Going for a morning walk right by the river Sava, looking downstream just as it joins up with the Danube. Not too much of a difference with my home town near Vienna really, judging from some of the scenery around here. All too often, I feel reminded of the “great history” that separates as well as unites Serbia and Austria. I definitely feel excited to “finally be here”, to listen to just how the young Serbs master their lives, just how they view and expect their future to be. As well as, of course, to learn about the history and present-day Belgrade itself.
“Dear Elena, you will want to go looking for that one cool night club with me, will you?!”
Can’t really say no to my friend Maria there, can I? So yes, despite my recent travel fatigue, I am sure the two of us will be out looking for that one, particular club later on. That’s not without getting lost in the jungle of city lights, street corners & pubs first (it may also have been the tasting of Serbian craft beers before though, I must admit). However, miraculously, as luck is all too often bestowed on the innocent traveller, we do find ourselves in front of this really cool, particular night club just a little later on.
Belgrade represents change, new horizons, and young(er) generations. Such as the one pushing for “New Balkan Cuisine”.
Vanja Puškar, of only 31 years of age, and his team represent what you can call, a new interpretation of traditional Serbian cuisine. They do so at Restaurant Iris, which stands for offering different (vegetarian or meat-based) menus each month, all focused on reducing decor for the intensity of flavours, spices and ingredients sourced from local Serbian farmers. A place not to be missed on your next visit to Belgrade.
And then, other than food, nightlife & the arts, Belgrade does offer some fancy, up-and-coming neighbourhoods that are definitely worth checking out right now.
And I do mean right now. As in, Beton Hala, Sava Mala or the artist’s district Skadarlija will likely not look quite the same in just a few year’s time. Walking around Belgrade, you cannot help but notice: The city is on the move. But where to? Well, this is a good question: Part of Belgrade’s city planning likes to see a new “Serbian Dubai” down by Belgrade’s waterfront, while what you also see is Russian Gazprom invest in the renovation of the second-largest, Serbian-Orthodox church right inside the centre of Belgrade. Meanwhile, young artists paint an entirely new face upon their future, colouring city districts in street art graffiti and large-scale wall paintings. There are hipster shops & cafés next to bulky waste on the streets, representative monuments of the past as well as glass front buildings by the Danube river. Belgrade, it is an honest, open conversation, and one that is full of flavours as well as contrasts. Every city trip here will definitely be a lesson in cultural history and local area entertainment. Check this out.
Fancy knowing more about Serbia? My other two blog posts feature a journey near Novi Sad, into Fruška Gora, as well as a traveller’s account of the city of Novi Sad itself.
Christina and Maria, by the way, have also written and shared about their experiences in Serbia:
- Christina (CitySeaCountry.com): “Vegan Essen in Serbien: Tipps für Belgrad, Novi Sad und Fruška Gora“
- Maria (Kofferpacken.at): “Belgrad: Eine Stadt im Wandel” & “Novi Sad: Ziemlich gechillt und Europäische Kulturhauptstadt 2021“
Disclaimer: We have been invited by Serbia Tourism on this trip to Belgrade, Novi Sad & Fruška Gora. All opinions are my own.