honestly before this trip i knew nothing about serbia. belgrade fell on our map for a few basic reasons – we wanted to go deeper into the balkans and came across an article claiming belgrade "might be the next berlin", which left us pretty intrigued. after doing a little more research, it seemed like a city that would be worth spending some time in, and we ended up staying for over a week [see our post on where to stay]. after a week here we agreed that it reminded us a lot of brooklyn or oakland, a ton of history and decayed in parts, but exploding with creativity.
serbia's capital city is full of charm – with extremely friendly locals, a thriving cafe & bar culture, talented local designers, wild nightlife, waterfront culture, gritty, unique architecture and low prices – it is absolutely worth a visit on an eastern european tour. after a few nights of touring the city on our own, 3 friends from london met up with us for the weekend. it was the perfect excuse to blend our trip of historical and artsy stops with a fair amount of vetting belgrade's party reputation. below we map out some of our favorite things in this unexpectedly hip town.
THE STREET SCENE:
museum of yugoslav history tour the house of flowers, tito's marble mausoleum, and browse the fascinating collection of gifts from civilians to the former president || gardos tower in the old town of zemun, this 100+ year old tower has epic views over the sea of orange-tile roofs that open onto the danube and sava rivers || kalemegdan park the ruins of a fortress that was originally built over 1,500 years ago. today it is the city's most popular park, where locals hang and enjoy the scenic views of the city.
THE CREATIVE & LOCAL ART SCENE:
mikser house former industrial space turned performing arts venue and bar/cafe during the day. we saw the coolest 11 piece all woman jazz band play here. they also sell cool products by serbian designers. great place to hang and get work done or relax with a book. || makadam concept store all products from local serbians artists and the vibe here is homey-chic. also a cafe/bar so we admittedly came here almost every day to get an espresso, glass of wine or browse the beautiful store. || belgrade design district cool open mall of independent artists selling fashion, homeware, art pieces, etc.
THE FOOD & BEVERAGE SCENE:
ambar beautiful industrial space with rustic touches like half-timbered walls and a wood planked ceiling. known to be belgrade's most recognized restaurant. opt for many small shared plates to try as much as you can. || manufacktura modern twists on traditional serbian dishes, designed as a grocery store. really great food and drinks - recommend going for lunch. || smokvica mediterranean influenced cuisine, great patio and ambiance. || skadarlija belgrade's old quarter with traditional serbian food and music on cobblestone streets. no trip is complete without coming here for dinner and having ćevapčići. || deli 57 tiny bar & restaurant with fun small bites and great cocktails. at night this place becomes a DJ fueled dance party || pizza botako pizza & pasta spot popular with locals. || COFFEE || aviator 3rd wave spot with a ton of options, jungle garden decor and really good coffee. || przionica D59B roasts their own beans and serves up coffee drinks, espresso martinis and more in a really cool rustic space.