Beyond splavs and Ada: how to spend your Belgrade summer

After two lousy years of the pandemic, now there is a potential world war threatening to sour our „špricers“. However if the years of turbulence taught us anything, it is that it is important to make the most out of a lousy situation, something that Belgrade always excelled at. While most of the guides will send you to swim in Ada, eat in Skadarlija or Proleće and make you have an obligatory splav jaunt… well, TheNutshellTimes is not like other guides.


Summer ‘22 is officially starting tomorrow and it’s bound to be an awesome one in Belgrade

♬ Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue – Dimanche FR

Get fit and get a dip

From the beginning of 20th century various governments in Yugoslavia and Serbia realised that the best way to exercise power is to get people to exercise and get hooked on sports, and thus Belgrade is blessed a with a number of superb public sports spaces. Some of the public pools are true architectural masterpieces. Themost imporessive is Ivan Antić-designed 25. maj – but all of them offer great views of Belgrade’s beauty: Košutnjak is hidden inside Belgrade’s best urban forest, 11 April offers cool glimpses of the famous Genex tower, while Tašmajdan has unbeatable sunsets over St Mark’s church.

You can become part of the growing calisthenics/street workout scene (and get a bit fitter for the pool) at Tašmajdan, in Košutnjak and by the Nole sports centre.

If this is not sporty enough, there are two great sporty splavs: Daska&Veslo by the iconic hotel Jugoslavija and XTeam Island in New Belgrade which also has a cross fit gym. Of course, you can also just go for a run on one of the routes I recommended.

See Zemun from a different angle

Borča bank of the Danube has become dotted with small summer restaurants that offer a ride from below Gardoš as well as stunning views of the city while you chill in a hammock. They are great places to escape the searing heat and also get decent (and decently priced) grub – but just make sure you book in advance and arrange the transport. If you are brave enough, you can swim in the Danube, but do take note that the current is strong and the water is murky. My recommendation is Dunavski dragulj, but Pređi preko and Tri točka are ok as well.

Embrace the park life

COVID has finally made Belgraders embrace the open spaces to chill. It also gave a boost to some great outdoor events such as a number of wine festivals (Wine Jam is my favourite), as well as party picnics (Piknik organised by the people behind Kišobran and Zaokret is the best) and concerts (as well as Wine Garden) inside the Belgrade Botanical Garden.

Sip a špricer at a kafana garden

While Belgrade got a lot of great new international food – and finally has an acai bar in Nikole Spasića and a decent poke bowl scene – there is nothing more refreshing than špricer (combo of white/rose wine and sparkling water) or beer in a garden of a good local kafana with a cool garden. Orašac is my favourite in town, however Venčac and Gusan have great grills and cool street gardens. If you like fish (girice – small fired fish – and fish soup are traditional options) check out Ribnjak, Stari Šlep or Vodenica, and if you want to treat yourself to game, make sure you check out wonderfully retro Klub Košutnjak. A full list of TheNutshellTimes/Belgradist approved kafanas is Karafindl.

Do some industrial grade partying

While splavs are the most popular option for those visiting Belgrade – 20/44, Leto and Kućica are good – much more hassle free option is going to some of the superb new refurbed industrial spaces to chill. The most visually stunning and ambitious are Silosi, which combine an art space, concept stores and a great fun bar, close to Dorćol. They also organise great parties and events, however if you just wanna chill inside a beer gardens – Docker and Dogma also rock.

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