Belgrade is the vibrant and captivating capital of Serbia, nestled at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers. It’s a treasure trove of cultural heritage, historical landmarks, and an electric atmosphere that will leave you spellbound.
Needless to say, there are many things to do in Belgrade for any type of traveler on any budget.
When you journey to Belgrade, you’ll find yourself immersed in a unique blend of old-world charm and modern energy. From majestic fortresses and awe-inspiring architecture to tantalizing cuisine and a pulsating nightlife, there is something for everyone in this bustling metropolis.
To find out what are the best attractions in Belgrade you simply cannot miss, we asked Zorica from Eurotribe who was born and raised in Belgrade what are the best things to do in the city.
Zorica shares with us her insider tips on what to do in Belgrade including where to eat, sleep, drink, shop and explore.
- Is Belgrade Worth Visiting?
- Things to Do in Belgrade, Serbia
- 1. Check Out Belgrade Fortress and Kalemegdan Park
- 2. Explore Skadarlija
- 3. Walk through Old Town (Zemun)
- 4. Watch an Opera or Ballet at The National Theatre
- 5. Visit The Belgrade’s Museums
- 6. Admire The Temple of St Sava
- 7. Take A Trip To Ada Ciganlija
- 8. Be Enchanted by Mount Avala
- 9. Try Serbian Cuisine
- 10. Experience the Serbian Nightlife
- 11. Attend One Of Belgrade’s Festivals and Events
- 12. Take a Day Trip to Novi Sad
- 13. See Panoramic Views from Gardos Tower
- 14. Check out the Monument of the Unknown Hero
- 15. Marvel at The Old Palace and New Palaces
- Best Time of Year to Visit Belgrade
- Where to Stay in Belgrade
- Getting To and Around Belgrade
- Final Thoughts on Things to Do in Belgrade
Is Belgrade Worth Visiting?
Belgrade is mostly famous for its nightlife and attracting younger travelers especially from Europe, but it has a lot more to offer than just that.
It is one of the oldest European cities with a rich cultural heritage, long history and numerous entertainment events throughout whole year to satisfy different types of travelers.
Belgrade boasts a wealth of cultural and historical attractions. Anyone who visits can explore the fascinating heritage of both Serbian and Yugoslav cultures, which have intertwined so effortlessly, it creates a very unique culture that’s unlike anywhere else.
It’s also one of the more affordable destinations in Eastern Europe, making it an attractive place to visit for travelers on a budget.
Belgrade is a very beautiful place with buzzing and progressive nature and hospitable people. It is also one of the emerging destinations in Europe and that is why you should absolutely pay a visit to Belgrade.
Things to Do in Belgrade, Serbia
A lot of tourists visit Belgrade for a city break. If you only come for a weekend be sure to explore these unmissable Belgrade attractions…
1. Check Out Belgrade Fortress and Kalemegdan Park
Belgrade Fortress and Kalemegdan Park are two of the most iconic attractions in Belgrade that should not be missed during a visit.
Belgrade Fortress, also known as Kalemegdan Fortress, holds immense historical importance as the specific historical core of the city.
It has witnessed centuries of turbulent history, from Roman and Byzantine rule to medieval Serbia and Ottoman occupation. Exploring the fortress allows visitors to delve into the rich tapestry of Belgrade’s past.
It also showcases a blend of architectural styles influenced by various civilizations that have left their mark on Belgrade. From medieval structures to Ottoman fortifications and Baroque elements, the diverse architectural features make the fortress a captivating sight.
Outside the fortress is the urban oasis of Kalemegdan Park, which provides stunning vistas of the cityscape.
Kalemegdan Park, intertwined with the fortress, provides a serene escape from the bustling city streets. The park is adorned with old shady trees, charming pathways, and blooming gardens, creating a peaceful ambiance for leisurely strolls and picnics.
2. Explore Skadarlija
Skadarlija is the main bohemian quarter of the city. This charming and lively neighborhood carries the spirit of old-world Belgrade, reminiscent of the city’s rich artistic and cultural history.
The cobblestone street, known as the “Montmartre of Belgrade,” is one of the most famous streets in Belgrade and was once a meeting place for renowned artists, poets, writers, and musicians.
Today, it continues to exude an artistic ambiance that captivates visitors, with numerous galleries showcasing local talent and craftsmanship.
As you wander through Skadarlija, it feels like stepping back in time. The street is lined with traditional restaurants, called kafanas, offering a glimpse into Serbian folklore, music, and cuisine.
Skadarlija’s narrow, winding streets, gas lamps, and colorful facades create a romantic setting, paired with the aroma of delicious Serbian dishes wafting out of the cafes, there is an enchanting atmosphere here that you won’t find anywhere else.
3. Walk through Old Town (Zemun)
Old Town Zemun beckons visitors with its picturesque streets, historical landmarks, and captivating charm.
As an integral part of Belgrade’s rich heritage, this neighborhood offers a unique and unforgettable experience for those seeking to explore the city’s cultural tapestry.
