The underrated city of Belgrade may not be at the top of most travelers’ bucket lists, but it is definitely one of the most interesting capital cities in Europe. Locally known as the ‘white city’ or ‘white fortress,’ this Balkan capital city has a little bit of everything but is best known for its party and nightlife scene. From culture and traditions to beautiful unique architecture, great wine, and delicious cuisine, Belgrade deserves a lot more recognition than it gets.
After visiting Belgrade, it’s hard to understand why this city isn’t on more travelers’ radars. It’s easily walkable and is one of the most convenient cities in the Balkans for onward travel, has a very laid-back and chill atmosphere, AND even has beaches! (Who knew?) There is a lot more to this city than meets the eye, and it’s a place we would love to travel back to for years to come.
Whether you are in Belgrade as a stopover between cities or looking to explore destinations more off the beaten path, you couldn’t have made a better decision! To help you make the most of your time, we have put together a list of personal and beloved favorite things to do in Belgrade so you see the absolute best parts of the city.
Keep scrolling to discover 10 of the best things to do in Belgrade.
Visit the Kalemegdan Fortress
The Kalemegdan Fortress is definitely the most well-known landmark in Belgrade and a must-see while in the city. The century-old fortress is full of old stone walls, ancient cannons, and marvelous river and city views, plus, there is even a gorgeous garden located within the fortress. It’s the main tourist site in town, and a popular hangout for locals to hang out and have a few beers (there is no open container law in Belgrade) or catch the sunset in a relaxing atmosphere.
Watch a Football on top of Vozdovac
While most people visit shopping centers to shop, Belgrade has another alternative; watching a football game on the rooftop of Vozdovac. This was probably the highlight of our trip, and one of the most exciting ways to immerse ourselves in the local culture. If you can catch a game between the biggest rivals in the Balkans, Red Star and Partizan, don’t miss out on the opportunity. Even if you aren’t into soccer, the atmosphere alone will provide enough excitement and entertainment for the afternoon.
Go Museum Hopping
Belgrade is loaded with a wide variety of interesting museums all throughout the city. You can easily spend an entire day, or more, museum hopping around the city and still not learn everything there is to discover. No matter your personal preference, there’s bound to be one that sparks your interest. While there are dozens of options to choose from, some of the best and most popular museums in Belgrade are the Museum of Yugoslavia, Nikola Tesla Museum, Historical Museum of Serbia, Military Museum, & the Museum of Applied Art.
Explore Belgrade’s Underground
Exploring the underground of the city is the perfect way to see a different perspective of Belgrade. While the city is rather modernized, it is one of the largest cities in Europe without a functioning metro system available for transportation. While it was a thought at one point, the underground of Belgrade could have been one of the most elaborate metro stations on the continent. Additionally, underground wineries, military bunkers, the Roman Well, and a lot of history are located within the walls beneath the city streets.
Visit Republic Square
Sitting in the heart of Belgrade is Rebuplic Square. Not only is it perfect for people watching and observing the daily life in Belgrade, but it is also often the central meeting point in the city and sits right in the center, surrounded with interest landmarks and things to see. Start by taking a glance at the Prince Mihailo Horse statute, and venture over to the National Theater, the best place for opera, ballets, and performance arts, and the Serbian National Museum (if you haven’t already visited on your day of museum hopping) where history buffs can indulge in artifacts and artworks from prehistoric times to the 20th century.
Zemun is a small city located within the city of Belgrade- Did you know that Belgrade is technically a city, built on top of another city? Located by the Danube River, Zemun is a lot more relaxing than the city center of Belgrade and is a great spot for catching the sunset, meeting up with friends, or exploring the city from a new perspective. Be sure the climb the Gardos Tower, the main landmark in Zemun, and experience the best jaw-dropping views of Belgrade and rejuvenating Danube River.
Wander around Skadrlija Bohemian Quarter
The Bohemian Quarter of Skadrilja, otherwise known as the” Serbian Montmarte” is one of the coolest and most unique neighborhoods in Belgrade. Spend some time wandering the cobblestoned streets where well-famed writers and artists have come for inspiration for decades. It’s the largest pedestrian-only area in the city and is home to incredible street art, some Belgrade first restaurants, and the most delicious cuisine in the city. This was one of our favorite places in Belgrade and spent a full afternoon sightseeing and finding the perfect photo-opt spots.
Relax at Ada Ciganlija
Ada Ciganlija is an island mass in Belgrade within the Danube River, that has been artificially turned into a peninsula. Perfect for those who love nature and being outdoors, it’s filled with luscious greenery, and walking and biking paths, and it is the best place in Belgrade to relax, and discover one of the most undiscovered beaches in the Balkans.
It’s hard to visit Belgrade and have a taste of Rakija at least once. Rakija is the national drink of Serbia and can be found everywhere you look. The drink itself is high in alcohol content (60%+) and is often compared to the spirit brandy. Visit any bar in Belgrade, specifically the Rakia Bar, and chat and toast with locals to immerse into the daily life in Belgrade and learn more about the history of the drink and why it became so cherished around the country.
Live up the Nightlife in Belgrade
If Belgrade is famous for anything amongst travelers, it’s for the vibrant and exciting nightlife scene. Its bay-far is one of the greatest cities to party in all of Europe, with parties of every shape and size lasting long into the morning hours. There is a large techno scene with world-famous DJs, hipster pubs for a more chill and relaxed vibe, and in the summer months, the biggest party in the city, the Splavlovi (barges turned nightclubs lined up the Danube River). If you are a beer lover, rest assured the city has a huge brewery scene as well, with ales and craft beers wide an array of flavors.
We hope you have enjoyed this guide to the Serbian capital city of Belgrade, and that it has inspired you to take a trip to the underrated city for yourself- & hope you fall in love with Serbia just like we did!