EuroTribe

your guide to Europe off the beaten path

8 Less-Known and Alternative Things To Do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is an alternative city compared to many other European capitals. But what if you want to see the more alternative side of an already alternative city? If you’ve checked…

Amsterdam is an alternative city compared to many other European capitals. But what if you want to see the more alternative side of an already alternative city? If you’ve checked off all of your travel guide’s recommendations and are at a loss what-to-do-next, follow this list for more less-known and alternative things to do in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Magic Show

The Amsterdam Magic Show is the only theater act performed in English that showcases magic and comedy. It’s set in a 20’s styled cabaret theater (think wood paneling and lush, red velvet curtains). The show is unique and stays current as the act changes every month. Every month world-class mentalists, illusionists and magicians from all over the world come together to awaken our childhood beliefs.

It takes place on the first or second Tuesday each month. There are only two shows a night (the early and late show), so make sure to book in advance as tickets sell out quickly!

Small Museums

Cat Cabinet

Katten Kabinet

Internet was founded so it’d connect the global community over a shared adoration for felines. Well not really. But, we can say for sure that some of the most viewed content on the web is in fact, of our furry masters. Anyone who has a cat knows that you do not own one, but it owns you. 🙂

Kattenkabinet is set in a fully restored, beautiful house from the 17th century. Besides being a historical landmark on its own, it hosts an incredible collection dedicated solely to cats in art, culture and history. Even if you’re not an avid cat enthusiast, it’s a welcomed break from the norm.

Electric Ladyland

Phosphorescent sculpture

Commonly known as ‘The world’s first museum of fluorescent art’, the Electric Ladyland is a museum set in a basement. The museum displays a collection of fluorescent minerals, “thermal expansion” paintings (a painting technique discovered by the owner) and mineral artwork. You too, are an active part of the art, in the segment called “participatory art”.

The only thing that overshadows the museum is its owner, Nick Padallino. His vast knowledge on the subject and charismatic personality makes you want to listen to him for hours. If you want to bypass the magic truffles but still experience an Amsterdam trip – this museum is a perfect pick.

Other unusual museums are the Pipe museum, Vrolik Museum, Venustempel Sex Museum, Museum of Bags and Purses, Ripley’s Believe it or Not! and Red Lights Secrets – Prostitution museum.

Amsterdam Light Festival

Amsterdam Light Festival  2

Another attraction that puts Amsterdam on the map as the capital of magical entertainment. There aren’t any illusionists/magicians involved into organizing this festival as international architects, artists and (light) designers bring the real magic. Festival is held every winter, and it brings together new talent with a unified goal, to make Amsterdam vibrate warmth and pulsate with color during the coldest, darkest nights.

There are a lot of interesting tours on offer. Bike tours or culinary boat tours, just to name a few. Enjoying dutch delicacies and craft beer is a perfect addition to a light spectacle that’s displayed right in front of your eyes.

Neighborhood: NDSM

ndsm-amsterdam-noord-21

Probably one of the coolest neighborhoods in Europe, NDSM is a former shipyard now transformed into a creative hub. Kunststad (Art City) is located in the NDSM hangar where artists are continuously keeping busy creating. Alongside the riverbank there are a lot of restaurants, pubs and clubs. Visit IJ-kantine,Greenhouse Café Noorderlicht or try bungee jumping from a crane.

Restaurants

Restaurant de Kas

De Kas interior

Majority of the time we completely desensitize from the food on our plate. How much effort and time it takes for that one potato to be on our plate. Restaurant de Kas puts you in a setting where you’re surrounded by the produce that’s going to end up on your plate. They differ from other restaurants, as their menu is created daily and only consists of things in season and harvested from their garden.

The restaurant is inside of a greenhouse that used to belong to Amsterdam’s Municipal Nursery. They describe their cooking style similar to the cuisines of the rural Mediterranean. The vegetable dishes are served in combination with meat or fish from local suppliers, but there are vegetarian options available.

Ctaste

ctaste

The “dark dining” concept originated in Switzerland in 1999., with Blinde Kuh. Since then it has spread all over the world, from New York to Beijing.

The question you might be posing to yourself is, why would anyone desire to not see what they’re eating? Well, eliminating sense of sight, your other senses of taste and smell are heightened. At the Ctaste, the visually impaired staff will lead you to your table in a dark room. Before you enter you’ll choose a prefixed menu from a selection of cuisines, but the dishes they’ll be serving you are a surprise.

The Butcher

A burger joint located near Albert Cuypstraat in de Pijp. If the name of the restaurant is not self explanatory enough there’s a cow hanging upside down in the window display. So yes, beef burgers all around. What separates the Butcher from other burger joints is the secret bar located in the back. The same concept that made the cocktail bar Please Don’t Tell in New York City thrive among its competition. In order to be granted an entrance to the secret bar – you need to know the daily changed password.

Markets

Thanks to globalization, whatever country you’re in, you’ll find an H&M or a Forever21 anywhere. So why buy something at H&M in Amsterdam, when that same collection is probably displayed back at your home country? If you enjoy the hunt of something unique and want to purchase something characteristic of the country you’re visiting – you can never go wrong with street markets.

