River Sava and the Danube: The True Gems of the Serbian Capital
Many European cities were founded on river banks. After all, rivers were always a reliable source of drinking water, food, travel, and trade means. But did you know that Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, was founded on the confluence of two rivers? For centuries the river Sava and the Danube connected Belgrade with the world and served as natural borders between empires. Today, the waterfronts of the Belgrade urban area are 200km long and represent one of the most attractive places in the city.
No trip to Belgrade would be complete without experiencing the unique riverside in the Serbian capital. You can experience everything from floating nightclubs and restaurants to beaches, islands, and private yacht cruises.
Today, we will show how Belgraders have turned their two rivers and riversides into a natural escape from all the noise and bustle, and outline some of the unique places and activities you must experience on your custom Belgrade tour.
The Great War Island
The island marks the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. Throughout history, the island has been an important strategic point for conquering or defending Belgrade. For example, during the first siege of Belgrade in 1521, the Turks launched most of the attacks on the Belgrade Fortress from the island. When Belgrade was liberated in 1806, the rebels led by Karađorđe also used the island for military purposes. The Austro-Hungarian Imperial Army used a similar strategy during the attack in Belgrade in 1915.
But don’t let the island’s history intimidate you. Today, it is an oasis of wildlife and tranquility colonized by nature lovers. The island’s northern tip is home to the famous “Lido” beach which is the second-most-popular beach in Belgrade. The beach is open to the public, however, it is also a protected and treasured natural good with many nearly extinct flora and fauna. If you’re a nature lover, you will have a chance to see various rare plants and animal species that only exist on this island. If your journey takes you to Belgrade and you want to escape the heat and feel a little less urban then the Great War Island is your perfect choice.
Floating Clubs (Splavovi)
Belgrade is a vibrant place and is often considered the European city with the best nightlife. This is not a surprise, because its rivers are packed with floating clubs that are a true paradise for those looking for an unforgettable nightlife experience.
There are two types of clubs, those where you can relax during the day, and those that offer an unforgettable adventure until the late-night hours. If you’re an experienced clubber who follows all the trends then “Freestyler River club” is your best choice. The club opened its doors ten years ago and quickly became a favorite place for a large number of people looking for summer parties. The nightclub offers a perfect combination of Disco, House, Pop, and RnB with a fantastic interior that allows guests to be in the center of events no matter where they are.
When it comes to summer parties, you also must visit the river club “Leto”. If you’re into clubs that remind you of famous clubs in tropical areas then look no further. Although a relatively new club, “Leto” quickly gained loyalty from experienced clubbers looking for an unforgettable experience. Also, you don’t have to worry about speaking English because all the staff members are fluent in English, as the club welcomes thousands of guests from abroad every year.
When it comes to Belgrade and its hospitality scene, you can enjoy superb cuisine on the banks of the Sava and Danube rivers. You can find diverse menus and drinks suited for everyone’s taste as well as top-notch service that will cater to even the most demanding guests.
Located on the left side of the Danube, upstream from the “Pančevo Bridge”, lies an unusual and one-of-a-kind restaurant called “Ribnjak”. The restaurant sits on two connected boats next to the Danube shore, and you can reach it by car. Still, we think that the best way to truly experience the river Danube is to take a boat tour, sail down the river and end your journey with a freshwater specialty at “Ribnjak” restaurant.
The restaurant offers everything from freshwater fish specialties, and big game dishes, to seafood and traditional Serbian cooked food. Sitting on the open boat of the “Ribnjak” restaurant is possible with the first beautiful days at the beginning of spring. During the summer heat, the breeze from the Danube and the shade enable complete relaxation. For guests arriving at the restaurant from the Danube, a safe dock is provided for boats and larger ships (up to 25m long). During the summer months, live music is organized by the Restaurant on Fridays and Saturdays.
“Šest Topola” Restaurant
If you’re looking for a truly special place in Belgrade’s gastronomic scene, then don’t miss out on “Šest Topola”. Located on the banks of the Sava river, this restaurant offers something that most don’t, and that is natural shade beneath six poplar trees and a great view of the mighty Sava river. If you’re a fan of local freshwater fish dishes or something with a modern approach, you can’t go wrong with this restaurant. “ Šest Topola” restaurant is a perfect blend of tradition, modern elements, succulent food, and top-notch service.
Belgrade Nautical Tourism
As the city is situated on the confluence of two large rivers, there are various places of historical and cultural significance you can visit by boat, along with breathtaking nature, islands, and beaches. If history or culture isn’t your thing, you can always choose water sports, swimming, and even book a private fishing boat tour.
Whether your choice may be, you can rent various types of boats or yachts with experienced skippers that will always have interesting stories about the city and the Danube and Sava rivers.
This is just a taste of what the Belgrade rivers and riverbanks have to offer. If you’re looking for a unique adventure in Belgrade, don’t miss out on the Belgrade rivers, the true gems of the Serbian capital.