14 Things to do in Belgrade, Serbia to Keep You Busy!

14 Things to do in Belgrade, Serbia to Keep You Busy!

In November Liv and I went to Belgrade in Serbia for a super quick break. It was a city that I had wanted to visit for a while as I really love Eastern Europe and the Balkans area. We saw flights to Belgrade from London Luton for £40.00 return with Wizzair and we knew it wouldn’t be expensive when we got there so we thought- let’s go!

(I use Skyscanner to book all of my flights and this is how I find great deals like this!)

I’m not going to lie, Belgrade didn’t hugely impress me, but at the same time I don’t regret going.

I guess I knew it wasn’t going to be a city with plenty to do and lots of icon’s otherwise it would be more popular than it is. It’s a city to wander around, to take in the architecture, the history and imagine what it was once like as the booming capital of Yugoslavia.

It’s also a city to visit when you’re on a budget as it’s really cheap! I spent £90.00 there which included my accommodation for 2 nights in a hostel, meals for 1 and a half days, a taxi to and from the airport and museum entry. So with flights on top, that’s £130.00 in total for a European city break!

{{If you want my tips and tricks on how to go away on a budget see – How to Plan, Book and Have a European City Break on a Budget!}}

I also think visiting at the start of Winter made it less desirable. When we were there we kept being told how lovely it is in summer, especially when all of the bars on the river are open. On the note of bars, Belgrade is very popular for its nightlife, which Liv and I were too tired to experience so I guess we missed out on that too!

{{If you do go in the Winter though, check out What I Pack for a European Winter City Break with Hand Luggage Only!}}

 

We spent 2 nights and 1 and a half days in Belgrade in total. In hindsight it would have been better to stay for a full day on the second day and a third night as that way we could have gone on a day trip to Novi Sad, (more on that below).

Anyway, I would still recommend going to Belgrade if it’s somewhere you have been thinking about going or you are travelling Eastern Europe/the Balkans, and if you are, here are a list of places to visit in Belgrade to keep you busy and occupied whilst you are there!

Skadarlija

You’ll see Skadarlija as one of the top places to visit in Belgrade and that’s because it’s the bohemian quarter of the city and a little different to everywhere else in Belgrade. The main street is very pretty with a fair few restaurants lining it and it has a nice cobbled street. The restaurants are ‘tourist’ restaurants which show in the prices, although they are still very cheap! We went for lunch down here and also returned back one evening for a beer and to listen to some local music which was really nice. It reminded me a bit of Tbilisi in Georgia actually.

belgrade Skadarlija

belgrade Skadarlija

Belgrade Fortress

The fortress is located in the more modern side of the city. It’s a nice place to visit although quite random too. It’s a big area and from the top you can see where the River Danube and River Sava combine and go their separate ways.

Belgrade fortress

Belgrade rivers

The fortress is also home to lots of ruins as you would expect, plus Belgrade’s Gallery of Natural History Museum, a Military Museum, a Torture Museum and an Amusement Park. We also walked past an area that is filled with fake dinosaurs which were of a quality I would have expected to see in the 80’s or something but it entertained us that’s for sure.

It’s also home to a citadel and a beautiful gem of a church called Saint Petka. If there is one thing you do in the Fortress I would say it has to be visiting Saint Petka and the buildings surrounding it as its simply stunning! See pictures below!

Belgrade Saint Petka

Belgrade Saint Petka

Belgrade Saint Petka

Belgrade Saint Petka

Church of Saint Sava

I would say that this is the icon of Belgrade and honestly, what an icon it is! You have to visit the Church of Saint Sava when you’re in Belgrade!

On a map it looks quite far from the city centre and it is a bit of a walk but it isn’t that far and I would suggest walking as it’s interesting to see parts of the city outside of the centre area.

The Church of Saint Sava is one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world and apparently it ranks among the largest church buildings in the world! It’s really impressive from the outside but you need to make sure you go inside too. In November 2017 when I visited the inside of the church was not yet complete. Initially I was a bit disappointed although it was really interesting to see an empty dome and church still covered in plaster as I’d never seen this before. However, the downstairs part was open and it’s so impressive! There is gold and colour and murals everywhere! If the rest of the church is going to be anything like this it would convince me to go back to Belgrade for sure!

belgrade church of saint sava

belgrade church of saint sava

belgrade church of saint sava

Church of St. Mark’s

I don’t usually go into churches, I often feel a bit strange but with Liv and I together we went into a few, one of which was the Church of St Marks. We walked past it on the way to the Church of Saint Sava and it’s another very colourful church on the inside so if you’re passing by I would recommend heading in.

belgrade church of saint marks

The Bombed Buildings of the City

There are a number of buildings in Belgrade that are still how they were after they were bombed in the 1990’s. These buildings are marked on maps of the city and at first I thought it was quite sombre and strange to be visiting them. However, firstly I am a history geek so I found it quite interesting to see, and secondly, I found out that the government has decided to keep them in the state that they are as a reminder of the past.

belgrade bombed buildings

belgrade bombed buildings

The Museum of Yugoslav History

We had to get a taxi here as the museum is located in the Dedinje district which is quite out of the centre of the city but it was really easy to catch a taxi from both sides, plus it was nice to drive out of the centre to see more of the city.

