I am back. Last week was super exciting for me since I managed to visit five cities in four days.
Timisoara, Venice, Padua, Treviso and finally Skopje.
My main destination this time was Venice, so my first blog after this journey is dedicated to this unique city. For sure this is a very unique citie, you won’t find anywhere else.
Also it is a city that is sinking, so pack your bags and hurry up before it does, it is a shame not to see it.
Venice is situated across a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by bridges, of which there are 400. Guys I swear to you I never crossed more bridges in my whole life. ;’) However ever single one will give you a chance to snap the stunning photo.
City is perfect just to walk around, get lost, which you will be for sure. lol
Super confusing but in its own charming way.
I was situated in Hotel Lux, literally 50m away from Piazza San Marco.
In this photo you can see St. Marks Basilica and St. Marks Campanile which is actually a bell tower with height of 98 m and provides truly stunning view on the city.
Passing next to the bell and turning right you are arriving at The Piazzetta, which to me looked as a extension of Piazza San Marco but it is considered as a different area.
This area will lead you to the Grand Canal, Bridge of Sighs, Doge’s Palace, Santa Maria della Salute.
On the other side of the Grand Canal you will see mesmerizing Santa Maria della Salute.
Cheaper option to get there is using gondola ferry and it is 2e one way. The other way is using Vaporeto system which is basically their public transportation and one ticket is 7.5 e , but you may also buy daily pass for vaporeto, which is 20e …
The Doge’s Palace is a palace built in Venetian Gothic style, and one of the main landmarks of the city of Venice. The palace was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the former Republic of Venice, opening as a museum in 1923. Today, it is one of the 11 museums run by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia.
The Bridge of Sighs is a enclosed bridge, made of white limestone, has windows with stone bars, passes over the Rio di Palazzo, and connects the New Prison to the interrogation rooms in the Doge’s Palace.
The view from the Bridge of Sighs was the last view of Venice that convicts saw before their imprisonment. The bridge’s name, comes from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice through the window before being taken down to their cells.
Another bridge which you must include in your sightseeing is Rialto Bridge.
Truly stunning, the oldest bridge spanning the Grand Cannal.
Here is the view from it.
Two of the island worth visiting are Burano and Murano.
Murano island famous for glass making. Interesting fact about this island is that all glass maker were obligated to live in this island, so that they can protect secrets of glass making, while Burano is famous for picturesque canals lined with colorful houses.
Of course when in Venice you have to take a gondola ride. 45 minutes in gondola costs 80 e, and it is not negotiable. You can eighter choose to pay it yourself and have a private tour or you can wait other travelers so that you can split the fee and meet new interesting folks 🙂 ….
Some of the useful tips I can provide is avoid extremely central places since it can happen that you get charge for service, tax for sitting etc …
You can find many nice restaurant in the narrow streets around the main squares with decent prices. If you are on a budget there are many pizza places where the pizza slice is just 2 e.
You can find gelatos all over the city, very delicious and from 1,5 for one scoop.
Espresso is 2e and I already said how much I love Italian food, coffee and gelato in my blog about Rome.
I am finishing up this blog with few pretty pics and talk to you soon guys.
I will be writing about Padua, Treviso and Skopje in my next blog.
I am back. This time I have decided to write about the city that has special place in my heart. It is the city that I live in for the past ten years, and the city that I have difficult time moving on from.
Like myself this is the city that survived a lot . It has been destroyed over and over again, and each time it rose from the ashes stronger and more beautiful.
Belgrade keeps not so glory record of being the most destroyed city in the world, throughout the history. That would be more than 45 times and the biggest damage had in the Second World War when it was bombed by enemies and later by allies by mistake.
Good thing is that this days are long gone. Belgrade now stands as a stunning capital of Serbia, brighter than ever with cultural bloom, delicious food, best night life in Europe and friendly and open people who always try to welcome their guests in best way possible.
Here are the 6. reasons why you should put Belgrade on your travel list as soon as possible.
1.Belgrade is a historical jewel
The oldest settlement in this city is from 279 BC, today known as a Kalemegdan fortress.
