New Hostel Belgrade, Skadarlija and Ice-cream
We took a 6.5 hour private transfer to Belgrade that was organised from our Hostel. It wasn’t too bad but the roads were all over the place. When we went through the city to get to our Hostel (New Hostel Belgrade) we drove past one of the major parks and were shocked to see it filled with people. The driver told us they were refugees and they were living there.
When we got to the Hostel Ricky was mistaken for ‘Marko Savic’, the famous Serbian Basketball player. We had a nap and did some admin stuff before having our first showers in the very weird bathroom set-up (1 long shower, with 2 shower heads right next to one another, no dividing curtain).
We ventured out to Skadarlija street which is one of the most rated restaurant strips in Belgrade. We ended up in Kafana Pivnica Jedno Mesto and shared a meat platter, salad and ice coffee. On the way back we did a quick food shop at the local Idea Supermarket. The guy behind the counter was really nice, so I asked him what the best ice-cream was in the shop. He picked the ice-cream that I would have never picked up – ended up being an amazing dark Chocolate with berry jam and vanilla ice-cream.
Free Walking Tour Belgrade
In the morning we checked out the local Coffee shop called Coffee Brands, which was owned by a Greek guy. The kettle in our hostel looked like it hadn’t been used in 15 years. The coffee at Coffee Brands was really good. After that we headed to the Free Walking Tour at 11am. Ljubica gave the best tour that we have ever had; we visited:
- Republic Square
- Skadarlija / Skadarska Street (moon sign so you know which way is up and down when drunk)
- Bohemian Poet house
- Macedonian Embassy; showing the bullet holes from WWI and WWII
- Oldest Turkish House
- Mosque Bajrakli
- Kalemegdon Park
- Belgrade Fortress
- Main Orthodox Church / Head Serbian Priest house across the road
- The Kafana called ‘?’ ; yes Question Mark Cafe
The end of our tour ended at the old Primary School where Ljubica talked about the 1993 Hyperinflation. She gave each of us a copy of the $500,000,000,000 note. She also let us try some of her friends home-made honey Rakija and also some tourist postcards and magnets. The recommended tip was 500p/p, but we gave 600p/p.
Rakia Bar, Sava Church and Terminal Bar
After the tour we went to the Rakia Bar Ljubica suggested. We bought 2 shots, one with honey and the other honey with raspberry. We liked the honey with raspberry one more so we bought a bottle for Ricky’s cousin back home for her birthday. It was only 25% but it was really sweet. I also bought a small bottle of the traditional 40% plum Rakija for a Serbian friend back home.
We had a list of recommended restaurants by our Serbian friend back in Perth but we couldn’t find the one that was recommended for lunch. We ended up at the cheap fast food restaurant called ‘Hollyfood’; we got nice sandwiches. We made our way back to the hostel and stopped at McDonalds when Ricky saw Bacio and Brownie with caramel McFlurries. We got one each and Ricky said the Bacio was even better than the Oreo flavor back home.
We had a nap in the afternoon and then got up to check out Sava Church which is still under construction. We were able to go inside. It’s not as big as the Dom in Cologne but it is so impressive. The outside was almost complete but the inside was empty. When we got back to our Hostel we quickly got ready to go out for dinner with some Serbian friends who are living in Perth (flew back for the summer holidays). They picked us up and took us to their friends restaurant near Sava church ‘Terminal Restaurant’.
The food and drinks at Terminal were really good! I was surprised at how cheap everything was compared to Perth. Ricky had a really nice Asian chicken dish while I had sushi. The restaurant owner ended up being there with his family, so we all sat together and had dessert and shisha. The couple we were with mentioned a great place in Serbia called Savinas which is meant to have incredible food (a few hours drive from Belgrade). We made it home at about 1am and crashed – such a good night!
Citibank Cards; No fee for Pro-credit Bank and Piraeus Bank
Sava Church; No fee, but optional donation to the church
Accommodation; be cautious on the reviews from booking.com & hostelworld as they could be endorsed