Belgrade: Southeast Europe's Underrated Capital

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Curated By

Aleksandra Coric

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  • Serbia

  • Europe

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • Local Food

  • Local Culture

  • Outdoors

Narrow street in Belgrade
Curator’s statement

Welcome to Belgrade, the vibrant capital of Serbia. Known for its rich history, lively culture and friendly locals, Belgrade is a city that seamlessly blends tradition with modernity. Whether you're interested in exploring historical landmarks, enjoying the thriving nightlife, or indulging in delicious Serbian cuisine, Belgrade has something to offer for every type of traveler. This guide will help you make the most of your visit to this dynamic city.

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Where to stay in Belgrade

Square Nine Belgrade

In one of Belgrade’s oldest neighborhoods, a wholly modern and upscale stay with a gourmet Euro restaurant and roof terrace sushi spot.

Saint Ten Hotel

Immerse yourself in boutique luxury at Saint Ten Hotel, where contemporary design, personalized service, and a prime location in Belgrade combine to create an intimate and upscale retreat.

Fora Perks
  • $50-100 resort / hotel OR spa credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Things to do in Belgrade

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Belgrade Fortress (Kalemegdan): Explore the historic fortress complex offering stunning views of the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers.

Skadarlija: Experience the bohemian atmosphere of Skadarlija, a charming cobblestone street lined with traditional Serbian restaurants, cafes, live music and art galleries.

Saint Sava Temple: Visit one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world, a masterpiece of Serbian architecture.

National Museum: Immerse yourself in Serbian art and history at the National Museum, located in Republic Square.

Knez Mihailova: Belgrade's main pedestrian street is the go-to shopping district, constantly buzzing with locals and tourists.

Belgrade Waterfront: A transformative urban development project situated along the banks of the Sava River, with a beautifully designed promenade offering a picturesque setting for leisurely strolls. Cafes, restaurants and shops line the promenade, creating a lively and inviting atmosphere.

Belgrade Design District: Hip shopping complex featuring local artists and designers in a former abandoned shopping center.

Ada Ciganlija: A river island turned peninsula on the Sava River, just a short drive from the city center. This recreational paradise offers a vast lake, sandy beaches, and numerous sports and leisure activities, attracting locals and tourists alike for a refreshing escape from urban life.

Splavovi: Floating river clubs along the banks of the Sava and Danube rivers, known for their vibrant nightlife, music, and unique atmosphere, making them a staple of the city's social scene.

Places to eat & drink in Belgrade

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Klub Knjizevnika: Following WWII, this stunning property was exclusive to the local literary elite. Today, it is open to the public and one of the best restaurants in the city.

Ambar: Small plates, Balkan style.

Salon 1905: Fine dining in a grand, historic building with a bar and live music.

Dva Jelena: Nestled in the historic Skadarlija district, it offers a nostalgic experience with live music, cobblestone streets, and a menu featuring classic Serbian dishes in an inviting setting.

Belgrade Cocktail Club: Belgrade is one of the best cocktail bar cities in Europe, with some very special speakeasies. We arrived within 10 minutes of closing, and they still welcomed us in to fill one of only fourteen seats. The team are masters of their craft and a blast to chat with.

Druid Bar: They open at 5pm, and are booked for the night within 15 minutes. The service is immaculate and the drinks are perfect. No WiFi, no photos.

Tezga: Stopped for coffee and never left. Just off Skadarlija, so it makes the perfect place for a drink before or after.

Iva New Balkan Cuisine: The menu is a modern take on traditional recipes. Approved by locals, adored by all.

Need to Know

Belgrade has endured significant challenges throughout its history. Despite facing adversity, Belgrade has transformed into a popular cosmopolitan destination, attracting a growing number of tourists seeking its unique blend of history, culture and contemporary allure. Visitors are drawn to the city's unique energy, warm hospitality and the juxtaposition of historical landmarks with a modern, cosmopolitan lifestyle.

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Serbia. In need of further inspiration? Check out Ryan Sterzinger’s guide, Off-the-Beaten-Path in Sofia, Bulgaria.

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Travel Advisor

Aleksandra Coric

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