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Ten reasons to visit Belgrade

Although visiting Belgrade might not be on your bucket list (we understand if visiting the Maldives, the Bermuda or Thailand takes precedent), hear us out why you should come to Belgrade.

By MayaPublished 2 months ago 4 min read
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We are confident that you might consider revising that bucket list after reading this.

1. For the simple reason that you’ve never been. You have visited other capital cities in Europe and, now it’s Belgrade’s turn. One could argue that the city lacks in sleekness and luster, but it more than makes up for it with its atmosphere. Check out for yourself why Travel & Leisure website dubbed Belgrade as “a city that lives for nights of unfettered decadence”.

2. Party / dine / book a hotel accommodation / rent an apartment / rent-a-car on a low budget. Whatever you do in Belgrade, it is affordable, particularly if you come from the affluent Western or North American countries. Would you believe that a three-course meal for two at a mid-range Belgrade restaurant will set you back only €20? Which brings us to our next ‘must-visit-Belgrade’ argument…

3. Food is great. It really is, and don’t take our word for it. David Whitley of BBC Travel said that “Belgrade is on its way to culinary cool”. We highly recommend that you try typical Serbian dishes – from ćevapčići (a type of kebab) and sarma (a dish of grape, cabbage or chard leaves rolled around a minced meat filling) to burek (a cheese, meat or potato pie) and apple/sour cherry/poppyseed strudel. By all means try Serbian wines, in particular Bermet, a sweet dessert wine indigenous to Serbia, infused with 20 different herbs and spices. Bermet is also thought to be a “blood cleanser”.

4. Belgrade lies on two beautiful rivers – the Sava and the Danube, which, throughout year, are fizzling with activity. You can also visit Ada Ciganlija, a river peninsula located south-west of the town centre, which has an 8-km-long gravel beach. In summer, Ada Ciganlija is visited by thousands of people. Here, you can swim, sunbathe, ride a bicycle, rollerblade, do water sports or relax at one of the many cafes, restaurants and river rafts in Ada.

5. The people. The foreigners’ general impression of the Serbs is that they are “proud, generous, loud, funny, temperamental, and warm”. There are a few flaws that the Serbs have, but we’ll write about them some other time. Here’s another interesting piece of information about the Serbian people - a self-esteem survey conducted by the U.S.-based Bradley University ranked the Serbs first among 53 countries.

6. The history. One of the most important prehistoric cultures of Europe, the Vinča culture, evolved within the Belgrade area in the 6th millennium BC, while the city itself was established in the 3rd century BC when a Celtic tribe settled here following the Gallic invasion of the Balkan. They called the city Singidunum. For centuries, Belgrade has been sitting on the line dividing East and West, Orient and Occident. It has been destroyed and rebuilt a total of 38 times by various powers – from the Romans and the Huns, to the Ottomans and the Nazis. Historical sites are everywhere you look – the Kalemegdan Fortress, the Nebojša Tower, Princess Ljubica’s Residence, the Victor Monument.

7. Belgrade is the city of festivals. The city is home to a great number of festivals, both avant-garde and mainstream. There is the international film festival called FEST, the biggest beer / music festival in South East Europe the Beer Fest, the BITEF Theatre Festival, the theatre, arts, dance and music summer festival BELEF, Belgrade music festivities BEMUS, Belgrade Book Fair, and Belgrade Jazz Festival, to name just a few. The famous EXIT Festival is in nearby Novi Sad, an hour drive by car.

8. The Royal Compound. You probably didn’t know that Serbia had been a monarchy for nearly 14 centuries. The last royal dynasty – the Karađorđević royal family - was exiled during the World War II, and officially lost its throne in November 1945, when the Communist government seized power. Although the present day Serbia is a republic, the Serbian royal family – Crown Prince Alexander II and his wife Crown Princess Katherine – lives in Belgrade, at the palace called Beli Dvor (in English “the White Palace”). Tours of the Royal Compound can be organized via the local tourist board.

9. Belgrade is home to the second largest Orthodox temple and one of the ten largest churches in the world – the St. Sava Temple. The Temple sits on the Vračar Plateau, which is a burial site of the founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church Saint Sava who died in 1595. The Temple is impressive and it dominates the Belgrade skyline. Its dome is 82 metres high and the church itself spans 3,500 square metres.

10. Belgrade's quarters of Skadarlija and Dorćol. The first is likened to Paris' Montmartre and the second to New York City's Greenwhich Village or London's Soho. Skadarlija is home to beautiful rustic restaurants, old cobbledstone streets, soulful folk music and the Bohemian way of life. Dorćol, on the other hand, is a trendy shopping district, buzzing with energy. It has also been humorously called 'The Silicon Valley' due to a sheer number of the surgically enhanced beauties that frequent Dorćol's cafes.

Of course, if you plan to come to Belgrade, you will need accommodation. There are plenty of hotels to choose from, but if you want privacy and affordable luxury, we suggest you rent an apartment in the city centre or wherever you plan on staying.

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