At the confluence of the Sava and Danube, rises Belgrade – the capital and largest city of Serbia. The city has been settled, on and off, since the 6th millennium BCE, and has come under the rule of numerous empires such as the Byzantine, Frankish, Bulgarian, Hungarian, and Ottoman Empires.
Belgrade has seen 115 wars, and been razed 44 times. Even taking an attack by Attila the Hun in 442. Debatably, Attila lies beneath the Kalemagdan fort.
Today, the city is a peaceful and charming city, that offers a lot to do, at a very cheap price.
The Kalemagdan fort is a centerpiece of the city, rising above the rest of the city where the Sava and Danube meet. It’s a wonderful park, that is free to visit, and can easily keep you and a family occupied for a day or two.
Belgrade abounds with parks, and is incredibly easy to navigate on foot, or by tram. And astonishingly, the locals have done a phenomenal job of training their dogs. They’re everywhere, they’re off-leash, and they cause no problems.
Other icons of the city are the Temple of St. Sava and St. Mark’s Church. As a whole, the city offers a slew of churches and cathedrals to visit.
When it comes to enjoying the more cosmopolitan aspects of life, you can head over to St. Mark’s Square. You may catch a rally happening (as we did) or you may instead check out the national theater which has shows frequently. We visited and saw the ballet “Don Quixote” at a wonderful price. As well, numerous shops ranging from clothes, to antiques, to souvenirs in the large shopping complex.
If you have the time to explore, you’ll find botanical gardens, parks, cemeteries, shops to your liking. Street art adorns the walls of buildings. The people also hold a pride for their heritage – most notably for their highly esteemed citizens such as Nikola Tesla, who you can find on the Serbian Dinar. There are numerous museums to visit and even an old concentration.
As well, the food is cheap and plentiful, and has a delicious cafe culture.
It’s easy to grab a Plejkavica, or Serbian hamburger, for what amounts to barely a dollar or two and could feed a family, along almost any street.
The soviet history also brings to the city an imposing, yet oddly charming character. In Belgrade, you’ll be surprised at just how welcoming it can be. We spent five weeks in Belgrade, and enjoyed all our time there.