3 days in belgrade travel guide
When planning a short break for 3 days in Belgrade, I’ll try to find enough things to occupy you. Belgrade has reputation as not the most attractive city in Eastern Europe.
After this short three day around Belgrade guide, you’ll profoundly change those hearsay and bla bla bla voices. It is not by chance, that Telegraph in this article points out ‘ Tired of overpriced, overcrowded city breaks? Go to Belgrade’.
Considering that Belgrade is quite large city, spread on both banks of two great rivers Sava and Danube, it will be necessary to plan every day with accuracy.
I’m very fond of walking. Walking on your own is the best way to discover places the standard guide book doesn’t cover. The best help for waking is to find a free tourist map. Tourist Organization of Belgrade has information center, located in Knez Mihailova street number 56.
Equipped with a copy of this detailed map, it will be easy to start exploring each of many Belgrade districts. This area is quite large and therefore I’ll start from those most important districts creating one practical guide for each.
3 days in Belgrade - Stari Grad municipality
Without any doubt your walking tour should begin with Stari Grad (the Old Town) district. This area covers quite a large part of Belgrade. It would be a good idea to divide your tour into two parts. To get a clearer idea, visit what to do in Belgrade in one day!
The first part will cover the oldest part inside the Stari Grad district. I’m referring to Kalemegdan Fortress and its park and to Skadarlija (Bohemian neighborhood). The second part will cover the the same area but slightly little further from traditional tourist tracks
In conclusion, if you prefer to take things slowly and since it’s a large space to walk over, this tour can be spread over two days.
where to start from?
Starting point for walking through Old Town (Stari Grad will be either from Trg Republike (Republic Square) or from Terazije Square (I suggested on one day in Belgrade tour).
While you are on Republic Square the top sight is a new reopened (2018) National Museum. If you are museum enthusiast and if you want to know more about Serbia and Belgrade history, one hour or two are enough.
Just one step from here, there is Kneza Mihaila (Mihailova street), Belgrade’s premier pedestrian and shopping zone. This almost 1 km long street with plenty of impressive buildings, elegant shops and open-air cafes, will take you to Kalemegdan Park and Fortress. (you need couple of hours to walk around). Check here to see what to visit At Kalemegdan!
When you’ve finished exploring the fortress and its grounds, it’s time to head to Skadarlija Street. Just return to Republic Square and take Francuska street (next to National Theatre building) and you’ll get to Skadarlija, old cobbled street.
Stari Grad’s beyond its official borders
Stari Grad district hides many more important sights that are worth visiting on 3 days in Belgrade. Above all, some important historical building and galleries. To reach them you should get out from usually tourist beaten tracks.
To help you find your way easier, let’s take Knez Mihailova street as the reference point. To be more specific, I refer to the left side while walking on the Knez Mihajlova in direction of Kalemegdan Park complex.
If while walking along Knez Mihailova street, somewhere in the middle, turn left into Kralja Petra Street and walk until you reach the Palace of Princess Ljubica.
The Residence of Princess Ljubica is one of a few buildings which had survived from the first reign of Prince Miloš Obrenović. It was built between 1829 and 1831. The residence can be visited each day except on Monday from 10 AM to 05 MP. Entrance fee is 200 Dinars.
If you accidentally come across at restaurant with a strange name Znak Pitanja (Question Mark) located in (Kralja Petra street N° 6), don’t miss to enter for a drink. The atmosphere of this place is fantastic. It’s one of the oldest restaurants in Belgrade with more than 200 years long tradition. Food is good, typical Serbian with excellent service and moderate prices.
In the meanwhile, keep on walking along a terraced street with fancy looking apartments until you reach the Museum of the Serbian Orthodox Church and St. Michael’s Cathedral.
Art museums, library and art faculty
In this part of the city, there are a lot of outstanding buildings of the cultural and artistic life of the city. At number 56 in Knez Mihailova stands Belgrade City Library, the largest lending library in Serbia. The Faculty of Fine Art is just few steps from City Library, located in Pariska ulica 16.
There are also two museums in this area. One of them is located at the end of Knez Mihailova street, in Pariska street 14 (on the left side of main entrance to Kalimegrad Park. It’s Museum of Contemporary Art open from 12:00 to 20:00, except Tuesdays. The entrance is free!
