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Belgrade 101: How To Have A Great Time In Europe’s Hidden Highlight

Belgrade 101

Belgrade is a historic and beautiful city. It has also been a city of significant political importance for quite some time. It was the capital of the former Socialist Federal Republic Of Yugoslavia and after the breakup of Yugoslavia during the Balkan Wars, Belgrade has served as the capital city of Serbia. It is also the largest city of the country and is home to about 1.5 million people. It is the largest city in the entire Balkan region as well. Belgrade has witnessed numerous conquests, wars and internal conflicts. However, modern Belgrade is becoming more and more European with every passing day. It’s a truly beautiful city in Eastern Europe and should be on everyone’s travel list. In this post, we will take a look at what all you can do in Belgrade so that you can have a lot of fun in the city. Let’s get started.

Things To Do In Belgrade: Have A Blast In Serbia’s Capital

Spend some time at Kalemegdan (Belgrade Fortress)

If someone asks, “what to do in Belgrade”, our first suggestion as an activity is to visit the city’s most important park, Kalemegdan, and the  Belgrade Fortress in it.

Covered with lush green grass, the park is located on a hill overlooking the city, at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers.

Entry to the park and the castle is free. This is where you can lie on the grass for a few hours and soak in the surroundings, buy souvenirs from the stalls at the entrance of the castle, and then tour the castle; a place where you can find nature, history and shopping at the same time. It is also the symbol of the city.

Take a stroll down Knez Mihailova Street

Knez Mihailova Street, which is closed to vehicle traffic and stretching from Cumhuriyet Square to Kalemegdan, is one of the symbols of Belgrade.

The wide boulevard is full of chain stores, restaurants and cafes. As you can imagine, this is one of the places where you can look at the windows, shop and watch the passers-by and street performers while enjoying a coffee.

Enjoy the cobbled streets of Skadarlija

We would suggest that you put “Skadarlija” on your list of things to do in Belgrade for a pleasant dinner and then some entertainment. Actually, we don’t mean “nightlife”. 

The Skadarlija District is the ideal address for a “quiet evening entertainment” with its narrow cobblestone streets, its structure closed to vehicle traffic, and the restaurants, cafes and pubs in these streets. If you want an analogy, Skadarlija is a mixture of Istanbul’s Asmalımescit and Paris’s Montmartre.

In summary; You go to Skadarlija before dinner, wander its streets and take lots of Instagram photos, then listen to the sweet music playing while having a delicious dinner in a restaurant.

Afterwards, you can return to your hotel and rest for the next day, or move on to Splavovi, 

Skadarlija is also an ideal region for accommodation. But it is not the only district in Belgrade.

Enjoy the nightlife in Splavovi

For those who love nightlife and search for what to do in Belgrade, the answer is Splavovi.

The area was created by turning the boats anchored on the banks of the Sava and Danube Rivers into bars and nightclubs (each called Splav). It is the address in Belgrade for listening to music and dancing until the morning. There’s action and fun here every night of the week.

You can listen to live or DJ music, dance and enjoy the nightlife in any of the “Splavs” here, but the most popular option is located north of the Brankov Bridge in the new Belgrade District and south of the Old Sava Bridge in the old Belgrade.

Enjoy the waters of Ada Ciganlija

Ada Ciganlija is a peninsula whose natural state has been preserved even though it is in the center of the city. Located on the Sava River, the area is actually a kind of summer resort where the locals of the city prefer to sunbathe and swim.

On any hot day, Ada Ciganlija is full of hikers, canoeers on the lake, and people who play tennis, basketball and other sports. However, the main attraction that attracts people to the island is its pebble beach and its social life, which is shaped around this beach, full of cafes and restaurants.

In short; If you’re visiting the city in the summer, don’t forget to add Ada Ciganlija to your list of things to do in Belgrade and pack your swimsuits in your suitcase.

Take a boat trip on the Danube River

Belgrade is a city built on not just one but two intersecting rivers. Naturally, it could not be more natural and more beautiful than taking a boat tour in such a geography and watching the city over the water.

You can see the old Belgrade, where Kalemegdan and Belgrade Fortress are located, as well as the -relatively- new Zemun Region, and take unique photos with the 1-2 hour boat tours mostly on the Danube (Danube) River.

If you wish, you can also sign up for the boat tour.

Belgrade Boat Tour: Watching, photographing and enjoying the most magnificent structures of the city from the river during the boat tour on the Danube River, which lasts for about 2 hours, is one of the activities we would definitely recommend you do when you visit the city.

