Belgrade, which translates as “White City,” is the capital of the Republic of Serbia and the country’s biggest city, with a population of over 1.7 million people. The city is dominated by many architectural types, and its recent rebirth as the main center in south-eastern Europe makes it a must-see visit.
It is located at the meeting point of the Sava and Danube rivers. The city has a lengthy history, going back to the 4th century BC, when Celtic tribes established in the region. Later, it became the Roman city of Singidunum, and remnants from that period may still be seen in the city, most notably at Kalemegdan Fortress. Until the Ottoman conquest, the town was a Serbian stronghold throughout the Middle Ages. The city changed hands multiple times between the Ottomans and the Austrians until 1878, when Serbia gained independence and Belgrade became the new country’s capital.
After the First World War, Belgrade served as the capital of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (later renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) until its demise in 1999, when NATO bombed the city. This frequently violent past, as well as foreign influences, have shaped much of Belgrade’s progress, which is seen in its culture and architecture. The city has taken on a distinct character, evocative of both Austrian and Turkish influences, with a unique mix of Communist characteristics tossed in since Yugoslavia was ejected from the Eastern Bloc in 1948 but pursued its own form of Communism until the years after Marshal Tito’s death in 1980. Nonetheless, the city has its own soul, with not just distinctive features, but also a healthy joie de vivre in its café culture, nightlife, and typically Mediterranean tinge in its outlook on life.
Belgrade – Info Card
|POPULATION :||City: 1,166,763 / Metro: 1,659,440|
|FOUNDED :||Prior to 279 B.C.|
|TIME ZONE :||CET (UTC+1) Summer: CEST (UTC+2)|
|RELIGION :||Serbian Orthodox 92.5%, Catholic 5.5%,Others 2%|
|AREA :||359.96 km2 (138.98 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||117 m (384 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||44°49′N 20°28′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 48,88%|
• Female: 51,12%
|ETHNIC :||Serb 95%, Others (Montenegrian, Croats) 5%|
|AREA CODE :||011|
|POSTAL CODE :||11000|
|DIALING CODE :||(+381) 11|
Tourism in Belgrade
In recent years, Belgrade has been re-emerging as a tourist spot. Belgrade, known as the “Party Capital of Southeastern Europe,” is well-known for its various entertainment venues, as well as its many historical buildings, delicious local cuisine, and friendly people. The city is dominated by many architectural types, and its recent rebirth as the major center in Southeastern Europe makes it a must-see visit.
Belgrade has a reputation for having a busy nightlife, with several clubs operating into the early hours of the morning. The barges (splav) that line the banks of the Sava and Danube rivers are the most iconic nightlife elements of Belgrade. Many weekend visitors, particularly from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia, prefer Belgrade nightlife to that of their respective capitals, owing to a perceived friendly atmosphere, great clubs and bars, cheap drinks, a lack of language difficulties, and a lack of restrictive nightlife regulation.
Belgrade’s historic districts and structures are among the city’s most popular attractions. Skadarlija, the National Museum and adjacent National Theatre, Zemun, Nikola Pašić Square, Terazije, Students’ Square, the Kalemegdan Fortress, Knez Mihailova Street, the Parliament, Saint Sava Church, and the Old Palace are among them.
On top of that, both banks of the river include a plethora of parks, monuments, museums, cafés, restaurants, and shopping. Views of the city may be had from the hilltop Avala Monument and Avala Tower.
Ada Ciganlija is a former Sava River island that now serves as Belgrade’s largest sports and leisure area. It is now linked to the right bank of the Sava by two causeways, forming an artificial lake. During the city’s sweltering summers, it is the most popular destination for Belgradians. There are 7 kilometers (4 miles) of long beaches as well as sporting facilities for golf, football, basketball, volleyball, rugby union, baseball, and tennis. Every day during the summer, between 200,000 and 300,000 people bathe.
Climate of Belgrade
Belgrade has a humid subtropical climate with four seasons and evenly distributed precipitation.
The monthly average temperature ranges from 1.4 °C (34.5 °F) in January to 23.0 °C (73.4 °F) in July, with an annual average temperature of 12.5 °C (54.5 °F).
