Belgrade is the capital of Serbia and is known for its vibrant nightlife, street art and communist architecture. There are many things to do in Belgrade, that a visit to this city can’t be missed when exploring this landlocked country.
Belgrade is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Europe as it was once the capital of Yugoslavia. Located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, Belgrade is the largest city in the country and full of interesting things to do.
Is Belgrade worth visiting? From the historic monuments to the lively night life, this city has something for everyone. So in short, the answer is yes and after this article, you’ll soon know why.
In this post we’ll go over all the best things to see in Belgrade, list the best day trips from Belgrade and go over any useful Belgrade tips you’ll want to know before traveling to this historic city.
For full transparency, I have sprinkled some affiliate links in this post. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases that gives me a small commission at no extra cost to you if you decided to make a purchase. As always, I would never recommend a product or service that I didn't truely believe in. All proceeds go to keep Jess traveling and coffee ☕️. I thank you in advance.
Below I have a listed the best things to do in Belgrade and best day trips from Belgrade for easy viewing. If you are in a hurry and don’t have time to read the whole article you can just screen shot this page and be on your way.
If you’d like more information, click on the blue links below for a detailed post or vlog of that specific Belgrade activity.
- Great War Island
- Boat Tour of the City
- Catch a Show at the National Theater
- Royal Compound
- Sveti Marko Church
- Bairiki Mosque
- Residence of Princess Ljubica
- Take a Free Walking Tour
- Topcider Park
- Jevremovac Botanical Gardens
- Gardos Tower
- Nikolajevska Church
- Museum of Illusions
- Yugoslavian Ministry of Defense
- Zepter Museum
Belgrade Day Trips
- Novi Sad
- Fruska Gora National Park
- Go Wine Tasting in Sremski Karlovci
Belgrade Travel Vlogs
We filmed a couple vlogs when we were here about some of the awesome things to do in Belgrade and around the city. If you’d like to see exactly what we were up to check out our vlogs below. If not let’s get to the good stuff – 33 best things to do in Belgrade, Serbia.
Best Things to do in Belgrade
- Price: Free if you opt out of a tour
One of the top attractions in Belgrade is the Belgrade Fortress. In fact, it’s one of the top sights in Serbia. The fortress is located on the banks of the Sava and Danube Rivers, and dates back to the early 18th century.
It was built by the Austrian rulers of the city and is a great place to explore and take in some of Belgrade’s history. There are several museums and galleries within the fortress, making it the perfect place to learn about the cities past.
The fotress is beautiful and the walls and towers provide visitors with stunning panaramic views of the Sava River, Danube River and of the city. You can see all the popular night clubs that line the river. The best part is that it’s free to enter the fortress.
💡Audio guides are available in 6 languages.
- Price: Free
The Kalamegdan Park is a beautiful green oasis in the heart of Belgrade. The park is within the Belgrade Fortress and is another one of the best things to do in Belgrade.
The park is known for its lush gardens, winding paths and breathtaking views of the rivers. The park boasts numerous cultural and historical monuments, including the Belgrade Fortress, Military Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Zoo.
During the summer months, the park hosts a variety of cultural events , such as concerts, festivals and theatrical performances. The park is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, and is the perfect place to relax, explore and take in the beauty of Belgrade.
Helicopter Ride over Belgrade
- Price: $550 & up per group
Belgrade Military Museum
- Price: 350 RSD ($3.35 USD)
Located in the heart of Belgrade next to the fortress is the Belgrade Military Museum. The museum houses a variety of artifacts and displays related to the military history of the country. The museum was founded in 1878 and has since become an important cultural and education center in the city.
It contains a wide variety of items ranging from weapons, uniforms and vehicles used in various wars to personal items, photographs and documents which tell the story of the people of Serbia and their involvement in the military. This is a great Belgrade attraction to see after you’ve explored the Belgrade fortress.
Nikola Tesla Museum
- Price: 800 RSD (7.50 USD)
The Nikola Tesla Museum is a must-see activity in Belgrade for any science enthusiast. Located a little further away from the cluster of things to do in Belgrade in the old city. If you are staying near Knez Mihailova Street, you’ll be able to walk to the museum in about 30 minutes.
