Belgrade: Serbia's Stunning Capital
by Katie McCabe | @awelltraveledpair | September 15th, 2021
As John and I were driving down the Balkan peninsula, we planned a stop in Belgrade for a few days. We both didn't know much about the city, and to be completely honest, I wasn't really expecting much. Once we arrived, I was pleasantly surprised with the great atmosphere and energy of Serbia's capital. We spent our days walking around, eating homemade Serbian food, and exploring fantastic sights. I felt bad for doubting Belgrade. This is an incredible city with lovely people, delicious food, and gorgeous architecture. If you're planning a trip to the Balkans, and you're thinking about bypassing Belgrade, please don't. This city has so much to offer, and it's definitely worth a visit. Below, I listed my five favorite sights in beautiful Belgrade.
The monumental symbol of Belgrade is the exquisite Belgrade Fortress. Destroyed and rebuilt numerous times, this fortress was under construction from the 2nd to the 18th century. There is so much history here, and visitors love that it is free to visit. Sitting high on a hill, overlooking the confluence of two big rivers - the Sava and the Danube - this is one of the best sights to see in Belgrade.
Skadarlija is the bohemian heart of Belgrade. Back in the 1830's, the gypsies inhabited the area. About twenty years later, artists, musicians, and writers took over the street giving it a real 'artsy' vibe. Today, the preserved cobblestone streets and quaint buildings remain the cultural center of Belgrade. Numerous cafes and restaurants can be found here, as well as art galleries and traditional Serbian music. I highly recommend visiting here, eating lunch, and browsing through the art galleries while listening to local music.
Church of St. Sava
Serving as the second largest Orthodox Church in the world, the Church of St. Sava is, in my opinion, the prettiest sight in Belgrade. The white granite and marble walls can be seen from miles away, and the interior is utterly exquisite. Whether you visit during the busy daytime hours, or when the church is lit up in bright lights, you'll be amazed by the grandeur of this masterpiece.
Nikola Tesla Museum
Nikola Tesla was a great physicist, inventor, and electrical engineer who was born an ethnic Serb. In honor of this national hero, the Nikola Tesla Museum was opened in 1952, and it houses some of his personal effects, as well as 3D exhibitions of his work. The museum is open daily from 10:00 to 17:00, and tickets cost $8 USD.
Knez Mihailova Street
Knez Mihailova is Belgrade's main pedestrian and shopping area. Named after Milhailo Obrenovic III, the Prince of Serbia, it is one of the most valued and protected landmarks in the city. This is where locals come to shop and eat. There are so many high-end stores and restaurants to choose from, but I highly recommend having a meal at Casa Nova.
When to Go: I think May to October is the best time to visit Belgrade. The days are warm and mostly clear, and the evenings are cool and comfortable. From November to April, the days are cold, and it's often snowy in December, January, and February.
Where to Stay: John and I stayed in an Airbnb while in town and we really enjoyed it. If you'd rather stay in a hotel, I always recommend looking at TripAdvisor.
The local currency of Serbia is the Dinar. 100 Serbian Dinar is equal to around $1 USD.
Serbian is the main language of Serbia, but English is widely spoken.