Belgrade, perhaps isn’t the most beautiful capital in Europe, but I guarantee you there are a lot of stuffs to do in Belgrade.
In last 10 years a lot has changed in Belgrade and Serbia. Traces of the wars of the 1990s are hard to find in Belgrade. Today, Belgrade has become as Lonely Planet says ‘Europe’s most happening cities’.
When it comes to decide why Belgrade should be visited, keep in mind that attractions are plenty, but tourists are few. And once you leave it the most of the city’s enjoyments will remain in your memory.
THINGS TO DO IN BELGRADE FOR FIRST TIME VISITORS
Nevertheless, how long you are staying in Belgrade, there are some touristy activities that you shouldn’t miss. They are not only worth doing, they are absolute musts for first time travelers.
- Belgrade has a rather cool fortress! Check over the wander of Kalemegdan fortress, built to defend the city from the Ottomans, on the hill overlooking the Sava and Danube.
- Visit cobbled Skadarlija Bohemian quarter in the Old Town with a Montmartre-style charm.Dine in one of old restaurants like ‘Ima dana’ (There are day) or ‘Tri sesira’ (Three Hats)
- Spend some time strolling the downtown main pedestrian Knez Mihajlova street. Do some shopping at ‘Belgrade window’ souvenir shop. I suggest to buy a T-shirt, cute bottled of rakija, Belgrade mugs for your family or friends back home.
- Republic Square – the city’s most important landmarks and a business district. The popular gathering point of many Belgraders with Serbian National Theatre and National Museum.
- Church of St.Sava – The largest Orthodox Church in the Balkan region, and the second largest in the world, St Sava is an universal monument in Serbia’s capital.
Museums you shouldn't miss visiting
- Nikola Tesla Museum – This museum presents the life and work of the great physicist, inventor and electrical engineer and Serbian national hero.
- Princess Ljubica Residence – A rare inheritance from the first reign of Prince Miloš Obrenović, this palace dates to the beginning of the 1830. The permanent exhibition of richly furnished rooms with authentic period once owned by Belgrade’s bourgeois and royal families.
- Museum of Yugoslav History – One of controversial museums but for many locals is a positive place of emotions and memories. It covers the history of the former country of Yugoslavia where its president Josip Broz Tito has the central position.
- Railway Museum – One of the less visited museums but not less interesting. Since 195o this museum presents journey through development of Yugoslav Railways. Especially is interesting section of Blue Train (President Tito’s special train).
Things to do and see along the rivers
From mid May to late September, the life in Belgrade moves at two rivers banks. There are two places the become the most popular.
- Ada Ciganlija – On the south side of Sava river, there is Ada Ciganlija. It’s a huge lake sometimes called ‘Belgrade see’. During the summer period Ada Ciganlija becomes jammed with people jogging, rowing or kayaking on the lake. There you can play golf, tennis, basketball, biking or just relaxing in the lush greenery.
- Zemun Kej (Quay of Liberation) – This famous waterside promenade is the best place in Belgrade to enjoy the Danube river. It extends from Zemun town all the way to Branko’s Bridge. It’s the best place for biking lovers.
Things to do in vicinity of Belgrade
- Mount Avala and tower – Avala, is another symbol of Belgrade. Visit Avala Mountain, famous for its Mausoleum of the Unknown Hero (from World War I). It was built on the mountain top (511 meters above sea level).
- Zemun and Gardos Tower – Zemun is a scenic neighborhood on the Danube river right bank. It’s one of the oldest neighborhoods in all area of Belgrade city.
The Gardos Tower known as the Millennium Tower built in 1896 to celebrate 1.000 years of Hungarian settlement on the Pannonian plain. Climb to the top for a superlative view of the Danube and the rivers confluence.
Non-touristy things to see in Belgrade
Like in every city you visit, there are things to see and do that usually most tourists don’t know they exist.
- Visit New Belgrade – Don’t miss to visit this part of the city on the left bank of Sava river and its brutalist architecture.
- Ruins of Yugoslav Army Headquarters – 1990 NATO war against Serbia has left some ruins of important buildings. One of them hit several times during the NATO campaign is Yugoslav Army Headquarters in Nemanjina street.
Belgrade street art world – Join one of street art tours where you’ll discover some of the best examples of Belgrade street art, graffiti and murals. Find and explore local street art scene in Savamala and Dorcol districts. Alternative and trendy, art tour is a must see for all the street art lovers.