To be honest I didn’t know what to expect from Belgrade. I haven’t red much info about this city before going to Serbia because I didn’t want other people opinions to influence the first impression. Only things I knew about it:
- Belgrade is not that popular tourist destination
- It’s better to visit it in the spring and summer
- There are couple sightseeings worth visiting
Most interesting part of my holiday preparations was the conversation with some of my friends and acquaintances, especially their reactions when I was telling them that I’m going to Belgrade. “Belgrade, really?” they would ask. “Oh, good luck then…”
Their facial expression would instantly change, like instead of hearing “I’m traveling to Belgrade” they’ve heard “I’m going to Baghdad”. But let me assure you, Belgrade (and Serbia in general) is a safe place. And even though it’s not the most popular city amongst travelers, I’ve seen plenty of tourists there.
So, what to do in Belgrade in summer?
- Spend a day in Kalemegdan park and explore Belgrade Fortress
- Take it easy in the cafés or restaurants near Skadarlija
- Check out the main pedestrian and shopping street – Kneza Mihaila
- Visit local market
- Try Serbian pastry
- Feed Belgrade cats
The name of the park comes from two Turkish words: kale – fortress (or castle) and meydan – square. Kalemegdan is the largest park in Belgrade. It’s located on top of the high cliff, at the junction of two rivers – Sava and Danube. Kalemegdan park is a great place for everyone: couples, friends, families and even pets. Park has numerous walking paths, benches, playground for kids, sport terrains, restaurants and coffee shops, souvenir kiosks, statues, fountains (also drinking fountains), churches, galleries and museums. The Belgrade Zoo (opened in 1936), Belgrade Fortress and Jurassic park are located here as well!
Belgrade Fortress is a Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance and is protected by the Republic of Serbia. It’s the most visited tourist attraction in Belgrade. And what’s important – admission is free.
Skadarlija is an old bohemian quarter. The area stretches along a short and curved street – Skadarska, which is one of the most famous streets in Belgrade. There are art galleries, antique shops, cafés, bars and well-known restaurants that offering typical national cuisine. Local musicians dressed in traditional Serb costumes are playing Balkan brass or folk music.
The street was named after prince of Serbia – Mihailo Obrenović. It’s one of the rare streets in Belgrade that never changed its name. In 1987 this street was turned into a car-free zone and over the years became very popular promenade not only amongst locals but also tourists.
Why should you visit market place? Well, to check out the fresh Serbian produce and try the best vitamins money can buy – local fruits and berries. Trust me, they are hundred times better and more delicious than from a food market! Serbian watermelons are sugary and tasty, peaches are juicy and sweet… And Serbian tomatoes… Mmm, so good! If you haven’t tried any other tomato than a food market one in your life, then prepare to be amazed! Serbian beefsteak tomatoes have the magnificent rich taste. Comparing to those regular tomatoes are tasting like grass.
Oh, Serbian pastry… I’m ready to sing praises to you! Seriously, it’s the best pastry I have ever eaten! I’m not exaggerating, their pies are to die for!
You’ll see many bakeries (Пекара or Pekara in Serbian) all over Belgrade. There were three near the place where we were staying. Our favorite one was Skroz Dobra Pekara.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t eat everything, even though I tried… But there was not enough time and I have only one stomach to process all the food. But here are few that I liked loved:
- Burek – filled pastries (can be with meat, potato, cheese or spinach with cheese – I ate them all) made of a thin flaky dough
- Bread stick with olives
- Cherry pie
- Chocolate glazed croissant filled with chocolate (real calorie-bomb!)
- Štrudla – strudel filled with poppy seeds
- Krempita – custard cream cake dessert
Just writing those names down makes my mouth water. And have I mentioned that the prices are between 0.40-euro cents and 1.50? Can you believe it!
And if you are not in a hurry, then one thing you could do is aimlessly wander the streets of Belgrade in the evening…
Where we stayed
Since we didn’t actually plan our visit to Belgrade, we had to find a place to stay at the last moment. Hotels were quite pricy, so I checked Airbnb. It was my first experience with this website, and it turned out to be a pleasant one. We got an apartment not far from the bus station (location was important because we came to Belgrade from Bela Crkva by bus and wanted to have a place nearby). It was small but cozy, perfect for a couple. And overall location was very good – everything was reasonably close: public transportation (including bus 72 that goes to airport), old town, market and bakeries. Also, main tourist attraction mentioned above are within 2 km reach. So, if you are interested, you can check it here.
Hope you enjoyed it!