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*I’ve been to Belgrade twice for a total of 7 days spent in the city. It’s one of the most underrated cities and has the best nightlife in Europe. Inside of this Belgrade Guide, you’ll not only learn interesting things about the city, but you’ll also get my recommendations for things like — culture, food, nightlife, and things to do.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, and please check out my other related posts on Belgrade:
10 Things to do in Belgrade
5 Serbian Foods to Try
Ultimate Guide to the Nightlife in Belgrade
Top 10 Serbian Words
Serbia’s capital city is underrated and without doubt my favorite city in Eastern Europe. I have been twice and I’m already planning to go back again.
Belgrade is often overlooked and is not a common destination for many travelers. Why? It’s because most (American) tourists don’t think to travel outside the ‘norm’ which is Western Europe. They will tell you that Belgrade not very accessible by train from many Western European countries and frankly, they couldn’t tell you a thing about Serbian culture.
Well, I am here to spread the word that Belgrade is an incredible city and absolutely worth your time to experience.
The first thing that stood out to me about Belgrade was the affordability. Especially if you’re coming from a Western European country, you will be shocked by how cheap it is. Everything from food, to taxis to drinks at the bar were reasonably priced. This gave me more freedom to do more things and eat at nicer restaurants without feeling pressure of exceeding my budget.
Although Belgrade isn’t widely recognized as a “beautiful city” per se, there are many nice areas and parks around town that are enjoyable (especially in the summertime). My favorite spot was the Kalemegdan Fortress, which overlooks the Danube and Sava Rivers. It is over 2,000 years old and is significant because hundreds of important battles were fought there. Try to go there for the sunset if you get the chance!
Let’s dive into some quick facts:
– Currency: Serbian Dinar (RSD)
– Language: Serbian
– Population: 1.2 million (city), 1.7 million (metro)
– The name ‘Belgrade’ translates to ‘White City’ in Serbian
– Belgrade is situated where the Danube and Sava Rivers intersect
– Due to it’s location, Belgrade is known as “The Gate of the Balkans”
– Belgrade was the former capital of Yugoslavia
– Today, the metropolitan area is divided into 17 municipalities, each with its own local council
– Belgrade was recently nominated for the European Capital of Culture in 2020
Culture & People
Serbian people are crazy — in a good way. Over the years, I’ve made dozens of Serbian friends and they are all extroverted people looking to have a good time.
During the summer months, the relaxed lifestyle can be seen by many Serbians hanging out in the park, on the riverside, and chatting away in cafes around town. Unlike the neighboring countries of Bosnia, I was amazed by how open-minded Serbians were and how kind they were to me. On my very first night in Belgrade, I met two local Serbian guys at a bar and they were quick to open up to me. We spoke for hours and they were fascinated that an American like myself had any interest in visiting Serbia.
Serbian people are shockingly beautiful.
The young women are tall, skinny and have model-like features. It must have something to do with the unique fusion of Slavic and Mediterranean genes. In addition to their looks, Serbians are also better dressed, stylish and have an overall better appearance than most other cultures I’ve seen around the world.
When I go clubbing, I’m always in complete shock by the level of attractiveness in the club. I found out that the people are very warm and receptive to be approached. It made me never want to leave Belgrade.
I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and make some new local friends. Click this link to learn the Top 10 Serbian Words to keep in your back pocket 😉
What to Do?
Despite being a relatively small city, there are loads of fun things to do around Belgrade.
Like I mentioned before, I highly recommend taking a hike up the historic Fortress. Along the way up, you’ll see old WWII artillery, learn about the battles that were fought there, and finally see a breathtaking view of the city from the top. The best time to hike is during sunset, so you can see the sun set over the Danube and Sava Rivers, and then see the city begin to light up as the night approaches. If you stay out all night partying (like I did), then hike up for sunrise! It’s much more peaceful in the morning time.
There are a few notable temples, monuments and museums to check out around Belgrade. St. Save Temple (shows in photo) is the largest Orthodox temple in the Balkan region and the design inside is amazing. Old Town has some of the most historic sites in Belgrade and the surrounding neighborhoods are ancient. I felt most immersed in Serbian culture when I was in Old Town.
No matter where you go around Belgrade, there is always something fun and exciting to do!
For a more complete list, check out my post on 10 Things to do in Belgrade.
The Food in Belgrade far blew my expectations. It is a mixture of Balkan, Mediterranean, Greek and Central European cuisine. Most of my meals consisted of a tasty meat choice (chicken, beef, lamb) and locally grown vegetables. The bread was particularly amazing as well.
Given that the food is pretty cheap, you can splurge on a nice meal without burning a hole in your pocket. During a traditional Serbian meal, you will be served plenty of appetizers that entail many different meats, vegetables, cheeses and bread. For the main course, you need to try Pljeskavica! It is the national Serbian dish, which is made from grounded meat and grilled onions. It’s so damn good.
To learn more about the best foods, please read my post on 5 Serbian Foods to Try.
Believe it or not, Belgrade is the King of Nightlife in Eastern Europe and the Balkan Region.
Don’t underestimate Serbians- they are an attractive bunch who love to party! Every night in Belgrade is treated like a Friday night, and the clubbing scene is one of the best I’ve ever seen.
During the summer months (May-September), the focus of the nightlife takes place on floating river clubs on the Danube and Sava rivers. They are literally big open boats that were turned into discotheques. In the winter months (October-May), the most popular clubbing area is located in downtown Belgrade. Almost all the clubs that I attended were filled with local Serbs who dance the night away until sunrise. Yes, 5 or 6 in the morning.
Lastly, everyone drinks this local plum brandy called Rakia. It is served in every bar and restaurant. Give it a try and see how delicious it is! A few shots of rakia and you’ll be feeling great…
If you want to know all the best clubs, then check out my Ultimate Guide to the Nightlife in Belgrade.
Thanks for reading- Please comment below if you have any questions!