I get asked by all my followers … “WHY DID YOU CHOOSE ZRENJANIN?”
My first contact was with two Serbs that lived in Zrenjnanin. I was here for two weeks last June and fell in love with it. It is the 6th largest city in Serbia and the municipality contains 21 villages with a population of around 122K .Zrenjanin is a nice escape from the BUSY cities of Novi Sad and Belgrade but only an hour away from each. Here are some reasons why I love Zrenjanin……..
- short trip from Belgrade, Novi Sad, Hungary and Romania… it is great way to relax and refresh yourself after a few days in the big cities…
- many yearly celebrations… Dani Piva or Beer days is an absolute BLAST!!! It is held in August and features many different genres of music and of course some of the best beer Serbia has to offer!!!! They also celebrate a folk craft celebration, “golden kettle” or cooking contest along with a “harvest fest” in July!!!!
- its home to many different ethnic groups and nationalities. i have meet many Hungarians, Bosnians, Slovenian, German, etc… They are all friendly, laid back and love to share their customs!
- it contains hundreds of small shops…coming from the USA it is rare to see so many small clothing, food, electric, bakeries, etc that are family owned. the products are unique and cheap.
- it contains lots of culture!! they have a museum, art gallery, cultural center and boasts the oldest theater, built in 1839, in the Eastern Balkans with live shows every weekend!
- beautiful nature…. it has many parks, a nature preserve, LOTS of water! Peskara is a man-made sandy beach on the outskirts of the city that has FREE admission and beer is allowed on the beach! It also contains many unique bridges and one “dry bridge” with no water under.. i am still trying to figure that one out! 🙂
- hunting and fishing for sportsmen. they have a hunting club that will arrange your entire hunting trip… they also have HUGE carp in the river Begej and the local lakes and ponds. they also have a shooting range on the outskirts of town…
- gorgeous city center that is bicycle friendly and full of picturesque buildings! It also contains Hotel Vojvodina .. a beautiful, low priced hotel… 40,000 dinars…
- excellent public transportation…. there are local bus stops all over town and the cabs in Zrenjanin are some of the quickest I have encountered.. many times I will call a cab and they are always there in under 5 minutes! The train station is another affordable way to travel.. it is only a few blocks from the city center…BEWARE.. the trains aren’t the best looking or most reliable but they are cheap! Walking is also another option… everything is only a few blocks from the center…
- historic churches…. this is a diverse town with many different religious denominations…. they have some BEAUTIFUL churches for all faiths..One Orthodox church dates back to 1746!! A must see is the Calvanist Church or “white church”…
- public swimming pool … if you dont feel like going to Peskara and want a clean, cheap dip in the pool … you can’t beat the Zrenjanin pool!!!
- sports is a HUGE attraction in Zrenjanin.. Zrenjanin and the surrounding villages have had many olympic medalists reside here. The city boasts two sports stadiums… one of them, Crystal Hall, was built in 2009 and was built with the highest construction standards in Europe.. Check out a basketball game, handball, ping pong or volleyball match! There is also a golf course on the outskirts of town! Tennis is another big sport in Zrenjanin. There is a beautiful indoor tennis court 5 minutes from downtown!
- it contains 3 local tv stations and local radio with English music…
- over 20 schools with English programs and friendly administration for those of you who love to volunteer!
- affordable housing!!! you can easily find a nice apartment… no contract, cheap utilities for about $100 a month!!! Belgrade and Novi Sad are a little bit higher!
- former industrial powerhouse of Yugoslavia… there are remains of many factories that were in use up to the fall of communism in the early 90’s.. Zrenjanin was the center of manufacturing and still has many factories in use!
EVERYONE UNDER 30 SPEAKS ENGLISH!!!
But my favorite thing about Zrenjanin is the manyyyyyy bars and cafes that litter the entire town!! You are never far from a small cafe, pub or pizzeria!!! Here is a list of some of my favorites!!!!
- Havana… It is located 2 minutes from the city center and has one of the most beautiful interiors of any bar I have ever been in! It is decked out in Cuban artifacts, statues and photos…. great service and outdoor, salsa music every Saturday!! you must visit this place!!
- Green Bell… It is located smack dab in the center of town. it is beside the Hotel Vojvodina and beside the museum. Great English speaking staff and a large, laid back room to chill out for a coffee or pivo! They also have a large outdoor stage that creates a great dancing environment for you party animals!
- The Loft…. It is located on Svetozara Markovica street or one road back from the center. It is a small little bar that serves some the best “Big Macs” in town! McDonalds was in Zrenjanin but closed a few years back. The Loft took advantage of it and makes a burger that tastes IDENTICAL to it! They are quick, under 10 minutes, cheap and economical!!! You can get a burger, the best fries in town and a pivo for about $4!!!! If you are in the mood for a coffee it will run you about 85 dinars…
- Cafe Bridge bar…. It offers a river view, cheap sandwiches and my favorite is a Palacinka… it looks like a burrito but has ham, cheese etc in it… only 130 dinars… less than $2 dollars for a filling meal!
- N & N cafe… one of the most attractive outdoor bars in town.. it is located RIGHT DOWN TOWN.. they have a water fountain, friendly staff and regular priced pivo!
- Basic… It has the best staff in town!!! Boris and the guys will treat you like a king!! I tipped all the guys 1000 dinars for Christmas and they were very grateful!! He remembers your name and your preference of alcohol! Great place for younger crowd!!
- Santos… it is owned by the local media guy! it is right in the center of town and server some AWESOME pasta!! I love to eat here when I crave Italian…
- Ultra Cafe… it is also located in the middle of town… they serve great pizza!!!
- Max Cafe.. it is on the next road over and located by the economic school… lots of kids frequent this place.. they are friendly and great place to chill and watch the crowd…
- San Marcos…. it is a larger club a few minutes from downtown and is a great party place… many kids celebrate their 18th birthday there…
- Inter Duo is another night club that I spent Serbian New Years eve… great dance floor and large space!! Lots of girls!!!!!
- Museum bar…. THE BEST DEAL FOR YOUR DOLLAR!!! You can get a LARGE draft Lav for 100 dinars!! Most bars are around 120-140 dinars!!!!
There are manyyyyyyyy other little places that provide awesome service and excellent pivo!!!
Zrenjanin is a great vacation stop for everyone!! I have been here for 6 months and still loving it!! One negative is on Sunday the town is DEAD!!! No one is in the center or at the bars and its similar to a ghost town!!!! If you are looking a fun, cheap, exciting and relaxing weekend….. CHECK OUT ZRENJANIN!!!!!!!