Zemun is a treasure trove of history, with its roots dating back to Roman times. The remnants of the ancient fortress walls, cobblestone streets, and quaint architecture serve as a testament to its past, transporting visitors to a bygone era.
The proximity to the majestic Danube River adds an ethereal touch to Old Town Zemun.
You can take a leisurely stroll along the riverfront promenade, enjoy panoramic views from the iconic Millennium Tower, or embark on a boat ride to discover the beauty of the river and its surroundings.
You can wander over to Republic Square or the Prince Mihailo Street to see some fine examples of architecture, or dip into one of the authentic taverns to get a feel for Serbian hospitality and try Serbian cuisine.
If you like the vibe of Zemun and have more time to explore, then another popular old town is Novi Beograd, which has a similar vibe.
4. Watch an Opera or Ballet at The National Theatre
Situated in the heart of Belgrade, this iconic cultural institution offers a captivating experience that combines artistic mastery, grandeur, and emotional resonance.
The National Theatre has a storied history dating back to its establishment in 1868. It has been a beacon of artistic excellence, showcasing a wide range of classic and contemporary productions that have left an indelible mark on Serbian culture.
The performances at The National Theatre are a testament to the extraordinary talent of the opera singers, ballet dancers, musicians, and stage designers who bring these productions to life.
If you’re looking for things to do in Belgrade at night, then taking the chance to witness breathtaking vocal performances, graceful ballet routines, and intricate stage sets at the National Theatre is a must.
5. Visit The Belgrade’s Museums
If you’re a history buff, I recommend you take the time to visit some of Belgrade’s museums.
The Military Museum is one of the oldest museums in Serbia, and offers a captivating journey through the military history of Serbia and Yugoslavia.
With its vast collection of artifacts and immersive exhibits, this museum provides a unique opportunity to explore and understand the tumultuous past of the region, including its involvement in the Balkan Wars, World War I and World War II, the Yugoslav Wars and more.
The Museum of Yugoslavia is another fascinating museum that uncovers the history, culture, and legacy of Yugoslavia.
This cultural institution provides a unique opportunity to delve into the diverse aspects of Yugoslav society, politics, and art, including the legacy of Josip Broz Tito of NATO, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiast.
The House of Flowers is part of the museum and was a winter garden for the former President of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito.
Nikola Tesla Museum is a science museum dedicated to the life and work of Nikola Tesla, and is also his resting place.
6. Admire The Temple of St Sava
Temple of Saint Sava is one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world and you should definitely see it.
The Temple of St Sava, also known as the Church of Saint Sava, is a Serbian Orthodox church located on the Vračar plateau in Belgrade, and is said to have been built on the presumed location of St. Sava’s grave, where his remains were burned by Ottoman invaders.
The Temple of St Sava has remarkable architecture and is considered one of the most beautiful monuments in Belgrade.
7. Take A Trip To Ada Ciganlija
If you visit during summer a great getaway for relaxation is the oasis of Belgrade called Ada Ciganlija. Locals like to call it “Belgrade’s sea”.
Ada Ciganlija is a river island in Belgrade and offers picturesque landscapes with lush greenery, sandy beaches, and crystal-clear waters.
It’s a perfect place to relax and unwind during hot summer days, where you can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and various water sports activities.
8. Be Enchanted by Mount Avala
If you decide to stay a bit more than just a weekend in Belgrade, go to Mountain Avala.
It’s a mountain that’s great for walking and relaxation and its location is 16 km away of Belgrade.
Avala Tower is situated here, the tallest tower in Serbia and the Balkan region.
9. Try Serbian Cuisine
Be sure to try Serbian cuisine on your trip to Belagrade. Some unmissable dishes are Mešano meso (mixed grill) which includes ćevapčići (a grilled dish of minced meat),
pljeskavice (burgers), kobasice (sausages) etc. all on one plate.
Another popular dish is Wedding cabbage, which is a slow cooked cabbage and meat dish that’s perfect for a winter’s day.
If you’re looking for restaurants serving local specialties, go to Skadarlija where numerous Serbian traditional restaurants are located.
Another good restaurant for Serbian cuisine is Kolarac in Prince Mihailo street. Great sweetshops are Choko Cafe and Snezhana.
If you want to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables, jams, fish etc. be sure to check Kalenic Market.
10. Experience the Serbian Nightlife
Belgrade is famous for its nightlife scene, so be sure to check out the House and Techno clubs or visit one of the lively bars.
For nightlife enthusiasts, I recommend you go to the bar of the Federal Association Of Globe Trotters, they serve great cocktails and the interior of the bar is pretty cool.
Be sure to tru Rakija (brandy) which is an important part of Serbian culture. A great place to try it is Rakia bar.
For coffee to nurse your hangover the next day, head to Obilicev venac, a very popular cafe zone.
Another place worth visiting is The Three Carots Irish pub.
