Laid back locations with authentic river atmosphere are an indespensable part of Belgrade's charm
For those that have to stay in the city as the sun blazes on Belgrade in scorching 35+ degrees, there is little choice for genuine refreshment in the open air but to head to the rivers. After days of tropical heat, the water might be «as warm as in a pond» (as they say here) but what makes the difference is the breeze rolling across the surface of the river. The second thing about Belgrade rivers is that they are as cool as they can get! Be it a cafe, a restaurant, a boat or a ubiquitous barge it is time to kick off your shoes, lean back and order yourself a large cold drink while you gaze at the lazy flow, distant riverbank and the white boats passing by. Widely practiced by the locals, this seems to be the best way to prepare yourself for a night of parties that continues on Belgrade's rivers.
This crumbling down fishermen joint at the end of the road under the Gardoš Hill has a long time ago grown to be legendary for its out of time atmosphere. Choose your seating on a covered terrace or on their unique long wooden bar facing the Danube. The list of drinks is bare bones, the choice of food even scarcer (but almost always delicious in its simplicity; ask for their fish burgers, a rare item on Serbian menus) the chairs crumbling, the crowd local but that is exactly how they and their visitors like it.
What once used to be a small ship docked at the riverbank behind the Belgrade Fairgrounds has in years grown into an isle of its own, complete with grass and flowers growing on its open air terrace. It has a laid back atmosphere and a matching, mostly younger crowd. If you get to feel famished try some of their delicious pizzas on offer.
Hidden away at the bottom of the steps descending down through woods you will find an airy terrace facing the uninhabited bank of the Danube that seems to be miles away from the town and its hurried ways. Known for its familiar atmosphere and local specialties made from freshly caught fish, this informal restaurant is popular for lunches and early dinners soaked up in lots of wine.
Sheltering a ramshackle marina just bellow the Fortress, this large ship turned into a restaurant is an excellent place to relax after a walk in the city centre. With prices more than reasonable for such a location, most of its patrons during the day are knowledgeable locals coming for a few drinks or a lunch while in the evenings the crowd gets more diverse and you might bump into a live band playing traditional songs.
The only reason why this restaurant is not full 24/7 is its location that requires a dirt-road drive to the riverbank opposite the power plant in Dorćol. Parking in the bushes, a covered terrace over the river and an interesting angle to the center of the city would be reasons enough to come here. In fact, it is the outstandingly prepared fish brought to the venue by fishermen that you often see among their guests that lures people here. Those looking for something different should try the frog legs, which come with our warmest recommendation.
Belgrade’s first floating hostel is still unbeatable in that category and one of the reasons might be its common room with large windows and terraces on three sides opening to the river. On your left you will see central Zemun, on your right the Belgrade Fortress and in front of you – a cherry on top of this amazing vista – are the woods of the Great War Island. Their bar is open all day long and also welcomes those not staying here.
A part of a largish marina on the Danube, this classic riverside place is popular day and night, any time of the year. Outside seating protrudes far on the water amongst the rocking boats while the squeaky interior has a familiar feel seasoned by years of live gigs that take place here every weekend.
Our favorite in Ada, this café stands out by its friendly welcome and a cool crowd. You can sink into a beachside chair or run from the sun into the shade surrounding the café itself - just don’t disrupt the vibe. On weekends you might want to see what the school of amateur cooking has dished up for themselves and the guests.
When it was towed away a few months ago many sighed and shrug their shoulders as one of the symbols of old Zemun disappeared. Luckily, this old ship(wreck) stands moored once again at the heart of Zemun’s riverside promenade. New doors, windows and some additional details might look quirky here but the vintage feel is still there as are their straightforward but tasty fish dishes.
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Thanks to its excellent service, charm and warmth, Tribeca can
legitimately be called one of the best of Belgrade's many exclusive
restaurants. The blend of the best of local and international
cuisine, the rich wine list and fine ambiance is sure to leave an
impression. First time visitors, easily won over by the aromas,