Antique market Amsterdam

Flea Market - Antiques

Serious collectors fly to Amsterdam just to navigate through its 1750 square feet of lost artifacts. Don’t bring too much money as you won’t be able to resist.

Noordermarkt

Noordermarkt

Here you can get anything from jewelry, clothes to books or art pieces. If you’re in need of some organic ingredients for your dinner – you’re in luck as here you can find a vast array of different organic foods.

Albert Cuypmarkt

If street markets are your scene then you’ve probably heard of the Albert Cuypmarkt, Amsterdam’s busiest market. Whatever you’re in need of, the chances are you’ll find it here. I’d say that to make the most out of it spend at least half a day exploring. If you get hungry there are snack vendors, eateries and cafes all over the surrounding area. Haggling in Netherlands’ largest antique market is an experience of its own.

Other markets worth a visit include Waterlooplein Flea Market and of course Bloemenmarkt.

De Hallen

Amsterdam DE Hallen

De Hallen is an early 20th century industrial building, now a center of the arts, fashion and most importantly, food. In this complex you can find a cinema (largest independent cinema), a boutique hotel, stores and Food Hallen – indoor food market with around 20 street vendors and a bar.

Alternative Housing

As mentioned, Amsterdam and its forward thinking inhabitants are great at putting old, unused spaces to new purposes. These are some of the noteworthy mentions that you should check out or even better stay at, for a different experience.

Faralda Crane Hotel is set in a 50 metres high harbour crane in NDSM shipyard.

Amstel Botel is a floating hotel in NDSM shipyard.

Amstel Botel

Hotel de Windketel is a private tower and once part of the municipal waterworks.

‘Hotel de Windketel’ Watertorenplein Amsterdam

The Lloyd, world’s first 1-5 star Hotel. Its role throughout the years has been changed often, serving first as a refugee center, detention center, juvenile detention center and artist studios.

Lloyd Hotel

Amsterdam is on the pricier side and unfortunately not all of us can afford to stay at Hotel de Windketel. However there’s always a demand for cheap short stay Amsterdam accommodation, so you’ll surely find something suitable for your budget.

Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

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50 Awesome Travel Products You Can Buy on AliExpress For Less Than $20

You have probably heard about AliExpress. In case you didn’t, it’s China’s largest online retail service. What makes AliExpress unique? You buy directly from a manufacturer so the prices are…

You have probably heard about AliExpress. In case you didn’t, it’s China’s largest online retail service. What makes AliExpress unique? You buy directly from a manufacturer so the prices are considerably lower. Another great thing about AliExpress is that most products have free or very low shipping costs.

Truth be told, there’s a lot of junk on it. It takes some time to carefully select good items and another drawback is that parcels sometimes take a month to arrive.

I’ve mostly bought photography accessories from AliExpress. For instance, the remote control shutter release for a Nikon camera cost me $1.49. The same thing in the store was $20.

If you don’t mind waiting, you can find some really good deals there.

In this post you’ll find 50 awesome travel products you can buy on AliExpress for less than 20$.

So let’s start.


500ml Watter Bottle


Daily Backpack


Denim Daily Backpack


40L Travel & Hiking Backpack


Portable Cosmetic Travel Bag


Thermos Cup


Transparent Toiletry Bag


Women Travel Makeup Case


Travel Bag


Storage Bag for Electronics


Tactical Pen


Mini Portable Electronic Scale


RFID-blocking wallet


DSLR camera backpack


LENS cleaning pen


Portable Camera Tripod


Vintage Camera Strap


Universal Camera Lens Cap


DSLR Camera Lens Dust Blower 


GoPro Shutter Pistol Trigger 


Wireless Home Security Camera


GoPro Accessories Bag 


Travel Notebook


Genuine Leather Passport Cover


Titanium Multifunctional Swiss Knife 


Wireless Headphones 


Inflatable Neck Pillow


3 Pcs/Set Unisex Nylon Packing Cubes


Classic Umbrela


Universal Travel Adaptor


ROCK Odin Series Power bank 5000 Mah


6 ports USB charger


Microfiber Towel 


Padlock 


Sleeping Mask


Luggage Tag


Travel Door Alarm 


Universal Macro Lens Kit


Humidifier


Wireless Bluetooth Speakers


Multi-Purpose Tarp


USB Flash Drive


Camping Hammock 


Earplugs 


Facial Mask


MacBook Air Case 


GPS Tracker 


IRONX Lunch box 


Micro SD Card 


Flashlight 

You can also check EuroTribe’s Travel Gear Guide in which I list all gear I personally use.

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90+ Travel Resources for LGBT Travelers in Europe

Check out EuroTribe’s essential travel resources for LGBT travelers in Europe, which include the tools and suggestions on safety, accommodation, things to do and more! Pre-trip inspiration LGBT Travel Blogs…

Check out EuroTribe’s essential travel resources for LGBT travelers in Europe, which include the tools and suggestions on safety, accommodation, things to do and more!

