Belgrade, Serbia (8 nights)

We took an A1 mini bus from the Belgrade airport to the Belgrade train station for 300RSD/person. The bus was really crowded, so it was a long 30 minute ride.

Once at the train station, which is the final stop of the A1 mini bus, we walked around the train station while waiting for our AirBnB check-in time. We found that the train station has a 24-hour luggage storage office that charges 110RSD/bag per 24 hours.

Ticket windows at the Belgrade train station

We had planned to take a tram part of the way to our AirBnB, but we didn’t realize we had to buy tickets from a kiosk (and not from the driver), so we exited after one stop and walked to our AirBnB.

Buses and trams by the Belgrade train station

Our AirBnB host’s father met us at the Square Nest AirBnB and showed us around the apartment. He didn’t speak much English, and we don’t speak or understand Serbian, but it went well. We talked to the host shortly on the phone as well.

Shortly after arriving at Square Nest, we saw The Points Guy on CNN Traveler.

On our first full day in Belgrade, a Sunday, we went on a free walking tour of the city with Belgrade Walking Tours.

Free walking tour group

The free walking tour met at the “The Horse” in Republic Square.

The statue of Prince Mihailo in Republic Square – also known as “The Horse”

Our free walking tour guide Stefano was interesting and informative – we enjoyed our 2.5 hours with him.

Free walking tour guide on Skadarlija

On the free walking tour we learned about the local food, culture, and saw the fortress.

Belgrade Fortress

The views from the fortress were impressive.

At the Belgrade fortress

Visible from the fortress, there’s an island where the Danube river meets the Sava river that has been turned from a critical military asset to a bird nature preserve. The tour ended shortly after we left the fortress area.  We were disappointed that many people left the tour near the end though without tipping.

Bird Island on the right

For the rest of our stay, we mainly worked in the apartment and ventured out for meals. We cooked a few pasta meals in the apartment, but found that we could eat out for about the same price at budget places.

One day we walked to the Belgrade Fortress again around sunset.

The statue of Victor at Belgrade Fortress. Rumor has it that Victor is at the fortress because the men didn’t want the women looking at Victor on a daily basis.
Enjoying the fortress around sunset.

Just after sunset, we saw tons of people streaming out of the fortress.  There must have been a special event happening in the fortress that had just let out.

A large crowd of people leaving the fortress.

On the way back from the fortress we walked Dunavska, which was a noticeably more industrial area just a block away from residential areas. We never felt unsafe, but were certainly more aware during that walk!

Another day, we decided to eat at Kafanica Skadarlija on Skadarska. As we were walking down the street in this touristy area, we noticed a man selling rakija (local brandy) for 100RSD/glass.  We bought two flavors, ate dinner, and then bought two more flavors. The walnut and raspberry were smooth and excellent!

Rakija for sale on the street.

We ate at a variety of restaurants during our time in Belgrade – and we saw so many more that we wanted to try! All restaurants seem to allow smoking, but some have a non-smoking section. Nonetheless, we grew accustomed to having neighbors smoking while we were at restaurants. We found it interesting how many Italian styled restaurants were in Belgrade as well.

Here are the restaurants we tried while in Belgrade.  Remember that $1 equals approximately 100RSD.

Botako Pizza

This popular pizza restaurant was on the same block as our apartment. We ate our first and last meals in Belgrade at this restaurant – it was excellent both times. For our first dinner, we ordered a feast: white pizza (720RSD), lasagna (690RSD) and two half liters of beer (310RSD each). It was a lot of food and it was delicious!

White pizza at Botako

For our final dinner in Belgrade, we opted for just the white pizza and beer – which was enough food at a good price.

Kafana ?

After the free walking tour on our first full day in Belgrade, we went to Kafana ?.

We ordered two 0.3 liter beers (145RSD each), cevapi (790RSD) and pljeskavica (790RSD). Our server convinced us that we needed to also order a salad (280RSD) and two small pieces of cornbread (80RSD).

Salad and cornbread at Kafana ?

The food was okay, but the portions of meat were way too large – and came with nothing else. It would have been better to split one of the meat dishes and order some vegetable sides.  We weren’t impressed by the quality or the service though, so we wouldn’t recommend it.

Meat at Kafana ?

Pizza Pomodoro

For dinner one night we went to Pizza Pomodoro and ordered two pasta dishes. This restaurant feels more upscale. JT ordered carbonara pasta (710RSD) and Katie ordered ravioli (630RSD). We both ordered 0.33 liter beers for 180RSD each. We enjoyed our pasta dishes – they were nicely presented and tasty!

Via del Gusto

Via del Gusto was recommended by our free walking tour guide. He said his brother’s favorite dish in Belgrade is the “heavenly chicken” dish at this restaurant. The restaurant is located on a touristy walking street, but the prices weren’t very high. We both had 0.5 liter beers for 230-240RSD and we ordered a feast of food.

Beers at Via del Gusto

Katie ordered gnocchi for 610RSD, JT ordered heavenly chicken for 890RSD, and we shared a pizza pane bread for 250RSD. The food was excellent!

Heavenly chicken and gnocchi.

Kafanica Skadarlija

The service was excellent at Kafanica Skadarlija. We ordered two beers, two salads, a plate of cevapi with homemade cheese inside, and a plate of Karađorđe’s schnitzel. Both plates came with fries. We enjoyed the food and service at this kafana so much more than at Kafana ? – and it was cheaper at 2210RSD. We were surprised to enjoy this kafana so much, as it was located on touristy Skadarlija street!

Salad at Kafanica Skadarlija
Cevapi with cheese at Kafanica Skadarlija
Karađorđeva šnicla at Kafanica Skadarlija
Interior of Kafanica Skadarlija

Pasta Away

There was a Pasta Away near our apartment that made delicious, cheap, and filling pastas.  There were three price categories with a few dishes in each category. You picked which one you wanted, and an employee would cook it for you then and there.  There was limited seating for eating meals at the shop, but we took ours away.  It’s surprising that we only went to Pasta Away once – but Katie’s crema e pesto was substantially more tasty than JT’s carbonara. Both pastas fell into the second pricing category so they were 280RSD each.

Kli Kli Pizza

This pizza stand near our apartment served pizza by the box or slice until late. JT was swamped with work one night, so Katie went out to get food. She ordered a pizza for 500RSD and was given a huge bacon, mushroom, and cheese pizza a minute later. The pizza was really good, especially considering its bargain price.

Random 24-hour Stand

JT bought a sandwich at midnight one night after a call with his boss.  The sandwich – which seemed to be chicken and a sauce was pretty good – especially considering it was just 290RSD!

JT’s midnight sandwich

Overall, we enjoyed our time in Belgrade! We’ll likely return for a longer stay, since the people were friendly and the city was reasonably priced.

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