The museum offers visitors an in-depth look at the life and works of the famous scientist, who is you guessed it, Serbian. The museum houses a large collection of Tesla’s original inventions, experiments and documents, including his AC motor, the Tesla coil, and many of his other pioneering innovations.
It also features interstice displays, videos and educational programs to help visitors learn more about Tesla’s remarkable achievements. Joe and I unfortunately was not able to get into the museum as you must join a tour to enter and all tours were full when we showed up!
It was a rainy day though, so I think everyone else had the same idea as us. Just to be safe, I’d try to book a spot in advance. There are Serbian and English tours. If you’re traveling with a larger group book your tour in advance here.
- Price: Free
Ruzica Church is a Serbian Orthodox Church and what it lacks in size, it makes up in beauty. The church was built in the 15th century, making it one of the oldest churches in Serbia. It is basically connected to the Belgrade fortress.
The church is known for its intricate and detailed architecture, which features several traditional Serbian features, such as a cross-shaped dome and a bell tower. The church is also known for its impressive frescoes, which depict scenes from the Bible.
The Ruzica Church still serves as a place of worship for the local Orthodox community and is well worth a visit for anyone interested in Serbian history or just wants to admire its beauty.
- Price: About 350 RSD
Rakija is the national drink of Serbia and a must try when you’re exploring the country. Rakija is a type of traditional fruit brandy that is made from a variety of fruits such as plums, quinces and grapes. Rakija is served in small glasses and is usually served as an aperitif or digestif. Before drinking, it is customary to toast the health of others and to say the phrase “Živeli!” which means “Cheers!”.
Knez Mihailova Street
- Price: Free
Knez Mihailova Street in Belgrade is the most popular and recognizable street in the city. Spanning from the Republic Square to Kalemegdan Fortress, the street is a pedestrian-only thoroughfare that is lined with elegant 19th century buildings and features a wide range of shops, cafes and restaurants. It is a major Belgrade attraction for both locals and travelers.
The street has a long and varied history. Built in the 19th century, it was once known as the Royal Street and was the Main Street of the old Belgrade. Today, it still retains its traditional character, you can even fill your water bottle up from the central fountain as the water is potable to drink. We filled our water bottles up from the fountain on a daily basis to save a few bucks.
Knez Mihailova Street or Kneza Mihaila in Serbian is also a popular destination for nightlife, with its many bars, clubs and live music venues. You can’t visit Belgrade without strolling this street at least a few times.
Eat a Traditional Serbian Meal at Manufaktura
- Price: Main Course Dish = $20
Experiencing the local and traditional food is a must when exploring a new country. Manufaktura is a great restaurant that serves up a tasty Serbian meal. The restaurant is cozy and inviting with a warm atmosphere.
The restaurant is located in the old city on a side street off Knez Mihailova. The menu is full of delicious traditional Serbian dishes, such as Ćevapi (grilled minced meat), Sarma (stuffed cabbage rolls) and Pljeskavica (spicy burger-like patty). The dishes are made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and are cooked over a charcoal grill, giving them a delicious smoky flavor.
We tried the Mućkalica which was basically a pork stew that consisted of onions and red peppers over a bed of mashed potatoes and the Veal Pie. Mashed potatoes is my favorite food so needless to say, I was happy with our meal. Prices are mid range and dining at Manufaktura is an excellent way to get a taste of Serbian culture.
🫕 Travel Tip: Other restaurants serving up fantastic Serbian dishes are Bela Reka, Iris New Balkan Cuisine and Ribnjak.
- Price: 300 RSD (3 USD)
Avala Tower is a 204 meter tall telecommunications tower located in Belgrade. It is the tallest structure in Serbia (and all of the Balkans) and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city.
The tower is about a 30 minute car ride away from the old city. On the weekends and in the summer, bus 400 runs to the top of Avala from Voždovac (Joakima Rakovca) stop if you are traveling Belgrade on a budget.
