Sitting on the confluence of two rivers – the Sava and the Danube, the magnificent city of Belgrade is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Fondly called the ‘White City’ due to its white buildings and architectural structures, Belgrade is the capital of Serbia and is an important cultural entity in the country’s heritage.
And if you are dreaming of a holiday in Belgrade and are wondering what experiences await you in the enchanting city, here’s all the information you need!
7 Unforgettable Experiences To Have On Your Belgrade Holiday
1. Take a stroll through the Belgrade fortress and its Kalemegdan park
Built on a ridge above the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers, the splendid Belgrade fortress has a history that dates back to over 16 centuries. The rightful symbol of Belgrade, this fortress has been a silent witness to many rulers, dynasties and conquerors, from the Romans, Serbs and Turks to the Austro-Hungarians. If you decide to take a stroll in the Belgrade fortress, know that you will be taking a stroll directly into a time machine that’ll transport you back into a history that is centuries old. This is possibly one of the best experiences to have in Belgrade!
The largest park of Belgrade, the Kalemegdan park surrounds the Belgrade fortress and is a picturesque crisscross of walkways, stairways, historical ruins, landscaped gardens, play areas and even an amusement park.
2. Listen to the chiming of the bells at the Church of Saint Sava
Every day, the Church of Saint Sava’s 49 bells start chiming at noon, and it is an unmissable experience to have in Belgrade. The church itself boasts of a Serbian-Byzantine style architecture and is the largest Orthodox church in Serbia and is also one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world. To gauge its largeness, sample this – the church can house 10,000 people at any given time and is 299 feet long from east to west, and 266 feet long from north to south. Yes, we agree it is not as big as our Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, but it is the largest place of worship in Belgrade, nonetheless.
3. Delve into a part of science at the Nikola Tesla Museum
Inventor, scientist and engineer Nikola Tesla got many patents in his lifetime for inventions that have truly changed the world. Dedicated to him is an entire museum in Belgrade that gives us a peek into the genius personality of this man. On display at the Nikola Tesla Museum are intriguing working models of Nikola Tesla’s machines, his various personal artifacts such as books, suitcases, pieces of furniture, hats and shoes, his visions of the future and an urn containing his ashes.
4. Go picnicking at the Ada Ciganlija
Ada Ciganlija, or just Ada, is a quaint little river island on the Sava river. Popular with the locals, especially during the weekend, Ada is the place to be if you want to spend a rejuvenating evening in Belgrade. Home to a handful of restaurants and bars, activities you can undertake on the island include sunbathing on its beach, swimming, rowing, kayaking, picnicking, fishing, golfing and cycling. You can also indulge in a game of football, basketball or badminton. Oh, and, Ada Ciganlija is also home to a Ski & Snowboard Center where you can learn how to ski without snow!
5. Take a bite into the delicious Cevapcici
Cevapcici or Cevapi is a scrumptious grilled dish made up of minced meat served in a roll of lepinja (flatbread) and topped with a generous serving of chopped onions and Kajmak (type of local cheese) or Ajvar (ground pepper). Served at almost every restaurant and street side food stall in Belgrade, please specifically ask for a beef or lamb Cevapcici if you want to take a bite into this life-changing dish!
6. Experience the lifestyle of the royals at the Princess Ljubica Residence
The Residence of Princess Ljubica was built between 1829 and 1831. Belonging to the Obrenović dynasty, the structure was built with the intention of it being used as a luxurious court of the Serbian ruling dynasty. However, after the Obrenović dynasty was expelled from its throne, the building housed many government institutions until 1980. Since then, the Residence of Princess Ljubica has been housing the permanent exhibition of the Belgrade City Museum called “The Interiors of 19th-Century Homes in Belgrade”. And if you want to experience how the royals used to live back in the day, you just have to visit this museum!
7. Party on a Splav
An experience in Belgrade like no other, you can literally have a floating party while visiting the city! You will find hundreds of splavs (rafts) lining the Sava and Danube rivers during the day, and after sunset, these splavs come alive with pulsating music, floating dance floors, food and liquor enough to keep the party going on till dawn! Surprisingly, despite being in hundreds, each splav has its own personality – there are some which are ‘in vogue’ and thus charge a hefty entrance fee, there are some that are humble and earthy and encourage Serbian folk music, there are some that blast underground music or psychedelic pop… Guess there’s something for everyone here.
While these 7 experiences in Belgrade are a must, another experience to have in the city is taking a walk across any one of the many bridges that crisscross over the Sava and Danube rivers. We recommend you visit the famous Ada bridge over the Sava river. You should also visit the beautiful Republic Square of Belgrade and sip on heavenly coffee at any of the cafes that line it. And if you want to experience the nightlife of Belgrade, we suggest you go on a pub crawl in Skadarlija street.
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