My trip to Belgrade
Belgrade, a "white city", built near the Sava and Danube rivers, boasts an excellent geographical position and convenient connections with other European and Balkan cities, this led to terrible destruction throughout history up to a decade ago.
Today it is inhabited by 2 million inhabitants and is open to tourism with museums, fortresses, historic roads and national specialties.
Currently the air connection with Italy is provided only by flag companies, for which I choose to arrive by train from Venice, the duration is about 15 hours distributed especially at night at a cost of 138 euros round trip in berth.
The night is a bit busy because you cross 3 borders, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, as well as the wagon is hooked to another train along the way. Leaving at 9.00 pm, arriving at 12.30 the next day, I set off to the apartment I had booked in Kosancicev Venac, bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette in a good location convenient to the center and station, 30 euros per day.
He accompanies me to register with the police even though he says that for a few days nobody does.
The street where I live is one of the oldest in the city, still paved with stone, there are the foundations of the national library destroyed in the bombings and some ancient houses including the residence of Princess Ljubica.
This area, close to the fortress of the city that runs along the river, is in an elevated position and enjoys an excellent view.
After changing a few euros in Serbian Dinars (1 euro = 105 RSD) I move towards Knez Mihailova, the central pedestrian street, from the fortress in a straight line it goes for over 1 km to the city center hosting ancient buildings, cafes, restaurants, shopping centers and shops trendy, along its path is the Piazza dellaRepubblica, the liveliest place in the city, with the statue of Prince Mihailo Obrenovic ', the National Museum and the Theater, further on Terazije square with the fountain and some historic palaces.
Strada Skadarlija, built at the end of the 19th century, was the home of important personalities, today it is an elite area of Belgrade restaurants where both the street and the buildings have been rebuilt as in the past and house traditional restaurants and antique shops.
Continuing on Kralja Milana you reach Slavija square, a very busy roundabout and not far from the Orthodox Basilica of San Sava, one of the most important Serbian sacral buildings, its construction began in 1935 but due to the wars it has not yet been completed. The Cathedral, much smaller in size than the Basilica, is located near my apartment.
Other interesting museums besides the national one are the Ethnographic museum, the Nikola Tesla museum, the Botanical garden, the Pioneers park and as a memory of the last war in Nemanijna street there are the two buildings of the old General Staff and the Ministry of Defense which 1999, the most impressive ruins remain in the city center.
But perhaps the most visited attraction is the Kalemegdan Fortress, from which the park also takes its name. This area, at the beginning of Knez Mihailova, takes half a day to visit it well; you start from the park, after passing through the souvenir stalls and among the tall trees you can discover some sculptures, monuments and the fountain called Borba. You continue in a small garden and you reach the Karadjordje Gate of the fortress, inside you can see several buildings, the Nebojsa Tower and the Dizdar (you can climb with 30 Dinars), the Roman Well, the Ruzica church, the powder magazine and a rich exhibition of heavy artillery weapons such as tanks, cannons, torpedoes, and military means of transport a building used as a Military Museum.
From the ruins of the high walls the view over the rivers is excellent even if it is worth taking a walk along the road along the river where there are several restaurant rooms. The area is also home to the city zoo with over 2000 animals.
These are some things to see in Stari Grad or old Belgrade, but there is also a new Belgrade crossing the river with one of its many bridges, here the majority of the population lives in the areas divided into blocks and here are large shopping centers such as the Sava and Delta City or large markets with all kinds of merchandise. Also in this area but near the river is the district called Zemun, also worth visiting in the historic part or along the riverside for the bars it hosts. There are also many places to see outside the city but for this time I am limited to the capital.
Public transport is served by trams and buses, a ride costs 42 or 80 Dinars (1st zone) depending on whether bought on the ground or on the vehicle and must be validated above with "perforation" machines, comfortable tram 2 which makes a turn drive around the center.
To eat you can choose in an infinite number of places, from the bars of Knez Mihailovae side streets or in the more characteristic and expensive places of Strada Skadarlija, or more economically in the self-service or supermarkets present everywhere.
But I recommend, as I did, to get to know their people who will "try and see" the city in the right places, for this I have to thank Keja and Vesna the first for her hospitality in her home and the second for bringing me to places and bars with local specialties.
Back from a difficult past whose scars are still visible, the beautiful town Serba seems to have risen with great dignity from the war that upset it, changing and growing at a very fast pace, charging itself with an energy that led it to launch into the tourism market international with great success, so much so that it has been renamed "the city of the future of southern Europe"
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