Belgrade is a huge city and it is quite hard to find your way through this urban jungle, as they call it, if you are a first-time visitor. But don’t worry, we are here to help you explore Belgrade! The first thing you will probably hear about Belgrade is that the city is notorious across Europe for its wild nightlife. That’s true. But besides that, there is a lot of culture and history (pretty turbulent) to hear about, many great landmarks to visit and a whole lot of great food to taste. If you’ve been preparing a bit for your visit to Belgrade you’ve probably already heard about beautiful Knez Mihajlova Street, magical Kalemegdan and bohemian life in Skadarlija. There are so many spots that come to mind, but to make it easier we have chosen a few major places for you to visit.
No need to wait any longer, let’s hit the Belgrade roads.
Start with the Museum of Contemporary Art
A lovely Ušće Park is a great place to start to explore Belgrade. At the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, you will find a nice promenade. This is one of the many great places to get some fantastic views of the city. Not far away from here, you will find the Museum of Contemporary Art too. Since you are in Belgrade for the first time you are lucky, because after a long reconstruction the museum has been opened again just recently. So come inside the stunning building check out the priceless collection of artworks produced in Serbia and former Yugoslavia since 1900.
© Mihajlo Anđelković/ CC BY-SA 3.0
Dive into the City from Republic Square
When in Belgrade you might very often hear people saying “Hey, let’s meet at the horse at…” This “horse” is actually the equestrian statue dedicated to Prince Mihailo and you will find it standing at the center of one of the most important squares in the city, the Republic Square. Actually, it’s probably the most important one to Belgrade people because this is the heart of the city in a sense, so everybody is meeting here. On the other hand, the first time visitors find this vibrant spot to be a great starting point of their journeys but also a place to have a break in one of the dozens of cafés around. It’s always crowded, form the early morning to midnight at least, but you will love it!
© Erik Cleves Kristensen/ CC BY-SA 2.0
Take a Stroll Through Knez Mihailova Street
If you want to go shopping you will probably want to start in Knez Mihajlova Street. It’s a beautiful and long pedestrian street with lots of stunning 19th-century buildings that will give you a classical European feeling. Bookstores, cafes, restaurants, great architecture to enjoy, it’s all there for you to have one great walk. It is also crowded during the whole day. You will love having an early morning coffee or a chill out night walk in Knez Mihajlova. And if you’re feeling tired during you look around, freshen up with clean water from Delijska fountain.
Sense the Magic of Kalemegdan
There are so many beautiful sights in Belgrade but Kalemegdan might just be the single most important one to visit. Check it out yourself and see. This famous attraction consists of the great Belgrade Fortress and the Majestic Kalemegdan Park. Some say it’s the prettiest one in the city. It definitely is the largest one. The fortification itself hides a lot of history and tells stories of many battles during its past. Many important historical monuments are all around and the Statue of the Victor must be the most famous one. It was made by a famous architect too, the great Ivan Meštrović. One of the things often mentioned about Kalemegdan is its beautiful view of the sunset. Keep in mind that the best benches are generally occupied by love couples so think in advance if you want one of these spots for yourself. If you want to read more about the Belgrade Fortress visit one of our previous blog posts.
Wander Through the Charming Skadarlija
One place in Belgrade to experience the bohemian rhapsody of your own is Skadarlija. This great historical street was once home of many famous writers, poets, composers and actors. Many of them lived in the street while all the others had Skadarlija as their main place of gathering. Famous poems were written here, literary magazines and book clubs were established. All of that happened mostly in iconic restaurants and taverns known as “Kafana”. Trying the Serbian cuisine here is a must. Oh, and while you eat don’t be surprised if a small orchestra comes by your table to play a song just for you.
© Zoran Zivotic / CC BY-SA 2.0
Feel the Vibes of Savamala
Our next spot is Savamala, a place that will offer you an alternative side of Belgrade with unique and exciting places to check out. This area along the Sava River has gone through a kind of cultural renaissance in the 2010s and now it is a creative zone with probably the best nightlife in the city. So give it a go, try the legendary rakija and enjoy great music feeling the vibe of the urban Belgrade. A little tip: basically everyone will offer you rakija. Be aware, it pretty strong! The nightlife never stops here so prepare yourself with some good high energy!
© Milica Buha/ CC BY-SA 4.0
Admire the Temple of St. Sava
In Belgrade, you can see one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world. The Temple of St. Sava really is an ultimate landmark of Belgrade and because of its greatness, it is easily seen from almost any part of the city, dominating its panorama. The temple is dedicated to Saint Sava. He was a Serbian prince, an Orthodox monk, the founder of the Serbian law, a successful diplomat. He is the patron saint of Serbian education so primary schools have special celebrations in his honor every year. As you can imagine, there’s a lot to find about his life and history importance. So, don’t miss it!
Discover the Green Oasis of Topčider Park
Again, Belgrade is a huge city. After long walks and sightseeing, you might need a bit of rest now and then. Luckily, there are more than a few nice green and peaceful areas to enjoy. One of them is Topčider Park. It’s one of the oldest and largest in the city. And it is fairly close to the downtown. Prince of Serbia Miloš Obrenović choose this green retreat as the perfect place for his palace and in the 1830s and built his personal quarters here. Today this is one of the major attractions in Belgrade, known as “Milošev konak”. Here you can do anything from having a picnic to horse riding so don’t hesitate to stop by and enjoy yourself.
We listed 8 must-see places to help you explore Belgrade – Serbian urban jungle. Make sure to download our Cultural Places App too and find a guide for first-timers in Belgrade. We promise it will help you a lot.