Monday, July 5, 2010

A weekend in Belgrade and a royal palace

If you're in Belgrade for a weekend, there is one place that you should put at the top of your list (if it's not already there): The Royal Palace near Dedinje. Built in 1924 by two architects from the Royal Academy, this compound was once the home of Tito and Milosevic.

The Royal home in Belgrade, Serbia is open to the public only on weekends. Visitors are welcome to wander the interior hallways, admire the elegant salons and dining rooms and enjoy a stunning view of the city from the top of Dedinje Hill. If it is a clear day, you can see as far as Kosutnjak Forest and Avala.

Until October the Royal compound will be open Saturdsays and Sundays from 11:00 until 14:00. Registration in advance is necessary, especially for tours through the While Palace, Ryoal Palace and Chapel. The tour takes 2 hours.

What else to do in Belgrade on a weekend?
  •  Visit the house where the assassins of Franz Ferdinand planned their attack. It's on the corner of Narodnog Fronta and Kamenicka Street.
  • Explore the Bujljak, a flea market in New Belgrade which is especially busy on Saturdays.
  • Visit the House of Flowers where Josip Broz Tito is buried.
  • Spend an afternoon tasting the baked goods and sugary delights of the city by stopping in at a few of the many bakeries, cake and sweet shops.
  • Find the oldest house in Belgrade, built in 1727 in Cara Dusana Street 10. Since Belgrade has been bombed 5 times in the last century, it seems a miracle that it's still standing.
  • If you want an unguided tour of the city centre, just hop on Tram #2.
  • Grab an evening flick at the Kinoteka, one of the richest movie collections in Europe and the world. A must for movie buffs and film lovers.
Belgrade may not be the prettiest city in Serbia, or in the Balkans for that matter, but it is a city with an exciting past and pretty palaces. If there is anything to really get excited about here it's the night life. Seems every night is Friday and everyday is Saturday in the  capital, something of course everyone can get used to. There are cheap flights from Newcastle to Belgrade with both KLM and British Airways.