A BALKAN ROMANTISM: BELGRADE

 BELGRADE IS A CITY OF THE BALKANS THAT ENJOYS HAVING FUN THE MOST… DYNAMIC NIGHT LIFE AND CRAZY PARTIES ATTRACT AFICIONADOS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD.

 Although it means ‘White City’, Belgrade is a city that is colorful, dynamic and lively. The largest city of the Balkans is not only the capital of Serbia, but also considered as the center of the region. The city that is located right in the middle of the country facing the point where the Sava and the Danube meets has a history that stretches back to the Stone Age. Today, international investments in the city are not only influential in the construction of new-era architectural masterpieces but also in the restoration of the structures from Tito’s term, the Habsburg Art Nouveau architecture, and the Ottoman heritage.

The city is full of life
Belgrade is a city that enjoys having fun the most in the Balkans… Dynamic nightlife and crazy parties attract aficionados from all over the world. Qualifying it as one of the liveliest cities in Europe would be granting it the truth. The beauty of Belgrade has features that exceed the expectations. Its charm comes from being extrovert, adventurous, proud and daring. The city presents both its complicated past and brilliant future that it is getting closer in front of your eyes. Where the Sava and the Danube meet, the socialist blocks are stuck between the Art Nouveau masterpieces on one side and the remains of the Habsburg heritage creates a striking contrast to the Ottoman past on the other. Kenz-Mihailova Street, the most popular, traffic-free boulevard in the city, is a candidate to reflect the city’s spirit with its beautiful cafes, restaurants, shops and historic buildings in various architectural styles. The correct address for tasting the cevapcici among the most famous dishes of Serbia and the Balkans is Klorac at number 46.

Poetic sunset
This street extends to the Kalemegdan Park, which is one of the city’s largest and most beautiful parks, including the historic Belgrade Castle. Kalemegdan name comes from the words ‘kale’ and ‘meydan’ in Turkish. At the junction of the Danube and Sava rivers, the park, situated on a hill 125 meters tall, crowns the town along with the castle. With its perfect sunset, this is one of the most romantic spots in the city. The old fortifications were built between the 1st and 18th centuries, expanded, demolished and rebuilt. However, today’s walls were mostly built during the Ottoman period in the 18th century. Children will be interested in the collection of cannons and battle tanks in the Military Museum, the Grand Staircase, the Zoo and the Children’s Park.

Transforming neighborhoods
After strolling through the castle, climb down the steep stairs leading to Savamala, an old quay neighborhood. Stretching along the river, Savamala neighborhood that has made a transition from ruins to revival is a place where the creative spirit of the city resides. The neighborhoods that shed light on the history of the city continue to be popular areas despite their transformation. One of these is Skadarlija. Whatever Montmartre to Paris is, Skadarlija is that to Belgrade. This was once the neighborhood of artists, journalists, and writers. Today it is popular among young people with its atmosphere lively with traditional taverns and restaurants. Another vibrant spot in the city is Zeleni Venac, the oldest bazaar in Belgrade, overflowing with vegetables and fruits. This is not only for shopping but also for looking at colorful benches or taking pictures.

Nature or shopping
As you go to New Belgrade from Branko Bridge, the Ušće is a large riverside park, where the Danube and the Sava rivers join, favored by hikers and cyclists. Ušće Shopping Center, the biggest mall in the city, is also here. For shopping in Belgrade, get the crowded Republic Square and its surroundings in your list. In the square known as Trg Republike by its Serbian name, the National Museum and National Theater are significant state buildings. The Serbian Prince Mihailo III’s famous equestrian sculpture in here is striking. In the immediate vicinity of the square, there is a pizzeria that tops the ones in Italy: Toma. Their broccoli pizzas are epic.

The inventor of modern electricity
On the streets of Belgrade, there are museums protecting the city’s cultural, religious and military heritage. One of them was commemorated by the Serbian inventor, electrical engineer and physicist Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), known for his discoveries of modern electricity generation and distribution systems and alternate current systems. It is possible to learn about the life and work of the inventor through many of the original articles, documents, drawings, plans, photographs, books and technical devices that are exhibited in a 1929 villa. Tesla’s ashes, also known for his disagreements with Thomas Edison, remain in a gold-plated urn at the museum. The Tito Museum and the Yugoslav History Museum are also noteworthy.

 A beach with no seashore
One of the places where the city attracts tourists is the Saint Sava Cathedral. One of the most architecturally impressive structures in Serbia, this largest Orthodox church in the Balkans was dedicated to the founder of the Serb Orthodox Church, St. Sava, and completed in 1989. Serbia has no seaside but Belgrade’s rivers are the addresses of those who want to ease the summer heat. In Belgrade, where there is no sea, there is a beach for sunbathers and those who want to swim. It belongs to the small island Ciganlija on the Sava River, which was subsequently converted to a peninsula. The island also offers water sports, cycling, and breathtaking views.

FLAVOR STOP
The nice and quality restaurants of the city are lined at Beton Hala along the Sava.

PHOTO SPOT
Shoot your best photo from the Branko Bridge; include the Sava in the picture.