Things to do in Belgrade – Serbia

Belgrade is the capital city of Serbia, a city with a very turbulent history, one of the oldest in Europe. The first settlements on the territory of Belgrade date back to 4,800 BC.

Belgrade is a city that has been ruined and rebuilt for centuries, and a city that lies on the banks of two great rivers. Belgrade cannot be described in a few words.

This is a place of great tradition, good food, drinks, music and film festivals, old craft shops, promenades, discos, nightclubs, historical monuments, and museums. This is the home where great writers, artists, actors, scientists, and great athletes were born.

Emerging at the confluence of the Sava and the Danube, Belgrade has an extraordinary geographical position.

The rivers have divided the city into three parts so that there are four large beaches, five river islands, and six bridges with a beautiful view.

Belgrade area covers seven larger forests and eight parks.

There are places in Belgrade that you must see and feel. Streets, squares, monuments, parks, fountains, archeological sites, and other sights that deserve a recommendation. Many of them have been declaring as a cultural asset.

Below, read more about Belgrade and the attractions that this beautiful city offers to its residents and visitors. You will soon decide that your next travel destination will be Belgrade.

Must do

It is usually very difficult to make the right choice because Belgrade is a city that offers a lot. We will single out for you a few indispensable things that you must-do if you travel to Belgrade.

Belgrade Fortress

This phenomenal fortress was built in the first century, first as a wooden palisade with earthen ramparts, and for centuries it developed into a Roman “castrum”, a Byzantine castle, a medieval fortress and finally an Austrian artillery fortress.

Located within “Kalemegdan Park”, this fortress has an upper and lower city with a handful of cultural and historical institutions such as the Military and Natural History Museum, the Observatory, Pobednik (“The Victor”), the Zoo, churches and the Tomb of National Heroes.

The fortress itself has 13 gates as well as 5 towers that were strategically built to defend against the enemy lurking from the water and land. The Belgrade Fortress is under the protection of the Republic of Serbia.

Museum “Nikola Tesla”

The Nikola Tesla Museum. Was founded in 1957, in a house that was built back in 1927. In this museum, you will find everything about his inventions and contributions to electricity and magnetism. You will also find a lot of authentic documentation about Tesla’s inventions.

In 1951, all personal documentation and the property of the great Nikola Tesla was transferred from America to Belgrade. Photographs, books, paintings, drawings, and more are housed in this museum.

Get to know Belgrade by the river

The ideal way to get to know this city is by boat cruise. Cruising the Sava and the Danube allows you to see Belgrade from another angle, to get to know its beauties by a light boat ride. A special experience is cruising in the afternoon when the sunsets. The scenes you experience then will stay in your memory for a long time.

Visit the Bohemian Quarter

Serbs are known in the world for their hospitality and immediacy. And where will you experience it better than in a real Serbian tavern! According to many fellow citizens and tourists, the best cafes and restaurants are in the Bohemian Quarter, Skadarlija. This neighborhood has managed to withstand all the changes that the modern age brings, keeping the look of streets and cafes, as it did 150 years ago. Skadarlija can be proud of the fact that regular visitors were intellectuals and artists such as Duro Jaksic, Branislav Nikolic, Laza Kostic, and others.

Stop by the Jevremovac Botanical Garden

Founded in the 19th century, it has over 2000 plant species and is a real little paradise for a vacation from the city noise, which the capital brings with it. As one of the largest open-air plant museums, it is an ideal place to relax and will leave an impression that you will remember for a long time.

The garden has a diverse plant fund of 1,000 plant species from different continents, a valuable herbarium, and a library with 13,000 library units.

What do I like best about my city?

I am proud of the fact that Belgrade abounds in large green areas, parks, forests, and walking paths along the rivers, where you can enjoy nature, clean air, and engage in various physical activities. And all that away from the city bustle. Also, what I love about my city is the hospitality, spontaneity, sociability, optimism, and smiling of the residents. If Belgrade is your next travel destination, you will convince of these features of Belgrade.

