They say that all roads in Belgrade lead to Balkanska street. I believe it used to be true decades ago but now you would want to pass through this street anytime. Whoever comes to visit the city, they simply must pass through this street, as it is a road from the Central Bus and Train Station to the very center and Knez Mihailova street. However, Balkanska, keeping its original name by the Balkan region, is way more than a passing road.
This street was the inspiration for uncountable literary works, poems and popular songs (listen below the song of a famous Yugoslav music band, Magazin, about the girl who fell in love right in this street), and all that for a very good reason. I cannot even begin to explain what energy this seemingly short up-the-hill street road has on all the visitors and locals. The street, still preserving the spirit of old stores dating backing to beginning of the 20th century, bars, cafes contrasting to modern shops is the best welcome for anyone who just arrives to Belgrade and wants to feel it to its core.
I am passing through Balkanska street. I avoid to see you here again, as I fall in love all over.
The rich history of the street per se is clearly seen in the facades dating back to 1920s and 1930s. Despite the fact that they are, naturally, in quite bad shape today, they give the street a certain charm and authenticity. Balkanska is best known for its extreme steepness, from beginning of Gavrilo Princip Street, where you can try one of the best Serbian dessert called Ferdinand knedle, up until the top, ending with one of the most elegant buidlings in Belgrade, Hotel Moskva. However, none of the public transportation goes into this street due to its narrowness, but even better, as only by walking through this street, you can really live its energy. Feeling like getting the best haircut, quick bite, coffee, new phone or maybe new purse? All that in Balkanska street.
Only by passing through Balkanska street, I feel like I am really in Belgrade. Is it the people that are smiling in front of their stores, greeting all the passangers? Or the smell of fresh pastry trying to find its way and competing with the most authentic Leskovac's pljeskavica? Or maybe all those childhood memories colliding? In any case, Balkanska street never cease to bring a smile to my face, and make me want to sing and jump while passing through it. Intruiged yet? Then join me on this amazing walk and stay tuned for more inspiration to come. And I will most certainly count days until I pass through that street again.
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