Downtown photo in front of a red tram in Belgrade, Serbia

Discovering Belgrade: Your Ultimate Travel Guide to Serbia’s Cultural Hub

Welcome to Belgrade, the vibrant capital of Serbia! Our journey to this fascinating city began with a road trip from Greece, passing through the stunning landscapes of the Balkans. As we arrived in Belgrade, we were struck by its unique charm, a blend of history, culture, and lively energy. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an adventurer, Belgrade has something to offer. Join us on a journey to explore the best of Belgrade, from its ancient fortresses and museums to its buzzing nightlife and delicious cuisine.

General Information

  • The currency of Serbia is the Serbian Dinar. To keep up to date on currency exchange rate changes visit XE Currency Converter.
  • Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia.
  • It has a population of about 1.2 million inhabitants.
  • The first historical reference to Belgrade dates back to the 3rd century BC. It has been an important city throughout history due to its strategic location where the Sava and Danube rivers meet.
  • It has one airport, Nikola Tesla Airport. For available flights and prices see here.
  • You can travel there with your ID if you are European. More information for the necessary travel documents, depending on your nationality and your desired destination can be found here.
  • The official language used is Serbian. However, many people also speak English.
  • If you’re travelling to Belgrade and want to stay connected while on the go, buying a surf roam for international and cheap internet is a great option. With a surf roam, you can easily access the internet from your phone or other device without worrying about expensive roaming fees or unreliable Wi-Fi connections.

Transportation

Transfer from/to the airport

Belgrade has one airport, Nikola Tesla Airport, located approximately 18 km west of the city center. Below we will list all the indicative modes of transport from the airport to Belgrade city.

Taxi: The average journey time to/from Belgrade city center is approximately 25 minutes in favourable driving conditions. The price list for these routes is predetermined and depends on your destination in the city.

For reservations and prices see here.

Bus: The A1 Minibus Line connects the airport with the city center and runs every 30 minutes, with the first bus departing at 4:00 am and the last bus departing at 12:00 am. Tickets can be purchased online, at the airport or inside the bus. The route to the city center takes about 30-40 minutes.

The number 72 bus also operates between the airport and the city center. The bus stop is located at the departures terminal and the journey takes about 40-50 minutes. Public transport tickets can be purchased at kiosks throughout the city.

Private transfer: If you prefer a more comfortable and stress-free journey from the airport to the city center, you can book a private transfer. There are many companies offering this service, with prices depending on the type of vehicle and the destination.

Train: Belgrade airport does not have a direct train connection with the city center. However, you can take a bus to the nearest train station, Batajnica station, and then take a train to the city center. The journey takes approximately 30-40 minutes.

Transportation within the city

Belgrade has a well-developed public transportation system that includes buses, trams, trolleybuses, and a metro line. The system is run by the company GSP Beograd.

Bus: Buses are the most common mode of transportation in Belgrade, with more than 200 bus lines operating throughout the city. They run from around 5:00 am to midnight, after which night buses take over. The buses are equipped with air conditioning and are usually quite clean. You can buy tickets at newsstands or kiosks, or from the driver directly, but it is recommended to buy a reloadable Bus Plus card, which can be topped up with credit and used on all forms of public transport.

Tram: Trams are another popular mode of transport in Belgrade, with 12 lines operating in the city. They run from around 4:30 am to midnight. The trams are usually quite crowded during peak hours, but they offer a convenient way to get around the city. Tickets can be bought at newsstands or kiosks, or from the driver directly, but again, it is recommended to use a Bus Plus card.

Trolleybus: Trolleybuses are similar to buses, but they are powered by overhead electric cables. There are currently 9 trolleybus lines operating in Belgrade. They run from around 5:00 am to midnight, and tickets can be bought at newsstands or kiosks, or from the driver directly.

Bicycle: Belgrade is not as bike-friendly as some other European cities, but cycling is still an option. There are several bike rental shops throughout the city, and the most well-known rental app is Nextbike. The first 30 minutes are free, and after that, the prices are reasonable. There are also several bike lanes in the city, but they are not always well-maintained.

