In the ex-yugoslavia capital and current hub of Serbia, you will find enchanting artifacts that one wouldn’t believe when imagining an old communist city. Belgrade has its fair share of gray, lifeless buildings, but hidden between are bright and cheerful landmarks. When you find yourself cruising through the Balkans, don’t miss these five iconic destinations in the regions capital.
1. The Fortress
It’s the perfect place to begin exploring the capital, and arguable the most picturesque. Spend hours diving into the educational exhibits while taking in the views the highest points of the fortress offer of the entire city. Make sure to stop by the tiny church inside, as well as forking over a couple dinars to climb a staircase to a flawless lookout. Souvenir markets crowd the walkways of the surrounding park, making it easy to snag a gift for family or find something yummy to munch on as you wander around.
2. Church of Saint Mark
Although the church’s interior is still heavily under construction, the inside holds the grave of Zar Dušan, the most powerful Serbian emperor to ever exist, under whose reign Serbia was at its most grand point. Some murals can be found on the white walls, which help bring the empty church some light. Aside from the historic memorial inside the walls, the outside offers eye-candy of a lovely blend of pink and red that climbs for meters and meters.
3. Saint Sava Temple
The iconic Orthodox Church structure can be found at this building seen in most photos of the city. In front of the beautiful white body, with a stunning turquoise blue roofs, sits a fountain that splits out water every couple seconds to make the experience even more special. Like the Saint Mark’s church, this religious structure is also under construction on the inside, but it’s worth seeing to bathe in the exteriors glory.
Once you step inside, you’ll find a biblical shop, where you will find superb bibles lathered in fancy jewels and exquisite colors. Don’t forget to be dressed in appropriate clothing of you won’t be allowed to enter, even on the hottest of days you aren’t permitted to enter in a tanktop and shorts.
4. NATO Bombing Ruins
In the spring of 1999, NATO spent 78 continuous days dropping bombs throughout the nation of Serbia. This event continues to be a huge part of Serbian history, as many died and spent nearly 3 months in complete terror. To this day, the buildings impacted have not been repaired, as a reminder to the people of what the country has been through.
Seeing the consequences of the catastrophes humans have caused is necessary to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. If you have the opportunity to talk with a local about the bombings, do it. It’s enlightening to hear how it was to live through a life-threatening experience like that.
This street, often referred to as the Bohemian Street, is loaded with cafes and restaurants to cure any hunger pangs. If you are itching to try traditional Serbian food, stop at Tri šešira, a restaurant which gives you fine cuisine at an inexpensive price. Joe Biden and Jimi Hendrix are some of the famous people who have stopped by to grab a bite.
Aside from food, the buildings and the vibe from this area are enough to get someone to walk down the street. It’s not long, but it will transport you to another land for a few minutes. A map can be found at the beginning of the street to guide you to any destination you desire. This is definitely my favorite part of the entire city.