To be honest, Belgrade was not my primary destination but the cheapest option between a week on a Greek island and a trip to the Plitvice Lakes in Croatia. Nevertheless, I more than happy about my 36 hours stop in the Serbian capital!
The road from the airport to the center between typical communist buildings and big brands is very interesting.
I can recommend you to the hotel we stayed in right next to the train station: Queen’s Astoria Design Hotel. Very comfortable, classy and clean for a very reasonable price.
A rapid shower (with radio integrated) and off we go for a walk to discover the city!
We walked up to one of the landmarks of Belgrade is the destroyed buildings of the Yugoslav Federal Ministry of Defence hit by NATO forces on 7 May 1999. Very impressive to see ruins from a recent war in Europe. However, I must admit that it may be feel slightly uncomfortable!
Among the still standing political buildings, we sat on a bench in the lovely Pionirski park to admire the very large National Assembly of Serbia.
Note: if you plan to visit Belgrade, avoid August. We stopped in every 10 minMc Donalds to get bottle of waters, air conditioning (and WiFi).
We then headed to the pedestrian street Knez Mihaila towards the Kalemegdan Park . The Hotel Moscow on the left at the entrance of the street is worth noticing. (Need a new t-shirt because you’ve sweated too much? Don’t hesitate to go shopping – fair prices!) Further on the right we went for a walk in the studenyski park. Further, we walked down Kralja Petra on our left towards the beautiful orthodox Cathedral Church of the Holy Archangel Michael.
We eventually arrived to the Belgrade Fortress for a stunning sunset with a panoramic view on the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. You will also find in the park some old weapons, the monument to “The Victor“(protector of the city) and, at least when I went, nice temporary picture exhibitions.
From the top of the fortress I noticed what seems like a cool restaurant on the river. What a nice surprise: classy people… with some even arriving with their private boats (we looked a bit odd with our shorts and t-shirts but nervermind!), lounge music, sushi, nice cocktails at very affordable prices! The Splav play seems the place to be for the Serbian jet set with a beautiful view on the fortress! Don’t hesitate to ask the restaurant to call a taxi to go back. It’s dirt cheap anyway!
Unfortunately, we did not have time to explore more as we were heading towards Zagreb. And that’s when I had my worse travelling idea ever: we took the train from Belgrade to Zagreb. Crowded, awfully slow (“I could run faster than the train”) and warm (nearly fainted in the train). Never again!
Ps: You may be wondering? But why did she not visit the Church of Saint Sava ?! Well good question, I still do not know how I managed to miss it… It’s like that when you travel. Sometimes you are absorbed by some random places and end up missing a major landmark!