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Belgrade center is quite a strange universe, where opposites often coexist quite harmoniously. Belgrade is simultaneously one of the best party centers in Europe, and it has a lot to offer to everyone who comes in search of omnipresent nightlife. On the other hand, there is another part of Belgrade, quieter, older one that many Belgraders prefer to party hub spots. These two worlds intertwine in Belgrade center and if you want to find accommodation here, best of both worlds is at your disposal. That is why we will dedicate our article Belgrade apartment for a day near Republic Square to the neighborhood that is the beating heart of the city.
The apartment that is in the spotlight, Theater, is located in Dositeyeva Street, which is named after one of the greatest Serbian philospher and writers, Dositey Obradovich. Now, we won’t drag on with a history lesson, but Dositey is definitely worthy of mentioning when talking about the his street in the center of a city that he loved, though he spent most of his life traveling.It is said that Dositey brought back from his journeys the spirit of Enlightenment and potato, and Serbs accepted potato very well.
He was a nomad and explorer „before it was cool“, and thanks to him the foundations of modern Serbian days were made, along came philosophy and pacifism, completely unknown to Serbs who spent centuries stuck under the Ottomans’ boot. Dositey Obradovich was the first to start writing in Serbian language used by common folk, which eventually brought about the biggest and most important reform that Serbian culture, literature and linguistics never had. What he started, Vuk Karadzich finished, so it is not much of a surprise that close to Dositeyeva Street is a museum dedicated to these two great names.
While we’re on the topic of Dositeyeva Street, we will dig into this subject more thoroughly later, but now we’ll just say that there is no limit to what you can do and try here. Whatever your tastes are, you will find something worth of your attention in and around our apartment for a day near Republic Square, and in case you don’t know where Republic Square is, well, let’s put it this way – think central part of the city center and you’re on the right track. It is highly unlikely that you will manage to see every café, restaurant, galleries, not to mention the National Theatre, that is across the street from you, but you should try as many different places as you can. But, let us start from the basics.
What is that makes Theater special? Except the fact that its location is so central, the only way to improve it would be to actually live in National Theater? Or maybe that the apartment might be small, but is incredibly practical and highly functional with a beautiful color palette? When all these factors are combined together, they make quite a good impression.
Theater is a part of old Belgrade, where many generations of “old Belgraders” take residence, it is one of the most desired areas for living, and once you take a stroll through it, you will understand why – the peace and quiet combined with all kinds of provolity at your reach is the most significant perk of Theater apartment.
Our apartment for a day can be found on the fifth floor (fourth in Serbian numeration) in the building with an elevator, so gymnastics of going up and down the stairs shouldn’t concern you (which is particularly important if you have a lot of baggage with you). The flat in itself is pretty much organized like a puzzle, all its parts fit snuggly into one another, so you will find everything you need in this seemingly modest space of 30 m2. Four grownups can stay here, but short term stay is recommended, as there isn’t much room for privacy in this studio apartment.
When you enter the apartment, you will find yourself in a little corridor, all in red wood, with two big closets, where you can put all of the belongings you don’t need, including the suitcases, even large ones. Right in front of you will see a small bathroom, that represents sort of a contrast with its wild yellow tiles. The bathroom is small, practical and impeccably clean just like the whole apartment is. Unless you get digestion difficulties, you won’t be spending too much of your time here, so let us move on toward the main part of the apartment.
Now, the most space is taken by bedroom-living room area, which might sound odd, but most studio apartments are arranged in a similar way. That is why we mentioned the lack of privacy earlier if four people stay in the apartment, everyone would sleep in the same room, which can be a bit difficult. Still, at the price of 40€, our apartment for a day near Republic Square offers a lot of comfort, and what is even more important is that you have a beautiful, clean and safe place to stay in the center of Belgrade.
This main room is functionally separated into two parts, thanks to spacious bed on one, and sofa on the other side. Warm earthy tones are mainly present in the whole of the apartment, with some exemptions of grey color here and there. The sitting area is decorated with many interesting details such as beautiful lamps, colorful pillows, wavy mirrors and deep brown curtains, behind which you will find a small French balcony.
Small white table and a fluffy carpet act as a contrast to the whole orange-brown-red composition, and right across from sofa you will see an LED TV, which is at your disposal with free cable TV channels (we do warmly recommend going out instead of watching television). Halogen lamps are the main source of light in the room, and they are all over the ceiling like stars. One other small part of the room is actually dining area as well, which is but a small table with two chairs of modern design, right next to the kitchen counter. Kitchen, on the other side, is quite hidden, so you won’t see when you step into the room, but is still quite well equipped for preparation of simpler meals.
Last but not least is the small balcony, to which you get by stepping through the window, which is a bi peculiar, but has a certain charm to it. From the balcony, you will see Dositeyeva Street winding toward Lower Dorcol neighborhood, and this is also a great place to banish smokers, if smoking in the apartment is a problem to you. Keep in mind that not all four people that can stay in the apartment can’t actually fit at the same time on the balcony, so shifts might be in order.
All things considered, our apartment for a day near Republic Square, Theater is a full package because it offers decent accommodation at more than decent price, and the location can easily be a thing of envy for any Belgrader. Even though you are in the epicenter of events, Dositeyeva Street is very quiet, because only one-way traffic is allowed. When it comes to going out, well, the sky is the limit, with cafés at every two steps and museums are in abundance all around. Simply put, living in apartment Theater means being connected with any part of the city and enjoying all the perks our capital has to offer.
