Serbia was never at the top of my mind as a "must-see" destination, but after being here a month I have to seriously wonder why. If you're intimidated by the language barrier, don't be, a huge percentage of people in larger cities like Belgrade and Novi Sad speak English. Just being able to communicate isn't enough though so here are my top 3 reasons why you should visit Belgrade, Serbia for your next European vacation:
1. The Food
Of course we will absolutely mention the food anywhere we go, but we have to give huge props to Belgrade for their diverse selection of food and the regional dishes that look unassuming, but will shock you in flavor. We've found it really hard to find bad food in Belgrade so don't be afraid to try random places on the street, they are usually fantastic! Cevapi, Rakija, Burek and Kajmek have been some our favorite local foods, but there are many more to try so we'll be sure to post about some of our favorite restaurants in detail.
2. The Beauty and Architecture
Due to several attacks on the city of Belgrade over the years they have had to rebuild quickly and often. You'll see restored older buildings, broken down buildings and scattered bits of new skyscrapers and shops. You'll also find green markets scattered throughout the city with fresh produce, household items, clothes, etc... which gives these parts of the city a really old school feel and a strong sense of community. We definitely recommend the Belgrade Fortress, a walk along the waterfront, Galerija mall and Zemun Market if you want to get a taste of the beautiful duality of Belgrade.
3. The Nightlife
While Hans and I are definitely not expert partiers anymore we've noticed a HUGE nightlife scene in Belgrade and after tasting some of the wine and cocktails we can definitely see why. Rakija is already a delicious flavored liquor, but when you mix it into a cocktail it becomes nearly undetectable and STRONG. A dangerous mix for Hans and I. The music seems to be quite an eclectic mix of American, European, Serbian and even some Spanish music from various regions as well. Overall a party in Belgrade is one you soon won't forget, they definitely know how to have a good time in Belgrade!