9 DAYS WESTERN SWITZERLAND & THE BALKANS
The Balkans- Serbia (Day 2 -5)
(from L to R, T to B) Bombed-out former Ministry of Defence; Plaza; Church of Saint Sava; inside Church of Saint Sava; The Cathedral Church of St. Michael the Archangel; Pobednik, Belgrade Fortress
Getting around: the 2-hr flight from Geneva to Belgrade on Easyjet is priced at CHF98 one-way, as of Aug 2014. Within Belgrade, mostly on foot and for further destinations, taxis are cheap and plentiful, although I did have a Serbian-speaking friend with me who could give directions in Serbian. I suspect language barriers may be an issue otherwise without your destination name written in Serbian so do your homework beforehand wherever possible.
What cannot be missed: Belgrade Fortress. This is the oldest and more historical core of Serbia's Stari Grad (or Old City) with several interesting spots, including the Despot Stefan Tower and the sprawling Kalemegdan Park. There is also the Pobednik which is a 14-metre monument by Ivan Meštrović and one of the most recognizable attractions of Belgrade. Being at the confluence of the Danube and the Sava rivers means that this is also one of the best spots to catch sweeping views of Belgrade unobstructed.
Terazije 3 / V | +381 11 26 20 685 | website
Most interesting attraction: Nikola Tesla Museum. Remember the scene from The Prestige where David Bowie (as Tesla) shows Hugh Jackman's character a contraption that would purportedly bring his magic to new heights? Yes see it for real at this museum- I think this will sell it enough.
Krunska 51 | +381 11 24 33 886 | website
Spot of luxury: Ebisu at Square Nine Hotel. With your eyebrow raised at this Japanese recommendation in Belgrade, let me assure you that you would want to check out this restaurant for its rooftop location or even the hotel lobby for its painfully chic interiors even if its sushi is maybe a 7 out of 10 at best. The cocktails are sublime and the service is something Tokyo can be proud of. I would also recommend staying at this hotel.
9 Studentski trg | +381 11 33 33 500 | website
Spot of cash: Question Mark (literally "?") Tavern. To redeem myself from a non-Serbian recommendation above is this thoroughly Serbian experience in one of the oldest (and warmest) taverns or kafanas in town. And you have to try their homebrand brandy, especially the quince flavoured one. Divine.
6 Kralja Petra Street | +381 11 26 35 421
? Tavern; View from Ebisu
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