Belgrade Source: Flickr

Best Walk in Belgrade

Knez Mihailova Street

The most beautiful and oldest street in Belgrade, Knez Mihailova Street, was and remains a trademark of the capital. All the beauty of architecture, beautiful facades, many cultural events, but also a place of excellent food and entertainment are right here. Between Kalemegdan and Terazije, the most beautiful walking street has long been considered the epicenter of the history and culture of Belgrade.

With the renovation of the Roman and the construction of a new water supply system in the first half of the 16th century, the conditions for the settlement of this street began to emerge. The Turks are building mosques with busy neighborhoods so that after the arrival of the Austrians, they would be demolished to give the street a new-look following with the upcoming time.

Enriched with numerous shops, galleries, cafes, this street is one of the most visited in Belgrade. Knez Mihailova Street is a place that never sleeps. Even when the city falls asleep deep into the night, some faithful visitors in this street want to see even the smallest details of this symbol of Belgrade in peace.

Kalemegdan

The street connected to one of the oldest and the unique fortresses in the world, Kalemegdan. Belgrade Fortress is the biggest free attraction in the city and its gates are open non-stop, all year round. There is a pleasant environment waiting for you, a lot of history, culture, entertainment and places to relax. The history says over six million people have died in battles for supremacy over the fortress.

No matter which way you go, sooner or later, you will reach the symbol of the city. It’s the main tourist attraction, the monument to Victor. He sculpted this statue famous Yugoslav sculptor Ivan Mestrovic in 1928 and dedicated to the victory of Serbia in The Balkan Wars (1912-1913), the final victory over the Turkish Empire.

Kalemegdan Fortress defies time for centuries. Walking through the fortress and the park, visitors can see remains from different eras: from Roman, Turkish, to the present day. Thus, history lovers should set aside at least one whole day to get to know Kalemegdan. Also, this fortress offers an unforgettable view of the Sava and the Danube. The sunset in the places where you can see these two rivers from the fortress is something you should not miss.

Topcider Park

Topcider Park, the oldest in Belgrade, is located on the lush Topcider Hill, in whose greenery the Topcider River also drowns. In this idyllic landscape, the Serbian prince Miloscaron; Obrenovic built a residence for himself (Miloscaron’s residence), which later became the Court of the Principality of Serbia, and today is part of the History Museum of Serbia. Topcider remained a favorite picnic spot of Belgraders because of its beautiful nature, historical significance, and national cuisine restaurants.

Today, Topcider is more than a park, a picnic area that preserves an important part of the history of Serbia. The Topcider River, on which several wooden bridges have built, gives this park an exceptional charm. The romantic ambiance of the park is especially interesting for newlyweds. They visit this place before their wedding to take pictures or ride in a barouche and thus preserve the most beautiful memories of their “big day”.

Nearby is a beautiful lake inhabited by frogs and decorated with beautiful bridges. One of the biggest attractions of Topcider Park, which located in front of Miloscaron’s residence, is a large, ancient plane tree. This tree, protected as a natural rarity, is 44 meters high, its treetop is over 50 meters in diameter, and the shade it creates covers over 1400 m2.

Zemun Quay – the most beautiful Belgrade promenade

Zemun quay, which starts from the hill Gardoscaron and leads to New Belgrade. It is known as one of the most beautiful Belgrade promenades. Evidenced by the citizens of all generations who use their weekend, but also every sunny moment to relax and have fun on the Zemun quay.

The official name of the promenade is the Liberation Quay, and since it stretches along the Danube. The beauty of the river are what dominates it. Along the quay there are numerous apartments, as well as restaurants that offer a variety of specialties and refreshments with a phenomenal view of the river, swans, and boats floating on it.