The first mention of the city, then called Singidunum, was in the 3rd century, when Celtics defeated Thracian and Dacian tribe and took over this exact fortress. Later on this city fort was conquered by Romans. At that point Belgrade became border between Roman Empire and Central Europe. Interesting fact is that 17 Roman emperors were born in the area of today modern Serbia.
Later on this fort got destroyed several times by the Huns. Legend even says that the Atilla’s grave is under the fortress in the confluence of the rivers, Danube and Sava, but that’s a whole different story 🙂 …
In the 5th century this city becomes border again, now between Western and Eastern Roman Empire. In the 7th century Serbs settled in and that’s the first time of mentioning the name we all know today, “Beograd” which in Serbian and most slavic languages stands for “White city” … To cut to the chase, otherwise this will turn into history lessons.
Fortress changed rulers many times after Serbs settled as well.
Bulgarians, Austro-Hungarian, Ottomans with Serbians restoring it in between, until
1867. when Turks withdraw from Belgrade and Serbia.
Today Kalemegdan fortress has a stunning view from its highest point,on the confluence of two rivers, second biggest river in Europe Danube and Sava, Great War Island and New Belgrade (modern, business and residential area of the city).
Strolling around the fort there is a lot of things to explore such as Roman Well,Military Museum, Two beautiful Orthodox Churches, Zindan Gate, Jaksic’s Tower , Despot Stefan Tower, Stambol Gate, Gate of Charles VI, Statue of Victor, even a zoo and that is not all.
2. Bohemian vibe and great food
To experience proper Belgrade Bohemian vibe you will have to visit some of the local restaurants located in SKADARLIJA.
Coble-stoned, narrow, pedestrian area with great restaurants which offer unique experience you won’t find anywhere else. Very traditional night out with orchestras who are playing tambourines going from table to table and singing traditional songs with locals joining. If you see someone smashing a plate or a glass do not be scared. That probably means he has emotional connections to one of te songs. 😀
It is very bohemian night out, and difference is huge plates and reasonable prices.
Trust me you will not find this sized portions anywhere else. When in this type of night out you have to try Rakija, traditional drink made out of plumb with 60% of alcohol. Usually this drink is home-made wich is much better version than industrial.
You can find different tastes as well such as honey, cherry, peach, apricot etc.
For those who like well-known beverages Kafanas have huge offers of local vines.
When speaking about food Serbian cuisine is characterized by a mixture of Mediterranean, Central European, Ottoman Turkish, as well as ancient Slavic influences.
With Serbia being located at the crossroads between East and West, its cuisine has gathered elements from different cooking styles across the Middle East and Europe to develop its own hearty gastronomy with an intricate balance of rich meats, vegetables, cheese, fresh pastries and desserts. It has much in common with the cuisines of neighboring Balkan countries, as well as, to a smaller extent, with cuisines of countries as far north as Germany and as far east as Iran and Pakistan. Its flavours are mild, fresh and natural. Seasonings are light, while ingredients are fresh and of good quality.
Some of the dishes you should try when in Serbia are Ćevapi, Karađorđeva snicla, Pljeskavica, Sarma, Prebranac, Musaka … etc …
Some of the restaurant from this streets had an opportunity to welcome famous people from all over the world.
Restaurant called “Dva Jelena” had honor to welcome former USA president Jimmy Carter, famous actors Pierce Brosnan and Gérard Depardieu, even the world no.1 cheff Jamie Oliver.
While restaurant “Tri Šešira” had chance of welcoming another USA president, George W. Bush.
I am vegetarian myself and past few years this type of diet started expanding in Serbia as well, so you can find many vegan and vegetarian restaurants such as “Radost Fina Kuhinjica”, while many others offer vegan and vegeterian options.
Art scene is blooming in Belgrade and it always has been an important part of life, of people living in Belgrade.
-National museum which has over 400 000 artifacts including the cyrillic writing “Miroslavljevo Jevandjelje” from 12th century, protected by UNESCO. National museum owns paintings of some of the biggest artists of all time such as Van Gogh, Picasso,Rubens, Renoir, while the most valuable painting of El Greko was unfortunately stolen from the Museum in Second World War.
