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Why You Should Travel to Zlatibor, Serbia

  • Post last modified:February 9, 2024
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Have you ever heard about Zlatibor, Serbia? Well, we had no idea about it until we spoke with some locals friends on our Eastern European road trip. Let us tell you, that we were so happy we got the recommendation!


Zlatibor, Serbia is such an interesting place. While we went there purely for the nature, we got to experience so much more! Like old villages, replicas of the Wild West, and restaurants festively decorated in Christmas decor.


In this article we're going to tell you all about Zlatibor, Serbia, from why you should visit and how to get around, to all of the best things to do in and around the area. Let's dive right in!


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Where is Zlatibor in Serbia?

Zlatibor is a mountainous region located in the west of Serbia. It is situated towards to middle, and a little under 3 hours from the capital city, Belgrade. It lies close to the border of Bosnia & Herzegovina to its north, and Montenegro to its west.

Where is Zlatibor, Serbia

Zlatibor is located in the west of Serbia right by the border of Bosnia & Herzegovina.


How to Get to Zlatibor, Serbia

If you'd like to visit Zlatibor, Serbia, it is definitely easiest to rent a car from Belgrade. However, if you'd like to go by public transportation, there are buses that go from Belgrade to Zlatibor. There are two daily departures- one at 8 am, and the other at 12:45 pm.

Flight Tip: Using Skyscanner you can check the calendar to see which are the cheapest dates to fly into Belgrade.

Search for a flight to Belgrade:

If you don't have a lot of time, you can also take an organized tour from Belgrade, ranging from a full day tour to one that is a couple of days.


Here are a few of the tours from Belgrade to Zlatibor that you can take:

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Entry Requirements for Serbia

Each country has different requirements regarding both visas and due to covid. Here is all you need to know for traveling to Serbia.


Visa Requirements for Serbia

Tourists are allowed to visit Serbia visa-free for a total of 90 days within a 180 day period. Passports use be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry.


Covid Entry Requirements for Serbia

Serbia no longer has any restrictions for entry due to Covid, which means that vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers alike are all welcome. We also found that like most of the Balkan countries, things are pretty relaxed, and it is rare to find anyone wearing a mask at all.


Zlatibor, Serbia
Zlatibor Serbia
Zlatibor, Serbia

Serbia is open to all tourists to offer its natural beauty.


Local Adjustments for Zlatibor, Serbia

Whenever you travel there are things that you may forget about, which may be different from where you are coming from. Here are a few of the local adjustments to keep in mind while traveling to Zlatibor, Serbia.


Language

The official language in Serbia is Serbian. It is also pretty much the same as the surrounding countries of Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Montenegro.


One thing that is a bit confusing in Serbia is that they use two different alphabets, so it can be hard to read things. Generally speaking, not many people speak English, so make sure to download Google Translate!


Currency

The currency used in Serbia is the Serbian dinar. The conversion to the USD and euro are about 1 to 100, which means that if you want to know the price of something quickly, the easiest way will be to divide it by 100, dropping the last two numbers.


Most places in Serbia don't accept card, even regarding accommodation and many restaurants. Zlatibor has ATMs in the center of town, so make sure to take out enough cash. 


Outlets

Serbia uses the same plug types as the rest of Europe, which are types C, E, & F. The standard voltage in Serbia is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.


Water Potability

Tap water is overall safe to drink in Serbia. There are some places that serve tap water in restaurants, and some that don't. However, it is perfectly safe to have the water from the faucet throughout Zlatibor. We do suggest just double checking with your host first though.


Tipping Culture

The tipping culture in Serbia is similar to many other places in Europe, which is an average of 10%. Even if you can pay with credit card in the restaurant, you should make sure to have some cash to leave a tip.

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Things to Do in Zlatibor, Serbia

Now that you know the basics of traveling to Zlatibor, Serbia, let's start with the fun stuff! Here are the best things to do in Zlatibor, Serbia.


Browse the Market

The town of Zlatibor is quite small, and you can easily walk around exploring the small shops and soaking up the small mountain town vibes.


Our favorite part of the town of Zlatibor, Serbia is the large open market that they have. On one end, there are local cheeses and meats, and the rest are handmade goods and local liquors.


We loved the market so much that we ended up buying a ton of gifts for family and friends! From wooden kitchenware and beer barrels to large glass bottles with homemade brandy, we couldn't get enough of the market in Zlatibor. Just make sure to bring plenty of cash!


Market Zlatibor Serbia
Market Zlatibor Serbia
Market Zlatibor Serbia

The market in Zlatibor has all homemade and local products.


Ride the Cable Car

Looking for something else to do right in the town? Located right in the center of Zlatibor is a cable car that stretches over the town, giving you nice views of the area. We particularly suggest this one for the winter time.


Cable Car Zlatibor Serbia

One of the best things to do in Zlatibor, Serbia town is to ride the cable car.

Visit the Monument of the Executed Partisans of Zlatibor

This monument is a memorial for the locals. It is located just outside of town, and the walk to the top of the hill gives beautiful views of the surrounding area.


