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Belgrade - A travel report by Adam
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Belgrade,  Serbia - flag Serbia
3677 readers

adampl's travel reports

Belgrade - the city of contrasts

  21 votes
Staying only for three days in Serbia we decided to spend them mostly in the capital but also stop in Subotica heading to Belgrade from Hungary. This was the first time I saw war damages - a realy poignant view.


Belgrade travelogue picture
Belgrade is not a beautiful city – it’s dirty and heavy traffic enhances this negative impression you have just after arrival. Nevertheless, if Serbia is on your itinerary only for transfer reasons, stay in Belgrade at least for one day to see some of its highlights. The region (i.e. former Yugoslavia) has a very turbulent history and during the 20th century it used to be a scene of many sanguinary conflicts.

If you head to Belgrade from the northern part of the country, i.e. from Subotica or Novi Sad the best public transport is railways. Trains are cheap and relatively comfortable. The only drawback is the speed. A journey from Subotica to Belgrade took more than three hours (it's 200 km). If going directly from Budapest you can take an overnight train. The same goes with Sofia, Bulgaria. There are no low-cost airlines operating in Serbia. The nearest low-cost destinations are in Hungary and Croatia.

Favourite spots:
Marshal Tito's grave
Marshal Tito's grave
Although the city is really ugly it has some fine museums and other sights. One of the most interesting places is marshal Tito’s grave. After his death a huge mausoleum was built. There is also a museum of Tito. The whole complex is a good example of personality cult, so widespread in Yugoslavia under Tito. Near the mausoleum there is a small etnographical museum (you may omit it if you have previously visited the Etnographical Museum in central Belgrade. The easiest and cheapest way to get to the Tito’s grave is to use the public transport. From the centre (the bus stop is near the Etnographical Museum) there is a trolleybus 41 that goes directly to the mausoleum. When riding on the trolleybus look through the windows and you’re likely to spot many buildings damaged during the war. Many of them still do have holes made by bullets.

What's really great:
Demonstration in Tesla Museum
Demonstration in Tesla Museum
The Etnographical Museum mentioned before is a great place if you are interested in the culture of the visited country. The museum has a rich collection of apparel and household tools not only from Serbia but from many other countries that once were united under the name of Yugoslavia. Also the citadel is worth a visit. For me a must-have was a visit in the Nikola Tesla Museum. This physics genius was Serb although most of his life he spent in the United States. Even if you are not interested in physics at all you’ll like the visit. There is a guided tour in English and there is a great show, when you can see the application of many physics rules as well as light swords!

Sights:
Town Hall in Subotica
Town Hall in Subotica
We arrived to Serbia from Hungary and thanks to this we had the opportunity to see Subotica, a middle-sized town close to the Serbian-Hungarian border. There aren't many sights in Subotica but definitely it's a great place for a one-day-long stay.
All things that are worth a visit are located in the very centre of the town. Along Korzo, the main boulevard, many Art Nouveau houses are located. Korzo goes almost from the very train stations and leads to the Trg Republike (Republic Square) where an Art Nouveau town hall is located.
Another interesting building in the centre of Subotica is the Synagogue located in Trg Sinagoge. It's been placed on the list of endangerede monuments of the World Monuments Fund and is under reconstruction now.

Accommodations:
The junction of Danube and Sava rivers
The junction of Danube and Sava rivers
In Belgrade we stayed at a person contaced through Hospitality Club. This is a great idea if you want to meet interesting people on your way. It's also a great value if you're travelling on a tight budget. If you want to be a member of Hospitality Club it's necessary to register at www.hospitalityclub.org. You don't have to offer accommodation to other members.
In Subotica there aren't many budget opportunities. We just went to the Turist Information Office (Korzo 15, near the train station) and asked for budget accommodation. The lady told us that the accommodation mention in our LP guide isn't available but arranged another place for us (for free). It was Studentski Dom Bosa Milićević (Segedinski put 11). It's a dormitory with a hostel on the highest floor. The conditions are decent as the place was renovated recently plus the price is affordable - 880 dinars (ca. 11 euro) per person per night in a double room with shared bathroom. The kitchen is also available.

