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Visiting Belgrade? You’re in the right place because I’m confident I discovered the best of the city during my trip. There are plenty of things to do in Belgrade plus tasty food and outdoor excursions. The capital of Serbia totally exceeded my expectations and I can’t wait to share all my tips and tricks.
Accommodation: Booking.com / Hostelworld
Getting there: flight / car / bus
Activities in Belgrade: GetYourGuide / Viator
What is Belgrade like?
Before visiting Belgrade, I didn’t have a clue what to expect. It was the first stop on my Balkans trip itinerary and I’d only been to Croatia and Bulgaria previously.
Belgrade city centre wasn’t my favourite. With a main square (Trg Republike) and commerical shopping street (Knez Michailova), it has the feel of many European capitals with a focus on chain stores and restaurants. I didn’t find anything to give character or set it apart.
However, there are other places in Belgrade I liked a lot. Skadarlija is the arty, boho part of town with wide, leafy streets and impressive architecture. Here you’ll find centuries-old taverns serving traditional Serbian cuisine alongside cool cafes boasting third-wave coffee and brunch.
Skadarlija doesn’t feel as crowded as the city centre so I’d recommend staying in this area. It’s where much of the city’s nightlife takes place so check you’re not on the main street if you want to get a good night’s sleep.
Where to stay in Belgrade
- Hostel – the best budget backpacker hostel for meeting others is El Diablo with beds from €11. For a flashpacking upgrade, I heard great things about Good People Design Hostel: it’s less social but that’s sometimes exactly what you need! It feels brand new with a lovely garden and equipped kitchen, bookable from €22 a night.
- Budget hotel – in the centre of town with beautiful rooms and a continental breakfast each morning, Prince Hall is a bargain with prices from €55 a night.
- Mid-range – the spacious rooms at Garni Hotel have sofas to relax, flat screen TV, Wi-Fi, aircon and unrivalled breakfasts from €75.
- Splash out – look no further than Xenon Hotel and Spa for a luxurious break from €119 a night.
- Apartments – check out Spirit Apartments and Mia Apartment for comfy, fully equipped places to stay.
- Browse hostels on Hostelworld and hotels and apartments on Booking.com.
How long to spend in Belgrade?
For a city break, two days is enough to see the main tourist attractions in Belgrade and spend an afternoon chilling over coffee in Skadarlija. You might wish to add a third day to visit Novi Sad as a day trip.
You could spend longer in Belgrade if you love coffee culture and cool neighbourhoods, work remotely, or feel tired from backpacking and want a liveable base to regroup. As all three applied to me, I tried to extend my stay but realised I couldn’t get a refund on my upcoming accommodation in Pristina. But I’ll be back… someday!
Getting to & from Belgrade
By air: Belgrade airport is well connected with flights around Europe from €15. I use Skyscanner to find flights, selecting ‘whole month’ to get the cheapest prices.
By bus: I arrived by Flixbus from Zagreb. I recommend using Flixbus for budget travel in Europe but, sadly, they don’t connect many cities in the Balkans; just Belgrade with Podgorica (Montenegro) and Skopje (North Macedonia).
To get between Belgrade and other destinations, use local buses. I’d recommend booking your tickets at the bus station. An important thing to note is there’s a service fee to use the station that you pay when buying your ticket. If you show up with an online ticket, you’ll have to save some local currency and line up at the ticket counter anyway to buy a token.
By train: Belgrade Central Station (misleadingly not in central Belgarde) connects the capital with destinations like Novi Sad. One journey you may be interested in is the famous Belgrade to Barr (Montenegro) train known as one of Europe’s most beautiful journeys!
Note – if you’re a backpacker visiting Barr, you must stay at the Grove Hostel! With double orthopaedic mattresses, a small swimming pool, beautiful surroundings, daily trips and shared dinners, this refurbished mill is one of the best hostels I’ve stayed at.
Getting around Belgrade
The city centre is small enough that you can walk between most of the main things to do in Belgrade. When you need to travel further afield…
Bus: the public bus network in Belgrade is very impressive. The journeys show on Google Maps and the buses are clean with tap-to-pay card readers that take international bank card. This was SO useful when I arrived tired and hot with all my luggage and didn’t have any Serbian currency yet.
