This week, I’d originally planned to be in the Belgrade airport for eight hours en route to another part of Europe. Due to some dire circumstances (not having power at my apartment all weekend in Kotor), I moved my flight up and made it a nice 36-hour layover. Just enough time to see the city and maybe go out for a little trouble.
With that being said, I do have some quick thoughts I’d like to share—also because I have no post ready because of said power issue.
One last thing—one of my good buddies wrote a great post about Serbian women over at my smaller site, Eastern European Travel. So if you haven’t, make sure you give it a read.
#1: Friendly, friendly people (reminds me of Istanbul).
I have heard this before many times, so I’m not surprised. But everyone so far has been incredibly nice—from the hotel check-in girl, to the coffee shops, to the restaurant I ate lunch. Even some people on the street just thanking me for holding doors in a sincere way.
Sure, some of these positions are of service and you expect it, but it’s definitely above and beyond the “normal”. Very similar to how I was treated in Istanbul last year—which is still one of my favorite places, ever.
#2: Reminds me of Budapest.
The layout of the city, the way the cafes are, and the overall vibe really reminds me of Budapest.
Read more about Budapest & Hungary:
#3: Reminds me of Kyiv.
My first thought coming into the city was, “Holy hell, Communism.”
Belgrade definitely has some similar features as far as buildings, especially the outer districts. Blocks and blocks of communist-style apartments. Kyiv is much, much bigger and has more of a hustle and bustle feel to it.
Belgrade is also cheap.
(120 Serbian dinar to 1 USD right now)
For more about Kyiv & Ukraine:
#4: Reminds me of Bratislava.
If I had just one word to sum up Bratislava, it’d be “gritty”. Belgrade has them same feel to it. A lot of the buildings are in shambles and are in need of repair. Some of the transit systems are really old (and some are really new and nice).
I like Belgrade a lot more so far though. It’s not even a bad thing—let me be clear on that. Just…different.
Especially given that it’s February. There are a lot of people out today—it’s probably their nicest day so far this year. It’s 67 degrees outside right now, and I’m bummed I’m inside typing this instead of going out. But my legs needed some rest!
There is a massive W Hotel going up on the riverbank opposite all of the summer clubs.
I wouldn’t be shocked if that’s the thing that takes Belgrade to the next level as far as sex appeal. Bad news for nomads.
In conclusion: So far, so good. Get here while you can.
PS: For more thoughts on Belgrade, make sure to sign up to my list below: