A Pedacito of 24 Hours In Belgrade, Serbia
Updated: May 22, 2021
Spending twenty-four hours in the capital city of Serbia is not nearly enough time to experience everything that Belgrade has to offer. In fact, I spent close to three months in the city and never got bored. Still, being the excited tourist that I am, I packed as much as I could into my first day there. And what a day it was!
I began this chilly morning in December by walking through Knez Mihailova. The main walking street, located in Belgrade’s city center, dates back to when Belgrade was a Roman city called Singidunum and is one of the oldest and most valuable landmarks in Belgrade.
Many of the buildings along this street were built in the 1870s and offer exquisite examples of architectural design. These buildings are now home to various shops, museums, hotels, cafes, and restaurants. The street is about one kilometer in distance, but I took my time. The street is a fantastic place to watch street performers, window-shop, and people watch.
At the end of Knez Mihailova, I crossed the street and entered Kalamegdon Park. The park is quite large and offers beautiful views of the Danube River. Inside the park, I found countless sculptures, a small fortress, a military museum, and a couple of restaurants offering outside seating. In the days to come, I found myself spending entire days walking around this park. However, as this was my first day in Belgrade, I quickly walked through it and moved on to my next destination.
After a delicious lunch of goulash and polenta cakes, I made my way to Belgrade’s National Museum. The museum is located in the center of Republic Square. The four-story building, housing over 400,000 objects and masterpieces, served as a bank until the 1950’s when it was changed into the museum. The museum offered a chance to see historical artifacts dating back to ancient Roman, Greek, and Celtic origins. There was a floor dedicated to medieval Christian artifacts and another floor for paintings and sculptures from famous Serbian and European artists. I spent over three hours in the museum but could have easily spent a week there. It was one of the best museums I have ever been to. Even better, I found out that it’s free on Sundays, so I didn’t need to pay to enter. On other days of the week, it’s 200 Dirhams (about $2) to enter.
From there, I spent some time walking outside of the center of the city, so that I could get a better sense of the city outside of the tourist areas. Realizing that I was getting hungry, I stepped into the first restaurant that I saw. Lorenzo & Kakalamba is an unassuming place on the outside. The interior of this restaurant, however, is a different story. Everywhere you look, there are fun and quirky toys, paintings, knick-knacks, and mannequins. I spent a good fifteen minutes looking around and taking pictures before I sat down. The stuffed grape leaves and traditional Serbian salad that I ate there were moderately priced and delicious.
With a full belly, I returned to the city center to look at the lights and watch the people. As this was in December, the street was lined with Christmas decorations, little booths selling hot mulled wine, and bands playing traditional music. I finished my first night by befriending three musicians and listening to their songs until late at night.
Belgrade in December is a magical place. The food, culture, and people make this capital city a must-see for fellow travelers. My first twenty-four hours there made me instantly fall in love with the city. If you don’t have much time, I recommend spending a minimum of two days in Belgrade. Even in the three months that I lived there, I still didn’t see everything that the city had to offer.
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