Belgrade is one of the oldest European capitals. Because of its location, it has been in the past a target of the eastern, northern and western invaders. Belgrade spreads around the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers, with Stari Grad (old town) on the east side.
TEMPLE OF SAINT SAVA
This is the largest Orthodox temple in the Balkans. The construction of the church began in 1935 and ended in 2004, although the interior decoration is not finished yet. It took longer than expected due to wars, poverty and the communist period. Built in the Serbo-Byzantine style, it is dedicated to St Sava, who was the founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The temple is built on the place where his remains were believed to be burnt by Turks. It is known for its polyphonic bells so try to go at a full hour to hear them.
SABORNA CRKVA SV ARHANGELA MIHAILA
Belgrade´s Orthodox Cathedral or Holy Archangel Michael Church is from the XIX century.
The facade with its golden icons is very pretty. Inside the Cathedral, the walls are gold decorated and some chandeliers hang from the ceiling. It has a big bell tower.
ST MARK´S CHURCH
Built between 1931 and 1940, it is one of the biggest churches in Belgrade. During the war, its decoration was abandoned and is still not finished, although there are some great pieces inside. Czar Dusan was buried there. There is a small Russian Orthodox Church next to St Mark´s church.
Of all the mosques that were built during the ottoman period, this is the only one that is still operating.
This synagogue, which is maintained by a small Jewish community, is the only one active in the whole country that survived after the Holocaust.
Kalemegdan is located in the top of a hill, overlooking the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. The views from the top are spectacular, especially around the sunset time. We suggest you go to Terassa Lounge to catch the best views of the towers.
The fortress was formerly an important military fortification. It was invaded more than 100 times and many people died defending their city from invaders. The Turks were the last invaders. After they left, trees were planted and monuments were constructed, making the fortress become the main park in Belgrade. One of those monuments is the 14 meter high “Victor”. It was built in 1928 by Ivan Mestrovic to commemorate Serbia’s victory over the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empire during the Balkan and First World Wars.
The area is well equipped with cafes, a zoo, picnic areas, tennis and basketball courts, Svetka Petka church and museums such as the Military Museum and the Gallery of Natural History Museum.
Local producers sell their high quality goods directly in this market. You can buy fruits and vegetables, hams and cheeses, and national delicacies such as sir (white cheese from cows’ milk) and kajmak (creamy dairy product similar to the clotted cream). There are also bakeries, patisseries, restaurants, small shops and a daily flea market with some bizarre souvenirs.
KNEZ MIHAILOVA STREET
Knez Mihailova is one of the most beautiful streets in Europe.
It is the main pedestrian street and it is full of cafes and nice shops. Apart from being the perfect spot for shopping, the street is a great example to see the beautiful buildings and facades constructed at the end of the 1870s when the Austro-Hungarian influence was at its best.
This is the most popular meeting place in Belgrade. It is full of cafes and restaurants.
This square is famous for the statue of Serbian Prince Mihailo on a horse, which was built in recognition of his achievements in the 19th century.
In this square there are two cultural buildings, the National Museum and the National Theatre.
Terazije Square is considered as one of the most important squares in Belgrade, and is used as a meeting point.
Around 200 years ago, several water towers stood on this place, but nowadays, only one fountain stands. This fountain was built in 1860 to celebrate the second rule of Prince Miloš Obrenović.
In this square there are two of the oldest Belgrade hotels, Balkan and Moskva.
Near the Fountain you will also see Albania Palace, which was constructed in 1937. It was the first Belgrade skyscraper and the highest building in the Balkans before World War II.
This is Belgrade´s old bohemian quarter. It is usually compared to Montmartre district in Paris.
It dates back to the late 19th century when writers, journalists, artists, actors and musicians used to meet in the kafanas (taverns and restaurants) to talk about the latest events and politics.
The main cobbled street is full of lively cafes and restaurants and classic kafanas serving traditional Serbian dishes. You will also see galleries and antique shops.
Due to the fact that Savamala was near the Sava River and the central railway station, Savamala was the centre for trade and commerce since the 19th century.
During the Second World War most of the historical buildings were destroyed and years after, it became a rundown district.
But in the last years, the inhabitants of Belgrade started to see the potential of Savamala as a creative district, so old warehouses have been turned into venues for musicians and alternative artists. Now the neighbourhood is enriched with murals, street art, clubs, creative industries and art galleries. Two important spaces are Mikser House and KC Grad. Mikser House is a mix between a workshop, an urban boutique, a place for concerts and other type of events like exhibitions. It has a very friendly environment and you can definitely feel the positive vibes. KC Grad organises debates and workshops.
The hip quarters in Belgrade are Dorćol, Lower Dorćol and Kosančićev Venac. Lower Dorćol has an industrial feel but is starting to become very hip due to its restaurants and cool bars.
