A Couchsurfer’s guide to… Belgrade

By: Vladimir

Belgrade By Vladimir Nenezic/shutterstock

Best breakfast in town!

In everyday hurry, most of locals do the breakfast in local bakery. You can find them on frequent crossroads, suburban areas, and main streets. Famous breakfast meal is burek – cheese pie. The best one you can find in a few bakeries from early morning called “Trpkovic” (Slavija square, Djeram open market and Dusanovac suburban area). If you prefer sandwiches, bakeries “Lebovski” offer very good choice.

1 museum not to miss!

The worldwide famous inventor Nikola Tesla was great man. He gave us light. Learn about charismatic personality of this visionary, and be a part some of his experiments. “Museum Nikola Tesla” is open every day except Monday. Guided tours run every hour.

Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade By saiko3p/shutterstock

Best place to grab a drink!

One of the most popular alcoholic drinks in Serbia is rakija. Try fruit brandy – distilled beverage produced from juice! Famous flavors are from plum, apricot and quince. In “Rakia bar” you can find aver 100 different types of rakija.

Where to dance!

Night life in Belgrade starts after midnight. Best places to dance are on the floating nightclubs on the Sava River. You can’t miss them – shiny lights and good vibes. A famous one is “Freestyler“.

The Sava River floating nightclubs By e2dan/shutterstock

A treat-yourself meal!

Not far from city center – restaurant “Lorenzo & Kakalamba“. It is a charming mixture of traditional cuisine from the south of Serbia, and Italian culture. If you don’t trip up at the entrance to one of the clumsily hidden cables, or fall through the hole in the floor directly to the kitchen into the pot with delicious delicacies, you will find your way to one of the unusual chairs and order some of divine specialties.

Where to sweat!

Belgrade’s sea, or “Ada Ciganlija” is a river island that has artificially been turned into a peninsula in Sava river. And, between the island and mainland is a long lake. It is a popular recreational zone. There is a 7 kilometer-long gravel beach, kayaking clubs, marina for small boats, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, many bike and rollerskating paths, bungee jumping platform etc.

Beach on Ada Ciganlija By Mark.Pelf/shutterstock

Best quick bite!

In the city center: find a small street window and a bunch of people standing ahead. It is fast food called “Bucko” (Chubby) that offers cheap pizzas with additional toppings that gives you new taste of this traditional meal.
If you are in New Belgrade, don’t miss “The valley of hungry” (“Dolina gladi”). Many fast foods on this street with excellent Serbian barbecue. The name of street is “Bulevar maršala Tolbuhina” (former Goce Delceva street).

Best view in the city!

The most popular panoramic view of Belgrade that you can experience is at Belgrade Fortress (“Kalemegdan”). In the same place is the biggest city park and zoo. From the upper part of the fortress there is a scenic view of the meeting of the River Sava and the Danube.

Belgrade Fortress By Predrag Mladenovic/shutterstock

Cute cafe!

There are a few locations in city with calm atmosphere where you can enjoy in the garden paved with bricks, tables placed under trees with colorful shade; it is the caffe house chain name is “Smokvica” (“The small Fig”)

Best day trip out of town!

The best place to spend a whole day is a traditional picnic resort called “Avala“. It is located 16km south-east of downtown Belgrade. This protected green area outside Belgrade offers possibilities for biking, hiking, visiting mountaineering camps, enjoying landscapes, breathtaking views from TV tower and from the Monument to the Unknown Hero.

Avala By Boky/shutterstock

Where to try the cuisine!

Restaurant chain “Zavičaj” offers specialties of the Balkan cuisine which are also typical food for Belgrade. An ethnic environment gives you pleasant feeling of kafana – traditional restaurants in Serbia. There are three locations in Belgrade.

One experience not to miss!

Visit the “Roman Well” of the Belgrade Fortress. There is no direct connection to the Romans, who were old inhabitants in this region. The name came after. Dare to go inside, and find why Alfred Hitchcock was here.

The Roman Well By serato/shutterstock

Family fun!

One of most popular places for the whole family is Belgrade Zoo (“Beo ZOO vrt”). It is the oldest zoo in Serbia and is located in Kalemegdan park, in the city center. There are about 300 species from all over the world. Visit this place and find why it is called “Garden of good hope”.

The perfect picture!

On the main pedestrian street, there is a new shopping center called “Rajiceva“. Climb to the last floor. There is roof restaurant, but you can enter and take selfie with a panoramic view on Belgrade.

A historic moment!

In Serbia, the most important figure in history doesn’t have a grave. His remains was burned on a place which is called “Vračar“. Saint Sava was the Enlightener, Serbian prince, Orthodox monk, the first Archbishop of the autocephalous Serbian Church, diplomat, and the founder of Serbian law. Visit the big plateau on Vračar hill, and the monumental Church of Saint Sava.

Church of Saint Sava by Vladimir Nenezic/shutterstock

A tourist trap to avoid!

Belgrade is big city. But, most of the touristic places you can visit by walking. Don’t use taxis. It will cost you a lot, especially if there is traffic.

Anything else…

Unfortunately, Belgrade has a dark tourism route. Take the chance to visit any number of large buildings that still bear the unmistakable signs of damage inflicted by bombing campaign in 1999. Maybe you will get the answer to the question which Serbians are still asking themselves – Why?

Yugoslav Ministry of Defense – one of the buildings bombed by NATO in 1999
By EQRoy/shutterstock
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