The Fetislam (“Gates of Peace”) fortress was built on medieval ruins by the Ottomans in 1524, and served as an active Ottoman garrison until 1867. Its outer structure is nearly hidden at ground level – the outer defences come inside a wide moat, much of which is still extant. You can walk part of the way around the outside, cutting through the...more
The whole area around Kladovo has been settled since prehistoric times, and the museum reflects that history. It isn’t large, but it has a wide range of items for its size.Some of the prehistoric pieces are duplicates of statues found at Lepenski Vir, but there are also tools, pots, and jugs, and some photos of the original Lepenski Vir site that...more
The Djerdap National Park stretches more than 100km along the Danube River, and hiking here is fantastic. It’s a beautiful landscape, with only a few small towns and villages within its 650sq km. The park isn’t that wide, but beyond the park is a lot more old-growth forest (protected by other organizations), and small farms, so when you’re here,...more
There are two Roman sites close to the town of Kladovo: the Diana Fortress about 10 kilometres north-west, and the last remaining pillar of Trajan’s Bridge a couple of kilometres east. Both the fortress and the bridge were built by Trajan around 100AD in support of the Dacian Wars.The Diana Fortress was mostly destroyed by the Huns, was rebuilt in...more
Roman Emperor Galerius’ royal palace complex Felix Romuliana is huge. With remains of fortified walls and towers, two temples, baths, and extensive living quarters, it could be easily mistaken for a small town. Around 300AD, Galerius built this complex to be his retirement retreat. He died returning to it for his retirement, so never lived here....more
Although the origins are uncertain, the fortress here is supposed to have been built mostly in the 1300s, and saw plenty of fighting between various armies until the 1800s. There’s quite a bit of information available on the history and construction of the site, since it is classified as a “Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance” by the...more
The settlement of Lepenski Vir is one of the earliest human settlements in Europe (dating from 7000BC), and the museum and interpretive center do a good job explaining the site and the unique cultural features found only here. In addition to an inspired layout, which allows you to see the site as a whole and also get up close to parts of it, there...more
The Djerdap Gorge is beautiful, with a particularly striking stretch between Donji Milanovac and the 1st century Tabula Trajana near Kladovo. Before the dam was built in the 1970s, the gorge was 30 meters deeper, and Trajan’s road ran beside the river. Now, the river is wider, passing through national parks with alternating impenetrable forest and...more
Only two buildings have survived 3rd relocation of Donji Milanovac in 1971 – the billet of Captain Misa Anastasijevic and the house of Stefan Stefanovic Tenka. The Danube captain Misa Anastasijevic, merchant, shipowner and President of National Assembly, was the richest person in Serbia in 19th century. His Palace in Belgrade, gifted "to his...more
Lepenac is a large-ish but comfortable restaurant. They specialize in local cooking, which means grilled meats with minimal side vegetables, and excellent fresh salads. The food is decent, on par with places in town. What I’ve tried here has been less salty than is usual, and everything is a bit less expensive than in DM. The catfish is very...more
This restaurant replaced the very good one called Zlatna Ribica, and very little has changed. Most of the staff is the same, the menu is mostly the same, the décor and seating is the same, and it still has very good food. Pretty much the only thing that has changed is that now it’s called “Magical Fish” instead of “Golden Fish.” It’s still not the...more
Update 5/2012 The owners moved to Golubac, where they also have a branch, and sold this branch. The building has become another restaurant, and seems to have changed very little, although there are a few changes to the menu. Review to come.**********If you’re going to eat in only one restaurant in DM, it should be this one. It’s not the prettiest...more
This tip refers to transportation in the immediate area. You won’t need transportation within the town itself – you can stroll across the entire town in maybe 15 minutes – but if you want to get to any of the "things to do" sites you’ll need some kind of vehicle.
Most people get around by bus. Getting to a larger town is easy – there are several buses per day to the three largest nearby towns (Golubac, Kladovo, and Majdanpek), from which you can take a taxi to the sites of interest. Several sites are located between towns and are walking distance from the main road, but you have to tell the driver where you want to be let off (tricky if you don’t know Serbian), and be prepared to flag down a racing bus when you’re ready to return. The main problem with taking a bus is timing, and it can be a big problem depending on where you’re going.
Cars are of course more convenient. You will not be able to rent a car once here, though, and will have to rely on a taxi, or (if you’re very lucky), meeting someone who is heading your direction. There are several taxis around (either by the bus stand/tourist info center, or up by the market), and a couple of the local drivers speak English or German. A car for a 6-hour day trip to sites around Majdanpek (roughly 80 km) cost me about 60 Euros; a circuitous route DM - Zajecar - Kladovo - DM was about 125 Euros (2011).
Getting to hiking trailheads within the Djerdap National Park can be done by taxi (if the driver knows the trailheads, or if you can explain where they are); several trails are within restricted areas (meaning you have to go with a park guide), and are only accessible by 4-wheel-drive vehicles.
It’s easy cycling in this area, and there are a lot of bike tours and long-distance cyclists passing through. It’s a fantastic way to get around, but you can’t rent a bike here, or buy one, so you’ll have to bring it with you.
Last but not least, boats. At least one site (Tabula Trajana) can only be accessed by boat – as of 2011, the stairs aren’t yet begun, and it sounded more like “it would be nice if there were stairs.” There’s also talk of starting a water taxi service to Lepenski Vir, but as of this writing, you’d have to arrange it privately.
There is very noticeable "mammoth" in Donji Milanovac, on the promenade by Danube. It was made of plastic, in Split, in Croatia by "Jugoplastika" factory (today DIOKOM HOLDING d.d. Split), at the time Split and Donji Milanovac were in the same country – Yugoslavia. This one, and a few more located by Hotel Lepenski vir, were made for Jeux Sans Frontieres (Games Without Frontiers). "Mammoth" have become kind of Donji Milanovac mascot since participation (and winning) in that popular television game show, in 1979.
There are only two options for getting money in DM. First, there’s an ATM at the Komercijalna Banka ad Beograd, which takes VISA/Plus and MasterCard/Maestro. It’s located across the street on the other end of the pedestrian block from the Tourist Info Center and bus stand. In three months, I only had a problem with it once, and that was resolved within half an hour (they needed to put more cash in), but they wouldn’t let me take a cash advance on my VISA at the teller. (Note, if you ask someone where the ATM is you’ll get a blank look – ask for the Bank Automat.)
There are also two money exchange places. One is in the Hotel Lepenski Vir. The other is on the main road, next to the Godfather Café. This second is a hole in the wall, literally one window wide, with the sign Menjacnica Exchange Office. I haven’t used either of them, and can’t comment directly, but a fellow traveller used the hole in the wall place and said there were no issues exchanging Euros.