11. Attend One Of Belgrade’s Festivals and Events
Belgrade has a lot of festivals and events to satisfy everyone’s taste!
Guitar Art Festival, FEST – the most important international film fest in Serbia, Belgrade Marathon, Belgrade Fashion Week, ATP Tennis tournament, Museum Night, Belgrade Beer Fest, Boat Carnival etc.
12. Take a Day Trip to Novi Sad
Novi Sad is Serbia’s second largest city.
If you leave Belgrade in early morning you can see some of the most famous attractions of the city, drink a coffee or have lunch and come back to Belgrade in the evening.
Novi Sad is known for its vibrant cultural scene, with a rich history and diverse art and music culture. The city has been recognized as the European Capital of Culture in 2022, showcasing its commitment to arts and creativity.
One of the main highlights of Novi Sad is the impressive Petrovaradin Fortress, sitting majestically on the banks of the Danube River.
Novi Sad boasts an eclectic mix of architectural styles influenced by its multicultural history. From elegant baroque buildings in the city center to Art Nouveau facades and modern structures, there is plenty for architecture enthusiasts to admire.
It’s a great place to spend a day outside of Belgrade if you have some spare time left.
13. See Panoramic Views from Gardos Tower
Go to Gardoš in Zemun and take a walk through the cobblestoned streets and you will find Gardoš Tower, which offers a panoramic view of Belgrade from the top.
The tower itself is a memorial tower and was built to celebrate 1,000 of Hungarian settlement, which is why it’s also known as the Millenium Tower.
14. Check out the Monument of the Unknown Hero
The Monument of the Unknown Hero in Belgrade is a significant landmark that holds historical and cultural importance to the Serbian people.
The monument serves as a memorial to honor the fallen soldiers who fought during World War I. It stands as a symbol of remembrance for their sacrifices and bravery.
Situated on Mount Avala, the monument offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. It’s a wonderful place to enjoy panoramic vistas of Belgrade and its surroundings while paying respects to the fallen heroes.
15. Marvel at The Old Palace and New Palaces
When visiting Belgrade, be sure to check out the palaces.
The Old Palace, also known as Stari Dvor, was completed in 1884 and served as the residence of Serbian monarchs. It reflects the rich history and architectural beauty of the city.
The Old Palace features a neoclassical style, while the New Palace, also known as Novi dvor, stands opposite to the Old Palace and exhibits an impressive facade.
The Old Palace currently houses the Belgrade City Assembly, serving as the seat of local government. On the other hand, the New Palace is the official residence of the President of Serbia.
Both are stunning buildings and definitely worth a visit.
Best Time of Year to Visit Belgrade
As you plan your visit to Belgrade, you might wonder about the best time to experience this enchanting city.
The ideal months to explore Belgrade’s wonders are late Spring and Summer from April – October.
During these months, you can expect pleasant weather, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the city’s charm.
Spring, in particular, marks the awakening of Belgrade, as garden terraces open up, and locals reclaim their favorite spots. The city comes alive with festivals, outdoor activities, and a vibrant social scene that showcases the authentic spirit of Serbia.
Winters, on the other hand, can be quite cold, while autumn often sees rainy days, so be sure to pack warm clothes if you plan to visit during this time of year.
Where to Stay in Belgrade
The Youth Hostel Association (YHA) of Serbia has the biggest hostel network in the country and on their website, you can find a list of numerous hostels. They are usually clean, comfortable, and social – perfect for budget travelers or solo travelers.
For budget hotels, I recommend Hotel Royal Inn, which is located near Belgrade Fortress and Knez Mihailova Street – two of the most famous landmarks of the city.
For those wanting to stay in a piece of history, The Hotel Moskva is the most famous hotel in the city, and dates back to 1908. It has hosted many famous guests over the years, including Albert Einstein and Alfred Hitchcock.
For more places to stay in Belgrade, including apartment rentals, explore the map below.
Getting To and Around Belgrade
When planning how to get to Belgrade, I recommend you fly. JAT Airways is Serbia’s national flag carrier which offers the most flights worldwide.
There are a few low-cost carriers like Wizz Air, Germanwings, Flyniki and others that offer cheap European flights.
If you are visiting Serbia from other Balkans countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania or Montenegro, you get a bus or train.
Bus tickets are a little bit more expensive but they are also more efficient.
The best way to discover Belgrade is by walking as it’s a very walkable city. Unfortunately, the city is not very bicycle friendly.
Public transport is provided through a network of bus, trolleybus and tram routes. Public transport tickets can be bought in public transport vehicles or kiosks throughout the city.
Final Thoughts on Things to Do in Belgrade
I love Belgrade because it’s mysterious and I’m glad that it’s becoming more progressive. It is rapidly changing everyday, so on every visit, you can discover something new and exciting, making it interesting for locals and tourists alike.
Whether you’re just passing through or looking to spend a few days, we hope this guide helps you plan what to do in Belgrade and gave you some inspiration for your trip.