Belgrade is the capital of Serbia. Of all the countries I’m visiting this summer, Serbia has received the most surprised reactions. When I told people I was going to Belgrade, the general reaction I got was “Serbia? Why? It’s dangerous and nothing is there.” I understand where people are coming from; Serbia isn’t a typical tourist destination, so not much is known about it if you haven’t gone looking for information. However, I did go looking! And I want to assure you, Belgrade is wonderful. The architectural features are gorgeous, there are tons of green spaces around the city center, and there are great views over the city if you do a bit of hiking. I’m not denying that you should be aware and conscientious in Serbia (as you should be in all countries), but there’s no need to avoid the country. In fact, I’d recommend a visit!
The highlights of my visit to Belgrade include the Danube and Sava rivers, the Belgrade Fortress, the city parks, and some of the imposing yet attractive building landmarks spread throughout the city center. One of the best parts about Belgrade: the primary attractions are all easily walkable! Cardio and sightseeing, double whammy.
Hram Svetog Save is hands-down the prettiest church in Belgrade. A lush green park surrounds the church, complete with a small playground for kids, and benches scattered around to sit and enjoy the shade. The path leading up to the church entrance is lined with fountains. Picturesque!
Unfortunately, parts of the interior of Hram Svetog Save are under construction. Nonetheless, the domes and intense paintings are visible for your viewing pleasure.
To the left of the main church is a smaller building, something of a chapel. The outside was simple, but the inside was incredible! The most vibrant church interior I have ever come across. Every inch of space was gilded or painted, in bright yellows, bold blues, and intense colors.
The Presidential Palace was another wonderful building, surrounded by a park, and bordered by the National Assembly and City Assembly. The winding walkways through the park at the center of these structures was dotted with maple trees, colorful flowers, fountains, and sculptural art.
Republic Square is also definitely worth a visit. The square is surrounded by the National Museum and National Theatre, features a compelling statue of Prince Michael (Prince of Serbia from 1839-42/60-68), and is filled with cute cafes and restaurants. There are also frequently events or exhibitions hosted in the square; during my visit, there were a series of humongous robot statues installed.
Last, but not least (possibly my favorite part, actually), I visited the Beogradska Tvrdava, or Belgrade Fortress. This massive stone structure is a “Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance” in Serbia, located on the edge of a cliff-like ridge overlooking the confluence of the Danube River with the Sava River. The fortress dates back before AD 535, and was were the entire city of Belgrade originally resided. Today, the fortress is full of greenery, benches, and an awesome lookout point over the river, surrounded by the fortress walls and dotted with old, original buildings.
There you have it. The highlights reel of Belgrade, Serbia. Nothing to fear and everything to see!