Belgrade was a city we often wanted to visit. We had friends and co-workers from Serbia and they spoke often and wistfully about their country. Belgrade is a city with a very tumultuous history and is also one of the oldest cities in Europe – with historical references of more than 7,000 years. In recent times, during the 1999 NATO bombing of Belgrade many targets in the city center were hit. During almost three months of bombing, only a few days and nights passed without an air-raid alarm. Walking through the city – or talking with the residents – we heard individual stories of these events. In some parts of the city the remains of ruined buildings are still visible.
But thankfully, Belgrade and its citizens have rebuilt their city and welcome tourists from all countries! We had a wonderful time exploring a very diverse city – from the prosperous pedestrian walkway of Knez Mihailova Street to the Pijaca Kalenic market in the eastern section of the city.
Kneza Mihalia is a pedestrian walkway in the center of Belgrade. Here you’ll find cafe’s restaurants and high end shopping!
The Kalemegdan Park combines the park and fortress. The fortress overlooks the merging point of the Danube and Sava rivers. In the daytime there are many activities in the park – including clay court tennis! In the evening, everyone heads to the park to walk, play chess, or just sit and enjoy the views.
Central Belgrade is busy, beautiful, and contains many unique buildings. Parts of the city are sprinkled with parks, government buildings, and monuments – as you would expect in a capitol city.
Skadarlija is a vintage street, located in Stari Grad (Old town) and generally considered the main bohemian quarter of Belgrade. One of the most famous streets in Belgrade, it is less than 400 meters long and worth seeing!
Belgrade also contains numerous markets… like the Pijaca Kalenic and the Farmers’ market, Zeleni Venac. The prices are great and there’s a huge variety of foods.
And there are plenty of unique restaurants – like “Lorenzo & Kakalamba” – where you can enjoy fantastic food (and a colorful atmosphere).
Belgrade at times was intriguing and … humbling. I spent one morning talking with locals about their history, the impact on their families, the NATO bombings, and their dreams for the future. It was quite moving. Their stories of the changes they – and their country – have been through over the past twenty years were riveting.
5-Star Hotels in Belgrade
There are three 5-star hotels in Belgrade. They are the Hyatt Regency Belgrade, the Hotel Metropol PalaceSquare Nine Hotel Belgrade. The Hyatt Regency is a business-style hotel… located appropriately in the business-section of Belgrade. I prefer to stay near the pedestrian zone, closer to the Hotel Metropol Palace or the Square Nine Hotel Belgrade.
The Hotel Metropol Palace was renovated in 2012 and features 2 restaurants and elegantly decorated accommodations with free Wi-Fi. It’s only 400 meters from the heart of Belgrade and overlooks Tasmajdan Park. It’s perhaps the most luxurious hotel in Belgrade and has hosted Belgrade’s most esteemed guests. Metropol was one of Tito’s favorite hotels, where he held many gatherings, attended by A-list guests, ranging from movie stars to leaders of states. With the recent renovations, it has been modernized, but still retains the luxury setting you would expect from this historical hotel.
The Square Nine Hotel Belgrade has perhaps my favorite location – less than 60 meters from the car-free street, Knez Mihailova and only 100 meters from the Kalemegdan Fortress. Surrounded by high-end shopping, cafes, and restaurants, this is a wonderful part of town and an impressive hotel! The rooms at the Square Nine Hotel Belgrade are decorated with hardwood floors, paneling, comfortable Treca de Paris beds, linen wallpaper and unique furniture pieces. It is a little modern looking but very comfortable. This is where I’ll be staying on my next visit to Belgrade!For more photos on our Belgrade trip… head to our Belgrade Pinterest Board.
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