Taxi: hailing regular taxes on the street is expensive unless you speak Serbian like a local. At the bus station, the drivers wanted €10 for a 5-minute drive and were rude when I said it was too much. Your best bet if you need a cab is the CAR:GO app.
Things to do in Belgrade
I’ll discuss the key attractions in Belgrade as well as a few hidden gems I discovered.
1. Take a free walking tour
I’m a broken record because I always list free walking tours in my city guides. I highly recommend them as an activity for your first morning in a new city: they give a great overview of the history and culture, plus they’re a good way to meet other travellers.
Better yet, they’re a budget-friendly activity. You’re not obligated to give any money but I do recommend giving €5-10 if you enjoy the tour to support the hard work of the locals.
Daily at 10.30am and 2pm, the Belgrade free tour was fascinating, led by a young woman with a progressive outlook who helped us understand some of the tough issues in her country. Knowing it was the Serbian government not the locals responsible for atrocities during the Yugoslavian and Kosovan Wars, I was hesitant to ask too many sensitive questions, but many of the group did and she did a great job of answering.
2. Republic Square
This is where the free walking tour begins. Complete with a statue of a leader on his horse, it’s not dissimilar to any other European square. Still, it’s a good place to centre yourself and begin your Belgrade sightseeing.
3. Catch a show at the National Theatre
From ballet to drama and opera, the Serbian National Theatre is the best place in Belgrade for a cultural night out (there are plenty of less cultural nights out as I’ll discuss later).
With more than 150 years of history, the theatre is a beloved feature of Belgrade, located conveniently on Republic Square. The classical building is beautiful inside and out, as you’ll discover during a behind-the-scenes tour or an evening show.
With tickets from €10, it’s a memorable experience at a price not common for Europe. Gotta get those bargains where you can!
4. Take a food tour with Taste Serbia
In my humble opinion, one of the best things to do in Belgrade is discover the local cuisine with a bunch of friendly locals. I love taking food tours to meet new people as a solo traveller, and I was lucky to have a great group on this tour. Both the other guests and the guides were fantastic.
Taste Serbia are a Belgrade-based company who take their guests to authentic eateries in different areas of the city. We ate SO much delicious food so don’t book if you have a small appetite!
I can recommend the Foodie Belgrade tour I took but they also offer craft beer, coffee tours & more.
5. Visit Skadarlija, the Bohemian quarter
As I mentioned, Skadarlija was my favourite part of Belgrade. With cobbled pavements, benches and trees dappling the street with sun, it feels relaxed and liveable. Better yet is the cool bohemian vibe.
Skadarlija has been inhabited by unconventional types since the 1800s when it was dubbed the ‘gypsy quarter’. It was renamed after the city of Shkoder in Albania presumably because the vibe was considered similar. The early 19th century saw floods of writers and intellectuals, securing its reputation as a forward-thinking place in Belgrade.
Nowadays, locals and tourists rub shoulders. Although gentrified, there are still plenty of traditional restaurants to be found, as well as long-standing coffee houses. There’s live music in the daytime and buzzing bars and clubs at night.
I’ll share which restaurants and cafes to try later!
6. Jevremovac Botanical Gardens
Jevremovac Botanical Gardens make a pleasant escape from the busy city. There’s a peaceful Japanese garden where small bridges cross ponds and streams home to koi fish, as well as a Victorian-style greenhouse full of succulents and other warm-weather plants.
For a relaxed thing to do in Belgrade, you can easily while away 1-2 hours here. Take a 20-minute walk from the city centre to arrive, passing by Bajloni Farmers Market and, for Japanese food fans, stopping at Wagokoro afterwards. This is a lovely cafe serving Japanese drinks and desserts on a shaded street near the park.
Entry to the gardens costs 250 Dinar.
7. Bajloni Farmers Market
I always enjoy visiting local markets when I travel: you get to experience local life and break off the tourist track. When finding things to do in Zagreb, I visited many similar farmers’ markets selling Balkan produce such as honey, jam, cheese, meat, peppers and watermelons.
