Belgrade and its history, Belgrade and its architectural styles: a trip to the Serbian capital enriches visitors, captivating them: these are the places of interest in the city.
In Europe, there are many cities that are excluded from conventional tourist routes. And Belgrade is one of them. Yet, all those who plan a trip to the capital of Serbia then return home completely satisfied. Because Belgrade is splendid in its romantic decadence.
Like all cities that have a complicated past behind them, Belgrade enriches visitors, charms them and captivates them. The symbolic gateway to the Balkans, the Serbian capital is a summation of its past rulers, as well as a crucial link between Central and Eastern Europe. And that is obvious in the city. Architectural styles merge and give life to a new urban fabric with an unfailing impact. All you have to do is book your flight to Belgrade and discover the places of interest in the city.
What to see in Belgrade: a tour of the cityBelgrade impresses visitors starting from the very unusual layout of the city. Built on the exact spot where the Sava and the Danube Rivers meet, Belgrade is one of the oldest cities in Europe: inhabited since 4800 BC, in the past, it has been ruled by the Celts, Romans, Byzantines, Bulgarians, and Austrians. It is not surprising, therefore, that you can find a mixture of different styles in the urban fabric, which creates a fascinating and magnetic architectural effect. But where should you start your tour of the city? We decided to start from Belgrade's central square, which is the crossroads and junction of Stari Grad, the oldest part of Belgrade.
Stari Grad, the old town of Belgrade: from Republic Square to the Fortress and Kalemegdan ParkStari Grad is the oldest part of Belgrade. Walking through this fascinating area you will discover the oldest buildings in the city, as well as what has remained standing after the wars that have torn the city apart over the centuries.
This tour of Belgrade starts from Republic Square, considered the main square of the city. Built in the second half of the 1800s after liberation from Turkish rule, it was here that the famous Stambol Gate stood: the symbol of the past rule was demolished to affirm Serbian identity and its bricks were used to build the national theatre, a great monument, and pride of the city. The equestrian statue in the center of the square celebrates the actions of Mihailius III, the sovereign who fought hard to free the city from Ottoman rule.
Continuing further and entering Stari Grad, you will discover its attractions and secrets: because one of the most famous main streets of the city, Ulica Knez Mihailova, starts from Republic Square: along this broad pedestrian avenue are historical buildings, shops and the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences. Walking along the whole length of it, you will encounter Terazije on one side, and the Belgrade Fortress on the other.
If Terazije is another big square in Belgrade, the fortress is definitely its symbol. With the beautiful Kalemegdan Park stretching all around it, Belgrade Fortress is one of the must-sees of the city. Built on the confluence of the Sava and the Danube Rivers, this fortress has been in existence since the 1st century BC, when the Romans built a defensive castrum here, the remains of which are still visible. Destroyed and rebuilt several times, over time it became a Turkish and Austrian stronghold, while the current shape of the fortress dates from the 18th century. In short, it goes without saying that it is a veritable open-air museum: walk all around it, relax on the park benches, admire the remains of the ramparts and walls, visit the Mehmet Pasha fountain (one of the few monuments dating back to Ottoman rule) and conclude your visit by visiting the War Museum. The site is very large and if you are tired of walking you can visit the entire area onboard a comfortable train.
Tour of religious buildings in BelgradeIn Belgrade, there are also impressive and majestic religious buildings. The most imposing and important is undoubtedly the Church of Saint Sava, which alone makes this tour of religious sites in the city particularly interesting. Get ready, because you will be amazed: in fact, it is the largest Orthodox church in the world. Small wonder that its green domes, made of copper, stand out on the city skyline, enhancing the landscape in the evening when the entire site is duly lit up. And the majesty of the exterior, in splendid neo-Byzantine style, only heralds the size of the breathtakingly beautiful interior. Visit it and you will not be disappointed. Also, spend a few minutes of your time in the park that surrounds the entire building.
Continue your tour of religious sites in Belgrade with a visit to St. Mark's Church, unlike any other. It is located in the middle of the Tašmajdan Park (one of the most beautiful city parks), into which it blends perfectly. In the center of the city, it is undoubtedly one of the finest churches in Belgrade. The exposed bricks create beautiful colors and the bell tower, much taller than those of other Orthodox churches, rises impressively over the city.