I would definitely recommend going here if you enjoy history and are interested in Yugoslavia.

The museum is essentially about Tito- the dictatorial Communist leader of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, from 1945 until his death in 1980. Tito is one of the most significant personalities of the time. The museum says that ‘Fateful Yugonostalgics and those who are not, visit the Museum of Yugoslav History with a single wish to revive the story about the country that doesn’t exist anymore.’ Tito’s grave is also on the site of the museum.

Personally I thought Tito was bad and always associated that name with negativity and although I do not know the whole history at all, my time at the museum showed me that although he may have done bad things he kept Yugoslavia together and looked after a lot of its people when they needed him.

belgrade museum of Yugoslavia ticket

Kalenic Market

For an extremely local experience head to Kalenic Market. It’s Belgrade’s biggest open air market selling all types of fresh produce. If you’re visiting in the Summer this would be a perfect place to visit to pick up some bits for a picnic. It’s also great if you want to take some jarred local food home. Or like it was for us, it’s interesting to walk around and purely observe local life. It’s worth noting and remembering that local life does seem quite hard in Belgrade, it’s not a rich city especially for the majority.

belgrade Kalenic Market

belgrade Kalenic Market

Day Trip to Novi Sad

As I mentioned above, in hindsight we should have spent our full day in Belgrade at Novi Sad or stayed for a full day on our second day. Novi Sad is a city in northern Serbia on the banks of the Danube River. It’s fortress dates back to the 17th and 18th Century and I have heard it’s a city held back in time. The buildings there look beautiful and in some ways I would go back to Belgrade just to visit Novi Sad!

Drinks by the River

If you are in Belgrade in Summer or even in late Spring / Early Autumn I would recommend going down to the Rivers edge and seeing what bars are open. I didn’t get to do this but this is another thing I would love to do if I went back!

Check out the Nightlife

As I said, Liv and I didn’t experience any of the bars in Belgrade but every blog post I read before going suggesting checking out the bars so it must be good!

Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens were closed for some reason when we went by but they looked really pretty and google days they are open every day so heading here for a walk around would be nice.

belgrade botanical gardens

Take in the architecture

There are a lot of nice and interesting buildings in Belgrade, some of which are very much from the Soviet times which is interesting so always keep a look out to see what gems you can see!

belgrade architecture

belgrade architecture

 

In terms of food we didn’t have time to try many places but 2 places we went and I would recommend are:

Walter Sarajevski Ćevap

We got recommended by 2 of Liv’s friends who have spent a bit of time in Belgrade to visit Walter Sarajevski Ćevap. The dishes are really local (although not great for Vegetarians!) and it was a nice atmosphere. Above all it was cheap! We had a beer each, a starter, main and side to share and a dessert each and it came to £11.00! They do have an English menu too so if they don’t give you one initially, ask for it.

Smokvica

We randomly found this place on the way back from the Church of Saint Sava and it was a good find. It’s good for lunch or brunch and looks like the ‘in’ place for brunch for the younger generation. It’s cosy and modern and offers a great selection of food. I went for the Shakshuka which was delicious! They also have English menus available.

belgrade smokvica

 

I don’t like to be negative or put things down on my blog but I also want to be honest and ensure you see and do only the best so 2 things I would recommend NOT doing are:

Staying in the Hedonist Hostel – I saw this hostel recommended on another blog but honestly I wasn’t a fan. It was cheap at £10.00 each a night in a private twin room and the staff were nice and helpful but the beds weren’t great, the shared bathrooms were pretty manky, it was pretty cold, there was no atmosphere and overall it was quite old and dated, so I would book elsewhere if I was you. I did see lots of other accommodation options on Booking.com ranging from hostels to high-end hotels, have a look at them here.

Free walking tour – I love a free walking tour and generally I’ve always had good experiences but the official free walking tour in Belgrade was quite a let down. The guide was nice but he talked too much and weren’t visiting that many places. So much so that Liv and I left about half way through once we were in the fortress as we were so bored! I would save your time and money (money for the tip) and walk around yourself visiting the places I have mentioned above!


I hope that this post gives you some ideas of what to do in Belgrade and helps fill your time there!

Looking back on my trip and writing the above points has actually made me want to go back more than what I did before writing this! (One of the reasons I love blogging!)

There’s actually a lot of gems in Belgrade and a lot of prettiness. You just have to relax into the fact that not everything you see will be exciting and iconic, so may be one day I will go back to Belgrade to visit Novi Sad, drink in the bars a long the river and see the inside of the Church of Saint Sava once it’s finished!


Have I made you want to visit Belgrade?? I’m a total Skyscanner addict and find some great deals through their site.. like the flights to Belgrade! Why not look up some flights on Skyscanner now!?

For accommodation in Belgrade for all budgets have a look on Booking.com.


If you’re looking for European City Break inspiration, check out some of my other blog posts!

5 Budget Friendly European Cities!

How to Plan, Book and Have a European City Break on a Budget!

A Long Weekend in Budapest City Guide!

A Full Guide to Tbilisi, Georgia!

Why you should visit Vilnius all year round but especially at Christmas!

Everything You Need to Know For a City Break to Basel, Switzerland!

Or visit my Europe page here!


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