Travel

Traveling around to Belgrade

Image by Marko

Belgrade is the capital and biggest city of Serbia. It lies at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers and the Pannonian Plain’s crossroads and the Balkan Peninsula. The city location of Belgrade has a population of 1.23 million. At the same time, almost 1.7 million individuals live within the administrative limitations of the City of Belgrade (which includes nearly all of its city), a quarter of the overall population of Serbia.

One of Europe’s most crucial ancient cultures, the Vinca culture, progressed within the Belgrade location in the 6th millennium B.C. In antiquity, Thraco-Dacians lived in the area, and, after 279 BC, Celts settled the city, calling it Singidun.

Belgrade was once again called the capital of Serbia in 1841. North Belgrade remained the southernmost Habsburg post until 1918, when it was connected to the city, because of previous Austro-Hungarian territories. Which eventually became part of the new Kingdoms of Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia after World War I. Belgrade was the capital of Yugoslavia from its development in the year 1918 until its dissolution in 2006.

Being Serbia’s primate city, Belgrade has a unique administrative status within Serbia. It is the seat of the central federal government, regulatory bodies, and national government ministries, in addition to a house of almost all of the most significant Serbian businesses, media, and clinical organizations. Belgrade is categorized as a Beta-Global City.

The Serbian capital has seen a thing or more. From pork and coffee to Attila the Hun, the fundamentals for taking pleasure in and comprehending the White City. Belgrade’s been around the block. Belgrade is seriously old, and it’s seen a couple of things. Belgrade is the biggest city in Serbia and its capital. Bisected by the Sava river, Belgrade is a town of 2 halves: the old and the brand-new. Besides, on the same side of the Sava as New Belgrade is Zemun, which used to be a different city to Belgrade– a reality its citizens will not let you forget. Today Zemun is formally part of the city of Belgrade. However, climbing up to the top of Gardos hill or a seafood lunch at a kafana along the banks of the Danube still feels like a mini-break from the primary metropolitan area.

Be mindful that a lot of individuals you will talk to in Belgrade have lived through the Yugoslav Wars injury, which lasted for a year up until 2001, ending the pan-Slavic experiment. A fast walk down Nemanjina Street, and you’ll rapidly recognize why Belgrade’s current history stays so present in individuals’ minds. The massive damage of the Yugoslav Ministry of Defence structures, bombed throughout the NATO attack in 1999, controls the streetscape.

These borders came about after the South Slavs (who moved from a location around the Ukraine and Poland). It crashed the Byzantine celebration in the Balkans areas, resulting in some spiritual osmosis from their brand-new neighbors. The Serbian Orthodox church is a hangover from the early Eastern Orthodoxy. Catholic Croatia gathered together around the Roman religious beliefs. At the same time, the Ottomans’ Islam took root in Bosnia.

The postwar years have not yet honored Belgrade: although some sectors of the Serbian economy are on the rise, helped by E.U. promises. Accession, typical wages remain low, and unemployment, especially among young people, is high. The continuous political stress has led to a deep suspicion of the federal government and foreign powers such as the U.S. and the E.U. that can verge on conspiracy theories. The absence of capital in Belgrade shows up throughout the city’s urban environment– blackened exteriors, split and falling apart flagstones, and obsolete facilities.

Belgrade understands how to celebrate. Regardless of the centuries of tumult, from Attila the Hun to Slobodan Milosevic shed any pre-conceived concepts of war-ravaged Balkans– individuals in Belgrade like to have a great time. One of the most beautiful things about Belgrade is checking out these area facilities, each with their unique character.

It’s most likely not an exaggeration that for some individuals in Belgrade, drinking coffee is a full-time task. The story goes that the next year, the first kafana (coffeehouse) was opened in Belgrade, in 1522.

For those who discover the bitter viscosity of kafa a bit much, espresso is no less of a profession. It is most likely more typical nowadays, with a multitude of independent coffee shops and stores opening around the city. You’ll be astounded by the quality while being bemused that menus usually offer Nescafe if you’ve had the misfortune of living in less caffeine-oriented places. If you worship at the altar of the bean, there is also a new wave of local specialty roasters fuelling the city’s addiction– Przionica is worth checking out.

If you want to experience Belgrade’s heartbeat, head to the green markets, held daily, all Belgrade markets have a flea market and fresh produce section. In the latter, locals hustle their homemade specialties: ajvar, kajmak, pickled chilies, honey, and even homemade rakija (a dangerous yet delicious prospect) sold in recycled glass jars or plastic bottles.

