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Belgrade
capital of Serbia
Europe > Balkans > Serbia > Belgrade
For other places with the same name, see Belgrade (disambiguation).
Belgrade (Serbian: Београд, Beograd) — meaning 'White City' — is the capital of the Republic of Serbia. With a population of over 1.7 million people, Belgrade has been re-emerging as a tourist destination in the past years. Often called the party capital of Southeastern Europe, Belgrade is famous for offering numerous entertainment venues, many historical sites, great local food, and warm people. Various styles of architecture are found in the city, and its resurgence in the 21st century as the leading hub in Southeastern Europe makes it a must-see destination.
National Assembly of Serbia
Zemun district
Kalemegdan fortress and the statue of Victor
Understand
History
Belgrade is the country's largest city. It lies on the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. The city has a long history, dating back to the 4th century BC, when the area was settled by Celtic tribes. Later, it became the Roman city of Singidunum, and relics of that era can still be seen in the city, particularly at the Belgrade Fortress. During the Middle Ages the town became a Serbian stronghold until the Ottoman invasion. The city changed hands between the Ottoman and the Austrian empires several times until 1878, when Serbia gained its independence and Belgrade became the capital of the new country.
After the First World War, Belgrade became the seat of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (in 1929, the country changed its name to Kingdom of Yugoslavia) until its collapse in 1943. Due to its strategic location, the city has endured more than 115 wars and has been destroyed more than 40 times. This often violent history and outside influence has colored much of Belgrade's evolution, which is evident in its culture and architecture. Often caught between the hammer and anvil of clashing empires, the city has taken on a unique character, reminiscent of both Austrian and Turkish influences, with a unique set of Communist elements thrown in as Yugoslavia was expelled from the Eastern Bloc in 1948 but followed its own brand of communism until Marshal Tito died in 1980. The city has its own spirit, and in it can be found some not only unique features, but also a healthy joie de vivre in its café culture, nightlife and often a Mediterranean touch in its daily life.
Climate
Belgrade
Climate chart (explanation)
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm
Source: Wikipedia. Visit AccuWeather for a five day forecast.
Imperial conversion
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches
Belgrade has a temperate continental climate, with hot, humid summers and cold winters with occasional periods of snowfall. Belgrade experiences all four seasons to their maximums, and those visiting are advised to dress appropriately, and keep an eye on the weather forecast, as the city often experiences sudden gusts of the strong Košava wind, storms, and rainfall, particularly during the summer months.
People
Whilst there isn't much ethnic or cultural diversity in Belgrade compared to other European cities, there are minority communities (largely Roma and Chinese), as well as people from other former Yugoslav republics, such as Bosnia, Croatia and Macedonia. There is also a small expat community. Cultural events from around the world, however, are starting to become increasingly common, particularly in the spring and summer months, sponsored by local arts and culture organizations, and by foreign embassies and cultural centers. These attract a good deal of local attention, and help in raising the city's profile as a cultural hotspot.
Belgradians, like most Serbs, are friendly and hospitable people, who will always go out of their way to make guests feel welcome. Whatever the ethnicity, any tourist who comes to Belgrade and treats the locals kindly will see that kindness returned doubled. Most young people speak English well, and usually another foreign language such as German, Russian, or French. As with any destination, it could prove useful to learn some of the local phrases.
Get in
Nikola Tesla Airport
By plane
The main entry route into Belgrade and Serbia is
1
Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport (BEG IATA) (18 km west of city center). It's the hub for Air Serbia and has flights to most European capitals, but especially to Balkan cities such as Ljubljana, Podgorica, Sarajevo, Skopje, Sofia, Thessaloniki, Tirana, Tivat and Zagreb. Near-east destinations include Abu Dhabi, Baku, Beirut, Doha, Dubai, Istanbul and Tel Aviv. There's a direct flight to New York JFK. Serbia's not a big country so there are no domestic flights. For practical purposes there's only a single terminal. Arriving, you pass through the airside lounge before passport control and baggage reclaim. Currency exchange kiosks here give rates within 5% of official rate, good value anywhere. Departing, passport control comes straight after check-in then you enter the airside lounge. There's retail and eating but little general seating. Each departure gate has its own security screen and cramped waiting area without toilets, a thoroughly awkward design.
