Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Belgrade Fortress and Kalemegdan Park

A must-see when in Belgrade and most importantly, it’s free admission =)

Kalemegdan Park in Belgrade, Serbia
Kalemegdan Park and Fortress in Belgrade, Serbia

The old citadel of Belgrade lies at the junction of the Sava and Danube rivers in Stari Grad (Old Town) with its defence walls looking over to Novi Beograd. I visited twice, the first time on my first night in the city and the second time, during the day.

It is very easy to get to the fortress and park. One just has to follow the busy Knez Mihaolova pedestrian street until reaching the end of it where the trams pass. Across this street is the park leading to the entrance to the fortress.

On this park are many portable souvenir shops selling Vladimir Putin souvenirs. I am not sure if Putin is loved by the locals here but he sure is a very popular item on sale =)

I highly recommend this place and I will tell the reasons why....

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Belgrade trams
Belgrade Fortress and Kalemegdan Park

Firstly, it is a place that is steeped in history. The fortress is the site of the ancient Roman city called Singidumun which is Belgrade during the Ottoman era. Drink in all the history! On the embankment by the Sava River side, I saw an exhibit about the history of the fortress during the WWI.

Secondly, the fortress is also a huge park that can accommodate the many people coming here, so there is always enough space for everyone to enjoy and relax. The park is called Kalemegdan from the Turkish words, ‘Kale’ for the fortress and ‘megdan’ for the battlefield. It’s a great place to spend some down time here, take a walk around the embankments and take in the panoramic views.

Thirdly, for animal lovers, you can visit the Belgrade Zoo. I have never been but I was able to see a few squirrels passing by.

Fourthly, there are a number of cafes and restaurants inside the fortress and on a good weather day, this place would be perfect to have a drink or lunch, far away from the hustle and bustle of busy Belgrade, even if it’s just around the corner from the popular Knez Mihailova pedestrian street.

Lastly, as I mentioned earlier, the grounds are free to enter any time of the day! I hope the city will keep the free admission as it is because it’s really a lovely part of the city.

The fortress and park are huge, thus 1-2 hours to go around would be needed.

Entrance Belgrade Fortress
Belgrade Fortress

A tennis court by the entrance of the Belgrade Fortress.

A few highlights to check out:

  • Stambol Gate - This is the main gate of the fortress
  • Statue of Victor (Pobednik) – From this hill you can have great views of Novi Beograd and the Danube River
  • Military Museum – Didn’t visit but there is a timeline exhibit with naration and pictures about WWI in the park facing the Sava river bank
  • Museum of Forestry and Hunting – Not really for me but maybe for you?
  • Belgrade Zoo – Didn’t visit as well as I am not really very fond of seeing animals in captivity.
  • Cafes and restaurants –  Great alternative for a different setting. To see their location, check out the resident billboard maps in the fortress.

To learn more about its history, please go here: Belgrade Fortress and Kalemegdan Park

Putin souvenirs

Some of the Putin souvenirs sold in the park, just before the entrance to the fortress.

Stambol Gate

This is the Stambol Gate. There are a number of billboard maps inside the fortress to help visitors navigate the place and locate some of the sights.

Miltary tanks on display
Belgrade Fortress
Belgrade Fortress
Belgrade Fortress

Behind this arched gateway are a number of cafes with outdoor terraces and restaurants. It showered a bit when I was here so my plans to sit on a terrace unfortunately did not materialise.

Gate tower and wooden bridge in Belgrade Fortress
Belgrade Fortress
Sava River

The view to the Sava River from the embankment.

Belgrade Fortress
Outdoor cafe terrace in Belgrade Fortress

This outdoor cafe terrace would have been very promising had it not rained. 

On the wooden foot bridge in Belgrade Fortress

Confluence of the rivers, Save and Danube. The hut in the middle of the water is a restaurant. I wanted to go here but I did not get the address right. So instead, I went to Zemun, the neighbourhood just behind this area.

Cafe and Restaurant in Belgrade Fortress

This doorway and stairs will lead you to 3 places, a formal dining restaurant, a pizzeria with a terrace (lower part) and a cafe with a terrace (top part).

Belgrade Fortress embankments
Belgrade Fortress

The view to Novi Beograd (New Belgrade).

Belgrade Fortress & Kalemegdan Park
Squirrel Belgrade Fortress & Kalemegdan Park

Caught a squirrel in action in the Kalemegdan Park.

Belgrade Fortress & Kalemegdan Park
Belgrade Fortress & Kalemegdan Park
View to a part of Stari Grad (Old Town)

View to Stari Grad (Old Town) from the Kalemegdan Park and Belgrade Fortress.

View from Belgrade Fortress
View from Belgrade Fortress embankments
World War I exhibit in Belgrade Fortress

There is a World War I stimeline exhibition with narration and pictures. The fortress played a large role during this tragic event.

World War I exhibit in Belgrade Fortress
Kalemegdan Park in Belgrade Fortress

Travel Period: March 2016
Destination: Stari Grad, Belgrade, Serbia

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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