In autumn 2012, I traveled to Belgrade for an extended weekend. The purpose of the trip was to experience Belgrade, which is now becoming a very popular and recognized European tourist destination. We would like to confirm whether Belgrade is really an extended weekend worthy. The answer is definitely yes. Based on my trip I will present some of my main travel tips for Belgrade.
Cheap flight tickets, cheap overall prices, very good selection of restaurants, bars and cafes.
Few major attractions.
Belgrade is the capital of Serbia and houses about 1.7 millions people – inclusive urban areas it is around 2.7 millions. It makes the city one of the largest cities on Balkan. The city is beautifully situated on the river banks of Sava and Danube, which over time has been very important to the city’s development and has definitely affected the trading.
Prices in Belgrade
The reason for Belgrade’s increasing popularity is among other things primarily due to the low price, which still characterizes the city. Although prices are rising because of the city’s expansion and growing Western affiliation, the prices are still relatively low. For western Europeans it is indeed very cheap to go to restaurants and cafes. I would say that the prices here are less than half of Danish prices. We learned, however, that prices among other clothes were not immediately quite low. It is also relatively cheap to shop in the supermarket.
There are some low-cost airlines flying to Belgrade. Norwegian has daily flights to the city. Moreover, it is also cheap to fly with Serbia’s local company JatAirways and Wizz Air. Through these airlines you can easily get single tickets for 40-70 euros one way.
Getting around in Belgrade
It is very easy to get around in town on foot – all the main sights and the center of the city are within a radius of a few kilometers. We definitely think it was the best way to discover and get around the city. By foot it is easy to reach smaller streets where all the local bars and restaurants are situated. Otherwise, it is by European standards very cheap to take a taxi. We took plenty of taxi’s too, but we aware – they drive like hell.
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Things to see in Belgrade
Temple of Saint Sava
The world’s largest Orthodox church and a very important site for Orthodox pilgrimage is the Cathedral of Saint Sava, which is located just outside city center of Belgrade. From the city center it takes about 15 minutes to reach the cathedral by to walking. I will really recommend to see this church. In my opinion, Cathedral of Saint Sava is the top attraction in Belgrade. The interior parts of the cathedral is less impressive than the exterior.
The historic areas and buildings of Belgrade are among the city’s premier attractions. They include Skadarlija and Belgrade Fortress (Kalemegdan Fortress) which I both were visiting.
Skadarlija (old town) is a vintage street and generally considered as the main bohemian quarter of Belgrade, similar to Paris’ Montmartre. It is indeed a very nice street with some well-preserved buildings and
cobblestone streets however it is a quiet small area and there is not much to see. Skadarlija offers some nice cafes, bars and restaurants which I enjoyed a lot. In my opinion, Skadarlija is not a major attraction.
From Kalemedgan Fortress you have a stunning view of Belgrade as well as the surrounding rivers and landscape. I will definitely recommend an evening or night walk on the hilltop enjoining the night-light from the skyline of Belgrade.
Additionally, Belgrade is known for its nightlife and is declared as having some of the best discos in Europe. Numerous of discos are located in the city center and I can highly recommend a trip on one of the many discos. During summer there are several floating platforms along the river shores which offers live music, dancing and serving of drinks and beers. These parties under open sky are very popular in the warm summer nights of Belgrade.
In my opinion, Belgrade is a really nice capital, but there is not much to see in town. Belgrade is indeed a great and also cheap alternative to the classic destinations like Paris, Rome, Berlin and London. I will highly recommend an extended weekend in Belgrade either during spring or autumn, when temperatures are moderate. In the summer it can be very hot while the winter is cold with a lot of snow. It is ideal for a shopping weekend with the girls or a football and beer weekend with the boys finishing with a wild night out.
I hope you can use some of my travel tips for Belgrade!
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