Novi Sad is the second largest city of Serbia, the capital of the autonomous province of Vojvodina and the administrative center of the South Bačka District. It is located in the southern part of the Pannonian Plain, on the border of the Bačka and Srem geographical regions, on the banks of the Danube river, facing the northern slopes of Fruška Gora mountain.
According to the 2011 census, the city has a population of 250,439, while the urban area of Novi Sad (with the adjacent urban settlements of Petrovaradin and Sremska Kamenica) has 277,522 inhabitants. The population of the administrative area of the city stands at 341,625 people.
Novi Sad was founded in 1694, when Serb merchants formed a colony across the Danube from the Petrovaradin fortress, a Habsburg strategic military post. In the 18th and 19th centuries, it became an important trading and manufacturing centre, as well as a centre of Serbian culture of that period, earning the nickname of the Serbian Athens. The city was heavily devastated in the 1848 Revolution, but it was subsequently restored. Today, along with the capital city of Belgrade, Novi Sad is the industrial and financial center of the Serbian economy; also, it was named one of the 2021 European Capital of Culture cities and 2019 European Youth Capital.
The number of tourists visiting Novi Sad each year has steadily risen since 2000. Every year, in the beginning of July, during the annual EXIT music festival, the city is full of young people from all over Europe. In 2008, over 200,000 people visited the festival. Besides EXIT festival, Novi Sad Fair attracts many business people into the city; in May, the city is home to the biggest agricultural show in the region, which 600,000 people visited in 2005. There is also a tourist port near Varadin Bridge in the city centre welcoming various river cruise vessels from across Europe who cruise on Danube river.
The most recognized structure in Novi Sad is Petrovaradin Fortress, which dominates the city and with scenic views of the city. Besides the fortress, there is also historic neighborhood of Stari Grad, with many monuments, museums, caffes, restaurants and shops. There is also a National Park of Fruška Gora nearby, approx. 20 km (12 mi) from city centre.