Although Belgrade is famous for its nightlife and attractions such as Kalemegdan park, Nikola Tesla museum and St. Sava Temple, it still provides many interesting experiences that are almost unknown to tourists.
Here are some great and unusual ways to spend time in Belgrade;
1. Explore the markets
This is not unusual for the locals who find visiting markets as a necessity, but if you happen to be in the Serbian capital you should visit at least one of them. Serbs favor naturally grown vegetables and fruits. You’ll be able to test your bargaining skills and buy some traditional Serbian products from various parts of the country, like kajmak, honey, ajvar and of course rakija (brandy). If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s a short introduction to Serbian cuisine. Markets should be visited in the morning to feel the real buzz of the place. Some of the most famous ones are: Kalenic, Zeleni Venac market and Bajloni.
2. Ride a bike from Dorcol to Ada
For less than five euros, you can rent a bicycle for the day and explore the city. The recommended route is from Dorcol where you can rent a bicycle in sports center “Milan Gale Muskatirovic” and then head to Ada Ciganlija. You will see several bridges on the Sava river and explore the city from a new angle. In addition to this route, there’s also a circular path around the lake of Ada and New Belgrade cycling path.
3. Go on a kayak tour
Another quite unusual thing to do in Belgrade is to go on a kayak tour organized by the Belgrade Adventure tour guides. The best way to describe this tour is: less talk-more action. You’ll be paddling for three hours around the Great War Island which is a nature protected area of the city. Besides paddling, you’ll also be involved in bird watching as this protected area is inhabited by 196 bird species and swimming at Lido which is a famous Belgrade beach. The tour costs 15 euros but it’s absolutely worth it.
4. Have a picnic at Kosutnjak park
Kosutnjak is a park-forest and one of Belgrade’s most popular recreational spots. In addition to its sports centre, Kosutnjak is also home to many restaurants, trails which are ideal for walking and running, film town with many studios and buildings etc. Park has an important historical role because a Prince of Serbia Mihailo Obrenovic III was assassinated here and it also used to be a hunting ground for Serbian royal family.
5. Sightseeing by tram
This is an organized tour by the Tourist Organization of Belgrade, and a great thing is that it’s free of charge. The tour lasts 60 minutes and it will take you through some of the most interesting points in the city including the Zoo, Kalemegdan park, Railway station and Nemanjina street (where it’s possible to see destroyed buildings left from the NATO bombing in 1999). For this tour you need to apply at some of the Tourist Information Points with your ID or passport because the spots are limited. The tour is available every Friday from 20-21h and Saturday from 18-19h in English language.
6. Get familiar with African art
Museum of African art is the only museum in the region which is dedicated entirely to the arts and cultures of the African continent. The museum examines cultural areas of Ethiopia, Maghreb, Central and Eastern Africa and another important area of the work includes publishing. It’s one of the rare museums in Belgrade that has its own magazine called “Africa: Studies in art and culture”. African festival is another product of the museum and plays a major role in strengthening cultural ties and promoting the principles of multiculturalism and cultural diversity. Some of the things that are displayed include masks, ceramics, figures made of soft stone, musical instruments etc.
7. Visit the Etnographic museum
This museum houses a large number of items which are dedicated to Serbian culture and other ethnic groups from the Balkan region. It will take you through the traditional material culture, social relationships and family life, customs, beliefs and folklore of the country. The library has approximately 60,000 publications, including 33,000 books and 27,000 journals in the fields of ethnology, anthropology and related sciences, making it one of the best equipped library in the Balkans.
8. Go Karting