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Built at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, Belgrade is rightly known as “the Gate of the Balkans” and “the Doors to Central Europe”.The city is steeped in a rich cultural and historic heritage which is reflected in its many museums, including the National Museum, the Military Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Nikola Tesla Museum.
Its numerous monuments, which have become the city’s symbols in their own right – the Victor, the Prince Mihailo Monument or the White Palace, the former royal residence of the Karađorđević dynasty – bear witness to the turbulent history of Serbia and the Serbian capital.
Present-day Belgrade is teeming with new urban hangouts for young people on the lookout for fun and for culture and art events.
Serbia’s capital is one of Europe’s oldest cities. Ruins of a Neolithic settlement have been unearthed nearby, while the first settlement on the site of the modern city was the Celtic town of Singidunum, which was built here in the 3rd Century BCE. The city changed hands with the arrival of Romans in the 1st Century, only to be conquered by Slavs in the 6th Century. Throughout history many nations have fought over it – Hungarians, Ottoman Turks, Austrians – resulting in the city being razed to the ground and rebuilt as many as 38 times throughout its history. In 1841, Belgrade became the capital city of Serbia.
What gives Belgrade its unique identity is its location: it lies at the confluence of two large rivers, the Sava and the Danube, with popular promenades on their banks. This is an area lined with parks, dotted with many restaurants and cafés, most of them on river barges, with stunning views of the river and the city itself.
Boasting works created by renowned Serbian and international street artists, the Savamala district, nestled on the banks of the Sava, is a bustling area full of galleries, culture centres and coffee houses with live music. Unsurprisingly it’s chilled vibe lures visitors to spend time relaxing away from the urban hustle.
A little further away, on the banks of the Danube, you will find Dorćol Plac, a culture centre with a year-round succession of plays, art workshops, concerts and many other culture and art events.Those who crave a good time on a night out are sure to find it at one of Belgrade’s many night clubs with trendy music and top-notch entertainment, or at the traditional coffee houses with live music and songs whose lyrics you may not understand, but which will prove entertaining. Its internationally famous nightlife has earned Belgrade the reputation of a city that never sleeps!
Classical music lovers can enjoy performances by the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra , while those who follow modern theatre and the latest performing arts trends will feel at home at BITEF, the Belgrade International Theatre Festival. Every year BITEF brings together provocative, socially and politically involved plays from all over the world.
If you visit the city in April, be sure not to miss the Belgrade Dance Festival, which attracts ballet companies from all over the world. Performances by Belgrade’s own ballet dancers and opera singers can be enjoyed all year-round at the National Theatre and Madlenianum.
If you’re a film buff, Belgrade is the right place to be with its many film festivals, taking place throughout the year, that entice entries from all over the world.
With sports fields and halls aplenty, Belgrade is host to numerous sports events, from the traditional marathon and half-marathon, to various water sports, including canoeing or kayaking, to major international European and world basketball, handball, water polo, volleyball and many more.
From the renowned film, music and art festivals to the many exciting sports competitions, Belgrade is brimming with events!