Answering the question “what to do in Belgrade?” isn't that hard as the capital of Serbia has a long history, dating back to the 4th century BC and many sights to discover. I highlight the top things to do and see in Belgrade in this tiny weekend travel guide.
Like the neighboring countries also Serbia has a very eventful history especially due to the fact that Belgrade has been once the capital of Yugoslavia. Nowadays Belgrade is characterized by change and modernization which leads to a high dynamic and an interesting mixture.
The location of Belgrade is also very unique: right at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers it offers wide green spaces at the river banks to relax. Altogether perfect conditions for a weekend trip, don't you think?
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1) What to do in Belgrade
The following list of things to do in Belgrade is my personal selection of recommendable activities and sights which you can easily fit into a 1-2 day stay in the city.
a) Belgrade Fortress – Kalemegdan
The fortress is one of the most important landmarks and also the symbol of the city. Due to it's strategic location it has been very important in the past and was involved in many wars.
Almost every ruler changed the structure of the fortress and you can see those different influences until today. You can access it for free and also enjoy the many green spaces as it serves as one of the big parks in the city with great views to the Danube und Sava.
b) Novi Beograd
Actually this quarter of Belgrade is characterize by concrete buildings but it also is home to the most parks in the city and directly connected to the old town via a bridge.
Especially the river shore and the park in the south (opposite to the fortress) are the perfect getaway from the hectic center. Often big open air concerts take place right there in summer.
One of the oldest quarters in town is also the Bohéme place to be – many Serbian artists used to live and work in those houses along the cobblestone streets. It is here where you find the best Kafanas (traditional restaurants) in Belgrade.
d) The Cathedral of Saint Sava
This church sits on a small hill in the city and is visible throughout the whole city due to it's location. It is the largest church in South-East Europe and one of the largest Orthodox Church buildings in the world. Wow.
You can get there on foot from the inner city, especially at night it is pretty impressive. The church still is partially under construction but you can visit the northern part.
e) Republic Square
Many sights are located around the central square of Belgrade: the Statue of Prince Mihailo III (on a horse), the national theatre and the national museum. Moreover the Knez Mihailova starts here which is the central promenade and shopping street.
f) Belgrade Free Tour
This free walking tour is simply the best option to get to know all the important sights in the city center and to learn more about the history of the city as well as interesting facts.
Though we have been only 2 people on the tour our guide took a lot of time and effort to show us all the important parts of the city – very sympathetic and recommendable!
When & Where: Tuesday, Friday and Sunday at 14h, Republic Square (in front of the clock)
Price: free (pay what you want at the end)
2) Restaurants & Bars
You can find a wide selection of restaurants in Belgrade, often we went for the recommendations we got from locals at the Hostel and the Free Tour mentioned above. Nevertheless we mostly went for snacks and only got to check out 2 restaurants.
In general the Kafanas at Skadarlija are the best places in town if you want to eat the local food.
a) Sesir Moj
A very good Kafana in Skadarlija with various local dishes. Often you can listen to live music – great atmosphere and lovely service.
Address: 21 Skadarska Street
b) Rakia Bar
At this bar we got introduced to the history and process of the national drink ‘Rakia' and tried the various sorts accompanied by little snacks. Very recommended as the service has been great…but you should have a good dinner before 😉
Address: 5 Dobracina Street
3) Accommodation in Belgrade
The ArkaBarka Floating Hostel is located right on the Danube on a house boat. How cool is that?
Moreover the interior is very cozy and it comes with free WiFi, a terrace, breakfast, free bike rental and a sauna (!). You can either stay in a dorm or a private.
You can book your stay and check out more information on ArkaBarka's page on Booking
4) Connections & Where to go next
Beside a big bus station Belgrade is accessible by train and air transport (good connections within Europe). Therefore Belgrade is also a great spot as starting or end point of a Balkan Trip!
to Bosnia & Herzegovina: There is a regular bus connection to Sarajevo with several stops in between. The trip takes 7-8h and costs around 20€.
to Bulgaria: Instead of the night train I highly recommend booking a flight in advance as there are cheap options between Belgrade and Sofia!
to Croatia: There are various regular bus connections to Zagreb, the ride takes 6 hours.
For more bus connections you should checkout Balkanviator, the bus tickets can be bought in the tour agencies (ask at the receipton of your hotel) or at the bus station prior your trip. Make sure to show up a bit ahead of your departing time.
What to do in Belgrade? Your tips?
If you have more recommendations please tell us your tips in the comments!
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