Having done little to no research before coming to Belgrade, we arrived with a very open mind. After getting a bit lost looking for our accommodations in the city center on a Friday evening, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed by the crowds after our first hour. The next twenty three hours, however, completely changed my mind about this thriving and robust city.
If you're used to oogling architecture and classical structures in European cities, you'll be in for a rude awakening here. Belgrade still show many visible scars from its war torn past. But with the conflict a full generation in the rear view, this gritty city has an excitement about it that immediately makes itself known on your visit.
Youthful faces are everywhere as you explore the region. Even the traditional tourist destinations like the centuries old fortress bustle with smiling faces of every age. Simply walking the streets and trying the local fare will bring good conversations with locals happy to host you. I'd be remiss if I didn't give a special nod to the pupil dialatingly good food at Zacivja restaurant. Go here.
We also made a point to go to the Nikola Tesla museum, honoring the late inventor of whom the locals could not be more proud to call their own. If this is on your agenda, and it should be, ensure that you arrive early as Tesla's recent resurgence in popularity has make this modest sized attraction a bit of a zoo. Tours only run once an hour and the language offered varies. Tickets are not available in advance, so lines congregate at the door. The movie, exhibits, and interactive exhibitions make the wait worthwhile and are enjoyable for all ages.
Of course, there are several other museums, public buildings and unique religious sites that can encompass your visit depending on your interests. I hope you come with an open mind, as we did, about what this city has to offer. If you do, I think you'll leave pleasantly surprised by this up and coming urban center.