A Weekend in Serbia: A Two-Day Trip Around Belgrade

Belgrade is a fascinating destination: it provides plenty of activities conventional for the Eastern European capital, for those who prefer its alternative side, and for those who want to go for a one-day getaway. If you have seen enough of Belgrade, it is a perfect occasion to explore its surroundings by car – a trip which is very easy to organize over the weekend.

We recommend to make a circle to the east of Belgrade.

Start with Smederevo Fortress only 63 kilometers away from Belgrade. The town of Smederevo was built by Serbian Despot Djuradj Brankovic as the capital of his state. When finally built, it became a 25-tower fort defending the town from the side of the Danube. As it often happened with other forts, there was not enough time to build it as the Turkish attack was close, which is why many tomb stones were used instead of the regular ones. The fall of Smederevo into the hands of the Ottomans in 1459 was the moment the independent Serbian state ended.

Smederevo by itself is also a fun city, especially on Saturday morning, when it has its weekly market. Take a stroll along the main street and get some traditional cold nescafe or hot home coffee in front of it.

Of course, there is a museum of the town if you want to visit one.

Continue to Viminacium, they call the Pompey of the Balkans. Robbed and destroyed in the mid-5th century, Viminacium, the capital of the Roman province of Upper Moesia, lived underneath the ploughed soil for almost two thousand years. What was discovered after the excavation of the “forgotten town” amazed the world, especially the frescoes and portraits of Mausoleum, which are considered to be the originators of the Byzantyne art of portraying.

Afternoon is a good time to relax at one of many restaurants at the shore of Srebrno Jezero Lake – also good for bathing if the weather permits.

What might be the gem of your trip on the first day is the recently reopened Fortress of Golubac. This medieval fortress is a symbol of medieval wars and turmoil on the Danube border. It fell into the hands of the Ottomans in 1458, and they quickly constructed a mosque and a hamam bath here.

There are hikes of different level of difficulty around the fortress.

The next must-see according to all the locals and guides is Lepenski vir which is said to be the oldest urban settlement in Europe. That ancient culture whose people knew and applied geometry thousands of years ago was discovered by a lucky archeologist, Professor Dragoslav Srejovic. The place allowed to explore 136 graves well-preserved here.

The trip continues along the Danube and Romanian border. Don’t get surprised if you receive the SMS greeting you in Romania! The views over the river gorge are stunning.

Iron Gates

You can also take a boat trip from Golubac Fortress here, up to Hydropower plant in Djerdap which is otherwise closed for visitors. “Iron Gates 2“ is one of the largest hydroelectric power plants with a capacity of 591 MW. Electricity generated here is divided between Romania and Serbia.

We stayed overnight in Negotin, which we also recommend to others, as it is a very nice location for food, accommodation, and Saturday night parties.
The trip back for Sunday was rather long (over 300 kilometers), which is why we took it easy. It was only by occasion that we discovered one of the truly most beautiful places in Serbia – the River Grza. It is not mentioned in any guide books: we saw the tourist attraction sign near Gornja Mutnica village (GPS: 43.895815, 21.644711)and decided to turn there. This is the view we discovered:

Our final destination before driving to Belgrade was Monastery Lesje, popular among the locals on Sunday.

We arrived back in Belgrade at around 17.00 – a perfect timing for the end of a weekend trip. Later, we will tell how much more Serbia has to offer in its western region of Zlatibor.

Many thanks to our friend Stefan, who helped us with tips and the route!

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