Taxi: Taxis are readily available in Belgrade, but it is recommended to use licensed taxis to avoid scams. Licensed taxis have a roof sign with a blue background and a white number, and they also have a taximeter. It is also possible to use ride-hailing apps like Car:Go and Beotaxi, which are popular in Belgrade.

Rooms for Belgrade can be found here.

What to do in Belgrade

Visit Kalemegdan Fortress

Kalemegdan Fortress is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Belgrade. Located on a hill overlooking the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, the fortress dates back to the 2nd century AD and has been the site of numerous battles throughout history. Today, it’s a peaceful park that offers stunning views of the city and the rivers below.

Visitors can explore the fortress walls, towers, and gates, as well as the numerous museums and monuments within the park. The Military Museum and the Museum of Natural History are both located within the fortress, and there are also several art galleries and exhibitions on display.

The park itself is a great place to relax and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are plenty of walking paths, benches, and open spaces where you can enjoy a picnic or simply soak up the sun.

Kalemegdan Fortress is also the site of the annual Belgrade Summer Festival, which takes place every July and August. The festival features music, theater, dance, and other cultural events, and is a great way to experience the local arts scene.

Taking selfie at Kalemegdan Fortress in Belgrade
Explore Skadarlija

Skadarlija is a bohemian neighborhood located in the heart of Belgrade. It is known for its cobblestone streets, traditional restaurants, and lively atmosphere. Exploring Skadarlija is a great way to experience the local culture and enjoy some delicious Serbian food.

One of the main attractions of Skadarlija is Skadarlija Street, which is lined with restaurants, cafes, and shops. Here, you can try some traditional Serbian dishes, such as cevapi (grilled meat), pljeskavica (Serbian-style hamburger), and kajmak (creamy cheese). While we stayed in Belgrade we visited the area twice for dinner and the local restaurants also had live music with traditional songs.

Another must-see in Skadarlija is the Bohemian Quarter, which is a maze of narrow streets and alleys filled with colorful buildings and street art. This area is home to many artists, musicians, and performers, and you can often catch live music or theater performances. Finally, don’t forget to visit the Skadarlija Market, which is a bustling outdoor market that sells fresh produce, flowers, and other goods. It’s a great place to soak up the local atmosphere and grab some snacks for a picnic in the nearby Kalemegdan Park.

Skadarlija old streets in historic Belgrade, capital of Serbia
Visit St. Sava Temple

Visiting St. Sava Temple is a must-do when in Belgrade. It is one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world, and it is dedicated to Saint Sava, who is considered the founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The temple was built on the site where the Ottoman Turks burned the remains of St. Sava in 1594.

The construction of the temple started in 1935, but it was interrupted during World War II and the communist era. The work resumed in the 1980s, and the temple was finally completed and consecrated in 2004. The temple’s main dome is 70 meters high, and the interior is decorated with beautiful mosaics and frescoes.

Visitors are welcome to enter the temple, and there are no admission fees. It is a peaceful and serene place where you can take a break from the city’s hustle and bustle and enjoy beautiful architecture and religious art. The interior of the temple is really impressive and you will definitely like it. Finally, there are also gift shops inside the temple where you can buy souvenirs and religious items.

St. Sava Temple in Belgrade
Walk along the Danube River

Walking along the Danube River is a great way to explore Belgrade and enjoy the beautiful views of the city. The riverfront stretches for several kilometers and offers many opportunities for sightseeing, jogging, cycling, and relaxing.

One of the most popular areas to walk along the river is the Belgrade Waterfront, a newly developed district that offers modern buildings, restaurants, cafes, and parks. You can also visit the famous Belgrade Fortress, which is located on a hill overlooking the Danube River and offers stunning views of the city and the river. Another popular place to walk along the river is Ada Ciganlija, a popular recreational area that features a lake, a beach, and many sports facilities. It is a great place to relax, swim, play beach volleyball, or rent a bike and explore the area.