The unique structure with an observation deck at the top, allows visitors to enjoy a stunning view over the city. It cost 300 RSD to ascend the tower and it also has a restaurant, a café and souvenir shop. There is also a memorial to the victims of the NATO bombing. The tower is one of the most popular things to do in Belgrade.
Museum of Yugoslavia
- Price: 400 RSD ($4)
The Museum of Yugoslavia is a memorial museum dedicated to the history, life and legacy of the former Yugoslavia and its citizens, including Josip Bros Tito. The museum is divided into several sections and galleries, including a library, a gallery of photographs, a Yugoslavian art gallery, an exhibition hall and a multimedia collection.
Exhibitions and displays focus on topics such as politics, art, culture and history, as well as everyday life in the former Yugoslavia. English guides are available if booked in advance. Don’t miss out on this must-visit Belgrade Museum that houses over 200,000 artifacts.
💸 Budget Travel Tip: The first Thursday of every month is free.
- Price: Varies
I couldn’t write a best things to do in Belgrade post without mentioning its nightlife. Belgrade is known for its lively nightlife, with numerous clubs and bars to choose from.
During the summer months, the riverside of Belgrade is where the party is at. Some of the most popping clubs are open til the wee hours of the night. Klub 20/44 and Povetarac are among the best.
St. Sava Temple
- Price: Free
St. Sava Temple is one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world and is the largest in the Balkans. The temple was built between 1935 and 1989 in honor of St. Sava, the patron saint of Serbia. The design of the temple is a combination of Byzantine and Serbian-Byzantine styles, with the main structure made of stone and a dome made of steel and copper.
The temple is a popular thing to see in Belgrade and is visited by thousands of people every year. The interiors of the temple is decorated with frescoes and mosaics, depicting scenes and stories of St. Sava. The temple is open daily from 7am – 8pm.
Take a Food Tour
- Price: $85 USD
There’s nothing I enjoy more than taking a food tour in a new city. Taking a Cultural Food Tour in Belgrade is the perfect way to experience all the city has to offer.
With a food tour you’ll have a chance to sample a variety of traditional Serbian dishes and sip rakija, the national drink of Serbia. During a tour you’ll also discover the local customs and learn cultural traditions. Don’t miss out on this tasty thing to do in Belgrade.
- Price: Varies
Ada Ciganlija is a popular destination in Belgrade. Located on the banks of the Sava River, it is a large recreational area in the city. It is known as the “Belgrade Sea” and is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and various other outdoor activities.
It is also a great place to take a stroll or bike ride and take in the views of the river and the skyline of the city. There are a variety of restaurants and cafes, as well as tennis and volleyball courts, beach volleyball and trampolines. The area is even home to some hotels and resorts. This is a must do Belgrade activity in the summer.
Great War Island
- Price: Free to enter but cost varies depending on how you get there.
Great War Island in Belgrade is located in the Danube River. This small island, often referred to as “Veliko Ratio Ostrvo’ in Serbian, is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
The island was used a a battlefield during World War I, and is still contains relics of this conflict. Its main attractions are the numerous monuments and memorials scattered throughout the island.
If you visit the island, you can explore the remains of the trenches, bunkers, pillboxes and other fortifications used by the Austro-Hungarian and Serbian armies during the war. This Belgrade attraction is often visited on a boat trip around the Danube.
Boat Tour of the City
- Price: $20-100 USD
Taking a boat tour of Belgrade is a great way to experience the beautiful city of Belgrade from a unique perspective. During the tour, you can take in the amazing sights and sounds of the city, from the bustling streets and historic monuments, to the Danube River and the Sava River that flow through the city.
There are several different tours to choose from, whether you’re searching for a sunset cruise or posh wine tasting boat tour, you are sure to have a great time.
Catch a Show at the National Theater
- Price: Varies
The National Theater is the premier venue for a night of high-quality theater and culture in Belgrade, Serbia. Located in the heart of the city, the theater has been a symbol of the city’s culture and history for over 150 years. The theater is well known for its stunning architecture and impressive performances that draw in audiences from all over the world.
