Are you a traveler looking for a unique and joyful adventure? Look no further than Belgrade, the vibrant capital of Serbia! This hidden gem offers a wealth of cultural experiences, stunning architecture, and warm hospitality. From the picturesque Kalemegdan Fortress to the bustling Skadarlija Street, Belgrade is full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, a solo female traveler or simply seeking new adventures, Belgrade has it all. Keep reading to find about the best things to do in Belgrade.
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From historical landmarks to vibrant street art
One of the main reasons why Belgrade should be on every wanderluster’s bucket list is its fascinating history. From the ancient Roman ruins to the Ottoman Empire’s influence, Belgrade is like a living museum where you can walk through centuries of history.
Belgrade is home to a plethora of historical landmarks that will transport you back in time. From the grandeur of the Belgrade Fortress to the elegance of St. Sava Temple, each landmark tells a story of the city’s rich past.
But Belgrade isn’t all about history; it’s also a city bursting with creativity and art. As you stroll through the charming streets, you’ll come across vibrant street art that adds a splash of color to the city’s walls. These captivating murals and graffiti pieces beautify the streets. Also they serve as a form of expression for local artists.
Taste the flavors of Serbia
No journey through Belgrade is complete without experiencing the mouthwatering delights of Serbian cuisine. From hearty stews to delectable pastries, Serbia’s culinary scene is a true hidden gem waiting to be explored. With a burgeoning food scene, Belgrade is a treat for every foodie out there. From traditional Serbian cuisine to international flavors, you’ll find a wide range of delicious dishes to satisfy your taste buds.
One of the must-try dishes is ćevapi. This is a traditional Serbian meat dish made of minced beef or pork. It is served with freshly baked bread and a side of ajvar, a flavorful red pepper dip. Another local favorite is pljeskavica, a grilled meat patty (sometimes stuffed with cheese or other fillings), served with a variety of toppings.
But the gastronomic journey doesn’t end there. Serbia is also known for its rich dairy products, such as kajmak, a creamy and tangy cheese spread, perfect for spreading on warm bread.
After satisfying your hunger, it’s time to quench your thirst like a true Belgrader. Head to one of the local kafanas, traditional Serbian taverns, to enjoy a rakia or two. This strong fruit brandy is a beloved staple in Belgrade, and no visit here is complete without trying it.
If you’re looking for a place where you can combine delicious food with rakija and music, head to one of Skadarlija’s restaurants. Skadarlija is the bohemian heart of Belgrade and you should not miss it!
Furthermore, Belgrade’s nightlife is legendary, and for good reason. The city comes alive after dark, with countless bars, clubs, and live music venues scattered across its streets. Whether you’re into jazz, electronic music, or traditional Serbian folk music, you’ll find a venue to suit your taste.
Connect with the warm-hearted locals
One of the most enriching aspects of exploring Belgrade is its vibrant cultural diversity and the warm-hearted locals who welcome visitors with open arms. Serbia’s history and geographical location have shaped a truly unique blend of traditions, customs, and languages.
As you wander through the city streets, you’ll encounter friendly faces and a lively atmosphere. This lively energy is contagious! Engage in conversations with the locals and immerse yourself in their stories, beliefs, and passions. You’ll find that they are eager to share their knowledge and introduce you to their heritage.
Take part in traditional folk music and dance performances. The infectious rhythms will have you clapping and tapping your feet in no time. The locals’ zest for life is contagious, and you might find yourself joining in spontaneous celebrations and festivals that showcase the colorful tapestry of Serbian traditions.
Whether it’s through shared meals, lively discussions, or their genuine hospitality, the locals will give you a true glimpse into their way of life. Soak up their warmth and embrace the cultural diversity that makes this city an unforgettable destination. Locals love to socialize, and you’ll often find them gathered in parks, cafes, and open-air markets, enjoying each other’s company. Maybe they will even invite you to join in a game of chess or to share a shot of rakia, a traditional Serbian brandy.
Start your journey at the iconic Kalemegdan Fortress, where you can capture breathtaking views of the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. The fortress itself provides a historical backdrop for your photos with its ancient walls and well-preserved architecture. Explore its ancient walls, wander through the park, and visit the Military Museum for a fascinating glimpse into Serbia’s military history. When you are visiting the Kalemegdan, you have to visit also the Saint Petka’s Chapel. This is a lovely little church that connects the lower and upper parts of the Belgrade fortress.
