Belgrade Montmartre? Hidden and lovely

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Whether you are a fist timer in Belgrade, you are one of those smitten by the city and keep coming back, or you live here, there is a place you will be coming back to once you discover it. Kosančićev venac (hard to pronounce, easy to love) is by far one of the most beautiful neighborhoods of Belgrade, it takes only a second for it to take you back 200 years, to the period it was created.

While strolliKosjancicev-venac-kucang the cobblestone of Kosančićev venac, under the trees that mark its streets, by old family houses, you will feel as if you ran away from the present. The former social, cultural and commercial center of Belgrade, is an amazing reminder of the old times, and one of the loveliest places in Belgrade.  You don’t have to make a plan, just wander the area and enjoy the rare surviving examples of traditional Balkan architecture, such as the Residence of Princess Ljubica, “?” tavern, the Orthodox cathedral and the Patriarchate building. Do try to find the family home of Mihajlo Petrovic Alas, because this building dating from 1910 represents one of the finest surviving examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

Have lunch or dinner in “?” tavern, that’s been there since 1827. In addition to absolutely delicious traditional Serbian food, you can treat yourself a glass (or more) of real home-made rakija, and enjoy the truly authentic atmosphere of the establishment, in which the interior did not change since it was open for the first time. If you are wondering why a question mark instead of a name, this inn that did not change its location or interior, did change its name, and it changed it often. The people started calling it the Tavern by the Cathedral, something that the authorities considered inappropriate. So, while trying to think of a good name, the owner put a sign with the “?” because the law had it that each kafana had to have a sign. Frequent visitors liked it, and the name stuck for over a century.

In the Residence of Princess Ljubica, designed as a court of the Obrenović dynasty, which due to the proximity of the Turks never achieved its original purpose, you can peek into the old aristocratic homes in the permanent exhibition „The interiors of 19th century homes in Belgrade“. Like many other places in Kosančićev venac, this one too will take you back through history, as your guide will be an actress dressed like Princess Ljubica. She will even have a cup of coffee with you.

kafana-znak-pitanja

The unquestionable flair of Kosančićev venac is enriched by lovely cafes offering panoramic views of the river Sava and New Belgrade. If you want an affordable coffee, juice or beer, right there on the cobblestones is the „Skica“ cafe, where the staff will bring you a blanket to keep you warm if the wind from the Sava starts. If you want to enjoy a glass of good wine, we recommend that you stop by the “Makadam”, a romantic wine cellar, which brings together the contemporary and the traditional, resulting in an amazing synergy.

After enjoying the beautiful atmosphere and good wine, walk a bit more, exploring the hidden corners of Kosančićev venac, and we are sure that you will discover your own special spot to relax in the Montmartre of Belgrade.

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