So, here you are. Belgrade. Serbia. Hmmm…. Yeah, you heard a lot about it, but how to remember now all those things you read, praising Belgrade as the vibrant new Berlin. And besides, was it really that good? Sure, VoxxedDays are the perfect reason for a visit, but there must be more to this city than just the crème de la crème of technology gathered in one conference. How to spend the rest of your days?
Come on, let’s go. We will take you on a tour through the city. No, you will not miss any of the things you read and heard about. Let’s see. From where do we start?
Step outside the hotel. Turn around and look at this beautiful classical building. This is Hotel Excelsior. This is where Josephine Baker flirted with Belgrade journalists during her stay in the city and where Jean Paul Sartre celebrated the local premiere of his play with Jovan Ćirilov who went on to found Bitef, the Belgrade Theatre Festival.
To your left Kneza Miloša Street gently slopes down towards the green lungs of Belgrade, Košutnjak and Topčider. For a stroll through the woods it is definitely better to jump into a car and then go exploring on foot, we can organize a driver if you like. But today we take you into another direction.
In front of you is the Pionirski park, the former garden of the Royal palace. On its corner you can see a monument dedicated to the Serbian Golgotha during WW 1. Behind it the Royal Palace houses the City Assembly. Passing it, on your right remains the National Assembly. We cross the street and enter Historic Museum. Prepare to learn something about Mihajlo Pupin, one of Serbia’s most noted scientist. We will wait here for you.
And how was it? Yeah, we know :) …
Ok, let’s continue. Direction Knez Mihailova and Kalemegdan Fortress. Yup, those are the things you see when you read about Belgrade. The Victor statue overlooking the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, the luscious green cascades between historic walls that once served to protect the city. Do you want us to send you underground? To see the Roman well and former bunkers? Or do you prefer to stay above the ground and descend to the pulsating Savamala quarter? Ok, let’s go then, to see how a cultural revolution looks like, when it sets out to reshape the city and its inhabitants. Yes, do not worry, we have booked you a table at the best restaurants. And yes, we know where to find the best coffee and cake.
Aaaaaaa, so you are a shopping addict? Well, dear, be sure that we will take you places. Young, inventive designers, pieces you can find nowhere else, beautiful stuff to take home with you. After Savamala, if you can still carry the weight of your shopping bags we will show you Čumićevo sokače, with all those dresses and shoes, handmade, only here. We know, we know, we also want to buy 10 pairs. The suitcase is always too small when you pack for leaving.
Come on, you cannot spend the day shopping. Time for some awe inspiring education. The Tesla Museum. Wanna feel the electricity? Light up some neon lamps? Yes, it is a grown-ups playground. Yes, unfortunately if closes for the night. Yes, we know you want to hide and spend a night at the museum, nowhere else but here. No, tomorrow you have VoxxedDays, so you can’t. Go on, play. We will wait here for you.
Now that is a smile we recognize. No worries, you are not the first who got kicked out because they are closing. We see that all the time. You are tired? Sure, we have the best place to relax and throw back some drinks. It is right in the hotel. Nope, the hotel is just around the corner, you can make it that far.
Come on, just a few steps. We will serve you a drink at the bar and when you take the elevator to you room, you will feel tucked away in the heart of Belgrade. Yes, we know, Belgrade is already in your heart. We know, you want to come back. We know you feel at home here. See, that is what we are here for. Sleep tight!
PS. Tomorrow we take the Segway. ;-)