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The Traveller's Magazine
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Looking for a cheap city break in an exciting country that doesn’t get the attention it deserves? Serbia’s capital is known for its nightlife and easy-going pace but there’s more to this city than just clubs and parties. Here’s our guide to discovering Belgrade without spending a penny.

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There’s a reason the locals compare their city to the legendary phoenix that always rises from the ashes. Belgrade has been conquered, demolished and rebuilt a dozen times throughout its history and all the way up to the twentieth century when it was bombed by NATO, something still evident in the city centre today.

[see]Flights to Belgrade[/see]

Looking for the best free things to do while in Belgrade? Here they are:

Kalemegdan

The ancient Kalemegdan fortress is one of the most popular sights in Belgrade and it’s completely free to visit.  From the lookout you can see the Sava River, where it runs into the mighty Danube. Throughout the city’s history, at least 100 battles have been fought here. If you’re interested in military paraphernalia, try the stalls at the main park gates.

belgrade

Ada Ciganlija

If you take a walk down the hill from the fortress, you’ll run into the rivers. There are some great cycling paths along the Sava River but if you want to cool off on a hot summer’s day, head to Ada Ciganlija, the lake resort. The old warehouses have now been turned into restaurants and riverside cafes.  The water is clean so take a swim!

NATO bomb ruins

Modern history has never been more in-your-face than the NATO bomb sites around central Belgrade. Kneza Milosa Street is one of the city’s busiest streets and home to many an embassy. Belgrade was bombed in 1999 to stop the war in Kosovo and Serbia’s military and police headquarters on Kneza Milosa Street still stands in disrepair.

Belgrade markets

The Serbian capital is famous for its open green markets. The best one to visit is without a doubt Kalenic in the neighbourhood of Vracar. The best time to visit a city market is Saturday or Sunday in the morning when the fruit, vegetable and egg stalls are brimming with produce. Buy some fresh cheese,  kajmak, to taste.

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Skadarlija

Belgrade’s bohemian quarter is the place to be on a sunny afternoon. The small cobblestone streets are lined with family-owned restaurants, the centre of local life here. Belgrade’s poets, politicians and athletes alike have come here for centuries to eat and muse about life. Try rustily, grilled meat.
Skadarlija

Like to travel for free? We’ve created dozens of free city guides on the Traveller’s Blog from Venice to Vancouver, Paris to Hong Kong.

Imgs: Alesandro Simic

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