If you are interested in architecture, you can also visit the Old Town, where you can see the beautiful buildings from the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian periods. Many of them are located near the river, such as Republic Square, Kalemegdan Park, and Branko’s Bridge. Walking along the Danube River is also a great opportunity to experience the local culture and meet the friendly people of Belgrade. You can stop at one of the many cafes or restaurants along the way and enjoy the local cuisine, or simply relax and enjoy the views of the river and the city.

You can read more about our trip to the Balkans, here.

Visit the Nikola Tesla Museum

The Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade is a must-visit for anyone interested in science and technology. (Stratos: as an electrical engineer I definitely had to go!!). The museum is dedicated to the life and work of the famous Serbian-American inventor and electrical engineer, Nikola Tesla. It is located in the neighborhood of Vracar, near St. Sava Temple.

The museum houses a collection of Tesla’s personal belongings, including his urn, books, notes, and other documents. There are also many interactive exhibits and demonstrations that allow visitors to learn about Tesla’s inventions and experiments with electricity. You can see models of Tesla’s most famous inventions, including the Tesla coil and the alternating current (AC) motor. The museum also has a research library, which contains more than 160,000 documents related to Tesla’s life and work. The museum’s staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and they are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Take a boat tour

taking a boat tour is a great way to see Belgrade from a different perspective and explore the Danube and Sava Rivers. There are many tour companies offering boat tours of Belgrade, ranging from short sightseeing trips to longer cruises with meals and entertainment. You can also rent a private boat if you prefer a more personalized experience. Some popular sights along the river include the Kalemegdan Fortress, the Belgrade Fair, the Pancevo Bridge, and Ada Ciganlija Island.

Check out the available activities and tours here.

Visit the National Museum of Serbia

visiting the National Museum of Serbia is a great way to learn about the history, art, and culture of the country. The museum has a vast collection of more than 400,000 objects, including ancient artifacts, medieval art, and modern paintings. Some of the most famous exhibits include the Roman Mosaic, the collection of Serbian medieval art, and the works of famous Serbian painters such as Paja Jovanović and Nadežda Petrović. The building itself is also an impressive work of art, with its elegant Neo-Renaissance facade and grand staircase. The National Museum of Serbia is located in the heart of Belgrade, near the Republic Square.

Enjoy nightlife in Belgrade

Belgrade is known for its vibrant nightlife scene, and there are plenty of options to choose from. Some popular areas to explore include Skadarlija, Strahinjića Bana (known as “Silicon Valley”), and the Savamala district.

Skadarlija is a bohemian neighborhood with cobblestone streets, traditional restaurants, and live music. It’s a great place to start your night with a meal and drinks before heading out to other areas.

Strahinjića Bana is a pedestrian street lined with bars, clubs, and restaurants. It’s a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, and it has a lively atmosphere. The Savamala district is a former industrial area that has been revitalized in recent years. It’s now home to many art galleries, bars, and clubs, and it’s known for its alternative and underground scene.

There are also many clubs and bars along the Sava River, where you can enjoy drinks and music with a beautiful view. Some popular venues include Freestyler, Brankow, and Lasta.

Best places to eat in Belgrade

Šaran: Located in the bohemian Skadarlija district, Šaran is known for its traditional Serbian cuisine, especially fish dishes. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere and a summer garden, perfect for a relaxing meal.

Tri Šešira: A traditional Serbian restaurant located in the bohemian Skadarlija district of Belgrade. The restaurant has a cozy and rustic atmosphere, with traditional decor and live music in the evenings. They serve a variety of Serbian dishes, including grilled meats, stews, and seafood, as well as vegetarian options. Their signature dish is the “kajmak”, a type of creamy dairy spread that is popular in the Balkans. Tri Šešira is a great place to experience Serbian cuisine in a traditional setting.