And if you thought that is all, National Museum even has its own Mummy of Egyptian Prist Nesmin, arrived in Belgrade over 130 years ago.
– Museum of Contemporary Art with 35 000 work of arts. and by its self it is an architectural masterpiece.
– Museum of Yugoslav history that displays period of one country from Second World War until it fell apart. Former President Josip Broz Tito is berried behind this museum in his mausoleum with his wife.
-Beli Dvor is Royal House of Serbian Royal dynasty Karadjorjdevic. Inside of this stunning building you can actually see Picasso’s drawings, paintings by Nicolas Poussin and Paolo Caliari. Beside this huge institutions, young artists organize small independent art exhibitions to represent their work very often.
One of the events that are organized each year is Mikser House which helps young artist to show their work for free.
National Theatre, Yugoslav Drama Theatre, Belgrade Drama Theatre, Atelje 212 offer huge diversity of dramas, ballets and operas.
Belgrade has really diverse and interesting architecture because of its history.
Neoclassicism,Romanticism, Renaissance, Brutalist architecture and Religious buildings.
Almost every era has its representative. Sometimes even one next to another.
Maybe most interesting fact is that Belgrade has his gates. Eastern and Western gates are proper examples of Brutalist architecture.
East Gate of Belgrade
West Gate of Belgrade
Serbians are mostly of Orthodox religion. Religion has always played big part in Serbia, and that’s why religious buildings are very beautiful. If you’re architecture fan or interested in religion you should check some of the churches and cathedrals.
Most beautiful are St Marks Church , St Sava Temple which is one of the biggest Orthodox churches in the world, Church of Aleksandar Nevski which was project of First Serbian female architecture called Jelisaveta Načić, small hidden church in Kalemegdan fortress, Church Ruzica and many more.
Since Belgrade has two rivers, it also has many bridges two connect Old city with the new one. Recent one and for sure breathtaking is Adas Bridge.
5.Nature within the city
There is just few cities out there that can provide you shelter from city noise and modern stressed life …
Well Belgrade is one of them.
Ada Lake or Avala mountain. You choose.
Ada lake is a place where you can go for a swim, bike ride, walk or just a place where you can enjoy beautiful sunset in one of the many bars.
Avala Mountai is a perfect place for a picnic with your family. And not just that but you can actually visit Avala Tower and enjoy the view from the top either from the top or from the cafe one floor down. While there you can visit the Monument of the Unknown Soldier.
6. Party, Party, Party!
So basically Belgrade is all about parting, and not just on the weekends. You can party any day and at any time of the day.
What Belgrade is most famous for are floating boats ( clubs on the river).
Most of them are working from April until October, but there are some working during the whole year. There are also regular bars and clubs all over the city.
There is something for everyone. Pop, House, Rnb, 90s parties and if you want something really local there are turbo-folk parties or bohemian nights.
During the summer Belgrade has Beer Festival and many more.
Compared to other parts of Europe, parting in Belgrade is much more affordable. 🙂
This was short list of reasons why you should come to my city. I really hope some of you decide to come very soon, and if so please contact me so that I can help you explore Belgrade in best way possible. 🙂
Everyone who met me know how much I love Barcelona. It is one of my favorite cities in the whole world. It is the city that has it all. Beautiful architecture, great people, museums, night life and beach. Is there something more you can ask for?
I am literally planning to live there at some point of my life.
Here are the top ten things you have to see when in Barcelona.
1. La Sagrada Familia. You must live under the rock if you haven’t heard about Sagrada Familia. This is architectural wonder designed by great Antonio Gaudi. All catholic cathedrals are beautiful, but they are all similar one to another. Somehow when you see one, you know what to except with the next one.
However this is not the case with this astonishing building. It is something you can not even imagine. It literally leaves you breathless.
Gaudi found inspiration in the nature. Columns are like trees, while connecting they create woods. He wanted to create shelter which invites you to a prayer.