Ada Ciganlija

The Belgrade river island, which in the past was known for imprisonment and executions, has been artificially turned into an attractive peninsula on the Sava River – Ada Ciganlija, in recent decades. Now it is a multifunctional recreational zone of Belgrade, accepted among the local population as the Belgrade Sea.

Ada is known for its beaches, it is equipped with all the necessary sports and infrastructure facilities. There are courts for various sports, water ski lifts, bungee jumping, paintball, artificial rock climbing, and much more.

Belgrade Source Flickr

Best Restaurants

Skadarska Street and the Bohemian Quarter, Skadarlija, is another place for which Belgrade is widely known, with top restaurants and cafes, where you can listen to the most beautiful old town and pub music, and where you can try the most delicious food in Belgrade and the best brandy (rakia) in the world. The most visited, are restaurants decorated in Serbian style that offer traditional cuisine.

Belgrade abounds in top restaurants of national, Mediterranean, Chinese, Mexican, Italian cuisine … The service is professional and rich. So if you travel to Belgrade, your sense of taste will be more than satisfied.

Oliva

Oliva Restaurant is a pioneer among vegan vegetarian restaurants in Serbia. If you want to try vegan cuisine, then recommend you to visit this beautiful place.

Bevanda

The family restaurant tavern Bevanda is a specialized fish restaurant serving seafood and seafood specialties.

Every day they procure shellfish, crabs, fish, and mollusks from the Adriatic, Ionian, and Mediterranean seas from Montenegro, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, and Italy.

If you are a fan of seafood specialties, then this is the right place for you.

Restoran Balasevic

Restaurant Balasevic is a real oasis of greenery and peace where you will enjoy the most delicious dishes, top wines, and quality music.

Best Music/Festival

BEMUS (music festival)

The Belgrade Music Festival (BEMUS) was founded in 1969. It is an international festival of classical music that takes place in the first half of October. It hosts some of the world’s most important musical names every year.

Thanks to the BEMUS festival, Belgrade hosted the Vienna and New York Philharmonic Orchestras, the Munich and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, the Beijing Opera, as well as numerous soloists and conductors from all over the world. During the festival, young musicians, who are at the beginning of their careers, also get the opportunity to express themselves.

Special attention is paid to the promotion of local artists and their creations.

Belgrade Beer Fest

The Belgrade Beer Festival found in 2003. It is held every year in August, and then Belgrade is visited by many lovers of beer, good music, and socializing. During all that time, over 450 beer brands presented at Beer Fest. Belgrade Beer Fest is also organizing months-long campaigns with strong social messages. It is to renew the awareness of alcohol users about its effects and a dangerous influence on driving under the influence of alcohol.

Guitar Art Festival

The festival nurtures a concept for the presentation of guitar music, values, and contemporary tendencies. With such a concept, but also with content that ideally chosen and built, Guitar Art Festival succeeds in its original motive, opening a window into the world of high music art.

It transfers that world to Belgrade, which is the world center of guitar and music events every March. Every year, Belgrade visited by the best guitar professors who work with students from all over the world.

FEST – International Film Festival

This festival is held every year in Belgrade, since 1971. FEST is open to all cinemas around the world, and all relevant authors. Also, here you can see films are not on the cinema’s repertoire. The audience get to know the names of famous directors for the first time.

FEST has main and accompanying programs related to this event. Visitors can enjoy a variety of publications, exhibitions, and symposia that complement the significance of this festival.

BITEF – Belgrade International Theater Festival

Since its founding in 1967, it has followed and supported the latest theatrical tendencies. Growing and developing, it has become one of the largest and most important European festivals.

In half a century, BITEF has overcome all political and cultural barriers and is successfully keeping pace with the rapid development of theatrical art. That is why the history of BITEF can be called the history of contemporary theater.

Science Festival

The Science Festival presents, explains and promotes science in a way that is equally close and clear to everyone, regardless of age and education.

