A Turkish, a Finnish and a half Turkish-half British walked into Belgrade and ordered a drink…
This is how our long Belgrade trip started. But let me rewind the story. I am lucky to have awesome friends, namely Elina and Yasemin, who likes traveling as much as I do. We wanted to travel, we wanted to travel together, we wanted to travel somewhere not so far away, we wanted to travel somewhere not so far away yet still beautiful and Belgrade was one of the best options we had. After checking few travel search engines, our tickets were booked…about five months before our trip…
You would have expected us to come up with some plans during those 5 months right? But no, we definitely did not. It was so lucky of me to meet this one amazing person few hours before our flight, who had visited Belgrade few months before we did, and who was full of good tips. Our Airbnb host gave some good additions and the rest was just our discovery!
As we were a (small) group of girls, and Belgrade being so cheap; we rented an Airbnb apartment right in the middle of city centre. It was so central that we did not need to use public transportation, not even once!
You can easily reach the city centre by bus from the airport. It is right outside when you exit the airport and a single ticket -which you can buy in the bus – costs RSD 300. Our Airbnb host arranged a taxi for us for €15. As we took our flight after a long day at the office, taking a cab for €5 per person was a great deal for us.
Belgrade is a small city so you do not really need to rush yourself. Just pick an area to discover for each day and do it while enjoying nice cafes, bars and shops of Belgrade.
Belgrade has a rich history and today you can still see remains of the war era. Yet there are also several construction projects which aims to improve undeveloped parts of the city.
We flew to Belgrade on a Friday evening after a tiring day at work and were craving for some food when we arrived. We exchanged small amount of money at the airport – just to cover the night and had a pleasant journey to home with our lovely taxi driver. Our Airbnb host was even lovelier, who did a short but great introduction. We quickly settled down and started to look for food. Coming from Istanbul, the city where you can find decent food 24/7, it was hard to hear that almost all of the places were either full or had closed their kitchens. This food hunt at least helped us to get to know the city and its streets for the next day.
We spent the rest of our trip in this order: eating, strolling, eating, strolling, drinking, eating, eating, visiting nice places, eating, drinking.
Serbian cuisine is very rich and you will definitely enjoy the food there. Although you may have hard time if you are vegan or on a no-carbs diet.
Serbian people might look cold from outside, but they are extremely helpful and kind-hearted. And they do know how to party. Yes, you got it right. This city hosts parties seven days a week so no matter when you visit it, you can easily find yourself on a dance floor. But let’s get back to the helpful part. One evening, after hours and hours of walking, we were craving for some food (we actually almost always crave for food) and decided to check a place where Yasemin found on the internet. The place had good reviews so we were eager to walk a bit more. This actually could have been a story with happy ending but by the time we reached the place – at least where Google Maps claimed that it was located there – we found nothing but an apartment. It was more of a residential area so there was nobody or no other place around. We saw a small shop and Yasemin stormed inside to ask for directions. This was the place where she met a big language barrier. Shop owners did know where the restaurant was but did not know how to explain it in English. They must have seen the misery Yasemin carried on her face because after a 15-minutes long Serbian vs English talk, shop owner gave up and took us to the place with his car. If this is not helpfulness, I do not know what else it can be…
As I have mentioned earlier, Belgrade is a cheap city but make sure to check the exchange rate before your trip, or you can easily get ripped off. And remember, they will always charge you for higher rates if you go to exchange offices close to touristy/central areas (which is more of an international rule). I suggest the place on Brankova Street, it was really close to our apartment so we did not need to look around.
It is allowed to smoke indoors in Belgrade so be prepared – mentally and physically – for it, especially if you are allergic. Belgrade is a Wi-Fi friendly city. There is free city Wi-Fi in central areas but also almost all of the cafes offer free internet. We also noticed something funny. Almost all of the places uses the same password logic: name of the cafe + the year (try it from 2014 to 2016). It really works like a charm!
Belgrade is an underrated city which deserves to be visited at least once. I am already looking for an opportunity to go back there. Let me know if my tips work you and who knows, maybe we can try out these places next time I go there!