Saturday, July 18, 2009

Useful links about Belgrade

Saturday, July 18, 2009
Here are some links that can help you if you travel to Belgrade:
  1. Very precise map of Belgrade and a nuber of other Serbian towns. It is only in Serbian, but it is not difficult to manage: in the search bar on the left side "Mesto" means town, "Ulica" means street and "Broj" means (street) number
  2. The web site of GSP (Belgrade public transportation company) can help you to find your way around Belgrade. The only thing is that the map is all written in ciryllic...but the rest is OK
  3. Telephone company yellowpages - there's nothing to explain ;o)
This would make you manage your way around Belgrade much easier.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What and where to eat in Belgrade if you are vegetarian?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Being a half-Serbian who has lived almost all her life in Belgrade, means that I eat all kind of meat, like all Serbs do, so it never occurred to me that foreign visitors might have problems finding food here if they don't eat meat, or have other special diets. But, during last year, I've started to read travelers' reviews and blog posts from people who have visited Belgrade, and suddenly I've started to notice that some of them had a really huge food-problem here. I have discussed a little bit on this topic in my post about one Belgrade restaurant, but now I see it's about the highest time to give some more explanation - no one must not starve in Belgrade!!!

Having hungry visitors would be a great shame for us, for Serbs are known as people who are highly sensitive to food and guests, which means that Serbian hospitality has two important characteristics: a) there always has to be a lot of food (especially if you have a guest), and b) guests are considered as sacred, so they have to be pleased by food, drink and comfort. Failing to fulfill a single item of the above mentioned, draws to a great shame, even if no one else, except the host, knows about it.

Since this post is about to be about lot of food, I will have to find photos on-line, because I don't have a habit of taking photos of my food :o))) And one more thing: please, don't be too harsh on me for not knowing about how many types of vegetarians, vegans or pescetarians there are (I've just found out about the latter few days ago)... I'll just try to simplify the explanation and description of food, so you could include or exclude it from your diet.

So, the famous sentence "no meat, no eat" should be banned from our our dictionaries!


There are lot of green markets in Belgrade, almost every quarter has it. Some are bigger and some are smaller, but the main characteristic is that they offer fresh vegetables and fruits. The important thing is to know that all vegetables and fruits grown in Serbia (except for very few kinds of soy beans) are not genetically modified. I cannot guarantee that for imported ones (which you can usually recognize by a lot higher price) which are mostly imported when it is not the natural season in Serbia for its growth. For example: tomato's natural growing season in Serbia is June-October, outside of that period it is most probably imported. Carrots are available almost during all year long, and so are cabbage and potato. Strawberries are available only in June, cherries end of May-beginning of June, etc. Bananas don't grow in Serbia LOL

But this info is more important for people who are going to spend a longer period here. The problem is that if you are traveler, this info probably won't be much useful for you, if you don't have a refrigerator to use.

Green markets are mostly closed in the afternoon and some of them are closed or working with reduced number of sellers on Mondays. Most of the time prices are not displayed, and can vary, so try to get info on prices before you go shopping, or at least check prices on several stands, before buying.


Macrobiotic shops are often called Bio dućan Био дућан (pronounced as Beeo duchan) can be found around green markets, but also around town. They sell macrobiotic food, and have sandwiches, cookies and other macrobiotic snacks, but also all kind of food for preparing a microbiotic meal. Those shops are usually small, and they can be recognized by lot of shelves with small compartments.


If you're eating dairy products, it would be a lot easier for you to find ready-made food in Belgrade. First of all, there are numerous bakery stores, some of which working 24/7, offering all kinds of pastries, but let's take them one by one:
BUREK БУРЕК (pronounced as boorek) is being sold in most bakeries, and some are even specialized only for burek (trust me, you don't even want to try to say the name of that store, it's even tongue-twister for us). What we mean when we say burek is the one you can see on the picture on the right. There are several fillings for burek and only one is with meat (and it's called burek "sa mesom" which means "with meat"). My favorite is with cheese ("sa sirom"). It is very greasy, so you should find a place for eating it slowly - usually you can eat it at the shop.

SARAJEVSKI BUREK САРАЈЕВСКИ БУРЕК (burek from Sarajevo, pronounced as Sarayevski boorek) or someone would call it pita пита looks like this. Whatever you call it, it comes with several fillings: cheese, spinach, potato, mushrooms, etc. and again, only one is with meat. It is less greasy than the above mentioned burek, so you could also eat it on the way, but it will prevent you to drink yoghurt at the same time :o)))

PITA ПИТА is also very popular. It comes in different shapes, the most simple is when it's cut to cubes. It also comes with various fillings cheese, spinach, zelje (pronounced as zelye), potato, mushrooms, etc. It is not so greasy, so you can take it with you.

PROJA ПРОЈА pronounced as proya, is a traditional corn bread with white cheese. It can be found both in restaurants and bakery shops. Traditional proja is cut on cubes, but now they also make it shaped like small muffins.

GIBANICA ГИБАНИЦА pronounced as gibanitsa is made with cheese, but it contains eggs. It has rich filling and it is made in two shapes, but taste the same.


If you're a pescetarian, the keyword for you in Serbia is posno. The word posno means the absence of unsuitable types of food during Orthodox fast. The Christian Orthodox fast is not allowing any products of animal origin, including dairy products and eggs, except for fish. Two biggest fasts are before Christmas (Orthodox Christmas is on 7th January) and before Orthodox Easter, and during that time many restaurants offer appropriate food. So it's easiest for you to eat here. There are also grills around markets specialized for fish.


