There is nothing better, during a long term EVS in a Balkan country, than visit one of the most important cities in Balkans as well as the capital of ex Jugoslavia between 1918 and 1991. Belgrade, here we are! I can suggest you three different kind of tours: the monumental tour, the bohemian-night life tour and the historical tour.
If you want to discover the most important monuments of the city, you may starts from Trg Republike, where you can find the National Museum and the National Theater. Continuing on Mihailova street, the main street full of shops and restaurant, you will encounter the Hotel Moscow, one of the most important architectural gems of the Serbian capital. Continuing straight on the same street you will see the City Assembly, the presidential palace and the Beogradanka, a 101 metres skyscraper built between 1969 and 1974. If you continue you will find the St. Sava Temple (Hram Svetog Save), which has a very curious history. This church is the world’s biggest orthodox church, and its history begins in 1895, when a small commemorative church was built on the hill where, in 1594, the Ottoman Empire’ssoldiers burned the remains of St. Sava. The first world war made slow down the enlargement works of the church: the works started in 1935. Afterwards, the occupation of the Nazi Army in Belgrade stopped the projects and the church was occupied by the German Army first, and by the Jugoslavian Army later. After the war, the communist government didn’t care about the church, so it was basically abandoned. In 1985 the enlargement works of the Temple started again, and they are still in progress nowadays.
Bojemian tour and nightlife in Belgrade
Belgrade is the perfect city for young people! If you want to taste the Balkan food and drinks you need to go inside the core of Belgrade night life. You may find many cheap restaurant, or even better typical “Kafana”, in which you’ll find traditional live music and an amazing atmosphere. One of the most recommended places for night life and pubs is Skadarlija: a bohemian quarter full of colorful and charateristic places. You can have fun taking pictures of the most hidden places in Skardalija and its narrow roads with graffiti and a unique urban design.
Skadarlija was compared to the Paris’ Montmartre, due to the atmosphere and for the warm people which live in. At the end of XIX century, some Roma communities lived there, making the quarter famous as “The gipsy quarter”. Its bohemian nature increased in 1901, when an important meeting point for artists, writers and painters was demolished in Trg Republike. For that, all the artists found a new places to meet up: Skardalija!
Our historical tour involves two different parts of the city: Belgrade Fortress, close to the center, and Museum of Yugoslav History in Dedinje. To reach the Fortress you can go across a park called “Kalemegdan Park”. The Fortress is a point of the city from which you may enjoy the view of two rivers: Danube and Sava. An amazing panorama is guaranteed! The fortress was built by the Roman Empire at the end of the I century b.C. During the Ottoman Empire the fortress was built and destroyed three times, until it became one of the most important fortress during the Austrian occupation. Last but not least, the Museum of Yugoslav History and the House of Flowers. The first part is the museum of Yugoslavian migrants, with the stories of the everyday life of Yugoslavian people which were forced to move abroad. The organization of the museum will guide you deeper inside the culture and the customs of Yugoslavia. Another part of the historical complex is the House of Flowers: that is the place where Josif Broz Tito and his wife lie. The House of Flowers takes this name because, after the Tito’s death, several representatives of other countries, normal people and institutions from all over the world went there bringing flowers to pay homage to Tito.
In conclusion, Belgrade is a perfect place if you love arts, night life and history. Enjoy Belgrade!