Interior was finished in 2010, but the whole project will be done in 2026. and I promised myself I will be in the first rows for the grand opening. 😀
Once it’s done it will be the highest religious building in the Europe with stunning 172 m.
Interesting fact is that building of La Sagrada Familia takes longer than it took bulding the Great Pyramid. 🙂
Another master piece of Antonio Gaudi. This Park has two areas. Bigger area is free and mainly it is beautiful nature with stones ment to walking while waiting for the entrance into the main area of the park. Main are has stunning platform with a great view on the city and two adorable houses which you can see on the photo below. At the moment of my visit entrance was 5e.
3. Plaça d’Espanya
Biggest and most beautiful square with Magical Fountain in the middle and National Museum on the top. There is a great view on the whole square from the gallery in front of the museum. The only disturbing thing about this square is that once it was used for public hanging.
If you continue up the hill you will discover Barcelona Olympic Stadium from 1992 in amazing shape. I am saying this because most of the stadium after the Olympic games are like ghost towns and this one kept his old glory.
This castle is located on the Montjuïc Hill, highest hill in Barcelona.
From the top of the hill, there is a fantastic view on the city. If you read my previous blog and you’re reading this one, you probably realised that I am talking a lot about the views.
I am a bit obsessed with great views. I am always climbing up the hills and tallest buildings in every city and I am always in a search for a mesmerizing views.
Like Plaça d’Espanya this castle has dark secret as well.For three centuries it served as a prison and tortute centre. Later in the 20th century, it became the Military museum.
Really nice thing is that from the top of the hill there is a gondola that can take you all the way down.
6. Gothic quarter
This area got his name because it was a Roman village. It’s Narrow streets will lead you to a several squares where you can sit and relax, or enjoy drink in its many caffes. Once you get into the main square you will notice stunning cathedral called Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia.
It is also a great area for shopping since you will find a lot of different stores. From local to many well-known brands.
During the night there is a lot of bars and while walking around you will come across locals drinking and dancing in this area, which is super fun.
I personally liked exploring this area late at night cause it gives me really interesting vibe.
7.Parc de la Ciutadella
The Parc de la Ciutadella is very idyllic and probably the greenest oasis in the megacity of Barcelona. It invites you to relax, to rebound and to go for long walks, as well as for a picnic. You can also use a rowing boat on the lake.
On the grounds of the Parc de la Ciutadella, there are several attractions: the zoo, the Catalan Parliament. The Museum d’Art Modern is situated in the building of the parliament. The Zoological Museum and the Museu de Geologia are placed in the area of the park.
8.Casa Milla and Cassa Batllo
Another two great buildings designed by no other than Antonio Gaudi. It is worth it, to see them not just from the outside but from the inside as well.
9. La Rambla
Take a walk down the main street of Barcelona. This street connects Plaça de Catalunya in the centre with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Porto Vell.
Perfect street for those who are into a lot of shopping. Also famous La Boqueria market is in this street as well, so you can enjoy colorful and delicious fruits and vegetables and much more.
10. La Barceloneta
Perfect sandy beach with a lot of night clubs, restaurants. Grab a drink, go for a swim or just catch a litlle bit of suntan. Do not be surprised if you see a lot of “mother suits”, since one area is meant for nudist :). I am personally all for the freedom, but my fashionista side had to show my new swim shorts.
However won’t be posting that here, since it is not relevant 😉
11. Extra tip
I personally did not have enough time to see possibly the best view of the city.
It is Tibidabo mountain, one of the tallest in this region. On top if there is beautiful church and Amusement park, but the view is something to remember.
Anyway I was in the bottom of the mountain, literally choosing eighter I am gonna get on top of it or I am going to catch my plane back home.
I was not that adventurous at that moment so I choose to catch that flight, but hey there is always next time.
This are my top 10 choices, however Barcelona offers so much more. Picasso Museum, Camp Nou and Museum about the club,Plaça de Catalunya, Cristopher Columbus monument, Avinguda Diagonal and so on …
PS. Sorry for the quality of some of the photos.
I visited Barcelona few years ago and at the time this was the good quality, but technology has advanced since then. 😀