Pre-trip inspiration

LGBT Travel Blogs

People love checking travel blogs for inspiration, planning, and great local tips before their travels. This is especially true for LGBT travelers, who are in need of safety tips and destination guides. Luckily, there are so many great LGBT travel blogs out there. Here are some really good (and famous) LGBT travel blogs;

Travels of Adam
Two Bad Tourists
Nomadic Boys
Globetrotter Girls
Dopes on the Road
Gastro Gays
Minka Guides
MANCHIC

LGBT Websites

Out Traveler is perhaps the only LGBT website dealing with gay travel exclusively. Travel Gay Europe is another great resource for gay travelers. It has a comprehensive guide to almost every European country and recommendations on hotels, bars, nightlife, and events. A small section is dedicated to news. The other websites on the list are quite famous LGBT resources. They mostly cover news, entertainment but sometimes there are travel related topics too.

Out Traveler
Travel Gay Europe
Advocate
AfterEllen
autostraddle
PRIDE
LGBTQ Nation
Huffington Post Queer Voices
Daily Extra
Gay Cities
New Now Next

LGBT Travel Guidebooks

Damron Guidebooks are the most popular in this category and they exist since 1964. They have an extensive listing of gay-friendly business around the world, including the tips and a yearly calendar of events. There’s also another popular guide – Damron Women’s Traveler, which covers exactly the same things as the men’s one. European destinations they cover include Paris, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Dublin, Barcelona, Sitges and more.

Spartacus Guide publishes its gay guide annually and it has more than 900 pages of useful travel info for gay and bisexual men. They also publish a Berlin Gay Guide.

Lonely Planet guides also have an LGBT section with safety tips, best gay venues, and other helpful advice.

Magazines and Newspapers

There are plenty of LGBT magazines online and in print. The most famous ones are OUT (gay and lesbian travel, fashion and culture); Curve (lesbian magazine), Passport Magazine (lots of tips on travel) etc. Check out the expanded list below!

OUT
Curve
Passport Magazine
Hello Mr.
Gay Letter
Jarry Mag
g3
HISKIND
SIEGESSÄULE (Berlin Queer Magazine)

IGLTA

IGLTA is one of the most important global resources in the LGBT tourism industry. You can find tips on whatever you are looking for- from accommodation providers, airlines, cruises, health and fitness, restaurants, travel agents, tour operators and more. They have suggestions for destinations across the globe and a calendar of events that you can filter by audience or type. IGLTA’s partners are strong supporters of LGBT rights.

NGO’s

Eastern Europe is still falling behind when it comes to LGBT rights, compared to their western counterparts. In some places, it may be more difficult to find suggestions on queer culture and nightlife for example, so NGO’s are your best bet. You can send them an email to check what’s the safety situation like or ask for suggestions on cultural events, meetups or nightlife. Not sure where to look for? Fear no more as here’s a list of LGBT rights organizations in Europe.

Planning your trip

MFA Website

Checking your country’s MFA website should be the number step during every trip preparation. There you’ll find the most up to date information on the country you are visiting, visa regime and safety tips. Not every MFA website has info on LGBT safety and tips but another great resource is Equaldex which shows Equality Index for every country in the world.

LGBT Friendly Accommodation

Many accommodation booking providers have LGBT sections on their sites, and they showcase LGBT-welcoming hotels, apartments, and activities. Some of the notable LGBT friendly accommodation providers are;

Expedia
misterb&b
Trip.com
Airbnb
Rainbow World Hotels
Purple Roofs
Further a Field
Hilton
Hyatt
Hotels.com
Orbitz

You may also be interested in how to find cheap accommodation in Europe.

LGBT Cruises

Some people love LGBT cruises while some hate them. Yet, LGBT cruises are one of the biggest contributors to the LGBT tourism in general and they offer travelers a friendly atmosphere and security that might be more difficult to find elsewhere. If you need inspiration, here are some companies which are famous in the cruising world;

Olivia
Atlantis
Source Events
The Cruise
Emerald Waterways

LGBT Tour Operators

If you are not a fan of cruises or independent travel, you can check out some of the tour operators below.They offer anything- from city breaks to beach holidays and physically demanding adventures.

Out Adventures
Pied Piper Travel
32 Travel
Pride World Travel
Brand G Vacations
HE Travel
DETOURS
Oscar Wilde Tours
IGNAS Tour
Gay Sail

LGBT Tours in Europe

There are many specific tours dealing with LGBT culture in Europe and it’s also fairly easy to find one. Your best bet is to google for LGBT tours in your destination and find the most suitable one. However, if you need some suggestions you can check out some of the tours below;

Prague4gay
Tenerife Les Friendly
Italy Gay Travels
Quiiky
Rainbow Gay Tours
The Gay Locals Paris
LisbonBeach Tours
Piers and Queers Tours
Pink Iceland

At The Destination

Dating Apps

Whether you want to make friends or hook up with someone, dating apps can help you with that. You can meet local people (use common sense of course!) or get recommendations on LGBT happenings in your destination. Grindr is the most famous app for gay men, while lesbian/bisexual women usually use Tinder and HER which is only available in the USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Grindr
Scruff
Jacke’D
Tinder
HER

Networking Groups

Couchsurfing is a famous travel social network platform. LGBT travelers can utilize the website’s many groups to find like-minded people and things to do. One of the biggest is Queer Couchsurfers group. You can also look for destination specific groups. Meet Up is another great social network website that can help you find and join groups you like, based on your interest and values.  Facebook Events is another helpful (and most easily available) tool that can help you find parties, cultural happenings, meetups etc.

