The highlights of... Belgrade
Sales team leader Neil Davis visited Belgrade a few months ago and was surprised by the variety of attractions on offer.
Belgrade is very much a city of contrasts. On the one hand it is a cosmopolitan city - young, busy and modernising itself after years of civil war. While on the other hand, reminders of recent history that should not be forgotten are very clearly laid out around the city centre.
One of the many sights of high historical importance that you will visit during a city tour of Belgrade is the Tomb of the former Communist leader of Yugoslavia, Josip Tito (7 May 1892 - 4 May 1980). Tito was president of what was formerly Yugoslavia, from 1953 until his death in 1980. Under Tito's rule, Yugoslavia distanced itself from Stalin's Russia and followed a non-aligned version of socialism and to this day Tito is still venerated by many. The sight of his tomb, also known as the House of Flowers, is also home to two museums showcasing artifacts from his life, as well as some of the state gifts he received.
Kalemegdan (Fortress Square in Turkish) is Belgrade's most famous tourist sight and is hugely popular with International travellers and locals alike. The fortress, located just a short walk from the city centre, was founded in the 3rd century BC and is located on top of a hill at an elevation of 125.5 metres, overlooking the confluence of the Sava river into the Danube.
Serbia is a small country and many other key sights and cities can be reached on day trips from Belgrade:
The Iron Gate starts approximately a two hour drive from Belgrade. It is a gorge on the Danube River, which forms part of the boundary between Romania and Serbia, separating the southern Carpathian Mountains from the northwestern foothills of the Balkan Mountains. The gorge is said to be the 2nd largest in the world (after the Grand Canyon) and provides some spectacular natural scenery.
Viminacium is located just a one hour drive from Belgrade and is an archaeological site and the provincial capital. The city, first excavated in 1977, dates from the 1st Century and features remains of temples, streets, squares, amphitheatres, palaces, hippodromes and Roman baths. Amongst the 28 (and counting!) tombs discovered here, three can be explored by the public 5 metres underground.
Novi Sad. Serbia's second largest city and the capital of the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina is easily reachable from Belgrade. The city of Novi Sad is very young, founded only in 1694, and its relaxed and bohemian atmosphere is in stark contrast to the bustling streets of Belgrade. Novi Sad only became part of Serbia after WW1 and its Austro-Hungarian influences can be seen throughout the city.
Cox & Kings' Balkan Explorer tour visits Belgrade.