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What To Do in Belgrade Serbia?
The capital of Serbia is not the most famous place to visit in Eastern Europe. After spending some time there I can clearly see why. I don’t want this article to be biased. That’s why if you want to read my opinion, skip to the end. However, if you want to find out what to do in Belgrade, where to eat and stay, keep on reading!
Whether you are spending a weekend in Belgrade, or you plan to stay a little bit longer, there are plenty of things to do in Serbia’s capital.
How To Get To Belgrade?
First things first- let’s start with the ways of getting to Belgrade. It’s located in the south of Eastern Europe and doesn’t take long to get to if you’re in another neighboring country.
Crossing borders with neighboring countries
Europe’s well-connected highways make it easy to reach most major destinations. Belgrade is located on the intersection of E-70 and E-75. This makes it possible to drive directly there from any of Serbia’s neighboring countries including:
Please note though that if you are driving from an EU country with a rental car, most rental companies do not allow for driving outside of the EU because there are different insurance regulations. Serbia is not in the EU, so if you drive there from Hungary, Romania, Croatia, or Bulgaria (EU member states), you will likely need to return your rental car before crossing the border. Furthermore, when leaving the EU and entering a non-EU country, a full passport check will be required at all borders.
Renting a car at the airport
You can also rent a car directly at the airport in Belgrade. Make sure to complete your booking before arrival to maintain the currency rate – search for the best deals here. Worth mentioning also is that Serbians are known to be wild drivers so be aware!
Some useful tips on parking can also be found here.
Europe’s train system is in general linked together well, so you can reach Belgrade by train from most capital cities. Keep in mind though that Serbian trains, in particular, are old and slow, so delays are a common occurrence. Interrail describes the options for how it works. You’ll likely arrive at the downtown train station known as Glavna.
When you arrive by bus, you will also end up beside Glavna. Going by bus is the cheapest option by far, especially if you book with Flixbus. Though we only recommend taking the bus for short distances, as they are often packed, have regular delays and are not the most comfortable to sit in.
Serbia’s capital is also easily reachable by plane and has options to arrive from multiple nearby European capital cities. You can book an airport transfer here. Check out this website for the current flight deals to Belgrade.
Top Things To Do Belgrade
Get the most out of your stay and join the Belgrade sightseeing tour.
Kalemegdan Park and Belgrade Fortress
Belgrade Fortress sits within the larger area known as Kalemegdan Park, located in the heart of the city. Going there is one of the top things to do in Belgrade. The area overlooks the Sava and Danube River’s convergence and used to be home to an ancient Roman city known as Singidunum. Kalemegdan complex includes various museums, restaurants, a park with playgrounds, and the Belgrade Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in Europe.
Zemun (Old Town)
Zemun is considered one of the best places to visit in Belgrade. Some long-time residents don’t actually consider it as a neighborhood, but rather a separate town. Having been under a plethora of leaders dating back before Roman times, this area of Belgrade has been through a lot. Notably, it was even the site of a concentration camp during WWII when it was incorporated into Croatia. Though you’ll find no remnants of this dark history today.
Zemun may take a bit of time to get to with public transportation. So we recommend to do something relaxing once you get there, to really experience the area’s tranquil vibe. You can do such things as relaxing along the Danube River. There are cafes and restaurants along the way with homemade cakes and fish delicacies. Or, you can get a spectacular view of the lush fields outside of Belgrade when climbing up Gardos Hill and taking a tour of The Tower of Janos Hunyadi, a remnant of the Austro-Hungarian empire.
Skadralija (Old Town)
We have labeled Skadarlija as one of the best places to visit in Belgrade because without it, your picture of Belgrade would be incomplete. Skadralija is a Belgrade must see because it is considered a part of the old town and comes with a more vintage style. It was settled by gypsies in the 1830s and has continued an antique look ever since. Many actors, artists, and poets have lived there, the most famous being Duro Jakšic, who now has his own monument.
Savamala is known for its unique energy from exotic interiors, coworking spaces for artists, as well as a thriving club and restaurant scene. One of the most popular restaurants Gnzedo Organic, is not only one of the best restaurants in Belgrade Serbia. It’s also a great place for vegans and vegetarians, a rarity in Eastern Europe.
