Some are brave enough to drive the Romania-Croatia distance in one go, but we wanted to have a relaxing summer holiday and not to come back from it twice more tired. We split our road so we would not drive more than 4-5 hours in a day.
Our first stop after leaving Romania was in Belgrade and we spent here the first night and explored as much as possible during the day. We arrived here just before midday, took over our accommodation and then went out to explore! No more time to lose, right?
If you ever plan to spend a night or two in Belgrade, I can recommend our accommodation at GRANI Hotel DUM: it has great location, was renovated earlier 2016, has parking places for your car and a good breakfast. Overall it was a really good value for money. Our room was just a bit noisy for my taste however, because the walls separating from the other rooms were quite thin, so bring your earplugs if you’re a light sleeper like me.
Surely you need more time than we had to see all of Belgrade, but we got to explore a good amount in just half a day and here is my advice on how to best spend this time:
- Start the tour with St. Sava Church, considered the biggest orthodox church in Europe, for now only finished on the outside. Then walk your way to the city center and in only 15-20 minutes you’re there. When you’re exploring a city, this is my no. 1 advice: walk walk walk! because what better way to discover that amazing building or that narrow street bordered by colorful houses or that hidden lovely garden. From the church we walked along the Liberation Boulevard and then got to the old town.
- Wander the streets of the old town. Kneza Mihaila is the most famous of them, a pedestrian street bordered by beautiful buildings erected by the rich people of Belgrade at the end of 19th century.
Below is the National Museum of Serbia, the oldest museum in Belgrade. It was closed for renovation in late August 2016, and the works will be over in 2018. It is located in this beautiful square close to the Kneza Mihaila Street.
- Kalemegdan Park starts where Mihaila street ends, and it’s the biggest park in Belgrade. This park surrounds the remains of the Fortress of Belgrade, a site of invaluable importance for the Serbian people, dating back to the 3rd century BC together with the first mentions of a settlement that thousands years later turned into Belgrade of today. A military museum is found inside the fortress well worth your visit.
- Panorama of Danube. From the walls of the Fortress you get this absolutely stunning view over the confluence of Danube and Sava rivers. Take your time here to admire the Belgrade suburbs on the other bank of the river but also the natural surroundings of the serbian Banat plains.
- Try the food. Serbians have really tasty food, and Belgrade is not expensive so you’ll definitely need to try their cuisine. We stopped at Lorenzo & Kakalamba, a great international restaurant with intricate decor, like in a Broadway play. The food and services were great and prices were medium. Although it is not marked as a traditional restaurant, the menu contained traditional dishes.
Belgrade is a beautiful city. Some parts reminded us of Bucharest, but we really loved that it has larger boulevards, it is not as crowded, it’s on hilly terrain and looks greener and because it’s crossed by the Danube river has a big advantage to start with.
I hope you found good tips for half day trip to Belgrade!
28 August 2016
Photos taken with: Samsung Galaxy S7 & Sony DSC-RX100M3