Capital of the Republic of Serbia, Belgrade sits at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers. One of the oldest cities in Europe, it was properly established in the third century BC; although modern Belgrade also sits on the site of Vinča, a prehistoric settlement which was inhabited from 4800BC.

In the ever-changing political geography of the Balkans, Belgrade has been named capital city of: the Kingdom of Serbia in 1802, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia after World War I and most recently of the Republic of Serbia after the dissolution of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro.

For a significant period of the last millennium, Belgrade lay on the frontier between the Habsburg and Ottoman empires. Accordingly it endured a volatile history, also suffering bombings in World War II and by NATO during the Kosovo war of 1999.

Despite being destroyed 40 times since its foundation, Belgrade retains many buildings of exceptional beauty, including numerous grand illustrations of Austro-Hungarian design.

With millions of pounds spent each year on improving facilities for visitors, it is quite hard to find evidence of the Kosovo conflict in Belgrade and its tourism industry is beginning to flourish.


The historical old town of Stari Grad, contains Knez Mihailova ulica (Prince Mihailo Street), Belgrade’s pedestrianised main street. One of Europe’s most beautiful boulevards, its listed 19th century buildings house many academic institutions as well as shops and government bureaus.

Stari Grad culminates at the hill of Kalemegdan, whose medieval gates, Muslim relics and orthodox churches are presided over by the Belgrade fortress. Flanked by the rivers Sava and Danube, the fortress affords splendid vistas over the city and also contains the pleasing Kalemegdan Park.

Also in Kalemegdan, the Military Museum holds over 40,000 exhibits, including a US Stealth bomber, shot-down during the Kosovo war.

The National Museum, which first opened in 1844, documents the history of the Serbian people and also contains numerous works of art, including paintings by Monet and Picasso.

The St Sava Cathedral, just outside Belgrade, is the largest Orthodox church in the world. Building began 50 years ago and the interior is still under construction; although it is already open to the public.

The old palace, former residence of the Obrenović dynasty, currently houses the City Assembly of Belgrade. Completed in 1884, it was constructed in the academism style and was intended to outshine all the palaces built by past rulers of Serbia.

The Royal Palace of Princess Ljubica is one of the few remaining examples of traditional Balkan architecture in Belgrade, whose rooms are filled with period furniture.


Due to Belgrade’s economic and market reform, its shopping districts possess many designer boutiques and high-street chain stores, which sell famous brand goods, but often at prices substantially cheaper than in the UK.

Knez Mihajlova is the city’s most popular shopping area and contains Hugo Boss and Diesel outlets and a branch of Benetton among many recognisable names.

Nightlife and Eating Out

A number of restaurants serve International cuisine in Belgrade, including the gourmet eateries in its luxury hotels such as the Intercontinental and the Aleksandar Palas.

Western fast food outlets can also be found; although Serbian local fast food restaurants serving pizza and kebabs are much more popular with the local population as well as being considerably cheaper.

The cobbled Skadarlija (Skadarska street) in Belgrade’s old town contains scores of terraced restaurants and pubs. Its bohemian ambiance has traditionally been popular with artists and poets confirmed by the number of galleries in evidence. Many bars around Skadarlija feature live Serbian folk music and dancing in the evenings as well as gypsy brass bands. Its restaurants mainly serve national cuisine, which includes many grilled meat dishes such as rostilj.

Dining in Belgrade is not expensive, with main courses costing between £4 and £10. Its splavs are popular with tourists, which are floating restaurants found on both the Danube and Sava rivers.

Belgrade is lauded as having some of the fastest paced nightlife in Europe by such publications as the New York Times and the CNN news agency. Revellers from nearby Slovenia, Montenegro and Croatia come to Belgrade to unwind, enticed by cheap drinks, late-night licences and a friendly, multi-cultural atmosphere. In addition to its multitude of nightclubs, Belgrade also possesses a significant jazz scene.

The [ Belgrade Phillharmonic Orchestra] play concerts throughout the year, which are usually held in the Ilija M. Kolarac Foundation Hall

Tourist Information

There are numerous tourist information offices throughout Belgrade including at the airport and railways station.

Belgrade Tourist OrganisationMakedonska 5, Belgrade, Serbia

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12km west of central Belgrade, the two terminals of Nikola Tesla International airport receive flights from prestige airlines such as BA, Air France Lufthansa and Olympic Airlines; however the Serbian National airline, Jat Airways provides the majority of traffic into the airport.

Its limited flight routes are mainly to major International destinations and BA and Jat Airways only fly to London Heathrow.

Budget carriers have previously been prevented from flying to Belgrade by the government seeking to protect its National airline; although the Serbian budget airline Centavia now operates from Nikola Tesla. An Open Skies Agreement due to be signed in January 2007 will open up Belgrade to the rest of the world’s low-cost airlines.

All car hire locations in Serbia