(updated Apr 2019)
Transport to & from the city:
By bus
This is the best overland option from western Europe while the railway is being dug up. There are buses at least daily to Budapest (6-7 hours), Sarajevo (7 hours), Sofia (11 hours) and Thessaloniki (10 hours via Niš and Skopje). Buses connect Belgrade to all the main cities of Serbia: some speed along the motorway, others wend and wind through small towns en route, so check: the next departure might not be the quickest option. Quality of coaches is variable. They stop every 3 or 4 hours for a rest break - keep a close watch on your belongings at these stops, and on arrival be intensely suspicious of taxi touts and supposed luggage porters.
2
Belgrade Bus Station [formerly dead link] (BAS, Београдска аутобуска станица) is just north of the derelict former railway station on Karađorđeva street. Timetables aren't clearly posted, or only in Serbian, so ask inside the terminal building. Various cafes and kiosks here. There's a charge of RSD180 to enter the platform area, normally included in the fare and you receive a plastic token or paper stub with a QR code to get through the gate. If you bought your ticket online, then it might not be included and you'd have to buy a platform card in the terminal. You might also have to pay the bus driver an extra RSD100 per bag placed in the cargo compartment.
Local buses don't use BAS, but the bus stands adjacent south. There are no gates or charges to enter this area.
GEA Tours, Kneza Milosa 65, Belgrade, ☏+381 11 2686, +381 635 2686, +381 622 2643, +381 840, +381 268 5043, ✉ gea@eunet.rs. They make regular runs by minibus or large car between Belgrade and Budapest, Timișoara, Niš, Thessaloniki, Chalkidiki, Zlatibor, Tara, Drvengrad, Szeged via Novi Sad and Subotica, Palić and Prokuplje. (updated Jul 2019)
By train
Not in 2021 or early 2022: The track between Budapest and Belgrade is being dug up, so an 8-hour direct journey has become a 26-hour slog with two changes, with similar disruption to other services along that route. The description below is for the usual pattern of trains, and may intermittently apply while the track work drags on. See also Serbian Railways for times and prices.
The former main station on Karađorđeva Bvd closed in 2018. Westbound trains now run from
3
Belgrade Center Railway Station (Beograd Centar-Prokop) (2 km south of city centre beyond E-75). This station is largely unfinished, and has poor onward transport connections. Specify "Beograd Centar" when searching online timetables, as "Beograd" refers to the former station and finds no trains. (updated May 2019)
Routes from Centre station include:
These westbound trains also call at
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Novi Beograd on the west bank of the River Sava.
South- and eastbound trains depart from a "temporary" terminus at
5
Topčider in the leafy southern parkland (as of 2020). These run to:
This arrangement will last until these trains can be accommodated at Center station. Topčider has no facilities and poor onward local transport, but its trains also stop at Rakovica, which is on the suburban line to city centre.
By car
Coming north from Subotica and Novi Sad, the E-75 highway is recommended, as well as driving to Belgrade from the south. There is also a major road called Ibarska magistrala (Ibar highway, M-22), which provides approach from south-west (direction of Montenegro, for example). From the west, use the E-70 highway (from Zagreb, Ljubljana, etc.) Major roads can be used coming east and north-east from Vršac and Zrenjanin.
Highways have toll stations, which are moderately priced. Serbia's only highways are parts of E-70 and E-75 roads and the highway passes right through Belgrade, causing traffic jams on the Gazela bridge and at the Mostar junction. These jams have been reduced somewhat by redirecting heavy goods vehicles to the Belgrade Bypass and by the new Ada Bridge. See the infobox for more information on transiting Belgrade.
Belgrade Bypass
When travelling by car from Western and Central Europe to Greece, Bulgaria or Turkey, the route almost inevitably goes through or near Belgrade. If you have decided not to visit the city, but to continue straight to, say, Thessaloniki, you might be tempted to use the southern Belgrade Bypass by following the green Niš signs before entering Belgrade. However, as of summer 2014 the bypass is still a patchwork of new and old, good and poor quality road sections, and full of heavy goods vehicles. Therefore it is often faster to go through the Serbian capital.
