Belgrade, the capital of Serbia and one of the oldest cities in Europe is situated where the two rivers Sava and Danube meet. It is because of this confluence of the two rivers, that Belgrade is known to the world as ‘the Door to Central Europe’. The word ‘Belgrade’ literally translates to ‘White City’ but this contradicts the city’s greyish variety of architectural styles that brings about its charm. Belgrade enjoys a clear and dry climate brought by the southeasterly and easterly wind also known as ‘The Košava’. The average temperature of the city is roughly 11.7 degrees Celsius with its height being 117 meters above sea-level. Belgrade holds a strong population of 1.23 million and it is also known to be the financial, cultural and educational capital of Serbia.
The Belgrade Fortress
The Belgrade Fortress was originally built by the Celtic tribe of Scordisci but was later rebuilt by Justinian I, the byzantine emperor, in 535 AD. The fortress, built as a defensive structure is made up of the old citadel and the Kalemegdan Park. The park takes its name from the Turkish words kale meaning ‘fort’ and meydan meaning ‘square’ or ‘field’. Little street markets welcome you on your way to the castle area, where the visitors can purchase real-homespun-wool hand-knitted jackets, jerkins, slippers, scarves and also enjoy the stunning view of the Sava and Danube rivers. A plethora of historical monuments in the form of two orthodox churches, Military Museum, and an Art Gallery carrying an extensive collection of military equipment await the tourist.
The Nikola Tesla Museum
Located in the central area of Belgrade, is the Nikola tesla Museum, a residential villa built based on the designs of distinguished Serbian architect, Dragiša Brašovan. The museum is a symbol honoring Tesla’s legacy, whose mastermind revolutionized the field of science and technology. The museum houses a sculpture of the bust of Nikola Tesla by the renowned Ivan Mestrovic. All of Tesla’s personal belongings, his notes and correspondences are in this museum. The museum has over 160,000 original documents and over 2000 books and journals, 1200 historical technical exhibits, 1500 photographs, making it the only place in the world to house Tesla’s documents to such a great extent. Demonstrations of some of his work, is also carried out at the museum. The museum, being the last resting place of Tesla, still holds his ashes, which are kept in an urn at the back of the museum.
The word ‘Topcider’ is derived from the Turkish word topči meaning ‘cannoneer’ and the Persian word der meaning ‘valley’. The park is one of the oldest parks in Belgrade and it is also a popular picnic spot. It welcomes tourists to relax and cool down among its green spots and fountains. Prince Miloš Obrenović developed the park with royal finishes like a church, barracks, and a tavern. Situated nearby is the museum of Prince Miloš Obrenović which will give the visitor an insight into Serbian history. Carriages are available for tourists to tour around the park. Stone mines full of catacombs lie under the park; they were used recently used by the Germans in the Second World War.
Tower of Sibinjanin Janko
Located on a cliff in the Zemun suburbs and built by the Hungarians in 1896, the Tower is famously known as the “Zemun Tower” or “Millennium Tower”. Legend has it, Janoš Hunyadi, also known as Sibinjanin Janko, a famous Hungarian soldier died in a battle against the Turkish, thus, the tower gets its name from the name of the soldier. Visitors can enjoy the stunning view of the Danube River in the backyard. The site is roughly 15 minutes from Belgrade city. After visiting the tower, tourists can go down to the banks of the Danube river and take pleasure in some good sea food.
Popularly nicknamed “Belgrade’s Sea”, this River island has been transformed artificially into a peninsula. It is situated through Central Belgrade in Lake Sava’s course. The beach is popular in the summer season with its recreational facilities. It boasts of a 100,000 visitors daily and 300,000 visitors on weekends. The peninsula spans across a wide area of 2.7 km². With, oaks, elms, birches and willows forming the skeleton of its deciduous forest, Ada Ciganlija has an ecosystem, which is truly unique and lush. Parts of the peninsula, is covered with uncultivated vegetation that boosts adventuristic spirits of a true explorer. In the middle of an urban area, Ada Ciganlija is an animal paradise, where the visitor can hope to see a hare or a roe. With shops, picnic spaces, tourist trains, pedal boats and canoes, you simply cannot strike this place of your list while visiting Belgrade.
Located in the center of the city, the Belgrade zoo was founded in 1936 and it is one of the oldest zoos in the whole of Europe. The zoo is home to approximately 2,000 animals that represent a total of 270 species despite its small area-7 hectares of land. The zoo also has a separate section called ‘Baby Zoo’ where visitors have the opportunity to make contact with baby animals.