Soko Banja


There are a plethora of excellent spas dotted around Serbia, and Sokobanja is undoubtedly one of the finest. The therapeutic qualities of the thermal springs have been common knowledge since the days of the Romans, but it wasn’t until the post-Ottoman period that tourism began to flourish in these parts, when Miloš Obrenović demanded an entire renovation of the site. By 1837, organised tourism was up and running at Serbia’s first tourist spa. Before long, Serbia’s cultural elite were flocking to the little eastern town searching for relief and tranquillity.

Located two and half hours (there or thereabouts) southeast of Belgrade, Sokobanja is one of the most popular spas in the country. The thermal mineral springs are the main event, with healing waters that range between 28 and 45℃ and are mostly used for bathing and inhalation. A variety of conditions are remedied here, from bronchial asthma to chronic hepatitis. We hope you are visiting for relaxation and recreation of course, but it is good to know that you can come out feeling a little better as well.

Sokobanja’s position as the favoured spa of Serbia’s creatives means there is plenty of culture to be found as well. The library is well over a century old, and holds more than 30,000 books within its walls. The Heritage Museum is also well worth a look, containing a variety of archaeological, historical and ethnological artefacts. The amphitheatre in front of the museum also plays host to plenty of theatre throughout the warmer months.

But it is the healing powers of the spa that most come here for. Serbia might not be the first place that jumps to mind when the words ‘spa tourism’ are uttered, but it is surely only a matter of time before that changes. Sokobanja will be front and centre when it does.

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