On average, there are 31 days every year when the temperature exceeds 30 °C, and 95 days where the temperature exceeds 25 °C. The average amount of sunshine hours per year is 2,112.
Geography of Belgrade
Belgrade is situated at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers, 116.75 metres (383.0 feet) above sea level. Kalemegdan, Belgrade’s historical centre, is located on the right side of both rivers. The city has been growing to the south and east since the nineteenth century; following World War II, Novi Beograd (New Belgrade) was constructed on the left bank of the Sava river, linking Belgrade with Zemun. Smaller, mostly residential settlements along the Danube, such as Krnjača, Kotež and Borča, amalgamated into the city as well, but Pančevo, a strongly industrialized satellite city, maintains a distinct town.
The city has an urban area of 360 square kilometers (140 square miles), while its metropolitan area encompasses 3,223 km2 (1,244 sq mi). Belgrade has always been a crossroads between the West and the Orient.
Central Belgrade features a mountainous landscape on the right bank of the Sava, and the highest point in Belgrade proper is Torlak hill at 303 m. (994 ft). South of the city are the mountains of Avala (511 m (1,677 ft)) and Kosmaj (628 m (2,060 ft)). The area around the Sava and Danube rivers is largely flat, with alluvial plains and loessial plateaus.
Economy of Belgrade
Belgrade is Serbia’s and Southeast Europe’s financial center, with a total office space of 17.000.000 m2 and the headquarters of the country’s central bank. Over 600,000 people are now working in 120,286 businesses, 22,600 businesses, and 50,000 stores.
Belgrade, with 6,924 enterprises in the industry (as of 2013 statistics), is one of the fastest growing information technology hubs in this area of Europe. At the time of its creation, the Microsoft Development Facility in Belgrade was the world’s sixth such center. Many global IT businesses, including Asus, Intel, Dell, Huawei, NCR, and others, have chosen Belgrade as a regional or European hub. Nordeus, a local video game company, is one of Europe’s most rapidly developing gaming firms. Nordeus has expanded to over 150 workers and €64 million in annual revenues in only five years of existence.
New Belgrade is the country’s primary commercial area. It has hotels, convention halls (Sava Centar), class A and B office buildings, athletic facilities (Belgrade Arena), retail malls (Ušće and Delta City), and business parks (Airport City Belgrade). Over 1.2 million square meters of land are now under development in New Belgrade, with an anticipated value of over 1.5 billion Euros in construction over the next two and a half years.
Internet, Communication in Belgrade
Serbia’s international dialing code is 381. The majority of Serbian cities and mobile providers use a two-digit area code. Belgrade has just one area code, which is 11. +381-11/xxx-xxxx is a typical Belgrade landline phone number. +381-6x/xxx-xxxx is a common mobile phone number. Use the 00 prefix for international calls from a Serbian landline phone (e.g., 0031-20/xxx-xxxx for Amsterdam, Netherlands), and the 0 prefix for calls inside Serbia but outside your region (e.g., 021/xxx-xxxx for Novi Sad, Serbia, or 06x/xxx-xxxx for Serbian mobile). There is no need to utilize the prefix if you dial inside the same region (just dial xxx-xxxx). From a mobile phone, dial the area code (011/xxx-xxxx for Belgrade landline phones, 0xx/xxx-xxx(x) for other Serbian landline phones, or 06x/xxx-xxxx for Serbian mobile phones).
Essentially, all three providers’ mobile networks cover the whole country of Serbia. At the city’s kiosks, it’s simple to purchase and charge inexpensive pre-paid numbers. To check credit on a 064, 065 or 066 (MTS) pre-paid number, dial *100#; for 063, 062 and 069 (Telenor), dial *121#; and for 061 and 060 (Vip), dial *123#.
There are a number of red-colored payphones located around the city that are operated by telephone cards purchased at kiosks.
There is free wireless internet connection accessible in Student Park in Belgrade’s downtown, as well as at numerous restaurants, cafes, and hotels. Pre-paid and post-paid cellular Internet packages are available from mobile providers.