I had heard only good things about Serbia, and Belgrade in general, so I had big expectations. So did it meet expectations? Hmm, just about. Belgrade is cool, personally I preferred Sarajevo, but it’s still a fun place to hang out for a few days.
I had been told that Belgrade is another one of those cities that you should ‘feel’ rather than ‘see’, and I get that now. Wandering around Skadarska, the bohemian quarter, feels like you’re in a mix between Melbourne and Paris. Endless cafes, labyrinthine alleyways leading you off the map and countless young artists trying to shift their artwork. Really cool actually.
I only spent 2 days here, one day chilling (read: catching up with work, trying to generate some more revenue!) and one day exploring hard-core sightseeing. On my sightseeing day, I walked everywhere, no taxis, no trolley buses, no trains. It took my all day, but there’s something really satisfying about pounding the streets in a new city, here are the op 5 things to see in Belgrade, Serbia:
“The world’s biggest” anything always reels me in, so Sveti Sava had me easily. It’s the world’s biggest Orthodox church, and unsurprisingly it’s bloody massive. The work is still continuing inside, but the restoration outside is complete and it’s awesome in the truest sense of the world.
Right, this could be controversial considering I’ve just spent time in Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania and Bosnia so I’ll tread gently. Tito was the first communist leader of the former Yugoslavia and lets diplomatically say that opinions are divided about his legacy across the states that made up the Yugoslav Republic. However, he’s stil revered in Serbia so his mausoleum is an impressive site, as is the museum nearby, where you get to learn a lot about Serbia and Yugoslavia albeit from a very Serbian viewpoint.
The most famous site in the city, the fortress offers amazing views over the Danube. There’s a lot of artillery dotted around the place and it’s free to enter most of the grounds. Bring a picnic, or at least some lunch, and you can lounge about in the former fortress grounds for an hour or two, really cool place to chill.
Nikola Tesla Museum:
After years of playing ‘Command & Conquer’ I was delighted to see this museum (guys, you know what I’m talking about). This is interactive and fun, it’s sci-fi at its geekish best, guys – leave your gfs at the hostel, this is very much a museum for dudes.
A real drawcard in the summer where over 200, 000 people gather daily to go for a dip in the Danube from this man-made island. It’s a beach within a city, just don’t expect any piece and quiet, this place is throbbing with activity.
Belgrade was fun, but I’m off again now. Currently writing this on the train on the way to the north of Serbia, to a town called Novi Sad. Happy travels!
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