- Price: 650 RSD
The Royal Compound is a stunning thing to see in Belgrade which can only be done on a guided tour. The Royal Compound is a royal residence that was built in the 19th century by Prince Miloš Obrenović, the founder of modern Serbia.
The building was designed in the Neo-Renaissance style and is a symbol of the city’s former royal heritage. The Royal Compound consists of two main buildings, the Palace and the White Palace, along with several smaller buildings.
The White Palace is the former home of King Alexander I and his consort Queen Draga Mašin. It is a single-story building with an impressive garden and outdoor terrace. Covered in white marble, the most impressive rooms are the Entrance Hall, the baroque Blue Drawing Room and the Renaissance-style Dining Room and Gold Drawing Room.
Sveti Marko Church
- Price: Free
The Sveti Marko Church is a stunning example of Serbian Orthodox architecture and a must-see attraction in Belgrade. Built between 1931 and 1940, the church is an impressive structure that stands tall over the city. The church is open to the public and free to enter. Visitors can explore the interior and admire the unique architecture of the building.
The church has a distinctive three-domed roof, and is made of white limestone and marble. The interior of the church is equally impressive, with beautiful frescoes and ornate iconostasis. The frescoes depict scenes from the Bible, and the iconostasis is carved from wood and decorated with gold leaf.
- Price: Free
Built in the late 17th century, the Bairiki Mosque is one of the oldest surviving mosques in the country and serves as a reminder of the Ottoman period of Serbian history. The mosque is situated in the city’s main pedestrian zone and is a popular thing to see in Belgrade due to its distinct domed roof and minaret tower.
Residence of Princess Ljubica
- Price: 300 RSD
Residence of Princess Ljubica is one of the most important historical landmarks in Belgrade. It was built in the first half of the 19th century by Miloš Obrenović, the ruler of Serbia at the time.
The residence was built for Miloš’s wife, Princess Ljubica and was the first palace of the Obrenović dynasty. The residence is located in the old part of Belgrade and is a two-story building that has been carefully preserved over the years. The residence is open to the public and costs 300 RSD to enter.
Take a Free Walking Tour
- Price: Free + tip
There’s no better way to get to know a city than on a free walking tour. Opting for a Free Walking Tour in Belgrade is a great way to get to know a city and your bearings. It’s even better when you can do so with a local guide and a group of like-minded travellers. Plus it’s free!
A walking tour is a great introduction to a new area and in my opinion one of the best things to do in Belgrade. Tours usually last around 2 hours and a local guide will be able to answer any questions that you have.
- Price: Free
Topcider Park is one of the oldest parks in the city and a great thing to do in Belgrade on the same day you visit Avala Tower. The park is situated on the slopes of the Avala mountain, about 10 kilometers from the city center.
It was founded in 1831 and is the most popular parks in Belgrade. Topčider Park is home to the Residence of Prince Miloš. This is a popular place for locals especially on the weekends so prepare for crowds in the summer.
Jevremovac Botanical Gardens
- Price: 250 RSD
If you love botanical gardens, then make sure to check out the Jevremovac Botanical Gardens. This beautiful oasis in the center of the city houses a variety of plants and trees from all over the world. This is also one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world.
- Price: 200 RSD
Gardos Tower is a cultural symbol of the city and is a great spot for panoramic views of the metropolis. The tower was built by the city of Belgrade as a guard tower and was used to guard the city from attacks.
The tower is 85 feet tall and stands on top of a hill overlooking the Danube River. The tower is made of brick and is decorated with several colorful murals and frescoes, depicting scenes from Serbian history. Over the years, the tower has become a popular thing to do in Belgrade and sometimes holds concerts throughout the year.
- Price: Free
The Nikolajevska Church is believed to be the oldest church in Belgrade. It’s thought to have been built in 1570. The interior is a bit faded but it’s worth a gander.
Museum of Illusions
- Price: 750 RSD
If you are looking for things to do in Belgrade with kids, make sure you add the Museum of Illusions to the list. This is a newer museum, built in 2018 that is an interactive experience where you can get hands on with illusions.
Exhibits are explained in English, German, Spanish and Serbian. Just remember that things aren’t always what they appear to be.
