Serbia’s past, as a nation that has been severely tested by conflicts throughout history, is well known: from the Austro-Hungarian invasion that triggered the First World War and ending with the collapse of the former Yugoslavia after 10 years of civil war. The image of the capital, Belgrade, as a tourist destination has suffered greatly in the postwar period, but now the city begins to recover, reaching out to tourism agencies and tourists alike. Here’s what you can do and see here, for starters:
A visit to the museum Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla, one of the greatest scientists, inventors and engineers of all time, came from a family of Serbian origin, and asked in his will that all assets have been transferred after death in Belgrade. The museum, located in a beautiful villa built in 1929, is the only place where you can see Tesla’s personal legacy, one containing the original plans and drawings of his inventions that have revolutionized the production and distribution of electricity. The urn containing his ashes – subject of dispute between the museum and the Orthodox Church – is kept in a golden globe in the museum. Tesla’s archive is included in the “Memory of the World” Heritage by UNESCO as a sign of recognition of the value of this collection, until today.
Take a trip along the Danube and Sava rivers, aboard a cruise
Some shipping companies have exploited Belgrade’s waterways, turning them into tourist attractions, and the competition is fierce in the summer months. Kej Yacht Club is by far the most sought after hosting aboard four vessels of its more than 150 000 tourists each year. Apart from free afternoon cruises, which carries tourists a panoramic tour of the most notable attractions of the city, the company also organizes private parties or various events and live music evenings. Tourists can choose to serve dinner in the restaurant on the ship, or the can stay in the floating hostel throughout the entire time, where the owners guarantees a quiet night away from the bustle of the city center.
Explore the underground city hidden beneath the surface as we all know it
Over 700 years of history of Belgrade, locals have come and gone; they have been invaded and chased away by enemies. As a result, there are countless ruins buried here, many of them remain undiscovered for centuries. Since the foundation of the main gate of a Roman fort dating from the early millennium, until the secret passages dug during the conflict between Tito and Stalin in the mid-20th century, Belgrade’s past is unique regarding the availability offered to the public that knows about it. For those eager to learn more, there are several surcharge guided tours, which are organized during the week, and help participants to better fit the city’s underground attractions in the historical context.
Enjoy a sunny afternoon in Ada Ciganlija
Better known as Beograda (Belgrade Sea), Ada Ciganlija is the tourist resort town on the banks of Sava River. Here numerous investments have been made and have transformed an area little explored in an extremely crowded place for recreation during summer. Apart from a 7 km long beach, here you can find basketball courts, soccer fields, a bungee jumping platform and a dry slope skiing, to name just some of the facilities offered to those willing to have fun. Late at night, in the summer months, you can admire the spectacle offered by the luminous fountain in the middle of the lake, with the design inspired the famous Jet d’Eau in Geneva.
Photo source: Picture 1: traveltoserbia.net; Picture 2: timetravelturtle.com; Picture 3: commons.wikimedia.org; Picture 4: traveloutthere.com; Picture 5: flickr.com; Picture 6: skyapartmani.com; Picture 7: pinterest.com