10 Locations in Belgrade you need to visit
Big cities have hundreds of locations we should visit, but for limited time that is not possible, so it is preferable to know what should really be seen.
Geographic position, turbulent past, as well as long history, are a proper guarantee that Belgrade indeed has a lot to offer to its visitors, tourists, who in increasing number come to this city. However, as Belgrade is becoming more and more seen lately as an ideal City Break destination, it is impossible to visit all of these sites during one weekend.
For this reason and, although we already described all these locations in detail, we think it is a good idea to mention and present them briefly again, so that all Belgrade guests could easily manage their stay and visit the most important ones.
It is quite common for each city with a fortress to make it a proper landmark that the residents will gladly visit and show to tourists. The same can be said for the people in Belgrade. However, Kalemegdan fortress is one of the city must-visit locations for many reasons. Firstly, this is the best arranged park in the city with immense cultural and historical significance. The fortress was built in the first century of the new era and it served for military purposes to the Romans, Turks and Serbs. In 19th century the park was built around the fortress, which was later broadened by construction of Mali Kalemegdan. For its position, Kalemegdan also represents a viewpoint, with a stunning view of the confluence of two rivers, which not many cities in the world have. Upper town beautifies with a triumphal monument "Pobednik", which is visited by five thousand tourists each day. Monument of Gratitude to France, as well as other significant monuments, was built in Kalemegdan area. Within the Kalemegdan’s complex there is also Church Ružica, as well as Sveta Petka church. For its central location, as well as beautiful promenades, vast stretches of area and peace, Kalemegdan fortress has always been a favourite meeting place of young couples in love. Nowadays, romance is a bit old-fashioned, so the park is left to numerous tourists and also to city residents, who can make a great whole day family picnic when visiting Kalemegdan, for the vicinity of Zoo and beautiful “Kalemegdan terrace” restaurant.
SKADARLIJA – Bohemian city quarter
The so-called bohemian quarter or bohemian heart of the city came to life thanks to the location of this popular street. Namely, Skadarlija street is close to the National Theatre, so many actors and other artists often lived, passed by and spent their time there. They were the ones, who gave this street its charm, which it still has today. Skadarlija preserved its authentic outlook from the time of the Turks, with cobble stones and dim lights. Taverns were opened one after another along Skadarlija - "Dva Jelena" and "Tri Šešira" are two famous taverns from the 19th century. "Znak pitanja" is the only older tavern, which is located close to Saborna church, also in the centre of Belgrade, and it is still open. Even though with only around five hundred meters in length, in Skadarlija beside traditional restaurants you can find hostels, beauty parlours and modern bars, something for everyone’s taste. Good music, delicious food and great coffee are what springs to your mind when you hear the name of this famous street and, of course, so many interesting people – this all adds to the authentic atmosphere, as well as the spirit of some past time, which comes to life when night falls.
ADA CIGANLIJA BEACH
Ada Ciganlija is the place created for enjoyment, recreation and rest, since 1960s, when the artificial lake was made of a river island and inlet of the Sava River. This unique ecosystem is a kind of oasis with its own micro climate, pleasant to spend time and it is located near to wider city centre and crowd. The area around the lake is enriched every year to suit the needs of the visitors, as well as the entire content and offer. Lake Sava is surrounded by gravelly beach and path for pedestrians and cyclists 7.7km long. Lake is surrounded by a vast stretch of land arranged to satisfy everyone’s taste. It offers as many as fifty sports courts, entertainment programs and contents for children, but also for adrenaline addicts, as well as wellness – you can find it all here. Of course, lake is surrounded by numerous cafes and restaurants, but also with arranged park for relaxation, yoga or rest. Ada is the most attractive for people from Belgrade in spring, when the first sun starts shining. Looking forward to warm weather and enjoyment in the sun, they hurry to their favourite place from everywhere in order to use each minute of a nice day. Still, beside the great number of visitors, especially during summer days, Ada except entertainment and fun, always offers peace, a corner for rest, meditation and enjoyment in silence.
THE CHURCH OF SAINT SAVA
The Church of Saint Sava is the biggest Orthodox church in the Balkans and it is located in the Vračar area. The surface of the ground floor covers 3,500 square meters and with the heights of 79 meters. It was built in Serbian-Byzantium style, with four bell towers and domes decorated with eighteen golden crosses, while the highest dome is adorned with the 10-meter cross. The altitude and impressive appearance make it visible from all parts of the city. Special object was built in the Byzantium style, seven meters deep under the church. Burial church is devoted to Saint duke Lazar with crypt, treasury and exhibition place. Surface of the underground space is around 1,800 square meters, except for the crypt itself, it covers unique visual unit. Golden colour dominates the area. Ceiling and walls are painted and additionally decorated with golden leaves. Numerous tourists come each day to the Church, visit crypt and leave it with admiration. Plateau in front of the Church is arranged space, with many residents constantly walking, enjoying while playing with their children, walking their pets and at the same time admiring this impressive building.
Košutnjak is a former hunting ground, a forest where beside other wild animals there were also beautiful hinds after which it got its name, Košutnjak. From the beginning of 20th century, this, until then court hunting ground, is opened for citizens and intended for rest and recreation. Even today, Košutnjak is the most interesting to athletes, amateurs and nature lovers. This park-forest covers 330 hectares, at 250 meters of altitude, and it is partly arranged with paths and courts for basketball, volleyball, football, athletics. In Košutnjak there are also tennis courts, swimming pools, trim path. The arranged part of Košutnjak consists of two parts, which are sports-recreational centre – Pionirski grad, as well as Filmski grad, where there are ateliers and buildings for making films and other television contents. Except for trim path, there are also numerous paths for pedestrians, areas intended for picnic, games, barbecue, etc. Ski path with unbelievable view over the city is open during whole year and there you can find a café and restaurant intended to all visitors. This is a real place for rest and picnic during hot summer days, as well as in winter, when you will experience real winter idyll to remember with mulled wine or tea.
