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 in Belgrade – 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 the 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?<
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Where is Belgrade’s Skadarlija?
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 sitting on one of the many benches and enjoying the atmosphere so much different than the rest of Belgrade.
Skadarlija – Belgrade’s art district
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 as 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.
Today the street is mostly a tourist attraction however not that many people get there. There’re lots of restaurants, art galleries, antique shops and even hotels along the street. You can even find a copy of Sebilj from Sarajevo here. Musicians play both traditional Serbian songs as well as international hits, people slowly wander around and the Bohemian atmosphere is still very present…
Skadarija – practical information
If you would like to learn more about Skadarija you can join the organized tour in the area. Click here for more details.
Skadarlija is lined with cafes, bars and restaurants. Some of the best places you can check out are: Mali vrabac, Dva Jelena, Tri Šešira, Velika Skadarlija, Dim, Bašta craft & draft, Dvorištance, ŠEŠIR MOJ Skadarlija, BeerCode, Forest Pastries and Coffeeshop (Šuma a.k.a. шума), Kafe Sikarica, Zavičaj Skadarlija, Family Bistro and Casablanca Pub.
Skadarlija is a perfect place to stay in Belgrade. Here are some of the best accommodation options:
- Spasa B&B (9.7/10 on Booking)
- Luxury Rooms Skadarlija (9.5/10 on Booking)
- Garni Hotel Le Petit Piaf (8.9/10 on Booking)
- Hotel Bohemian Garni – Skadarlija (9.0/10 on Booking)
- Reveller’s Hostel (9.2/10 on Booking)
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