A Capital City, Blossoming Again
Belgrade is a hidden gem. At once cosmopolitan, trendy, majestic, and struggling, the capital city of Serbia blends a laid-back fun-loving sensibility with a constant knowledge of the past. As both the capital and the largest city of a small nation, Belgrade is the political and cultural hub of Serbia. Downtown, beautiful traditional Orthodox churches mingle with elaborate government buildings and rigid, communist-era structures. The nightlife in Belgrade is thriving; cafes, restaurants, and nightclubs are lively most any night of the week, often until the wee hours of the morning. The magnificent fortress in Kalemegdan is probably the city’s most spectacular sight, especially at sunset, when people stroll through the imposing ancient brick walls and relax with a glorious panoramic view of the city. There are also other, darker hints of the city’s recent past; half-destroyed buildings sit abandoned in downtown areas, silent reminders of the 1999 NATO bombings. However, Belgrade is moving beyond its tragic history; the city is blossoming (but affordable!) and the population is young, open-minded, and welcoming.