Spring and summer are the best seasons to visit Belgrade, although it has its special perks in autumn and winter. Known for its rich history, delicious food, and interesting nightlife, Belgrade is a place that has a lot to offer, especially if you’re a budget traveler.
If you want to experience Belgrade at its best, here are few things to do and which you shouldn’t miss while you’re visiting Serbian capital.
Have a breakfast in PEKARA
First stop, Pekara (in english – bakery). You can’t function without having a proper breakfast. Well, in Belgrade, bakeries can be found on every single step. The smell of a freshly baked bread, pastry, and strong coffee can be smelled during the entire day, everywhere. You can choose from all sorts of bread, croissants, pastries and sandwiches. But one thing shouldn’t be missed – burek. It is a delicious baked pastry with various fillings – minced meat, cheese, spinach, mushrooms, pizza or a sweet one, with apple filling. You should try it with yogurt. Bear in mind – it has a lot of calories, but it’s all you need before next stops.
Sunbathing, swimming, riding bicycles, bungee jumping at ADA CIGANLIJA
After you had guilty-free breakfast and if outside is sunny and warm, it’s time to explore Ada Ciganlija.
Belgrade’s artificial lake, known as the ‘Sea of Belgrade‘, is a popular recreational zone – beaches, bike paths, basketball courts, golf course, bungee jumping platform – all together with many other sports facilities. You can choose your activity for the day, or if you prefer chilling out, you can enjoy cold beverages in many beach bars in cool shades of tall trees.
Dining in SKADARLIJA
When you’re starting to feel hungry, don’t worry, Belgrade has a lot of fast food places on every corner that can satisfy your appetite. But, if you are looking for a real bite of the traditional meal, placed in a picturesque street, go to Skadarlija. The main bohemian quarter of Belgrade, Skadarlija its known for traditional national cuisine and music, where you can taste famous Serbian dishes such as ajvar, sarma, podvarak, prebranac, čevapčići and sweets as baklava, palačinke, and knedle sa šljivama. Let us not forget about drinks. Traditional fruit brandy – rakija, is something that shouldn’t be missed. Skadarlija is a beautiful gem to visit in the middle of a day – perfect hide away from hot days, but true magic comes alive when the night falls. You will feel like you entered in a different time, a few centuries ago.
In Serbia, food portions are quite large, so be sure to check it before you start ordering.
Skadarlija street is made of cobblestones, ladies – don’t wear heels.
Go for a stroll in KNEZ MIHAJLOVA
Knez Mihajlova is the main pedestrian zone in Belgrade. Street is filled with clothing shops, coffee bars and street artists and souvenirs. You can shop brands like Zara, H&M, Mango, Miss Sixty, etc. or you can have a coffee in one of the street bars while watching passengers go by. The middle ground would be buying an ice-cream and strolling the street for some window shopping, while you’re headed to Belgrade fortress.
Explore Belgrade’s history at BELGRADE FORTRESS
Belgrade Fortress is the oldest monument in Belgrade, as it dates back to the 3rd century BC. Today it’s the main tourist attraction of Belgrade. It consists of Upper and Lower Town and Kalemegdan park. It overlooks confluence of Danube and Sava and also part of Belgrade, called New Belgrade. Fortress survived many wars and it is a true witness of Belgrade and Serbian history. One of the things you shouldn’t miss would be picturesque Ružica Church and Saint Petka’s Chapel, two orthodox churches inside fortress walls. When you decide to take a break from roaming around the monument, you can take a seat by the fortress wall and enjoy the perfect view of the new part of Belgrade. Inside fortress walls, you can also see Military museum and Belgrade Zoo.
Before the sun goes down, bring cold drinks and head to the fortress wall, where you can enjoy mesmerizing sunset transform to city lights.
Nightlife in Belgrade – SPLAVS
Summer season in Belgrade means that all nightlife is transferred from city center clubs to rivers – where water clubs are known as Splavs (in english – rafts). Splavs are most popular places to go out and experience the true Belgradian nightlife. They are open every day of the week and you can choose from different types of music like R’n’B, the 90s, Serbian folk music etc. Since there are no entry tickets, drink prices are little higher than usual. All you have to do is find the splav with music you prefer and have a great night out. Nightlife usually starts around 11pm or even later, so be prepared to party all night. Perks of it, you’ll find when dawn comes and you get to see Belgrade at its true beauty. Also, you can visit splavs during the day and have a relaxing drink and meal on each river.
Before you go to any club in Belgrade, be sure to make a reservation. That way you’ll be sure that your place is secured.
Taxi plates in Belgrade are ending with a TX letters. Don’t take any other because you’ll probably be ripped off.
Experience Zemun old town, climb up to Gardoš
Zemun – municipality of Belgrade, has been town separate from Belgrade, and also a part of Austro-Hungarian Empire for a long time, so you can see different culture and architecture in this part of Belgrade from any others. Unique charm, narrow streets, and magnificent tower – Gardoš is what makes this part of a Belgrade a must-see. If you are a sucker for great view spots, Gardoš will meet your desire. When you finish roaming around Zemun and you climb to a Gardoš tower, you can have a cold drink with a view in one of the few restaurants near it.
After you finished climbing up and down Gardoš, treat yourself with some desserts. Head out to Pinokio, for huge delicious Serbian pancakes.
Visit Church of Saint Sava
Church of Saint Sava is one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world. It is dedicated to Saint Sava, the founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Even though work on the internal decoration of the building is still in progress, Church is almost complete. High ceilings will leave you speechless.
Head outside the city for a picnic at AVALA
Just outside the city, there is a small mountain called Avala, from which you can have a perfect view over Belgrade. It is 511 meters above sea level, surrounded by forest, an amazing place for picnic retreat. You can climb up to Avala tower to have a panoramic view over Belgrade and some parts of Serbia, while you’re drinking coffee. Avala is covered with deep forest, which provides enough shades during the hottest parts of a day.
Plan a picknick! It’s a perfect place to lay on the grass while sipping a cool drink. If you don’t want to be bothered with planning, you can visit a restaurant at the top of the mountain.
Visiting Belgrade in summer is amazing opportunity because you get to experience every attraction at its fullest. Main plus of Belgrade is that you can get to any part of Serbia in just a few hours. Head outside the city in any direction and you will find untouched nature or a different city with its own charm. Whether you like active or more of a laid back vacation, you can find it in Serbia. When you’re thinking what to visit next after Belgrade, think of different cities like Novi Sad, Niš, Kragujevac, or mountains like Kopaonik, Fruška Gora, Tara, Stara planina, or if you are looking for an active vacation think of rafting on Serbian rivers, music festivals like EXIT, Guča, Lovefest, or more of a laid back vacation like – cruising on Danube, wine tasting, SPA resorts or if you are looking to go to the next Europe country, Serbia is right in the middle.