Niš, the third largest city in Serbia, is a bustling town in the country’s southeastern part. It is one of the oldest cities in the Balkans with a great geographical position, at an intersection of several important roads, and it was always considered as “The gate of east and west”, so it is not a surprise that one of the HTEC offices is located right in the centre of it.
Let us take you for a quick tour and show you all the fun and beauties that Niš has to offer and why it is considered a great place to live and work.
What’s Niš like?
Niš is a fusion of a historical and a university city with a charming southern vibe. Its main benefit is that it has all the amenities of a large city, but it is yet small in terms that it’s safe and you can easily get around without too much of a commute, so you are able to spend much more quality time with friends and family.
It was very often conquered and destroyed, but that is why today it is a modern city, economic and university center. It is named, as it is believed, after the river Nišava on whose banks it lies. Southern temperament, hospitality and cordiality are main characteristics of its residents. Niš and its surroundings have to offer exceptional landscapes that you must visit if you come to this area.
What are the city’s highlights?
You should start your tour at the old urban quarter in the pedestrian zone called Kazandžijsko Sokače (Tinkers Alley). The street is packed with cafes and a couple of old craftsmen’s houses preserved from the Ottoman period. There is also a monument to the writer Stevan Sremac and his hero Kalča from the book “Ivkova slava” after which, also, a movie was made.
Niš Fortress is the city’s most famous landmark. Once you arrive through the Stambol gate, there are lots of intriguing old structures such as the hammam, Turkish post station, powder warehouse, Bali-Begova Mosque, and the Monument to the Liberators of Niš.
Ancient Ruins Mediana speaks of the glory days of Naissus and the times of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, who was born in Niš, after whom also the airport in Niš is named.
Skull Tower (Ćele kula) is a witness to brutal events from the past. Namely, the Ottomans built it from the skulls of the Serbs killed in the battle of Čegar.
Bubanj Memorial Park is a monument dedicated to Serbs, Romanies, and Jews executed in WW2 on the hill of Bubanj.
King Milan Square, Stambolija House, Holy Trinity Cathedral are some of the city’s highlights as well.
Niška Banja (Niš Spa) is situated 9 kilometres from Niš, just south from the main Niš–Sofia motorway. It is one of the best known centers of health tourism in Serbia and it is the third most popular spa in Serbia. There is even a popular song about it called “Niška banja” which explains in a pretty nice way the spirit of the residents of Niš.
In the wider area of Niš, there are also some gorgeous places for a picnic, hiking, and camping. Visit the Cerje Cave near Kamenički Vis and see why it is a natural good of the first category.
What are people like?
Cafes and beer gardens are buzzing with people enjoying their lunch and drink in the company of their friends, family, or business partners. You will quickly adapt to this ritual to meet for a meal that begins with meze (appetizer) and ends with kafa (coffee), and realize that socializing is an important part of the city’s culture.
Once you get to Niš’s lively market with hundreds of smallholder farmers selling fruits, vegetables, kajmak, and soft cheese, it will be immediately clear to you that you are among warm and friendly people.
Do people speak English in Niš?
Young people speak English very well, while the elderly are not quite familiar with the language. Due to the fact that Niš is a university center, you’ll easily find a student who can help you and give you directions. People from Niš are very accommodating and would try their best to help you.
What’s the weather like?
Niš has a bit of a special climate when compared to other cities nearby. It is always a few degrees warmer.
The summers are, in general, warm and mostly clear, while the winters are dry and cold, but not freezing. Over the year, the temperature typically varies from -3°C (26°F) to 30°C (85°F), rarely below -10°C (14°F) or above 35°C (96°F).
What is it like to live there?
Main advantage of Niš is its size. It is just big enough to offer a lot of amenities of a bigger city, but small enough to enable shorter commute times and as a result, better work – life balance.
You can easily get around on foot or by using different options of public transportation. After work, in a matter of half an hour to an hour, you can go home, change and be at one of the city parks which offers many contents for children, such as slides, places to ride bikes, skates and rollerblades, as well as contents for adults such as different cafes and restaurants, basketball open courts.
Another option is to go for a walk by the river Nišava, which, too, offers cafes and restaurants, but also a lot of nice places to just sit around and relax with a view of the water. Of course, you can always visit some of the above listed highlights, or nearby picnic places. Tap water is drinkable, which is also a plus.
The great advantage is that Niš has an international airport (Niš Constantine the Great Airport) offering affordable flights all year round, and using the European motorway E75 which routes through Niš, you can get to Belgrade, Sofia and Skopje in approximately two hours.
Where can I try the best local food?
When you see a restaurant with the words kafana or mehana in its name, and you notice that it’s crowded with the locals, you are at the right place to eat!