Bajloni Market is located close to the city centre, a few minutes on foot from Skadarlija. It’s a big, sprawling bazaar-style market where you can get lost in the maze of colourful stalls. Locals are unlikely to speak much English or want to change larger bills, so bring small change if you want to buy and try to learn a few words of the local lingo!
Note – there are occasional Friday Night Markets which are fun and lively. Check the Facebook page for upcoming dates.
8. Church of Saint Sava
You can’t discuss things to do in Belgrade without mentioning the majestic Church of Saint Sava! It’s one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world after the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow.
Dedicated to Saint Sava, the founder of the Serbian church, it took years to construct. The central dome weighs 4,000 tons (!) and took 40 days to be lifted into position. Every day, fifty bells announce midday.
Although it’s beautiful from the outside, the real treat is within. The walls are laden in gold with spectacular religious frescos. Don’t miss the crypt, located seven metres beneath the church.
Entry is free and it’s located a 20-minute walk from the city centre. There’s a great traditional bakery, Pekara, that you shouldn’t miss while in this part of town.
9. See NATO bombed buildings
While gawping at a bombsite may seem macabre, this is an important part of history and world politics. The ruined Radio Television of Serbia building was destroyed by NATO bombs designed to force the Serbian government to retreat from their attack on Kosovo.
The Belgrade bombed buildings can be seen on the main road (Kneza Milosa) close to Belgrade City Museum. This is where the 41 bus drops you when travelling to Saint Sava from the city centre so it’s an easy stop to work into your itinerary. It’s a bizarre and striking sight that you won’t forget in a hurry.
10. Yugoslavia Museum
The Yugoslavia Museum is a popular attraction in Belgrade located south of the city near the central railway station. Although it has good reviews, it wasn’t what I expected. Given the name, I was (understandably) expecting to learn more about the history of Yugoslavia.
Given Serbia’s role in the Balkan Wars, I was interested to see how the history was presented. However, this museum is less about the breakdown of Yugoslavia and more of a shrine to Tito, the former president. An entire room is dedicated to his funeral, and he’s even buried onsite in the House of Flowers.
Entry costs 400 Dinar (€3.40) so it’s an affordable attraction that I’d say is just about worth swinging by. From downtown Belgrade, catch bus 44 or 41.
11. Climb up to Kalemegdan Fortress
Kalemegdan Park is the largest green space in the Serbian capital with Belgrade Fortress at its heart. Kalemegdan Fortress has seen 16 centuries and many world events while trying (and failing) to protect the city from the Austro-Hungarians, Romans and Ottomans.
Climbing to the Fortress is a free thing to do in Belgrade and a great way to soak up views of the city and the Danube river.
12. Walk in Kalemegdan Park
Other points of interest in Kalemegdan Park are Ružica Church, the Victor statue and Boho Bar where you can stop for a drink in chilled surroundings with colourful cushions and trees growing between the tables.
The park is one of the best places in Belgrade to spy local life. Elderly Serbians play chess for hours and, if you challenge them, know you won’t win!
13. Museum of Contemporary Art
Opposite the Fortress on the other side of the Danube, the Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the best places to visit in New Belgrade. From the minute you see the arty exterior of the building, the experience begins. Inside, you’ll find contemporary paintings, sculptures and other visual exhibitions.
During my visit, I tried to interpret the various quirky exhibitions like this giant house by Erwin Wurm. Named the ‘Fat House’, it apparently mirrors the moral obesity of the Western World. Yikes. There are permanent and temporary exhibitions that you can research before visiting on the website.
Entry fee: 600 Dinar (€5).
Opening times: 10am-6pm; closed Tuesdays.
Getting there: Since it’s a 30-minute walk from the city centre, catch a bus across the bridge or call a taxi with the CAR:GO app for around €5.
14. Visit Bajrakli Mosque
Not far from the park is Bajrakli Mosque, the only remaining one in the city. It’s sad when you consider that they were once almost 300 mosques in Belgrade but they were all destroyed. This one is lucky to have survived: during Austrian occupation, it was temporarily turned into a Catholic Church.
Its captivating history and beautiful design make it one of the best places to visit in Belgrade, especially for Muslim travellers.