Zemun is located north of New Belgrade overlooking the Danube River.
It is about 20 minutes from Belgrade´s city centre. To go to Zemun you can take buses 15, 17, 84, 701 or 704 from Zeleni Venac square, between the streets of Brankova and Prizrenska.
Formerly it was a separate town on the outskirts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire but now is a suburb of Belgrade. Zemun is known for its splavovi (floating clubs and restaurants) in Zemun Quay, which connects the area to New Belgrade. Zemun also has some exceptional fish restaurants.
For fantastic views of the city and the Danube, climb the 36-metre Gardos Tower. This Romanesque tower was built in 1896 by the Hungarians on the site of ruins of a medieval fortress.
Ada Ciganlija, also called “The Sea of Belgrade”, is an artificial lake in the centre of the city.
It is a great place for sports, enjoyment and recreation. Buses 23, 37, 52, 56 and 58 can take your there.
It was turned into a peninsula by human hands, leaving the Sava River on one side and the Sava Lake on the other side.
It has about 7 kms of pebbly beaches. Apart from swimming, there are plenty of other sports facilities. You can practice rowing, kayaking, water polo, windsurf, ride pedal-boats, ride a bike, play football, basketball, volleyball, handball, tennis, baseball, golf, rugby, field hockey, bungee jumping, fishing , climbing, etc.
There are also over 70 restaurants and cafes on the lake’s shore, and lots of clubs full of people during the warm summer nights. If you in Belgrade during the warm months, do not hesitate to come here.
From the 24th March 1999 until the 10th June 1999 (78 days), NATO bombed Serbia and Belgrade.
Although Belgrade did not suffer as much as Novi Sad, Nis and Aleksinac, lots of buildings such as schools, medical centres, churches and monasteries were heavily damaged.
Nowadays, Belgrade still has the most striking ruins. You can see them in the Building of Ministry of Internal Affairs and Yugoslav Ministry of Defence, both located in Kneza Miloša Street.
KUVVA CVECA – TITO MEMORIAL COMPLEX OR HOUSE OF FLOWERS
Josip Broz Tito was the president of Yugoslavia from 1953 until 1980, when he died. His tomb is in the House of Flowers.
On his view, Yugoslavia distanced from Stalin´s Russia and he followed a different version of socialism.
The complex has three museums: a museum of artefacts, the dictator’s mausoleum which also displays presidential rooms and a collection of batons, and a museum of diplomatic donations. The mausoleum offers spectacular views across the city.
The Federal or Republic Parliament was built in 1936 and it was designed in a neoclassical style. In the 90s, the Parliament was a symbol of instability and wrong ideology. Nowadays, apart from being the House of the National Assembly, the building is seen as a cultural monument, because famous designers, architects and artists took part in its design. Have a look to the sculpture “Play of Black Horses” in the entrance which was made by Serbian sculpture Toma Rosandić.
This is where people forced Slobodan Milosevic to accept defeat as president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. On the 5th October 2000, the Serbians accomplished what they had been fighting for.
Nowadays, important decisions for the future of the city of Belgrade and Serbia are taken here. In addition, this is the place to welcome successful people when a great victory is achieved. Sometimes they also do concerts here.
NIKOLA TESLA MUSEUM
This interesting museum is dedicated to the life and work of Nikola Tesla, a Serbian inventor and engineer. He invented AC current and many electrical gadgets and devices. In his last will he stated that after his death, he wanted his possessions to be transferred to Belgrade.
MUSEUM OF YUGOSLAV HISTORY
This museum is also known as the museum of the 25th May. You will find lots of historic facts and you will also see the medals of the marshal Tito.
The National Museum is located in a Republic Square palace from 1844, and it is Serbia´s oldest and biggest museum. It has nearly half a million items on display, paintings, Ancient Greek and Roman artefacts, medieval objects, etc.
THE ROYAL PALACE AND THE WHITE PALACE
The Royal Palace in Dedinje was built by order of King Alexander I, as the official royal residence. It was built between 1924 and 1929 in the Serbian-Byzantine style. The designers were Živojin Nikolić and Nikolaj Krasnov. Nowadays is home to Crown Prince Alexander II and his family. The palace is surrounded by park terraces, pools, a pavilion and a concert terrace.
The White Palace is part of the Royal Palace complex and it was built to the wishes of King Aleksandar I as a residence for his sons. It was built from 1934 to 1937 by the architect Aleksandar Đorđević.
They are open to public only by appointment (weekends from 1 April to 30 October), which needs to be organised trough the Belgrade Tourist Organisation at Makedonska 5.
