I had the pleasure of visiting one of the most beautiful capitals of the Balkans in April 2019. Although the meaning of Belgrade (Beograd) is ‘white city’, I found the city quite colourful.
Where to Stay to See the Best of Belgrade
Definitely in or near the old town! We stayed at a hotel (Maison Royale) on Knez Mihailova, one of the oldest landmarks and the main pedestrian street in Belgrade. It was named after Mihailo Obrenović III who was the prince of Serbia twice and considered one of the most enlightened rulers of modern Serbia. Knez Mihailova leads us to The Fortress of Belgrade, Kalemegdan where you can see the perfect union of Sava and Danube Rivers together with “the Victor”. There are antique towers, stairs, fortresses, Ružica and Sveta Petka churches and Mehmed Paša Sokolović’s Fountain. You may also visit the Medieval Torture Museum near the Clock Tower at the entrance of Kalemegdan.
Beautiful Landmarks in a Walking Distance from the Old Town
After seeing the fortress, we strolled around the old town and visited Holy Archangel Michael Cathedral, Konak Princess Ljubica (the princess of Mihailova), Bajrakli Mosque and Republic Square (Trg Republike). Later, we rewarded ourselves with Jelen beer at Skadarlija, the bohemian quarter of Belgrade. In the afternoon, we learned about personal effects, instruments & drawings of electrical engineer Nikola Tesla at the Nicola Tesla Museum.
From Ada Cigalija to Zemun
On the second day, we took a bus to the famous Ada Ciganlija. I was amazed by this island as it is used as a recreational zone offering pretty artificial beaches and more than 50 sports facilities. The bars of the island were almost empty as it was a weekday and not the season yet but it was so peaceful for us that we spent a few hours there. On our way back to the city, we stopped by the Temple of St. Sava and then we went to Zemun (New Belgrade) to see a performance of Belgrade Dance Festival. It was definitely an eye-opening show. Zemun has a totally different architecture and a bohemian identity as it was the last frontier of the Austria-Hungary empire.
On our last day, we enjoyed Farmer’s Market “Zeleni Venac” and the amazing neighbourhood called London. We enjoyed the local food, drinks and domaca kafa to the fullest that day.
Some Vegan Spots that I Loved in Belgrade
As a vegan person, I was so happy to be able to find such nice options to eat and drink in Belgrade. Hleb & Kifle (bakery), Mandala, Salad bar, Pasta and Salad, Vapiano (zoodle), Manufaktura are the ones that I have tried and loved.
Belgrade is one of the cities that I recommend everyone to visit to feel the Balkan spirit and atmosphere.