Check Out Jezero Zlatibor (Zlatibor Lake)

Looking to get see a bit of nature but not go too far outside the center? There is a lake right in the town of Zlatibor. It's perfect for relaxing with friends or family, or setting up a picnic and having some drinks.


Explore the Village of Drvengrad

Just 35 minutes outside the center of Zlatibor is a cute historic village called Drvengrad. It was built by a famous Serbian film director, for a movie called "Life is a Miracle" in 2003, and now is an open museum for locals and tourists to enjoy.


Drvengrad church, Zlatibor, Serbia
Drvengrad, Zlatibor, Serbia
Drvengra, Zlatibor, Serbia

Drvengrad is a small village that was used for a film in Zlatibor, Serbia


Here you can find a small church, local souvenirs, a museum, and a restaurant. Entrance is 250 dinar, which is about $2.50 USD. We aren't quite sure of the hours as they weren't posted anywhere, nor on Google Maps. We suggest to be safe visiting in the morning or afternoon. (It is small and doesn't need too much time of your day).


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Check Out the Train Town of Sargan Eight

Just around the corner from Drvengrad is another village worth stopping by. Sargan Eight was once the backbone of linking the Balkans with the Adriatic Sea. Now the town is a place where you can see the railway and trains.


Locals say you can ride the train as an excursion. However, we were unable to find out how to do so. We suggest asking your hotel or guesthouse to see if you can ride on the Sargan Eight!


Sargan Eight train town in Zlatibor
Sargan Eight train town in Zlatibor
Sargan Eight train town in Zlatibor

Sargan Eight is a small village where the famous train runs through.


Here are a few tours from Belgrade that include Sargan Eight:

Take a Trip to the Wild West

This was a spot that we happened to just stumble across on our drive to Zlatibor from Montenegro. Just 15 minutes outside town there is something you'll definitely want to check out for things to do in Zlatibor.

Wild West Town El Paso, Zlatibor Serbia

El Paso is just like the Wild West!

El Paso is an amusement park and hotel that resembles the Wild West of the US. You can ride a mechanical bull, shoot archery, or even sleep in a wagon!


Wagons El Paso, Zlatibor Serbia
Wagons El Paso, Zlatibor Serbia
Wagons El Paso, Zlatibor Serbia

At El Paso you can sleep in a wagon!


This is definitely a unique place to experience, and perfect for families to check out. The entrance to the park is 500 dinar, and of course free if you stay the night.

teepees, El Paso, Zlatibor

There are also teepees at El Paso.

Explore the Open Air Museum of Sirogojno

This was one of our favorite things to do in Zlatibor, Serbia. Siogjno is a collection of history and architecture taken from traditional houses from the 19th century. After years of bringing in the houses, there is now a full village of around 70 buildings to check out.


This place is super cool to bring you back to simpler times, and appreciate what life used to be like. Additionally, it was super fun to photograph!


Sirogojno, things to do in Serbia
Sirogojno, things to do in Zlatibor, Serbia
Sirogojno, things to do in Zlatibor, Serbia

Sirogojno is an open air museum of traditional Serbian houses.


Entrance is 200 dinar per person, and discounted if you are a student or in a large group. There are a few souvenir shops located right outside, with a small convenience store for drinks or snacks.

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Zlatibor, Serbia Pin
Zlatibor, Serbia Pin
Zlatibor, Serbia Pin

Chase Waterfalls

We absolutely love waterfalls, and found this a beautiful place to enjoy in the Zlatibor area! Gostilje is a small park with several falls to enjoy. The path leads down to a river, and all of the falls are on the left side. It is an easy walk, making it great for all ages and types of travelers.


Gostilje Waterfalls, Zlatibor
Gostilje Waterfalls, Zlatibor
Gostilje Waterfalls, Zlatibor

Gostilje has a few different waterfalls.


Tickets are 200 dinar to enter, and it is one fo the few places that you can actually pay with credit card. 


There is a large parking lot on site, and nearby you can find a pool club, as well as a great restaurant up the hill that has delicious food and beautiful views.


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Check Out Zaovine Lake

One of the best things to do in Zlatibor is to explore Tara Park. While there isn't an official entrance anywhere, the park covers a large area including some stunning nature.


The biggest lake is Zaovine lake, and it has a beautiful turquoise color, locked into large rocky walls. We read that you can take a boat trip or do water activities here. Despite not actually finding any ourselves (you might have to reserve or speak with a hotel nearby) we did enjoy the views of the surrounding mountains, as well the lake from above.


Zaovine Lake, Zlatibor, Serbia
Zaovine Lake, Zlatibor, Serbia

Zaovine Lake has beautiful views around it.


Go for a Swim

Head a bit down the dirt road south of Zaovine Lake and you'll find yourself driving along a river, as well as a small lake called Jezero Lipovica. Tucked away from the beaten path, we found this area nice to relax and cool off from the summer heat.

swimming in Tara Park

There are a few places to swim nearby Zlatibor.

Take in the Views at Banjska Stena

Looking for the best views of Tara Park? This viewpoint overlooks the river that runs along the Serbia- Bosnia border, and is surrounded by mountains.


