Everyone loves Belgrade. Throughout my 15-day Balkans trip, I heard from fellow travelers, hoteliers, and others about what an amazing city it was. From the famous nightlife to the great grilled meats and the cafe culture, the capital of Serbia came highly recommended.

Building in Belgrade Serbia

I arrived in said city at 5:45am after a 10-hour night train from Sofia. Bleary-eyed and feeling a serious disconnect between brain and body, I stumbled onto the platform and into a cafe to nurse a strong espresso until daylight.

View of Belgrade's rivers from the castle in Serbia

When the sky was sufficiently blue, I walked up the hill to the city center and found my accommodation, the Beograd Art Hotel. It was a chic boutique hotel in a great location right on Knez Mihailova, the main pedestrianized shopping street in the city.

Historic building in Belgrade Serbia

My room wasn’t going to be ready for another six hours, so I dropped off my bag at reception and set off to explore Belgrade. The streets were empty at that time of day, and I felt like I had the whole city to myself.

Main shopping street in Belgrade Serbia

I walked down the pedestrianized street with its shops and cafes, stopping for a great pastry at a place called Lazarevic before continuing my journey.

Kalemegdan Castle in Belgrade Serbia

At the end I found myself in a park in front of the Kalemegdan Castle, one of Belgrade’s most famous landmarks. I went through the gates, passing by several monuments and a military museum and enjoying the peace of the empty space.

Bridge at Kalemegdan Castle in Belgrade Serbia

Back in the city, I wandered through the streets, taking in the mix of historic architecture and open squares. At one point I found myself on the bohemian street of Skadarska, with its colorful cafes and restaurants. I sat for a while at a place called Familija and watched the city awaken with the morning.

Familija Restaurant in Belgrade Serbia

Further afield, I walked down to the famous Cathedral of Saint Sava, a massive place of worship that was completely unfinished on the inside. On the way back to the area where my hotel was located, I passed by the famous Hotel Moscow, which was being renovated, and the beautiful parliament building.

Saint Sava Church in Belgrade Serbia

Near there was Belgrade’s Orthodox cathedral and the famous “?” restaurant, which was one of the oldest in the city. I walked around there and had a caprese sandwich for lunch at a cafe called Playground before checking into my hotel.

Chairs at Playground restaurant in Belgrade

My room, which the hotel had offered me on a complimentary basis for the night, had a big bed with a fluffy white duvet, a desk with a chair, a TV, and a good size bathroom. The hotel had been decorated with almost all Italian furnishings, and the room was very stylish.

Room at Beograd Art Hotel in Serbia

I spent most of the afternoon working, and later went for dinner by Belgrade’s riverfront. The area had some great places to eat, and a friend from London had recommended one called Iguana restaurant.

Church steeples in Belgrade Serbia

I had a delicious dinner at Iguana, and particularly enjoyed the calamari served in a spicy sambal sauce. The Serbian wine was great, too. It reminded me of a lighter version of my favorite California Cabernet Sauvignons.

Squid starter at Iguana Restaurant in Belgrade Serbia

The next morning I woke up and enjoyed the breakfast buffet at the Mosaic restaurant at my accommodation in Belgrade. Afterwards I met the deputy general manager, Dragana, for coffee in the chic lobby cafe. She told me about the hotel, which was only a year old, and about its great design and live music nights.

Parliament building in Belgrade Serbia

I had an hour to walk around Belgrade after our meeting. I made my way down to a street called Strahinjica Bana, where I had heard there were a lot of great cafes. There were. Every street had one or two, and all were packed with people. Some, particularly one called Pastis, was packed with Belgrade’s impeccably dressed beautiful people.

Museum in Belgrade Serbia

When my hour was over, I returned to my hotel and took a taxi to the airport. It was hard to believe that my 15 days in the Balkans had come to an end. I’m glad they ended in Belgrade, though. My time in the city had been short and sweet, but I left Serbia happy to agree with the people that had told me great things about the capital.

9 Comments on Lady in Belgrade

  1. Ohhhh…I could feel the “sadness” all the way here! But then, the beautiful memories are enough to lighten up a lifetime. Plus, there are more countries to look forward to in the quest to complete the project!

  2. 1. Serbia is at such an important cultural cross roads, the geography, the food, culture, people, hospitality, the various festivals = Guca Horn festival – 100,000+ visitors from across Europe! Great Promotional Video made by a guy that has fallen in Love with Serbia, it’s people, culture, food, land, culture etc.. it’s called “Say Serbia” (Promo Video) One Place, One Love, Say Serbia

    2. Food = Organic Food Serbia – Healthy Living
    3. Lonely Planet Serbia
    4. Another Video Travel Blog Belgrade Serbia! – In love with Srbija Beograde (Dutch Twinz)
    5. Amazing People = The athletes (Largest Group of foreign Nationals in NBA = Are Serbian)
    6. Short flight connecting most major European Cities within 1 hour flight!
    7. Great Exchange Rate vs. EURO/US Dollar etc…
    8. Great Deals on High quality Hand Tailored Fashion, modern furniture, & consumer products!

    You will be VERY Pleasantly Surprised by what you will see, learn and certain to share the growing crowd of people signing Serbia and the other nations of former Yugoslavia as Great Travel Destinations.

    And in Closing = With All Due Respect = KOSOVO IS SERBIA, and the fact that it is an active contemporary social / political / cultural debate, which addresses many serious political concerns that bare a variety of implications related to national sovereignty and is commonly mentioned by many Serbians living in the diaspora e.g. athletes, actors, and other celebrates further illustrates the fact that one cannot divorce the fact that it is a deep and meaningful topic that can’t be ignored = WHITE ELEPHANT!
    i.e. “When in Rome do as the Romans” = When in Serbia or the Balkans please go to learn about the great people, the passion and energy of the whole region and appreciate the overall vigor!

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