Let’s say, you are living in Vienna, and the weekend is coming up. You would love to travel somewhere, experience something new, party, meet people, but booking a flight ticket, hotel, looking for the appropriate location and all those things require a lot of time management. Plus, it can be pretty damaging for your wallet.
Luckily, there is a perfect (and affordable) solution for all of you travelers, party people, foodies, photography and life lovers, just a few hours ride from Vienna – say hello to Belgrade, our home town!
We were born and raised in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. Before we started studying in Vienna, we used to visit the Austrian capital quite often, it was our weekend getaway and shopping destination. Now that we are in Vienna, we constantly travel the other way round! 🙂
With this post, we would like to introduce you to Belgrade, and encourage you to visit our city!
Here are our top five reasons, why you should visit Belgrade:
1. Close – Affordable – Minimum Planning Required
There is no need to plan your trip to Belgrade several weeks ahead. Buses are driving from Vienna several times on a daily basis and you can even give the company a call on the very same day of your travel to make the ticket reservation.
The most convenient way is to take FUDEKS night bus, which drives every day at 20h from Sudtirolerplatz, platform C, to Belgrade. The bus arrives to the main station in Belgrade at about 5 a.m. Return to Vienna is every day from Belgrade main bus station at 21h (and you will arrive to Vienna at around 6 a.m/ of course there is also another bus driving in the morning). Return ticket costs only 40 Euros, and it can be bought at Erdberg station in Vienna, or in the bus (in this case, you need to have cash with you). Seriously, what can beat that?!
*** There are also buses driving in the morning. Generally there are several bus lines on a daily basis that circulate between Belgrade and Vienna, so you will have no problems finding a suitable connection. Bus companies we used so far were Lukic Tours and Fudeks. However, if you and your large group of friends wish not to board a public bus, you can also look at private limo rentals. Many in the U.S., who embark on adventurous journeys with their large group of friends, often search for Dream Limousines, Inc / party bus rentals online for a comfortable journey. In case you are one of them, you could search for similar websites that could provide limo rentals near you.
Traveling by car from Vienna to Belgrade is quick (especially, if you are used to, as we are : ) ) and the roads are excellent. During the whole trip (around 670 km) you can use the highway Vienna-Budapest-Belgrade. This is our favorite way of traveling since it is faster than the bus and more flexible too. It takes us approximately 6 and a half hours drive from Vienna to Belgrade. We usually take a break after 4,5 hours driving, as soon as we enter Serbia, and have a lunch at Subotica, a beautiful city in the very North of Serbia and then continue our ride to Belgrade.
Belgrade has many beautiful hotels, where you can stay, as well as hostels in case you are traveling on a budget. Whenever traveling we are always using the booking.com to book a place to stay.
2. Feel the spirit of Belgrade
Belgrade is a very old city, conveying beautiful historical sights. It is an insider destination, frequented by true travelers, who know to appreciate the joy of exploring non mainstream locations. Belgrade is vintage, photogenic, nostalgic and at the same time very contemporary European city. Kalemegdan fortress proudly standing above the confluence of rivers Sava and Danube, the old historic city, Sveti Sava Temple, cobbled streets of the bohemian quarter Skadarlija, artistic quarter of Savamala, Zemun – district with Austro-Hungarian legacy, the tower at the mountain Avala, are some of the top tourist sights, you shouldn’t miss when visiting the city.
PS: We have decided to share this beautiful video with you, made by an amazing photographer Dusan Stojancevic. It features some truly remarkable pictures of Belgrade.
However, what we appreciate the most when it comes to Belgrade, are the people themselves. It is them who make the place and keep the Belgrade spirit so dynamic. Serbian people are very communicative and friendly. In our culture hospitality is what matters the most – the guest will always be given the best food, accommodation and care, and people would do their best to make you feel at home.
You will be surprised to see how uncomplicated it is to meet people in Belgrade, as they are always happy to chat, especially to foreigners. Everybody speaks English (along with other languages as this is obligatory to learn while still going to primary school), so there will be no problems to find a local to help you out with anything.
3. Party like never before!
You will never feel the same about parties, after you experience one in Belgrade. Many people from all over the world are coming to our city for the weekend only to experience the unique atmosphere, dance and have fun Belgrade-style. There are many extraordinary clubs where you can party, but especially popular among them are floating river clubs, called “splavovi” (in singular the word is “splav”).
Try to find a local person to go to party with! In this way, you will meet more people and do it in the authentic Belgrade way!
4. Indulge yourself in some seriously delicious food!
Belgrade is a city with some remarkable cafes and restaurants, and the food is a m a z i n g! Serbian cuisine is very versatile, as it was influenced by many cultures. Generally, meat dominates in the traditional dishes such as sarma (sour cabbage rolls filled with minced meat), slow roasted pork and lamb, grilled meat, pljeskavica (Serbian burger served in a special bun), stuffed paprika and so on. However, since many religious people fast during the Lent Serbian cuisine is rich with vegan dishes (for Orthodox Lent, all sorts of animal products are prohibited, apart from fish every once in a while). So whatever your nutrition choice is, you will certainly find a lot of great things to try!
Also if you visit the city in spring or summer, visit the markets where you will have the chance to feel the real taste of fruits and vegetables! Huge peaches, cherries, tomatoes, paprikas, raspberries, watermelons, plums, apricots, etc in Serbia still convey their natural smell and taste, which is impossible to find, with all due respect, in many other European countries.
The mouthwatering video below is one of our all time favorites!
Our experience with waiters in Belgrade cafes and restaurants has always been top! Especially if you are a foreigner, they will do their best. Also an important thing to mention is that, when it comes to dining, the prices are at least twice times lower than in Vienna!
It is however really important to know where to go, as the best places, just like in Vienna and most other cities, may not be easy to spot. This topic definitely demands a separate posts, as there are numerous places we are proud to recommend.
Anyway before that, here are a couple of links, where you can check out some of our favorite places!
5. Shopping 24/7
Unlike Vienna, Belgrade never sleeps and the stores/cafes/restaurants are open 24/7. When it comes to stores, you will find pretty much all the mainstream stores every European city has to offer [Zara, Mango, Bershka, H&M…], along with cool local brands and young Serbian designers. Serbian people love shopping, so the offer is abundant. Sunday shopping until 22 p.m? Yes, please!
Belgrade Daily Inspiration
So we think that’s it for this post, but be prepared for more 🙂 We are hoping that we managed to convince you to visit our welcoming and immensely charming home city!
If you need any help or tips with organizing your trip to Belgrade, feel free to contact us via our Facebook page or send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org! We would love to help you out. And who knows, maybe we can even meet for a sightseeing tour in our city : )
We would be very grateful if you helped us spread the good word about our city by sharing this post! <3 Love, Una and Isi