A fruit brandy, rakija can be made from quince, pear, apricot, or peaches– but the Serbian national version (and arguably the most intense) is sljivovica. it is made from the Damson plums that grow in abundance throughout the country (there is even a village called Šljivovica in Western Serbia). ‘Real’ rakija is made from pure fruit, with no added sugar, and is double distilled. Many Serbs make their own, swearing by its health benefits and drinking a small glass, alongside a coffee and sweetened fruits.

Keep your rakija training wheels on at first with medivac, which has honey added to make it softer and sweeter. Once you get a taste for it, work your way up to sljivovica, which is guaranteed to warm the heart (in fact, the word rakija comes from an Arabic word meaning sweat).

The breakfast burek is the new breakfast burrito. A proper Belgrade burek is a thing of beauty– there is a reason these things are sold by weight. You’ll get the goods at old school bakery Pekara Carli: what they lack in variety, they make up for in freshness.

Serbian food = pork, sauce, repeat. Balkans food is no vegetarians’ paradise unless you enjoy surviving ultimately on the burek. Belgrade’s diet is a culinary trip of the area’s history: you’ll discover Turkish-influenced kifle, baklava, and cevapcici. Minced meat and sharing the menu with Greek specializes with Austrian-inspired torten and schnitzel. Pork escalope is made from famous flour in Vienna, which in Belgrade has been approved to be a large version of cream cheese doused with tartar sauce. It is served with tomatoes and lemon slices in karadjordjevic – a collection of the Serbian Monarchy. Standard Serbian meals have plenty of intense flavors. Hearty stews and generally any meat– grilled, treated, or packed with cheese– function plainly, usually served along with salads, bread, and dressings. Sauces are big here, from kajmak (Serbia’s answer to clotted cream) to ajvar (a spicy, red pepper paste).

Legend has it the prevalence of pork stemmed as a kind of gastronomic resistance to the Ottoman overlords. Serbian food might be rough; However, due to arable land and late industrialization, the quality of active ingredients is high, even in the first place. For a lighter touch, several brand-new dining establishments are putting a more refined twist on standard tastes such as Pire Slow Food and Homa.

You can’t leave without trying pljeskavica– the hamburger’s illegitimate brother and a Belgrade staple. ‘The lot’ Serbian style includes an insane amount of garnishes– pickled cabbage, onions, chili, mustard, mayonnaise, tomato sauce, and spicy cream cheese. Pizza in Belgrade has also been ‘Verified’ (code for adding condiments).

If you’re nostalgic at the thought of lighting up indoors (I’m convinced this explains the number of French tourists in Belgrade), this will be great news. For everyone else, the city offers a healthy quota of terraces, which gives you a bit more room to breathe. If you spend time in a small space,  exploit the city’s moderately economical cleaning the following day to ensure your garments don’t bring back sweet-smelling gifts.

In Serbia, you can make your first million (in dinar). Serbia’s currency is valued pretty low compared to the Euro, making Belgrade a spendthrift’s dream about accommodation and food. As the economy has increased, so have Belgrade’s prices, but compared to most European cities, you can eat, sleep and drink like a king, for less than a princely sum.

Technically it might not have a beach, but Belgrade’s surplus of river frontage means that water plays a big part in city life. Before you jump aboard, remember that the abomination known as turbo-folk is still prevalent in Belgrade (and this goes for land bars).

Nothing will kill a waterside buzz like hours of souped-up folk music, so choose your splav wisely (20/44 is known to have a more eclectic playlist). Ada Ciganlija is an island-cum-peninsula smack-bang in the middle of the Sava.

North Belgrade remained the southernmost Habsburg post until 1918. It was struck to the city because the former Austro-Hungarian territory became part of the new Kingdoms of Serbia including Croatia, and Slovenia after World War I. Besides, the city became the center of Serbia, Belgrade has a special administrative status in Serbia.Belgrade is the largest city in Serbia and its capital, but the “white city” has taken many forms since the beginnings of its settlement between 50,000 and 20,000 years ago.

Besides, on the same side of the Sava as New Belgrade is Zemun, which used to be a separate city to Belgrade– a fact its residents will not let you forget. Belgrade Food is a culinary tour of the region’s history: You will find several unique dished, such as: Turkish-influenced kifle, baklava, ceva- a piece of minced meat, share a menu with Greek specialties, Austrian-inspired torten and schnitzel. Moreover, Vienna’s famous bread flour, famous for pork escalope in Belgrade has been upgraded to a cream cheese. It is filled with tartar sauce and decorated with tomato and lemon slices to form the star Karadjordjevic – medal of the Serbian Monarchy.