You overheard that in the Eastern part of Europe there is a city that never sleeps. You have heard friends who returned full of impressions from this under-detected Balkan city. They told you about the tasty and cheap food, amazing night life and dancing till dawn on the raft boat bars. They praised to bravely have coped with the Serbian national drinks, withal describing the striking beauty of Belgrade girls.
Everything that they told you, it’s true!
Come and see why the number of foreign media, as well as reputable world travel guide Lonely Planet proclaimed Belgrade the capital of world’s entertainment!
© Zmaj011 | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos
Many come with a touch of distrust in our city, for the first time, listening to stories about war, the ugly past, the isolation of Serbia. We are pleased that Belgrade has succeeded in recent years to dispel fears among the people and tear down prejudices. Belgrade is back in style to the list of European cities where it once in the former Yugoslavia rightfully was.
And Belgrade really lives to the fullest, 7 days a week. Here every day is Friday–if you want it to be. Even though they work in the morning, Belgradians will not deny themselves an evening drink with friends, going to a good gig or dinner with live music. So, you will always find places that are open late at night and on weekends Belgradians do not go out before 23h!
A typical night-out begins with gathering for a coffee or dinner in one of the myriad of Belgrade’s cafes or restaurants (we believe that you will find some of this for yourself, to be just ”yours”). The fun continues on a dance floor (depending on whether you like pop, rock, alternative, disco, house, techno …). Finally, the night takes you to the river, to the unique Belgrade boats (floating raft boats), well-known for crazy partying until dawn, live music and a cheerful atmosphere. Everything ends with the early morning in front of some of the famous Belgrade bakeries or burger houses where you can taste the best ‘’street cuisine” specialties–from burgers and kebabs to pies and strudels.
Cheers and welcome!
Daily life of Belgradians revolves around coffee. The first one in the morning, one for lunch break or during your wandering through the city, one in the afternoon with friends. “Let’s go for coffee” is a favorite expressions, and often replaces the standard ‘‘want to meet up?”
Keep in mind that most Serbs drink tea “only when ill’’ so think twice if you’re about to ask for cup of tea!
Turkish, homemade, espresso, nescafé– in a word, coffee! It is an irreplacable part of life in Belgrade.
And do not forget, whether it comes to coffee, or some other drink, watch, unlike most of their Western compatriots, Belgradians continue to pay each other a drink (tours). This means that if you go out for a drink, someone from the group will pay the entire bill. This is quite casual custom and it is considered an insult to not agree with somebody to pay your drink. Of course, in the future, you’ll be expected to pay for coffee or drinks.
Remember, one of the most common sentences in the slang of Belgrade’s bohemian life is “Ja castim” (It is my treat!). With or without cause, ”paying the bill” is the matter of respect of your guest and part of the culture.
Serbian cuisine is a mixture of various influences, mostly Mediterranean, Turkish and Hungarian cuisine. Serbs love to eat well and, in fact, the Serbian cuisine is heavy on meat, light on vegetables. In Serbia it is still considered that a meal without meat is not a meal.
Serbs eat at restaurants or kafanas, older versions of today’s traditional restaurants.
Some of the kafanas have retained their old-fashioned spirit and bohemian atmosphere, such as ‘’?’’, ‘’Prolece’’, ‘’Mornar’’, ‘’Kalenic’’, ‘’Zora’’, and some have renewed their interiors while maintaining quality and tradition of their names such as ‘’Manjež’’, ‘’Kovac’’, ‘’Orac’’ … portions in restaurants are large, and the prices are, for the European standard, low.
Our proposal-specialties of Serbian cuisine
1. ‘’Sarma’’-minced meat wrapped in cabbage leaves
(Also, you must try the salad of pickled cabbage that is served in traditional kafanas)
2. ‘’Cevapcic’’-sausages made of ground meat cooked on the grill
3. ‘’Prebranac’’– baked beans with bacon in the oven
4. ‘’Gibanica’’ Pie-traditional pie with homemade dough layers stuffed with cheese
5. ‘’Baklava’’-sweet juicy pie with walnuts
1. Plum brandy– an unavoidable drink of Serbia. A natural drink created by fermenting plums. It can often be very strong as it typically has a very high percentage of alcohol (sometimes even over 50%), so be cautious when you are drinking.