Belgrade's districts: a tour of Skadarlija and ZemunAs mentioned at the beginning, Belgrade is a city characterized by very different architectural styles and atmospheres: walking through the various neighborhoods that make up the Serbian capital will almost seem to be a visit to several small villages in their own right. This is what you will probably feel when walking through the streets near Ulica Skadarlija, which exudes romanticism. Low red brick houses with balconies full of flowers, cobblestone streets, small cafés, and beautiful taverns make this area particularly bohemian. In fact, it is here that artists and writers usually meet.
When visiting the Zemun district, on the other hand, the atmosphere changes radically. This district, located on the other side of the River Danube and mirroring Stari Grad, is in typical Hapsburg style. The architectural differences with respect to the rest of the city are evident: to observe them more closely (and enjoy a splendid view over the whole city) we suggest that you visit the Gardos Tower: climb the many steps and, once you reach the top, the effort will be rewarded by the extraordinary view that opens before your eyes.
Tour of the museums of BelgradeIn Belgrade, culture is a constant and the many museums in the city bear witness to this. One of the most famous is undoubtedly the one dedicated to the genius of Tesla. Serb by birth, during his troubled life Nikola Tesla produced an enormous number of patents, notes, and material that today, in part, you can admire in the museum dedicated to him in Belgrade. The Nikola Tesla Museum, which was opened in 1953 and is right in the center of the city, is a must in the city. Although it is particularly small in size, the exhibition route is masterful and allows visitors to gradually get to know this great personality who dedicated his life to science and engineering. Also, the ticket costs about 3 euros: how can you not take advantage of it?
One of the places that the inhabitants of Belgrade are most fond of, however, is the Museum of Yugoslav History which, inside, contains three different exhibition sections: the 25 May Museum, built in 1962 and given to Tito to celebrate his birthday, the Old Museum, containing more than 75,000 objects and the House of Flowers. The latter is the last resting place of Tito: the mausoleum was built where the marshal used to spend his summer holidays. It is a place that exudes sacredness, nostalgia for the past and historical memory. Visit the museum to learn more about the country's past.
Other places of interest in BelgradeBelgrade is not a small town, quite the contrary. And like all cities with a very large territory, places of interest are scattered almost everywhere. Since we want to provide a complete guide to the city, we are listing some other city attractions, which you can decide for yourself whether or not to add to your tour of Belgrade.
Parliament Building, located not far from the beautiful Tašmajdan Park is a place that oozes history: walk past it to admire the neoclassical style that characterizes it.
If you are looking for a place to relax (especially if you are visiting Belgrade in the summer), we recommend that you visit Ada ciganlija, a peninsula along the Sava River where you can enjoy both beach life and more daring activities, such as Bungee Jumping.
What to eat in Belgrade: typical Serbian dishesThe Serbian cuisine is very rich and, rest assured, you will find it very tasty. The dishes to be tried in Belgrade are a real melting pot of flavors, also due to the fact that the city has been ruled by a series of foreign powers over the centuries.
In fact, the direct descendant of the Turkish rule is čorba, a very special soup prepared with meat and entrails: it is usually served as an appetizer, so get ready to get to find out other local gastronomic specialties.
If you love cheese, for example, Srpska gibanica is for you: it is a savory cake that combines the taste of the pastry with a filling of cheese, eggs, and cream. Among the meat dishes, do not forget to try Ćevapčići, a typical Balkan grill, also of Turkish origin.
And the desserts? Palačinke comes first: they are thin crepes of Hungarian origin that, filled with chocolate or jam, will delight young and old alike.
If you are planning a trip to Belgrade (less than 90 days) and you are a European citizen, you can visit the city with an identity card valid for expatriation. All foreigners, however, are required to register their presence in the country at a police station within 24 hours of arrival in the city. If you stay at the hotel, the hotel will take care of registration. On the other hand, if you are staying in a private house, you will need to go with your host to the local police station.
When is the best time to visit Belgrade? Choose the summer season without hesitation and in particular the months between May and September. If, however, you fear the heat, avoid July and August, months in which temperatures can be as high as 30°C. Remember, however, that Belgrade is a particularly rainy city, like Serbia in general. In the city, downpours can be frequent, especially during the afternoons. So do not forget to take an umbrella with you!