Belgrade – New York of the Balkan

Belgrade-Bridge-Ada

A city that never sleeps. A city that I call my second home. Belgrade. Such an inspiring place with incredible culture and passionate people. I spent my two years during working for my TV show and college here; And ever since it has a special place in my heart. Its always a unique experience coming back.

I know that people all around the world have very different opinions about Belgrade, since most of them just see it as Serbian capital i.e. a capital of the country that is poor and considered to belong to the countries of the third world! Well, let me tell you its nothing like that.. Belgrade – it’s a whole new dimension. A city that may be not as popular as London, Paris, Madrid, etc., but certainly very vivid place, with people from all over the country coming to live in it, visit it, and what is of uttermost importance, full of life! Just step out on the street! You will immediately feel alive! No wonder it got a nickname NY of the Balkan.

When you visit for the first time one of the best areas to stay at and visit its called Dorcol. The area is mostly known for cafés and clubs and pubs. There is this specific street, full of bars and restaurants called Strahinjica Bana, also known as „Silicone Valley“.

It takes 10 or 15 minutes top to reach the most famous Street in Belgrade – the Knez Mihajlova Street, from any point in Dorcol. Knez Mihajlova Street is usually a meeting point for everyone. It is the best known street in town. No cars, only for pedestrians and shops all over it.

When you reach the end of this street and just cross the road – you are at Kalemegdan, a great place to walk, beautiful garden with a fortress and a view to the river. Also practically a symbol of Belgrade.Kalemegdan-park-Beograd

Very beautiful part of town is also Zemun. Other side of the city by the Danube River. Well known for its restaurants near the water and „kafanas“ – this is some kind of restaurants where at some point you get live music, usually guitars, harmonicas, etc.

Oh and how could I forget about Skadarlija!? A must!! This a bohemian quarter, downtown, in Dorcol, very specific and unique, full of „kafanas“, but what is more important full of people. Age 7-77. Skadarlija and Kalemegdan are actually the real symbols of Belgrade. Very old, well known and interesting. With bunch of restaurants with the national Serbian food. Even tho I am not a meat eater, but if you are there is obligatory to try Cevapcici and Pljeskavica. While for everyone I would recommend Prebranac.turistički-vodič-beograda-skadarlija-apartmani-Beograd

I think it is more then time to focus on the culture. Belgrade has such a wide specter of things to see. First – The National Theatre, located in the Republic Square (Square in Knez Mihajlova). Always with a very good repertoire, extremely talented actors, directors, etc. The Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts is also based in Belgrade, as well as the National Library of Serbia. Two opera houses I would mention on this occasion are in the National Theatre and in Madlenianum Opera House. Belgrade is also full with museums and no way you can go through all of them in just one visit. Best is to start with the National Museum and go from there. Next would be the Military Museum, Museum of Nikola Tesla (displaying his personal items), and Museum of Aviation. There is a cup of tea for everyone. And, if you like royalty, the White Palace – home of the royal family Karadjordjevic, is open for visitors. The palace has many valuable artworks and is something you should visit, of course, if you prefer arts and history more than clubs and stores☺. Josip Broz Tito’s mausoleum is near and it is named The House of Flowers. This place is like a diary of the life of the former Yugoslav president – Josip Broz Tito.

And, even though this is maybe only 20% of things to say about Belgrade and places to go, let’s just quickly add that if you chase adrenaline, you can even try yourself in extreme sports. Ada Ciganlija is the place, that literally transforms itself into a beach during the summer.

Wherever you go, you will meet pleasant people, easy going and eager to make friends. They will instruct you where to go, what to drink, what to eat, what not to miss. Serbia is known for its „rakija“, as Russia is for vodka. So, try „rakija“, but not that much of it (unless your goal is to get wasted).

For beer lovers: Visit Belgrade in August, since there is a Beer FEST, always very popular and visited. And for party lovers: July is the right time for you, but you will have to go a bit away from Belgrade, to Novi Sad and go on EXIT fest, which is worldwide known and gets better and better every year. Performers from all over the world take they turns on stages.

CULTURE

The National Museum
The Museum of Nikola Tesla
Kalemegdan Fortress (you can also do a tour of Belgrade underground)
Belgrade City Museum
National Theatre
Madlenianum Opera House

HOTELS

Square Nine
Moskva
Intercontinetal

RESTAURANTS/BARS/CAFES

Smokvica
Supermarket – concept store with some designer pieces, coffee shop and a small restaurant
Seher
Savanova
Dijagonala 2.
Sakura
Gusti Mora – Best seafod restaurant
Communale
Jimmy Woo
Talas
Tri sesira (Skadarlija)
Pastis – favorite coffee spot

CLUBS and KAFANAs

Lasta
Sindikat
Porto
Terasa
Baraka
Inbox (fall and winter)
Tranzit
Mladost Ludost Radost
Freestyler

And for the very end – if you want Serbian folk music, by which I don’t mean old Serbian songs that you can hear in kafanas, but songs of Serbian folk singers than head to River, Blaywatch, Ona moja, Stara Pesma, Hua Hua or something like that. All of these are located in New Belgrade, across Brankov’s bridge and they are next to each other- Ask for directions, someone will sure get you into one of these. If I would chose for you, I would say – Hua Hua 😀

Xoxoxo

Coffee at one of my fav spots Smokvica

KALEMEGDAN-FORTRESS-5050423284-1_670x0Kalamegdan

Belgrade-Kalemegdan-at-dawn

beograd_skadarlijaOld town Skadarlija

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Comunale restaurant by the river

FullSizeRender-7Desserts at the Square Nine

FullSizeRender-9Typical “kafana” with Trubaci – at Tri Sesira

FullSizeRender-5Work and Coffee at Jimmy Woo

FullSizeRender-10View at Kalamegdan

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FullSizeRender-13With my friend – fashion blogger Zorannah

FullSizeRender-4Dreaming of Belgrade

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ks_beograd_bigKnez Mihajlova street

Knez-Mihajlova-ulica-Beograd

Belgrade cityscape on Danube

Skadarlija_street,_Belgrade,_Serbia


 

  • http://jovanamiljanovic.com/ Jovana Miljanovic

    Great post, I always tell my friends from NYC that Belgrade is definitely the Balkan twin of NY.

    xx