Every city in Europe is known for its authentic spirit and various traditions and cultures. And just because of their diversity, it’s always nice to explore as much as you can from Europe, because you will find many cities that will easily make you fall in love with.
On the menu today we offer you a tasty bite of the most creative corner of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. Located in the southeast Europe’s Balkan Peninsula, Serbia and its capital Belgrade is a must-see destination, especially for people that are making so-called Balkan trips, to visit the best and most significant cities situated on the Balkan Peninsula.
Now, Belgrade itself is a big tourist attraction. If you’ve heard at least something about this amazing city, you probably already know the most famous attractions there like: the Belgrade Fortress, Nikola Tesla Museum, Avala Tower, Museum of Yugoslav History, Great War Island and so on. You’ve also probably heard something about the nightlife in Belgrade, where everyone is going to the river, entering the clubs made on rafts and boats. It is an amazing experience to visit Belgrade.
However, there’s this charming, little part of Belgrade that at first was not matching the lifestyle of the usual type of people living in the city. Although stereotypical, the citizens of Belgrade were known to be calm and serious, focusing on their work and raising families. But there was this urban movement that started pulsing in the city, and its source was coming from an exciting neighborhood called Savamala.
Stretching along the right bank of Sava River, Savamala is located south of the Belgrade fortress, and you can also easily reach it walking from the center. Part of it belongs to the municipality of Stari Grad, while the other part is in the area of the municipality of Savski Venac.
How it all began in Belgrade?
The city of Belgrade took part in many historical events, one of the most memorable being the unfortunate event of this town being bombed by NATO during the Kosovo conflict, 16 years ago. Since then you can say that the city and its districts suffered quite a lot but somehow recovered through the years. The industrial area of Belgrade, known to be the famous Savamala district, was not quite what it seems to be these days. In the past, it was just part of Belgrade, not attractive to visit and sometimes perceived as a bad neighborhood due to its bad reputation and the assumption of people that it is a place where prostitution and pornographic cinemas are opened.
However, that all seemed to have changed with the independence of Serbia. From then on, people have turned and allowed themselves to be more open-minded and democratic. Many people of that time say that Belgrade needed something independent and that is mainly how Savamala was born. People were always searching for a place where they can express their ideas and so they started opening up galleries, museums, gathering clubs and much other stuff to express their feelings and thoughts through different means of art.
What’s going on today?
Nowadays, Savamala is the source of the creative energy and movement in Belgrade and probably in whole Serbia. People come to visit this district just to feel a positive energy and to get to know the talented artists that are promoting their work in the numerous galleries and exhibition centers of Savamala. Some people are so impressed by it; they compare it with Berlin, one of Europe’s most artistic, creative and enjoyable cities.
Thanks to the beautiful architecture and the urban graffiti placed on some of the ruined walls and buildings, the Savamala district is a mix of the old and the new, letting both of them mix charmingly, creating what today represents the urbanest part of the city. And it’s no wonder that every creative entrepreneur and artist have moved to do business and enjoy in this section of the city. The place is full of galleries and exhibition halls, supporting young artists as much as possible and organizing events to spice up the normal life in Belgrade. Some of the most famous locals found in this area are the following:
Located near the river in Savamala, its longer name says it all – GRAD European Centre for Culture and Debate. It was opened on April 16, 2009, probably one of the first independent culture centers ever to be opened in the district of Savamala. To be more authentic, this center is located in an ancient warehouse, and the space of KC Grad is divided into two parts – a large gallery space and an art library on the upper floor. The ground floor is also the place where you can find the Steve Austen café bar and the Gradstor art shop. If you’re planning on going here, you might come across an exhibition, conference, workshop, music program, debate, film screening or any of the remarkable events that they often organize. It’s a cool place to be!
Quite popular in the last few years, Mikser House is a design center and performance space with some cool interior. It’s a hip place to visit and drink a sweet coffee since from its early beginnings and on it hasn’t stopped organizing awesome events that are gathering all the creative and innovative people in one place. It is also known for its Mikser Festival that is being held during summer time.
Apart from these venues and many others that deserve to be mentioned, there’s a charming little café place that will steal your heart. Located near Brankov Most, you’ll find one of the most romantic and lovely decorated café places, where you can thoroughly enjoy your coffee with the sounds of jazz in the background.
There are plenty of other places to visit in this area, so don’t be surprised if I tell you that Savamala will become your favorite part of Belgrade after you get to visit it. If you’re eager to share your artistic passion with someone, then this is the place where you can meet many people that might share similar interests to yours and will be open to speaking about your favorite topics, thus exchange opinions and experiences.