AJVAR (pronounced as ayvar) is a kind of salad, prepared from roasted paprika, garlic and aubergine. It is mostly red, but if it's green, than it's made from green tomatoes. It is sour and refreshing and can be found in restaurants. It can also be found in supermarkets, packed in jars.

PINDŽUR (pronounced as pin-joor) is similar to ajvar, but it is not minced, but cut into small pieces. It is made from tomatoes and paprika. The taste is also sour and refreshing.

PREBRANAC (pronounced as preh-branats) is traditional meal made of kidney-beans. It should be posno, but be sure to ask if there is any sausages or other meat in it (sometimes they put meat in it).

Paprika stuffed with nuts (no need for Serbian name, because these can be found only in restaurants, which usually have menues in English).

KISELI KUPUS is literally "sour cabbage", a Serbian specialty that you should try. It is used for salads, and some other meals (mostly with meat). Unfortunately, it is only available during winter period.

PODVARAK is a meal made of sour cabbage. Should not contain any meat, but be sure to ask before you order.

There are many international, Chinese and other restaurants in Belgrade that have vegetarian food selection, but only 3 vegetarian restaurants: Slasta, Priroda (Svetogorska 18, 011/ 334 51 81) and Joy of the Heart (Batutova 11, 011/ 241 1890).

Well, that would be all that I could remember. I hope that you will find this post useful, and that it will make your visit easier.

I also ask my fellow citizens to leave me a suggestion, if they can think of anything else that could be added to this list.

Please notice that none of these photographs are not my property.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Romantic fireplace and excellent food

Monday, July 13, 2009
Of all restaurants in Belgrade, Zlatar is one my favorite restaurants.

The main hall is on upper floor; there are few tables at ground floor, plus summer garden (but I always go there in the winter season). The interior is completely in old Serbian cottage style: furniture is made from natural wood and shaped in style, and numerous items from everyday's country life from late 19th/early 20th century are hanged on walls and placed around very tastefully. For each interesting thing you see around you can ask your waiter - they'll be glad to explain you what it was used for. It is a real treasure consisted of old petroleum lamps, baby cribs and loads of other original items. Even the architecture resembles to cottage. But the highlight of the interior is the big open fireplace which really works. It creates such endlessly romantic atmosphere, that it doesn't even matter if some smoke comes in (Belgrade has one nasty wind called Koshava which is unpredictable and strong - but not dangerous). That's why my husband and I find it's the best choice for romantic occasion diner. All staff is also dressed in traditional clothes.

The warm atmosphere you find in this restaurant is not coming just from the fireplace - the restaurant is owned by a family, and the quality of service and food is constant. Complimentary roasted almonds and dried plums stuffed with hazelnuts are waiting on the table, with which I can never be reasonable in "appetizing", spreading the strong appetizing scent. If you choose to start with a shot of homemade rakija ("rakiya" - strong brandy) it will be served in a cute little shot-glass shaped like tiny bottle, which is also a part of Serbian tradition.

Since the restaurant offers Serbian national food, that means that it is mostly based on meat. For people coming to Serbia for the first time I would recommend "The Zlatar dining table" dish, which is a combination of all kind of grilled meat specialties. But beware: this dish is so large that it can cause a "protein shock" just by looking at it. However, people who don't eat meat also can find great variety of dishes to suit their taste, especially during Orthodox fasting period, before Orthodox Christmas and Easter, when each meal marked as "posno" (the word confirming the absence of unsuitable types of food during fast). A short explanation: the Orthodox fast is not allowing any products of animal origin, including dairy products and eggs, except for fish (but if the fish is present in food, it is usually highlighted). In regular menu there are already some "meatless" dishes, such as cheese layered corn pie, roasted paprika, ajvar (pronounced as "ayvar") etc. What is also special about the food is that most ingredients are delivered daily from the valley of Lim, so they can be considered as "highly organic".

In the evenings they have authentic music program: the acoustic music, known as "Old City Music", performed by excellent musicians. Combination of interior, food and music brings you to another place, far away from everyday rush of city life and relaxes your body and soul. Well, at least the soul, because if you failed to resist overeating, you can leave out the body part.

If you're not familiar with Belgrade, you'll need some additional instructions how to get there, but nothing too complicated. Considering that it is located in wider area of city center, The good news is that they have their own parking space, so you don't have to worry about that problem (trust me, this is a BIG PLUS in Belgrade). Prices are moderate and very reasonable. Some major credit cards are accepted. Reservations are recommended for evenings.

All photos are taken from Zlatar's web site.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

More photos of Belgrade Airport

Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Here are some more photos of Belgrade "Nikola Tesla" Airport.


This is a photo of Departures at Terminal 2. Departures are located at the 1st floor.

One of cafes at the 1st floor, where you can wait for your flight.

Ground floor of the Terminal 2. Terminal 1 is connected and it is located in the background of this photo. From this part you can go either up (Departures), or down (Arrivals).


This is the first thing you see when you arrive - pretty much ugly, isn't it? If judging by this view, one could think that Belgrade is the ugliest town on earth. But it's not, trust me.
The corridor leads to parking lot.

And when you get out of the building, here's the scenery - yuck! And remember what I've told you about taxis - do not bargain, check the price for luggage and insist on taximeter! If any of this fails, try to look for Policemen, they're always somewhere around.

This is the JAT's bus station. As you can see, there's no timetable. Good luck!
For the public transportation, you have to go up one level. If you decide to use this option, I wish you even more luck.

And, when you finally grab your transportation, whatever it might be, this is the way you'll leave the airport. WELCOME TO BELGRADE! :o)