15 things to do in Pančevo (Serbia)

Despite being only a few minutes away from Belgrade, Pancevo is often overlooked by tourists in the capital. But when you touch the industrial surface of the city, there’s a lot to like about it. The oldest brewery in the Balkans is located in Pančevo, and there is a museum about Weifert beer, which is served throughout Serbia.

The center of Pančevo has elegant parks and squares, mansions facing Neoclassical and Austro-Hungarian Empires, and elegant churches of the 19th century. Until recently, Pančevo was an inland port exporting beer and silk to the Danube. But today, nightclubs and cafes have replaced the seaside industry.

Let’s explore the best things to do in Pančevo:

1. The Wajaft Museum

Wajaft Museum

Pančevo has the oldest brewery in the Balkans, founded in 1722 as a small business in a two-room building.

But in the last decades of the 19th century, under the direction of Đorđe Vajfert, it quickly grew into an industrial enterprise.

He would go on to become the head of the National Bank of Serbia and is now featured on the 1,000 dinar note.

Weifert (spelled in German) remains a big domestic brand in Serbia, brewed using Czech recipes and Bavarian traditions that Đorđe Vajfert learned during his training in Munich.

In 2016, the museum opened at the center, detailing the brewing process and the family’s history.

2. Church of the Assumption

Assumption Church

The church is a product of the first Serbian uprising and dates back to the early 19th century.

It was funded by donations, and one of its benefactors was the elected leader of the first uprising and the founder of modern Serbia.

Consider the façade carefully, it has two tall Baroque towers with Corinthian capitals on pilasters and columns below the cornice.

Some of Serbia’s most respected artists and craftsmen of the 19th century contributed to the paintings, woodwork and stucco inside.

The icon in the icon is the work of the famous portrait painter Konstantin Danil, who was recently named one of the “100 Most Outstanding Serbs”.

3. Vojlovica Monastery

Vojlovica Monastery

The monastery has been an important spiritual center in the Banat region since it was founded by the tyrant Despot Stefan Lazarević in the 14th century.

Although it had a stormy history during the Ottoman Empire, it was burned repeatedly and monks imprisoned, enslaved and even killed.

The abbey church has been improved in the 18th and 19th centuries and has a high baroque design with a bud dome on its tower.

Go inside and see the cascading murals.

The newer ones are from the late 1700s, and during the restoration process, older layers were found underneath, dating back to the 1500s.

Admire the Baroque gilded icons and admire some 30 images of Old and New Testament saints.

4. National Garden

National Garden, Pancevo

When Pancevo became an industrial center in the late 1800s, this spacious park was planned as a green buffer and remains a premier destination for exercise and relaxation.

The National Garden is located slightly further away from the city centre and is German in style, blending formal French and loose English park designs.

Long paths are flanked by mature trees and iron lanterns, and the State Gardens have not lost that bourgeois sophistication.

The park’s iron pavilion is surrounded by flower beds and hosts band performances on holidays and weekends.

This small structure has an interesting past, as it was the last surviving element of a large industrial exhibition held in the park in 1905.

5. Svetionik na Ušću Tamiša u Dunav

Svetionik na Ušću Tamiša u Dunav

The confluence of the Tamish and Danube rivers is even more picturesque in this pair of lighthouses at the mouth of the Tamish river.

Shortly after they were built, these beacons were given the colloquial name “Watergate of the City” (Vodena kapija grada). They are a fascinating relic from the time when the Danube helped transport all kinds of goods: beer, bricks, silk, wood, and even passengers who turned the river into a busy highway.

The lighthouse helps mark the entrance to Tamish at night.

6. Park Trg Kralja Petra I

Park Trg Kralja Petra I

A huge pedestrian square, Trg Kralja Petra I is where you can admire the most magnificent buildings in Pančevo.

One of them is the old District Court, which is home to the National Museum, which we’ll cover next.

To the north, south and west of the square are the Austro-Hungarian mansions, the handsome Štapska zgrada, the “Sloboda” hotel and cafés with outdoor seating.

If you have children, there is also a large adventure playground in the center of the square between lawns.

7. National Museum

Panchevo National Museum

The old district court on Trg Kralja Petra I was built in the 1830s and has been home to the National Museum since 1965. Even in the company of the imposing architecture of the square, this impressive building stands out for its ornate portico and its pediment with two reliefs of the angel holding the clock.

The museum houses Pancevo’s archaeological, artistic and ethnographic collections.

You’ll find some real finds here, such as the full armor of Ottoman soldiers, as well as Biedermeier furniture and other ornate decorations from 19th-century bourgeois homes in the city.