Bajrakli is beside some popular cafes like Meduza and D59B should you wish to stop for a drink after your culture dose.
15. St Mark Ottoman Church
One of the most impressive buildings in Belgrade, visible from any vantage point, is St Mark’s. This Serbian Orthodox Church is less than 100 years old but replaces a wooden church destroyed by German bombs and home to the graves of the Serbian royals assassinated in the coup of 1903.
So, to experience Serbian history and marvel at the interior – which includes a mosaic measuring 130 metres, thought to be the largest in the world – pay a visit. There’s no entrance fee making it a worthwhile free thing to do in Belgrade.
16. Tašmajdan Park
If you’re visiting St Mark’s, don’t miss the pleasant park beside it. Tašmajdan Park, or Taš as the locals call it, is a beloved feature of the city. Its name comes from the Turkish word meaning quarry and indicates 2,000 years of history. In more modern times, the park was built on the spot of a small church lost to NATO bombings.
Despite the dark history, it’s a bright and lighthearted corner of the city today, worth a visit when sightseeing in Belgrade.
17. Akademija Book Store
If you’re looking for off-beat things to do in Belgrade, Akademija Book Store ticks the box. Despite its busy central location just off Knez Michailova, it’s a peaceful oasis where you can read over a coffee in the onsite cafe. I noticed that cafes within bookshops seem to be commonplace in Serbia and I’m here for it!
Although the majority of books are in Serbian, there are some English copies, too… Plus, this pretty bookstore is worth a visit even if you don’t buy! There are a wide range of books including maps and encyclopedias. If you have any questions or you’re looking for something specific, just ask the friendly staff.
Address: Akademski plato 35.
18. Walk Knez Mihailova
The main walking street is a popular place to visit in Belgrade with shops, restaurants and cafes. It wasn’t my favourite place in the city: there are more high street chains than independents and the eateries are expensive without the best food. But that’s standard for main streets in capital cities, I suppose!
To give Knez Mihailova its credit, it’s home to beautiful architecture. It’s also a busy, lively place with excellent people-watching opportunities. Whether you aim to or not, you’ll certainly end up here at some point while sightseeing in Belgrade.
19. Nikola Tesla Museum
This museum dedicated to the Serbian-American inventor, Nikola Tesla, explores his life and work in a fun, interactive way. Located in the city centre in an old villa, visiting will give you a better understanding of science and engineering in the late 19th/early 20th century.
The Nikola Tesla Museum is also his final resting place. Entry costs 800 Dinar including a guided tour in English.
Opening times: 10am-8pm, Tues-Sun; 10am-6pm Mon.
Address: Krunska 51.
20. The National Museum
As you’ve probably gathered by now, there are plenty of things to do in Belgrade for history and art fans. Another one to add to your itinerary is the National Museum inside an Austrian baroque mansion. There are three floors filled with exhibits and art including an educational display on Serbians through history (floor 0).
Other artists featured include Picasso and Matisse, plus Serbian artists. Don’t miss the Monet on floor 3. You’ll want to spend a few hours here if you’re a big art fan.
Entry price: 300 Dinar, free Sundays.
Opening times: 10am-6pm apart from Thurs & Sat (12-8pm), closed Mondays.
21. Tuck into traditional food in Belgrade
Having spent time already in the Balkans (and eaten my way through all the restaurants in Split and Ljubljana), I had some idea of what to expect from Serbian food.
Foodies wondering what to do in Belgrade should go on a food crawl to try these hearty, meaty dishes:
- Borek – flaky pastry filled with ground meat, cheese or spinach. A Balkan classic found in Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo and Albania.
- Sarma – after enjoying these while travelling in Romania, I was happy to have pickled cabbage rolls again, stuffed with meat and served with gravy and mashed potato.
- Cevapi – rich ground meat sausages are a typical Balkan dish often served in portions of 10 with chopped onion. I love them sandwiched in bread with kajmak (cream cheese) and ajvar (red pepper paste).
- Karađorđeva šnicla – translating as ‘a young woman’s dream’, this sausage-shaped dish tells you everything you need to know about sexism… I mean, um, food in Serbia! It’s deep-fried, rolled in breadcrumbs, stuffed with cheese and meat, and served with tartare sauce and fries.
