Belgrade

Photo © Cezar

Travel Guide Europe Serbia Belgrade

edit

Introduction

Knez Mihailova Street

Knez Mihailova Street

© All Rights Reserved Cezar

Belgrade (Београд) is the focal point of Serbian economy, culture and education. Found in the northern half of Serbia where the Danube and Sava Rivers meet, Belgrade has a population of 1.5 million, making it the country's largest city. Belgrade has a long and proud history, dating back to 4,800 BC. The ravages of war over the past two centuries, however, have destroyed much of the city's historical appearance: 'old' architecture in Belgrade is that which has survived since the 19th century.

Top

edit

Neighbourhoods

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

Historic Belgrade

While war has destroyed much of Belgrade, there are still a number of ways to delve into Belgrade's history. The city has a network of streets built up after the Turks left the city in the latter half of the 19th century, some of which are Skadarlija, Knez Mihailova Street, Nemanjina Street and Kralja Petra I Street. Important buildings include the National Museum, National Theatre, Kalemegdan Fortress, the Parliament, the Temple of Saint Sava and the Old Palace. You can also visit Josip Broz Tito's mausoleum, Kuća Cveća.

Other Sights and Activities

  • Ada Ciganlija - A penninsula on Sava River that springs to life each summer as Belgraders flock to it to enjoy its sports and recreational facilities.
  • Military Museum - Visit this wonderful museum is a great place to see military relics from ancient times to modern jets, including one downed USA stealth fighter. The building itself is also amazing and worth seeing.
  • Miroslav Gospels - One of the oldest surviving written documents in the world located in Belgrade.

Top

edit

Events and Festivals

Belgrade Beer Festival

Visitors attending Belgrade’s annual beer showcase in August only have to shell out for the price of drinks. Between 2004 and 2010, the festival’s attendance numbers skyrocketed from 75,000 to 900,000. Many of these people arrive from other countries to sample more than 30 domestic and foreign brews that are available for tasting. Each of the festival’s four nights is filled with live music and fun.

Belgrade Music Festival

None of Serbia’s classical music festivals date further back than the event held in the nation’s capital each October. Although the festival’s focus is on traditional Balkan music, orchestras and performers from throughout the world may take part in the many concerts held at Belgrades’s Kolarac Hall, Yugoslav Drama Theater, and many other elegant venues. Musicians also have the opportunity to learn from some of Serbia’s finest artists during the creative master workshops.

Top

edit

Weather

Belgrade has a continental climate with warm summers are cold winters. Summers last from June to September with average highs of 25 °C to 30 °C Celsius, sometimes hitting 40 °C. Winters last from December to February when temperatures during the day are around or slightly above zero, while nights are freezing and temperatures below -20 °C are possible.
Summers are somewhat wetter compared to the other season, though rain or snow is possible year round. In summer, rain is more like heavy showers with enough sunshine during the days as well.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max3.5 °C6.4 °C11.9 °C17.5 °C22.5 °C25.3 °C27.3 °C27.3 °C23.7 °C18.1 °C11 °C5.3 °C
Avg Min-2.3 °C-0.2 °C3.3 °C7.8 °C12.1 °C15 °C16.3 °C16.1 °C13 °C8.3 °C4 °C-0.2 °C
Rainfall49 mm44 mm50 mm59 mm71 mm90 mm66 mm51 mm51 mm40 mm54 mm58 mm
Rain Days131212131414109981214

Top

edit

Getting There

By Plane

Jat Airways is the national airlines of Serbia and is based at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport (BEG). International destinations are Amsterdam, Athens, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Göteborg, Istanbul, Larnaca, Ljubljana, Kiev, London, Malta, Monastir, Moscow, Munich, Oslo, Paris, Podgorica, Pula, Prague, Rome, Sarajevo, Skopje, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Tel Aviv, Thessaloniki, Tirana, Trieste, Tripoli, Tunis, Vienna and Zürich.
A number of other European airlines fly to Belgrade as well and cities outside Europe with services include seasonal flights to and from Toronto, and flights to Tunis and Monastir in Tunisia.

By Train

Serbian Railways has a few lines which might be of use for travellers. Destinations include Nis and Novi Sad. You can also contact them over here.
International trains go to Skopje, Zagreb, Vienna, Budapest, Bucharest and Istanbul, among other cities.

