If you find yourself in Serbia and looking for things to do Belgrade, you certainly won’t want for activities to do in this dynamic city.
The city is also larger than I expected with the “New Belgrade” on the west side of the river. This part had some of the more socialist “brutalist architecture” buildings. It is also the less popular place for tourists (as most of the sites are on the other side of the river) but fascinating in its own right as the place where more of the populace lives.
Regardless, I think you’ll find so much to do in Belgrade that will easy fill a few days. Here is our list among the top things to see and do in Belgrade Serbia.
- 1 Church of Saint Sava
- 2 Pay your Respects to the the “true” Yugoslav
- 3 Belgrade Fortress
- 4 Kalemegdan Park
- 5 Skadarlija
- 6 Republic Square
- 7 Nikola Tesla Museum
- 8 St. Marks Church
- 9 Ada Bridge
- 10 Museum of Yugoslav History
- 11 Museum of Aviation
- 12 Zeleni Venac Market
- 13 Tour the Brutalist Architecture in Novo Beograd
- 14 Sample the Great Food
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Church of Saint Sava
St. Sava Church is the largest orthodox church in Serbia (and in the Balkans) and also the second largest Orthodox Cathedral in the world (after Holy Trinity in Tbilisi).
Construction of the church began in the 1930s and lasted until 1989. The church inside still seems to be in somewhat of a state of constant construction but it is such an impressive place to behold. The area around the church is also a great place to relax and spend some time.
Location: Krušedolska 2a, Beograd, Serbia
Pay your Respects to the the “true” Yugoslav
You can pay your respects at the mausoleum of the man, the myth, the legend, Josip Bronz Tito. Born to a Croat father and a Slovenian Mother in what is now modern day Croatia he is often referred to as the first “yugolsav” or at least the representation of that. He is often credited as not only in the creation of Yugoslavia but in holding it together. Love him or Hate him it was after his death that things started to crumble and pull apart in Yugoslavia and become the various countries and borders we now see today.
Sitting at the Confluence of the Sava and Danube, Belgrade Fortress has stood guard over the city for over a thousand years. Actually the fortress has been built and expanded since the 2nd century, having changed hands and function over its many centuries.
The fortress along with the Kalemegdan park make up the historic area of the park.
Location: Belgrade Fortress
Belgrade Fortress (remarked above) sits within this large and historic park in Belgrade. Kalemegdan come from the turkish words Kale (fortress/castle) and megdan (battle).
I included them separately because there is so much more to the area than just the fortress. Many historic monuments as well as the Military Museum sit within this important park. You could easily spend hours exploring the area. There is even often a night market within the park as well.
Location: Kalemegdan Park
This trendy and beautiful neighborhood is definitely one of the top spots to visit on any visit through Belgrade. This was one of my favorite areas with the beautiful cobblestone streets and trendy restaurants and shops. Some of my favorite places to eat were in this area. While perhaps past its heyday in the early 20th century, this bohemian haunt is one of the most picturesque in the city.
One of the largest and most important squares in the city, Republic Square is a popular and important gathering place. The site is also home to several important landmarks such as The National Museum, the National Theatre, and the statue of Prince Michael.
Various architectural aspects of the area from the gates, to the statues and buildings have seen influence from the various occupiers of Belgrade from the Austrians to the Ottomans. The area around here has quite a few expensive restaurants and shops as well.
Nikola Tesla Museum
Truly the inventor of many of the modern things you use today. Nikola Tesla built so many incredible electrical inventions as well as pure science and invention related to electricity and its properties you know today. Most famous I believe as the created of Alternating Current which ultimate won out for transmission over long distances. He ended up dying poor but his inventions and genius live on. The museum is a testament to this Serbian man and his impact on the world.
St. Marks Church
St. Mark’s Church is one of the most beautiful churches in Belgrade and one of the most beautiful I have certainly seen. The large Serbian Orthodox church was completed in 1940 on the site of a previous church from the 1800s. Built in the Serbo-Byzantine style, the church is dedicated to the Saint and Apostle Mark. The only larger church in the city is the St. Sava church (also in the list).
Location: Bulevar kralja Aleksandra 17, Beograd
One of the largest construction projects in Serbia (and the Balkans) Ada Bridge is an architecturally beautiful bridge to behold. After nearly 8 years of planning and 3 years of building, the bridge was opened at midnight on December 31st, 2011. The structure is the largest single pylon suspension bridge in the world, and certainly adds a striking feature to the Belgrade skyline. The bridge is heavily trafficked but also has pedestrian access as well.
Location: Мост на Ади, Beograd, Serbia
Museum of Yugoslav History
The Museum is definitely an odd but also interesting look into the history and lives of the people in the former Yugoslavia. The museum covers much of the history of the formation of the countries and a bit about each of the individual places as well. There is a video that mostly focuses on the life on Tito and the love the people of Yugoslavia (and oddly supposedly the world) bestowed upon him. It was definitely very propagandist but interesting to watch as well.
I found the building to be more interesting than the museum itself. But I’m such a sucker for aviation museums and this was one I had always wanted to see. If you love Brutalist Architecture that alone is enough reason to visit. The museum houses quite a few planes (both fixed and rotary) and even has a downed predator drone from the NATO bombing campaign.
Zeleni Venac Market
There are so many of these green markets around Belgrade and to me this is such an amazing thing. I wish we had more of these types of markets in the US where you can go and buy incredible fresh and local (and international) produce any day of the week. Zeleni Venac is probably the most famous of the green markets but definitely not the only one.
Location: Zeleni Venac Belgrade
Brutalist Architecture rose in prominence throughout the 60s and 70s and is most associated with socialist republics such as Yugoslav and the Soviet Union. Much of New Belgrade (Novo Beograd) was constructed in this manner. Touring through the various blocs is a great look into the past as well as the present of these areas. Be sure to check out some of the bigger constructions such as the Western Gate and the Sava Centar. I found just getting lost among the blocs one of my favorite things about the city. And a great way to see how the local life is here.
Read More: Brutalist Architecture in Belgrade
Location: Various locations throughout Belgrade (primarily Novo Beograd)
Sample the Great Food
One of the things that shocked me about Serbia was the incredible food scene. I honestly didn’t know that Belgrade had such a burgeoning restaurant scene, from vegan, to organic, to fresh takes on Balkan and other cuisines. We had some of our best meals in the Balkans (and beyond) in Belgrade.
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Have you visited Belgrade? Any other places you’d recommend? Let us know and we can try to add more or debate the best places to see in Belgrade!