Some of the best typical restaurants are:
- Zavičaj Skadarlija – this is one of the city’s most popular taverns famed for its goulash and other typical dishes. It’s not the cheapest place but it’s super atmospheric with live music playing. Booking is advised.
- Dva Jelena – I had a delicious meal of sarmale with mashed potato, bacon and gravy here while listening to live music. It’s one of the most popular restaurants in the Skadarlija neighbourhood.
- Znak Pitanja – the oldest restaurant in the city translates as ‘question mark’ because authorities in the 1880s were unhappy with its original name (‘by the cathedral’) because it served alcohol and therefore shouldn’t be associated with the church. The owner temporarily changed its name to ? which remains to this day. I visited at 4pm and they were no longer serving food so visit for lunch rather than dinner.
- Pekara Trpković – Slavija – this is one of the oldest and most famous bakeries in Belgrade. Choose from countless bureks, cakes and other pastries. Nothing is healthy but everything is delicious… The perfect combo for a bakery!
22. Explore the international cafes & restaurants
Although I enjoy hearty, meaty Balkan cuisine, it’s not something I could eat every day. As a foodie, I also loved discovering eateries in Belgrade serving excellent international food.
- VegANGELov is a great place to get some veg. The healthy, fresh dishes like ramen and nasi goreng have earnt the restaurant a well-deserved 4.9 stars on Google. I can vouch for the falafel salad and fresh juices, plus the desserts looked delicious, too.
- La Chona – authentic Mexican tacos, hallelujah! Tacos al pastor cost just 140 each plus there are gringas, quesadillas and margs. If you need more persuasion of its quality, just know I live in Mexico!
- Bloom – this cute, minimalistic cafe serves affordable brunch dishes with creative ingredients. I had a scrambled egg dish with tomato, basil, pitta bread and ricotta for just €8 including coffee and a smoothie. If I lived in Belgrade, I could see myself here every weekend!
23. Experience the coffee culture
Like most Balkan cities, there’s fantastic coffee culture in Belgrade. The only problem is that smoking is allowed in cafes so some of them get pretty smoky especially if older locals hang out there. Here are some of the more modern cafes I found where you’re less likely to leave smelling like an ashtray…
- Eklektika 40 – this hole-in-the-wall is a modest yet quirky cafe with friendly staff. They serve espresso-based coffees, Turkish coffee, Turkish tea, iced coffee and, being the Balkans, rakija!
- Kafeterija Studentski Trg – this is a third-wave coffee shop with outdoor seating and a wide range of drinks and snacks. The iced flat white was excellent and I also see they serve matcha, affogato and cold brew. All the good stuff!
- Valentina I Karanfil – the most divine chocolate cafe! There are tons of iced chocolate drinks: milk, white and dark with flavourings like chili, mango and matcha. Pair your drink with gourmet chocolates from the counter.
- Wagokoro (Japanese cafe) – visit for authentic ice cream mochi in a huge range of flavours. The menu offers tea pairings but I opted for a huge iced matcha latte. Bliss!
24. Let your hair down with the Belgrade nightlife
Belgrade is known for having fantastic nightlife. As I was there solo and didn’t stay in an overly social hostel, I didn’t get to explore it as much as I’d have liked. But I know there’s lots out there!
If you’re wondering what to do in Belgrade at night, hit the bars of Skadarlija where you’ll find locals and tourists socialising.
The other area is the embankment of New Belgrade where docked boats turn into clubs. This is more of a local place to party… Women travellers may be more comfortable going as part of a mixed group because I was told by some fellow female backpackers that the macho men here made them feel uncomfortable.
Related activity: Rakija tasting tour
Belgrade bars to visit include:
- Blaznavac – this is a cool bar with a huge cocktail menu and a funky outdoor area with murals and a giant colourful elephant hanging from the trees. The cocktails were a little sweet for my liking but at least they were cheap!
- Kultura Bar – this bar is a real hidden gem that I found on the way back from Saint Sava Church. It’s an excellent cocktail bar with a huge display of spirits behind the bar. The talented bartenders make quality drinks, on and off the menu – just tell them what you like.
