Sunny Day at Belgrade Fortress, Serbia

EUROPE, GARDENS & PARKS, Historic/Museums, WALKING/HIKING — By on May 4, 2018 at 23:23

Text & photos Copyright © Estrella Azul

IF YOU ONLY HAVE one day to visit the capital of Serbia, Belgrade (also called the White City)—and if it’s a sunny one—make sure to go for a walk downtown, but also explore the fortress.

Hotel Moskva

We visited Belgrade on our drive back home from Skopje, Macedonia. It was January but the weather was spring-like!

After parking our car at the Zeleni venac public parking garage on Kraljice Natalije Street, we could enjoy our day. We walked the streets a little before heading for the fortress.

Tourists and locals enjoying the warm winter weather

Walking downtown, one can see the mix of Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, Serbian and Austrian Empires’ influences on the city’s history. Belgrade is a study in contrasts in its combination of architecture and culture that now forms the modern city.

View of Belgrade from Castellan Tower

Locals are generally hospitable and seem proud of their city. The Serbian Orthodox Church follows the Julian calendar, which is 14 days behind, so the time of our visit coincided with their Christmas weekend. That may be why the streets were quite busy, the fortress was full of people and traffic wasn’t light either. Tourists lounged on terraces enjoying their coffee outside in the unusually warm winter weather.

Kalemegdan Park, Damad Ali Pasha’s Turbeh

Located in a modern area of the city, Belgrade Fortress consists of the old citadel and Kalemegdan Park. Overlooking the confluence of the rivers Sava and Danube, it stands tall above the otherwise urban scene surrounding it.

The fortress, in bronze

If you approach Kalemegdan Park from the city center, you will see vendors offering up an array of magnets and other souvenirs at the start of/along a portion of the main pathway towards the fortress, same as the pedestrian streets in the center of the White City.

Kalemegdan Park vendors, and statues along its paths

Statues line the park’s paths, and plaques with a short history of the park help tourists understand the history of the place.

About Kalemegdan Park

The fortress has been beautifully brought back to value. Admission is free, which draws in tourists and locals alike during any time of the year. Different thematic exhibitions are held on the grounds from time to time, and various sports, cultural and arts events take place there.

Belgrade Fortress, the Military Museum

As we walked in, we could see that in a large part of the moat there is a dinosaur adventure park set up for kids. The Dino Park Jura Avantura Kalemegdan houses about 35 dinosaurs, most of which make sounds and movements as well. Even though we didn’t enter, it looked like fun!

A peek at Jura Avantura Park

Looking at the city from the fortress view-points, one can see the vast space it occupies. It’s no wonder this is one of the most popular destinations in Belgrade.

Looking down toward the river banks

We were too tired from our week of walking an average of 20 km/day, so we didn’t walk down the stairs to the river banks, but enjoyed the views, and continued visiting the fortress grounds and the park.

The Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments

In addition to a series of towers and bastions, the fortress houses a couple of period buildings, still standing or restored.

Sahat Tower

One of the most well-maintained is the indoor and outdoor military museum, which includes a World War II tanks collection, cannons and army weapons, as well as pieces of equipment captured during recent wars (for example, the equipment of an American soldier and pieces of a Boeing F-117 shot down during the 1999 bombing by NATO).

Outdoor Military Museum exhibition

It is a plus that mass tourism hasn’t yet gotten to this city, but during our short stay I could see this starting to develop.

Castellan Tower, currently housing the Observatory of the Astronomical Society “Rudjer Boskovic”

Belgrade Fortress will probably remain for years to come one of Belgrade’s most picturesque places to visit, where the atmosphere of the city is felt with little-to-no cosmopolitan influence.

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Travel tip: One cannot exchange Serbian dinars in Romania to go in prepared, so we walked around the streets a little bit in the morning to find an exchange office that would accept Hungarian forint. Only one of ten did in that central area, so I’d suggest having euros or USD instead of other European currency with you.

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Estrella in the Greek Amphitheatre ruins, Taormina, Sicily

Estrella Azul is a young emerging writer, passionate about reading, floral art and photography, with an artistic personality and a soulful outlook on life. She is a Hungarian girl living and writing from Cluj-Napoca, Romania, the capital of historical region Transylvania. Estrella is our European correspondent, she currently serves as the photo editor here at Milliver’s Travels, and she dreams of embarking on a round-the-world trip. To read more of her creative writing, her thoughts and daily happenings, visit Life’s a stage – WebBlog©. Read more of her stories on Milliver’s Travels by visiting Estrella’s story index.

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