A Day in Belgrade : Serbia
It is quite amazing to think that less than 30 years ago there was a war going on in Serbia. I grew up with it being shown on the news, but I was young and didn’t pay much attention to the news so didn’t really understand what happened. During my tour of the Balkans I became more aware of how the history of war still is visible in these countries especially Serbia and Bonia and Herzegovina.
The local currency is the Serbian Dinar and there were plenty of money exchange and ATMs to get cash. The weather in May was sunny and then a storm hit so it turned quickly and boy when it rained it rained, not seen rain like that for some time.
How to get to Belgrade
I visited Belgrade as part of a group tour of the Balkans which I would recommend. It was the second stop on the tour, and I was still surprised at how cheap the Balkans are. We arrived by road from Sofia and crossing the border was hassle free.
There is an international airport Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport which has departures to many different counties the countries airline is Air Serbia but lots of other airlines fly in and out of Belgrade.
Belgrade Central Train Station offers international train journeys to several destinations so is another option of travelling into and out of Belgrade making it a great destination if you are exploring Eastern Europe as it has travel connections to other countries.
Getting around Belgrade
Belgrade is a walkable city and it has excellent bus and tram system although taxis are also cheap
How accessible is Belgrade
There are some cobbled streets but they are mainly flat and well paved in the main town. However side streets some were a little steep, there is a main pedestrianised area in the town though which is nice to stroll along and listen to buskers and see some local art being sold.
The fortress was also steep in parts but offered excellent views over the city
Things to see in Belgrade
It is quite hard to find information online about things to see in Belgrade and a lot of the information is not in English, hopefully as more tourists start visiting Belgrade much more information will become available.
If you are walking around looking at the sights keep an eye out for street art and if art is your thing there were a few artists selling their work at stalls and shops in the town which was nice to look around.
We had a walking tour included in our trip as our tour guide was from Belgrade, so it was nice to hear about the city from someone who lives there. I would recommend doing a tour if you want to find more about what you are looking at in the city. There is a communist tour which sounds interesting if you want to know more about the dark past of Belgrade.
Kalemegdan park and Belgrade fortress
Kalemegdan Park is wonderful to walk around. Here you will see the Belgrade Fortress and where the two rivers Sava and Danube meet.
While sailing south down the river you can make a wish such as to find the love of your life, you don’t need to throw money into the water, you just make your wish as you pass down the river.
On a sunny day you will find many locals and tourists walking through the park or sitting looking at the view over the rivers and city. There were also things to do in the park like archery.
It is free to explore a little steep in places but plenty of benches and places to have a rest.
You can also look at the Ruzica Church and Pobednik (The Victor) monument which overlooks the city. The statue currently leans a little to the right, but they are going to work on restoring him, so he doesn’t topple over. He was erected to commemorate Serbia’s triumph over both Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empire.
There was a land train going around the park which looked a great way to sit back and take in the view.
There are several boats on the rivers that are cafes and locals will escape to these in the summer to get the breeze from the river. They even have a beach ok its man-made on the river known as lake Seva but it’s very popular in the summer with sunbathers and water skiers.
The park is lovely to walk around I spotted the monument below
Church of St Sava
Church of Saint Sava is one of the world’s oldest Orthodox churches. It is a little out of the main town but still walkable and taxis are easy to get, use to get there and back. Try and get there for noon when the 50 bells will ring, you can visit inside as well as looking at the wonderful architecture of this huge building.
Nikola Telsa Museum
Nikola Telsa Museum is a great place if you are a fan of science as there are a few experiments you can try.
It is open daily apart from Mondays, but they have limited entrances so best booking online.
The clock tower in Belgrade is called the Sahat Tower and is on the Sahat gate of the fortress. You can go inside and climb the narrow staircase, but it is often closed as it is run by volunteers so don’t be disappointed if you get there and you can’t go inside as there is still pretty to look at from the outside.
Skadarlija Street is a cool bohemian street that used to be the gathering spots for poets and artists in the 19th and 20th century and is still a hip place to chill. This is the place to go for cafes and do a bit of people watching whilst having a coffee. There is a fountain, a mural, even all night bakeries and you might get to hear some folk music.
National Assembly Building
The National Assembly building is a huge architecture structure that is worth a visit to look at from the outside and spot the few sculptures. You can’t currently visit inside.
There a lot of interesting buildings to look at whilst walking around Belgrade, the architecture is interesting so take your time to look at what’s around when strolling about.
Gardo’s tower also known as Millennium tower is great to climb up for amazing views over the city. It was built in 1896 celebrate a thousand years of Hungarian settlement in the Pannonian plain. Be prepared for a hike if you want to see the views, it is not in the main town area and costs about 200 dinar to enter if you want to climb to the top.
Museum of Yugoslavia History
The Museum of Yugoslavia History is a public museum in Belgrade. The grave of Yugoslavia’s former leader, Josef Broz Tito is here.
Food and Drink in Belgrade
Food and Drink is so cheap in Belgrade you can have a huge evening meal with beer for around 10euros. Bear in mind though that smoking is still legal inside, we ate in a restaurant that was very busy and smoky as it was raining outside so everyone was sat inside. When there is seating outside it is not as noticeable.
It is safe to drink the tap water which is what I loved about the Balkans, meant I cut down on plastic waste as well as saving money as I just refilled my bottle at the hotel.
I had an ice-cream which was 390 Dinar for 3 scoops which is less than £3, definitely something nice to do when the sun is shining, I actually had quite a few ice creams when touring the Balkans and it is not something I have time to do as I am normally so busy cramming all the sightseeing in, but this trip was all organised for me so I just went with the flow for a change. I then went and looked at the street stalls, there were also a number of shops on the main street and little artists shops. Locals were strolling around and it was a nice place to do some people watching and listen to the buskers until the rain started when the streets then became deserted as everyone ran for cover.
I really enjoyed this restaurant and would recommend I had a delicious meal and beer for 10euros. It was really popular with locals as well and they have live music which gave it quite a party atmosphere and so many good choices on the menu.
Although there was a storm in the late afternoon and evening still a lot of people were eating out. We passed a number of restaurants that were busy and we ate in a very tasty restaurant that was any meat lovers dream they even had meats served on a sword.
Meat is definitely a must in Serbia, we had a few vegetarians in our group and they did manage to find dishes on the menu but the waiter did joke that Serbia is not the pace for vegetarians. Cheese is also common on a lot of things including salads, it was like a feta cheese and it was delicious I had chicken stuffed with it and mmmm was so good.
Belgrade is a great place to party and has several nightclubs and a number of late night bars.
Have you been to Belgrade, what did you think?
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