Yes, you read it right – Belgrade has its own version of Silicon Valley. Located on the edge of Old Town, this area is suitably named as such due to what the Telegraph calls “the number of surgically-enhanced trophy girlfriends on display.” Whether or not that’s your jam, you can at least find nice cocktails and fun places to dance.
Kneza Michaila Street
If you’ve only got one day in Belgrade, Kneza Michaila Street is an area you won’t want to miss. With a name hailing from a prince of Serbia, it’s one of the only streets in all of Belgrade that hasn’t experience multiple name changes. In the late 70s, the city began to legally protect is cultural importance and was officially turned into a car-free zone in 1987. It’s also a great place to have a beer, particularly at the DISTRIKT U2 bar.
Terazije Street (or Square) is the heart of Belgrade from a location perspective because everything stems from this area. It’s famous for the Terazje fountain, constructed in 1860. Surrounded by many hotels, restaurants, and cafes, as well as a market, it leads towards Belgrade’s Old Palace, also known as the town hall.
Prior to 1880, Slavija Square was actually still a pond where locals went duck hunting. However, it was later purchased by Francis McKenzie from Scotland, who began multiple eras of construction. The fountain in the middle remains one of the most popular landmarks of Belgrade and is surrounded by one of the craziest roundabouts you’ll ever experience.
This one we actually don’t recommend. The Tesla Museum is extremely small with little to do. It’s a shame that the museum of one of the best Serbian minds EVER is so bad. Not interactive, cramped, and simply disappointing. Better to spend your money somewhere else.
Outdoor Things To Do Belgrade
There are many awesome things to do in Belgrade Serbia that are outdoors and those looking for a swim will enjoy Ada Ciganlija, Belgrade’s city beach. Situated on a peninsula between the Sava River and Sava Lake, visitors can enjoy crisp water for swimming and outdoor sports, as well as an enjoyable atmosphere for music and drinks. What’s more, the sides of the lake are surrounded by charming green areas.
If you’re looking to relax in some greenery, Usce Park is a great place to try. Conveniently located next to Zemun it includes fields of bright green grass perfect for picnics, as well as is a place for concerts if you so choose.
Check Out The Best Tours in Belgrade:
Final Tips When You’re Considering Belgrade Sightseeing
Belgrade and Serbia, in general, have four distinct seasons, with cold winters and hot summers. Winters can reach temperatures below freezing, but summer tends to be around 22.7°C (72.9°F), great for a comfortable city stroll.
When Is The Best Time to Visit Belgrade?
The best time to visit Belgrade is usually between April and October, with June, July and August having the peak tourist season.
Where To Stay In Belgrade?
We’ve been staying at Hotel Constantine and it was great. It’s located in the city center and is a short hop away from a tram and bus stop. Rooms are well-equipped with minibars and a buffet break is available daily. The rooms also contain air conditioning and the entire facility has free wifi access.
Be Sure To Take A Day (or Two!) Trip To Novi Sad
Novi Sad is hands down the best day trip from Belgrade. Serbia has many popular tourist spots outside of Belgrade and we actually found it to be way better than the capital. Nicknamed the “Athens of Serbia”, Novi Sad brings all the charm of Belgrade without the flocks of tourists and clouds of smoke. It’s a great place to find alternative music and features a vibrant creative scene with many interesting galleries for visitors. For those who want to stay there overnight, recommend Hotel Vigor.
If your time is limited, check out this day trip to Novi Sad from Belgrade.
Is Belgrade Safe?
According to a government report from OSAC, the US considers Serbia at a Level 2 for their crime rate. This means that Belgrade does come with a considerable risk for crime to happen. It mostly involves petty street crime on public transportation and vehicle theft. Visitors here are advised to seek caution to take note of your belongings at all times, especially due to pickpocketing.
So is Serbia’s capital a good place to travel to? Yes, Belgrade is safe, you just need to keep your belongings close but this rule is the same, no matter where you go in the world.
Is Belgrade Worth Visiting?
While there are many interesting things to do in Belgrade Serbia, it’s been a complex place to travel to. Everyone smokes within the restaurants and even sometimes indoor playgrounds. You can’t park a car in the city center without SMS payments (not great for those without a Serbian number). Furthermore, the tourist attractions were lacking, the pavement and streets are in poor quality (we even damaged our car from this) and are filled with garbage. And even worse, and the food left us wanting (especially after Romania). Nevertheless, Serbian people themselves are helpful and friendly, and while they don’t smile much, they do at least speak English!