Savamala is a part of city which spreads alongside the Sava River, on its right coast, shadowed by Branko’s Brigde. The main street of this city part is Karađorđeva Street. Creation of Savamala started in 18th century and its name originates from the name of the river and Turkish word mahala, i.e. part of the city, city quarter. Throughout history Savamala went through development and changes, many nice, but also not so nice moments. Today, Savamala is often and gladly visited by people from Belgrade, especially those who like to visit popular places and centre of events. In it there are many restaurants and bars, places with the best music and dishes. The whole concept is contemporary and intended for young people, artists, hipsters. We will mention only two out of numerous bars and restaurants. Ben Akiba Comedy Bar, where there are stand-up nights organised, besides DJ sessions, concerts and exhibitions and the interior is very interesting. The other restaurant, which we want to mention, is Gnezdo Organic, which is special by its combination of healthy lifestyle and thinking with modern concept. All ingredients which are used for food preparation are grown according to the most contemporary organic principles. Beside visiting this and other restaurants, it is nice to walk by and visit some other interesting places in Savamala, such as building of Geozavod, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful buildings in Belgrade.
HOUSE OF FLOWERS
House of Flowers, where marshal, Josip Broz Tito, lifelong president of SFRY and his wife Jovanka Broz have their resting place, is one of the most visited places in Belgrade. This building is a part of Museum of Yugoslav History, and it was built during Tito’s life for a different purpose. Namely, in 1975, according to personal president’s wish, a sort of winter garden was built and it covered a surface of 902 square meters and then it was called simply "the flower shop". With a fountain in its central part, it was equipped with rooms for work and rest, as well as with a terrace overlooking the city and Tito used to spend his time there. Before he passed away, he expressed his wish to be buried exactly there, so his wish was fulfilled. Still, for the political doctrine of the authority in country at the time named "And after Tito - Tito", it was not acceptable to call this place a grave or mausoleum, so the euphemism remained - "House of Flowers", the name it still has today. It was not written a lot about the marshal’s funeral and it is known that on that day numerous, mostly world delegations, as well as the mourning people from the whole country of that time, visited Belgrade. Number of visitors, which from that moment up to now visited his grave, amounts to millions. Beside the memorial room, where visitors sign in a condolence book, there is a separate exhibition part, with batons, written messages, photographs and Tito’s marshal uniform. As the reconstruction of this building is underway, it is expected to see more interesting content as well as greater attendance of this place than it was so far.
NIGHT LIFE – CLUBS, FLOATING RIVER CLUBS, TAVERNS
Night life in Belgrade is rich, various and very famous. From numerous cafes and bars to taverns, floating river clubs and night clubs, everything is always full. Night life in Belgrade is not reserved only for weekends and special nights, but it is very lively on working days until early morning. Explanation for this is very simple. People from Belgrade like to have fun, loud music and great entertainment. As such, they gladly pass on the great mood onto their guests and foreigners. Evening entertainment can start around 8 p.m. for example with dinner in some of numerous great restaurants, then continue with drinks in some of the bars with good music, and all is ready for the "madness" after the midnight. City centre is packed with clubs, which are open all night, where the best cocktails are served, prepared by great bartenders and atmosphere is becoming hotter with the most beautiful and dressed up girls. Floating river clubs are open all night. These are the places, which for their distance from populated city parts can offer great unlimited fun with loud music and relaxed atmosphere. Many clubs from the city centre move to rivers during summer and they offer even better fun in the summer version. As the music at these popular and favourite places varies from disco, house, techno, RNB, funk, jazz, new wave, to pop, local pop and of course unavoidable "folk songs", everyone can find something to their taste. In the clubs which are traditionally popular and well-known, and the ones which are open and closed during one season, fun is guaranteed and unforgettable. For this reason, it is recommended to all those coming to Belgrade, do inform at your hosts about the best and most popular places to go out.
COURT COMPLEXES ON DEDINJE
Court complex, devoted to Karađorđević Dynasty, was built on the slopes of the Topčider Hill, in the area of Dedinje, on 134-hectare estate. Construction of the court complexes of Karađorđević family took place during 1924 – 1936. This complex consists of Royal Palace, White Palace and court chapel of Saint Andrew the Apostle. Royal Palace was built first in Serbian-Byzantium style, with façade covered with famous white marble from Brač island. Beside royal cabinet and library, there is a golden parlour in Renaissance style, as well as blue parlour decorated in Baroque style, which are interesting for visitors. From the court itself to Royal Chapel, there is a colonnade of columns. As well as Royal Palace, the construction of White Palace was started by King Alexander I Karađorđević, who died before the works were finished. Construction of White Palace was finished by Duke Pavle in 1936. He was known as a great lover of art, so he furnished the court with valuable works of art. Visits to court complexes are organised several times a week during spring, summer and autumn with accompaniment of professional guides and for a very affordable price. This city tour gives visitors the opportunity to meet part of the culture, history and art in beautiful and pleasant environment.
National museum in Belgrade is now located at the Republic Square inside the building constructed in 1903. The museum was founded 50 years prior to the construction of this palace. The Museum building was significantly damaged during the World War II, but after that it continued to work. At the beginning of this century, the permanent exhibition of the museum was removed for the building restoration, which was then waited for fifteen years. After the reconstruction and restoration, the Museum again started working with the permanent exhibition divided chronologically, on three levels and it covers around 400 thousand artefacts and objects from prehistoric period to the 20th century. Whole collection is made of historical, numismatic and archaeological objects, as well as works of art and old and rare books. Museum is open each day except on Monday and on Sunday the entrance is free.
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