Couchsurfing
Meet Up
Facebook
Lesbians Who Tech
Out in Tech

LGBT Parties in Europe

Parties can also be easily found with a simple Google search but here are some of the Europe’s most famous ones.

Gay Spring Break Sitges
Barcelona Pride
Circuit Festival
We Party Festival
La Demence
Italy Gay Summer Pride
Hot Season Festival
Rainbow Reykjavik
Pink Week Slovenia
XLSIOR

Anything missing? Feel free to comment below!

Featured photo: The Castro by karendesuyo on Flickr (under CC BY 2.0)
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How to buy a Sim Card in Serbia

Whether you’re planning a city break to Belgrade, a visit to Exit Festival or vacation at the mountains or spas having a SIM card is always useful. If you’d like…

Whether you’re planning a city break to Belgrade, a visit to Exit Festival or vacation at the mountains or spas having a SIM card is always useful.

If you’d like to buy a SIM card in Serbia here are a few things you need to know.

Companies

There are 3 most popular mobile network operators in Serbia. These are MTS, Telenor and VIP.

When it comes to the signal, all 3 brands cover more than 90% of Serbia’s territory and they offer 4G mobile network.

In my opinion, Telenor has the most interesting packages, while VIP offers more convenient packages for new users. Note that this applies if you’d like to sign up for a contract. If you’re buying a SIM card that you will use for only a couple of days the difference is not huge at all, which you can read more about below.

How

Buying a SIM card is easy. They can be bought at any kiosk, store or at the official stores of the mentioned brands. I recommend you buy it at the official store because the kiosks sell regular sized SIM card which won’t work with most new phones. You’d need to trim the card to make it micro. Of course this can be a hassle hence I recommend the official store. Offical stores have Multi SIM card which means you get standard, micro and nano card in one package. If you need the card immediately after you land you can buy one easily at any store at the airport. You don’t need a passport or an ID in order to buy a prepaid SIM card.

Costs

These are the prices;

MTS: 300 RSD; initial credit 25 RSD

MTS now also has a special offer for tourists. These are Super Tourist and Tourist SIM card. With Super Tourist SIM card you get 10 GB of internet, 30 minutes for international calls and 120 minutes of mts mobile network calls. The price of this package is 1,800 RSD (15$). Tourist SIM card gives you 3x24h of 4G mobile internet. The price of this package is 600 RSD (5$). Note that some of these options expire after 7 days. You can learn more about this offer by clicking here. WiFi is widespread in Belgrade’s coffee shops and restaurants so if you don’t plan to do a lot of instagramming or to make calls you’ll probably be okay with just a regular sim card too.

Telenor: 200 RSD; initial credit 25 RSD

VIP: 200 RSD; free calls in VIP mobile network for 7 days; 2 GB of internet for 7 days

That’s a pretty sweet deal. But VIP also offers a Visitor SIM which is a great option if you’ll be using internet a lot. For 990 RSD you will get 5GB of Internet and unlimited internet data for Viber. This deal lasts 14 days. You can also make calls with this card but you’ll need to refill it separately for that matter.

I hope this will help you in your selection 😉

Topping up

This is easy. You can top the card from any kiosk or store. You just need to state how much money you’d like to add and give the phone number. Note that this will only be possible if you have a regular sim card. The minimum amount you can add is 200 RSD. If you will get any of the special offers mentioned above or if you’d like to buy extra internet etc. head to the offical store.

You can also top the card with your credit/debit card through their online shops.

Coverage and data speeds

All three brands have a very good coverage and you won’t have any problems unless you are somewhere very close to the border and the signal might be a little bit messy. Using the online shop you can buy internet data and other extra options. Overall, getting a sim card in Serbia is good value for the money.

I hope this post will help you buy a sim card in Serbia. Do you have any questions I could answer? Feel free to comment below.

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All The Best Things To Do In Belgrade, Serbia

A good problem to have is coming to a city and not being able to decide what to do first. Even though you’re excited about the abundance of choices, you…

A good problem to have is coming to a city and not being able to decide what to do first. Even though you’re excited about the abundance of choices, you can’t seem to narrow them down.

In those situations, it’s best to have a local accompany you and show you around. If that’s not an option, a close second is having a really good guide with a list of things you should do. So, if you ever find yourself in Belgrade, Serbia, we made sure you have a detailed list of places to be and things to try. Try to check off as many as possible!

