Balkans has been on my bucket list for years so when I finally found cheap flights to Belgrade, Serbia I didn’t think twice before booking them. The problem was I didn’t know much about the capital of Serbia prior my departure.
Friends told me it’s not an extremely beautiful place but has some lovely areas anyway, mostly around the Kelemegdan Fortress and main pedestrian street, Knez Michailova. And so I didn’t have my hopes very high, I just expected to randomly kill my time walking around before heading to Montenegro.
But then I stumbled upon the information about one particular street, Skadarlija. It was said that it’s the heart of Bohemian Belgrade and this one sentence made it clear to me it’s a must visit place during my stay in Serbian capital. I’m a huge lover of Bohemian culture and always enjoy being inside the Bohemian atmosphere (either in Paris, Kraków, Vienna or anywhere else…) so how could I miss such place?<
The Skaradlija street is hidden in the Belgrade’s center, not far from Trg Republike, the main square. It’s only 400 meters long but definitely full of attractions. The cobblestones street with trees spread on both side is perfect for strolling up and down or siting on one of the many benches and enjoying the atmosphere so much different than the rest of Belgrade.
Skaradlija, known as Belgrade Montmartre, dates back to 1830s when Gypsies inhabited the area. Around 20 years later artists, caterers and others alike took over the street. The name “Gypsy Quarter” stayed until 1872 though. Then it was named after the city of Shkoder (now located in Albania) and ever since it’s known as Skaradlija. It’s peak of Bohemian quarter came in the early 20th century when the street was full of restaurants where prominent writers, actors and other artistic souls spent their time. Much like in other similar places around Europe in that time the free spirit was much alive there and Skaradlija became the cultural heart of Belgrade.
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Today the street is mostly a tourist attraction however not that many people get there. There’re lots of restaurants, art galleries, antiques shops and even hotels along the street. Musicians play both traditional Serbian songs as well as international hits, people slowly wander around and the Bohemian atmosphere is still very present…
Have you ever visited any Bohemian places? Where were they?
If you think of visiting Serbia or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it!
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