This article was developed within the program Venture an Idea funded by the USAID.
Ask the locals â€“ thatâ€™s the tried and tested way to get your bearings in a new city. But what if you had a local hand guide you on the stuff to eat, do, visit, and see throughout the day?
Now, what would that sound like?
Get Up & Running
Well, they would tell you that there was hardly a more wholesome way to start a day in Belgrade without a good, fat, crusty Burek pie. Youâ€™ve probably heard the locals wax lyrical about the magical properties of this pastry; it feeds the hungry, heals the sick, and energizes the lethargic. The best way to experience it yourself is to head over to the KirÄ‡anski bakery and get a quarter (or something like 300g) of Burek with cheese. With a cup of yogurt, of course, as they are a match made in heaven.
Be prepared to wait in line in the morning, as these little buggers get snapped as soon as they leave the oven.
Take a Walk
After youâ€™ve downed the thing, youâ€™ll want to burn all those calories right there and then. Leaving the KirÄ‡anski bakery, you stroll along the Boulevard and head over to the Kalemegdan fortress. There are plenty of uneven terrains there to get you worked up. Walk along the Kalemegdan terrace to admire the morning view of the fortress, and stop along the way to take in the morning air before all the cars and noise take over.
Have a Hot Beverage on a Cold Day
Given the chilly part of the year, your helpful guide would then suggest going somewhere for a hot chocolate or two. They would recommend Valentina & karanfil bean-to-bar chocolate shop and cafĂ© because a) itâ€™s not that far away from Kalemegdan and b) itâ€™s probably the best hot chocolate place in town, bar none.
But that leaves you with more calories to torch, which is why you might want to head to Tasmajdan park. Why? Well, a) itâ€™s a half-hour walk, and b) thereâ€™s a huge ice-skating rink thatâ€™s largely unpeopled at this part of the day. Call it a pre-lunch activity for the sake of precision.
And Eat it, Too
This brings us to lunchtime, of course. Here, too, your ever-helpful local guide has something to say. There are many options here, but since youâ€™ve taken a more traditional, on-foot route, Skadarlija street is a no-brainer. You canâ€™t go wrong with any restaurant here, and one suggestion for a cozy, atmospheric, snug little space is ZaviÄŤaj. Any food recommendations? If pushed against the wall, your guide would say that a good Goulash goes a long way.
Donâ€™t know about you, but a fine half-hour nap is always a smart choice after a hearty meal like that. Reinvigorated and reenergized, youâ€™re ready for whatever the trustee guide throws at you for the evening. You start with the aimless stroll along Knez Mihailova Street but quickly get distracted by the cinnamon smell of Belgrade chimney cake.
Depending on the state of that Goulash digestion, you either take it or leave it. Nevertheless, you head over to the Sava River to visit one of many picturesque night bars and restaurants along its bank. You end up in the Lafayette Restaurant for a unique blend of Cabaret Club Experience, French & Japanese delicacies, fine wines, and luxurious cocktails.
You round the day off with a slow, substantial walk along the river, taking in the sights and sounds of the cityâ€™s vibrant scenery. While basking in the day well spent, the restless you are wondering what to do, visit, eat, and where to go tomorrow. But thatâ€™s the story for another day in Belgrade.
For similar relevant stories, visit our Belgrade Insights page.