Yugoslavian Ministry of Defense
- Price: Free
The Yugoslavian Ministry of Defense is a historic building and the most dramatic ruin from NATO’s 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia. This building used to hold the Ministry of Defense of Yugoslavia. The bombed-out site lies mostly untouched after three direct hits – a grim reminder of the dark days of the past.
- Price: 200 RSD
Located in the heart of Knez Mihailova Street, is the Zepter Museum. This innovative and modern art museum is dedicated to showcasing the best of Serbian culture and art.
The museum’s collection includes a wide variety of works from the later 19th century to the present day, featuring more than 2000 artworks by Serbian, European and international artists. This is worth a stop when exploring things to do in Belgrade.
Day Trips from Belgrade
I couldn’t make a best things to do in Belgrade post without including some of the best day trips from Belgrade. All of these day trips can be visited independently but if you are short on time and would rather have someone plan all the logistics for you, you can visit these destinations on a guided tour.
Novi Sad is the second largest city in Serbia and is located about an hour or so away from Belgrade. You can get here via bus, train or on a tour. I recommend going to Novi Sad on a tour and pairing it with Wine Tasting in Sremski Karlovci or Fruska Gora National Park.
The city is known as the “European Capital of Culture” and is home to many cultural events and festivals including the EXIT Festival (one of the largest music festivals in Europe).
Fruska Gora National Park
Fruska Gora National Park is located about a half hour outside of Novi Sad. The park is known for its hiking trails, monasteries and churches. This is a nice break from the city of Novi Sad. This is best experienced with your own car or on a tour as public transportation isn’t convenient in these parts. Renting a car is inexpensive and roads are well maintained.
Wine Tasting in Sremski Karlovci
If you only take one day trip from Belgrade, I suggest you go wine tasting in Sremski Karlovci. Joe and I did this on our own (as we spent some time in Novi Sad) and it was one of our favorite days.
Sremski Karlovci is a small town that contains 24 wineries. We went to Vinum Winery, which is a small winery full of tasty wines. We got a tour of the wine cellar and had huge tastings for $5 per person total.
The Museum of Beekeeping and Wine Cellar Živanović also come highly recommended. We tried to go here on a Saturday but they were closed although the sign said they open at 2 🤷♀️. I’d call ahead for this one to make sure they’re open when you try to visit.
Where to Stay in Belgrade
Belgrade is full of hotels, Airbnbs and hostels that will accommodate every type of budget. These are the best places to stay in Belgrade for each budget. For a more detailed post, check out the article below.
Where to Stay in Belgrade on a Budget – White Owl Hostel
Best Place to Stay in Belgrade on a Mid Range Budget – Passpartù Home
Best Luxury Hotel in Belgrade – Hotel Moskva
Belgrade Travel Tips
- CarGo is basically the Uber of Serbia. You need a Serbian SIM card to be able to use this app though.
- Entering Kosovo after Serbia is fine, but not the other way around. You can not enter Serbia if you are coming from Kosovo only if you already have a Serbian entry stamp in your passport.
- A lot of people spoke English in Belgrade but its always nice to try to say words in Serbian such as, Thank you, Hello and Your Welcome.
- Driving in Serbia is pretty easy. Roads are well maintained, you drive on the right side of the road and renting a car is relatively inexpensive.
- Bus #4 goes from the Nikola Tesla Airport to Belgrade bus station which is conveniently located.
- Taxi rides can be bought at the taxi information desk near baggage claim. They will give you a taxi receipt with the name of your destination and fixed price according to which zone your going to.
- Tipping in restaurants are 10-15% for good service but you won’t be able to leave a tip on credit cards. So make sure you have cash to leave for a tip.
- You can Buy Bus Tickets Online but must buy separate platform tickets when you arrive at the bus station.
- There are several international trains that travel to Belgrade.
- Serbia offers visa-free travel for up to 90 days for citizens of many countries, including the US.
- Currency in Serbia is Dinars and is sought $1 USD to 108 RSD.
- If you are traveling here from North America, you will need a European Travel Adapter.
- And you’ll need a Voltage Converter.