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My Favourite Places in Belgrade
At the Horse-Kod Konja-Prince Mihailo Monument
About Belgrade and me
Where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans, at the confluence of the Sava and the Danube rivers it is located the capital of ex Yugoslavia , the country in which I was born, now the capital of Serbia. It is the city of Belgrade, the city that has a population of over 1.6 million people and Belgrade is a cultural and financial centre of Serbia. This city that has a rich culture and history, was devastated many times through its history and then it was rebuilt again and again. I was always impressed with joylife of people who live in Belgrade, their songs and dance even in the most difficult life situations and circumstances .
I have my favourite places in Belgrade . Which place I visit depends on my mood.
Sometimes I want to walk along Knez Mihailova street and feel the atmosphere of this pretty street. I want to see smiles on the faces of young people , children, old people and visitors of Belgrade and I want to eat fantastic ice cream or a chocolate cake called Aleksandar šnit in the restaurants of Knez Mihailova street, listening to music of street musicians. Republic square with monument to Knez Mihailo-at the Horse is located less than 100 meters away from Knez Mihailova street. It is the main gather point for many people including me. This bronze statue of Prince Mihailo on a horse is the work by Italian sculptor Enrico Pazzi and it was built in 1882 in honor of the Prince's most important political achievement. It was the complete expulsion of the Turks from Serbia and liberation of seven cities in Serbia. The names of these seven cities are carved on a plates on the monument, on the statue's pedestal. Also, there is the nearby restaurant is named that way Kod Konja. I often wait my friends in front of this monument named Kod Konja.
When it is hot, in summer, I always go Ada Ciganlija , this amazing river Island in the city centre and I enjoy swimming in the warm water of Ada lake.
When I want to feel the spirit, the soul and the tradition of old Belgrade and old times I visit Skadarlija , the magic Skadar street. It is a magic corner of the history and the culture of Belgrade. Skadarlija is the city's old bohemian neighborhood where the poets and artists of Belgrade gathered in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Also, I like visiting with my friends Kalemegdan and Kalemegdan park which is the historical core of Belgrade with the oldest architecture and Belgrade Fortress and fantastic view of Belgrade Fortress from the rivers.
The name Belgrade means white town and it was first mentioned AD 878.
The most recognizable nightlife features of Belgrade are the BARGES ( splavovi in Serbian ) spred along the banks of the Sava and Danube Rivers with loud music. Because of this facts Belgrade has a reputation for offering a vibrant and interesting nightlife , where many clubs are open until down with friendly atmosphere and music.
In the Lonely Planet 1000 Ultimate experience guide of 2009 , Belgrade was placed at the FIRST spot among the top 10 party cities in the world, among the strong competition.
National Parliament of Serbia-Narodna Skupština in Belgrade
Ada bridge at night
Belgrade -the capital city of Serbia
Beautiful river Island called Ada Ciganlija
My first choice in Belgrade during hot summer days is amazing Ada Ciganlija. Ada Ciganlija is a river Island that has artificially been turned into a peninsula located in the Sava River's course through central part of Belgrade city, the capital of Serbia.
First time when I was watching TV show about this beautiful river Island and lake Ada , I saw Ada Ciganlija is a very nice place but when I visited it , I understood that Ada is a wonderful place, one beautiful oasis in the urban area of Belgrade. Ada has a unique ecosystem with a lot of trees, forested oaks, elms, birches and willows. The Ada lake is 4.2 km long and I succeeded to swim across from one side of lake to the other side of lake called Obrenovačka side. During summer the water of Ada Ciganlija reaches 24 Celsius degrees. The nickname of Ada Ciganlija is Belgrade's sea and I can say that Ada offers a lot of possibilities for recreation enjoying natural beauties and playing different kind of sports. There are 7 kilometres of long beaches that have a blue flag and sport facilities for various sports including golf, football, basketball, rugby union, volleyball, baseball and tennis. For more adventurous people there is bungee jumping platform and water skiing. Also, there are numerous tracks on this river Island where it is possible to ride a bike, rollers that you can hire or go for a walk or go jogging.
You can order a drink in many restaurants on Ada Ciganlija and you will get two folding chairs and a parasol including the price of drink.
It is very important that if you go to Ada by car, you can park your car on the big car park whole day. A daily parking ticket is cheap and it costs 150 dinars that is less than 1.5 euro.
Food is very delicious from pizza, pljeskavica-Serbian hamburger, sandwiches, ice cream. Of course , there are restaurants of international cuisine for example, Italian restaurant where you can enjoy delicious pasta and traditional restaurants where you can try national specialities , for example-sarma, čorbast pasulj-cooked beans in sauce with sausages or dry meat and different specialities of fish.
Discover why Ada Ciganlija is the most popular recreational zone for Belgraders and visitors of Belgrade with long tradition. Ada was declared a protected public domain in 1821.
Beautiful oasis in centre city of Belgrade- Ada Ciganlija
Bungee jumping platform at Ada Ciganlija
Knez Mihailova street
When I go shopping or I meet friends and chat with them, the best place , to me, is Knez Mihailova street. One kilometer long Knez Mihailova street is the pedestrian and shopping zone in Belgrade. This street is protected by law as one of the oldest and the most valuable landmarks of Belgrade and it was included on the list of of Spatial Cultural Historical Units of Great Importance in 1979, protected by Republic of Serbia.
