7 Of The Best Places & Neighborhoods To Stay In Belgrade

For first-time travelers, the best option is still Stari Grad.

Fact: Belgrade has many faces. Optimized for a traveler, each neighborhood offers a tremendously different experience. Stari Grad, for instance, is ideal for tourists still figuring out their way through the capital of Serbia, while Neo Beograd is a feast for architecture fans craving to experience post-Communist era’s Brutalist towers first-hand. Dedinje is perfect for families that need more space while Vračar will put you right next to the magnificent Sava Temple.

Due to Serbia’s Socialist past, crime is low regardless of which neighborhood you choose in the city. This list is an overall breakdown so you can make the best choice for your next stay in the dynamic Belgrade.

Recommendation by a local friend: female solo travelers should avoid staying in areas near bus or train stations.

Reputation: Heart of the city.

411: Stari Grad, which is the Old Town of Belgrade, is arguably the best neighborhood for travelers visiting for the first time. Since it’s central to most iconic sights, a plethora of restaurants, cafés and bars. One of the most beneficial factors of choosing Stari Grad is being within walking distance from: strolling through the medieval Belgrade Fortress, snapping photos on Republic Square, dining at traditional restaurants on Skadarlija Street, and shopping on Knez Mihailova Street.

Kneza Mihaila

Reputation: Affluent and urban.

411: Attached to Stari Grad is Dorćol neighborhood which is divided into upper (expensive) and lower (up-and-coming) sections by Cara Dušana Street – reflective of the name’s meaning in Turkish: crossroads, aptly dubbed when this area was the main trading point during the Ottoman Empire. In general, Dorćol is full of vintage stores, cobblestone alleys, delightful cafés and bars. This multifaceted area is home to the only surviving Bajrakli Mosque as well as the previous center of Jewish community in Belgrade. Upper Dorćol encompasses art galleries and local shops by independent designers; meanwhile travelers passing through Lower Dorćol can check out Bajloni Market and the Museum of Science and Technology.

Drocol Belgrade
Dorćol, Belgrade, Serbia. Photo by Dimitrije Milenkovic on Unsplash

Reputation: Modern and quiet.

411: One of the most significant landmarks in Belgrade is the lavish Sava Temple located in Vračar district. Though it’s the smallest municipality, it is also home to Beograđanka skyscraper, Nikola Tesla Museum and National Library of Serbia. But those who prefer to stay in city center must take into consideration that Vračar is a good 25-minute walk from Stari Grad. Since Vračar wasn’t technically formed until 1952, many older buildings were replaced with contemporary apartments further away from the noise of the city center. Hence, Vračar comprises of newer buildings and the neighborhood has a posh reputation. If you decide to stay here, be sure to shop at Kalenić Market for fresh groceries and produce.

Sava Temple, Belgrade
Sava Temple, Belgrade. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

Reputation: Gentrification and hipster hub.

411: Though many websites suggest Savamala as an ideal neighborhood for travelers, it’s still not fitting for female solo travelers (speaking from personal experience.) Prior to the development of Belgrade’s Waterfront, Savamala was the hub of drug dealers and pimps. Today, there’s still remnants of its complicated past. The advancement of Waterfront has invigorated a number of restaurants, bars and floating river boats (splav) to flourish in this area. The advantage of staying in Savamala is that travelers are still within walking distance from Skardalija, Kalemegdan, Republic Square and Knez Mihailova Street.

It’s worth nothing that around 1914, Savamala experienced a thriving period as the most populated area in Belgrade and home to Serbia’s first bank. With a port and railway at its core, Savamala was the epicenter for elite and trade travelers. But both World War I and II annihilated much of the neighborhood where some parts of it still remains in recuperation mode.

Savamala neighborhood in Belgrade
Savamala neighborhood. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

Reputation: Brutalist-era blocks.

411: Also known as Novi Beograd by locals, New Belgrade is often depicted by its signature post-Communist Brutalist architecture. The trademark blokovi, or blocks of apartment buildings, occupy the western part of the city, on the other side of Sava River. After WWII, the socialist government needed to provide as many homes as possible for those left homeless during the war. The voluminous urban development of concrete buildings on flat swampy lands became office buildings, clubs and restaurants in recent years. Here, you can visit Palace of Serbia and Genex Tower.

neighborhood in belgrade
Photo by Mikuláš Prokop on Unsplash

Reputation: Romance away from city center.

411: Zemun is essentially a town within a town, by definition and also in reality. Situated by the Danube River, it offers a removed experience of riverwalks, fresh seafood and splav. Unlike the post-Communist era Brutalist towers in New Belgrade, the architecture in Zemun was further influenced by Austro-Hungarian styles. The district itself has an alluring old town with tiny alleys and ancient houses. Prior to WWII, Zemun was a city apart from Belgrade, and belonged to the Habsburg Monarchy. Head over to Gardoš Tower for a panoramic view of the city. The only downside to staying in Zemun is the reliance on public transportation or by car to reach Old Town / city center.

best neighborhoods in belgrade zemun
Photo by Nikola Cirkovic on Unsplash

Reputation: Spacious for families.

411: If you’d like to see how the rich Serbians live, check out Dedinje neighborhood full of mansions and villas. Dedinje is the wealthiest area in Belgrade; thus home to diplomats, politicians, businessmen and even the U.S. embassy. Since houses are more spacious here, it’s excellent for families with several children. Some Airbnbs even come with pools. In addition to enormous greenery, travelers can also visit The Royal Palace, Museum of Yugoslav History in Dedinje. The district itself is a 15-minute drive by car from Vračar.

Royal Palace of Serbia
PHOTO Royal Palace of Serbia
Wendy Hung


As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and St. Bart's because they were all so different!

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