By boat
Cruises along the Danube sometimes call at Belgrade, but there are no point-to-point ferries.
By bicycle
Belgrade is on European bicycle route Eurovelo6 which connects the Atlantic Ocean and Black Sea. The route across Serbia is from Budapest via Osijek and Novi Sad to Belgrade, continuing east to Vidin.
Get around
Map of Belgrade
A Belgrade tram
A Belgrade trolleybus
By public transport
GSP Beograde (ГСП in Serbian Cyrillic) operates an extensive public transport network of buses, trolleybuses, and trams in the city and its suburbs. Maps are available online [dead link] as well as a route planner which is more up to date. There is a BusPlus android app [dead link] (Srb/Eng), useful for navigating all the lines and the stops on a map. There is a paid option to check how many stops away the next vehicle is.
Buses
Buses are the backbone of Belgrade's public transport, and you can get almost anywhere on them. Buses get very full at peak times, and some are full all day, notoriously the 26, 83 and 50. Their quality varies: those around the city centre or serving posh neighbourhoods are usually newer air-conditioned vehicles, e.g. the Polish Solaris Urbino 18. Further out you may encounter some elderly specimens, e.g. the 30 year old Ikarbus with wooden benches for seats.
There are two main bus terminals for local buses: the intercity main bus station (next to the disused railway station) for the west and southwest suburbs, and Zeleni Venac for the north (Zemun and Batajnica) and some western parts of the city (Banovo Brdo, Žarkovo, Čukarica). It's a steep ten minute walk from the main bus station to Zeleni Venac, with no bus between.
There was a third hub at Trg Republike, but those buses were relocated even before the square was closed off and dug up, and they're not expected to return once that work is complete.
Trams
There are 11 tram lines in Belgrade. All lines converge in the Slavija-Vukov Spomenik area (except 11 and 13 which go to Novi Beograd from Kalemegdan and Banovo Brdo, respectively).
The most notable line is line nr. 2, which goes around the city centre in a circular route (krug dvojke). Another notable line is the nr. 3, which goes through scenic park area of Topčider.
Several tram lines are served only by new CAF Urbos trams (7 and 12, also 13), while most of the other ones are serviced by old Tatra KT4 and Basel donated trams (some of them more than 50 years old, but in a better state than Tatras, as those trams were left to decay for years during the 1990s and 2000s).
Trolleybuses
Belgrade's trolleybuses have 7 lines serving two main corridors. One corridor is from Studentski trg (near Trg Republike) over Crveni Krst to Konjarnik and Medaković 3. The other is from Zvezdara to Banjica, plied by lines 40 (Banjica-Zvezdara), 41 (Studentski trg - Banjica) and 28 (Studentski trg - Zvezdara). The trolleybuses are mostly newer Belarusian vehicles with a couple of older Soviet ZiUs.
Fares
There are three ticket options for non-residents, which can be bought or topped up at kiosks:
Payment is by cash to driver or kiosk (contactless cards aren't yet in use), by the online Bus Plus system, or by Android app.
Personalized cards with photo ID are only available to residents. Single tickets are validated by the driver on issue, all others must be validated on boarding. If a busy bus suddenly empties, it's because they've spotted an inspector getting aboard. Your options, if without a ticket, are to jump ship with them, to bluster or brazen your way out, or face a RSD2000 spot fine.
Minibuses [dead link] connect the suburbs and are generally faster and more comfortable than regular buses. A single ride costs RSD150, pay the driver. Day tickets and non-personalized cards are not valid on these lines.
Day transport starts at 04:00 and ends at midnight. Night transport is only by bus, with a limited number of lines running every 30-60 mins. The only ticket option for night lines is a single ticket bought on the bus for RSD150 (Zone 1) or RSD210 (Zone 2). Day tickets and non-personalized cards are not valid. Here [dead link] is a map of night lines. The lines are all prefixed N so these rules apply even if the ride started just before midnight, conversely they don't apply to other buses where you were still aboard after midnight.
By train
The suburban railway system is called BG:Voz (BG:Train). One line runs from Batajnica in the west through Zemun and Novi Beograd to Beograd Centar (this section is disrupted by engineering work throughout 2019) then swings north through Karađorđev Park and Vukov Spomenik to Ovča across the river. The other line runs south from Beograd Center via Rakovica to Resnik. Trains run every 30 minutes, 15 mins in rush hour. Fares are the same as for buses: RSD150 single ride, RSD89 per journey on a card.