THE OLD PALACE (STARI DVOR)
The Old Palace was the royal residence of the Serbian Obrenović dynasty. It was built between 1882 and 1884 and it was designed by the architect Aleksandar Bugarski in the style of academism of the 19th century. It is considered as one of the finest and most beautiful examples of academism in Serbia. This was the place where on the 28th May 1903, conspirators assassinated King Aleksandar and his wife Draga and threw them from the balcony on the second floor to the street. Today it houses the Assembly of the City of Belgrade and the Mayor’s office.
THE NEW PALACE (NOVI DVOR)
The New Palace was built for the residential needs of the Karađorđević dynasty from 1911 to 1922. It was designed by the architect Stojan Titelbah, on the site of the demolished Palace of the Crown Prince Mihailo Obrenović. Nowadays is the Office of the President of the Republic of Serbia.
There are two bus stations in Belgrade:
BELGRADE BUS STATION
Železnička 4, www.bas.rs
“LASTA” BUS STATION
Železnička 2, www.lasta.rs
The main central railway station is located in Savski trg 2.
JP “Železnice Srbije”
If you are in Belgrade on a Friday or a Saturday, do not miss the interesting free of charge tour by tram called “The Tram called Belgrade”. You should apply for the tour in the Tourist Information Center (Knez Mihailova 6, open: 09 to 21h, Sunday 10-15h) with your ID. There is a limited number of spots for 25 people. On Fridays the tour is from 20h00 pm to 21h00 pm, and on Saturdays from 18h00 pm to 19h00 pm. The route starts at the turn at the Zoo (near Kalemegdan) and lasts 60 minutes.
If it happens that you are not around those days, you can take tram number 2, which does an interesting itinerary around the city centre.
– Ćevapi (or ćevapčići) = grilled minced meat rolled into a finger-shape piece.
– Pljeskavica = Serbia´s version of a hamburger. The restaurant called Loki is well known for its pljeskavica.
– Uštipci = meatballs stuffed with cheese and smoked ham
– Pečenje = roasted meat.
– Bečka šnicla = Viennese schnitzel.
– Karađorđeva šnicla = rolled veal or pork steak, stuffed with kajmak.
– Sarma =ground beef and rice rolled into cabbage or greens.
– Riblja čorba or Riblji paprikaš = fish stew with tomato juice and paprika.
– Punjene paprike = stuffed paprika.
– Škembići = Tripe soup.
– Gibanica= cheese pie.
– Burek= baked or fried pastry filled with cheese, minced meat, or mushrooms.
– Serbian beers = Jelen and Lav are the local beers.
– Rakija = Serbia’s national drink. This fruit brandy is typically made from plums (šljivovica), although apricot and grape are also popular. You can try it in Rakia bar in Belgrade.
– Gradska, Mike Alasa 54.
– Zavicaj Restaurant, Gavrila Principa 77. Near the train and the bus station.
– To Je To, Despota Stefana 21. For cevapcici.
– Restoran Durmitor, Omladinskih Brigada 16A.
– Pekara Trpkovic, Nemanjina 32. For burek.
– Mala Gostionica, Dobracina 6.
– Tri Sesira, Skadarska 29. With music. A bit more expensive than the rest of the places in Skadarlija.
– Kafana Question Mark, 6 Kralja Petra. This is the oldest kafana in Belgrade, also known as “Znak pitanja.
– Walter Sarajevski cevap, Strahinjica Bana 57A. For cevapcici.
– Restoran Lovac, Alekse Nenadovica 19.
– Crna Ovc, Kralja Petra. For ice creams.
RECOMMENDED COFFEE PLACES
Przionica (Dobračina 59).
Koffein (Dušana 65 and Uskočka 8).
Drinka Caffe Bar (Kosovska 33).
The Black Turtle Pubs are a chain of pubs that brew their own brand of beer .They offer a large selection of beers, Pils, Stout and three different fruit flavoured beers (strawberry, blueberry and lemon). They also offer seasonal brews like Weiss beer, Amber Abbey and Smoked Lager.
At night, we suggest you go for drinks on the floating boats around the Danube and around Sava. Some of them are kafanas and some other are clubs. Among summer clubs, the most famous are Freestyler, Lasta and Splav 94.
If you are into house and techno, you should go to the Tube in Dorćol. If you prefer commercial music, we recommend going to Plastic. If you prefer underground places, go to Drugstore in Palilula.
If you have time while in Belgrade, you can go to Novi Sad, located in Vojvodina, north of Belgrade. There are frequent buses and trains and it only takes about an hour. Due to its small size, Novi Sad can be seen in about two hours.
NOVI SAD FORTRESS (PETROVARADIN CITADEL)
Although there is not much left of the fortress, the views of Novi Sad from the view point are quite nice.
ZMAJ JOVINA STREET
This is the main street in Novi Sad. It is full of restaurants and bars.
It is about 20 minute walk from Zmaj Jovina.
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
The beautiful and huge Catholic Church is about 300 years old.