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"We're Not Staying In Belgrade More Than A Day!"

Belgrade clearly shows signs of the war. Not a great way to start a review but you can’t hide from the fact. This is a grey city with not much of a sense of optimism, however it does have potential and the place is cheap so I’d say, don’t visit with high hopes and romanticised expectations, but make the most of what it has to offer. Despite my fairly pessimistic review so far, Belgrade is worth a visit, even if you’re just passing through.

You can get to Belgrade fairly easily from other European cites via sleeper train (book at least a day in advance to guarantee a bed). When stepping off the train, don’t be too down hearted at the ‘Beograd’ sign is hanging rustily from its remaining screw and try not to be even more so when you step out of the station and all you see are the grey concrete buildings which match face of the locals…

I’d recommend staying in a sociable hostel is vital in this city as the locals and keen backpackers tend to know the best and most well hidden bars. We stayed in the 'Green Hostel', which was about a 5-10 minute walk from the station but not too easy to spot as the only sign it is there is a tiny sign on one of the seemingly infinite grey buildings. Up 6 flights of dark stairs doesn’t give too much appeal of this hostel but it was small which meant every guest mixed and drank together. It has a good mix of people, great staff and free beer on arrival!    

What is there to do?
Not a lot to be honest. I’m sure if you really dive into the hidden parts of the city you could find some hidden gems but I found that the typical tourist sights aren’t present. Places that were on my agenda included the zoo, a few churches and the Nikola Tesla museum, which is definitely worth a visit, if only to hold a wireless fluorescent bulb and act like a Jedi for five minutes.

Eat and drink?
I didn't try any Serbian dishes, but overall the food was good and cheap. You can find a few glamorous streets of bars, restaurants and open cafes where the cocktails are cheap and the atmosphere is flowing. This is a main plus of Belgrade. However, the only downside is that smoking is everywhere. Fair enough if you like to smoke, but if not, then prepare to have your pasta with a side of ash. On the drink front you certainly won’t fall short, so maybe just visit Belgrade for some bevvies, good music and good parties then spend your day eating and being hungover. Along the Danube, at the centre of the city you’ll find a fair few boat parties which do look like something out of St Tropez or a Made in Chelsea holiday. They look pretty awesome, and the prices aren’t going to kill you. Great music, good atmosphere and perhaps the main reason why Belgrade is becoming more popular.

Even though I haven’t got the greatest opinion about Belgrade, I’d say it’s a destination worth your time but just not for more than a few days. Although on my trip I met a London guy who moved there to get away from the Olympics, his words “Belgrade is the greatest city in the world!” were met with my confused face. Go to Belgrade with an open mind and a view to drink and party and you’ll be fine, just don’t expect a city of high culture and beauty, unless you get really drunk then it may seem quite pretty after all.  

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By Becky on
About Belgrade
Tagged with Eastern Europe, Serbia, Green Hostel, Danube River and Nikola Tesla