Things To Do In Belgrade – A Two Day Guide To Serbia’s Capital
Visit Belgrade. We highly recommend it! As capital of Serbia, it is definitely a point of interest with loads to see and fun things to do. Our visit last summer gave us a glimpse of this fantastic Eastern European country and we want to share our experience in this article. Check out the things to do and what to see in Belgrade according to our two-day itinerary below. We break down some budget information as well as suggestions on where to stay and what to eat on your visit so you'll know what to expect to pay and some idea of local dishes to try!
Ever visit a country that is NOT on your bucket list? I know this seems like a weird question, but I ask because I want to make you think about trying it at some point. We never had Serbia on our travel radar. To be honest, it wasn't a country that we had ever heard anyone else travel to. Therefore, we never considered it. After all, word of mouth is very much a part of how a lot of people determine where they want to visit. Those who have a limited time off for vacations may choose popular places because they have heard great things about the place from others. I don't imagine that many people choose some random, unknown, to spend their hard-earned time off. I'm here to take Serbia off the "random, unknown" list and give you some inspiration for your next Eastern European travel destination.
There is a level of "guaranteed" enjoyment that comes with going to popular destinations, so they are more of a "safe bet." Additionally, it gives people an experience that they are more easily able to have in common with someone in their circle. I mean, how often do you think you can find another person that will say "Yea I went to Serbia, too, for my two-week vacation"? I would even go as far as saying that most Americans would probably not be able to locate Serbia on a map, let alone plan a trip to visit any city in this country. As a travel blogger, I feel a bit of responsibility to shed some light on more underrated places so that more and more people are exposed to them.
Belgrade For Beginners - A Guide Of Things To Do
One of the first things I loved about visiting Belgrade is how easy it is to get around. You can pretty much walk around to a lot of places, and the ones that are a bit far are a cheap taxi ride away (but not as cheap as in Novi Sad). The best area to stay in is the main square of Belgrade, Republic Square. This is a very centralized location from which you can roam around and explore by foot. Here, you'll be a stones throw from some of the most recognizable public structures including the National Museum, the National Theatre and the statue of Prince Michael. There are loads of great restaurants and bars to enjoy right in this square which makes it easy for travelers. I always find that the hardest thing while exploring is having to figure out where to eat when you're ALREADY hungry, so it's nice to have lots of options conveniently located.
Hanging out with some locals in Serbia gave us a bit of an "insiders" insight into some of the popular spots. For instance, locals may tell their friends to meet "At the horse." This might sound like some kind of code, but if you just look around while in Republic Square, it will be more obvious to you what they are referring to. When they say "Kod konja" literally meaning "at the horse" they are talking about the statue of Prince Michael (Prince Mihailo Monument). This is popular meeting point due to it's easy to find, central location. Incidentally, this is the spot we started from on our free walking tour (keep reading for more details on this).
Where To Stay In Belgrade
As we have mentioned, Republic Square is the place to be when visiting Belgrade so you will want to stay at a hotel right in that area for convenience and ease of sightseeing. Our Serbian friends recommended a hotel right in the square. The Hotel Majestic is an ideal choice. Our local friends had previously stayed there and recommended it to us for our stay. For its perfect location, the price and quality were well worth it ( I think it was about $80 USD when we booked). Our room was clean and well organized with the essential amenities. The bed was comfortable and provided us the rest we needed on our first night in Serbia (after we had been traveling for over 10 hours already). The best part, really, was the perfect area in which the hotel is situated. If you want to make the most efficient use of your time and not have to spend money on transportation, we highly recommend staying here.
By the way, the breakfast that is included at the Hotel Majestic was another highlight of our stay. They provide a massive variety of options in their breakfast buffet, and the food is delicious. We loved having a big breakfast with all of our favorites as well as some new local items to try before starting our day exploring the city. It really set the tone for the rest of our time in Serbia!
Here are some other choices that may be good for your stay in Belgrade.
Traveler Tip: You can purchase sim cards for about 600 dinar ($3), then top it up with 300 dinar for 1GB.
Day 1 - Belgrade, Serbia Must Do's
Sightseeing: Kalemegdan (Belgrade) Fortress - No Cost To Visit. (Taxi from Republic Square: around $3USD)
After resting for a bit upon our arrival to Belgrade (we were traveling from Thailand, so the flight was a bit long and tiring), our local friends took us on a tour of Kalamagden Park and Belgrade Fortress. The park itself is a fantastic place to walk around in and enjoy time with friends or family (a locals hangout). We visited as the sun was getting ready to set on our mid-summer day, so it was a great time to be there. The glistening waters of the Danube flowed down below the edge of the fortress in the Golden Hour, creating a pleasantly romantic ambiance. The views here are priceless which make you wonder how a beautiful place like this could be free to enter! If you happen to be in Serbia for the summertime, try to visit the fortress during sunset for the best experience.
