I love discovering new places around the world, especially those that are slightly off the usual touristy bucket list. Belgrade is definitely a great choice to get away from the tourists crowds and meet real travellers who go there to find some of the most hospitable people in the European continent and some great things to do in the capital city. I stayed in Belgrade for a week and here are some things I’ve done and would definitely recommend you to do!
1- Nikola Tesla Museum
Belgrade is proud of Nikola Tesla’s achievements and huge contribution to the modern alternating current (AC) electricity system. The museum pays tribute to him and have an interesting and very interactive exhibition. There are tours in Serbian and English during the day. I joined the latest tour of the day which was in Serbian but demonstrations are quite visual so I still learnt a lot. Even some Serbian,… Hvala!
2- St Sava Temple
This is a glorious Orthodox church and one of the biggest of its kind in the world. From its location it definitely dominates Belgrade’s skyline and is without any doubt one of the must-sees in Serbia. I went there during the Orthodox New Year celebrations so it was really entertaining to see the fireworks display at midnight and party with locals.
3- Mingle with locals
Serbians are very friendly and hospitable. I found it easy to interact with them and they had a great interest to hear more about me and my country. They never let me pay for myself when we go for a bite or drink, and they always offer you Rakja, the national drink.
4- Kalemegdan Fortress
I took a walking tour with Belgrade Walking Tours that focuses on a visit of the fortress that is right at the end of Knez Mihailova, the pedestrian street. The meeting point for the tour is actually Republic Square. The Fortress had so much history and hidden secrets. The walking tour guide took us underground and it is another world inside. Even another city! From a tunnel to the other we found ourselves at some point in an art gallery that used to be an underground club before, very famous with locals few years ago.
5- Savamala Riverside
Belgrade is where the Danube and Sava rivers meet. So its riverside is quite developed to accommodate locals for a pleasant walk or a meal at a restaurant by the river. I had lunch at Cantina de Frida, it’s a Spanish/Latino restaurant with great food. At night, I went to a splav (boat club) for a couple of hours to see what is the night life like by the river (or on the river!).
6- Skadarljia’s Kaffanas
This street is preserving all its Bohemian vibes from years ago. It is a delight to walk there. I had Serbian food at Sesis Moj which I totally fell in love with! At night, it becomes a great spot for party with its bars and restaurants, named by locals as Kaffanas where they drink homemade Rakjia and usually play live Balkan music.
7- Museum of Yugoslav History
Serbia used to be part of Yugoslavia for many years. It was considered as a powerful country in the region that didn’t align with the USA nor the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The Museum of Yugoslav History has a great collection that testifies of the achievements of the Yugoslav Republic. The museum is also home to Tito’s grave, the man that ruled this Balkan state. Belgrade Walking Tour does a tour there starting at Republic Square from where we took a public bus.
8- Zemun Tour
Zemun is now part of Belgrade but it used to be a separate town so there is definitely something different about it, it is now considered to be the oldest neighbourhood of Belgrade! A must check! I enjoyed walking there on an very nice evening and the best thing to do is to climb up to Hariseva Chapel on Gardos Hill for an amazing view over Zemun and further, Belgrade.
9- Nikola Pasic Square
Massive square in front of the big parliament of Serbia which proves the great influence of Belgrade as capital of ex-Yugoslavia. A walk around the garden is also pleasant. You can also find the Old and New Royal palaces.
10- Knez Mihailova Street
This pedestrian street is busy at anytime of the day. It is full of retail stores so it must be excellent for shopping! It is also great for a night out and eating out. Not far from it can be found Republic Square, an iconic square in the life and history of Belgrade.