Alternative Belgrade Tour
Русская версия If you think that you’ve seen most of Belgrade, you may not be right. There are many less known, yet, wonderful places to explore. We know about most of them thanks to Anna from Belgrade Free Tours who showed many unexpected places within a 4 hour “Belgrade Alternative Tour”. Yet, you may encounter some of the places on your own too.
1. Savamala is a totally alternative side of Belgrade, the old part of the city and urban artistic neighborhood full of street art. It offers all kinds of artistic things, cafes, restaurants, clubs. It is quite possible that Savamala will be destroyed soon (see below), so make sure you see it.
2. Serbian Design District is a great place to shop for crafts, books, clothes, jewelry and other interesting things.
3. Mixer is a club with an idea similar to general Savamala and Design districts: it hosts young designers, events, concerts, food places and many other interesting things.
4. Belgrade Riverfront is a project undertaken by rich Arabs to demolish Savamala and built business centers, fancy residential areas and skyscrapers. The locals name this project “an architectural disaster” which will not only destroy the hipster neighborhood of Savamala, but is also very alien to Serbian culture. The plans of the Riverfront are available in this building at Karajorjievica Street, but not allowed to be photographed.
5. Next is the poshest shopping place in the 1990s, next to the current Serbian Design District. In the situation when people were very poor, only a few could afford buying brand clothes here. This was also the place of regular meetings for gangs. People from gangs were called Diesels because they were wearing Diesel jeans and other brand outfits.
6. Salvador Dali Corner – not a street, just a corner!
7. Belgrade Night Market Coolinarenje u Bloku (Cooking in the Neighborhood) is open starting from the very end of March at Novi Beograd’s Block 44, from 6 pm till midnight. It includes good food, Serbian domestic products, fresh vegetables, fruit, drinks and local designers’ crafts.
8. Tram tours Tramvai Zvany Beograd (A Tram Called Belgrade) are open starting from March too. The one-hour tour, which includes a licensed guide, starts at the tram terminal in front of Belgrade zoo Fridays (7-8 pm Serbian, 8-9 pm English) and Saturdays (3-4 pm Serbian, 4-5 pm English). Seats can be reserved in advance at 5 Knez Mihailova Street.
9. Bezistan Passage is a square where demonstrations and rallies against the government were usually held in 1990s.
10. The Belgrade Alternative Tour guide Anna will also tell you amazing stories on Belgrade graffiti. This is the whole underground culture with its laws and rules. For instance, the graffiti may be sanctioned on unsanctioned, in the latter case the artist makes it illegally. It is said that female artists get permissions for graffiti more often (to show off equality in front of the EU) which also drives the male artists crazy. That is why they may draw something upon the graffiti of females.
Recently, many artists started to promote vegetarianism, which is why the graffiti like this are really popular:
Among the most interesting, was the graffiti by an Italian artist depicting a man consuming nature when building cities. Interestingly, the graffiti are just next to the gas station.
Where to go.
11. Samo pivo is said to be one of the best places for all kinds of beers and life concerts.
12. Balkanska Street is one of the few streets in Serbia which retained its names through the ages. While other streets often changed their names due to ideology changes, the name “Balkanska” is so neutral that it could always remain the same.
13. Some streets of central Belgrade have traditionally belonged to certain shops and tailors, for instance, there was a street of hat-makers, and there still is Lominska Street, which is the street of hair-dresses. Traditionally, the streets were very narrow, and it is only when a lot of people started to come from the countryside that the city streets required considerable expansion.
14. Zeleny Venac market is the best place to buy very cheap fruit, vegetables, and local products.
15. Kafanas or cafes are among the most important places in Serbia. It is said that electricity first came to kafana, not anywhere else, as well as the phone connection. Some kafanas, like Zlata Moruna, became historically important, as several dramatic assassinations which influenced Serbian history a lot were planned here.
16. Another authentic kafana is SFRJ, playing on the Yugoslavian nostalgia. Very recommended!
17. Basta is a nice place to enjoy (jazz) concerts.
18. The Holocaust Memorial is one of the few places to commemorate Serbian Jews.
19. The Museum of Applied Arts is a place to visit to phantasize about what your home design could be like.
20. Make sure you also see Branko’s Bridge which connects two different worlds: Old and New Belgrade.
Finally, your visit will not be complete without a day getaway from the Serbian capital. We strongly recommend Sremski Karlovci, yet to be told about more!
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