Despite the popularity and undisputed advantages that Kindle and Bookmate have brought us, bookworms still understand the importance of libraries. Serbia has a rich literary heritage and has the libraries to show for it. Even though you might not be able to find every book you’re interested in in your mother tongue, visiting some of Belgrade’s largest libraries can still be quite the experience, especially the famed National Library of Serbia.

  • in search of your next favorite book?

    There are several dozen libraries in Belgrade, great places to check out if you’re still into physical books or need a quiet place to study and read. Most university libraries offer books in foreign languages, while Belgrade’s beautiful bookshops are also good places to find the most popular foreign books in English.

    Belgrade boasts several well-stocked libraries, scattered across the city:

    • The National Library of Serbia is the oldest cultural institution in Serbia, with an impressive collection of books spanning centuries of history.
    • The Virtual Library of Serbia is where you can find an electronic database of all the libraries in Serbia, along with their catalogues and availability.
    • Belgrade City Library just across the Kalemegdan Fortress has a pretty neat collection of titles and also organizes cultural events from time to time at its Knez Mihajlova space.
    • Svetozar Marković University Library is the largest university library in the country, a favorite spot for Belgrade’s many students, researchers, and professors. Note that others are also welcome to join and use the library’s reading rooms.
    • Startit Centar also has its own library, with books on tech, business, entrepreneurship, management, and finance related topics.

    Apart from these, Belgrade offers many more libraries. The easiest way to access them all is through the previously mentioned Virtual Library catalogue.

  • want to explore belgrade's international side?

    There are many foreign cultural centers in Belgrade where you can start learning a new language or improve your current skills, check out books, and participate in various educational events.  

    • American Corner organizes different events and language classes, while also offering novels and magazines in English. There are currently two of these corners in Serbia – one in Belgrade and the other in Novi Sad. You can check out new book arrivals here.
    • Cervantes Institute promotes the Spanish language, literature, and culture in Serbia through language courses and different events, including art exhibitions and movie screenings. Cervantes also has a handy mobile app for checking out their book catalogue from the comfort of your home. 
    • British Council is the premier British cultural institution in Serbia. At its premises near the Kalemegdan fortress, you can sign up for classes, take certified and internationally recognized English exams, and take part in various cultural events with a special focus on the UK.  
    • The French Cultural Center is an institution the primary focus of which is promoting the French language and culture abroad. Its mediatheque offers books, magazines, press, and encyclopedias in French, while it also has an online database.
    • Goethe Institute promotes the German language and culture in Serbia. Its Knez Mihajlova location has a good library for brushing up on your German, while you can also check out its catalogue here.  
    • The Italian Culture Institute is where you’ll find everything you need for learning Italian. With over 16,000 books that cover a range of subjects, the cultural center’s library is a great place to find titles in Italian. The Institute also has an online catalogue
    • Scandinavian Corner serves to promote Scandinavian culture through language courses, film screenings, and conversation classes. Its library is full of works by great Nordic authors. You can check out the library catalog online, with instructions to assist you.
  • somewhere in between

    Bookshops in Belgrade are always an oasis of calmness where you can read and buy books from classic authors to modern day novelists. The works of many Serbian authors have been translated into English and other languages, so make sure to check out some of the best local writers while you’re in Belgrade.

    Apart from large bookshop chains and independent publishers, there are also many street booksellers in Belgrade. These booksellers offer cheap second-hand books, oftentimes in foreign languages, making their stalls around the city center a splendid place to get your hands on your favorite literary works.

    There are also several book fairs organized in Belgrade throughout the year, popular among the locals for offering hefty discounts.

    A lot of the larger bookstores also have book clubs which you can join in order to get discounts or invites to literary events.

    • English Bookshop specializes in English language literature, including both works of fiction and non-fiction.
    • Vulkan is a large bookshop chain, where you can also find books in different languages.
    • Delfi book shops have over 50,000 titles and about a dozen bookstores, where you can find works in both Serbian and foreign languages.

    If you like to scout around for books, there are few book shops/cafes that might be worth the visit:

    • Apropo is a cozy tea house in the city center with a book selection that covers a wide range of topics including psychology, philosophy, mythology, and arts.
    • Leila is a record and book shop where aspiring artists perform from time to time among the thousands of new and second-hand records.
    • Bookastore is a quaint bookshop and cafe in central Belgrade, where you can buy works printed by the Booka publishing house, including some of the most prominent contemporary authors from the region.

    These are just some tips concerning literature in Belgrade, but you will surely run into other treats it has to offer somewhere along the way.

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