Ambar: A popular restaurant in Belgrade that offers traditional Balkan cuisine with a modern twist. The restaurant is located in the trendy Beton Hala area, overlooking the Sava River, and features a sleek and contemporary interior design. Ambar is known for its diverse menu of Balkan small plates, which are perfect for sharing and trying a variety of different dishes. Some of the standout dishes at Ambar include the cevapi, a type of grilled meat sausage, the sarma, stuffed cabbage rolls, and the ajvar, a roasted red pepper spread. The restaurant also offers an extensive wine list and creative cocktails. Reservations are recommended, especially on weekends.

Cantina de Frida: A popular Mexican restaurant located in the heart of Belgrade’s Dorćol neighborhood. The restaurant has a colorful and vibrant decor that gives off a lively and energetic atmosphere. The menu offers a variety of classic Mexican dishes such as tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas, as well as more unique options like cactus salad and churro waffles. Cantina de Frida also has a great selection of tequilas and margaritas, making it a great spot for drinks and a fun night out.

Manufaktura: A restaurant in Belgrade known for its traditional Serbian cuisine. It is located in the heart of the city and offers a cozy and rustic atmosphere. Some of their popular dishes include cevapi, sarma, and roasted lamb. They also have a variety of vegetarian and gluten-free options. Manufaktura is a great place to experience the rich flavors of Serbian cuisine in a warm and welcoming setting.

When to go to Belgrade

The best time to visit a city depends on individual preferences and what you would like to experience.

In Belgrade, the summer months are generally warm and pleasant, with lots of outdoor events and festivals. However, this is also the peak tourist season, so expect higher prices and larger crowds. Spring and autumn are also great times to visit, with mild temperatures and fewer crowds. You can also enjoy the colorful foliage and cultural events during this time. Winter can be cold and snowy, but there are still plenty of indoor attractions to visit and winter festivals to enjoy.

Useful Sites & Apps

In the last few years we have been travelling we have singled out some applications, which we use before every trip or during it. We have chosen them over others for their validity, ease of use and variety in the options they have to offer. We describe below in detail what these are together with their characteristics.

Booking.com

Booking.com is a popular online booking platform for accommodations worldwide. With a vast selection of hotels, apartments, villas, and more, Booking.com offers travellers the convenience of finding and booking their ideal stay in just a few clicks. The site’s user-friendly interface and extensive filtering options make it easy to narrow down search results based on specific preferences such as price, location, amenities, and more. As a result, Booking.com has become a go-to destination for travellers looking for hassle-free booking options. With competitive pricing and a loyalty program that rewards repeat bookings, Booking.com is a top choice for travellers seeking great deals and a seamless booking experience. Find available rooms for Belgrade here.

Welcome Pickups

One of the best, most trustworthy, and most convenient 5-star airport taxi companies for your airport transfer based on user reviews across various platforms such as Google, Tripadvisor, and Trustpilot. Welcome Pickups offers a great experience and safety to its travelers. Local English-speaking drivers, flat, pre-paid fee, flight monitoring for delays, 24/7 Customer support + free cancellation. Check your options here.

Air Bnb

With over one million properties all around the world, and always increasing, ideal for a low budget stay even in expensive areas. Furthermore, because you stay in people’s villas, houses or flats you are made to feel more at home by the host of each destination and the homely surroundings.

Hotels.com

Hotels.com is a leading provider of hotel accommodation worldwide, offering booking services through its own network of localised websites. Once you reach 10 nights, you’ll have a free night which you can apply at checkout. You can earn multiple free nights by continuing to book with Hotels.com, though. The platform gives travellers one of the widest selections of accommodation on the net, including both independent and major chain hotels as well as self-catering in over hundreds of thousands properties worldwide. The company offers a one-stop shopping source for hotel pricing, amenities and availability. Find the best deals here.

