The capital of Serbia, Belgrade, is full of impressive things to do. This country also has very rich history. If you are planning a visit to Belgrade, one spot you simply need to put on your list, is Skadarlija, the bohemian heart of Belgrade.
Skadarlija is a street, but not just a street – it is historic, bohemian street with lots to eat and see. Let me introduce you this unique place.
Skadarlija is a major tourist attraction, located in the Old Town (Stari Grad). It is just a short walk away from the Knez Mihailova and the Republic Square. The street itself is a little cobblestoned promenade, long only 400m! This charming street has been even likened to Montmartre district in Paris.
Skadarlija is packed with history and fun things to do. It dates back to the 19th century when gypsy caravans came and set up shops to sell all forms of artisan products. Skadarlija later established itself as an artist’s community. It was named after the Albanian city of Shköder and has been known as Skadarlija since then. Much of the old architexture has remained in place, so that’s why this place gives you the sense of stepping into the past.
This place is packed with restaurants, souvenir shops and antique stores. Along the streets you will see many musicians and artist doing their business.
Be sure to check out the Sebilj fountain, which was a gift from Sarajevo.
The main draw of visiting Skadarlija is the restaurants and you will find out that many eateries are bursting both day and night. Most people visit this place for the vibe too and that is something that you should definitely do. It is traditional, vibrant and busy, but still very laid back. It is a unique place for sure!
Restaurants & bars
Skadarlija is one of the tourist places that do not equate to poor food. Many of the restaurants are traditional and the vibe definitely takes you back in time. So does the interior. This is the perfect place to go sample authentic Serbian dishes – you will find lots of grilled meats, some vegetable dishes and you will enjoy in drinking beer (pivo) and local specialty, rakija.
The food there is not overpriced and Skadarlija is a very good place to stop for a dinner after a long day of exploring Belgrade.
Skadarlija comes to life in the late afternoon/evening and it stays like this for many hours. If you want to make sure that you find a table, get there early in the evening or even better, make a reservation in advance. The restaurant are always busy, regardless of the day. People in Belgrade really know how to enjoy in life!
There are many places to try the Serbian cuisine, so I will give you a suggestion, based on my visit.
Restaurant Dva Jelena is one of the oldest and most popular places in Skadarlija. It was established in the 1832. If you want bohemian feel while you enjoy in food and drinks, this is one of the best spots to visit. The food choice is huge and there are local musicians entertaining you as you eat. If you are not sure about foods you want to try, just ask the staff and they will give you recommendations. Consider ordering several plates, so you can share food with your travel companion or you can try different foods, even if you are traveling solo. They can even make you 1/2 portion, so you can try more of it.
If I would have more time to spend in Belgrade, I would also love to try food from Šešir Moj, which is a super-popular place or from Tri Šešira, which also has a very long tradition – it exists from 1864!
READ ALSO – Belgrade Food Guide
Nightlife in Skadarlija
Looking for a place to have fun after having delicious dinner? Many of the bars & restaurants along the street serve Serbian rakija. This is a strong, traditional alcoholic beverage. It is made from the the distillation of fermented fruit. It usually has an alcohol content of 40-65%. The best rakija you can drink, is homemade rakija. You can sample a few different flavors during your visit to Serbia. You can have a rakija or two here, in Skadarlija and later you can head to one of many bars & nightclubs in Belgrade. The nightlife in Belgrade is really strong and I truly believe that you will have a great time.
One fun part of Skadarlija is certainly the live music. It is very likely that you will experience live music in the streets. There are many musicians, dressed in the old bohemian garb, playing accordions and flutes and singing in the streets. Perfect ambiance!
So, when are you going to visit Belgrade and head to Skadarlija?