Kikinda is in region Banat, autonomous province Vojvodina, Serbia. Kikinda is administrative center of Vojvodina's North Banat District situated near Romanian border (9 km). The town has 37,676 inhabitants, while the municipality has 59,329 inhabitants.
In Serbian, the town is known as Kikinda (Кикинда), in Hungarian as Nagykikinda, in German as Gross Kikinda or Großkikinda, in Latin as Magna Kikinda, in Romanian as Chichinda Mare, in Slovak as Kikinda, in Rusyn as Кикинда, and in Croatian as Kikinda.
The modern town was founded in 18th century. From 1774 to 1874 Kikinda was the seat of the District of Velika Kikinda, the autonomous administrative unit of Habsburg Monarchy. In 1893 Kikinda was granted the status of a town. The town became part of the Kingdom of Serbia (and Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes) in 1918. Kikinda used to be a very strong economic and industrial centre of Serbia and Yugoslavia up until the 1990s. Currently, the industry of Kikinda is in the middle of the transitional economic process.
Kikinda is multicultural town counting more than 25 nationalities with majority of Serbians (76%) and Hungarians (13%), peaceful, safe and open community.
By Car or Bus
Regional roads connects Kikinda with all the neighbouring cities and villages. Buses operate regularly to the surrounding villages and major domestic and some European cities. Road to North is connected with highway E75 to Hungary (80 km) and Subotica (100 km). On the West side road leads to capital of Vojvodina Novi Sad (100 km), while on South Belgrade is 2 hours of drive away (115 km). On the East side at only 9 km away is border crossing with Romania which is closed - closest way to get into Romania is over Srpska Crnja border crossing.
Rail line Banatsko Aranđelovo – Kikinda – Romanian border at Jimbolia, part of the former Szeged – Timişoara railway is the second oldest railway in present-day Serbia. The town is also connected by rail to Subotica and to Belgrade through Zrenjanin. Although most economical way, trains are also the slowest way to travel with average speed bellow 30 km/h. In history this station was part of the famous Orient Express line. For one time experience take the train - you cannot find such anywhere else in the world (slow, unreliable, late, you never know when you will arrive at destination if ever due to often train failures).
The only transport waterway in the municipality is the Danube-Tisa-Danube Canal. There is a dock which is used for industrial transport only.
There is also the Kikinda Airport, a sports plane airstrip close to the town. The local flying club organizes lessons in parachuting, aviation and space-modeling. Planes are also flown from this airstrip to spray agricultural fields.
Most of the places of interests are in walkway distance. There is no public transport within town, but there are plenty of cheap Taxi around (1-3€).
Square is the most representative part of town where most of the points of interest are located where you can enjoy walking in pleasant environment or where you can sit in one of many open cafe's and enjoy "domestic coffee". Square was created in today state at 1984th and the project was awarded the best architecture achievement of the year 1984 in former Yugoslavia.
House was built in 1894 and it may look like on first sight as one of the churches. It was one of the most representative objects of former Austria empire with a touch of luxury and Romantic style. Above the main entrance Latin word ATTENDITE! remind residents about unite and tolerance. The building was fully renewed in 2012 and is beautiful to see at both day and night
"Kurija" (came from latin word for "curis" - court) is one of the oldest and most recognized buildings in Kikinda located on town square. This building is witness of many political and legal issues while today it is hosting history exhibition of town and District. It was completed at 1839 and until 1876 it was center of "Velikokikindskog dištrikta" (Big Kikinda District). Part of the building was used as prison. Today building is used as museum, historical archive and it hosts The academic society for music cherishing "Gusle". In the central large yard you can see mammoth skeleton replica which was found on excavation site of local company ("a must see" attraction). Mammoth was named as "Kika". Museum is hosting around 25,000 exhibits.
Mill "Suvača" (Suvacha)
The Suvača is a horse-powered dry mill. Kikinda has one of the two remaining such mills in Europe (the other being in Hungary). There were many mills like this in the town, the largest recorded number being 51 in 1847. The only remaining mill was built in 1899 and was operational until 1945.
It is located in the western part of town, on the corner of Nemanjina and Moravska streets. The plot of land is 728 square metres (7,840 sq ft). Suvača is a mill for grinding grain that uses the work of horses as its driving force. The mill uses one to five pairs of horses. One pair of horses was able to grind up to 100 kilograms (220 lb) of grain per hour. According to tradition, the taste of bread from wheat ground in Suvača was excellent and high quality. In addition to cereals, the mill at Suvača would process pepper and cinnamon.
In 1951 Suvača was placed under state protection, and in 1990 it was proclaimed an Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance and it is a "must see unique historical attraction".
Located in the center of the square is Serbian Orthodox church built in 1769. Icons of the iconostasis were done by Jakov Orfelin (nephew of Zacharius Orfelin) in 1773. Teodor Ilić Češljar is the author of the two large wall paintings "The Last Supper" and "Ascension of Jesus Christ" (1790). Both, the late baroque iconostasis and the wall paintings show significant influence of western European art of the period. New church bells were installed in 1899.
