It was to be my 4th time in Serbia, every time I leave I’m waiting for the next trip. My travel to Subotica started with a flight to Budapest and after a night at a hostel close to Oktogon, I walked to the train station which was about 20 minutes away. This time, my destination was Subotica in northern Serbia, a town that I had passed a few times, but never visited. You can find my other articles about travelling to the Balkans here.
I was at the Keleti train station more than half an hour before departure, took a queue number at the international ticket office and waited. As the clock neared departure I realised that there is no way the queue numbers will go fast enough for me to get the ticket in time, so I needed to find another way. Gladly I found a travel agent on the other end of the building that could help me with my train ticket from Budapest to Subotica.
The few people in front of me also seemed to be in a hurry, but when it finally came to my turn she realised that she needs to be extremely fast to get me on the train. It was tight but I managed it! The fare from Budapest to Subotica was 4910ft, however, I don’t know how much the price would have been if I had gotten there early enough to beat the queue at the official ticket counter.
The train from Budapest to Subotica took about 4 hours. Pretty chill ride and not much hassle at the border.
What To Do In Subotica?
The city of Subotica has around 100.000 inhabitants. If you’re looking for a party, both Novi Sad and Belgrade have more happening than Subotica. However, Subotica hosts some very impressive Art Noveau buildings, most of which in recent years have been restored. I had no problem spending half a day walking around the streets of Subotica and looking at its impressive architecture.
If your legs get tired there are heaps of affordable cafes around. A few “must see” buildings including the Jakab and Komor Square Synagogue, the Subotica Town Hall and the library. If you want a surprise then take a look inside the world’s only art nouveau McDonalds, it’s in the same building as the town hall.
Travel to Palić
If you have the chance, rent or borrow a bicycle and ride the 8km to the town of Palić. It’s a getaway spot that unfortunately has lost a lot it’s popularity in recent years. The reason for losing its popularity is mainly that the lake has become too dirty to swim in. Nevertheless, there’s some pretty scenery to be had and the town also hosts some impressive art nouveau buildings.
Back in the days the swimming areas used to be gender segregates, thus the men’s swimming area is on one side of the lake and the women’s on the other.
There’s also a big Zoo in Palić.
Subotica Flea Market
I was told that a few years ago, the city aimed to improve the livelihoods of the local Roma population. This resulted in the huge flea market of “Mali Bajmok” or better known as “Buvljak”. At the flea market, you can find anything from counterfeit clothes to smuggled meat. Well worth a look.
Where to Eat & Drink In Subotica
Bates is a nice restaurant serving local dishes for around 5€. It seems quite fancy from the outside but it is actually very affordable. The dishes are also huge.
If you’re interested in some local craft beer, the place to go is Samo Pivo inside the Galerija on the corner where Vase Stajića and Matije Korvina meets. Price for a pint is around 300 dinars and they serve two different local brews which are changed every week.
Overall I had a good stay in Subotica. It’s smaller than Novi Sad and less happening, but as earlier mentioned it’s totally okay to stay a night or two. I should probably mention that about 35% of the city are ethnic Hungarians and speak Hungarian. So what are you waiting for? Pack your back and travel to Subotica for the fine Art Nouveau buildings.