Belgrade's metro project is a national joke. It's been talked about since the 1930s, with several great plans put forward, planning teams formed, and funding collaborations announced. But as to doing any construction? Latest story is that they might cut ground in 2020.
By taxi
Taxis are cheap by European standards, though far more expensive than anywhere else in Serbia. Taxify is a popular phone app to hail taxis; expect to pay in cash. Car:Go is an Uber-like app that is cheaper than Taxify and you can pay by card in the app.
Here is official info about taxis in Belgrade. Fares are regulated by the government and are RSD170 to start a ride, RSD65-130 per km (depending on time of day) and RSD12.5 per minute waiting time.
Taxi scams are common in Belgrade.
It is always best to order taxis smartphone app (Car:go or Yandex), since it will record licence plates, and the whole ride. Apps will also give you approximate price that you need to pay (actual price might be up to 5% different).
Next option is to order taxi by phone, since your order will be saved in the operator database. However information saved in operator database are not nearly clear or detailed as the one saved by smartphone apps, so that offer less protection for the customer.
Only take a taxi with a roof sign with the city coat of arms and a number, indicating it's a city-regulated radio taxi. Anything else is a private unregulated cab that may charge four times as much. Also, legal taxis must have license plates ending with TX (e.g. BG-1234-TX).
Insist that the trip be metered; the only exception is if you take a taxi from the airport and buy a voucher with a fixed price. Tips to drivers are welcome but not required and your luggage is included in the metered price.
If you believe that the driver is trying to rip you off, call the operator of that taxi association to check if the price is regular for the specified distance. Afraid of city inspection, they might call back the driver and bring him to reason. Also, ask for a signed bill indicating date, time, start and end destination, price and drivers signature. Write down the number on the blue sign on the vehicle roof, as well as the license plate. Report the incident to city inspection (+381 11 3227-000) and if you are going from or to the airport, report it also to airport inspection (+381 11 2097-373, taxi@beg.aero). If the driver is aggressive towards you, call the police.
Yandex Taxi is available, it can be ordered using smartphone app.
By car
As in most of Europe you must keep to the right side of the road. Driving in Belgrade can be stressful. Avoid rush hours (08:30–9:30, 16:00-18:00). Plan your journey if you are going in to the city core, and expect to have a hard time finding a free parking place on the streets during Friday and Saturday evenings in the center. Garages might be a better choice.
Keep your low beam headlights turned on, during both day and night. Speed limit on the streets of the city is 50 km/h, near schools even less, on the highway is higher. Police is known to wait at places where you might feel comfortable to drive over the limit, but almost never on the highway. Take special care while crossing Branko's bridge, and driving on following streets: Bulevar Mihaila Pupina, Jurija Gagarina, Vladimira Popovića, and other major ones. Keep your seat belts fastened. Other passengers must also do the same, even when sitting on the back seat (if there are seat belts installed).
Allowed level of blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.03%, which is roughly equal to one drink. If you do go by car to drink, consider going back using taxi or Safe driver service, +381 64 174 6411. They will come to pick you up on the small, folding motorcycle, pack it in your trunk, and drive you back home in your car. Their charge is modest, and slightly higher than one-way ride with the taxi (RSD1150 for <10 km, RSD1550 for >10 km etc.).
Yellow lanes are reserved for public transport, i.e. buses and taxis, and private vehicles may not use them. They're marked with a yellow line and on traffic signs. Some only apply during rush hours.
Parking
Best option is to avoid bringing a car into the centre, next best is to use a parking garage. Street parking is difficult. There are four zones, clearly marked:
Parking charges apply M-F 07:00-21:00 and Sat 07:00-14:00 (in Blue Zone from 08:00). You can pay using a ticket machine, from a parking attendant, at a kiosk or by mobile phone. With a kiosk ticket, write down the parking time and display it inside your windscreen. By phone, text your car's plate number (e.g. BG123AA) to 9111 (red zone), 9112 (yellow) or 9113 (green). Every message you send buys you an hour. Five mins before the hour expires, you get a text warning, and the chance to renew if you're eligible to extend your parking for the next hour.
