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News 08 Jul 16

Summer in Belgrade: No Escape Needed

Even though the hot summer months in Belgrade are not always synonymous with relaxation and entertainment, the city’s rivers have a lot of cool offerings.

Natalia Zaba
BIRN
Belgrade
The confluence of Sava and Danube in Belgrade. Photo: Flickr/mrbille1.

Belgraders love to spend their summer free time sitting on the city's famous riverboat clubs situated on the shores of the Sava and Danube rivers. But for those who want a more active leisure time, enjoying Belgrade from the river still might be an option.

Sightseeing cruises on Sava and Danube are available year-round. Multiple companies provide tours with different themes and they can most often be found dockside on the Sava shore, near Beton Hala and the international passenger dock.

Most cruises last 90 minutes and the price averages between rsd800 to rsd1200 (€6,60 - €10). While on board most companies offer drinks and finger food, although those are not included in ticket prizes.

Below the Kalemegdan Fortress, near Nebojsa Tower, one can rent a kayak and enjoy river sightseeing from eye level. There is also a kayak dock at Usce, on the boat Barakuda. Kayak sightseeing tours are organized every day at noon and 5pm. A oneseat kayak costs ten euro per hour to rent, while a two-seat costs €15. Organized sightseeing kayak tours run to Kalemegdan, via the six Sava bridges and end on the famous War Island beach, Lido, located just across from Zemun.

For those who do not enjoy water sports, Lido will be also accessible via floating bridge starting in July.

The Bela stena (white rock) is another oasis on the Danube, located only 12 kilometres from Belgrade’s downtown. Bela stena is a weekend settlement, with no permanent residents and it is known for its beautiful, sandy beach and access to nature. There are several restaurants offering local fare on the island. To reach the island, take city bus number 32 from Republic Square to Visnjica marina, and then catch the ferry directly to Bela stena.

Avala mountain

The Monument to the Unknown Hero in Avala. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Alen Istokovic.

For those not comfortable on the water, a trip to Avala Mountain overlooking Belgrade is a good compromise.

The mountain features wooded hiking trails, war monuments and outdoor picnic areas.

Located 16 kilometres away from Belgrade’s downtown, Avala can be reached by city transport from Trosarina station on buses 401, 403, 404 or 405, which stop at the foot of the mountain.

During the weekends and holidays, the 400 bus goes from Trosarina directly to the top of Avala. The last bus from Avala to Belgrade leaves at 8pm.

Avala can be also reached from Belgrade’s downtown at the tourism sightseeing bus station at Pionirski Park. The open top bus tours are organized every weekend with departures at 10.30am in June and September and at 10am in July and August. The ticket price is rsd600 for adults [around €5] and rsd400 for children [around €3] up to 14 years old. Group tickets for more than ten persons are rsd300 [around €2]. The trip lasts 4.5 hours.

This article was published in BIRN's bi-weekly newspaper Belgrade Insight. Here is where to find a copy.

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