The goal of the Science Festival is to affirm well-known and promote non-established scientists from domestic and foreign areas, but also to stimulate interest in science by a very simple demonstration of the fact how interesting, inspiring, and above all fun it is. The festival welcomes visitors of all ages with original scientific challenges, which enable participation in experiments, workshops, and lectures.

“Belgrade Jazz Festival”

This festival is traditionally held in October, and it was held for the first time back in 1971. What makes this event so authentic is the fact that it promotes not only proven domestic and world names in the jazz world, but also young hopefuls who see jazz as a future calling, thanks to their talent and desire for success.

Best Nightlife in Belgrade

Belgrade is a place known for its crazy nightlife. Belgrade’s nightlife was named “the best in Europe” in “The Times” and “CNN” in 2008, so we recommend you not to miss it.

In Belgrade, unlike other cities in Europe, the fun is great every night, as if it were Friday. Considering that there are numerous cafes, pubs, discos, restaurants, and casinos in the capital, but also that the Serbian people are traditionally hospitable, it will be easy for you to make contacts and acquaintances and spend a pleasant evening on one of the river rafts, bars or nightclubs in the city.

There are over 500 places in Belgrade where you can enjoy the music of all genres. There is numerous concerts and good fun at night. On the banks of the Sava and the Danube, there are many clubs, cafes, and restaurants that try to satisfy the taste of every visitor.

The repertoires of these places include various types of music with which guests have fun until the early morning hours. When it gets dark, the city lives with completely new enthusiasm. There are no tourists who did not remember Belgrade because of the best fun and crazy parties.

Splavovi/Rafts

The most important part of the nightlife of the capital takes place on rafts. These are clubs, anchored on the banks of the river Sava and Dunav, and they are something you should not miss in Belgrade.

Some of the best nightclub Rafts in Belgrade are:

  • “Acapulco”
  • “Konzulat Waterfront”
  • “Freestyler”

Nightclubs:

  • “The Bank”
  • “Hype”
  • “Brankow”

Best Day Trip Out of the City

Avala

Avala is the mountain closest to Belgrade. Only 17 km southeast of the city center. It’s a real oasis for recreationists, which offers enough challenges for a day trip.

Due to its historical value, the richness of flora and fauna, and the beauty of the landscape, Avala protected as a landscape of exceptional qualities. On the mountain, at its foot, deciduous forests and meadows dominate, in the south, coniferous plantations.

In addition to numerous parks for the youngest, a trim trail for walking and recreation, and a restaurant serving national cuisine. One of the mountain’s biggest attractions is certainly the Avala Tower. It is a 205-meter-high telecommunication tower. It has a restaurant at a height of 120 meters, which offers a magnificent view of Belgrade.

Nautical Village “Biser”

The nautical village of Biser consists of 16 houses on the water, beaches on the quiet bank of the Sava, and promenades. It is located in the village of Boljevci, near Surčin, about 35 minutes’ drive from Belgrade.

Be sure to try the river fish specialties, take a walk along the landscaped path, or simply enjoy with the children on the playground.

Belgrade Source Flickr

Something interesting that not many travelers would know about Belgrade

  • To the bottom of the well and back there are 212 steps arranged in two spirals so that those who descend and those who climb do not meet and do not interfere with each other while carrying heavy containers of water. The well is as deep as 62 meters, which is 10 meters lower than the lowest point in Belgrade.
  • below the Church of St. Mark on Tasmajdan there is the deep cave, from where a stone was extracted in Roman times, which used for various purposes, most often to make sarcophagi, and which were later excavated at various locations in Belgrade.
  • according to historians, the first cafe in Europe was opened in Belgrade, in 1522.
  • What numerous tourists do not know is that they can attend the “Jugo” tour, in which they will be introduced to the rise and fall of the former state of Yugoslavia. 4 tours are in English language, tourists are dressed in pioneer scarves that were part of the characteristic costume in the former communist state that no longer exists today.
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