The Absolute Best Things To Do In Belgrade, Serbia

Attractions 

Kalemegdan Park and Belgrade Fortress

best things to do in belgrade, serbia - a view from kalemegdan park

Kalemegdan is Belgrade’s largest park and most important historical monument at the same time. That’s why it is the most popular destination among tourists year after year, with around 2 million visitors annually.

The base of the fortress was built in 279 BC and it has since been destroyed and rebuilt many times. However, it’s impressive that certain original parts still exist to this day. That’s why it’s protected by the Republic of Serbia.

Another attraction is the Serbian Military Museum, located inside the fortress. When exploring Kalemegdan, it’s important to look around, so you don’t miss all of the outer exhibitions!

The Fortress is home to one of Belgrade’s most famous symbols, the Victor (Pobednik). The area around the monument probably has the most stunning view in the city. You’ll be able to see the actual confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, as well as the panorama of Belgrade.

Kalemegdan has many hidden gems and if you would like to discover some of them start with these;

  • The Victor Monument 
  • Ruzica church (Famous for the chandeliers which are made of weapons) 
  • Military Museum
  • Cvijeta Zuzoric Art Pavilion (the center of the Serbian Academy of Science and Arts)
  • The Roman Well

Ada Ciganlija

Ada Ciganlija is commonly referred to as Belgrade’s Sea. This lake with a huge green area around is a haven for thousands of visitors during the hot summer days. It’s basically an oasis in the middle of a busy, crowded city.

If you’re interested in more than swimming and relaxing on the beach, there’s a lot of activities available as well. You can play some sports (tennis, basketball, volleyball etc.) in the courts placed in the forest. Also, consider renting out a bike and going for a spin around the water.

Whatever you choose, spend a relaxing day here and you’ll start feeling like a real born and raised Belgrader!

The Nikola Tesla Museum

best things to do in Belgrade, Serbia - Nikola Tesla museum

You probably know Nikola Tesla as one of the greatest minds of all time. His inventions and patents changed the world dramatically. Therefore, that makes him one of the people Serbs are most proud of.

If you find yourself in Belgrade, the Museum is a great way to get to know his work through interactive exhibitions. Visitors will get the chance to actually see in action the things they’ve only read about in theory. Cool, right?

You can search through his drawings, letters, and photographs and get a different approach to this genius’ mind. What’s guaranteed is that you’ll leave the Museum with a much better picture of who he was. Remember the address, Krunska 51!

Skadarlija

This bohemian quarter is often referred to as Belgrade’s Montmartre. When it first started to exist, it was a meeting point for the city’s finest writers, actors, musicians and artists in general. It has to this day managed to preserve that spirit of old, crème de la crème Belgrade.

Today, this cobblestone street is lined with restaurants and kafanas. Kafanas are Serbian taverns, where people come to eat, drink and listen to traditional music. Every tourist should at least take a walk through the street, but if you can, sit down for a meal.

It will be a special experience. Besides eating some amazing food, you’ll be able to enjoy the Serbian bands playing what is commonly called “old city music”. The romantic atmosphere will make this a night you will remember!

Museum of Yugoslav History 

National museums are often the best way to get to know a country in only one afternoon. Even though Yugoslavia ceased to exist in the 90s, this is still one of the most visited museums in Belgrade.

If you choose to visit, you should know that it consists of three buildings. The most popular one is the House of Flowers because Josip Broz Tito’s mausoleum is located there. An interesting phenomenon is the fact that people from all over Yugoslavia still come to Belgrade for his birthday as a sign of respect.

An interesting collection is one of the gifts Tito had received from various world leaders. The Museum also houses around 200,000 photographs, documents, artworks and many other things associated with the history of Yugoslavia. It is an overall great way to get a better feeling of what this great country was like.

The Museum is not too far away from the city center and the tickets are fairly inexpensive, so try to stop by!

Zemun

best things to do in belgrade, serbia - a view from gardos zemun

Even though it’s a part of Belgrade, if you go to Zemun, you’ll feel like you’ve gone to another country. Starting from the architecture, everything seems different. This is due to the fact that it used to be a part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. However, Zemun is full of landmarks you should consider visiting!

  • Gardos Tower

Reaching this will require a bit of walking and climbing, but it will be worth it. Also called Millenium Tower, it was raised by the Hungarians, to mark the 1000th anniversary of their reign in Pannonia.

Since it was used as a viewing tower, make sure you climb to the top to see the amazing view which is one of the best in Belgrade.

  • The Great War Island

This river island is the city’s very own piece of untouched wilderness. From far away, it looks like a big, lush floating forest. Also, it is an area recognized as being a globally important habitat for many rare birds.

best things to do in belgrade, serbia - the great war island

Just like Ada Ciganlija, the island has a beach called Lido, which is very popular in the summertime. Some people have even built holiday homes here, in which they spend the warmer months of the year.

It is perfect for picnics, enjoying the nature or just pretending you’ve left town and went on vacation!

St. Sava Temple

Temple of St. Sava

Saint Sava Temple is the most important sacral object in the city. It’s located on the Vracar plateau in Belgrade, and it is known as one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world.

