Are you looking for day trips from Belgrade? Sremski Karlovci is absolutely worth visiting, especially if you love wine. Read on to find out why and what to do and see when you get there.
A mere 45 minutes by train from Belgrade is the small town of Sremski Karlovci Unless you’ve been to Serbia before or you follow Balkans wine news very closely, I’d bet you $100 that you haven’t heard of it. Known for wine, history and culture, it is a very special town in Northern Serbia. It is absolutely the perfect day trip to take from Belgrade.
Before you set out on your day trip, be sure to read our guide to Belgrde here.
Why visit Sremski Karlovci on a day trip from Belgrade?
The main answer is that Sremski Karlovci makes an excellent day trip from Belgrade for wine tasting.
Sremski Karlovci is absolutely worth visiting. Whether on a winter’s day sipping wine by the fire and enjoying hearty stews with loved ones. Or, sitting on the banks of the river Danube tasting ice cold white wine with your seafood lunch. There’s so much to offer in Sremski Karlovci whatever time of year.
There are cultural sites and important monuments to see in Sremski Karlovci well as a great selection of restaurants. But the main reason to visit Sremski Karlovci is to stroll from one winery to another, learning about wine growing in the region and tasting one two many delicious glasses of wine.
Wine tourism in Serbia
There aren’t many towns so set up for wine tourism as Sremski Karlovci, yet this town remains charming and without pretense. I say “set up for wine tourism” because of the sheer density of wineries in one area and the exciting fact that you can walk from one to the other, in a decreasingly straight line as the day goes on. However, there is not a sense that you’re just one of thousands of visitors that have come through that day. It doesn’t feel overly commercial. Sometimes so much so that the winery staff look confused that you’re there.
True, there was a moment when we got off the train in Sremski Karlovci when we wondered if we were in the right place. And another moment when we wished we spoke Serbian so that we could understand what the local man on the bike was shouting at us. But we were soon reassured when we were greeted with such a warm welcome at Winery Vinum.
Sremski Karlovci still seems relatively undiscovered comparative to other wine regions. Undiscovered in a simultaneously weird but delightful way. A visit here feels like a wine lovers secret hideaway. You’ll want to tell all of your wine loving friends about it, but in the end you’ll be tempted to keep it a secret for ever more!
What to do in Sremski Karlovci?
So you’ve decided that Sremski Karlovci is worth visiting on a day trip from Belgrade, but what should you do when you get there?
// Sample the wine at local wineries
With around 20 wineries and even more wine shops in Sremski Karlovci, this is definitely the main activity for wine lovers visiting the town on a day trip from Belgrade. Of all the wine regions that we have visited, we found Sremski Karlovci to be incredibly accessible. There are not many small towns so densely packed with wineries
// The Orthodox Cathedral
The Orthodox Cathedral was built in 1762 and is dedicated to Saint Nicholas. Inside you’ll find splendid examples of Serbian painting by Teodor Kracun.
// The Gymnasium
The gymnasium, or Grammar School, is the oldest Serbian high school which was built in 1791. Today, this is still a school but has been given a “school of national importance” award and is used for language study.
// The Chapel of Peace
The chapel of peace, an unassuming building built in 1817, is where the Karlovci Peace Treaty was signed between the Austro-Hungarian and Turkish empires. This is famous as it was the first time that round table was used in diplomatic proceedings.
What is Sremski Karlovci wine like?
Wine has been grown in the Fruska Gora wine region, which includes Sremski Karlovci, since Roman times. The “golden era” of wine in this region is considered to be around the 18th and 19th century. Suffice to say, there is a long history of wine making in this region.
The area is most famous historically for Italian Riesling as well as the dessert wine Bermet. You may not have heard of Bermet, it is a digestif that was originally produced for medicinal purposes but is now a popular dessert wine in Serbia and beyond. Legend has it that the Bermet wine from Sremski Karlovci was so popular in the early 20th century that it appeared on the prestigious wine card of the Titanic. Bottles of it were found in the wreckage of the ship.
Today, the region offers many different kinds of wine including white, rose, red and even sparkling. Riesling, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are some of the most famous current day wines in this region, but Ausbruh (a day red grape) is also well known. The tradition of making Bermet continues with white and red Bermets both available. Each winery in the area makes Bermet to a slightly different “secret family” recipe, with different herbs and spices contained.
