Uzice has a very attractive setting, in a limestone gorge, with red-roofed houses spreading up the hillsides. It gained attention during World War II, when it was the first city liberated by the Partisan resistance forces from the Nazi occupation. For a few months, Josip Broz Tito (later the ruler of Yugoslavia) created an independent state called the Republic of Uzice. Though the Nazi's retook the area, Tito remembered Uzice and poured money into the city after the war. For a while, it was called Titovo Uzice. Today, the remnants from the Republic of Uzice are housed in the city museum, and there is still a lot of city pride toward the resistance movement. There is quite a lot of history in Uzice and tremendous natural beauty only a short day trip away. It is also very affordable.
Best way to get in is by bus from Belgrade. There are also other buses from other cities like Kragujevac and also from Sarajevo and Montenegro. Buses run to and from most major cities out of Uzice.
A train from Belgrade only 826 Dinars including reservation (€8.26) (2010). However, due to the less-than-efficient state of the railways, it is recommended that you take a bus.
The train and bus stations are adjacent, south of the river, just a few minutes walk to the centre. There is a useful map (ariel view) of the town at the train station, from which you can find your way to the Tourist Information Office (closes at 4pm).
The local airport Uzice-Ponikve airport is for very small airplanes, with flights to Nis and Belgrade.
The best way to get around is walking, but taxis are another relatively low-cost option.
The Old Town (Fortress and Ruins) lie on a rocky cliff that separates the river bed of the Djetinja from where it flows out of the gorge into the valley. The fortification was built on a high cliff, and it is difficult to access because the Djetinja River surrounds it on all three sides. It can be accessed by bus or by foot, also known as Stari Grad.
The Old Church in Uzice sits in the town centre, in the area known as Carina. The church was mentioned for the first time in the third decade of the 18th century as a small church-wattle house. It was built in the style of wooden churches and placed in the Serbian section of the town in the past, as Stari Grad was the Turkish area.
The National Museum of Uzice is in two separate buildings, which were built just before the Second World War as a National Bank. The museum was founded in 1947 with the mission of collecting and studying the cultural and political history of the town. Well worth a visit and by staying at Eco Hostel Republik will give you a free access. The museum also holds the biggest statue of Tito ever made located in the back yard, which was set in place right before the war.
The Grammar School, built in 1838, was the first indication of that Uzice craftsmen and merchants wanted to advance the education system in the town. It is made in the style of academic realism.
The beach on the Djetinja River is both a promenade and, in the summer time, a swimming area. Be careful, though, as the water is quite cold. You can also rent kayaks or paddle boats for very little cost.
The Hydroelectric Power Plant is located on the Djetinja River, at the bottom of the Užice Old Town. It was made in 1900 and is one of the symbols of the town of Užice. It was the first electrical plant in Serbia made according to Tesla’s principles of an alternating current. The main Square used to hold the statue of Tito until the war.
The Old Tunnels is located on the Djetinja River, in between the Tesla Hydroelectric Power Plant going up the stairs on the rights side of the river, if you have a bicycle there is a lift on the left side of the river. You will find the tunnels where the old train system used to connect Belgrade with Dubrovnik passing by Užice. Today you can walk the tunnels and on the way you will find a old Yugoslavian dam.
Main Square is located right downtown, it holds the library, the Užice Theater and right in front of it there is the Zlatibor Hotel (not working at the moment) which was built in in the shape of a rocket in a brutalist style in the 70˙s during the Yugoslavian times.
Walk around and see the sights of Uzice. You can do this on your own or you can go on a free walking tour with Eco Hostel Republik (until recently the only one in town).
Drink a beer, a coffee or a rakia in a cafe along the river.
Rent a kayak or paddle boat and relax on the water.
Go on a day trip and see the lovely mountains around Uzice. You can take a bus or rent a car. Užice is also a base to visit National Parks like Uvac and Tara. Mokra Gora (Kusturica`s village) is also reachable by public transportation, taxi or on a tour.
And if you are between he ages of 13 to 99, you can go to the techno clubs. There are many around, and if you don't know which is best, just ask around or ask a taxi driver. Skala happens to be the most popular one
A house. Locals say that Uzice is one of the most laid back and easy going towns in whole of Europe. (And one of the most affordable.)
Food. A slice of Caprichos (ham and mushroom pizza) is only 140 Dinars, and it's not that much more for a chevapi, a burek or a komplet lepinjia (only found in Western Serbia).
A book. Uzice has a nice bookstore with English translations of writers such as Ivo Andrich.
The best thing to eat might be Burek, pastry with meat and cheese that can be bought from vendors all over town.
Another specialty is Komplet Lepinjia, a pita with cheese, egg and sauce.
Western Serbia is also well-known for Kaymak, a thick creamy cheese with a rich taste.
For veggies and meant such as prochuto and bacon the local market in front of the museum is the place to get them and is very affordable.
Beer types vary from smaller Serbian beers to the big American brands. The best thing to drink is rakia, a strong fruit brandy that is regarded as Serbia's national drink.
Because of the low cost, a beer at a club or bar will cost you the equivalent of one euro or so.
There are two potential accommodations in Uzice.
The first option is the Hotel Zlatibor, a brutalist concrete tower right in the centre of town. It was built in the early 1960s. The interior is quite dim and feels a little haunted. One night will cost between 20-25 euros.
The second is Eco Hostel Republik, a new modern hostel with with shared and private rooms. It's located on Zele Durica 34 just five minutes away from the centre of the town. It has a garden, a kitchen, a large common room and a terrace with couches. They can also arrange trips for you around the city and to the surrounding countryside. Cost is about 10 euro. Recommended. "Eco Hostel Republik" Website
Mokra Gora is a quaint village located in the picturesque area on the border of Tara National Park. You can ride on the Sargan Eight railway, a narrow gauge railroad (heritage railroad) that connects from Mokra Gora to the nearby Sargan station. It is very scenic and costs only 600 dinar.
Tara National Park is mountainous nature preserve with a great diversity of flora and fauna. You can check out the "meaders" from a lookout point, go hiking on the many trails, or watch for the griffons or many other birds. The air is also very fresh. Hostel Tara Hikking Center is in the middle of the park and offers free guidance and maps for the trails at backpacker prices.
Zlatibor is well-known for its beautiful mountains, its clean air and its excellent ski slopes during the winter. Even today it is still used as a respiratory spa because of its fresh air. In the summer, there are many walking paths and even a new bobsled ride.
Visegrad is a small city just across the border in Bosnia. The bridge in Visegrad was immortalized by Nobel Prize-winning author Ivo Andric in his book “Bridge over Drina,” and it is the main tourist attraction in this small Bosnian town. Rising above the emerald green waters of the Drina River, the bridge has eleven stone arches and can be seen from below on a tourist boat.
Stopica Cave is famous river cave known for its "bigren" tubs. There is also a waterfall close by known as The Source of Life.
Studenica Monastery is perhaps the best monastery in all of Serbia. It has very well-preserved frescoes and impressive architecture, and is surrounded by nature. It was built in 1190 and is an important monument to Serbian heritage. There is also a dormitory where you can stay.
Rujno Monastery is located in the village of Vrutci on the banks of the lake that supplies water for Uzice. Serbia’s first book was printed in this monastery. The Rujno monastery can be reached by going from Uzice to Biosci and, a few kilometers before the village, turning into the village of Vrutci. After a few hundred meters in Vrutci, go to the right of Rujno Monastery. All turns are marked.