The church can receive up to 10,000 people at once and the choir gallery seats 800 singers.

The basement is home to an impressive crypt and the treasury of Saint Sava.

The crypt is open to visitors, but the inside works in the church are still not completed.

The Museum of Contemporary Art

best things to do in belgrade, serbia - the museum of contemporary art

If you’re an art geek or if you’re interested in seeing the best examples of Yugoslav architecture, this Museum is something you must visit. Even though it was closed for 10 years, it has now become one of the most interesting cultural institutions in Serbia.

Even the way it looks on the outside is an art form. Due to its geometrical shape and the fact that it’s located across from Kalemegdan, it is called “the crystal at the confluence”. It is one of the greatest Yugoslav architectural pieces, and its creators have even received awards for it.

Today, the Museum’s fund consists of around 8,000 works. Therefore, this is the best collection of art from the Yugoslav art space. It is modernized so that your experience here would be just as enjoyable as in any big museum in the world.

Two other galleries in separate locations are also part of the Museum. Those are the Petar Dobrovic Gallery and the Colakovic Legacy. Both are worth the visit!

Princess Ljubica’s Residence

This is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Belgrade, dating back to the 1800s. If you’d like a glimpse into the Serbian royal family’s life, this is where you should go!

This house was built for Princess Ljubica, wife of the first Prince of Serbia, Milos Obrenovic. Even though stories say she was a very humble woman, her husband still wanted the residence to demonstrate power and strength.

The interior perfectly shows the transition from Ottoman to European styles. In fact, the residence has a permanent exhibition dedicated to the interior of 19th-century homes in Belgrade.

The Princess was one of the most interesting, headstrong women of that era. If you’d like an authentic, close look at her life, the Coffee at Princess Ljubica’s tour is just for you.

You’ll sit down for a cup of traditional Turkish coffee and listen to what life was like through her eyes. She’ll tell you her intimate stories you won’t find in history books.

Don’t be surprised if you leave the residence feeling like you’ve actually got to know her as a person. P.S. Remember to ask for the tour in English since there’s a Serbian version too!

Bajrakli Mosque

Bajrakli mosque, Belgrade

This is the only mosque in Belgrade, Serbia. Also, it might be the oldest standing building in Belgrade, since it was built in the 16th century. Just like the entire city, it went through a series of drastic changes to get to where it is today.

During the Austrian occupation, the mosque was actually turned into a Roman Catholic church. When the Turks returned, it became a mosque once again. Now, it serves as the main Islamic cultural center in Belgrade.

It is worth the visit, at least only for the historical endurance it has sustained over the centuries. If you’re lucky you’ll be in Belgrade in time for their traditional annual feast. They celebrate Eid al-Fitr, an important religious holiday, by preparing and giving out lots of delicious food!

 

Food & Drink 

Serbian Cuisine

Just like Serbia was influenced by many different cultures and nations, the food is an interesting concoction as well. Serbia is heaven for foodies, especially those who love meat and well-seasoned dishes.

While you’re in Belgrade, try to eat like a local. Even though fast food is popular here like everywhere else, people in Serbia will never give up their traditional, homemade dishes. Preparing food is more than mixing ingredients. It’s a way to gather the family.

There’s a couple of local specialties you must try while you’re here. Everyone’s favorite is sarma (cabbage filled with minced meat) and prebranac (baked beans). Serbians eat a lot of grilled meat, so try cevapi or pljeskavica.

Ideally, you should get the full experience of someone cooking it for you in their home. If that’s not a possibility, here are some of the best traditional restaurants:

  • Prolece
  • Orasac
  • Skadarlija street (all of Skadarlija’s restaurants are incredible, so you won’t make a mistake wherever you decide to go)
  • Brankovina
  • Sokoj

Serbian Markets

 

One of the things Serbia is most famous for is the amazing traditional food. Besides wanting their food to taste good, Serbians are passionate about it being organic and locally grown. That’s why they usually get their groceries at local markets.

If you still haven’t experienced a Serbian market (called pijaca), you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s not just a place to go and get some fruit or vegetables and go home. In fact, it is a much more personal experience.

When you walk in, you’ll be overwhelmed by the amount of fresh, affordable produce. Then, you’ll realize that people in Belgrade are very friendly with their vendors. If you know some Serbian, you’ll recognize they’re asking each other about their families and friends. 

It’s truly something you must see for yourself. Also, prepare to taste the most delicious fruit of your life. They’ll tell you the secret to it is only nature and good care.

A bonus tip: ask around and find out if there’s a Night Market any time soon. It’s a manifestation designed to bring the markets to life after the sun sets. The difference is that, besides groceries, you’ll be able to buy a much greater variety of products.

Belgrade Night Market

You’ll see everyone from young designers, winemakers, and artists, to small family workshops among the exhibitors. All of that is accompanied by either a performance by a band or a DJ.

