What does first come to your mind after someone mentions summer in Belgrade? Do you think of hot pavement, traffic jams and buses without air-condition, or you think about enjoying in the nature and chilling by the river? I am with the second group of people. Every city has some spots that can make your visit or living so much fun and way more easier, you only need to look for places you like. People are often asking how do you survive 40 degrees Celsius in Belgrade? So these are some places that help us locals survive summer in the city and forget about traffic jams and heat.
1. Kej Oslobođenja i Zemuski kej
This quay is positioned on the New Belgrade side of Danube opposite to old town. It starts from confluence of Danube and Sava and ends in Zemun. You will hear both names Kej Oslobođenja and Zemunski Kej or even see them both on the map. There are not just restaurants and cafes, but parks and promenades alongside the quay. Near Hotel Jugoslavija there is also amusement park for kids, and memorial statue of old Zemun Rail station, and a bit further is also Climbing club Zemun. In the summer there is always a bridge that leads you to Great War Island where you can take a walk, ride a bike, or just suntan and bathe on the Lido beach. Above the Quay is Gardoš tower with an amazing view of the city and a few places where you can have a refreshment by the river and enjoy the view.
2. Savski kej
This quay is on Sava river and starts from confluence of Danube and Sava, also from the side of Novi Beograd and goes to bridge Gazela, then suddenly stops and continues from Blok 70 to Blok 45. On the spot of confluence of two rivers there are boats that are offering cruises, and there is also a Park of Friendship, alongside with Museum of contemporary Arts, as well as Skate park, while on the other side of Brankos bridge you will see Memorial park Logor Staro Sajmište, Park Republike Srpske and Old bridge. Then, as I said, the quay ends but you can still go from this to the other part by Brodarska street, where firstly you will see New railway bridge, Sava embankment, Ada bridge and marina from where the second part od Sava quay starts and is famous by name Kej u blokovima. Here you can find a couple of boats which offer transport to Ada Ciganlija and Ada Međica. Also, you may take a walk, ride a bike, enjoy in wonderful sunset in some cafe or restaurant on the river. There is also a lot of beautiful nature so you might as well make a picnic or train in some of the gyms that are made in the open.
3. Ada Ciganlija i Ada Međica
Ada Međica is an island on Sava river between Savski kej and Ada Ciganlija, and you can come by boats from both sides. Its lenght is 1.5 meter and wide 200 meter so you would have no problem to make a circle around it and look around. There is a couple of restaurants and cafes where you can relax and refresh, bathe in Sava or make the BBQ in the woods.
Ada Ciganlija is the largest island on river Sava, which has beaches on both sides of artificially made Sava lake – Novi Beograd and Makiš, which Belgradians call their sea. Lake is 4km long and 200m deep, while beaches and paths for walking and cycling around the Sava lake and are 7km long. Beside this the island has golf, basketball, rugby, american football, volleyball, football, water polo, tennis and handball courts, as well as cafes, restaurants, night clubs, etc. If you want to get around and do not want to walk, you can take a ride on the train. Here you can also suntan, swim, rent a bike or roller blades, try water skiing, make a picnic, barbecue or just enjoy in the nature. Ada is only 4km away from city center. Apart from Sava lake there is one more smaller lake called Ada Safari.
4. Dunavski kej i Savska promenada
From the old town side there are also 2 quays one the Danube and the other on Sava. Dunavski kej, famous as Dorćol promenade, which is going all the way to Kalemegdan, right to the part where starts confluence of these two rivers, so you can see Great War Island on the other side. Same story as with the other quays here you also have restaurants, cafes, parks, sports recreational center etc. Also from the city center side but from dock near Pančevački bridge starts Ada Huja and one more quay.
From dock near Brankos bridge begins Sava promenade, and they are now also building a Belgrade waterfront there. It starts from the confluence where you can find more restaurants and night clubs, and goes all the way to Belgrade fare where you also have few cafes, restaurants and night clubs by the river, and if you move further you will get to Ada Ciganlija.
Beside quays and rivers Belgrade has also a lot of parks and beautiful nature. Most Famous, Kalemegdan which is positioned on the confluence of Sava and Danube, in the city center, where you can see famous Belgrade fortress. Apart from this it has a lot of sights such as statue of Victor, National Museum of History, Nebojša tower, several gates. Except from natural beauty and historical meaning, Kalemegdan also possesses cafes, restaurants, chess tables, tennis and basketball courts, exhibitions and souvenir stalls. It also has a magnificent view of the city, Zoo and an amusement park. Right across Kalemegdan is Great War Island.
Belgrade has more parks and nature like: Tajšmajdanski park, Studenstski park, Topčiderski park, Pionirski park, park Manjež, Karađorđev park, Hajd park, Zemunski park, park Milutina MIlankovića etc, and if you like nature and woods it has Košutnjak, Banjička, Zvezdarska forest.
In Belgrade there are a couple of city pools where you can spend your summer hot days: 11. April, Pinki, Tašmajdan, Banjica, Olimp, Košutnjak, Vračar, Milan Gale Muškatirović, but also some private ones like Queen, Holywoodland, Diamond Garden, Kengur Resort i S-Klub. Also nearby the city there are 2 mountains: Avala – 511m high and 16km south-east from Belgrade, and Kosmaj which has a height of 626 meters and is 40km away from Belgrade, in the same direction as Avala. You can visit them for a day or stay overnight in some of the houses that are being rented.
Along with the things I already mentioned, Belgrade has a lot of museums such as Museum of Illusions, National museum, Museum of Nikola Tesla, then theaters like National, Jugoslovensko-dramsko, Beogradsko-dramsko, Zvezdara teatar, Atelje 212, Kinoteka, but a lot of cinemas as well: Tuckwood, Cineplexx, Roda, Fontana, Zvezda. In the city center there is also a beautiful botanical garden Jevremovac. Except from the restaurants and cafes on the riverbanks, there are 2 famous streets for nightlife Skadarlija and Cetinjska, and also a few more like Njegoševa, Strahinjića Bana, Obilićev venac, Cvetni trg, and of course the main street in Belgrade Knez Mihailova, where you can relax by day or night.
In summer there are a few events in Belgrade that are worth going to, and most famous are Beer Fest and Beer Garden. Apart from this Belgrade has a lot of Open air cinema and Film-street spots. Also there are 2 festivals, first in June – BELEF, and second in September – BITEF. First one is a mix of arts like dance and music, and second is movie and theatre.
For more information on where to go, what to visit and where to chill in Belgrade check these sites: DanUBeogradu, UkusBeograda, Beligrad, BelgradeBeat, BeogradUživo, BeogradNoću, UrbanBug, KudaVečeras, KudaZaVikend, BeogradZaDecu.
Apart from these places in Belgrade, that are already famous, it has so many more hidden gems to offer, you only need to dig a little deeper. I like to say that Belgrade has to offer at least something for everyone and everything for someone. Now when you have all this useful info you can start planning your summer in the city if you work and cannot travel.
Plan your summer adventure and check postcards from Belgrade!