A number of wines made in Sremski Karlovci and surrounding areas are medal winners, with many being entered into prestigious Balkans and international wine competitions and regularly bringing home the goods. We particularly enjoyed the fabulous Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that we tried in the area.
Sremski Karlovci is worth visiting for the wine alone.
Best wineries in Sremski Karlovci?
There are twenty wineries in Sremski Karlovci, as well as a number of wine shops. That’s a lot of choice, and probably more than you could reasonably visit in one or two days. Although most of the Sremski Karlovci wineries are worth visiting. But where are the best wineries in Sremski Karlovci?
Below are the best wineries in Sremski Karlovci that we visited during our day trip from Belgrade:
// Vinarija Vinum (Winery Vinum)
Winery Vinum is known as one of the more prestigious wineries in the area. Owned by a Doctor, this winery has been growing medal winning wines for a number of years. A number of their bottles have won prizes in the famous International Decanter awards and at Balkans wine competitions.
We loved our visit here with the extremely knowledgeable sommelier host who conducted a wonderful wine tasting experience. A wine tasting experience here is like no other in the village, not only is the wine delicious but you will learn a lot about the wine and the area. From the divine buttery chardonnay, to the fruity, smooth, delicate pinot noir and finishing with the aromatic white Bermet, we enjoyed it all.
For 300 RSD (around $2) you can try a few samples, or pay an extra 100 RSD to try another. For the quality of the wine on offer, this is a great price. Make sure you buy a bottle or two to take home.
// Vinarjia KIS (Winery KIS)
We loved KIS as it has such a cosy and rustic vibe. The wine is interesting, with a Chardonnay and Rose option our particular favourites. At KIS, you can take a tasting for 1,000 RSD (around $10) to try three wines. You can also opt to buy wine by the glass if you’d rather.
// SZR Podrum Bajilo (Wine cellar Bajilo)
A small wine cellar near to the centre, this is one of the most accessible wineries in the area. Here you can sample a number of wines including the famous Bermet. Be sure to book in advance as this place only offers tastings and you can’t just pop in to try a glass.
We had hoped to visit the family winery of MK Kosovic, but did not get time during our visit. However, this one comes highly recommended as one of the best wineries in Sremski Karlovci and they will arrange a tasting for you if you contact them in advance.
Do you need to book tours and tastings at Sremski Karlovci wineries in advance for your day trip from Belgrade?
We would recommend booking in advance for tours and tastings at wineries in Sremski Karlovci. We were told that the wineries are particularly busy between April and October when most tourists come to Sremski Karlovci, therefore booking is required in peak season. Outside of that time, wineries may have reduced staffing and opening hours, therefore it is still advisable to book in advance.
How to contact wineries in Sremski Karlovci for your day trip from Belgrade
We could not find contact details for the wineries Sremski Karlovci online, so we obtained a brochure from the very helpful tourist information centre in the town. Here are the details for all of the wineries in the town, alongside some information on their specialties.
Best restaurants in Sremski Karlovci for your day trip from Belgrade?
After a few wine tastings, you may be ready to eat something in Sremski Karlovci. Whether for lunch or dinner, here are the best restaurants in Sremski Karlovci:
// Restoran Bermet Villa
For a cosy winter experience, look no further than Restoran Bermet Villa in the centre of Sremski Karlovci. This restaurant is somewhat of a local institution, popular with families and upmarket couples. Prices are reasonable and the service is good, waiting staff are particularly knowledgeable about wine. Try the goulash with a glass of local red.
// Restaurant Pasent
For a summer’s day, the Pasent Restuarant overlooking the River Danube is an excellent choice. Enjoy a glass of local Chardonnay or Riesling with some fish and make sure you reserve an outdoor table.
// Restoran Ljubicic
Restoran Ljubicic is a small cosy option, a far cry from some of the more upmarket restaurants in Sremski Karlovci but with food to rival the bigger places. Guests here love the hearty fare and the cosy vibe.
What to do near Sremski Karlovci?