The parking lot is along a dirt road, and the hike is only 10-15 minutes until you reach these stunning vistas that we're sharing with you below. it is open 24/7 and free of charge to visit, so you can enjoy nature in all its glory.


Banjka Stena, Tara National Park
Banjka Stena, Tara National Park
Banjka Stena, Tara National Park

Banjka Stena is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the views. This guy even hung his hammock!


Visit a Nearby Fortress

Just 25 minutes east of Zlatibor is one of the most beautiful fortresses in Serbia, in the small town of Uzice. The stone fortress towers over the city, giving beautiful views around it. Keep in mind that it is closes early, so if you want to go inside you'll have to visit in the morning or early afternoon (times vary).

Stari Grad, Serbia

The shot we took was taken with our Mavic Air Drone. In our opinion, seeing the fortress from above was the most impressive view of the area.

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Things to Do in Zlatibor, Serbia: Local Food

We absolutely loved the food in the Balkans, and Zlatibor, Serbia was no exception. The cuisine is full of rich dishes like thick soups and tender meats. Our go to was grabbing a Serbian salad, veal or vegetable soup, and some kind of homemade veal dish.

Serbian food

Serbia has delicious veal dishes!

One of our favorite restaurants was Gostiljska Vrela, which was the one we ate at right next to Gostilje Falls. The views are beautiful and the food was delicious! We definitely suggest getting the fish.


Another of our favorite (and must visit) restaurants in Zlatibor, is located right in town, called Villa Miris Dunja. The entire place is covered in Christmas decorations, and is such a vibe. The food is traditional local cuisine, and it is incredibly cozy inside.


Christmas restaurant in Zlatibor, Serbia
Christmas restaurant in Zlatibor, Serbia

Even in the summer this restaurant has Christmas decor.


Moving Around Zlatibor, Serbia

Zlatibor has plenty to see in the area. The best way to get around to see everything is definitely by renting a car! We rented ours for a three month trip. However, the best thing to do is rent a car from Belgrade, and then drive the 2 1/2-3 hours to Zlatibor.


Here is a site that we recommend using to book your rental:

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Where to Stay in Zlatibor, Serbia

The town of Zlatibor itself is pretty small, but has a few surrounding towns. The city itself has mostly Serbian travelers, and is full of small locally owned hotels. We suggest staying in the town itself, rather than the outskirts, so that you can easily walk to the restaurants and shops.


Check out the different hotels you can choose from:

Booking.com

Is Zlatibor Safe?

When we first went to Serbia, we truly didn't know what to expect. Many countries in Eastern Europe get a bad reputation, which made us a bit worried. The good thing is that Serbia is a very safe country, and we never had any issues traveling around, especially in Zlatibor.

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Other Things to Know About Visiting Zlatibor, Serbia

Now that you know the best things to do in Zlatibor, Serbia, as well as other important info, we have our last final suggestions! Here are a few other things to keep in mind while visiting.


The Best Time to Visit Zlatibor

Zlatibor is beautiful to visit year round, and offers something during all seasons. We visited in the summer, and it was beautiful with great weather. However, you can just imagine the snowy vibes of this mountain village, and it must be just magical to visit in the winter months.


If you visit in the summer you can cool off at the lakes in the area, an enjoy warm sunny days. If you visit in the winter you can experience a shiny blanket of snow lying over the village.


Spring and Fall are also perfect for hiking or any outdoor activities, as the days are warm, and the nights are cool. Whichever you choose, we know you'll just love Zlatibor, Serbia!

Zlatibor, Serbia

Zlatibor has perfect weather in the late spring and early fall.

Weather & Packing for Zlatibor, Serbia

It can get quite chilly in Zlatibor at night, even in late spring and early fall. We suggest making sure to bring layers (unless of course you are visiting in the middle of summer). Sneakers to hike, and a bathing suit to swim or visit a spa are also highly recommended.


Packing List for Zlatibor, Serbia

  • Sunscreen
  • Sneakers (for the hikes)
  • Reusable Water Bottle (we use this water bottle from Cafago because it holds the temperature)
  • Bathing Suits
  • Light jacket
  • Hammock (to set up and enjoy in nature)
  • Drone (We use the Mavic Mini Pro 3 because it's super light and doesn't sacrifice quality)
  • Action Camera (we use the Insta 360 X3 because it's small & waterproof)
  • Travel Adapter (we use Tessan travel adapters as they are affordable and reliable)
  • Power Bank (we use Anker power banks, as they are the best in the market)


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Zlatibor, Serbia is a beautiful area of Serbia where you can truly enjoy the amazing nature that this country has to offer. We went two times, both for 2-3 days. We suggest spending a full 3 days to be able to enjoy all that the area has to offer.


Looking to explore more of the Balkans? We spent three months on a road trip there, and have plenty other Balkan travel guides for you to read.


Want to start planning your trip? Scratch Your Mapa is now offering customized itineraries to fit any kind of travelers needs. Not only that, but we make sure to save you money along the way. Need the details? Take a look at our non-commission based travel planning packages that we offer.


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