I was told Belgrade had a good nightlife, but I wasn’t quite prepared for it! A couple of guys from the hostel and I tagged along with our hostess, who had invited us to join her and a friend. After buying some beers at a street vendor we checked out this artsy street festival with live music, before heading across the river to rock out on a boat, with an amazingly creative DJ. I should point out that it takes a lot to get me in a club, dancing, and smiling at the same time, but this place did it! We left at midnight, I can’t remember what time I got back.
By day, I would say that Belgrade is nothing special, but that’s not a bad thing, it feels like a normal city with no gimmicks or false fronts. The city centre is very walkable and there’s no shortage of places to eat or things to see.
I’m getting the hang of Cyrillics already, having spent just one night boning up on the alphabet. Serbia is the first country I’ve been in that predominantly uses Cyrillic script, and it’s a great place to learn, as many signs use both Latin and Cyrillic, and the language is the same as Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina.
It’s very satisfying to read some text in a previously unintelligible script and actually understand it, like when I first read ‘улица’ on a street sign: ‘yoo… lee… tsa… ah, ulica — street! It works the other way, too. I know that bakery is pekara, so when I want some breaded snacky goodness I just have to look for a sign that says ‘пекара’. Easy!
The heart of the city is the massive Belgrade Fortress, occupying a large park at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. A few upmarket cafés and restaurants now reside within the fortress walls.