Dining: Check Out Skadrlija
Don't miss spending some time at Skadrlija. This area is considered the Bohemian Quarter of Belgrade (‘the Montmartre of Belgrade’). This historic area that is part of Belgrade's downtown consists of restaurants, bars, and boutique shops selling antiques and souvenirs down the cobblestone alleyways. Yeah, I know what you're thinking. Perfect for your Instagram, right?!
The artistic and unique design of this area makes it a popular tourist destination along with it being a great place to experience some authentic Serbian food and music. Restaurants serving up national specialties in food and drinks boast some famous visitors from around the world, some of which you may see photo displays of on their walls. Skadrlija is an excellent area for enjoying classic food along with the traditional sounds of Serbian music in the background.
What To Eat:
- Prebranac - baked been dish
- Gibanica - Serbian cheese pie
- Ćevapi - meat dish
- Pileći paprikaš - chicken and tomato stew
What To Drink:
- Turkish coffee
- Rakija - Serbian Brandy
We had all of the above with wine and bread at Restoran Dva Jelena Skadarlija. The total cost for four people came out to about $60USD. The portions are enormous, and we had lots left over after stuffing ourselves silly!
In the evening, the perfect place to hang out is back at Republic Square. We spent some time at Boutique Cafe & Restaurant, relaxing and enjoying some beers with our friends to wind down the day. It's a great place with a lot of energy as a lot of locals and visitors partake in some socializing and beverage and food consumption at the various restaurants and bars here. If you're a solo traveler, this is an ideal spot to people watch or meet some new friends. Also, perfect for couples traveling who want to have a chill spot to hang out. (Our group had six beers for a total of $10USD)
Watch this one-minute video of some of our favorite Belgrade highlights.
Day 2 - Top Places To See in Belgrade
Our morning started with a satisfying breakfast at the Hotel Majestic, and we were off to meet our free walking tour at the Prince Michael Statue. While we waited for the tour to start, we grabbed some fresh juice at a nearby cafe in the square ($10 USD for four people).
Free Belgrade Walking Tour - We decided to take the 20th Century Tour which is about 2.5 hours and doesn't require any prior reservation (a bonus! especially as a great last-minute activity)
These tours are run by locals at no charge. They are authentic and genuine and provide you with A LOT of information on the site you visit. We always love walking tours wherever we visit because it gives us a great overview of the place and if we enjoy a particular attraction we know we can always go back to it on our own and explore it more in-depth.
These free tours in Belgrade are offered daily, all year round and start at 10:30am. The guides rely on tips from the group so they put a whole-hearted effort into making it a great experience for everyone. They allow you to ask questions and try their best to give helpful, insider information that can potentially benefit the rest of your trip (like where to eat like a local, etc.).
If you don't get a chance to (or choose not to) go on the tour, make sure you don't miss the places mentioned below and add them on your list of things to do when visiting Belgrade. Here are the highlights of the tour:
- Prince Michael Statue
- The National Museum
- National Theatre
- Constantinople Gate - historic walled city limit of Belgrade (leads to Constantinople)
- St Marks Church - built in the period between 1931 and 1940 in the Tašmajdan Park, in the center of Belgrade.
- Church of Saint Sava - Christian Orthodox temple. Not only is this church one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world but the building itself also ranks among the largest church structures in the world.
- The Belgrade Headquarters of Radio Television of Serbia - The remains of the damaged media building still stand as a reminder of the NATO bombing in 1999.
The best way to finish the day in Belgrade is to grab some drinks at Hotel Moskva. One of the most recognizable historic landmarks in Belgrade, Hotel Moskva is one of the oldest hotels in operation in Serbia. Check out the architecture and then sip on some beverages as you people watch on their outdoor patio and take it all in.
So, are you ready to put "Visit Belgrade" on your Bucket List?
About the Author
Hi! I'm just a California girl addicted to travel and adventure with a passion for art and dance on the side. Born in Iran, but I consider myself a citizen of Earth, adhering to the belief that "The world is but one country and mankind its citizen." I strive to make a positive impact on everyone I meet and learn as much as possible from them. My degree out of college is in Marketing. However, I entered the hospitality business at an early age and worked my way up to hotel management. After about 13 years in that industry (5 of which I was a hotel assistant manager), I made the decision to move to Thailand and leave the 9 to 5 grind behind. My husband and I set off for a life of living abroad and hopes to continue traveling the world, just 3 months after our wedding. It all started with the two of us, along with our cat, together in Thailand. Can't wait to see where life takes us next!