There are many buildings and mansions built the late 1870s in this street. In Knez Mihailova street there are different styles of architecture from style of Romanticism to transitional style from Romanticism to Renaissance. For example an old hotel called Srpska Kruna Hotel located at 56 Knez Mihailova street was built in 1869 in the style of romanticism and at this time it was considered Belgrade's most modern hotel. Today, it is the building houses the City of Belgrade library. The block of private houses, located at 46, 48, and 50 Knez Mihailova Street was built in 1870s and it represented the beginning of discontinuity of traditional Balkan's architecture. All these buildings of the block have been shaped in the same manner, very interesting.
You can walk and feel the atmosphere of this pretty street whose each building has its history. Also, you can drink your favourite drink in the caffe-restaurant which was called Ruski car( Russian Emperor) but nowadays this restaurant changed its name into Vapiano. The building of ex restaurant Ruski Car was built in style of academism and I like it very much.
Also, this street is a cultural centre and Knez Mihailova street is home Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts - SANU, Institute Cervantes, Goethe- Institut, Alliance française etc.
For shopaholics and me Knez Mihailova is a paradise. You can find international clothing brands...
In Decembre 2006 Business week magazine included this street as one of Europe's notable Christmas shopping sites.
I like walking along Knez Mihailova street and it represents the shortest path from Terazije to Kalemegdan and Kalemegdan park.
Sometimes, for me, it is enough to walk along this street, maybe only , to sit on the bench and feel the atmosphere this beautiful street listening to music of street musicians and to be in complete harmony.
To me, Knez Mihailova is one of the most beautiful pedestrian zones in Europe and a meeting point for me and my friends.
Walking in Knez Mihailova street with street musicians and dancers
Winter magic charm of Knez Mihailova street at night
When I want to feel the spirit of old Belgrade I go to Skadar street that is Belgrade's old bohemian neighborhood where the famous poets, writers and artists of Belgrade used to come.
At the etrance of this old street called Skadarlija there is the flag of Skadar street with symbolical marks. These marks are: the Girardo hat, the black stick and the red carnation.
Near this Skadarlija's flag there is a message which is written with big letters and very nice words. These words were written in this message:
Skadar street- Skadarlija,
the centre of bohemians artists,
the tradition has already been a creation for one century,
because, Visitor ,
when you come in this corner of Belgrade to have fun and to have a nice time,
try to imagine and conjure up long ago past time and
remember all those generations of poets and artists, journalists and painters,
bohemians Known and Unknown.
When I walk along Skadar street I see and imagine figures of famous writers and artists in front of my eyes. A white house that lying on the ground floor at 36 Skadar street is the most cultural historical monument in this street. This is the restored house of Đura Jakšić where there are a lot of cultural manfestations , promotions, concerts nowadays.
Đura Jakšić was a great Serbian writer and painter. He was writing dramas, poems, books. His famous drama is Seoba Srbalja. Also, Đura Jakšić was a painter of romanticism and his famous work is The girl in blue, which was dedicated to one nice girl called Mila Popović who was a daughter of an innkeeper with her he fell in love. Đura's life motto was written by his verses: I drank a lot of bitter cups....
Đura, famous writers Branislav Nušić, Stevan Sremac, the novelist Bora Stanković and other artists visited old restaurants called kafanas in Skadar street. The oldest restaurants are TRI ŠEŠIRA( Three hats ) and KOD DVA JELENA ( At two deer) in the Skadar street. Đura called the kafana Tri šešira by wine spring. These famous artists and bohemians loved good drink and delicious food, barbecue and good jokes.They like singing the verses of Amazing poem sitting in kafanas of Skadarlija. This is a part of this Amazing poem:
Here, our big ones, old ones were drinking
the guardians of stars, wise men,
lovers of dawn, blacksmiths, carpenters
bakers, fishmen, carvers passed
all mountains and all seas....
I like sitting in old restaurants called kafana and I enjoy eating delicious specialities and listening to Old town music performing by tamburitza players. In this way I feel the soul of old times and old Belgrade
The statue of Đura Jakšić in Skadarlija
Sightseeing cruises around Belgrade
in my opinion the most romantic round of Belgrade is a sailing by boat on the rivers Sava and Danube. Cruising around Belgrade is a way to relax best after stressful life and everyday work. In this way you can see Belgrade in new way, from different perspective, from the rivers of Belgrade, in the other light.
You can choose arrangements with lunch or without lunch. It represents 20 km of sailing for 100 minutes with its cheap price. During cruising , you will see surrounding of the Hotel Jugoslavija with the most famous barges and night life. You sail on the river Danube to Gardoš that is the most beautiful part of Zemun then boat continues downstream to Lido and Big War Island- Veliko Ratno ostrvo in the direction of the Tower Nebojša and Pančevački bridge.From the river Danube the boat enters in the river Sava and by Kalemegdan. Kapetanije. under Cathedral -Saborna Crkva and bridges by Belgrade's fair and boat sails toward Ada bridge and then boat returns back to the barge, the start point of this cruising.
Cruising around Belgrade and see Belgrade from its rivers is an unforgettable event.