There are several large public garages for extended parking, e.g. there's one with 500 spaces under the old palace, across from the parliament building. They charge about RSD100 per hour.
Parking violations in the centre are swiftly pounced upon. Failure to pay in a marked spot results in a fine. With illegally parked vehicles, the traffic police are obliged to wait 15 minutes for the return of the driver, who'll have to pay a fine of €50. When 15 minutes are up, the car gets towed to one of four designated lots in the city, which you can locate using the online service. At the lot, you will be required to present a valid form of ID and the vehicle registration documents, and pay the fine and towing expenses, €90 in total.
By bicycle
Old Belgrade is pretty hilly and the cycling infrastructure is scarce, so bicycle transport isn't in wide use. However, New Belgrade and Zemun are relatively flat and offer enough space for bikes to be used. Bicycle tracks link Zemun, Dorćol, Ada Ciganlija, New Belgrade and Bežanijska kosa. There is a bike lift on Brankov Bridge operating 365 days and the ride is free of charge. There is also more than 50 bicycle racks around the city.
Riding a bike on the same roads with cars and buses is considered too dangerous, although on smaller streets it can be reasonably safe. Avoid riding on major (multilane) roads. You are not allowed to bring bikes into public transport vehicles.
Bicycle rentals are available mostly at recreational areas like Ada Ciganlija or Zemun quay. Average price is around €1.5/hour and €4/day.
By boat
Small boats connecting Ada Ciganlija to Novi Beograd's Block 70a are the only mode of public transport on rivers. Also, there are several tourist boats which offer day and night cruises along the Sava and Danube.
See
Yugoslav Drama Theatre
Crypt of Temple of Saint Sava
Overview of the three Belgrade bridges: Gazela Bridge, Old Railroad Bridge, and New Railroad Bridge
Building of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Skadarlija street, Belgrade, Serbia.jpg
Konak knjeginje Ljubice
Knez Mihailova Street
Knez Mihajlova, one of the most popular pedestrian-only streets in Belgrade
Museum of Yugoslavia and Tito's mausoleum
Belgrade city core is not too big. Everything between Kalemegdan, Knez Mihailova street and Skadarska street is best viewed on foot, and most major sights can be found in Stari Grad (Old Town) district. You might need the bus for sights further out. Note that many of Belgrade's museums are closed on Monday.
Religious places
Temple of Saint Sava
Museums and galleries
Aeronautical Museum
Further out
33
Aeronautical Museum (Музеј Ваздухопловства) (next to airport, take bus 72 from Zeleni Venac to second last stop). Tue-Sun 09:00-17:00. The main collection is in an architecturally notable geodesic glass building, with additional aircraft displayed on the surrounding grounds. The museum owns over 200 aircraft flown by the Serbian and Yugoslav Air Forces, aero clubs and private & commercial aviation, from gliders to helicopters to jet fighters. There are a number of rare aircraft and other aviation equipment. The museum also displays relics of US and NATO aircraft "donated" during the 1990s Balkans conflicts, including wreckage from a US F-117 Nighthawk. Adult RSD800, child RSD300.
(updated May 2019)
34
Vinča-Belo Brdo, Belo brdo 17, Vinca (14 km downstream from Belgrade; take bus #307), ☏ +381 11 80 65 334. Tu W F 10:00-16:00; Th 12:00-18:00; Sa Su 10:00-18:00 April to October. One of the largest tell sites in the Balkans, covering 10 hectares of land with 9 metres of cultural deposits and a total height of 10.5 metres. Come to see how prehistoric people used to live. Every weekend visitors can join guided tours through the site.
 
35
Obedska bara (Обедска бара), 40 km west of Belgrade, is a large wetland and nature reserve along the north bank of the Sava River.
Do
Ada Ciganlija island
Cinemas
Movies in Serbia are subtitled, not dubbed. Best movie theaters are:
If you prefer theaters in the city core, check also:
Festivals and events
Sports
Watch football ie soccer. Belgrade has six teams playing in Serbian SuperLiga, the country's top tier of football:
FK Crvena Vezda are better known as Red Star Belgrade. They play at Rajko Mitic Stadium, capacity 55,000, 2 km south of city centre. Serbia's international games are also played here.
