Set at the foot of three mountains, Vranje is the cultural and economic hub of the Pčinja District. The lively city spent several centuries under Ottoman rule, which led to a fascinating mix of Balkan and European cultures. Stroll along the cobbled streets of the old town, explore ancient mountain fortresses and enjoy an evening of traditional folk music and dance.
Things to do in Vranje
Built in 1844 from ivory-coloured stone, the White Bridge is one of the most photographed sites in Vranje. Locals call it the Bridge of Love and say it pays tribute to a beautiful Turkish woman who fell in love with a penniless Serbian shepherd. As you cross over the bridge look for a sign reading “Cursed shall be the one who divides what love unites”.
Visiting Vranje is a unique opportunity to experience the rich cultural traditions of southern Serbia. Enjoy a traditional Serbian meal of “sarma” ground pork rolled in cabbage leaves and “gibanica” egg and cheese pie followed by “sevdah” folk music and “cocek” Balkan dancing.
Just outside the city, Markovo Kale recalls the city’s turbulent past. The centuries-old fortress is set on a steep rocky outcrop and overlooks the Devotinska and Mala Reka Rivers. Wandering around the ruins, you’ll get epic views over the surrounding countryside.
The nearby town of Vranjska Banja boasts some of the hottest mineral spas in Europe. Rich in sulphur and alkaline, the water is famous for its incredible healing properties. The town is dotted with spas where you can soak in thermal baths and enjoy the therapeutic benefits.
Getting around Vranje
Vranje is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot while rental cars offer the freedom to explore Vranje and the Pčinja District at your own pace. Belgrade is a four-hour drive away. Trains run between Vranje and Belgrade though there are no direct transfers.