By Car

Coming north from Subotica and Novi Sad, the E-75 highway is recommended, as well as driving to Belgrade from the south. There is also a major road called Ibarska magistrala (Ibar highway, M-22), which provides approach from south-west (direction of Montenegro, for example). From the west, use the E-70 highway (from Zagreb, Ljubljana etc.). Major roads can be used coming east and north-east from Vršac and Zrenjanin.

Highways have toll stations, which are moderately priced. Serbia's only highways are parts of E-70 and E-75 roads and the highway passes right through Belgrade, causing traffic jams on the Gazela bridge and at the Mostar junction. These jams have been reduced somewhat in recent years by redirecting heavy goods vehicles to the Belgrade Bypass and by the new Ada Bridge.

By Bus

Lasta is the national long distance bus line and there are frequent connections, most of them originating or terminating in Belgrade. Check the Belgrade Bus Station website for information about schedules and prices.

By Boat

Belgrade lies where the rivers Sava and the Danube meet. Passenger ships enable you to reach every place along the Danube in a very convenient and meditative manner with many fascinating attractions along it, but it is a quite slow and rather expensive way of travelling.

Top

edit

Getting Around

By Car

As in most of Europe you must keep to the right side of the road. Driving in Belgrade can be stressful. Avoid rush hours. Plan you journey if you are going in to the city core, and expect to have a hard time finding a free parking place on the streets during Friday and Saturday evenings in the center. Garages might be a better choice.

Keep your low beam headlights turned on, during both day and night. Speed limit on the streets of the city is 50 km/h, near schools even less, on the highway is higher. Police is known to wait at places where you might feel comfortable to drive over the limit, but almost never on the highway. Take special care while crossing Branko's bridge, and driving on following streets: Bulevar Mihaila Pupina, Jurija Gagarina, Vladimira Popovića, and other major ones. Keep your seat belts fastened. Other passengers must also do the same, even when sitting on the back seat (if there are seat belts installed).

By Public Transport

GSP Beograde operates extensive public transport network of buses, trolleybuses, and trams in the city and suburbs. There are 12 tram lines, hundreds of bus lines, 8 trolleybus lines, and 9 public minibus lines (E1–E9).

By Foot

Much of central Belgrade, including most highlights, can easily be explored on foot.

By Bike

Old Belgrade is pretty hilly and the cycling infrastructure is scarce, so bicycle transport isn't in wide use. However, New Belgrade and Zemun are relatively flat and offer enough space for bikes to be used. Bicycle tracks link Zemun, Dorćol, Ada Ciganlija, New Belgrade and Bežanijska kosa. There is a bike lift on Brankov Bridge operating 365 days and the ride is free of charge. There is also more than 50 bicycle racks around the city.

Riding a bike on the same roads with cars and buses is considered too dangerous, although on smaller streets it can be reasonably safe. Avoid riding on major (multilane) roads. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to bring bikes into public transport vehicles.

Bicycle rentals are available mostly at recreational areas like Ada Ciganlija or Zemun quay. Average price is around €1.5/hour and €4/day.

Top

edit

Eat

Belgrade has hundreds of restaurants specializing in local cuisine and a number of international restaurants. On the whole, prices are cheap compared to Western Europe with main dishes ranging from €5–20 per person.

Without a doubt, the most popular choice of fast food in Belgrade is barbecue (roštilj), and there are dozens of bbq joints around the city where you can have a Serbian burger for around €2, usually with free toppings included. Some of the most popular places are Stepin Vajat (Степин Вајат) and Duff at Autokomanda, Mara and Cica in the downtown area and Iva in Žarkovo.

  • Burek - a sort of "pie", which comes in flaky layers - there are different kinds, cheese, meat, plain, spinach etc. They can be bought at any bakery (and there are many), as well as individual Burek Shops (of which there are many, as well). Tastes best when eaten with a glass of yogurt.
  • Crepes - not quite like French crepes. The crepe is made in the same way, but the filling is different - it is spread onto the crepe and the crepe is then rolled up and eaten. There are different fillings, jam, nutella, eurocreme, the list goes on...
  • Fish lovers beware, you are missing out if you don't try the traditional gourmet fish Restaurant Mika Alas (Stari Obrenovacki put 14). The restaurant is close to Ada Ciganlija and offers a variety of fresh fish and other delicious seafood. The so-called "Smudj Romanov", a pike perch fish fillet, is the house specialty and is definitely not to miss.

