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Serbia in recent years has become a fashionable tourist destination, and its two best golf courses just happen to be close to its vibrant cultural centres.
The Balkan country, which became independent in 2006, dates back to the 7th century and has a diverse history combined with an energetic modern culture, beautiful mountainous countryside and wine regions, and a pleasant climate. It’s fast becoming the cool place to visit, and you can get your golf fix during your stay.
Tourists usually gravitate to the capital city of Belgrade, situated where the Sava and Danube rivers meet. It’s a bustling cultural centre where communist-era, Hasburg and Ottoman architecture mixes with art nouveau. Coffee houses, bars, clubs and restaurants line Knez Mihailova, the main pedestrian boulevard that takes you all the way to the ancient Belgrade Fortress.
There’s also the Savamala quarter, by the banks of the Danube, which has emerged from war-torn ruins to be the city’s creative centre. The other main tourist attractions include the Museum of Yugoslav History, Tesla Museum, the Sveti Sava Temple and the modern Mt Avala tower, the tallest tower in the Balkans.
Ada Golf Club, also known as Golf Club Belgrade, is set on the beautiful Ada Ciganlija peninsula just 4km from Belgrade’s city centre and dozens of accommodation options, and 9km away from Nikola Tesla International Airport. Opened in 2002, it’s a superbly maintained 9-hole golf parkland course full of risk and reward fun challenges measuring just over 5,300 yards. It’s a par 34 with four par 3 holes, three par 4s and two par 5s. It will test both your long and short game and there’s also a driving range and golf academy. The course is open to the public and is popular with locals and visitors alike.
In the north, 100km from Belgrade, Serbia’s second largest city Novi Sad is known for its cool liberal vibe and diversity, traditional architecture and the Exit music festival, one of the largest music festivals in Europe, which takes place each July. There’s even a beach as the city lies on the banks of the Danube river, while numerous international tourist cruisers stop in the harbour.
Sometimes called the ‘Athens of Serbia’, there’s galleries, pretty parks and countless outdoor cafes and tucked away bars, and you can visit most of its attractions by walking along the cool, busy pedestrian thoroughfare Zmaj Jovina, which stretches up from the main square.
Just 30km away is Golf Club Centar, a superb 9-hole course and golf academy that’s open to the public. Spread over an area of 45 hectares, the par-36 course stretches to almost 3,000 yards across the Vojvodina plains by the waterways of the river Tisa, surrounded by gentle pastures and ponds. The course is maintained to a high standard and there’s plenty of lakes and bunkers. The clubhouse is a nice, relaxing place with a quality restaurant.