Here’s a list of markets to visit during the day and the night as well:

  • Kalenic pijaca
  • Zeleni venac pijaca 
  • Bajloni pijaca
  • Djeram pijaca
  • Zemunska pijaca
  • Blok 44
  • Night Market (various locations across town). Check FB events!

Eat Ice Cream

ice cream

In the past couple of years, many independent ice cream shops have started working and have reached popularity quickly. People in Belgrade love that they can now enjoy high-quality treats made from fresh ingredients at any time of year. Also, everyone seems to be happy to see local businesses grow and expand. That’s why it’s not strange to see huge lines of people in front of these shops.

With vegan and sugar-free options, as well as some never-before-seen flavors, they are suitable for every type of visitor. We guarantee you’ll be able to taste the care and love put into each scoop!

Here’s a list of our favorite ice-cream shops in Belgrade:

  • Crna ovca
  • Moritz Eis
  • Gelato Freddo

Sweet Shops

Continuing in the same spirit, we have a couple more dessert recommendations. Belgrade is becoming richer in unique cake and pastry shops. There are more and more small, one-product oriented places that have already become everyone’s favorites.

You should definitely consider trying a Serbian specialty called knedle (a potato-based dough filled with plums or other sweet filings). It’s something everyone from Serbia has eaten at their grandma’s house at least once in their lifetime. Luckily, you can now try them on the streets of Belgrade.

If you’re a donut lover, there’s a couple of shops that specialize in them only. They offer everything from basic flavors to some more exotic ones. Either way, you can be sure they’ll be perfect with a cup of coffee.

Last but not least, a stop on your way should be a candy shop called “Bombondzija Bosiljcic” which was founded in the 1930s. Still at the same exact place, with the same quality, this shop’s products are all handmade. They’re mostly known for their Turkish delight, but check out the lollipops and candy as well!

Here’s a list of our favourite sweet shops in Belgrade, Serbia;

  • Ferdinand knedle
  • Slatkoteka
  • Glazura
  • Bombondzija Bosiljcic
  • Al Pachinka (try the bubble waffles!)

Street Food in Belgrade 

best things to do in belgrade, serbia

Just like everywhere else in the world, life in Belgrade can get hectic and fast. One of the upsides of that is the growing variety of street food. Even if you can’t use lack of time as an excuse, make sure you stop by some of them.

One of the typically Serbian “traditions” is grabbing a bite in a bakery right after a night out. Whatever the time of day may be, make sure you don’t leave Belgrade without trying burek. Burek is a flaky filled pastry, usually made with meat or cheese.

Also, don’t be surprised if you end up trying the best burger of your life in Belgrade. Some street restaurants have gained a reputation for being as good as those in the USA, or even much better.

You can find pretty much every type of cuisine on Belgrade’s street and fast food places. Just so you don’t get overwhelmed, here’s a list of a couple of the best:

  • Trpkovic Bakery
  • Aurelio Bakery
  • Burger House
  • Burrito Madre
  • Bucko
  • Tel Aviv Hummus House
  • Walter Sarajevski Cevap

Coffee Culture

the best things to do in belgrade, serbia

The ritual of having conversations over a cup of coffee is something specific for this part of the world. Unlike some other places, where people drink coffee on the run, this is something completely different.

People in Belgrade can drink one cup of coffee for hours. The day can turn into night and you’ll still see the same group of friends chatting, without a break. It’s, essentially, a way to bond and spend quality time together.

Even though the coffee part seems like a completely insignificant factor, it’s important that your cup of joe is perfect. The content look on people’s faces after the first sip makes for a smooth start to a conversation.

If you’d like to experience the Serbian coffee culture, here’s a couple of places you should visit.

  • Meduza
  • Kafeterija
  • Apropo
  • Ljubicica
  • Leila Records
  • Dvoristance

Let’s face it, the ambiance is just as important as everything else!

Nightlife

Everyone who has been to Belgrade will tell you that the nightlife here is something incomparable. The city literally never sleeps, especially during the summer. Depending on what you like, there’s definitely a place for you somewhere.

A night out usually starts in a bar. People meet up for drinks at their favorite spot and perhaps listen to some live music. If you don’t have other plans, that can also be the end of it.

However, if you’re in the mood, transfer to a nightclub or a splav. Splavs are located on Belgrade’s most prominent features – its rivers, and they’re most popular when the weather is warm.

Since the selection is abundant, we’ve prepared a list of places to choose from. We’ll start from the bars and end with the nightclubs:

  • Cetinjska street (Zaokret, Polet, Elektropionir etc.)
  • Blaznavac
  • Sinnerman Jazz Bar
  • Samo Pivo
  • Rakia Bar
  • Miners Pub
  • KC Grad (stop by during the day as well, there are often many interesting events to check out!)
  • 20/44
  • Shlep
  • Povetarac
  • Drugstore
  • KST
  • Ben Akiba

We hope you liked this extensive guide on best things to do in Belgrade, Serbia. If you need help to plan your Belgrade trip check our consulting services.

