The city lies on the S-shaped meander of the river Danube, which is only 350 meters wide beneath the Petrovaradin rock. A section of the Danube-Tisa-Danube Canal marks the northern edge of wider city centre, and merges with the Danube. The main part of the city lies on the left bank of the Danube, in Bačka region, while smaller parts Petrovaradin and Sremska Kamenica lie on the right bank, in Srem(Syrmia) region. Bačka side of the city lies on one of the southern lowest parts of Pannonian Plain, while Fruška Gora side (Syrmia) is a horst mountain. Alluvial plains along Danube are well-formed, especially on the left bank, in some parts 10 kilometres (6 miles) from the river. A large part of Novi Sad lies on a fluvial terrace with an elevation of 80 to 83 metres (262 to 272 feet). The northern part of Fruška Gora is composed of massive landslide zones, but they are not active, except in the Ribnjak neighborhood (between Sremska Kamenica and Petrovaradin Fortress).
Novi Sad is the economic center of Vojvodina, the most fertile agricultural region in Serbia. The city also represents one of the largest economic and cultural hubs in Serbia.
The city has several museums and galleries, both public and privately owned. The best known institution in the city is the Museum of Vojvodina, founded in 1847, which houses a permanent collection of Serbian culture and life in Vojvodina since ancient times. The Museum of Novi Sad, located in the Petrovaradin Fortress, has a permanent collection featuring the history of the old fortress.
The Gallery of Matica Srpska is the largest and most respected exhibition space in the city, with two galleries in the city centre. Other museums include The Gallery of Fine Arts – Gift Collection of Rajko Mamuzić and The Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection, featuring one of the most extensive collections of Serbian art from the 1900s until the 1970s.
Since 2000, the number of tourists visiting Novi Sad each year has steadily risen. During the annual EXIT music festival in July, the city is full of young people from all over Europe. In 2017, over 200,000 visitors from 60 countries came to the festival, attending about 35 concerts. Other events include shows and congresses organized by Novi Sad Fair, a local management company, bringing in many businesspersons and entrepreneurs to the city. Every May, Novi Sad is home to the largest agricultural show in the region, having attracted 600,000 attendees in 2005. The tourist port, near Varadin Bridge in the city center, welcomes cruise boats from across Europe that travel the Danube river.
The most recognized structure in Novi Sad is the Petrovaradin Fortress, which dominates the skyline and also offers scenic views of the city. The nearby historic neighborhood of Stari Grad has many monuments, museums, cafes, restaurants and shops. Also in the vicinity, is the Fruška Gora National Park, approximately 20 km (12 mi) from the city center.
Typical Serbian food can be found in Novi Sad, including traditional dishes like ćevapi, burek, kajmak, kiseli kupus, kiflice and pasulj, as well as fish dishes, local cheeses and charcuterie. Restaurants and farmsteads offer fresh produce from local farmers and also regional vintages from Fruska Gora’s wineries. Modern alternatives are available at some of the city’s top restaurants, which prepare traditional fare with an updated twist. Pastry shops serve local specialties such as layered cakes made from ground nuts and cream, referred to as “torta” in Serbian. Desserts also often include raspberries, one of the region’s largest exports, and historic Dunavska Street is home to many ice cream parlors.