If you are coming to Belgrade for the first time, one of the most important things that you should know is: one weekend just won’t cut it. This city is bursting with exciting places, cultural hotspots and historical attractions, so you definitely need to spend a few extra days to get to know it well – it absolutely deserves it! Book accommodation for at least three or four days (including the weekend days of course!) and enjoy your stay in the Serbian capital.
The list of places you should see and things you should try and do can go on and on forever, but there are some absolute essentials that any tourist in Belgrade cannot leave without seeing. These include cafes, bars and restaurants, certain historical and architectural monuments, as well as the outdoor places. Your visit to Belgrade will be complete once you tick all the boxes from the following list.
What to do in Belgrade – the essentials
Your tour of the Serbian capital must start in the city center. The main street, Knez Mihajlova, is a bustling promenade lined with cafés and shops, surrounded by some of the most notable Belgrade buildings. Among the famous buildings along the street there is the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts,plenty of restaurants, numerous fashion and sports’ brands have their shops in this street, which makes it a great spot for shopping.
On the one end of this kilometer-long street you will find the Terazije square, a central city square, while the Belgrade fortress is starts on its other end. Since the early 20th century Terazije square is known as the center of social life in Belgrade. The Belgrade Fortress (Kalemegdan) is a large area that consists of the Upper and the Lower part, as well as a major park. It overlooks the confluence of the Sava river into the Danube. During the course of its history this historical monument has witnessed many brutal events, conquests, and battles, and it has survived as the prime defense spot of the city. If you’re looking for the best view of Belgrade, in the very city center, you should definitely take a walk along the fortress.
Other spots not to be missed include the Royal Palace, the New and Old Palace (which now houses the Assembly of the City of Belgrade and the cabinet of the mayor).
Night is the time when Belgrade really comes to life. If you’ve been to Belgrade and haven’t visited some of its pubs and clubs, you missed a lot! Nightlife in Belgrade is one of its most recognizable tourist attractions, and, needless to say, it should not be omitted. Not many cities can boast such a wide variety of nightlife spots, with music fit to everyone’s taste.
Skadarlija, a street famous for its bohemian atmosphere, is probably the most notable example of this. Here you will find some of the most attractive traditional inns (called kafana). You will be able to see and feel the real atmosphere of Serbian nightlife.
During the summer, Belgrade party lovers move to some of the rafts and boats located on its rivers. These open-air clubs are really a unique place for party-goers, and for that reason they are highly popular. You should reserve your place on time if you wish to be admitted to the clubs.
What to do in Belgrade – at weekends
Saturday and Sunday mornings are ideal for strolling down the city streets, enjoying a cup of coffee in one of the chic bars or shopping in one of the city’s shopping centers, such as Ušće or Delta city. If you are on the hunt for a place with great food or tasty coffee specialties, Beton hala (the Concrete hall) is the place to go. During the last couple of years, this place near the city harbor has been turned from white concrete warehouses into a touristic hotspot, perfect for pleasant weekend mornings in good company. Restaurants here serve contemporary food, and everyone can find a place according to their taste.
Close to Beton hala is the community of Savamala, a recently renovated neighborhood that stretches along the Sava river and hosts a number of creative spaces where you can visit exhibitions, or shop unique works of art.
Weekends are also a perfect time to visit the Belgrade’s surroundings. The Avala Tower (Avalski toranj) , 38-floor tower used for observation and telecommunication offers its visitors excellent view of the surrounding area. The tower is located some 15 kilometers from the city center, but it is easily accessible by regular public transport or by one of the sightseeing buses.