TripAdvisor

Tripadvisor helps hundreds of millions of people each month become better travellers, from planning to booking to taking a trip. Travellers across the globe use the Tripadvisor site and app to discover where to stay, what to do and where to eat based on guidance from those who have been there before. With more than 1 billion reviews and opinions of nearly 8 million businesses, travellers turn to Tripadvisor to find deals on accommodations, book experiences, reserve tables at delicious restaurants and discover great places nearby. Find available offers and book your accommodation here.

Omio.com

Omio is a leading travel platform that helps you easily plan and book your trips. With a comprehensive network of trains, buses, and flights across Europe and beyond, Omio allows you to compare and choose the best travel options for your needs. Whether you’re looking for a quick day trip or an extended vacation, Omio’s user-friendly interface and competitive prices make it easy to create unforgettable travel experiences. Check available routes here.

Skyscanner

Skyscanner is a leading global travel search engine, helping millions of travellers find the best flights, hotels and car rentals. With a user-friendly interface and powerful search technology, Skyscanner makes it easy to compare prices and options across hundreds of travel providers, giving you the best deals for your trip. From budget to luxury, domestic to international, Skyscanner has everything you need to plan your next adventure. So whether you’re travelling for business or leisure, start your journey with Skyscanner and discover the world like never before. Available flights and prices can be found here.

GetYourGuide

GetYourGuide is an online marketplace for booking travel activities and experiences. With a wide variety of tours, activities, and attractions available in destinations around the world, GetYourGuide makes it easy to find and book unique experiences for your next trip. From city sightseeing tours and food and wine tastings to outdoor adventures and cultural experiences, GetYourGuide has something for every type of traveller. With a user-friendly website and mobile app, and a commitment to customer satisfaction, GetYourGuide is a top choice for travellers seeking memorable and authentic experiences. Book your activities here.

Discover Cars

DiscoverCars.com offers a hassle-free car rental booking experience, with a wide range of rental car options available worldwide. Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, DiscoverCars.com offers competitive rates, 24/7 customer support, and flexible cancellation policies. With no hidden fees and a user-friendly interface, booking your rental car has never been easier. Choose from a variety of car rental options, including economy, luxury, and family-friendly vehicles, and enjoy the freedom of the open road on your next adventure. Book with DiscoverCars.com today and start exploring the world on your own terms!

Hotel Tonight

Here you will find last minute discounts on vacancies from hotels. This is an amazingly simple app and it doesn’t take long to book a room.You may search in each town for sights and maps. Furthermore, you can check the reviews and photos of other travellers in order to be sure about the reliability of each hotel. It also has a 24/7 customer service. If you’re stuck somewhere and you need a room desperately, this is the perfect app for you.

City Maps 2Go

Maps for travelling, hiking, mountain cycling and many other activities. A necessary app for every adventure, activity or touring abroad. You may only download one map per country, whereas it was possible to download two in the past. For an additional map you need to pay. Alternatively, as soon as you have looked at the information on a map you can delete it and then download a new one. 

You can mark all the places of interest on the map you have downloaded. Whether they are sights, shops, or restaurants you can use the directions guide to get there. The great advantage to this app is that you don’t need to have internet connection although it might get stuck a few times. Nevertheless, it is quite a reliable and useful app.

EXTRA TIP: When you mark most points of interest before your trip, you can see approximately in which area you will need to book a room. To be as close as possible to all points of interest.

iVisa.com

iVisa.com is an online platform that helps travellers obtain electronic visas, eVisas, and other travel documents quickly and easily. With an extensive database of travel requirements for over 200 countries and a user-friendly application process, iVisa.com makes it simple for travellers to apply for and obtain the necessary documents for their trips. Whether you’re planning a vacation, business trip, or other travel experience, iVisa.com can help you navigate the complexities of travel documentation with ease. More information for the necessary travel documents, depending on your nationality and destination can be found here.

SafetyWing

Designed for digital nomads, remote workers and frequent travellers. Unlike other international travel insurance, it has global coverage for a monthly fee. The company offers some different insurance packages like nomad insurance, remote health etc. Find which package suits you best here.

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