36 Hours in Belgrade – The New York Times

The fortress complex on the hill, Kalemegdan, is the spot where Belgrade was born. Formerly a Roman outpost of Singidunum and then a medieval Turkish outpost, it was converted into a park in the mid-19th century and today is home to cafes, museums, and the Belgrade zoo. It’s a pleasant, tranquil place for a Sunday stroll, taking in the views of the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. Pose for a photo at the Victor Column, or Podebnik, erected in 1928 to commemorate the Serbian victory over the Ottomans in the 1870s and the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I.

The emphasis at Bar Sasa, which opened in 2017, is meat. Specifically steak. Cuts of rib-eye and porterhouse are aged for 21 days. But it’s not all steak here. The weekend brunch for 1,900 dinars per person, is an all-you-can eat affair with unctuous roasted pork, beef stew, chicken skewers and ample amounts of cured meat. For a traditional Balkan specialty, try the pleskavica, a patty of ground beef stuffed with cheese. Here, this popular street food item comes topped with a stewed red pepper stuffed with buttery, creamy kajmak cheese. It’s one of the best versions in Belgrade. The wine list spins around the region offering bottles from Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, and Serbia.

In leafy Vracar, just down the road from the massive Saint Sava Church, one of the largest Eastern Orthodox temples in the world, Saint Ten (Svetag Savi 10; +381 11 411 6633; www.saintten.com; doubles from $180 per night) is a 55-room boutique hotel that first flicked on its lights at the end of 2016. The rooms are smart and comfy, with marble bathrooms.

Ever walk through a shopping mall to get to your hotel? It’s not the most pleasant of activities, but you’ll want to do it to get to Mama Shelter (Knez Mihailova 54A; +381 11 3333 000; www.mamashelter.com; doubles from $85 per night), which opened in spring 2018. It sits atop the new Rajiceva shopping center, smack in the center of Belgrade’s pedestrian zone. The 125 rooms are simply furnished, but comfortable, while the terrace bar and restaurant have become a mainstay meeting point for locals, expats and visitors.

Private apartment rentals in Belgrade are a very affordable option, too. In central and pretty Dorcol, expect to pay about $35 per night for a one-bedroom apartment.

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