Planning a trip to Serbia and searching for the best things to do in Belgrade? You can stop the search now because here is your complete guide to the best places and activities in Belgrade!

The capital of Serbia, as well as its largest city, is a never-ending source of entertainment and leisure. Belgrade is a lively city, known for its exciting nightlife, but also for numerous attractions.

Thanks to its dynamic life, history, and authenticity, the city has built up a great reputation on the European “tourist scene”. Whether you are planning a 2-day trip to Belgrade or a one-week vacation, here are some must-do activities!

Explore Knez Mihailova Street

This almost one-and-a-half-kilometre-long street is the main pedestrian zone in Old Town and a large shopping area. Is it the best place to go shopping here? Not quite, since the shops here are the same ones you will find in any shopping mall. However, some street vendors are selling authentic and handcrafted pieces such as pictures, posters, traditional Serbian clothes, décor, and hand-made jewellery. If buying souvenirs and original “goodies” is an inescapable part of your travels then this is a perfect place to find them.

This street is an ideal location for a stroll to Kalemegdan’s Park and Fortress. Or maybe a tasty lunch in many of the restaurants scattered along!

Visit Kalemegdan Fortress and Park

It is almost impossible to come to Belgrade and not walk around Kalemegdan Park and Fortress.

The park is known for its beautiful scenery and rich history, while the fortress offers a glimpse into the city’s past. Visitors can enjoy walking around the park, taking in the views of the Danube and Sava rivers, as well as exploring the various exhibits within the fortress.

Kalemegdan Fortress

The walls of the Kalemegdan Fortress have seen everything over the years! Starting from the Roman Empire up to the nineteenth-century wars – many times they were demolished and restored from scratch. Nowadays the Fortress and The Victor Monument are the main places for young people to hang out, chess players, and couples strolling around. Spacious green areas with a large number of trees in Kalemegdean Park, benches, and sculptures are the perfect places to relax during the hot summer days.

Start your tour at the Republic Square

Republic Square is located at the southern end of Knez Mihailova Street in Belgrade.

There are a couple of reasons why seeing this important site is one of the ultimate things to do in Belgrade. Firstly, it’s an unavoidable “step”, since it links Knez Mihailova’s street with the other parts of the city. Secondly, many public bus lines intersect here. If you are using public transportation to get around the city, probably you’ll stop here at some point. Third, it’s a main meeting point for people who live in Belgrade thus a very important piece in Belgrade’s daily life “puzzle”.

The last and the most important – Republic Square has incredible importance for the entire city and Serbian people, in general. On the site of today’s Republic Square used to be the Stambol Gate, a symbol of Serbian life under Turkish rule. The demolition of the gate symbolically destroyed the power of the Ottomans over the Serbian population after 500 years of Ottoman rule. So, it’s kind of paying tribute to the Serbs and their fight for freedom…

Grab a coffee at Terazije

Just a few meters from Republic Square you will find some great places to walk around and relax. Obilicev Venac, Terazije, and Nikole Pasic Square are good spots to get some energy refilled before venturing into the rest of Belgrade. At Terazije you will see one of the prominent hotels in Serbia – Hotel Moskva. This beautiful art nouveau building is one of the oldest operating hotels in the country and has been protected by the government since 70’. Further from it, you will find the Parliament of the Republic of Serbia and Pionirski Park.

And if are already wondering if people in Belgrade do something else except “relaxing”, I can just say that “downtime” is a very important part of Serbian culture! Meeting friends and relatives for a quick chat and coffee in a park or a café is a crucial part of people’s daily life.

Take a long walk on the Boulevard of King Alexander

The Boulevard of King Alexander I is not only the longest street in Serbia, but also the oldest active street. The road laid out by the Romans, which was later called the Constantinople Road, was the most important road on the Balkan Peninsula connecting Belgrade with Istanbul. At the end of the 19th century, it became King Aleksandar Obrenović Street, named after King Aleksandar I Obrenović, the last ruler of the Obrenović dynasty.

If I were against shopping on Knez Mihailova’s Street, here I can only say – go for it! There are many small shops and boutiques located along the street, where you can find inexpensive and good-quality pieces.

Meet locals and discover daily life in Belgrade

This makes traveling even more worthwhile, right? Immersing yourself in the culture is certainly one of the best things to do in Belgrade.

If you put effort into meeting some locals, you will easily come across friendly, warm-hearted people who always help when needed. And if you agree to their offer to try the famous Serbian brandy “rakija” then you are friends already! There is a saying in Serbia – “Rakia connects the people” and it’s true!

A part of the daily routine in Belgrade is going to a local market. Buying fruits and vegetables with friendly conversation and haggling is something that many Belgrade’s start their day with. Make sure to visit Djeram or Bajloni Market near the Boulevard of King Alexander.Ttry some fresh food from the local farmers. Who knows – you might make new friends on the way!

Do not skip Skadarlija!

Fancy some good food and drinks? Then head on straight to Old Town and one of the most famous streets in the city – Skadarlija. It’s just a few hundred meters from Republic Square and it its surely something not to be skipped!

The interesting fact is that this street has preserved its look from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. Here you will discover traditional Serbian taverns, pubs, and restaurants serving local food followed by traditional live music.

Famous restaurants in Skadarlija

 Although is just half a kilometer long, it houses some of Belgrade’s legendary taverns, such as “Dva Jelena” and Tri šešira”. Whichever pub you choose you will enjoy the spirit of the bohemian past. These are places where many actors, artists, and writers often spend their time in the past, and which still keep the spirit of that time. Skadarlija is an ideal place for dinner and relaxation after a day spent touring the city. Girls – remember that the street is cobbled, so if you’re wearing heels, walking will be a little challenging!

