The title of this article may be a little misleading because although you may be physically for 72 hours in Belgrade chances are that you won’t remember half of it.But let’s start at the beginning of the journey.
It is helpful to have a Serbian friend and if someone in you travel group speaks Serbian even better. First because many things are written in Cyrillic and secondly because they should help you to avoid tourist traps. Especially taxis may be tricky if you have no idea about local fees and routes.
Start your Friday morning with a good brunch. A nice place we discovered was the Supermarket Deli. With a full stomach you may head to a nearby barber shop to get your look ready for the weekend. The Barbers Belgrade are a copy of the Schorem Barbers in Rotterdam, meaning no women allowed inside the shop, free shots of whiskey and no appointments. That’s why showing up early on a Friday is a must, otherwise you will spend most of your day waiting for your turn.
Now, that you are all groomed and dapper it’s finally time for your first rakjia of the weekend – “Ziveli!”. Choose one of the many stylish bars in the city center, have a coffee and a few rakjias and decide how to spend the afternoon. Depending on the weather, you may want to either put on your swimming trunks and spend a few hours at Ada Cinganlija, Belgrade’s artificial beach at the Sava river or just remain seated and start ordering more drinks and food.
So far so good. You had your lazy day and it is time to get busy. Once the sun starts to set, the city awakes to new life and you will finally understand the hype around Belgrade’s nightlife. Make sure to get a proper pre-drinking meal at one of the many fancy restaurants the city has to offer. You may want to try for example the Manufaktura with its red umbrellas. Just make sure to make a reservation no matter where you are headed. Luckily the servings are everywhere enormous, which may save your life. Don’t hold back, no reason to be on a diet this weekend, trust me.
Around 11pm people start heading to the clubs and given the large selection you should previously try to get a lounge or a table, especially if traveling in large group. Check the website Beogradnocu to find out all about Belgrade’s nightlife. The floating clubs along the Splav are surely worth a visit and are always buzzing.
Ok, on a Saturday morning you should….just kidding! If you are up before noon, you did something wrong.
Once you were able to roll out of bed head to Knez Mihailova the most famous street of Belgrade. You will find here tons of stores and many options to cure your hang-over with greasy food and healthy juices.
If you feel the need to confess last nights sins (usually they come back in flashbacks or as pictures from your friends- damned smart phones) you may visit the Hram svetog Save (St. Sava Temple), which is also the largest church of south-eastern Europe and a tourist attraction.
For dinner you should head to Skadarlija, an old cobblestone street home to many traditional restaurants. This trip is just worthwhile to watch the ladies in their heels trying to walk as graciously as possible down the street. We decided to have dinner at the Tri Sesira (three hats), which has three!! live gipsy bands playing. As you may imagine this is not for a quiet night and the guitar to your ear will remind you that god may have forgiven your night out but your head didn’t. A precautionary aspirin before dinner may help here.
Last chance to explore the city. Despite the urge to stay in bed you should make the most of your last few hours. This is your chance for pictures that you can show at your next family dinner.
An idea could be to do a graffiti tour. Given that the city is kind of greyish, the many street artists have added a dash of colour and some nice backgrounds for pictures.
Another must is the Kalemegdan Castle from where you can see the Save river flow into the Danube and learn about history, or just run around and try to climb the walls.
Have a last extended lunch at Toro a delicious latin restaurant just by the river before leaving to the airport. The small plates are to die for, especially the Steak Tartare with Brazil Nuts and the Tuna Tacos.