Partizan Belgrade play at Partizan Stadium, capacity 33,000. It's 1.5 km south of the centre, close to Red Star's stadium.
plus FK Rad, FK Čukarički, FK Voždovac and FK Zemun, all lower placed in SuperLiga. Three other Belgrade teams play in lower tiers.
Learn
Serbian courses for foreigners are organized in several places including:
The University of Belgrade admits foreign students, as do various private institutions of higher education.
Buy
New Belgrade, main financial district
For information on the Serbian currency, see Serbia#Buy. Menjačnica Mićko (Vuka Karadzica street #4), changes all currencies, including rare ones.
Most stores operate late hours during work days, while on Saturdays they normally close around 15:00 and most of them are not open on Sundays. However, shopping malls are open late every day, including weekends.
Clothes and accessories
Import taxes make clothes and shoes in Serbia very expensive. Many items from common European chains can be found for 20% less in Budapest. Still, Belgrade has many flagship stores, mostly located on Knez Mihailova Street and the Terazije square, or the pedestrian zone, representing assorted high-fashion brands.
Almost all of the major European brands are present, including H&M, Guess, New Yorker, Zara, Bershka, Hugo Boss, Springfield, Stradivarius, Mango, Diesel, Liu Jo, C&A, and Pull & Bear. More expensive clothes & accessories (such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Lanvin, Marni, D&G, Valentino, Marc Jacobs, YSL, Mulberry and many others) can be usually found either at the Kralja Petra street (Dorćol) in Distante Fashion center, as well as in XYZ stores that are located in Ušće Shopping Center and Delta City.
Local department store chains include Artisti and Land.
Local Belgrade designers are present in the Choomich (Belgrade Design District) shopping center.
The biggest bookstores in Belgrade selling beside Serbian also foreign (mostly English) books are in the city center. Vulkan is at the beginning and Plato is at the end of Knez Mihailova street. The shopping malls also have large bookstores. There are also some shops that sell newspapers and magazines in English, German, French, Italian, Russian and other foreign languages.
International newspapers and magazines
Newsstands and bookstores in the city sell foreign newspapers and magazines. These include Delfi, Plato Press (near Studentski trg), Tell Me (next to the Plato store) and Inmedio (three locations - Delta City, Usce Center, Zira Center). Newspapers and magazines can be found in various international languages like English, Spanish, Italian, French, Russian, German and others.
Shopping malls
Belgrade has 3 shopping malls in the city - Delta City, Stadion and Ušće Shopping Center - and more than 30 smaller shopping centers such as Merkator, Immo Centar, Millenium, Piramida, City Hall, Zira and others.
Hypermarkets
Eat
Cafe at the Skadarlija street
For information on Serbian cuisine, see Serbia#Eat
Belgrade has hundreds of restaurants specializing in local cuisine and a number of international restaurants. On the whole, prices are cheap compared to Western Europe with main dishes ranging from €5–20 per person.
Without a doubt, the most popular choice of fast food in Belgrade is barbecue (roštilj), and there are dozens of barbecue joints around the city where you can have a Serbian burger for around €2, usually with free toppings included. Some of the most popular places are Stepin Vajat (Степин Вајат) and Duff at Autokomanda, Mara and Cica in the downtown area and Iva in Žarkovo.
Belgradians are famous for enjoying Burek for breakfast, which is a type of pastry, usually filled with feta cheese or meat. As a meat and dairy-free alternative, potato (Cyrillic: 'кромпир') burek can often be found. Most bakeries around the city sell them for a cheap price, around 110 RSD. To enjoy a proper Burek, make sure to drink some yoghurt on the side. Similarly, there are many places specialising in Burek and various Serbian and Bosnian pies, called buregdžinice. For good-tasting Sarajevo pies try Tadić (Cyrillic: Тадић) at Kralja Petra 75 or Buregdžinica Sarajevo at Svetogorska 38.
