04 May Belgrade in 72 hours
Belgrade is the stunning capital of the ex-Republic of Yugoslavia. And for sure it has its specific charm and magic. It offers a lot to its visitors, a grasp full of interesting history and many modern ways of entertainment. Here are the top things to see and to do while your first stay in this amazing city.
A walk through Knez Mihailova, the main pedestrian walking street in the centre of Belgrade. It will make a lasting impression on you by its architecture which is a mixture of classic and modern style. Powerful families built their stupendous mansions there in the late 19th century. Knez Mihailova offers a variety of cafés, restaurants and shops for all budgets.
Knez Mihailova actually starts from the Square of the Republic or Trg Republike where there is a sculpture of Prince Mihailo (Michael ) on a horseback, so people often say ‘’Let’s meet at the horse’. It is a beautiful area but currently, it’s under reconstruction.
Knez Mihailova leads to Kalemegdan Park and Fortress is complex lying on a hill overlooking the Sava and Danube confluence, on the eastern side of the river Sava. This has been the sight of the ancient Roman city of Singidunum, the medieval and Turkish era Belgrade and was converted into a park in the mid 19th century. It is home to several galleries and museums, restaurants, sports courts, churches and the Belgrade Zoo. This complex is absolutely breathtaking.
Skadarlija is a vintage street in the Belgrade municipality of Stari Grad (Old town) and generally considered the main bohemian quarter of Belgrade. This magical part of Belgrade, place of poetry and romantic olden times, famous for its wooden cobbles, gas lanterns among the trees in bloom, the famous houses and taverns, where famous writers, journalists, actors, directors, musicians, singers and painters spent many pleasurable nights. Today it mostly attracts curious tourists from all over the world who are eager to feel Skadarlija’s spirit and taste Serbian cuisine in one of the many traditional restaurants such as Tri Seshira, Zlatni Bokal and many others.
Ada Ciganlija was, in fact, turned into a peninsula by human hands, surrounded by an embankment and bounded by the Sava River on one and the Sava Lake on the other side. Relaxing as it soon becomes often preferred spot of many locals and tourists with the first signs of the warm weather. From dusk till dawn even late into the night, Ada Ciganlija is always lively. It is easy to find the perfect place for bathing or enjoying a sunbath along the 7 kilometres of the gravel beach. If swimming isn’t enough, you can row a boat, a kayak or a canoe on the lake, play water polo, windsurf, water-ski using a specially constructed cable-pulley, descend down toboggans, and ride pedal-boats, ride a bicycle, play football, basketball, volleyball, handball, tennis, baseball, golf, rugby, field hockey, lift your adrenaline levels by bungee jumping, relax fishing on specially built platforms or sharpen your spirit and body free climbing an artificial rock.
For history lovers, The House of Flowers and The Museum of Yugoslavia would definitely be a place of great interest. House of flowers is actually the resting place of the former Yugoslavian president Tito and his wife Jovanka Broz. While in the museum there are many presents which Tito received from various countries and also posters, declarations and other papers from Yugoslavia’s time. It is visited by a tremendous number of foreign visitors on a daily basis.
Saint Sava cathedral church is the largest Orthodox church in the Balkans. It was built in the Serbo-Byzantine style and including the cross on top of the dome, it is 82 meters high. Saint Sava Church is known for its polyphonic bells so make sure to get to the Church at a full hour to hear them. During orthodox religious holidays such as Easter and Christmas, Belgrade’s central communion liturgies take place precisely here.
Zemunski Kej (Zemun Quay) is a very famous promenade along the riverside of the Danube in Zemun Municipality. You could enjoy a walk there, watching the boats sailing or have a drink or meal on some of the floating boat restaurants and bars.
At the end of the quay, you should turn right and the path will lead you to the well known Gardosh Tower. It was built and officially opened on August 20, 1896, to celebrate one thousand years of Hungarian settlement in the Pannonian plain. The tower came as part of a massive construction effort which included buildings in Budapest, as well as four-millennium towers in each of the world’s four directions. Being the southernmost city in then Hungary within Austria-Hungary, the tower was built on the ruins of a medieval fortress on Gardosh Hill. The tower was built as a combination of various styles, mostly influenced by Roman elements.
Last but not least I would highly recommend cruising Danube and Sava in Belgrade as the route takes you to their confluence. It’s a really magical experience and the sight of Belgrade from the cruise is an irreplaceable one.