Belgrade is a real urban jungle and a city where a lot of things happen. You could spend many days in Belgrade before you get bored, believe us. But if you plan to visit Belgrade for a day, whether it’s for business or it’s just a stop on your road trip across the Balkans, we have a few ideas on how to spend your precious time there. So, if you’re wondering how to explore Belgrade in 24 hours and feel the gist of it, keep reading and plan your short trip well.
We’ve recently been to Belgrade for a day, so here we’re about to share the things that we did and that we feel are mandatory if you want to see the best of Belgrade in such a short period of time. We hope you enjoy this blog post and exploring Belgrade as much as we did 😊
Begin Your Exploration at the Republic Square
If you’re a first-time-visitor in Belgrade, the best way to start exploring the city is from the very center — the Republic Square. This might be the most important square here because this is the heart of the city, so everybody is meeting here. To be more precise, everybody is meeting at the “horse” — the equestrian statue dedicated to Prince Mihailo standing at the center of this square. This vibrant spot is always crowded, form the early morning to midnight at least, but you will love it! Around the square, you will find dozens of cafés, boutiques, and amazing architectural landmarks. One of those is surely the National Museum, which is the largest and oldest museum in Belgrade.
Stroll down the Knez Mihailova Street
After getting to the Republic Square, the only logical step would be to take a stroll down the Knez Mihailova 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, cafés, restaurants, great architecture, amazing street performers — it has everything you need to sense the spirit of Belgrade. It is pretty crowded during the whole day. You will love having an early morning coffee or a chill-out night walk in Knez Mihajlova.
Spend Some Time at the Belgrade Fortress
The Knez Mihajlova street will lead you right to the entrance into the Kalemegdan park, which is basically the gateway to the Belgrade Fortress complex. This famous attraction consists of the great Belgrade Fortress and the majestic Kalemegdan Park and is one of the most beautiful attractions in the city. The fortification 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 — the great Ivan Meštrović. Some of the best things about the Belgrade Fortress are the views of Zemun (an old neighborhood of Belgrade), the Big War Island, and the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. The views are especially magical in the sunset, you definitely shouldn’t miss this experience.
For more insights into the Belgrade Fortress, we recommend you try out our virtual guides through this amazing place. There are a few tours around the Fortress and they are all free, so don’t miss them:
- Belgrade Fortress – Kalemegdan Park
- Belgrade Fortress – The Upper Town
- Belgrade Fortress – The Lower Town
Have a Cup of Coffee at Nikola Pašić Square
Coffee culture is kinda strong in Belgrade and Serbia in general. That’s the first thing that you’ll be offered once you enter a Serbian home. Most of the talks and hangouts are happening in a coffee shop. So naturally, there are many great coffee shops all around Belgrade, especially around the city center and its squares. One of such squares is the Nikola Pašić Square, only about 5 minutes away from the Republic Square. You will find a couple of nice cafes with gardens under the lush trees — perfect for enjoying a coffee in shades. While on the square, enjoy some of the most important state institutions buildings and amazing architectural landmarks — the National Assembly, Belgrade City Hall, and the Presidency of the Republic. The last two were the royal courts back in the day when Serbia was a kingdom.
Visit Skadarlija and Try Traditional Serbian Food
When it comes to food, we recommend you go to Skadarlija — a great historical street that was once home of many famous writers, poets, composers, and actors, who were mostly gathering in iconic restaurants and taverns known as “kafana”. Trying the Serbian cuisine here is a must. We recommend you to try traditional barbecue specialties like pljeskavica (spiced meat patties) with ajvar (a famous red pepper paste) or Karađorđeva steak – a breaded, rolled veal or pork steak stuffed with kajmak (a dairy product similar to clotted cream). Don’t be surprised if a small orchestra comes by your table to play a song just for you while you eat.
Enjoy Belgrade Nightlife
The first thing you have probably heard about Belgrade is that the city is notorious across Europe for its wild nightlife, which is true. Whether you’re a night-club type of person, or you prefer to chill in a pub or a café, you will have a great time in Belgrade.
This time we decided to find a nice pub and enjoy some craft beers. After taking a stroll down one of the most recognizable Belgrade streets and the oldest one that still bears its original name — Balkanska ulica (eng. Balkan Street), we stumbled upon a pub called “Samo Pivo” (eng. Only Beer). The pub has a nice large terrace where you can chill and try many of the craft beers they serve. We would definitely recommend having a beer here, but there are so many pubs and bars (and clubs) in Belgrade that you will surely find the one for yourself.
Explore Belgrade Digitally
We know that there’s a huge possibility that you won’t be able to travel to Belgrade anytime soon. This is why we want to share our digital tours that will give you a great insight into this wonderful Serbian capital and its most important landmarks.
We already mentioned our tour around the Belgrade Fortress and we’re sure you’d be interested in listening to “Glimpse into Belgrade”.
Note: All of our Belgrade tours are for FREE, and this is a great opportunity for you to try out our Cultural Places platform before you decide to purchase a guided tour for yourself.