Farmer's market
Depending on the season, an amazing assortment of fruit and vegetables can be found in farmer's markets, including watermelons, olives, wild mushrooms, and fresh figs. Take the time to explore the stalls, and compare the quality and prices of the produce. Most produce at the farmer's markets in Belgrade is organic and fresh from the farmers' gardens brought over daily from the villages surrounding the city.
Pijaca Zeleni Venac (The farmer's market at Zeleni Venac) (close to the Hotel Moscow) - This is not the largest, but it is the cheapest in the city. Contained in a newly-built complex, it makes for an enjoyable Saturday morning experience, with the lively hustle and bustle of people milling about and stall-owners trying to attract customers.
Serbian cuisine
Traditional restaurants and taverns are called Kafana (Кафана). They often have string orchestras. There are many in Old Town, e.g. along cobbled Skadarska. Fish restaurants are dotted along the banks of the Danube and Sava a little further out.
International cuisine
There are a handful of international restaurants, which can range from moderately priced to very expensive. Many dine out at:
Asian
Mexican
Italian
Vegetarian
Regular restaurants and homes may suppose that a vegetarian eats fish. If you don't, tell them bez mesa, bez ribe - without meat, without fish.
Jazzayoga, Kralja Aleksandra 48 (center), ☏+381 11 32 42 173. M-F 08:00-18:30. Sandwiches, wraps, juices, and baked goods, relaxing ambience. (updated May 2019)
Drink
The city tap water is safe to drink. It may look white when first poured from the tap; that's just air bubbles which disappear in a few minutes.
Good domestic beers are Jelen, Lav, MB and Pils. Foreign beers made under license in Serbia include Heineken, Amstel, Tuborg, Stella Artois, and Beck's.
Wines from Serbia and other Balkan countries are good if you pay a little more for quality, the cheap stuff may be disappointing.
The national drink is rakija Serbian brandy. The commonest is plum brandy - šljivovica or slivovitsa; other common varieties are grape, walnut, quince and pear. It can be bought in stores but Serbs insist that home-made rakjia is superior, and they take great pride in their craft. Look out for it at the local farmers markets.
Last but not least, always toast your companions in the proper manner. Look them in the eye whilst clinking glasses, say Živeli! (cheers!) to all present as if you mean it, and take a sip. Repeat as necessary, and enjoy the night out in Belgrade.
Cafés
Coffee is usually served Turkish-style unless you specify otherwise.
The main café scene is along Strahinjića Bana, the thoroughfare four blocks back from Student Square, e.g. Nachos and Duomo both at 66a.
The second area is Obilićev Venac, running parallel to Knez Mihailova. The best cafés here are Zu Zu's at 21, and Gecko Irish Pub at 17. Further downhill towards the river is the rejuvenated Savamala neighbourhood, with lots of cafés and clubs.
A third area is west of the Sava, on the Danube quay around Hotel Yugoslavia in Zemun. Many of these places are rafts - splavovi.
Bars and nightlife
Belgrade is famous for its bars and clubs and vies with Budapest's techno scene, clubs are open until dawn in many parts of the city and even during weekdays parties can be found
Sleep
Hostels
Budget hotels
Mid-range
Splurge
Stay safe
Overall, Belgrade is a pretty safe city, but like anywhere, you should always keep money, mobile phones, travel documents and other valuable personal items in secure places. Pickpocketers are known to operate in public transportation, and other crowded places so never wear a backpack or purse on your back and make sure that you have your wallet in one of your front pockets. If you own a car, it is preferable to have a security system. Traffic laws are usually observed although nervous drivers can change lanes suddenly or make dangerous turns when avoiding traffic during rush hour. So be cautious if you are a pedestrian or riding a bike. The taxi drivers are notorious for swerving in and out of lanes. Pay close attention to the traffic signals as a pedestrian.
Also try to avoid getting into conflicts. If you are staying out late in a bar or a club, there is always a small chance that someone will try to pick a fight especially if you are in a group and a single guy is showing hostility. That is a trap by local thugs looking for a brawl. Just ignore them and walk away no matter what they say or do. The chances that this will happen are very low, but stay alert. Do not try to make fun of the locals in your native language. Almost everyone has at least a basic understanding of English and is familiar with foul words and curses. Generally, common sense is the best way to stay safe in any city in Europe, and in Belgrade.