For a start, alongside appetizers or meze (appetizer) you will be offered rakija served in a small glass because it is a very strong drink containing a higher percentage of alcohol, made out of different fruits.
For the main course, don’t miss trying barbecue (ćevapčići and pljeskavica) along with šopska salad and urnebes, as well as sukana pita (pie). If you want something resembling more homemade food, there are also tavče (prepared with fresh beans), punjena paprika (stuffed peppers), sarmice (stuffed cabbage or other variations) served in earthenware, and different types of roast. For a dessert you can try baklava, tulumba, koh which is similar to “tres leches cake”.
Also, don’t miss out burek in local bakeries, with cheese, meat, or spinach and cheese, or some spicier ones with paprika. The story of burek begins in 1498, when the Constantinople baker Mehmed Oglu, while staying in Niš, made a round burek in a casserole for the first time. Today, burek is a favorite breakfast that the people of Niš recommend as a medicine after a long night in a tavern (kafana or mehana).
What about the nightlife?
As often said in Niš: “Merak nema cenu”.
This means that the people of Niš are always ready to leave the last of their money in the tavern and be there until dawn if they are brought by good music, company, drinks and atmosphere. Spending time in Niš is a unique experience that you will retell for years, so don’t miss it!
First option is, of course, kafana or mehana, which can be visited by day, or late at night. There is always good food and music.
Second option is one of many pubs or beer gardens offering good food, music and different types of beer.
There are also different night clubs, for the ones who prefer that way of spending the evening and night, as well as open-air clubbing during hot summer nights.
One very popular option for an after – party is a place called “Amfi” on a Nišava river bank near the city centre, whose main visitors are students and young people. It is very popular during the warmer months, where people will just spontaneously gather in larger amounts and bring some music in the form of guitars, speakers and such, also some drinks, and out of nowhere, a big party will be made inviting everyone who passes by to join.
Apart from wild parties for the younger population, it also offers easy-paced cultural events, cinemas, and theaters. Niš is home to several great music festivals such as Nišville Jazz Festival, NISOMNIA (electronic music), and NIMUS (classical music).
HTEC Group in Niš
We talked with our colleague Stefan Djordjevic about the early beginnings of the Niš office, its thriving culture, unique team spirit and friendly atmosphere.
“HTEC Group Office in Niš was initially established at the Faculty of Electronic Engineering (University of Niš) in 2012. He used to work in the “Robotics L” laboratory with a few of his friends and coworkers, where they all met each other. At one point, through a mutual friend Darko met Aleksandar Cabrilo, and got an offer to take part in one project together with Miroslav Bozic, Miljan Milanovic and Srdjan Jovanovic. Darko and his coworkers saw this project as a great opportunity to show their expertise, innovativeness, and creativity. And they succeeded in it. So, this is how the story begins.
The first office was in a rented flat. Then, when the team got bigger, they all moved to another bigger flat when the office grew to 20 people. This was when Dusan Petrovic joined the Niš office as the first non-technical person, an economist, and Darko’s friend from secondary school and birthplace. Dusan performed many different roles at the beginning — he was an HR recruiter, an Office Assistant, and he had quite a big impact on the culture of the HTEC office in Niš. So, over the years, the office continued to grow, and then we moved to the first official business space in the very center of Niš, and then, when they were around 30 people strong, we moved to the building we are currently in. I joined in 2017 as the 40th employee, and this was when the second part of the building was under construction. Between 2017 and 2020, the Niš office grew from 40 to 95. So, before the pandemic, the HTEC office in Niš had around 95 people. And now we are 137. The present office space has become too tight for us, so we will have to change it soon and move to a bigger one.
HTEC office in Niš has a unique culture with a growing team of friendly, warm, open, and easy-going people who are always ready to help and care for each other. The atmosphere here is truly amazing — transparency, a sense of community, and a strong will to reach new milestones together help build a culture of outstanding teamwork, mutual understanding, and support. Niš office is really proud of our table tennis tournaments that take place quarterly organized by Dusan Nesic, our “sports director” and the initiator of many creative ideas in Niš office.
Besides the thriving culture we nurture here in Niš, I believe that one of the biggest values of HTEC is that it offers us an opportunity to speak openly about our ideas. It gives you enough space to be innovative and creative and get out of your comfort zone to find solutions to some of the most complex problems. Because, in the end, this is how we bring innovation, which further drives us to be even better at what we do. Come join us, and see it for yourself!”
Come and Grow with Us!
Are you looking to challenge yourself and grow working next to some of the world’s best minds and super-creative visionaries? Come and join us in Niš, or any other city like Belgrade, Novi Sad, Subotica, Banja Luka, Skopje, Stockholm, Minneapolis and others — wherever you find yourself in.
Reach out directly or at firstname.lastname@example.org.