Known as the White City, the former capital of Yugoslavia and current capital of Serbia is one of the oldest European cities. Belgrade's architecture tells its history, with ornate buildings dating back more than 400 years standing alongside more dour constructions from the communist period. It also has charming quarters where you can sit at an outdoor café set on a cobblestone street.
What We Love
The National Theater: The Serbian Opera performs here at this theater, which was the site of the premiere of "Madame Butterfly" in 1920 and Luciano Pavarotti’s first performance outside of Italy. The best part? The top ticket price is only $11.
Nikola Tesla Museum: The geek in you will enjoy exploring the accomplishments of the prominent inventor. Tesla is best known for his work with electrical current, and his ashes are displayed here in an illuminated golden orb.
Best Known For
Belgrade Fortress: More than 115 battles were fought over control of this fort which overlooks the Danube and Sava rivers (it was destroyed 40 times). The current iteration is largely from the Ottoman period and is split into Upper and Lower Town. The military museum on-site has a large collection of cannons and tanks to peruse, and you can get some of the best views of the river from the top.
The Architecture: Belgrade is a mix of gorgeous 17th-century architecture juxtaposed with stark communist block buildings. There is a lot of Old World charm as well. Head to Skadarlija, a quaint 18th-century cobblestone street, for lunch or a drink at one of the many restaurants.
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Who It's Best For
Historians: Due to its strategic position, the city has been built and rebuilt more than 20 times. Historians will love poking through the layers that remain to get a feel for what Belgrade was like in ancient times, through communist rule, and now as a free country.
Night Owls: Belgrade is a college town so the bar and club scene is thriving, with electronic music and pop and every genre in between. You can dance on the bar at the KGB Caffe and end your night at Klub 20/44, a houseboat club that you’ll likely hear from your ship whether you want to party or not.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Cough, Cough: Smoking is prevalent here, so whether you want to inhale or not, you will.
Be Sure to Convert: Unlike other countries in Eastern Europe, Serbian shops and restaurants will not take dollars or Euros.
Dena Roché is a Phoenix-based contributor to ShermansCruise whose work has been featured in Modern Luxury, Robb Report, and Destination Weddings & Honeymoons.