Belgrade is a budget travelers dream, and the three attractions below are free to explore (Ethnographic Museum is free on Sundays) and give some valuable information about the city’s amazing history. Because the Great War Island was closed for the season, we didn’t get to visit it this trip; however, our WWOOF host explained how awesome and fun the island is in the summer.
When we arrive in a new city, especially a capital city like Belgrade, we always try to pay a visit the country’s heritage museum. During our visit, we will peruse the permanent collections and exhibitions so that we can get a better understanding of the history and culture of the land we are visiting.
The Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade is the place to go if you need to brush up on your Serbian history. The museum is free on Sundays and contains both permanent exhibitions and special exhibitions. The permanent collection features traditional costumes and focuses on the country’s evolving lifestyle and working changes.
Great War Island
Every summer, Belgrade sets up a bridge between The Great War Island and one of its municipalities, Zemun, so that its citizens as well as tourists can enjoy the island, which features a nature preserve and fish spawning area. Additionally, the island also has a beach, Lido, which is a popular hangout for summer swimming and sunbathing.
The Great War Island has played an important role in Belgrade’s history, in part because of its strategic location, which led to be used in the conquest or defense of Belgrade. Currently, historians consider the confluence to be the true hear to Belgrade because the site is one of the first Neolithic settlements in Europe.
Belgrade Fort and Kalemegdan Park
Overlooking the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, the Belgrade Fortress is the oldest section of Belgrade’s urban area. For centuries, Belgrade’s population was concentrated within the thick, grey fortress walls. Some of the world’s greatest empires, including the Roman and Ottoman, conquered, occupied and defended the fortress. The fort endured nearly two millennia of continuous sieges before being declared a Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance in 1979.
The fort and expansive park grounds are free to explore and offer up great panoramas, winding paths and shaded spots with benches. One of my favorite locations inside the fort is the Chapel of Saint Petka near the Rose Church. The chapel was built on top of a spring believed to be miraculous, especially for women. You can drink a cup for free or pay 30 dinar (50 cents) for a bottle.
Additionally, the fortress and park contains an observatory, planetarium, tennis, basketball courts, the city Zoo, Military Museum, and Museum of forestry and hunting.