COLOURFUL CONGRESS VARIETY
A stroll around Subotica is full of surprises and if you’re a lover of architecture here you will be able to enjoy outstanding Art Nouveau, neo-baroque, classical and modernist buildings all in a small area and very tightly bound into a visitor-friendly package. The city is the cultural capital and surprises with its intellectual drive and multicultural ease. Each year Subotica hosts around 18 festivals, from music to children’s theatre. It has three theatres, a Philharmonic and numerous cultural associations… in fact, it would be difficult to find anything similar anywhere else in Serbia.
During the summer months virtually not a week goes by without some kind of significant festival or other cultural event being held in Subotica. Culture is here the bedrock for a positive experience for congress participants and organisers.
The salt trail
Whichever direction you look in the view extends to the expansive fields – when the Pannonian Sea retreated, it left Subotica filled with sand deposits. The Subotica-Horgos desert has nothing in common with other deserts as we know them, as the sand deposits north of the city are ideal for wine and fruit growing. Vast wheat fields in the south are the basis for a highly developed food industry, which is best represented to the gourmets by the Pionir factory. As a rule, throughout history cities grew alongside rivers, just as Subotica was developed on the confluence of the rivers Tisa and Danube in the middle of the sandy desert. Due to its natural features the former nomads liked to stop at this point. Later it spontaneously began to develop trade, initially mainly with salt on the way from the Carpathian mines northward to Budapest and Vienna. Subotica has been a trading post for centuries. Although it may seem at first sight a bit remote, it still successfully performs its strategic role today.
The heavenly Palić
Another striking image that imprints itself in the memory is the green area – everything gravitates to the famous Lake Palić that in 1845 was declared a health resort. The Hungarians arranged its surroundings, built a park and the beautiful Art Nouveau buildings. It quickly became a cosmopolitan resort known throughout the wider region. Today it is a popular resort that especially in the summer time attracts tourists from Serbia and Hungary. The reason for its popularity can probably be traced to the fact that the original soul of Lake Palić was preserved – a soul from the times when Subotica was the third most important city in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, just behind Belgrade and Zagreb, and Lake Palić was its most important tourist spot.
In less than two decades, Subotica developed into a modern Central European city. The development was accelerated by the arrival of the railway in 1869 and at the turn of the 19th century the city recorded an amazing level of development. At that time the buildings that we can still admire today emerged: the City Hall, Raichl Palace and the Synagogue define Subotica as the European City of secession. For many, one of the most beautiful buildings in the city is the City Hall. This huge property, which today manages city administration, was built in a record two years, from 1908 to 1910. One can today organise various events at the town hall. There are four meeting rooms with the largest, “vječnica”, proudly representing the artisanal skills of Art Nouveau masters. In our experience, this hall makes it on to the Top 10 list of special venues of this region.
The city of respect and understanding of diversity
It seems that it is through cultural events and festivals that Subotica is showing its most precious face. The city has today 150,000 inhabitants from 20 different nationalities. The decoration of the city are its many churches that give the town its seal and are part of the famous city panorama that can be admired from the roof of the Hotel Galleria. At every step you can find churches of all religions, the most powerful one being the Jewish synagogue, which is currently being renovated. The remarkable culture of the city is being manifested through its relationship to architecture and preservation of traditions.
Many culinary delights for little money
If you’re on a diet then you’ll be disappointed, as for real gourmets it is clear that Subotica is one of Serbia’s gourmet capitals. The mixture of cultures is the local cuisine’s biggest charm. For an unforgettable stew you will need to take your time and enjoy the slow rhythm of the locals. The organic ingredients are truly organic in Subotica and we promise you that the forgotten flavours of childhood will here be fully restored. There is a variety of flavours, both traditional and modern tastes; food is high on the list of priorities of the people of Subotica and the sounds of tambourine players will make you forget the passage of time. Exceptional wines and spirits of the region complement the experience. Incentive programmes, from the cutting-edge contemporary cuisine that you can enjoy at the excellent Zvonko Bogdan wine cellar to authentic experiences in one of the “salaši” (farms), are all available.
