The charming provincial town of Smederevo is located 50 km from Belgrade on the banks of the Ezava and Danube rivers. The main object of tourist interest here is the massive medieval fortress of the 15th century, which was once the largest in Europe. It has as many as twenty-five towers and an innumerable number of rooms inside. And the city itself played a significant role in Serbian history: for some time it was the capital of the country. And in Smederevo it is famous for its vineyards, surrounding the city from all sides, wherever you look from the observation deck of the fortress. That is why you should definitely bring a bottle or two of Vranac, the most famous Smederevo wine, from here.
How to get to Smederevo
According to simplyyellowpages, the easiest way to get to Smederevo is by bus from Belgrade, from the Lasta bus station. A one-way ticket will cost about 700 RSD, travel time is about an hour. Buses depart regularly – 2-3 flights per hour. You can also go this way by train, however, you will have to spend about 2 hours on the road: there are no direct trains, you will need to change at the Mala Krasna station.
The prices on the page are for June 2021.
For those who want to see the Serbian nature in all its glory and feel like a local, a non-tourist bus route is also offered: from Belgrade to Grocka, then a transfer from Grocka to Smederevo.
Buses to Smederevo arrive right at the foot of the fortress, so there is no need to look for local transport.
Smederevo is also a popular destination for river cruises on the Danube. You can either arrive here by boat or take a short sightseeing cruise with departure from Smederevo for half a day.
Transport in the city
The size of Smederevo is small, here you can successfully move on foot, especially since the main sights of the city – the fortress and the museum – are located within walking distance from each other. For longer distances, you can use municipal buses (fortunately, the common Cyrillic alphabet allows you to navigate in directions) or a taxi. Both of them are quite affordable.
The water tower of the Smederevo Fortress at one time was a miracle of engineering: hydraulic devices raised water to a height of 25 meters.
As a rule, tourists visit Smederevo with an excursion from Belgrade; it is not customary to stay here overnight. However, if the Smederevo Fortress makes you want to spend a couple of days in the city, you will not be left without an overnight stay. There are several hotels, boarding houses and guest houses at the disposal of travelers in Smederevo. It is worth paying attention to the charming private villas, the rooms in which are rented. As a rule, they are located on the banks of the Danube and offer tourists the cozy atmosphere of a Serbian provincial home. Prices cannot but rejoice – from 3900 RSD for a double room.
Cuisine and restaurants
At the service of tourists in Smederevo is a whole scattering of catering establishments. You can have a bite to eat during sightseeing with burek – meat or potato – and grilled cevapcici cutlets. Restaurants are crowded on the main square of the city and nearby streets, and there are many of them on the banks of the Danube.
From drinks it is worth paying special attention to local wines. The most popular brand is Vranac, under which a good dozen red and white wines are produced. Other favorite local varieties are Prokupac, Zhupsko and the wine with the speaking name Smederevka.
Shopping and shops
Souvenirs from Smederevo, for obvious reasons, revolve around the fortress. Magnets, key chains and postcards are sold in abundance on stalls and in shops at attractions. You can also find “all-Serbian” souvenirs in the city: textiles, embroidery, woodcarving, ceramics, etc. Do not forget to take home “delicious” Smederevo – a bottle of local wine.
Entertainment and attractions of Smederevo
The main attraction of Smederevo is the largest fortress in Europe. Located on the banks of the Danube, the fortress was built in the 15th century as a necessary measure to protect the capital – Smederevo became her after the transfer of Belgrade to the Hungarians. However, the fortifications did little to help Serbia – already in 1459, the Smederevo fortress fell under the onslaught of the Turks, and with it the Serbian statehood was put to an end. The keys to the fortress were again handed over to the Serbs only in 1867.
The outpost of the country consisted of two “towns” – Big and Small, occupying a total area of 11 hectares – an impressive space that housed a military garrison, townspeople and artisans lived. The small town belonged to the Serbian ruler and courtiers. The living quarters have not been preserved, but the authorities plan to reconstruct them, as announced by the information stand. According to him, the Great Reception Hall, the Southern Palace, baths, barns, stables and a library will be recreated here.
Both cities are open to the public today. The Great Courtyard and the Great Castle can be viewed for free, and for the opportunity to see the interior of the sovereign, you need to pay 200 RSD. The scale of the fortress is impressive – there are 25 towers (19 in the Big City and 6 in the small one) and a one and a half kilometer wall, the thickness of which reaches 2 meters.
There were once two churches in the Great City, one of which kept the relics of St. Luke, now located in the Basilica of St. Justina in Padua, Italy.
In the Small Court, you should pay attention to the defensive moat filled with water and climb one of the towers, which offers a magnificent view of the citadel and its surroundings. The water tower of the Smederevo Fortress at one time was a miracle of engineering: hydraulic devices raised water to a height of 25 meters. Among other things, concerts are often held in the Small Courtyard.
The small but very interesting Museum of Smederevo presents materials on the history of the city and the fortress, as well as artifacts found at archaeological excavations. The Cathedral of St. George is the main temple of the city, a Byzantine basilica of a strict classical style. Inside, you should definitely see the wonderful frescoes.
Events in Smederevo
Once in Smederevo in early autumn, you should definitely visit the grape harvest festival. These are colorful festivities lasting several days, with folk theater performances, concerts, processions of local residents dressed in national costumes, wine tasting, songs, music and fun.
Also, Smederevo annually, in August, hosts a theater festival. Performances take place in the Small Courtyard of the fortress.