Restaurants:
Burek
Burek
What's interesting about Serbia is the fact they have their own kinds of junk food, meaning not only the Americans can invent such things. It's worth trying as ćevapi (or ćevapčići) as well as pljeskavica are a bit different from what everyone knows from American fast foods.
Serbian cuisine is strongly influenced by the Turkish one. This goes with the above ćevapi and the same is with burek. It's a pastry with meat or cheese. In Subotica (but only there) we also found sweet bureks with e.g. cherries.
A good place to try burek in Subotica is Lipa, the most famous bakery located in Dure Drakovića Str. In the same street there is the Boss Cafe, a mix of a cafe and a restaurant with Italian food. It's relatively expensive, but still a beer is 2,5 euro.
In Belgrade fresh vegetables and fruits can be bought in the fruit&veg market near the train station. Peaches and grapes in Serbia are exquisite.

Published on Friday October 19th, 2007


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Sat, Feb 02 2008 - 07:41 AM rating by krista

Dear Adam, I don't like the way you describe my home town, but I'll forgive you because you are still young and you have time to change your opinion. I'm sorry because you got the wrong picture about Belgrade, and I recommend you, when you are planning to visit some place, to contact someone who lives there. In that case you can be sure that you will be able to see the most important sites and you will have different opinion, than to go by your own. Regards, Natasa

Thu, Nov 15 2007 - 01:08 AM rating by downundergal

Wow you put the cat amongst the pidgeons here - I found your report informative with some useful info. I believe that you presented your honest view of the city and still made it appear as worthwhile to visit.

Fri, Nov 02 2007 - 11:49 PM rating by alexia

hm..Adam, i really got upset bec. of this title!!
"Staying only for three days in Serbia...", but "Belgrad is not a beautiful city..." do you thik that's enough time to say so...?

Mon, Oct 29 2007 - 11:14 AM rating by cool_imad

Oh this is the first time I read such a harsh report. I guess every city has its positive and negative sides... true i don't live in Belgrade but I am sure that many people got upset by the title of this report.

Fri, Oct 26 2007 - 04:43 AM rating by barcelona

Very good report. Thank you very much.

Mon, Oct 22 2007 - 02:35 PM rating by lioness

It´s a pity you didn´t have the chance to see and enjoy the real Belgrade. You mentioned twice that Belgrade is dirty and ugly, which is absolutely not true. It might not be one of the cleanest cities in the world, but definitely one of the charmest in Europe. It seems you missed the most important sights and failed to enjoy the great and relaxing atmosphere and great night life. Have you walked along the rivers and had a meal or a drink at one of the famous floating rstaurants, or seen Skadarlija, St. Sava Temple, to name but afew amazing places in Belgarde? Also, Subotica and Novi Sad are north of Belgrade, not south!!!

Sat, Oct 20 2007 - 03:42 AM rating by bineba

Thanks for another great report. I haven't been back to the former Yugoslavia in 20 years, but have quite a few friends from there. It is quite unbelivable the damage that was done, not only to the buildings, but also to the people in the region. Let's hope they have some peaceful times ahead of them.

Fri, Oct 19 2007 - 11:38 AM rating by marianne

Adam,
Very honest and full of very useful info. The way yiu describe the city is a recommendatiin for me as I know exactly what to expect. You made me want to visit it.

Fri, Oct 19 2007 - 09:50 AM rating by rangutan

A hopefully temporary but honest view of a very major city. It will take some time to repair the cities reputation. Thanks for the views.

Fri, Oct 19 2007 - 09:38 AM rating by zrusseff

Adam, great report with a lot of useful information for travelling; for example, the Hospitality Club is good to know about. Excellent coverage about the current & historical happenings.

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