Samuel Beckett was impressed by its glorious beauty; The New York Times sees it as perfectly functionable composition of attracting opposites; while Dusko Radovic claims that waking up in this city is already an accomplishment. Continuing the Balkan journey, I am taking you to the Serbian capital, former center of Yugoslavia and one of the most interesting cities in Europe. You guessed it, I am talking about Belgrade, my beloved hometown that will always have something on me no matter where I go and where I live. If you want to find out more about all the touristy and less cliche spots, where to find la creme de la creme of Serbian cuisine and of course, party hard, then keep reading, as I will give you all the best tips how to spend a day to remember in Belgrade.
Belgrade is not a city, it is a metaphor, a way of living, a unique perception on things. Momo Kapor
This Balkan city may not be on the spotlight as it is deserved, but it has so much to offer with its passionate arts community,precious monuments, lively cafes and restaurants, decadent cuisine and never ending nightlife. A little bit for everyone, this energetic city has plenty of activities that will keep you entertained and that are, believe me, rewarding to discover. Due to its affordability, a day in Belgrade is very feasible and if you follow some of my suggestions, you will not leave disappointed.
There are quite a lot of things to do in Belgrade, so rise and shine, have you caffeine fix in the (coincidentally or not) cafe called Koffein and eat a Serbian breakfast for champions, consisted of Burek (traditional pie with meat or cheese) found at the wonderfully smelling bakeries at every corner- my warm recommendation is Toma Bakery. In case you are travelling on a tight budget, you may want to begin your day with a Free Belgrade Walking Tour offered daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m from the Republic Square which will give you a crash course about Belgrade and Serbia in general. But don't you worry about getting lost even while getting there - just look for a guide with a big yellow sign behind the man on a horse.
However, if you start your tour from the Republic Square anyway, you simply must take a stroll through Belgrade's main street Knez Mihailova, enjoy some coffee and window shopping, all the way to the Kalemegdan Park and Kalemegdan Fortress, where you will get a glimpse and be charmed by Serbia's beautiful nature and rich history. Kalemegdan Park is incredibly charming, with its picturesque flowers and views, glorious statues that each tell a separate story of the past times, small but flamboyant amusement park, old men, spending their days at the park, calmly playing chess and many street vendors where you can buy your souvenirs. Getting hungry? Then have some lunch with a view at the Kalemegdan Terass, and definitely go heavy on the cevapi, pljeskavica (minced meat) and shopska salad (a fabulous mixture of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and cheese) offered.
After lunch, continue walking towards Savamala district of Belgrade, an artsy, urban neighborhood that is right along the Sava river and admire the thought proviking street art on all the buildings. Have an afternoon coffee, some desert or even a drink at the Cantina de Frida.
Or you can take the other direction and visit Vracar, one of the hippest neighborhoods in Belgrade, with countless cafes filled with young people. After a mug of turska kafa (coffee) in the cutest little cafe called Vesele Domacice, you are good to go and visit The Church of Saint Sava, an iconic piece of the Belgrade skyline. The church, being the largest Orthodox church in the Balkans and ranks among the largest in the world, has the unfinished interior is humbling in scale. Besides being absolutely massive, it’s a beautiful piece of architecture that deserves admiration and that it will most definitely leave you speechless.
By the time you are done with your walking tours, it is evening already. I hope you are well rested, because the night is young in Belgrade, so be prepared for never ending nightlife. However, it is better to start the evening with some dinner and soothing music at the Skadarlija, old town district of Belgrade for an authentic experience. Try to find a table at Tri Sesira and enjoy some live, traditional music. No trip is complete to Serbia without having the local clotted cream, Kajmak. Pair kajmak with some hot fresh bread as a present to your tongue as well with as meat, meat, and more meat . Skadarlija street is well-known as the main bohemian quarter and popular for cafes, restaurants, and nightlife. The cobbled street is very popular with young people and should not be missed when visiting Belgrade,so you will have a great time. Ready to party? Many of Belgrade’s best nightclubs are also located in Savamala along the Sava river. Check out one of the most famous clubs on the water called Hot Mess.
Finally, this has really been a day in Belgrade in a nutshell. I have tried to depict the beauty of my hometown, but this article does not give it enough credit I could write more about its hidden spots, places to eat and go out, so stay tuned, as I will be surprising you with some more useful gastronomy and nightlife guides in Belgrade. Just a few tips before booking your plane ticket: Cabs are not that expensive, so you will be fine if you get lost. Smoking is legal indoors so yeey for smokers and bummer for non-smokers. Rakija is something very special you should try, even while earing your breakfast, but more about it will come. And rumor has it that along your trip you will meet the friendliest and most charming people ever.
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