8. Tamiški Kej (Tamiški Pier)

Tamishki Kaye Panchevo

In summer, the Tamiš River is a great place to spend an hour or two by the water.

During these months, the river fills with greenery thanks to the rows of trees on the right bank, and cafes spill onto the pier as small fishing boats float up and down the river.

At night, the season’s vibe is different, but equally appealing, with people going to bars and cafes to congregate and dance until the wee hours of the morning.

9. Church of the Transfiguration

Church of the Transfiguration of Pancevo

Known for its huge dome, this Serbian Orthodox church is listed as a “Very Important Cultural Property”. At the end of the 19th century, some heavyweight architects and artists worked on the building.

The church was designed in Neo-Byzantine style, painted by post-Romantic architect Svetozar Ivačković and completed in 1878. Soon after, highly regarded Belgrade architects Branko Tanazević and Milorad Ruvidić teamed up to build the marvelous icon.

The icons themselves were drawn in the style of academic realism by the famous Uroš Predić, who was educated in Pančevo.

10. Buflyak

Buvlyak Panchevo

If you don’t mind feeling the tougher side of Pančevo, the city’s flea market is an experience even if you’re just visiting.

In a large market on the northern outskirts of the city, there are stalls selling low-priced items, from household items to toys, furniture, tools and fresh produce from Hungary.

Pancevo has a sizable Chinese community, and many people from this minority do business in the market.

You might even want to try some Chinese street food on the go.

11. Zgrada Narodne Pivare

Zgrada Narodne Pivare

Currently, the old Weifert brewery is abandoned and partly burned down in 2005. There are plans to restore the massive complex, but work has not yet begun in 2017. If you’re a photographer or interested in 19th century industrial architecture, you’ll love it.

It’s not hard to see the potential of the brewery as a gallery or museum.

If you want to know more about Đorđe Vajfert’s heritage in Pančevo, the Church of St. Anne (Crkva Sv. Ane) was built at his own expense in 1923. When he died in 1937, his funeral was held here.

The church has a beautiful slate-roofed spire, and the porch is carved with rosettes.

12. Belgrade

Belgrade

The capital is 10 km from Pancevo, so you can hop back and forth whenever you want.

Enough to keep you in Belgrade for a few days, but if you need a concise introduction, start with the Belgrade Fortress.

This fortress is on the rise, where the Sava and Danube rivers meet, with enchanting panoramas, famous monuments and layers of historic military buildings.

For shopping and a sense of the city’s energy and youthfulness, head to Knez Mihailova Street near the base of the fort.

To get a taste of Belgrade’s carefree nighttime spirit, head to the bohemian taverns on Skadarlija or the banks of the Danube where splavovi (party boats) are moored.

13. Smederevo Fortress

Smederevo fortress

For another enjoyable day, try visiting this medieval walled city not far down the Danube.

Smederevo is the purpose-built capital of Serbia, designed by dictator Đurađ Branković in the 15th century after Belgrade was ceded to Hungary.

It was the capital from the 1430s until 1459, when it fell to the Ottoman Empire, until the 19th century when the Serbian state came to an end.

This is an epic Byzantine fortress whose design borrows from Constantinople.

There are more than 1.5 km of triangular walls, topped by Mellon, and guarded by 25 towers.

The space within these walls is now a park where you can stroll along the jagged structure and observe the second longest river in Europe.

14. Deliblato Sands

Deliburato Sands

If you have a car, you should also head east into Deliblato Sands.

This is the largest sandy area in Europe, covering more than 300 square kilometers.

A once-giant desert replaced the prehistoric Pannonian Sea, leaving only a strange setting of oval hills and a little prairie dust.

Bring your camera and you’ll get some amazing pictures of environments you might not have a connection to this part of Europe.

For botanists, Deliblato Sands has about 900 species of plants that are either rare or only found in the Pannonia Basin.

15. Blake

Blake

Burek is something you can master all over Serbia.

But in Pančevo, the bakery has such a unique take on the delicacy that people travel from Belgrade just to grab a copy.

For the uninitiated, burek is a pastry that can be paired with a variety of different fillings, savory and sweet, but cheese, ground beef, and mushrooms are the most common.

People will eat them any time of the day, but they are usually breakfast foods and the right way to enjoy them is with some yogurt on the side.

Two bakeries to look for are Grgo in Prvomajska on the edge of town, or Pekara Stankoski on Miloša Obrenovića Street.

Where to Stay: The Best Hotels in Pančevo, Serbia
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