Appreciate the beauty of St. Sava Temple

Even if you are not a religious person, seeing St. Sava Temple is one of the recommended things to do in Belgrade. This magnificent building was built in 1935. and it is still one of the most reminiscent Orthodox churches in Europe. As the name says, it has been erected in honor of one of the most important figures in Serbian history – Saint Sava.  His relics are believed to be burned and buried under the temple’s foundations.

Although a stroll outside is enjoyable enough, the true pleasure consists in seeing the church’s interior. During the recent reconstruction, the interior of the temple is richly painted, and the crypt is perhaps the most luxurious part of the church. The holy icons and the “angelic” music heard inside the temple will surely transfer you into another dimension!

Spend a day at Ada Skadarlija

Traveling to Serbia over the summer? Then, the next stop is surely one of the things to do in Belgrade during the long summer months!

Ada Ciganlija is a river island that has artificially been turned into a peninsula. It includes a lake Sava and its beach. It is popularly called “Belgrade’s Sea” and with a reason. Thousands of people come here during the hot summer days to find heat relief. It is a nice city beach pretty close to the city center (although I recommend taking the bus).

Are you traveling with the kids? This will be an ideal place for them! If you want your children to run freely, play in the grass, or ride a bike, Ada is the place. The activities are numerous, from roller skating to playing on the grass. For the older ones, there are several beaches to simply lie down and “catch some tan”. Plus, there are a lot of places to get tasty food and drinks. You and your children will love Ada and her beauty!

Party like a local!

Many visitors are coming to Serbia for this reason only! Not surprising to me. As someone who lived and studied in Belgrade, I can honestly say that partying here is literally “till you drop”!

Parties till early the morning have made the nightlife of Belgrade famous, so many describe the nightlife of the Serbian capital as one of the best in Europe. Availability and inexpensive alcohol have contributed to that, I must say.

The most famous places to go out here are so-called “splavovi”. They are floating clubs and many of them are located on the Sava River. Regular clubs are also available, but Serbian taverns are popular destinations among the younger generation. A few websites to check up on the next city events are gdeizaci.com and beogradnocu.

Eat like a local

Forget your diet when in Serbia, because the Serbian dishes are not lacking in calories! Serbian cuisine mainly consists of meat, dairy products, pasta, and vegetables. When it comes to food ingredients and their combining, there is a lot of influence coming from Turkish cuisine but also from surrounding European countries.

People in Serbia are strong opponents of frozen food and everything in canes. A typical meal must include a lot of fresh ingredients and a lot of meat. Not many spices are being used in food preparation: some salt, pepper, smoked paprika and that is it! Yet, dishes are flavourful thanks to high-quality ingredients. Some famous local dishes are:

  • “sarma” – minced pork and beef meat rolled into a fermented cabbage
  • “punjena paprika” – capsicum filled with minced meat and rice
  • “prebranac” – white beans slow-cooked with lots of tomato flavor
  • “gibanica” – a pie filled with egg and cheese and many more.

A must-have thing to do in Belgrade is try out a Serbian burger. The famous “pljeskavica” that will leave every McDonald’s burger behind!

Take part in some of the festivals

One thing is sure – people in Serbia know how to have fun! Usually chilled and relaxed with strangers they are always ready to sing and dance and make new friends. It’s not surprising that many festivals are happening in Belgrade throughout the year. They usually go with a lot of food and drinking which is something unavoidable in Serbian culture.

Each of these festivals has its audience, who sway to traditional or folk music, classical music, jazz, pop, rock, or techno. With such a rich offering I am sure to find a festival that suits your tastes. The most famous Serbian festivals are Belgrade Beer Fest, EXIT, and Nisville.

Have a picnic at Kosutnjak Hill

Košutnjak is a park forest and one of Belgrade’s districts. At an altitude of 250 meters and on an area of 330 hectares, this dense forest was once a hunting ground. Over the last few years, Kosutnjak has been one of the favorite picnic places for the people of Belgrade. Walking along the numerous paths among the trees of different species is extremely enjoyable.

Film City with a complex of studios and other facilities for the production of movies is also located on the hill. There are many sports playgrounds, swimming pools, and even a ski track! Just sit in some of the restaurants at the top of the hill and you will have an amazing view!

Do a river Cruising

Is there any better way to experience sunset than while cruising? A boat trip will present a different city perspective and get you into that comfy and relaxed mood. Boat rides on the river Sava and Dunav usually take one and a half an hour and it’s a perfect opportunity to have tea or rakija while taking in the beauty. A view from the water will help to notice the contrast between the new and old sides of Belgrade.

If you wish to escape the bustle of Belgrade then venture on a private, kayaking tour of Great War Island. The tour includes paddling around this forested wilderness and its nature reserves till the place where the Rivers Danube and Sava meet. Drift by lush marshlands, watch for herons and other birdlife, stop at sandy Lido Beach, enjoy stellar views of Belgrade’s skyline, and paddle into Veliki Galijaš, the picturesque canal-turned-lake that threads through the woodlands. A wholesome experience!

Explore Belgrade parks

If you ask tourists what they think about Belgrade, you will find two opposite opinions. Some see it as a “gray city” because of the blocks of buildings that date back to old Yugoslavia. That, and the polluted air during the winter days are something that certainly does not make the city beautiful.

On the other hand, many parks and green areas make Belgrade an extremely “green city”.

Many people, either locals or travelers find a perfect escape among these lush expanses from the summer heat. Is having a picnic with friends or simply enjoying a good book between tall trees one of your favorite ways to relax? Then, you’ll love Belgrade! Belgrade has many parks to spend time in and luckily some of them are located in the city’s center. Topcider, Tasmajdan, Karadjordjev Park, and Avala…are just a few of the parks easily explorable.

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