Although its a quick two days and two nights trip, we got a lot covered. The plan is to see the architectural difference between Novi Sad (a city/town in northern Serbia) and Belgrade (the capital). First off, lets mention a bit about the weather – its freaking hot! I mean 38c heat on the day we were in Novi Sad and 30c in Belgrade. The heat can drive you mad!
While Novi Sad is full of European charm with all the beautiful facade, Belgrade is a mix of era and culture. It was a 1.5 hour bus ride to Novi Sad, so we got there around 1.30pm and head straight to the city center for lunch. The restaurant here serves all kind of European food, but mainly covers Italian, Mediterranean and Yugoslavian. Cafe Giardino although have good view of the city is a better club/bar than restaurant. The food is mediocre at best.
After lunch we head down the walking street passing by a beautiful cathedral and streets of colorful facade. It totally shows how much love was put into this old town. Once we got to the river, we walked acrossed the bridge over to the Petrovardin Fortress which is also known as “Gibraltar on the Danube”. The fortress is situated on top of a hill (pretty high up actually) and it was torturous to climb up in the summer. Make sure you come with a bottle of water! Once at the top, there’s a few cafes and restaurants for you to catch your breath, cool down, and enjoy the view. We got there slightly too early. It would be best to come up for dinner and leave before it gets dark.
Since we were trying to catch the 8pm bus back to Belgrade, we couldn’t do that. After resting for a bit at a cafe, we walked around the fortress once before realizing that the museum we wanted to go to was closed. What else could we do than go grab an early dinner at restaurant Terasa? The food is definitely better than lunch. If you don’t have time to eat, just grab a drink and cheesecake here will brighten your afternoon and reenergize you for the walk back.
Its 15 minutes walk to the city center and another 30 to the bus station. Instead of the 30 minutes walk, you could also take the local bus or a cab. The bus cost 55 Serbian Dinar (around £1) and the taxi was 170 Dinar. Make sure you check the bus time though or you will be like us and have to cab it. At least we made it on time to our 8pm bus!!
We got a cozy and spacious one bedroom apartment via Airbnb. The place got a great location being 5-10 minutes from both the bus station and Republic Square. Oh and the McD was right opposite.
We left there at 10.30am and still had time to grab breakfast before joining the 11am free walking tour. For those that don’t know, the walking tour is tip-based. People usually give around €5 per person. The guide we got today is a 25 years old local Belgrade woman. She just graduated with a degree in tourism and is now guiding full time. Milica (our guide) is fun and very energetic. The almost three hours walk with her was both entertaining and educating.
We walked from the Republic square through a cobble-stone street lined with the traditional Serbian style restaurant that is also a mix of pub/bar/club. They called it Ka-fa-na (not sure about the spelling though). After that we walked passed a clubbing area and a few other neighborhood to reach Kalemegdan – a fortress facing the two rivers. Here we can see the new Belgrade and where the rivers meet. The tour ended at the bottom of the fortress and we headed off to lunch.
While researching for places to eat, I found that the restaurant scene here is quite artsy. Restaurants really do care about their decor. We chose to try Lorenzo and Kakalamba (LK) because of the good reviewing and a lady we met at the airport also recommended it. The place is obviously popular since it was packed at 3pm. LK decoration is fun and very carnival style. The pasta we had was handmade and pretty good, on the other hand, the desserts were a waste of calories. It seems like the place will turn very lively with loud music and fun crowd in the evening though.
From LK, we got a cab and head straight to the airport. It cost us 1700 dinar and about 25 minutes. There’s not much to Nikola Tesla airport, so better not come too early.
A side note for McDonalds and cheese lover, the McD here have fried BRIE!! Like omg! We had it as our late night snack. 🐷🇷🇸