Belgrade – capital city of the Republic of Serbia is a one of the most interesting capital cities on Balkan peninsula. It is situated on the river mouth of Sava and Danube.
Belgrade city is declared from European Union for city of the future of South-Eastern Europe, but it can be said that it is city of the past as it it is inhabited in 7th millennium. It is considered an uprising tourist location in the past few years and it is usually labeled as the “Europe party city” or as the Lonely Planet says “one of the most happening cities in Europe”.
It is unique by it’s atmosphere and a blend of architecture, cultural heritage and people. Belgrade is always active, day and night, and hedonism is present in all aspects of life. It is the only European capital that lies on two great rivers, so numerous restaurants, bars and clubs on rafts are excellent way to enjoy in Belgrade from water, day and night, seven days a week!
In that aspect Belgrade is simply unique. There is no such place in the world where passion and European elegance are so naturally connected. Always on the road of war, expeditions from East to West and vice versa, so many times demolished and raised, Belgrade is, according to British encyclopedia of cities, a city with the most battles in the world – 115 in total, and it is the city which has been destructed and restored the most times than any other city.
Belgrade doesn’t have a style continuity or elegance similar to the most of the European capitals, however since most of the tourists who are in search of good entertainment, domestic and international specialties will be satisfied with everything that they will find in this city that never sleeps. The fact that Belgrade has always been one of the safest capitals of Europe allows you to move completely freely – no matter if it is day or night.
Belgrade is one of the oldest cities in Europe that has existed for almost twenty one centuries now, with archaeological finds tracing settlements as early as 6th millennium BC, Belgrade’s wider city area was the birthplace of the largest prehistoric culture of Europe, the Vinča culture. It has been the Serbian capital town for 6 centuries. It is a city of rich cultural activities like concerts, theater performances, galleries and a city of an extraordinarily exciting and exhausting night life which ends at dawns. National restaurants in Belgrade, as well as the restaurants which can be compared with the most prestige in the world, and those on the ships and floats, guarantee an unforgettable experience.
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. The city lies on two international waterways, at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkan Peninsula. With a population of 1,630,000 (official estimate 2007), Belgrade is the largest city in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, second largest city on the Danube river and the fourth largest in Southeastern Europe, after Istanbul, Athens, and Bucharest.
Belgrade was discovered by the Greeks, founded and named by the Celts (White City / Beograd, name it still bears), awarded city rights by the Romans before it was permanently settled by White Serbs from the 600’s on wards. As a strategic key, the city was battled over in 140 separate wars since the ancient period by countless armies of the East and West. In medieval times, it was in the possession of Byzantine, Frankish, Bulgarian, Hungarian and Serbian rulers. In 1521 Belgrade was conquered by the Ottomans and became the seat of the Pashaluk of Belgrade, as the principal city of Ottoman Europe and among the largest European cities. Frequently passing from Ottoman to Austrian rule, the status of Serbian capital would be regained only in 1841, after the Serbian revolution.
Northern Belgrade, though, remained an Austrian outpost until the breakup of Austria-Hungary in 1918. The united city then became the capital of several incarnations of Yugoslavia, up to 2006, when Serbia became an independent state again. An economic and cultural boom followed. Belgrade has the status of a separate territorial unit in Serbia, with its own autonomous city government. Its territory is divided into 17 municipalities, each having its own local council. It covers 3.6% of the territory of Serbia, and 24% of the country’s population lives in the city. Belgrade is the central economic hub of Serbia, and the capital of Serbian culture, education and science.
The special attraction is Skadarlija, the bohemian quarter similar to the Montmartre in Paris, where the top skilled cooks do their best to bring you the best out of the Serbian cuisine, and the violin players’ orchestra will, if you wish, play just for you till the dawn comes. Skadarlija, old bohemian quarter of Belgrade, which dates from the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century.. Sometimes it was the place where the famous coffee shop was the meeting place of people with significant cultural scene of that time. Due to the unique, happy and energetic artistic atmosphere Skadarliju are often compared with Montmartre in Paris.
Today, Skadarlija is tourist attraction, which is a wide range of well-known restaurants such as the Three Hats, Golden carafe and Two white doves…
The present Skadarlija, a short and curved street, is a remarkable Belgrade tourist attraction. It includes well-known restaurants, hotels (e.g. Le Petit Piaf), art galleries, antique and souvenir shops, and the Sebilj fountain. Groups singing either Gypsy music or traditional city music and actors dressed in traditional Serb costumes perform freely down the street. Unlike other similar and popular places in Belgrade that are considered posh, Skadarlija is known as a place visited by entire families with children, and young couples. Restaurants offer the typical national cuisine, most notably the roštilj (grilled meat) with pivo (beer). Skadarlija’s cafés, restaurants, art exhibits and cobblestone promenade attract up to 20,000 people daily. The street is a car-free zone but it would be unsuited for traffic anyway because it is too narrow and with bumpy cobblestones (Turkish: kaldrma).
Since 1993, the official opening of the summer season in Skadarlija (restaurants are open the entire year) has been marked by rising a “bohemian flag”. The flagpole is located in front of the Zlatni bokal restaurant. The ceremony is always attended by celebrities, including popular and opera singers, actors, and artists.
Ada Ciganlija is the largest and most beautiful resort in Belgrade with beautiful beaches and sports fields Ada Ciganlija is also a cultural and entertainment center of Belgrade, especially during the summer season. The most important part of Ada Ciganlija resort is Sava lake wich is one of the few in Europe that are in close proximity to the center of the capital, on 3 km.
The lake is 4.2 km long and 200 meters wide with depth between 4 and 6 meters. It became with filling the earth which resulted with connecting the ends of Sava island “Ada” with right coast of Sava’s branch. Ada has preserved natural resources and dynamic eco-system which presents small ecological oasis in the heart of the city. Thick deciduous forests of oak and elm was reforested with American poplar and green European ash. Environment of Sava Lake is natural habitat of many species of birds, rodents, rabbits, deer’s, foxes, and wild boars. Untouched nature covered with wild vegetation, islets and two big lakes is unique Eco-system with a pleasant micro climate which is oasis of escape from the city thirst and pollution. On the banks of the lake has been made the largest metropolitan pebbly beach, and also for swimmers is, by official statistics, one of the most visited and safest lakes in Europe, on the banks are gathering up to 300,000 people, because of which were organized throughout the year constant security service, and in the bathing season an excellent rescue service.