A Design Lover’s Guide to Belgrade, Serbia

Whether you’re visiting for a peek at the Balkan way of life or the stunning architecture, you’ll find plenty of excellent places to stay, eat, drink, sightsee, and shop

Sure, a trip to Belgrade promises a bevy of must-see structures. But there’s so much more than the city’s beautiful architecture. Who wouldn’t want to take a sunset boat ride across the Danube River or spend the day around the Belgrade Fortress, right in the middle of an inviting local park? Tour the oldest part of town before walking across Branko’s Bridge to check out New Belgrade. The juxtaposition of the two neighborhoods couldn’t be more distinct and proves there’s something for everyone to explore.

Instead of staying alongside the tourist attractions, consider being away from it all at the Hyatt Regency Belgrade. The five-star hotel is located in the modern New Belgrade area, but is still only a short drive from all of the can’t-miss historical sites. It’s the perfect balance and also allows you to experience more relaxing luxury accommodations. Plus, depending on which floor you’re staying on, nothing beats the property’s views.

The ruins that make up the Belgrade Fortress. Photo: Getty Images/Stefan Cioata

Where to See Architecture

There are several spectacular places to visit in Belgrade, and the city makes it easy for tourists by offering free daily walking tours with locals. However, the two spots that stand out are the Belgrade Fortress and Church of Saint Sava.

The Belgrade Fortress dates back to 279 B.C., making it the oldest in the city. In the past, it was the border between the Western and Eastern (Byzantine) Roman Empires and suffered a series of damages during World War I and II. Nowadays, its location within Kalemegdan Park has made it a place for locals and visitors alike to soak up the sun.

Outside of the Church of Saint Sava. Photo: Getty Images/Suphanat Wongsanuphat

Next, make your way over to the impressive Church of Saint Sava. It was built in honor of Saint Sava, the founder of the country’s dominant Serbian Orthodox church. The building is huge, with more than 49 bells and 18 gold crosses across the exterior domes. Even though the entrance appears dark and dreary once you get inside, the golden theme continues when you journey to the basement. The bottom of the church features bright murals with New Testament depictions from the Bible. It’s truly a sight to see.

Where to Shop

Ušće and Delta City are Belgrade’s two major shopping malls, which include plenty of international brands. If you’re looking for a more local experience, check out the large open-air markets an hour away in Novi Sad that sell everything from fresh produce to clothes. Depending on the time of year, the small peaceful town is also worth a day trip due to the events by the Danube River. Whether it’s a river cruise or the famous EXIT music festival, mix up your itinerary and consider a pit stop.

Ćevapi is a dish that’s popular in the region. It consists of lamb, veal, pork, or beef, mixed with with ground onion, and then grilled. Photo: Getty Images/Sanja Cokolic

Where to Eat and Drink

Piles of meat are a staple in Serbian cuisine, and a popular option is Restoran Durmitor. This casual restaurant is known for serving perfectly cooked meats and more importantly, most of the menu isn’t in English, proving how authentic it is. Fun fact: It’s named after the famous park in Montenegro. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, don’t fret because you’re not alone. Make a reservation at Radost Fina Kuhinjica, as this cozy, healthy hot spot is filled with tasty vegetables. Just make sure you don’t miss it, since it’s located in an apartment building that you could easily overlook.

Read the original Architectural Digest article at https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/design-lovers-guide-belgrade-serbia