A few friends from England asked for an advice and fun facts about Belgrade so I decided to write a little tour guide here and to make it possible for all our friends to see it. Get ready to find out something new! 🙂
Beograd literally means The White City. During its history, this city changed names and rulers. From Celtic Singidun(on) to Serbian Beograd, it treasured history of Celts, Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, Austro-Hungarians, Slavians and many others. It was raised on the territory where one of the first cultures of the world grew- the Vincha culture, that started 7000 years BC. This culture is very well known from the history of art.
Archaeological findings that were made in Vinča showed that the first habitats here date from 4800 years BC. In the broader surrounding of the city not only houses were found in archaeological researching but also many other things, like prehistoric figurines that symbolise mother’s principle and fertility. They were called Veneras. You can visit this archaeological place today in Vinča, in the wider part of Belgrade. 🙂
Celts founded Belgrade in the third century BC and they named it Singidun(0n). But soon afterwards Romans conquered it and named it very similar to its old name – Singidunum.
One of the main symbols of the White City is its fortress Kalemegdan. This fortress was built by Celts, but since then it was changed, sometimes torn apart, and sometimes built up again on the ruins. You can read its rich history and attractions at this link:
Do check it, or you will miss a lot! 🙂 There are too many important monuments, cultural and sacral objects inside the walls of Kalemegdan that you should not miss if you’re visiting Belgrade, but the text about this fortress was too well written to change it, so I just linked to it.
Most of all, don’t forget that you are standing on a place that hides many secrets from the 3rd century to today, and there are underground corridors, catacombs still not fully researched, or it’s better to say not researched at all at some parts.
As far as it concerns tourism, today it is possible to hear many different languages while you’re walking here. And it’s the best place to be in the summer for stargazing (especially during the meteor shower in August), long walks, or enjoying the view of the other side of the river. From Kalemegdan you can see the confluence of the rivers Sava and Danube, while the Sun goes down – super romantic. 🙂
The main street of Belgrade is Knez Mihailova, the walk zone that leads you to the fortress Kalemegdan, also full of interesting things to see, like the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
This street is under the protection of the state of Serbia, and it leads you to the Square of Mihailo Obrenovic, with the monument of himself. In this city square are placed National Museum and National Theatre, both beautiful and precious for culture. However, the National Museum is under the reconstruction that will be finished by 2018. I can’t wait for it!
From the main square, you can precede sightseeing towards the Terazije, with its Hotel Moscow or towards National Parliament Building and The Old Palace – Assembly of the city of Belgrade. When you see all this, then, by all means, follow that brown–red roof that’s calling you. It’s the church of St. Marko, and Tashmajdan Park is next to it. Here you can rest, and it could be enough for one day. Or not, if you are capable of going the distance in spite of the fatigue! 🙂 But you will have to leave something for tomorrow anyway! 🙂
There is also one more special street in Belgrade, walking zone, not the main one, but it’s much more mentioned as a curiosity – Skadarlija. It’s a bohemian place where you go for perfect food and a good time in kafana, but also for a cup of poetry or a painting exposition. Skadarlija is in the city centre and it shows the spirit of old times like no other street in Belgrade.
Temple of Sveti Sava is the biggest Orthodox Christian Church in the World. Also, it’s the most recognisable symbol of Belgrade and an overwhelming object. When you’re entering in there, note that you should go into the crypt of the Temple. Do not be confused because the Church is not finished yet, it has magnificent wall paintings, but they are downstairs in the crypt, so find them. 🙂
There are a lot of museums but I would suggest not to miss the Tesla museum. Whoever knows anything about science knows what I’m talking about. Tesla was the best scientist ever for many people, so do a little research before you go and visit this museum.
What I like a lot about Belgrade are the gates of the city. They leave a unique impression if you’re driving and entering the city from the south. There are the East and the West gates. They always remind me of a position of Belgrade between the East and the West. Also, they have a very specific architecture, although giant buildings they really remind of Gates by their look.
Not so close but still very important things to see in Belgrade are – Avala and the Monument to the Unknown Hero, the House of Flowers (Kuća cveća) – Mausoleum of Josip Broz Tito, Ada Ciganlija – “The Belgrade sea”, quay of Sava river, quay of Zemun, Zemun with the Gardoš tower. Every single one of those places is wonderful and irreplaceable, so try to check them all. Here’s a view from a restaurant on the Sava river, just to tickle your imagination of a perfect peaceful coffee spot… 🙂
Eating with stomach and eyes
If you want to enjoy not only in the taste of food but also in the view you should visit restaurants on the rivers or in Skadarlija. Simple pointing of what is good for trying in some places lead to this list:
- Pancakes are like homemade in the Kota 70 restaurant on the Sava River
- Ice coffee is perfect in the restaurant Godo also on the Sava River.
- Ćevapi and traditional food are best in Skadarlija. It’s a perfect spot for a lunch well-known in Serbia
Well, wherever you choose to eat you will not be disappointed. I certainly can now claim that Belgrade has great restaurants and even the street food is much better than the classic fast food you expect. The bar is set high because Belgrade is at the top of the list of destinations for a good fun and food because of its restaurants and cheerful people. Clubs here work all night, and you definitely should experience the famous Belgrade nightlife in the clubs on the rivers. A suggestion is to go to H2O club, or you can just walk by the river and choose for yourself. 🙂
If you have any questions about Belgrade feel free to ask! People here are very friendly and they will do everything in their power to help you, so reach out. I wish you a great time in Belgrade! 🙂