In Serbia, including Belgrade, violence against the LGBTQ population can occur, and as such LGBTQ travelers should exercise discretion. As a rule, public displays of affection between two people of the same sex are likely to be met with disapproval and sometimes verbal abuse and/or physical violence. There are several gay bars and clubs in the city and they tend to get quite full. Be cautious when arriving at or leaving such clubs. Often there is security personnel guarding the immediate entrance. There are also LGBTQ parties organized periodically by various organizations and at different locations, such as Loud and Queer events, so it is useful to follow LGBTQ guides to Belgrade and keep up with the current hotspots.
Emergencies
In case of an emergency, call 192 (police), 193 (fire) or 194 (ambulance). Always carry the phone number and an address of your embassy with you. In case of injury or illness, the place to go is the Urgentni centar (Emergency center), Pasterova 2 of the Clinical Center of Serbia. Be aware that not all medical facilities have personnel that speak English or other foreign languages. Consult the embassy of your country if possible.
Pharmacies on duty 24/7:
Connect
The international telephone code for Serbia is 381. Most cities in Serbia and mobile operators have 2-digit area code. There is only one area code for Belgrade and that is 11. Typical land-line phone number in Belgrade +381-11/xxx-xxxx. Typical mobile phone number is +381-6x/xxx-xxxx. From Serbian land line phone, use 00 prefix for international calls (e.g. 0031-20/xxx-xxxx for Amsterdam, Netherlands), and prefix 0 for calls inside Serbia but outside your area (e.g. 021/xxx-xxxx for Novi Sad, Serbia or 06x/xxx-xxxx for Serbian mobile). If you dial inside the same area, there is no need to use the prefix (just dial xxx-xxxx). From a mobile phone, you always have to dial the area code (011/xxx-xxxx for Belgrade land line phone, 0xx/xxx-xxx(x) for other Serbian land line phones or 06x/xxx-xxxx for Serbian mobile).
Basically all of Serbia is covered with mobile networks of all three operators. It is easy to buy and charge cheap pre-paid numbers at the kiosks around the city. If you use 064, 065 or 066 (MTS), pre-paid number, use *100# to check the credit, for 063, 062 and 069 (Telenor), use *121#, for 061 and 060 (Vip), use *123#.
There is a number of red-colored payphones across the city, operated by telephone cards available at the kiosks.
Free wireless access is available at Student park in Belgrade center and in many restaurants, bars and hotels. Mobile operators offers pre- and post-paid wireless Internet packages.
Stay healthy
Belgrade's climate is generally temperate, so tourist visits are possible at any time of year. However, July and August can be uncomfortably hot, with temperatures reaching 40 °C (104 °F) on several days. Minimize your exposure to the sun on such days to avoid heat exhaustion. On the other hand, January and February are sometimes very cold. When it snows in winter, the streets are covered in sleet the next day, so be careful when walking. The Košava, a notorious Belgrade wind, may give you a cold more quickly than you would expect - take care and dress appropriately.
For runners, a sunrise or sunset run through Kalemegdan is a must-do. Running along the Ada lake in the mornings or evenings is a great experience too. Try to avoid running during the day, as it usually is both hot and very crowded.
There are a lot of stray animals roaming streets, particularly dogs. Whilst it is very rare that they demonstrate outward signs of illness or aggression, err on the side of caution and avoid coming in physical contact. These are nevertheless rarely seen in the city center.
Pharmacies – called 'apoteka' – are found throughout the city center. Look for lit green crosses on building façades. Some, such as the ones in Francuska or Kralja Milana streets, are open 24/7. These will carry a range of prescription medicines, as well as over-the-counter products like pain killers and vitamin supplements.
Cope
There are a few dozens gyms around the city, every neighborhood has at least a few. Prices range (so as quality) €20–80 per month, or a bit less for 12/16 visits.
In case you need to fix your umbrella you may do that in the last remaining umbrella service in town in Visnjiceva 4.
It is difficult to avoid tobacco smoke in restaurants, bars and clubs. However, other enclosed public places, including the malls, are smoke-free. Some hotels allow smoking in parts of the building.
Embassies and other diplomatic missions
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This city travel guide to Belgrade is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.
Last edited on 18 March 2021, at 21:48
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