From Kalemegdan, head towards the city centre and walk along Knez Mihailova, one of the most popular streets. The Knez Mihailova street stretches from Republic Square to Kalemegdan Fortress and the park, and is lined with many shops and cafés where you can eat or drink if you want to relax and enjoy the city. At the beginning of Knez Mihailova Street, you will see a huge open space, the Republic Square. Republic Square in Belgrade is the central place where people in Belgrade meet when they go out or have a cup of coffee with friends and family. It is also the venue for the annual Belgrade Christmas Market.
Another must-see spot is the St. Sava Temple (Hram Svetog Save), one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world. With its grand architecture and stunning interior, this religious landmark is a sight to behold. On your way to St. Sava Temple make a stop in the patisserie Fini and pamper yourself with one of the most delicious pastries in Belgrade.
For a taste of modern art and architecture, head to the Belgrade Waterfront, a newly developed area showcasing innovative design and sleek skyscrapers. The contrast of old and new makes it a unique place.
If you’re a fan of colorful street art, don’t miss the Savamala neighborhood, known for its vibrant murals and graffiti. Every wall in this artistic district tells a story, and you’ll find endless opportunities to capture urban beauty.
One of the must-visit places in Belgrade is Skadarlija, already mentioned above. Skardarlija is the oldest street in Belgrade – it’s the bohemian heart of the capital. But it’s getting pretty touristy already.
Belgrade also has one more neighborhood (this one is less touristy) that needs to be visited – Zemun. The Celts and Romans left their mark there, and it was ruled by Hungarians, Habsburgs and Turks. Although it has been officially part of Belgrade since 1934, it has remained a place within the city. Life is slower there and there is a different vibe. The symbol of the “city” is the Gardoš Tower, built by the Hungarians.
☕ There are some lovely cafés and restaurants there. Here are some of my recommendations:
- Cafeteria Gardoš
- Tio Gelato
- Gardoš Pub
For nature lovers, Ada Ciganlija island offers a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Surrounded by the Ada Lake, this oasis is perfect for capturing serene landscapes, wildlife, and even water sports.
Bonus: Discover the breathtaking landscapes of Serbia
Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the breathtaking landscapes and natural wonders that Serbia has to offer. From rolling mountains to sparkling rivers, this country is a haven for nature lovers. Head over to the beautiful Djerdap National Park, where you’ll be mesmerized by the towering cliffs and the stunning views of the Danube River. Take a hike through the lush forests of Tara National Park. Breathe in the crisp mountain air as you marvel at the scenic vistas.
For a truly unique experience, visit the mesmerizing Uvac River Canyon, known for its meandering curves and vibrant turquoise waters. Hop on a boat and embark on a peaceful journey through this hidden gem.
Serbia’s natural wonders will leave you in awe and offer a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Navigating Belgrade like a pro
First and foremost, make sure to take advantage of the city’s public transportation system. The buses and trams are a convenient and affordable way to get around, and they’ll take you to all the major attractions. Don’t forget to buy a rechargeable swipe card – it’ll save you time and money. For this, you will need a Belgrade Card – you can get more information here.
Remember to take your time and soak in the city’s laid-back atmosphere. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle, but Belgrade is a city that values relaxation and enjoyment. So, grab a seat at one of the many outdoor cafes, sip on a coffee, and watch the world go by.
P.S.: be ready to spot some old trams and buses and be prepared that many vehicles don’t have air-condition and it can get pretty hot inside. It’s a Balkan vibe for sure 🙂
Belgrade is a city that will capture your heart from the moment you arrive. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture, it’s no wonder Belgrade has become a hotspot for wanderlusters seeking unique and memorable travel experiences. But perhaps what truly sets Belgrade apart is its warm and welcoming people.
In conclusion, Belgrade is a destination that should be on the of every wanderluster’s list. With its blend of history, culture, and friendly locals, it’s a city that will leave a lasting impression. So pack your bags, hop on a plane, and get ready to fall in love with Belgrade!