Our journey started with a foggy car ride to the airport at 6am. We flew with Lufthansa for the first part of our trip from Manchester to Frankfurt. Then from Frankfurt to Belgrade Airport. Lufthansa is a fabulous airline to fly. You get free pastries!!
We got picked up in a transfer taxi from the airport and it was a short drive to the apartments. On the way our taxi driver said that famous phrase “don’t worry it’s very safe…there is low crime”. This was our first glimpse of Serbia. Big brown and grey flats everywhere with masses of advertising on the tops.
The apartment block did not look great. I did have a little panic when we arrived and thought oh my goodness what have we booked. However, the penthouse suite was very fun. It came equipped with a jacuzzi tub in the main room, sauna and outdoor pool on the balcony. There were a couple of things that weren’t great with the room. One stiff noisy balcony door and the swimming pool hadn’t been cleaned since summer. Furthermore, there is a gym downstairs in the apartment block that played constant music from 8am until 11pm.
Ohh there was also a disco ball in our room…pretty cool eh?
On our first day we decided to just have a mission around and get our bearings. The first thing we had to do was change our Sterling into Serbian Dinars. We found a bank near the apartment and changed around £200. We then walked onto a shopping centre directly opposite the apartment. We went to a place called ‘My Caffe’. An amazing place. The food was incredible. I had a beef salad and one thing I learnt is Serbian’s like mustard on their food. Also, unfortunately for non-smokers, a lot of restaurants allow you to smoke inside.
We spent the first night drinking wine, jacuzzi tubbing and sweating in the sauna.
The next day consisted of trying to get a taxi to visit the Church of Saint Sava. This proved quite difficult. The taxi driver didn’t understand a word I said and even when I showed him on maps the church, he still had no idea. Good job one of the other taxi drivers told him where it was and we set off. The Church of Saint Sava was a lovely place to start our tourist day. It’s a beautiful white colour with turquoise green domes. There wasn’t many people there, which I thought was odd as I read it’s a top tourist attraction.
I had read before we came to Belgrade to visit the Bohemian Quarter and we decided to walk from Saint Sava (which should have taken 30 minutes). Just a quick note that you’ll get charged for using data, so before you leave WiFi make sure you get directions to the different attractions. Otherwise you’ll get a bit lost. Like we did. However, when we were lost we saw some lovely Christmas decorations and a big ‘Beograd’ sign.
Luckily for us we managed to find a Irish Pub. A safe haven of WiFi. You can always count on an Irish Pub abroad. We had a drink and got directions to the ‘Manfaktura’ restaurant. This is where you’ll see the hanging umbrellas.
By this time we were hungry and went to a restaurant called Snezanna. I highly recommend this restaurant. It’s pizza and pasta, but it’s delicious. The food in Serbia is incredible and we didn’t have one bad meal. It’s also very very cheap and you can get a three course meal for under £10.
Day two we decided to catch another taxi to Tasmajdan Park. It’s a nice park and there is a lot to see. There is the Church of Saint Mark and many memorials from when Serbia was going through a war around 20 years ago. In addition, next to a small Russian Chapel on the grounds of the park you will see an old TV suite that was bombed by NATO.
On our way to the next part of town we walked past the House of National Assembly (ROS), which is a great big building next to a main road and opposite another park.
Next to the National Museum of Serbia there is a lovely restaurant which serves the best desserts! Check this beauty out…
At the end of day we decided to walk back to our apartment, which was located on the other side of the river. It took us around 40 minutes but it was worth it. It’s always more fun to explore on foot. We passed over a really long bridge, which really needed a bit of maintenance (there were scary holes on the path).
The last day we spent our last bits of money shopping and I came home with a whole new wardrobe. The fashion in Serbia is great and the clothes are so cheap. We also had a fantastic breakfast at ‘My Caffe’ for the equivalent of £3. Honestly, it’s mega cheap.
There are a few interesting things I noticed about Serbia. No rules apply. We saw many cars going through red lights, driving on payments and generally driving like crazy. We didn’t hear or see one ambulance whilst we were there and it’s a very relaxed atmosphere. It’s cheap and the standard of living is a lot lower then other European Countries. It was an a amazing experience!
Until next time Serbia…