Serbia: 24 hours of fun in Belgrade
January 1, 1970
by Olivera Stojanovic
If you enjoy being in a beautiful nature, eating a delicious food and you want a possibility to party every single night of the week, then your perfect destination is the capital city of Balkan area and my hometown, Belgrade. The city is situated on two main rivers, Danube and Sava and with its rich history, Belgrade offers you a lot of interesting stories and activities. No matter what age you are, Belgrade has something for everybody. There are a lot of parks for children, coffee places for those who enjoy drinking their coffee slowly and a huge amount of nightclubs for those who like to go out, party all night and see why Belgrade is called the capital of nightlife in Europe.
Daytime in Belgrade
Where to go?
Unlike us, the Belgradians, who don’t usually live in the city center, if you come as a tourist, you probably will, which is great and it means that everything is close to you. You can start your day with a nice walk in the historical center. The main street in Belgrade is called Knez Mihailova Street. This street has many shops, restaurants, bars. It is perfect for shopping branded clothes but also for finding authentic souvenirs. At the end of this street, you will enter to the Fortress of Kalemegdan. It is a big historic fortress with a view on the confluence of Danube and Sava. The whole area of Kalemegdan is fulfilled with parks, playgrounds and park benches where you can sit with your loved one and enjoy the view or just have a laugh and relaxing time with your friends.
My neighborhood is the second popular place, right after the city center. The reason why is so popular is because we have an 8km long lake called Ada Ciganija, known as “Belgrade sea”. The whole lake is fulfilled with restaurants, bars, and clubs. More than 3/4 of the lake is beach area so during the summer Ada is crowded with people taking a break from hot temperatures. Besides the beach, Ada has courts for few different sports such as football, basketball, volleyball, handball, golf, tennis, etc. In my neighborhood, there is also forest called Košutnjak, a place very popular when it comes to taking a walk, enjoying the nature and peace. There is a part with running track and some useful tips on how to get yourself in a perfect shape using their wooden made exercise equipment.
What to do?
Belgrade is a city of bridges. There are a lot of bridges for you to cross on the other part of the city called Novi Beograd, which can be translated as ‘New Belgrade’ because that part of the city is relatively new. In that part of Belgrade, you are free to enjoy on a riverside, in shopping centers or small restaurants on rivers called splav. You can rest there or eat something good since Serbian kitchen is famous for its fantastic taste. You can try typical dishes such as pljeskavica, cevapi or karadjordjeva steak. We are known as a “meat nation”, so don’t be surprised to see meat in almost every single meal. But, there is a one must- try dish in Belgrade, so if you are here 24 hours only, that has to be part of your Belgradian experience. The dish is called sarma.
After some amazing food, you can go and have some coffee in the nearest coffee shop that has a view. Serbians and especially Belgradians, simply love having some coffee in the afternoon while they’re chatting with their friends. In almost every neighborhood you can find few of those coffee places. If asked what we prefer, tea or coffee, I am pretty sure that most of us Belgradians would say definitely coffee. So during 24 hours that one day has, we drink at least 2 or 3 coffees.
Play some sports and meet new people. As a people, we are very chatty and it doesn’t matter if you come here alone or with some friends, if you stay one day or one month, you are most likely to make friends here. The hospitality is on a high level and even though Serbia is not a rich country, we are very rich in their heart. I assure you that we are always willing to share everything we have with you even if that is not much. We love meeting new people, introducing them our own culture, but also learning something new. Sports are very important in Belgrade, especially football, basketball, water polo, volleyball, and tennis. In all these sports, they are very successful as a nation. As I already mentioned, all around Belgrade there are courts for playing all kinds of sports. And even if you don’t feel like playing one, feel free to go and watch some game. Those types of gatherings are also very popular here because we very much enjoy cheering and support our teams. Plus, there are a bunch of recreation and spa centers where you can swim, get a massage and simply relax.
Nighttime in Belgrade
Now, after all these daytime activities you’ve read, let me tell you something about our nightlife and how we spend our nighttime here in Belgrade. Well, mainly in bars and clubs or other types of places for going out, because they are open every single night of the week until early hours in the morning. Yes, you heard it well! To us, it’s not a problem if we have to work tomorrow, we will still go out in the evening, come back home at 4 am, have a quick nap and then we will go to work telling our colleagues funny stories from the night before. Whether you like R’n’B music, rock, pop, house or you would like to experience some traditional party, in Belgrade you can find all of those in one night.
In Belgrade, there are many places called Kafana. That is a type of restaurant with a live music band that sings famous Serbian songs. They are very popular among the young people in Belgrade because they have a bohemian taste and lyrics that everybody can relate to. The most famous are in Skadarlija Street, but they are considered to be for a little bit older audience. For the younger Belgradians, there are many of them in every part of Belgrade, in historic center or on the rivers. Every neighborhood has its own famous kafana.
Even though kafana is very popular place in Belgrade, there are also many clubs with international personality, for foreigners or Belgradians that are more suited to the American music. They are also based in the historic center and on the rivers. There is even one club called ‘Brankow’, known for its fantastic R’n’B parties, based inside of the Brankow bridge. The most popular ones can be found on the Sava and Danube riversides.
If you don’t have any specific taste in music, you can join a lot of events during every season of the year. There are many music festivals. Every August, Belgrade is a host of Belgrade Beer Fest, where visitors can listen to our local famous artists and drink all kinds of beer. And finally, if you are into something little bit more peaceful, Belgrade offers you to chill on Kalemegdan Fortress with the sounds of easy guitar provided by locals. You can lay down on the grass, watch the stars and listen to some chill music. Of course, if you are with kids and you don’t have time to go out much, you can take a nice walk in the city center, enjoy the evening programs on the main city squares, have some ice cream, drink some nice wine and enjoy the positive atmosphere of the city.
So there you have it, my people…
If you are considering Belgrade for a holiday destination, every season of the year can be the best time to visit. And be sure in one, once you meet Belgrade, you will want to come back for sure. There is a famous Belgrade quote, written by famous Serbian poet that says: “Whoever was lucky enough to wake up in Belgrade this morning can consider that he has achieved quite enough in life for today. To insist on anything more would be unseemly.” We look forward to meeting you!