features a solid range of reliable food options.
Located along the Raška across from the municipal building 

Ooh la la: The third in a line with Med Cafe and Baška Cafe, Ooh la la offers a wide range of meal choices and plenty of seating.
Located on 28. Novembra

Corner: Corner provides a refreshing break from Novi Pazar’s more heavy food options, serving up salads, sandwiches, and juices in the heart of the city.
Located just off the city roundabout 

Hotel Tadž: Hotel Tadž includes a nice restaurant on the first floor that offers traditional Serbian food. Additionally, the restaurant is smoking-free, so keep this in mind if you are looking for a less smoky option.
Located at Rifata Burdževića 79

Calzone: Located around 10 minutes by car from the city center, Calzone offers a cozy atmosphere complete with a wood-fire oven.
Located by the Novi Pazar spa (not pictured on map)

Restoran Ras Pazarište: Occupying a secluded location on the drive from Novi Pazar to Sopoćani, Restoran Ras Pazarište provides a large dining area with both traditional and modern food options.
Located by the Stari Ras complex en route to Sopoćani (not pictured on map)

Hotel Sopoćani: Located in a scenic historical villa just a few minutes from the monastery, Hotel Sopoćani has an excellent restaurant with traditional food options and good views of the surrounding landscape.
Located by Sopoćani Monastery (not pictured on map)

Where to Drink

Home to a countless number of cafés of all shapes and sizes, Novi Pazar offers a variety of different options for daytime coffees and nightlife depending on what you might be looking for, ranging from more relaxed bars and cafés to a few upmarket nightclubs and an assortment of hookah lounges. Keep in mind that many places along the pedestrian street as well as a number of cafés and hookah lounges are alcohol-free, so if you’re looking for something stronger than coffee or soft drinks, make sure to check the menu before sitting down.

Cafés and Bars:

Live music at Studio Dory Courtesy of Husein Djulović

Live music at Studio Dory
Courtesy of Husein Djulović

Studio Dory: Offering live music performances throughout the week by local bands, Studio Dory serves up coffee, beer, wine, and a wide range of liquor in a relaxed and cozy pub-like atmosphere located along the river on the east side of the city. The space offers lounge chairs, high-top tables, and outdoor seating in nice weather. Check out ex-Yu(goslav) rock nights on Thursdays, electronic music nights on Wednesdays, and live performances on Saturdays.
Located on Kej 12. Srpske Brigade 25

Jazzva: Jazzva serves as a laid-back and welcoming coffee shop during the day and turns into a more casual café/bar by night, serving beer, wine, and more. The café offers comfortable seats, tables, and booths popular with a younger crowd and plays jazz, alternative, and indie rock music with occasional live events, such as DJ nights.
Located on Stane Bačanin

Caffe Art: One of the most popular spots in the city, Caffe Art serves as a trendy spot for coffee and soft drinks throughout the day and transitions into a more lively scene in the evening, opening a second basement level and alcohol service. The café offers a casual environment with an eclectic collection of artwork and is perpetually busy with locals.
Located at Stevana Nemanje 116

House Caffe: House Caffe is designed to look like someone’s private house, complete with black and white family photographs on the walls. It has a nice outdoor seating area and serves coffee throughout the day and alcohol in the evening.
Located on Relje Krilatice

Caffe Gana: Located up an unmarked staircase on one of the top floors of the architecturally unique Lućna building off AVNOJ-a, Caffe Gana has a collection of high-top tables and countertops in a mirror-clad room featuring coffee and great views of the pedestrian zone.
Located at the intersection of 28. Novembra and AVNOJ-a

Map 4: Bars and cafés

Cigla Caffe: With a convenient location in the city center, Cigla Caffe offers an open outdoor terrace and an indoor seating space with a bar. The café serves coffee in the day and alcohol by night and hosts live music performances on the weekends.
Located at Sabana Koce 73/A

Nuba Caffe: With a more sophisticated and urban design, Nuba Caffe serves up coffee and soft drinks during the daytime hours and alcohol in the evening in a big space with hot-top tables and comfortable lounge chairs and a second-floor balcony.
Located on Stevana Nemanje

Halilagić Caffe: Featuring a comfortable and stylish atmosphere, Halilagić Caffe has a unique decor including collected books and Native American paraphernalia. The café has both tables and more comfortable couches and serves up coffee, soft drinks, and sweets.
Located at Stevana Nemanje 56

Caffe Ambar: Ambar provides a more sophisticated space located not far from the pedestrian street with nice cocktails and beer on tap. The bar plays more electronic/pop music and features colorful lighting effects.
Located at Rade Petrović 4a by Crkva Svetog Nikole

Caffe Club Studio: Studio offers coffee and alcohol with music and features both a downstairs indoor area and a large outdoor seating area on the walking street off of 28. Novembra. Studio also hosts frequent live DJ events.
Located at the bottom of 28. Novembra

Down Town Caffe: Down Town Caffe provides a warm and comfortable indoor space and balcony, with live music performances on weekends. 
Located at Relje Krilatice 104

Meydan Caffe: For a more traditional option and a safe bet for a good Turkish coffee, try Meydan Caffe, located directly in the city square. Meydan has a traditional atmosphere and a nice terrace for sunny days.
Located on the city square

Nightclubs: 

Club Loco: Club Loco offers lively techno music for dancing amid colorful light shows. The venue plays primarily folk music and electronic/pop music on weekends.
Located on AVNOJ-a

Tvrdjava: Tvrdjava offers live music performances and a wide selection of alcohol in an atmospheric tavern-like space in the basement of a building located in the back of the City Park. Especially popular for late-midnight parties.
Located in the City Park

Blue Night Caffe: With loud electronic music and bright lights, Blue Night Caffe offers a lively nightclub atmosphere located along the river.
Located on Kej 12. Srpske Brigade

Carpe Diem Caffe: Carpe Diem offers standard nightclub electronic music, dancing, and drinks.
Located on Miodraga Jovanovića

Hookah lounges: 

Nargilem Shisha and Cocktail Bar: Nargilem offers a wide range of hookah flavors, soft drinks, and milkshakes in a modern and cavern-like interior. The lounge plays electronic/pop music and hosts parties on the weekends.
Located on Stane Bačanin

Shisha Bar Dubai: Hookah with lights and electronic/pop music in a more high-energy venue.
Located on Rifat Burdževića

Sahara Shisha Lounge: Standard hookah and club music located at the base of the City Park. 
Located at Svetosavska 2

Sebilj

Sebilj

Altun-Alem Mosque

Altun-Alem Mosque

Church of Saint Peter

Church of Saint Peter

Turkish Fort

Turkish Fort

Đurđevi Stupovi

Đurđevi Stupovi

Sopoćani Monastery

Sopoćani Monastery