Travel Diary: Serbia
There are some places that are on everyone’s travel list and there are places that should be on everyone’s travel list. Serbia is the latter.
Serbia was never on my list of places I wanted to visit, but when I got an invitation from Serbia Travel to come spend a week in Belgrade I, of course, said yes. I am always open to traveling to new places and exploring new cultures and opportunities.
What to See:
I got to see a lot of really neat places, so I won’t overwhelm you with the entire list. But my favorite 3 spots were the Belgrade Fortress, the Tiny House on the Rock and the open market in the Belgrade city center.
Being at the fortress was like going back in time. It was like living out all the books I’d read as a little girl.
The Tiny House on the Rock is something you have to see! Not only was the boat ride up to the house magical, but the house itself is spectacular. It’s also an introverts dream real estate. Lol.
I don’t get to go to very many open markets here in the US, but if they’re anything like the one I visited in Belgrade, I’m definitely going to have to add it to my weekly things to do. Everyone was so nice. They were giving me gifts as we walked through the market. Not to mention it was some of the freshest and most beautiful fruit and flowers I’ve ever seen.
Where to Eat:
Food is a big part of Serbian culture. If you think America has a reputation for large portion sizes, take a trip to the Balkans. I have never eaten so much bread and meat in my life. Seriously! The good news is it’s all delicious! And this is coming from someone who’s doesn’t consider herself an “adventurous eater.” But I tried everything and it was all amazing.
So let me walk you through it.
Every meal starts with coffee.
If you’re a coffee drinker, you definitely have to make sure to try what Serbians call “domestic coffee” or “Turkish coffee.” People raved about it the entire trip and apparently, you haven’t had coffee until you’ve had Turkish coffee. If you’re looking for a great place to grab a cup of Joe, I recommend Kafana ? (Question Mark). It’s one of the most famous coffee shops in Belgrade.
I’m not a coffee drinker, so I substitute with hot chocolate. If you’ve ever had hot chocolate in Europe, you know it’s nothing like hot chocolate stateside. It’s actual hot. chocolate. So thick and rich you literally have to eat it with a spoon. My inner child is never as happy as I am when I’m
eating drinking hot chocolate in Europe.
After coffee, out comes the copious amounts of meats, cheese and bread.
One of the most interesting places we ate in Belgrade was Manufaktura. The decor and outdoor umbrellas are an Instagrammers dream and the food is even better.
If you still have room and you’re looking for a sweet treat to finish off your meal, Dolce by Tintolino is the cutest cake shop with the most delicious pastries. You’ll feel like you’re in Paris.
What to Do:
If you’re looking for a fun and unique way to see the countryside, I suggest hopping on the Šargan Eight Railway. It’s a vintage style train that winds it’s way through Western Serbia in the shape of a figure 8. You get to stop a various points along the way—including a coffee shop, of course—and it’s great way to see parts of the country outside of the typical urban destinations.
If you’re more on a hands-on type person, you can take a quick pottery lesson from a local claymaker. I’ve always been a crafty person so this was right up my alley. My instructor didn’t speak English, but somehow we still knew exactly what the other was saying. He even told the translator that I had a “natural feel for it.” So don’t be surprised if you see me in the 2020 reboot of “Ghost”.
Now, if you’re feeling really ambitious and really want to get physical, you can take a hike up the Uvac Nature Reserve to see this breathtaking view.
This view alone was worth the entire trip!
Special thanks to Serbia Tourism for the amazing opportunity and the chance to see one of the most beautiful places in the world.