Other brandies of worth a taste are grape, quince, apricot, and pear. ”Zuta Osa’’ is a well known brandy throughout the world, just look for the wasp.
In the past few decades, Serbia has been gaining recognition as a wine producer in the European region. Some of the famous local wineries are Zupa, Alexandrovich, Radovanovic, Radenkovic.
In cafes and restaurants special dress code is not required, which means you can dine casually dressed in most of the restaurants in the city. You can call waiters by waving a hand which is completely accepted and not disrespectful. Although tipping is not mandatory and there is no certain quota for tipping, unofficially it is around 10% of the bill. Accordingly, tipping is adopted extensively in the local culture and everybody leaves some amount for a tip.
When toasting, tap the glasses and look each other in the eye. Not making eye contact is considered rude and disrespectful. After the toasts, you always take a sip of your drink.
Have a nice meal and cheers (prijatno i ziveli)!
Belgrade, has in recent years, become an international destination when it comes to night life and tourism for the young. Belgrade offers a multitude of events and concerts (such as ‘’Beer Fest’’) that bring together tens of thousands of young people each year.
Every month there is some new club that is opened in Belgrade, and the old and well known clubs are also trying to keep up their repertoire with the events on the world music scene. Come and see why ”Belgrade rocks”
Encircled by two rivers, Belgrade has used this ideal position to its advantage with a multitude of raft boats. Raft boats are an extension of the city serving both as restaurants and dance venues of pop, rock, local ethnic folk music, sound of good alternative, house, drum ‘n bass, etc…
When you get tired from the night life and parties, the city has plenty of parks and green areas where you can take a breath of fresh air. There are many resorts near the city where you will enjoy the beauty of nature and various activities from sports to sunbathing.
Although not numerous, the Serbian nation is very talented and successful in almost all sports. Belgrade is the capital of the true sporting nation. We’ll mention only some of the great success of Serbian athletes.
The Serbs were two-times world champions and three-times European champions in basketball; in water polo, the most awarded Serbian sport, Serbs won everything there is to win; the football club Red Star won the ’91 European Cup Champions League and Intercontinental Cup; karate players that are World club champions won two individual gold medals at this year’s World Championships; for Shooting Sports Jasna Sekaric and Alexandra Ivosev have won medals at all major competitions; swimmers, Nadja Higl and Milorad Cavic also own gold from the world championships, not to mention the world’s tennis stars like Novak Djokovic, Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic and so on. The last major success of Serbian sport is winning the Davis Cup tennis in December 2010… and in Belgrade!
The latest great success of Serbian sport is wining the European championship in volleyball both in men’s and women’s competition.
For purchase on the principle of ‘’ all in one place,” we recommend some of Belgrade’s shopping malls. Belgrade has the largest shopping mall center in Balkans ‘’Usce’’’. In ‘’Usce’’ as well as in ”Delta City’’ shopping center in one place you can find the clothes of famous brands such as: Diesel, Nike, Benetton, Zara, Replay, Calvin Klein, Armani, Gas, Mango, Lacoste, Zara, Massimo Dutti, Timberland, etc. . These malls also offer coffee bars, multiplex movie theaters, bowling halls, as well as many exclusive restaurants.
– Shopping malls
Here are some of the most popular and biggest shopping malls in Belgrade, where you can find exactly what you n others can be picked up andeed and have fun all day long. Belgrade has one of the biggest shopping malls in the region-shopping center ”Usce”. Here, as in ”Delta City” shopping mall in one place you can find clothes of famous brands:
Diesel, Nike, Benetton, Zara, Replay, Calvin Klein, Armani, Gas, Mango, Lacoste, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Timberland, etc.
– Urban Designers
Belgrade has in recent years significantly developed its fashion scene. A large number of local designers have their shops in the city center; shopping mall ‘’Čumić’’ opened its shops for the domestic designers, where you can find it very interesting and unique pieces of clothing and footwear.
