Guest post by thadeus_d3
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Belgrade is a very special city. It’s a very large city that feels like a mix of Germany and New York City. However, if you stay in a central location, you can walk to most attractions. The people were very friendly. Prices are unbelievably cheap. Weather in late march was great with highs in the low-80s.
- Republic Square
- Kneza Mihaila
- National Assembly of Serbia
- Old Palace
- Pionirski park
- Church of Saint Mark
- Former Yugoslav Ministry of Defense
- Little Bay
Our first stop was Skadarlija. Skadarlija is known as the bohemian quarter, with picturesque cobblestone streets. The streets are lined with some of the best restaurants and kafanas in the city. We made our way to republic square and relaxed a bit while people watching. Republic square is very busy and it’s used as a meeting place for many Serbians. Nearby, Kneza Mihaila is the main pedestrian street with high end boutiques and restaurants. We walked through Kneza Mihaila and made our way to the National Assembly of Serbia.
The building is gorgeous. Along the sidewalk, there were protesters and signs denouncing the 1999 NATO bombings of Yugoslavia. As an American, I couldn’t help but feel guilty.
Across the street from the National Assembly, you’ll find the Old Palace and Pionirski park. We spent a few hours at Pionirski park to let the kids play before visiting the Church of Saint Mark.
Afterwards, we went to the Yugoslav Ministry of Defence building. This building was heavily bombed by NATO in 1999 and is in ruins. The building remains as a cultural heritage site and serves as a reminder of the Kosovo war. It’s a very somber sight.
We headed to our AirBNB for a bit before heading to dinner. For dinner, we went to Little Bay. There, I had one of the fanciest meals of my life. There was a 4 piece orchestra playing during dinner. We bought 3 entrees and 2 appetizers for $35 including a 15 percent tip. We tried leaving a 20% tip and the waiter flat out rejected it by saying it was too much (10% is considered generous in Serbia). Did I mention how cheap Belgrade is?
- Kalemegdan Fortress
- Ružica Church
- Crkva Svete Petke
- Saint Sava
- Samo Pivo
We spent most of the afternoon at Kalemegdan Fortress. It’s expansive and a great place to relax and take it all in. Just outside the fortress, there’s a zoo, playground, restaurant, tennis courts, basketball courts and a few museums. Inside the fortress, you’ll find the famous Pobednik statue overlooking the Sava and Danube rivers.
We took a few photos before visiting both Ružica and Kapela svete Petke na Kalemegdanu. These are tiny churches right outside of the fortress walls. Both are worth a visit. The interior walls of Kapela svete Petke na Kalemegdanu are entirely decorated with mosaic tiles. After the church, we decided to go to Manufaktura for dinner. Afterwards, we caught a taxi to the Church of Saint Sava. This church is one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world.
The interior is still under construction and about 25 degress cooler than the weather outside. We stayed until nighttime and decided to walk home to explore more of the city. Along the way, we stopped at Samo Pivo, which translates to “only beer”. Their craft beer selection was top notch and prices were very reasonable. I highly recommend the Kabinet Supernova IPA. For dinner, we stopped at Bucko pizza. It’s a Belgrade staple that should honestly be in every city. Cheap and tasty at $5 for a large pizza with Govedja salata.
- Gardoš Tower
- Zeleni Venac
First thing in the morning, we bought a few all-day bus passes from Zeleni Venac Market for our trip to Zemun. Zemun is considered old Belgrade. Its cobblestone streets and old homes look more like Bavaria, Germany. It’s a beautiful getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city and it’s right on the Danube River. We made our way to Gardoš Tower. Unfortunately, the staircase leading to the very top was closed for construction, but we made it to the middle of the tower. Great views from the tower. We left and walked along the river. There, you’ll find some of the best seafood restaurants and kafanas in the city. After spending the majority of the day here, we took the bus back to Zeleni Venac Market. At the market, you can find everything from fruit to household items. We didn’t spend much time here since we wanted to visit Savamala before dark. Savamala is a very hip, up and coming area along the river. There’s a beautiful promenade with high end restaurants, bike lanes, commissioned graffiti and playgrounds. Overall, the perfect way to end our trip.
Traveled in March 2017