- Zappa Barka and other boats on the embankment.
25. Zemun area
Once you’ve ticked off the main things to do in Belgrade, you might be keen to get off the tourist track. A great place to do this is the Zemun area, separated from the urban sprawl by tributaries of the Danube.
Given that it was its own town until it joined with Belgrade in the 1930s, it’s hardly surprising that Zemun has a distinct vibe. With a mix of Austrian and Ottoman architecture and a small-town vibe with attractive walking streets, it’s a pleasant place to wander and enjoy long coffee breaks. It’s far from a fast-paced city and that’s why the locals love it.
Visit the Gardoš Tower for beautiful ocean views and be sure to stop at Cafeteria Gardos nearby.
How to visit: If coming by bus, catch the 95 from Skadarlija to the Sava Centre then the 88 to Zemun. You can also drive, take a taxi or board any train that has Zemun as a first stop. To explore with a local, take a FREE walking tour on Saturdays at 3pm with Belgrade Walking Tours.
26. Spend a day on Ada Ciganlija adventure island
Ask any local what they do in Belgrade on summer weekends and they’ll probably tell you they visit Ada Ciganlija, an island in the Danube with 6 kilometres of manmade beaches. Lake Sava is the heart of the action with its beaches bordering both the island and the Serbian mainland.
You can try everything from scuba diving in the lake to bunjee jumping, water skiing, mini golf, yoga, stand-up paddling and, in the winter, even skiing and snowboarding! I can’t promise all of them are world-class but I CAN promise you won’t run out of things to try.
The best way to reach the island by public transport is via the 511N bus from Trg Republike.
27. Residence of Princess Ljubica
This impressive residence in downtown Belgrade built in Ottoman and European style is more than just a pretty facade: it’s a piece of living history, once lived in by Princess Ljubica while her husband, Prince Miloš Obrenović, stayed in Kalemegdan Fortress.
The Residence of Princess Ljubica costs 300 Dinar to enter. It’s worth it to see the intricate Ottoman rooms preserved as they were in their heyday.
28. Take a trip to the Avala Tower
For a short excursion from the city with fantastic views, pay a visit to the Avala Tower, holding the award for the tallest building in the Balkans (though, honestly, I’m not sure there’s realms of competition).
Like many notable attractions in Belgrade, it was bombed in the 1990s, but has since been restored with an added bar (adventurously named Panorama) at the top. Drive or ride the 401 bus there. If you’re feeling energetic, there are plenty of opportunities to hike in this mountainous region.
It can never be said that Belgrade doesn’t have green spaces. Created in the same era as the Residence of Princess Ljubica, Topčider Park was once the garden of Prince Miloš before it became public property. One of the top things to do in this Belgrade Park is visit his old palace – now a museum – for 200 Dinar.
Wander Topčider forest park at your leisure, admiring rare trees thought to be 180 years old. Other activities include hiking, picnicking and stopping for a bite at the restaurant.
30. Take a day trip to Novi Sad
The pretty city of Novi Sad is one of the most popular places near Belgrade. Built on the banks of the Danube beneath Petrovaradin Fortress, it’s easily the most popular day trip from Belgrade.
In the morning, I visited Novi Sad Synagogue, wandered through Danube Park, browsed books at Bulevar Books (a cool bookshop with a bar) and had a tasty salad and fresh juice at Kombinat because I was craving something lighter than Serbian food.
For the afternoon, cross Varadin Bridge and visit Novi Sad Fortress. Before you head home, take a swim in the river from one of the city beaches. I heard good things about the Strand area and Diskont Bar but these are far from the city centre so I visited the beach just opposite the fortress.
Getting to Novi Sad: The new fast train from Belgrade Central gets to Novi Sad in just over 1.5 hours while the slow one takes closer to 2 hours. It was tricky to find a reliable timetable online so I just arrived at the station and bought a ticket for the next departure. When I arrived in Novi Sad, I took a photo of the timetable and planned my trip back around it.
From Novi Sad station to the city, walk in 30 minutes or jump on one of the many buses outside the station.
Alternatively, take an organised day trip including other highlights from Northern Serbia and learn from a local guide.
