Welcome to Belgrade!
Famed for its vibrant nightlife and superb cuisine, Belgrade, Serbia, has become a popular travel destination over the last couple of years. With its Ottoman relics and the ghosts from the Socialist era, the capital city is incredibly diverse, making it quite different from other capital cities in Europe.
Exploring Belgrade as a worldwide local allows you to experience the city’s charm beyond the main attractions while viewing the best sights and hidden hangouts as an experienced traveler. This guide takes you out of Belgrade Airport and allows you to follow the footsteps of the locals, helping you make the most out of your stay.
Start with Some Local History
Home to over 200,000 artifacts including historical documents, photographs, films, and artworks, the Museum of Yugoslavia is a great place to visit, especially for travelers who are interested in the history of the socialist state of Yugoslavia. The museum offers free tours on the weekends in both Serbian and English.
Shopping in Belgrade
For a local experience, a visit to one of the city’s markets is a must. Besides testing your bargaining skills, you’ll actually have a chance to buy some rather unique Serbian products like ajvar, rakija (aka local moonshine made of fruit), kajmak (a type of cheese), and many other local delicacies, which Serbians are very proud of. Some of the most popular local markets include Zeleni Venac, Bajloni, and Kalenic.
Worldwide Local Tip: Belgrade’s local market vendors do expect you to barter with them. It’s kind of a tradition here, and everyone accepts the game. Some of them will give you a discount if you are purchasing more than one item, even without you saying anything. Just don’t try haggling with the manager at any of the Belgrade hotels!
Can’t-Miss Belgrade Neighborhoods
In Blok 70, Belgrade’s Chinatown may not be your classic tourist attraction, but it’s definitely worth a visit. Expect to find anything from cheap household trinkets to souvenirs and groceries.
Packed with bars, cafes, and the best Belgrade restaurants, Skadarlija is a place to visit to escape all the hustle and bustle of the city center. Dotted with cobblestones, the area is ideal for long walks on the weekends.
Worldwide Local Tip: Unlike other capitals in Europe where it’s usually not allowed to smoke inside of restaurants and bars, smoking in Belgrade is allowed everywhere. It doesn’t really matter if it’s fine dining or a run-down bar, a cloud of smoke will follow you wherever you go.
Outdoors in Belgrade
Belgrade is not a coastal city, but it has a river and a popular beach area, called Ada Ciganlija. Lounging by the water’s edge, soaking up the sun in the nice Belgrade weather--while enjoying refreshing cocktails from the beach bars--is a popular activity among the locals.
No visit to the city is complete without exploring Kalemegdan, a fortress and a lovely green area that houses some of the best galleries and museums in Belgrade.
Belgrade After Dark
In the evening, pay a visit to one of the popular river clubs to discover why Belgrade is famed for its vibrant nightlife. Also known as “splavs”, these nightclubs, located on the riverbanks, throw the most amazing parties ever. From national folk music to R&B, from hip hop to disco and techno, there is plenty to choose from. Keep in mind that parties usually start after midnight and last until the wee hours of the morning.
Worldwide Local Tip: In the morning, it’s time for breakfast, and in Belgrade this means burek. This Balkan dish is a special type of pie with cheese, meat, or potatoes, and you can find it in every bakery in Belgrade. Don’t leave Belgrade before stepping inside a “kafana”. These are basically cafes with a rustic interior where locals gather to socialize while enjoying coffee, beer, or rakija.
Enjoy Your Stay!
A trip to Belgrade can be an unforgettable experience if you know the right places to visit. This is why it is best to travel as a worldwide local: a person who thinks outside the box and knows how to find the finest spots in the city.