Museum of Applied Art in Vuka Karadžića street 18 is very interesting museum. The museum exhibits the collections of art, design and relics, including coins from the 4th century BC. Museum is open only from Tuesday to Saturday (closed on Monday and Sunday). Entrance fee is 200 Dinars.
Vracar (Врачар or Vračar) is another Belgrade quarter. It’s also rather a spacious area of the city. It’s positioned on the opposite side of Stari Grad district.
The most convenient starting point to start your walking tour is from Terazije square. This square with big Hotel Moskva, the city’s most recognisable landmark is southeast from Republic Square.
Starting from this point you have two options. Proceed straight ahead to Kralja Milana street. See the map below! This street is one of the longest in Belgrade. It’s about 1,9 km long all the way to Slavija Square. At the bottom of the image, you can see the temple of St.Sava.
Walking long this busy street you’ll pass several historical buildings including Stari Dvor (Old Palace), once royal palace that now houses the City Assembly of Belgrade (City Hall).
At small Andrićev Venac square is Novi Dvor (New Palace) which was built around forty years later in the early 1920s and now serves as the Presidential Palace.
On your way you’ll notice Beograđanka Building, on the right side of Kralja Milutina street. It was a city symbol for more than 40 years. One time it was the tallest building in the city.
Walking through the Vracar district
To get to know better this beautiful district, sometimes there is no better way than to see what the locals say about it. Here is Lejla Dizdarevic story about Vracar!
Hram Svetog Save (Temple of Saint Sava) is a Serbian Orthodox church located on the Vracar plateau in Belgrade. It is one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world and ranks among the largest church buildings in the world.
Cvetni trg (Flower Square) is a rather small part of the Vracar Belgrade district. Its name referred to as the flower one is due to the fact that there have been many flower shops located there.
Museum of Nikola Tesla in Belgrade, Serbia, founded in 1952. is a monument build in the honor of the most prestigious and greatest name in the science world, Nikola Tesla. The museum is naturally open for public and it is easily reachable by public transport.
St. Mark's Church or Church of St. Mark is a Serbian Orthodox church located in the Tašmajdan park in Belgrade,near the Parliament of Serbia. It was built in the Serbo-Byzantine style by the Krstić brothers, completed in 1940, on the site of a previous church dating to 1835.
Savamala district in 3 days in Belgrade
Above all, this part of Belgrade has become the creative heart of the city. The heart of this neighborhood is Karadjordjeva street. Most importantly, this street with its neglected old buildings decorated with impressive graffiti art, attracts many visitors on very popular street art tour.
As a result, of several renovation projects this area on the right bank of Sava river is gradually transforming into a modern inner-city hub. Above all, this neighborhood has become a relaxation area with excellent biking routes along the river.
The main bus and train stations are also in this area and from Savamala there are easy connections to both Old and New Belgrade.
Some interesting facts about Savamala:
- It’s located under Branko’s bridge on the right bank of Sava river.
- Name Savamala drives from Turkish word mahala, which means neighborhood.
- The main street of Savamala district is Karadjordjeva named after the leader of the First Serbian Uprising (Karadjordje Petrovic).
New Belgrade and Zemun
I don’t think you will lose something if you do not visit New Belgrade. I personally, I have never loved New Belgrade. First of all, because of its brutalist architecture. Concrete and only concrete.
In spite of my negative opinion, New Belgrade is a home of many modern shopping malls. It’s an important business and commercial district. The most beautiful zone of New Belgrade is Usce.
Usce (translated means the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers) is the main shopping mall in Belgrade. With many international shops, restaurants, a supermarket, gym and the biggest cinema in Belgrade, represents the vastest open space along the river.
Usce area has great connections and is just a short walk from Branko bridge. If you happen to visit Usce, worth visiting is Museum of Contemporary Art, open daily from 10AM to 6PM except on Tuesday.
I don’t tell lies when I say that Zemun is my favorite Belgrade neighborhood. Zemun has a totally different feeling to Belgrade. It has more traditional town design and pastoral houses create a less frantic atmosphere, with a particular sense of local community.
Once a fishing village on the Danube river bank, boasts with many cosy restaurants offering fish specialties. Zemun is only 25 minutes away from Old Belgrade, connected with very frequent bus lines. (Zeleni Venac is a final bus stop in Old Belgrade)
Zemun can also boast of having, plenty of walking and biking trails along the river. From Zemun you can reach biking all the way to New and Old Belgrade.