5 Things You Should Not Miss In Belgrade

5 Things You Should Not Miss In Belgrade

Over the past few years the capital of Serbia, Belgrade, has become increasingly popular with visitors who want to get a real taste of the Balkans.

Unfortunately there are not many guide books which cover this amazing city which makes it a bit difficult to plan a trip in advance.

Over the past five years I have spent quite a few months in Belgrade and if I had to come up with the five best things to check out for a first time visitor it would look something like this:

 

A Café

Belgraders love going for a coffee. You will find cafés on every corner and they are always packed with people. „Going for a coffee“ can easily mean sitting around for a few hours, chatting with friends, watching passers-by and being watched. Check out the various places on the central pedestrian Knez Mihailova street, the beautiful art-deco Hotel Moskva (Terazije 20), the distinctly 19th century „Ruski Car“ (Obilicev venac 29), or the alternative „Centrala“ (ul. Simina 6).

 

A Fast Food Place

Serbians love meat and they love their fast food places. Once you have tasted a typical Balkan burger you will never want to go back to the likes of McDonald's. Try a „gurmanska pljeskavica“ (beef patty with cubes of bacon and cheese worked in); there's nothing better after a night out. Recommended places: „Loki“ (corner of ul. Kralja Petra and ul. Gospodar Jovanova), „Sis“ (ul. Goce Delceva 27), „Stepin Vajat“ (ul. Vojvode Stepe 2I)

 

A Pub

Belgrade is renowned for its nightlife and what better way to start your night out than with a cool beer or a nice cocktail. Streets like Obilicev venac or Strahinica bana offer plenty of bars and pubs. The latter is dubbed „Silicone Valley“ for the high number of silicone-enhanced goods on display at night. If you're looking for something a bit more hidden, try to find „Klub Svetskih Putnika“ (also known as „The Federal Association of Globe Trotters“; bul. Despota Stefana 7). For a traditional atmosphere with gypsy music you will have to go to a „kafana“, e.g. „Blek panters“ (Ada Ciganlija).

 

A Club

When you've had a few drinks and the night is still young, then you should head out to the clubs. Definitely check out the rafts („splavovi“) on the Sava and Danube rivers. They are a bit mainstream and a bit more expensive but typical for Belgrade (popular ones include „Blaywatch“  or „Freestyler“; fair warning: do not chat up random girls in these places, this could end badly). If you're looking for a more alternative crowd check out the clubs in the centre, e.g. „Francuska Sobarica“ (ul. Francuska 12), „Siprazje“ (ul. Golsvordijeva 13) or „Corba Kafe“ (ul. Bra?e Krsmanovi?a 3; good live music).

 

Something Else

And now that I have talked in length about options for food and drinks I realize I should probably also recommend something that better fits the word „sight“. So, when in Belgrade these are the things to see: Kalemegdan Fortress, Temple of Saint Sava, Saint Marko's Church, Museum of Nikola Tesla, House of Flowers/Tito Memorial, Ada Ciganlija, Palace of Kneginja Lubica... phew, that's more than enough for a few days!

 

Written and contributed by Stefan Pfeuffer
www.pocketvillage.com

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