Top

edit

Drink

Despite the warnings, tap water in Belgrade is perfectly safe. There is a wide range of bottled waters on offer in grocery stores, supermarkets, and kiosks. The water in the city center tends to have a white appearance when first poured from the tap. This is from air bubbles and disappears within a few minutes.

Serbs love beer, and it is possible to buy a variety of domestic beers such as Jelen, Lav, MB, Pils. Along with a few imported beers, at very cheap prices. The domestic beers are quite decent. Foreign beers made under license in Serbia include Heineken, Amstel, Tuborg, Stella Artois, and Beck's. Belgrade holds a Beer Festival annually in August.

Local wines can be good, although more expensive tends to mean more drinkable, and many of the less expensive bottles are less than satisfactory. Wines from neighbouring Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia are also good and can be found in Belgrade.

The national alcoholic drink is rakija, a Serbian brandy (especially plum brandy - šljivovica, also slivovitsa in English) that is very strong and makes for a good souvenir.

For the sober crowd, Belgrade has blueberry, raspberry, tomato, peach, apple, strawberry, and any other kind of juice you can think of, along with a wide range of sodas. A popular soda in the region is the Slovenian Cockta.

All cafés serve the usual continental coffees, such as espresso and cappuccino. However, regular coffee comes in the form of Turkish coffee, not espresso or espresso-based drinks. Most cafés will serve the traditional Turkish coffee when you simply ask for "coffee", so be specific when ordering. Whipped instant coffee is also very popular, commonly referred to simply as 'Nes' (as in, Nescafé), which can be served both hot and cold. A café called Mali Prag (across from the Hotel Prag) is thought by some to offer the best "Serbian Coffee".

There are a couple of places worth visiting if you are a fan of the café culture.

The street best known for its trendy cafes is definitely Strahinjića Bana, where cafés are full even on weekdays. The best atmosphere is on Friday evenings when the trendy youth of Belgrade descend to enjoy the music and each other.

Top

edit

Sleep

Belgrade has plenty of accommodation options on offer. From Hotel Moscow built in 1860 in the heart of Belgrade to more modern structures like Hyatt and Hotel Intercontinental across the river Sava. There are also numerous apartments that can be booked privately.

Upscale

View our map of accommodation in Belgrade or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

Top

edit

Work

Top

Top

edit

Keep Connected

Internet

Serbia is very well covered with broad band internet. It is widely available in urban areas. Almost every cafe or restaurant has an wi-fi connection which is free for guests. Also there are public hot spots in major cities in some areas which are free of charge as well. There are 3G USB sticks at mobile operators which are easy to use and inexpensive to purchase.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

International dial code for Serbia is +381. Emergency phone numbers are 192 (police), 193 (fire department) and 194 (ambulance). There are three mobile operators in Serbia:

1. Telenor - 063, 062
2. Telekom MTS (National telecom) - 064, 065
3. VIP (Vodafone) - 060, 061

Prepaid SIM cards usually cost 200 dinars and there is no need for identification when buying them. In some stores you can buy a simple mobile phone packaged with prepaid SIM card for 2000-3000 dinars.

Post

Serbia has a postal service since 1840 and it was one of 21 countries which founded the Universal Postal Union in 1874 in Bern. Serbia Post is today a public, state owned company with post offices in almost every village. Postal service is pretty good and reliable. In smaller towns work hours of post offices can vary so don't count on long working hours even on non-weekend days. For sending packages you can also use companies like UPS, TNT or DHL.

Top

Quick Facts

[edit]

Coordinates
  • Latitude: 44.804756
  • Longitude: 20.478101

Accommodation in Belgrade

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Belgrade searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Belgrade and areas nearby.

Contributors

as well as dr.pepper (7%), Lavafalls (5%), Buttfish (3%), Peter (2%), Gourmet (1%)

Belgrade Travel Helpers

This is version 34. Last edited at 3:07 on Aug 2, 17 by sleepBot. 49 articles link to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License