– Vintage & Second Hand
From retro chic to disco kitsch, very elegant, to the eccentric pieces of clothing and footwear. It all can be found in some of the vintage and second hand stores, which are more rapidly opened in Belgrade, following the example of other European capitals. If you like almost forgotten and abandoned old crafts don’t miss an opportunity to walk down the Balkan street.
The Balkan street is located in the center of town, it descends from hotel ”Moscow” and Terazije steeply to the main railway station. In this street you can still shop handmade hats, caps and gloves. Even if you do not buy anything, you’ll enjoy a stroll through another time and another Belgrade, where pieces of clothing and footwear made in small artisan workshops are still considered valuable.
Do not go from Belgrade without some good memories, the authentic symbol that will remind you to sojourn in our city! Whether it’s the photographs of old Belgrade, t-shirts with original messages of bg jargon, figurines, jewelry and hand-made fabrics, or sports features of some of the local clubs.
The memory of your stay in Belgrade you can buy if you walk down the Knez Mihajlova street till the end and further thru Kalemegdan park till the place from where you can see Belgrade’s rivers. There you will see stands with a lot of hand-made souvenirs. Also you can talk to likeably old ladies who crochet wonderful doilies, table linens and other household crafts. With them you will be able, of course to bargain over prices which gives special charm to shopping.
Green markets are authentic sites of the Belgrade daily life. They contain not only healthy naturally grown fruits and vegetables, but there, you may also spend your time discussing with local farmers on life problems… or, if you have a little luck and patience, with skillful bargaining, you can have an authentic piece of clothing or jewelry. For centuries, markets in Belgrade represent a meeting place of the urban population during weekly purchases of meat, milk, eggs and greens. To date, Belgradians, as well as many foreign visitors, feel that green markets give a special charm and authentic stamp to our city.
On Belgrade markets, you may experience things that won’t happen to you anywhere else -to talk about major political issues with the vendor of fruit (even if you do not speak the same language), to buy the famous’ ‘tobacco cracklings-cvarci’’ in a nearby butcher’s shop, to discuss the meaning of life with a local wiseacre, to drink a morning brandy with a seller of eggs or to buy yourself a nice piece of jewelry or amber on one of the many stalls.
Remember- Belgrade markets are not fancy places for buying food in the open! They are the true pulse of this city, on them every morning, regardless of social status or age everything communicates and equalizes. It’s not for nothing when they say- if you want to know this people and this city, it is best to spend the morning at one of its green markets!
Belgrade has a myriad of bakeries. So, you will not have to walk more than 200 feet, in any part of the city to come across one. Belgradians often eat something from bakery passing by, walking, on noon pause or after good night party. Many of them are working non-stop, and what we recommend is to try authentic specialties such as burek, pogacice sa cvarcima, and various kinds of pies.
What will certainly attract you to enter some bakery is the smell of fresh pastries and other baked delicacies. The choice is really very diverse: croissants, rolls, sweet rolls, various pies and of course the most popular burek. In the city there are several chain stores and bakeries that have become recognized and well known for their good products. There, you will be able also to drink coffee or to take one on go. We believe that you will enjoy every bite and that at least at that moment you won`t worry too much about your good look.
It is little known that Serbia has great potential to produce premium wines. Since it lays on the same latitude and has a similar climate as the great French and Italian wine regions, Serbia was in the nineteenth centzry a significant producer of wine in Europe. However, numerous wars, destruction, negligence of the communist regime had significantly narrowed the field of viticulture, in the same time degrading the quality of wine.
In the last decade however, in Serbia appeared numerous, high quality small private wineries that have made significant progress in methods and technology of growing and wine production. Also, the popularity of Serbian wines in the European market is growing as indicated by the international awards and recognitions.
Wine also, in recent years in Belgrade, became one of the favorite and most used as drinks in Serbian homes as well as in pubs and restaurants.
Here we present some of the most famous wineries and wine cellars of Belgrade, where in a pleasant atmosphere you can enjoy the unique tastes of premium wines and taste wines from this region.