Because of the wines, the New York Times added Subotica to the list of destinations one must visit. The Serbian wine revolution began in Vojvodina and we can easily say that the Subotica-Horgos wine region is among the best in Serbia. We were convinced immediately after visiting the Zvonko Bogdan winery, that has no competition in the region when it comes to technology and appearance. The impressive building itself speaks of the passion the owners have in perfecting their offer of wines and the winery experience. The broader offer varies from family wineries to world-class wineries. Some names that you have to remember are Tonković, Vinski dvor, WOW vinarija and DiBonis Winery. Conference guests will be enchanted by the local wine varieties of kadarka and kevedinka, as well as over the excellent Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet offers.
Congress Vox Populi
The heart of the city’s congress offer is the Galleria hotel. The property is an exciting contextual crossover, which dictates the rhythm of Subotica’s meetings industry. The hotel’s main advantage is its multifunctional offer that is very convincing as a package. Below the line, for the amount paid you get a lot of space, quality services and the priceless Pannonian friendliness. The congress offer at Best Western Hotel Gloria is also very agreeable, offering a medieval congress experience in a former Franciscan monastery. The Patria hotel also has a solid and diversified hotel offer. All of the congress hotels are located in the city centre, so in the case of a large number of participants the logistics are pretty simple. Everything is within a short walking distance.
Special venues with Subotica energy
The city is overflowing with special venues that have a unique energy. The City Hall, reflecting the unique spirit of the city and taking you to the heart of its Art Nouveau past, takes first place.
Another secessionist story is the Palič convention centre that offers a large terrace, Eco Centre and a summer theater. The large multifunctional hall of the Eco Centre can accommodate up to 360 participants, while the summer theatre has a capacity of 800 people.
During the visit we were also impressed by the Raichle palace, which is today a museum of modern art as well as a remarkable event space in Art Nouveau style.
The offer of special venues complements the “salaši” and already mentioned wine cellars, which are located in the vicinity of Subotica. “Salaš” names like Majkin, Rokin, Jelen are names to remember if you are looking for an authentic experience.
WHAT'S HOT IN 2016
March 11 – 13, 2016
Femus is a music festival of international character that brings together students and teachers of elementary and high music schools from Serbia and abroad.
March 25-27, 2016
The tournament will be in the Congress Centre “Grand terrace” Palić.
April 30, 2016
Rock festival at Palić Lake that brings together the biggest rock stars of the former Yugoslavia.
June 21-26, 2016
13th festival edition of world and ethno music.
July 16-22, 2016
The International Film Festival Palić was founded in 1992 by the Municipality of Subotica. From the earliest small and unpretentious film screenings in Palić, it has grown into an important spot on the European film festivals map.
QUALITY MEETINGS DESTINATION
5 – excellent meetings destination
4 – quality meetings destination
3 – reccommendable meetings destination
2 – average meetings destination
1 – so so
BEST INCENTIVE IDEA
COMPARISION WITH THE REGION
Subotica has a soul. It is a city where it seems that time has stopped. The proud town centre merges almost imperceptibly into the surrounding melancholy plains. Economically and culturally Subotica is one of the most developed cities in Serbia. Congress guests will be impressed by the multicultural spirit and European charm, which is reflected in a large number of special venues in a small area. Well-developed albeit not connected is the offer of various incentive programmes. Subotica has a functioning Congress bureau, the hotel facilities are good and the culinary tradition is an extra plus. All of this represents an exciting congress package calling out for more penetrating international or at least regional marketing to exploit the full potential of the city. We see this especially in the development of incentive programmes and smaller professional meetings and conferences taking advantage of the scientific and cultural potential of the city. To top it all off, Subotica offers a lot of music for little money.
Pörkölt (gulas with special pasta) – hearty and savoury, accompanied by a wine from the vineyards surrounding Palić Lake.