// Novi Sad
The second city of Serbia, Novi Sad, is located around 10km from Sremski Karlovci. This city is known for it’s history, architecture and food. Indeed, Novi Sad took the title of European Capital of Culture in 2022. It is a contrast to Belgrade with more Austro-Hungarian architecture and less brutalist looking buildings. Plus, it’s smaller and more accessible on foot and bicycle. In the Summer, there’s even a beach on the Danube to enjoy.
// Fruska Gora
The small mountain of Fruska Gora is known today as being part of the Fruska Gora wine route. From Sremski Karlovci you can continue to explore the viticulture of the region. Fruska Gora is also an excellent place to visit in the Spring or Summer for hiking and nature lovers. Historically, Fruska Gora is most well known as a holy mountain and today there are 17 ornate monasteries in the area.
How to get to Sremski Karlovci from Belgrade?
We took the train from Belgrade to visit the town of Sremski Karlovci. At time of writing, the trains were running about once per hour from Belgrade central train station and Novi Beograde (New Belgrade). The journey time is around 45 minutes and costs 570 RSD (around $5). The train from Belgrade to Sremski Karlovci is in the direction of “Novi Sad,” a city just past Sremski Karlovci.
Currently, there are some renovations ongoing at one of the Belgrade train stations. There are two marked on maps as “central station”, but you will want to take the train from this one (Google Maps link) on Propucka.
The train station in Sremski Karlovci is around 5 minutes walk from the centre of town and the route can easily be found on Google Maps. Most people getting off the train in Sremski Karlovci are heading into town or to the wineries, so follow the (small) crowd if you’re unsure. It’s a really easy journey, making it a stress free day trip from Belgrade.
You could also drive, the distance from Belgrade to is around 80 km with a driving time of 60 minutes. Slightly longer than the train.
Or you can book a tour to visit Sremski Karlovci for a day trip from Belgrade.
If you’d like to take a day trip from Belgrade with a tour of wineries included, you could book a tour on Get Your Guide. This company will collect you from your accommodation in Belgrade and take you out for the door, so you have nothing to think about, but tasting wine.
Tours can be booked here on the Get Your Guide website.
Where to stay in Sremski Karlovci?
This town is super close to Belgrade and you could easily take a day trip from the capital and be back to the city in time for supper. However, if you want to stay in Sremski Karlovci and take full advantage of the wineries, then you have a number of options. Your two best options for accommodation in Sremski Karlovci are:
// Premier Prezident Garni Hotel and Spa – $99 for two per night
This five star hotel couldn’t ooze Austro-Hungarian any more if it tried. A stay at Premier Prezident Garni Hotel and Spa promises you an evening of cocktails in the opulent drawing room, perhaps a bottle of something fizzy in your suite by night and a swim in the indoor pool in the morning. The central location suits visitors for short stays and the price tag isn’t half bad for a 5* hotel.
// Villa 1880 – $38 for two per night
For a slightly more budget option, the Villa 1880 in Sremski Karlovci offers cosy accommodation in the heart of Sremski Karlovci’s winery streets. With a 9.7 on booking.com, guests rave about the family feel and the location of the property.
If you are combining a visit to Sremski Karlovci with a mountain tour in Fruska Gora, or a visit to Novi Sad then both of those areas also have plentiful accommodation options.
Fancy travelling a little further afield?
If you’re looking to travel further than a day trip from Belgrade, you can find our guide to taking short city breaks from Belgrade here. There are 5 European cities that you can visit from Belgrade easily.
We’ve reviewed a number of excellent restaurants in Belgrade – read more about them here
- Mudra Art Cuisine, Belgrade ‘Dining with the orchestra’ – restaurant review
- Ambar Restaurant – Fun Belgrade waterfront restaurant
- Tisa New Balkan Cuisine Belgrade
- GIG Restaurant – The Best New Tasting Menu in Belgrade
Can we interest you in another glass of wine?
If you’re a wine fan, then of course you’ll know about Rioja and other famous Spainish wines. But Nothern Spain also has some unique wines and drinks and for that reason you must try when walking the Camino del Norte. The Basque region, Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia are all different…
Most of our planning is done using other blogs, but you can’t beat a guide book at the bottom of your case. Find them here on Amazon.
Find yours on here and get the travelling started!
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