By Ana Cvetkovic, student at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., Serbian native, and proud Serbian-American
Belgrade, one of Europe's most historical cities, attracts more and more tourists each year. If you find yourself in Belgrade, be sure to visit these places:
Tašmajdan Park was recently renovated through funds provided by Azerbaijan. The once slightly run-down park is now well-kept and decorated with flowers, a beautiful fountain, and statues commemorating Azerbaijan’s generous gift. Tašmajdan is filled with kids playing on the fancy new playground equipment, youths working out on the outdoor exercise equipment (yes, this exists!) and running on the cushiony outdoor track, adults catching up with old friends over coffee at the famous Poslednja Šansa (Last Chance) Café and seniors relaxing and enjoying life. Located at one end of Tašmajdan is the Church of Saint Mark, another Belgrade treasure that should not be missed. The park also has a recreation center by the same name next door that has an outdoor (and indoor) pool that attracts crowds of people during the summer. Tašmajdan provides Belgraders with a break from the stress of city living.
Kalemegdan is a fortress that sits at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. Construction started in the Ancient Roman period and much was added during the Ottoman Empire. It is a beautiful and unique place to explore. There are historical objects, like the Roman Well or the Watch Tower, that you can pay to visit, but entry is free for the rest of the fortress. There is also a War Museum with tanks and other military equipment outside that I loved climbing on when I was little. Kalemegdan has tennis and basketball courts, which are always full of young people. It also has a great view of New Belgrade. One of the walking paths has rotating art exhibits that bring photographs from all over the world on different themes. The city zoo is located at the bottom of Kalemegdan, and there are also at least two cafés within the fortress. Kalemegdan is a place so unique to Belgrade; visitors can witness the history of the city just by walking around.
Knez Mihailova is the main street in Belgrade; it marks the geographical and cultural center of the city. This pedestrian street is lined with cafés and world class shops. It is the ideal place for people watching. The French, German, and Spanish cultural centers, which provide events and language classes, are also on Knez Mihailova street. The statue referred to as “konj,” or “horse” marks the beginning of Knez Mihailova. It’s actually a statue of Knez Mihail on his horse and is a popular meeting place for locals.
Skadarlija is Belgrade’s bohemian quarter. It has attracted artists and thinkers for years. Today the cobblestoned Skadarska Street attract tourists from all over the world, who go there to dine on Serbia’s famous grilled meats in a romantic atmosphere. All of the restaurants on the sloping street have outdoor seating and most have live musicians entertaining their guests. Skadarlija is the perfect place for a memorable night out with family, friends, or a date.