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Living In a Cave – Europe’s Unusual Homes You Can Still Visit

If you thought that the era of living in caves is in the past, you’re in for a surprise. The truth is that, nowadays, many people choose caves as their…

If you thought that the era of living in caves is in the past, you’re in for a surprise. The truth is that, nowadays, many people choose caves as their living space and customize them according to their needs.

When you ask the inhabitants what drew them to this way of living, you will usually get similar responses. They will tell you this is the perfect way to connect with nature, but still be a part of the civilized world. Also, when you think about it, there’s something special about actually living in the Earth, instead of on top of it.

Even if you wouldn’t consider becoming a cave dweller yourself, you’re probably curious about this lifestyle choice. You might want to see the interior design and the layout of these unique houses.

We’ve prepared a list of certain cave homes in Europe that you can actually visit and experience in person!

Living In a Cave – Europe’s Unusual Homes

Matera, Italy

living in a cave

This 9,000-year-old city is a truly remarkable spot. The UNESCO World Heritage site was once swallowed by poverty and disease, but it managed to rise from the ashes. Today, it is a growingly popular tourist destination and is even set to be the European Capital of Culture in 2019!

From afar, the town almost looks haunting. But when you get closer, you’ll be able to see the spectacular caves transformed into private homes, hotels, restaurants or even art museums.

What once was known as the “shame of Italy” is a stunning location that attracts movie directors alongside the curious visitors.

If you’ve ever seen Pier Paolo Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew or The Passion of the Christ directed by Mel Gibson, this is where they were filmed!

living in a cave

Almost everyone agrees that the best way to get to know Matera is to simply allow yourself to get lost in it. Wander through its little alleys and discover all the hidden gems it has to offer. If you’ll feel more comfortable with a guide, you can sign up for one of the walking or cycling tours.

To really get in touch with the town’s cave culture, pay a visit to some of its churches. Our recommendations are the Chiesa di Madonna delle Virtù and Chiesa di San Nicola dei Greci churches. Also, don’t miss the Cripta del Peccato Originale (Crypt of Original Sin), often referred to as the Sistine Chapel of cave churches.

If you’d like to enjoy the well-known spirit of southern Italy with a twist, Matera is the place to be. The charming town leaves no one indifferent!

Guadix, Spain

living in a cave

Even though this might look like many other Spanish towns at first, wait until you visit the Barrio de las Cuevas neighborhood. Today, with around 2,000 inhabited caves, this is the largest cave complex in Europe.

The people who live in these caves are very friendly and will often let you into their homes. They understand that the visitors are curious and sometimes they’ll invite you in even if you didn’t ask. It’s fascinating to see how they actually live and function on a daily basis.

Don’t be surprised if some of the homes look quite luxurious compared to their outside appearance. It’s not uncommon for them to have marble floors, microwaves or a stable internet connection. The people have turned the caves into modern, 21st-century houses, although it might not seem like it at first.

You can choose to stay in a “normal” hotel inside the city, or you can rent a cave and experience the interesting lifestyle firsthand. Whatever you choose, you’ll definitely feel like a local, even if it’s only for a couple of hours.

Loire Valley, France

The picturesque countryside is the epicenter of the troglodyte lifestyle in France, with around 45,000 cave homes in total. What’s interesting is how it all even came to be.

The local stone, known as tufa, was used to build the chateaus and churches across the Loire Valley in the 11th century. So, the people decided to use the full potential of the circumstances. They would sell the stone and create homes in what remained after the mining.

Many caves were completely abandoned by the 20th century but then revamped in the recent years. Other than serving as private homes, caves are now being turned into hotels, wineries and even underground mushroom farms.

One of the most visited cave homes of the region is the Chez Hélène-Amboise Troglodyte. Believe it or not, the cave near the town of Amboise was bought by a young couple for only 1€!

After a long process of renovating, the house is now completely modernized, but it still has a rustic vibe. You can rent a room and the couple, who also lives there, will make sure your experience is unforgettable.

The entire Loire Valley is lined with B&B’s and cave homes available for rent. The traditional French charm may even persuade you to stay here for good!

Santorini, Greece

living in a cave

One of the most prestigious summer destinations is the Greek island of Santorini. Its white, blue-domed houses and churches are recognizable everywhere around the world. However, it is less known that Santorini offers an abundance of cave houses, known as yposkafa or iposkafa.

Even though they aren’t considered to be naturally-made caves, they are carved into cliffs, which makes them essentially the same. Just like in the Loire Valley, they were built by poorer residents.

The yposkafa all have similar characteristics: narrow façades, great depth, and no side windows. What makes them less claustrophobic is the fact that the walls are usually white, which visually enlarges the space.

Something you’ll notice as soon as you step in is that the temperature inside the house is always pleasant, even if it’s hot outside. So, sleeping in an yposkafa on a scorching summer day is an unmissable experience.

Today, most of these houses are available for rent, since Santorini’s main income comes from tourism. You will mainly find them in Oia, Vothonas, Karterados, and Pyrgos.

If you’re willing to spend a bit more, treat yourself by renting out an yposkafa with a jacuzzi and enjoy!

 

 

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