We only had plans to spend the night in Nis, Serbia but ended up wishing that we had more time to explore the city. Even though we were not there long, we really liked the vibe of the city and would have liked to have a day to explore. Unfortunately, we had to leave at 10am to catch a bus to Podgorica, Montenegro.
Getting to Nis
As we were waiting for our bus at the station, we saw a lot of newer, nice looking buses. Then our bus rolled in – it was the worst looking bus at the entire station. Having already paid for our tickets and knowing that it was only a 3.5 hour bus ride, we weren’t overly worried about comfort. The bus ride was made better since we had a good looking, younger bus driver – a vast difference from the overweight, older men who typically drive buses.
The bus was fine and there were not too many people on it. We stopped at the border to get stamped out of Bulgaria and into Serbia. I was a little surprised that we were stopping at the borders and going through customs as typically countries within the EU do not require border crossings. We figured that the extra level of precaution is because of the influx of refugees fleeing from Syria.
Since this bus was more of a local bus than a tourist bus, we were able to ask our driver to stop when we got close to our apartment instead of continuing all the way to the bus terminal. This was nice since it saved us 10 minutes of walking with all of our gear on.
Fortunately, we went into the apartment at the same time as another guy who was staying there. He was able to call the hosts to let us in. If we had not run into him, we would have had to walk around town until we found wifi to email the hosts.
The first thing that we noticed about the room was that there were slanted ceilings. I figured that I would probably knock my head on it several times during our night there but shockingly it was Andy who hit his shoulder on the wall several times.
Everything was very clean which we appreciated but had the “Eastern European” bed setup which we did not like. We each had our own twin blankets on the large bed, something that absolutely drives us nuts.
Even though we had a room, most of the rooms available for rent are apartments. While we like having apartments, it was not necessary for us for such a short period of time. We did have a mini fridge which is all that we needed to store some milk for cereal in the morning.
Similar to the room, the bathroom was very nice. You could tell that everything had been recently remodeled and was kept very clean.
My only issue was that there was not enough hot water for 2 showers back to back. Unfortunately I drew the short end of the deal because even though I got to sleep in later, I had about 1.5 minutes of hot water in which to shower.
It took us a little while to find the building as the street numbers were not well marked. After some searching, we were finally able to find the building and then headed up several flights of stairs to get to the apartments.
The location was perfect for us – right on the main street in town and only a 10 minute walk from the bus station.
Our biggest frustration with our apartment is the fact that we had to pay for the room in cash during checkout. I would have much preferred to pay when we checked in since it added one more thing to do before we had to leave for the bus station. Fortunately we had Euros left over from our time in Greece that we could use to pay the tab.
While we only had a short period of time in Nis, we wish that we were able to spend more time. The city looked very nice and the biggest negative that we saw was the fact that seemingly everyone smoked.