Belgrade is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Situated somewhere between the East and the West, it has always been an intersection of various cultures; it’s undoubtedly a modern European city, but with a lot of eastern, oriental influences. Tourists enjoy this exciting clash of cultures, as well as the city’s historical and cultural attractions, interesting architecture, the best nightlife in the Balkans, and an exciting art scene.
Emerging Belgrade Serbia Tourism Hotspots in the Balkans
Start your exploration of Belgrade by learning about its history; Belgrade Fortress is a key facility for understanding the city’s past. The oldest parts of the fortress date from the 13th century, and it was rebuilt and renovated many times. The Fortress is located on a strategically important high ground on which even the ancient Romans had built their military buildings.
The fort is nowadays a part of the biggest park in Belgrade, Kalemegdan, which is famous for its beautiful greenery and romantic atmosphere. Once you get tired of exploring the fortress, spend the afternoon by having a picnic on the grass of Kalemegdan, study the numerous monuments and sculptures standing in the park, and maybe even visit the city zoo, which is also there.
The Temple of St. Sava is the city’s biggest landmark. Built in 1985, it’s visually impressive with its white marble, domes, and an awe-inspiring height of over seventy meters. It was built on a plateau, meaning it’s visible from various parts of the city. Surrounding the temple are many trees, adding up to the atmosphere of calmness and serenity.
When you decide it’s time for something more urban, head down to Knez Mihailova street, Belgrade’s main pedestrian zone and its promenade; a place of many shops, cafes, restaurants, it’s practically the center of all life in Belgrade.
If you’re not interested in landmarks that much, go to Skadarska Street, or the “Skadarlija” as the locals usually call it: it’s the bohemian part of town, a destination for those who appreciate old-fashioned, traditional Serbian parties: liters of rakija, traditional food, live Gypsy music and the like. There are many taverns (the “kafana” in Serbian) which are important places for socialization (and drinking!) in Serbian culture.
The most popular nightlife destinations are the rafts on the Danube and Sava river: it’s the place to be in Belgrade, especially in the summer, with a variety of clubs suiting everyone’s taste: house, rap, techno, local folk music – it’s up to you to find the club you like, although it’s not really a night-out if you haven’t visited at least a few! A lot of people came to Belgrade for the nightlife alone – it’s both unusual and fun!
Most tourists stay at one of the numerous hotels located at Terazije Square, near the city center. Of course, Belgrade has dozens of hotels and hostels that vary in price and quality – virtually all have an online presence so you can find out everything you want to know there. It’s also possible to rent an apartment from locals, or find a place through a couch surfing website (a great way to meet locals, especially if you’re flexible and don’t need much when it comes to accommodation).
Belgrade is now visited by more than a million tourists a year, and the number continues to rise. It’s a town of fun, art, excitement, crazy parties, but green parks and historical buildings as well; with so much to offer, its popularity can only go up.