Belgrade, or Beograd as it is called in the local language, is the capital of Serbia and the confluence point of the Sava and Danube rivers. Famous for the night life, the city actually has a lot more to offer.
Here is a list of top things to do in Belgrade.
Visit the largest Orthodox church in the world
St. Sava Cathedral is the largest Orthodox church in the world. Dedicated to Saint Sava, the founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church, it actually dates back to the 19th century. Still under construction today, it has been mostly completed within the recent years.
With a surface area of 3,500 m², it is located on the Vračar plateau where Saint Sava was burned by the Ottoman Grand Vizier Sinan Pasha in 1595. Today, as the memorial of St. Sava, the church stands as a magnificent work of architecture.
Have dinner like a local in Skadarlija
Skadarlija is a special street nearby the city center, popular among both tourists and locals. Often referred as the Montmartre of Belgrade, it is full of colors. During dinner, you can enjoy Balkan foods as well as live music in the area.
Dva Jelena is a personal favorite of mine. Founded in 1852 – almost as old as the St. Sava Cathedral! – the restaurant serves truly traditional Serbian foods in a traditional Balkan atmosphere. For a full Serbian experience, the place is highly recommended.
Wander around the Kalemegdan
On a sunny day, Kalemegdan is probably one of the busiest spots in Belgrade. It refers to the Belgrade fortress and the surrounding area including the park.
Built around 379 BC, Kalemegdan is the most visited attraction in the city. With splendid river views, historical architecture and green trees located in the park, it surely is worth wandering around.
Taste Serbian coffee during the day and rakija in the evening
One cannot complete the full Serbian experience without trying out the specialties – especially the Serbian coffee and rakija.
Serbian coffee is similar to the Turkish coffee, if not the same. It is difficult to name an owner and maybe it’s a sensitive subject, so it seems best to be diplomatic about it. It is Serbian coffee in Serbia, Greek coffee in Greece and Turkish coffee in Turkey. Regardless, it is made in a small pot called cezve, usually served with a delight and some water in a tiny glass.
Rakija, on the other hand, is a fruit flavored spirit with 40% of alcohol, distilled twice. Be it plum, honey, pear, anise, walnut or cherry rakija, it is a must-try in Belgrade while the choice remains hard among so many different flavor options.
Enter the world of a genius at Nikola Tesla Museum
Apart from the airport, Nikola Tesla Museum is yet another place dedicated to the Serbian scientist who contributed to the development of the alternating-current electrical system.
If this sounds a bit too complex, the interactive museum of Nikola Tesla makes it much more simple. While tour guides explain all the science behind Tesla’s discoveries, visitors also get a chance to experiment and play with electricity!
Shop at Knez Mihaelova
Knez Mihaelova is the avenue in the city center where shops and cafes are mostly located. Following this avenue, you might as well end up in Kalemegdan, too!
Quite crowded during the evenings and weekends, it is probably the hottest spot in Belgrade. That being said, it’s also the place where you can find all the mainstream stores as well as local brands to shop.
Party on the Danube river
Belgrade has its reputation for a reason. Despite all you can eat, see and buy in Belgrade during the day and the evening, the city still has some more to offer at night.
Across the whole city, you may find clubs open until the morning and full with people. While most of the night life scene is chic and luxurious, the variety of places is astonishingly large for a relatively small city. Among these alternatives, the clubs on the river – open during warm months – seem to present a more exotic experience: you get to dance on the Danube!