Catch a show at the National Theatre

Belgrade is known for its cultural heritage and if you want a piece of that, you should definitely try to catch a performance at the National Theatre.

The National Theatre, opened in 1869 on Republic Square, is an important part of Belgrade’s cultural life. The building, which was built similar to La Scala Opera in Milan, is a place where you can watch performances such as opera and ballet at extremely affordable prices, or you can visit the inside of the building, the stage and the backstage during the day.

The performances on display here start at $10, and if you’re interested, you can find them on the official website of the upcoming shows.

Shop at Zeleni Venac Market

If you like shopping, and we think you should like it because the city is much more affordable compared to other European cities, you should add shopping at Zeleni Venac Market to your list of things to do in Belgrade.

In fact, there are a few street markets in Belgrade, but Zeleni Venac, which has been established since 1847, is the richest in terms of both its central location, the opportunity to find more affordable products than others, and its product variety.

The market, which you can reach with a 5-minute walk from Knez Mihailova Street, is open every day between 6 AM and 7 PM. Zeleni Venac, where you can find food and beverage, ready-made clothing, accessories, small electrical appliances and decoration objects, is also a place where you can take some wonderful photos.

Check out the food at Betonski Brod

Have you ever eaten in an unusual place? If your answer is no, then the former Nazi ship, Betonski Brod, which has been converted into a restaurant, may be a new and different experience for you, so you can include it in your plans for what to do in Belgrade.mIt was built by the Germans during World War II and finally appeared in Belgrade. Betonski Brod, which serves as a restaurant and cultural center during the summer months, is an ideal option to have a pleasant evening with its delicious view, interesting story and menu consisting of delicious options.

Visit one of Belgrade’s numerous museums

If you are one of those who want to not only have fun but also develop themselves culturally or learn different things while traveling, visiting a brand new city, Belgrade will satisfy you with its rich museum alternatives.

Here are some of the best museums of Belgrade:

Serbian National Museum (Narodni Muzej): Located in the Republic Square, the museum has a collection that sheds light on the history of Serbia with works of art and objects dating from ancient times to the 20th century.

Museum of Applied Arts: A museum where functional products made of metal, textile, wood or other materials are handled and exhibited from an artistic point of view.

Nikola Tesla Museum:  The museum, where details of the inventions and private life of the famous Serbian scientist Nikola Tesla, to whom we owe almost everything we use today, thanks to electricity, is perhaps the most important museum of the city.

Contemporary Art Museum (Muzej Savremene Umetnosti): Focusing on twentieth and twenty-first century Yugoslav art, the museum is located near the Branko Bridge and showcases the works of some of the most provocative artists in the field, such as Marina Abramovic and Petar Dobrovic.

Performing Arts Museum: The Performing Arts Museum, where posters, photographs and many other documents on the Yugoslav Theater are exhibited, is one of the extraordinary museums in Belgrade.

Belgrade Military Museum: The Military Museum in Kalemegdan, located in the Belgrade Fortress, is a museum where weapons used in different eras and wars are exhibited, and the most important works in its collection are Turkish armor and swords from the period when Serbia was under Ottoman rule.

Those who are really interested in this subject can also take into their programs the Belgrade City Museum where the works of Serbian painters are exhibited, the Ethnography Museum focusing on Serbian culture, the African Arts Museum with exhibitions on African arts, the Aviation Museum, the Railway Museum and the Yugoslavia Museum.

Enjoy the Serbian Sausage (Cevapcici)

How can a visit to any city be complete without tasting the local delicacies? The national dish of the country is the Kapakcigi which is a delicious sausage which is made in Serbia only.

This sausage made from minced meat is served with raw onions. Only in Serbia, this dish is made with beef or pork.

Apart from this, other local delicacies you can taste are kajmak (cream) and pljeskavica (meatballs of the cevapcici).

Drink some Serbian wines or Serbian raki.

If you are a drinker or a lover of alcohol, you should also taste local Serbian wines and Serbian raki in Serbia. Serbian wines, usually made from grapes of Fruska Gora, Karlovci and Novi Sad Region, are among the ones you should try, even if they are not of the quality of an Italian or French wine, because of their affordable price and local taste. However, if you really grow a liking towards Serbian wine, no other wine would do for you. If you want to try this flavour, you should taste the white wines made from the most local product, Temjanika grapes.

With 60% alcohol content, Serbian raki is an ideal local delicacy for those who love this drink.

So those were some of the best things to do in Belgrade, Serbia. If you are planning a trip there, this post should help you have a fantastic time there. 

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