Serb Orthodox Holy Trinity monastery located in the south end of the town. It was built between 1885 and 1887 as a foundation of Melanija Nikolić-Gajčić.
The construction of the Roman Catholic Church in Kikinda church was started in 1808 and completed in 1811.
Also, according to a popular belief, the treasure of Attila the Hun is buried somewhere on the territory of the municipality of Kikinda.
Since the town area can be crossed withing 2 hours of walk, explore the town by foot to see both center and classic Banat streets without rushing.
Wake up at early morning and go to open cafe at center square. Ask for "domestic coffee" (often called also as "Turkish coffee" or "Serbian coffee").
Go to open public market and buy (and try) some domestic agricultural products: watermelon, melon, apples, pears, tomatoes, peppers,strawberries... and many, many more. All is fresh, mostly organic and very tasty!
For recreation you can go to sport center "Jezero" (lake) where you can find several pools, tennis court, park suitable for jogging, or you can play football or basketball.
If you come in mid-October you are invited to visit The Pumpkin Days (Дани лудаје/Dani ludaje in Serbian) - an annual manifestation. Every year people from all over the region gather in Kikinda to take part in a competition of who has the largest pumpkin and longest gourd. The term ludaja is specific to the Kikinda region, while the common Serbian word for pumpkin is bundeva. Kikinda has a special relationship with this plant because throughout its history, the locals used to say that one can stand on a pumpkin while working in the fields and get a clear view of the whole town. This exaggeration was supposed to depict the flatness of the town's territory. A local standing on a pumpkin, dressed in traditional attire, and with his hand blocking the sun so that he can see into the distance, thus became the symbol for the region. A group of local enthusiasts started the Pumpkin Days manifestation in 1986 and it quickly attracted pumpkin and gourd lovers from all over the country. The three-day event also includes lectures and seminars on the advancement of pumpkin and gourd cultivation, a culinary competition in preparing meals from pumpkins and gourds, children's competitions in creating masks and sculptures, and various concerts and exhibitions. Over the past few years this event has gained prominence and has drawn visitors from Hungary, Romania and the former Yugoslav republics. The largest pumpkin measured at the event to date weighed 247 kilograms, while the longest gourd was 213 centimeters in length. In 2006 the event celebrated its 20th anniversary and had the largest number of visitors so far, as well as a richer program. A tamburitza festival was included in the event, contributing to the authentic Banat experience.
Every year, since 1982, 6 to 8 world renowned sculptors are invited to Kikinda at the premises of an old production plant of the Toza Marković brick factory for an international symposium of sculpture "Terra".] The symposium lasts throughout the month of July. Over the years, "Terra" has hosted sculptors from all corners of the world who are drawn by the unique and peaceful ambience of the studio. All sculptures are done in terracotta and some have appeared at the Venice Biennale. Over 300 sculptors have so far participated in the symposium and have together produced more than 500 sculptures. Plans for the construction of a "Terra" museum are underway in which all the sculptures will be exhibited in a modern setting adjacent to the old studio. Sculptures made at "Terra" can be seen at town square also during whole year.
As a must, fast food is mandatory to try. Start with "burek" for breakfast (1€). Try first with cheese (that is a must), then try other.
For late afternoon or evening go for "pljeskavica" (burger, meat mixed with onion). Ask for the one filled with cheese - "punjena pljeskavica" (filled burger, less than 2€) or just try classic one (1.5€). Don't get surprised about size if you get used to eat burgers at world wide well known burger shops.
For full lunch or dinner experience go to one of local restaurants where you can ask for many local dishes. Banat is well know by rich and sometimes "heavy" meals, some of them are authentic, some came from neighboring countries. Domestic cabbage rolls ("sarma") are excellent. Baked beans ("kuvani pasulj") with sausages ("kobasica") and with briskets ("rebarca") are also recommended. Goulash ("gulaš") is Hungarian dish, but it is also well prepared here. There is also a really wide variety of other dishes.
But none of these does not give a full experience until you spend a day at one of farmers houses to taste really basic domestic food, wine and schnaps.
As a rule, at stores and restaurants it is hard to find quality drink. Only selected home made wine and schnaps are worth - and that is what really worth. Ask locals or host for recommendation.
You can get excellent coffee almost everywhere, but be prepared - it is cooked at traditional way which is not in use in most of the European countries.
At very center is located hotel "Narvik" (four stars), currently in renovation process, but you can also find smaller accommodation usually at bigger restaurants. Also there and there you can find private accommodation for low cost.
You can find internet cafe near town square and telephone shops all around town, mostly in center. Many bars, restaurants and cafes offer free wi-fi for their guests.
The mobile network (3G/GPRS/GSM) covers the whole town. If you are coming from a non-GSM standard country (e.g. the United States) check your mobile phone for GSM compatibility.
A free wireless network covers town center.