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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Belgrade or: The story of an up & coming Balkan city destination.

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.

Strogi Center nennt sich dieser, über eine unscheinbare Haustreppe erreichbare

Strogi Centar, a wonderful “house club” located right inside the city of Belgrade. Check out their Facebook page for an update such as bands played, exact location, opening times, etc.

 

In unmittelbarer Nähe befindet sich diese coole Café /

Right up close is this really cool concept store turned café, near “Studentski Park” in Belgrade …

 

... die mondäne Hipsterk-Szene der Stadt lässt grüßen ...

… and yes, the hipster (men?) are here, too, bright and beautiful in downtown Serbia …

 

... auch Bio-Eis, wie das

… and have you ever heard of “Crna Ovca”, the “Black Sheep”, for fabulous, delicious (and organic!) ice cream? They’ve got shops also in nearby towns, such as Novi Sad. In the face of such a wonderful treat, who really cares that summer is actually gone past?

 

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.

Kennt Ihr schon Vanja Puškar?, scheint Aleksandra hier unterstreichen zu wollen ...

Do you, too, know Vanja Puškar?, is what Aleksandra seems to be saying holding up this foodie magazine here …

 

der talentierte junge Koch, der mit sämtlichen Zutaten aus der Region

… a talented young chef dishing up exquisite local, seasonal delights …

 

... der talentierte junge Koch, der mit sämtlichen Zutaten aus der Region ein neues Verständnis für die Balkanküche schaffen will ...

… that aim at promoting a new kind of “Balkan Cuisine” away from your typical Cevapcici fried meat and sausages …

 

... das Menü in acht Gängen (es gibt eine fleischlose Variante, sowie eine mit Fleisch) wird

… each of the eight courses we are served here is accompanied by a fantastic selection of Serbian wines …

 

... ebenfalls angeboten wird im nahe gelegenen

… while just as much, you could have a Serbian craft beer tasting at Belgrade’s “Endorfin” bar nearby …

 

... vielen Dank, lieber Miso Hadzic von "Kabinet Brewery" für die köstliche Vorführung

… here, Miso Hadzic offers us a tasting of his “Kabinet Brewery” beers together with a delicious food pairing menu!

 

... und auch das "Radost Fina Kuhinjica", ein einmaliges vegetarisches Restaurant ...

Then, there’s “Radost Fina Kuhinjica“, a rather delicious, vegetarian restaurant in downtown Belgrade …

 

... hat sich ganz der Genussvielfalt verschrieben, hier der Blick auf die sonnenbeschienen Terrasse im Innenhof des Lokals.

… besides serving delicious meals, it also has a lovely open air seating area behind the main restaurant.

 

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 HalaSava 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.

Unten am Fluss Sava, kurz bevor selbige in die Donau mündet ...

Down by the river Sava, just before it joins up with the Danube …

 

... liegt das Stadtviertel Sava Mala, das aktuell noch so aussieht ...

… you can find the city district Sava Mala, which right now appears like this …

 

... solange dort serbisch-arabische Allianzen nicht vollends beschließen, selbiges in Wolkenkratzertürme à la Dubai zu verwandeln ...

… unless, of course, plans for building Dubai-like skyscrapers will eventually forever change the face of these streets …

 

... zwischenzeitlich lohnt die Promenade vorbei an Einrichtungen wie diesen ...

… do look for riverside quays, restaurants and cultural centres like these …

 

... dem Blick von der Festung

… the view from Kalemegdan fortress at the river mouth of the Sava with the Danube river …

 

... sowie der Besuch des Nikola Tesla-Museums: Wusstet Ihr, dass der

… as well as the Nikola Tesla museum: Did you know that Nikola Tesla is actually, originally from Serbia? A clever engineer, this interactive museum is well worth your visit for at least half a day.

 

Nicht weit entfernt davon, steht die Heilige Sava Kirche,

Not far from the museum, you can visit the Holy Sava church, one of the largest in the Serbian-Orthodox Church …

 

... innen wird sie wie gesagt gerade dank russischer Fördergelder renoviert und unterstützt.

… which right now is being renovated thanks to Russian oil money: Just one of the contrasts existing right now in present-day Belgrade, and Serbia.

 

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:

 

Disclaimer: We have been invited by Serbia Tourism on this trip to Belgrade, Novi Sad & Fruška Gora. All opinions are my own.

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
Novi Sad: Hipster & History in what is perhaps the coolest town of Serbia.
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