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Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia, lying at the confluence of two rivers, the Sava and the Danube. It is a city with a turbulent history and one of the oldest cities in Europe. The history of Belgrade spans over seven thousand years. It was founded by the Celts in the 3rd century BC. Belgrade became the capital of Serbia in 1405 and was the capital of various South Slavic states. It was destroyed and rebuilt more than 40 times. But it also had very prosperous and peaceful periods when the economy was flourishing and when it attracted people from different religious and ethnic groups to inhabit it.
The soul and essence of Belgrade is in its people. It won’t take long for a foreigner to discover the exceptional hospitality, kindness, openness and warmth of its citizens.
Today, one of the first things that come to our mind when we say Belgrade is - nightlife. Belgrade's nightlife is what wins many tourists over. To go out, you will not be waiting for the weekend - here it's time to party every day and until morning. You can dance in old fortresses and on boats, in underground caverns and cocktail bars, but whichever one you end up in, you're guaranteed a good time.
The romantic ones can go for a walk to the bohemian quarter “Skadarlija” which is often compared to the Parisian Montmartre quarter. Here you can enjoy eating in restaurants with great tradition, listening to live music and a friendly atmosphere. Tip for the ladies: do not wear high heels as Skadarlija is a cobblestone street.
In Belgrade, there is a variety of restaurants, specializing in local cuisine and international restaurants as well. The Serbs, known for being great gourmands, are proud of their cuisine which is consisted of various meat specialties. Jamie Oliver once said, when talking about Serbs: "Those people eat meat at every meal!" Make sure to try the local wines, beers, spirits and juices.
An important part of the Belgrade mentality is the “bill-paying” in the restaurant: the host will never allow a guest to pay for a meal or a drink, because it is usual that he pays all the bills while the guest is staying with him.
As you drive or walk along the streets, you can't help but notice the many open-air terraces bursting with people as the residents of this city enjoy conversation and coffee. The coffee mostly consumed in Serbia is called “Turkish” or “Domestic”. Of course, you can drink espresso or cappuccino in many of the popular coffee shops and almost all of them (including restaurants and even parks) have free Wi-Fi!
Belgrade is the city of many fountains. Don’t be surprised to see young people bathing in them – those are Belgrade’s high school graduates traditionally celebrating the end of school year (regardless of the weather conditions). If you see a crowd gathered around one of the city's fountains, that is most probably the meeting of Belgrade’s stickers collectors exchanging their World Cup or some other album stickers.
Situated only 15 minutes from the city center is the historical town of Zemun, the “Gardoš” tower, houses dating back from the Baroque and Classicism periods and an island with the famous “Lido” beach.
The so-called “Sea of Belgrade”, Ada Ciganlija (colloquially shortened to “Ada”), is a river island that has been turned into a peninsula. It is a great place to relax in the green surroundings (Ada is covered by a thick deciduous forest), or do all kinds of sports: swimming, cycling, jogging, roller blading, golf, water skiing, bungee jumping, free climbing, sailing… With its unique ecosystem it is a true oasis in the urban area.
Avala, a mountain and National Park, is situated 16 km from Belgrade. At the top of Mt. Avala stands the Avala Tower, a tall telecommunication tower (currently the tallest tower in Serbia and the Balkan region) and one of Belgrade's landmarks that will provide you with beautiful panoramic views of the city and beyond.
There are lots of special cultural events and festivals in Belgrade and all of the arts are well represented during the whole year: theatre, cinema, visual arts and music. The most important events in Belgrade are for example the Belgrade International Film Festival – FEST, Belgrade Music Festival – BEMUS, Belgrade Jazz Festival, Belgrade Summer Festival – BELEF, Belgrade Beer Festival and many more.
The local people with their energy, their joyful spirit as well as the beauty of the Belgrade women is what will definitely impress you the most!
Do not leave Belgrade without buying a pair of “opanak” (Serbian traditional shoes), little shot glasses for rakija called “unuče” or a licitar heart.
Belgrade is the city you will want to return to again & again!