Unless you’re visiting Belgrade as a mini break, you’ll probably be exploring other places in the Balkans next. This is such a fascinating region that I’ve been lucky enough to explore as part of two different backpacking trips (2019 and 2022).
Some easily accessible places from Belgrade that I’d recommend getting on your radar are…
The capital of Kosovo is a fascinating place to visit. As the newest country in Europe, Kosovo has overcome a bloody history resulting in a patriotic population.
There aren’t loads of things to do in Pristina but that’s part of the charm: the main walking street is a buzzing place for people-watching while the cafe culture is second to none. Not only are there old-school cafes where you can rub shoulders with the locals, but there are some amazing modern cafes like Soma Book Station and Dit’ e Nat’.
Important note about travel between Kosovo and Serbia – because Serbia doesn’t recognise Kosovo’s sovereignty, you may have trouble crossing from Kosovo to Serbia without an existing Serbia stamp in your passport (AKA if you haven’t been already).
With that in mind, it’s best to visit Serbia before Kosovo or visit via a third party, for example going Kosovo – Montenegro – Serbia.
I had a wonderful time visiting Sofia. Not only is it a beautiful, relaxed capital with a harmonious blend of religious buildings, but there are lovely cafes, wine bars and also a lively nightlife, best enjoyed by staying at Hostel Mostel.
It’s easy to visit other parts of Bulgaria during day trips for example hiking the beautiful Rila Lakes and visiting Rila Monastery from Sofia.
Montenegro is surely one of the most underrated countries in Europe. This tiny but beautiful nation has the coastline of Croatia or Greece but a fractional of the tourists. Kotor is a beautiful town with lots to do and even more day trips, while Budva is more of a luxe beach resort.
Although Kotor and Budva are becoming increasingly well known, there are lots of places you can get off the beaten track. I loved whiling away days in Stari Bar while staying at Grove Hostel. As a small country, it’s easy to pick a base and explore via day trips during your Montenegro itinerary.
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Bosnia & Herzegovina is easily one of my favourite countries in the Balkans and Sarajevo is my favourite Balkan capital, closely followed by Belgrade. Get between the two cities by car or Flixbus.
Just a couple of hours away, Mostar is a beautiful historic city that I have visited twice, known for its great day trips. Read my blogs:
Thanks for reading!
I hope you have a better idea of what to do in Belgrade and you have a wonderful trip. It totally exceeded my expectations and I’d love to go back one day!
Read more Balkan blogs:
- The ultimate Balkans itinerary for 2-8 weeks
- 2 day Sofia itinerary
- Things to do in Tirana, Albania
- Hiking in the Theth Valbona region, Albania
- What to do in Pristina, Kosovo
- 24 things to do in Skopje, North Macedonia
- The top attractions Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina
- 2 week Albania itinerary
- 2 week Romania itinerary
- Things to do in Kotor, Montenegro
- The perfect itinerary for Montenegro
- 1 week Croatia itinerary
- What to do in Split, Dubrovnik, Zadar and Zagreb, Croatia
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TRUSTED RESOURCES FOR VISITING ALBANIA
Getting around by air – I use Skyscanner and search by month to see the cheapest dates.
Driving in Europe – use Rentalcars.com to compare car rentals in European countries (and all around the world).
For buses around Europe, I use Flixbus . It doesn’t connect cities in Serbia but it does connect Tirana to other European capitals.
For hotels and self-catering apartments, I use Booking.com. You can filter by review score and price to find the best-rated budget places. For hostels, I use Hostelworld.
To save money on accommodation, I use Trusted Housesitters, a website that connects homeowners going away and travellers who can sit their homes & pets.
Browse tours and Belgrade activities on GetYourGuide and Viator.
Need travel insurance? I use True Traveller (for UK & Europe residents) since it’s affordable but covers everything you’d need including various activities, valuables and pre-existing conditions. Unlike some companies, they insure you if you’re already travelling / don’t yet have your flight home booked. Get a quote.
For travel insurance for other nationalities, I recommend Hey Mundo and for long-term digital nomad travellers, I suggest Safety Wing.
Check out my resources page for more travel discounts and budget tips from my 10+ years on the road!