Day near Republic Square
Not only can you spend a whole day around and on Dostiteyeva Street, but you pretty much spend your whole life exploring this neighborhood, and not be bored. This area is the focal point of cultural events, nightlife and wine & dine scene, as we will see in the following text. Our apartment for a day near Republic Square as well as its neighborhood has a lot to offer to an eager city explorer.
Let’s start with one of the most important and prominent cultural institutions – National Theater. As we mentioned earlier, the theater is right across the street from our apartment, which is the main reason for flat’s name – Theater. The fact that National Theater is on the street named by Dositey Obradovich has certain symmetry to it, as both were the pillars of Enlightenment and culture in the times when Serbia needed it the most. The theatre building has a lot of past, a lot of unfortunate events in its history from the times when prince Mihailo decided to raise this institution from the ashes of revolutions (right across the street from National Theater, at the Republic Square is the statue of prince Mihailo, again symmetry), to the present day. Now you can enjoy beautiful interior of the theater made of marble, awe-provoking ceiling paintings and decorations and velour. In case you would like to experience a show here, you can take a look at their monthly repertoire and pick a play, opera or ballet that you find interesting. The highest ticket price is 1200 dinars (10 Euros) and lower.
Now, we won’t write novels about all the places you can find in Dositeyeva Street, but we will mention some of them, just in case you need a hint in a general direction. Third theater in the street is café-gallery Theater. This can easily become your place for morning coffee (with maybe a shot of rakia, as Serbian customs allow), where you can enjoy interesting pictures on the walls and even talk a little bit with ever curious Belgraders.
A few steps down the street you will find an almost iconic place Glumac (Actor in Serbian), which serves great crepes in all flavors and forms. If you are in need of a hearty breakfast, this is a great option, just bear in mind that the servings are quite large. Also, if you feel like trying our chevapi (Serbian kebab), little fast food joint Drama is right on the street corner.
Cross the street, and on your right you will easily spot Klub knjizhevnika (Literary club), one of the most iconic restaurants Belgrade has to offer. It exists for over 70 years, and many of the famous Serbian writers often dined here, including our only Nobel Prize winner for literature – Ivo Andrich. But the exclusive superstar guest list doesn’t end here, not even close. Many of the world renowned names spent some of their time here, among them Rockefeller and Elisabeth Taylor. Even today you can find tables in the Club that are specifically dedicated to their guest stars. National cuisine is represented in this restaurant, but with interesting twists, so we suggest trying out roast beef, actually any meal containing meat is excellent, and for your sweet tooth, try tufahija. In the summer, sitting in the restaurant garden is a beautiful experience with huge trees surrounding it, while interior design is sophisticated, all in dark wood and perfect for days when you are in the mood for good wine, piano music in the background and great service. Our apartment for a day near Republic Square surely keeps good company.
Another amazing spot for wine & dine is Little Bay. This restaurant is one of a kind in Serbia, thanks to its gorgeous interior design that looks like you just walked into an opera. Rich baroque ornaments, often gold-plated with pictures of composers on upper level that is constructed so that it looks like boxes in opera, where you can enjoy your meal privately. They have wonderful jazz nights, evergreen music nights on Thursdays and Fridays, and if you have a taste for opera, stop by on Saturdays (the program starts from 8:30 P.M.). When it comes to food, it’s nothing short of delicious, and the prices are very affordable for this kind of service and ambiance, so don’t be scared by a bit of a posh interior, the staff is very kind and they will gladly help you pick out something interesting from the menu.
Still, if you don’t feel like going to a restaurant, but still want to eat good food, you need only continue your walk down Dositeyeva Street, and you will find RedBread, little oasis of vegetarian cooking in Dorcol. Though many still a lot of prejudice when it comes to meat-less food, pretty much everything in RedBread is exquisite, from vegetable potages to yummy cookies (we specially recommend white chocolate-raspberry). This little café-restaurant got its name from red bread that is their signature product and is made from sundried tomatoes. As for the interior, vivid colors, pictures and eclectic furniture make RedBread a great place for relaxation; they even have a kiddy corner with small tables and various toys and games for your young ones.
As you come to the end of Dositeyeva Street, you also come to the border between Upper and Lower Dorcol, Tsar Dushan’s Street. What might quite easily catch your eye is the Church of Alexander Nevsky that exists for over a century in different forms and places. It was first founded by Russian soldiers that came to help Serbia in the times of Serbian-Turkish war, after which many other wars prolonged the church’s construction. Only in the 1930s did the church started getting the shape it has to this day. Inside the church you will find memorials of Alexander II Romanov and Alexander the First Karageorgevich. This church was interestingly constructed by first female architect in Serbia, Jelisaveta Nachic.
This is the final stop in our walk through Dositeyeva Street, we only mentioned selected few, but there are many others to explore (Martaan, D Bar, Tapas etc.). However, in the streets parallel with Dositeyeva, there are a couple of places that very much deserve your attention, so here is a couple of lines about them as well.
Mama’s Biscuit House is located on 71 Strahinjica Bana Street, which is also familiar for its cafes and bars. Catchword of Mama’s is “Diet stops here” and we do believe this say enough. Decadent sweets, creamy dreamy cakes and cookies in all sizes and shapes – it all stares at you the moment you walk into this place. If you look back, your calorie count days are numbered.
If you love Italian cuisine (and who doesn’t?), then you should definitely take a closer look at Eatalian. This bodega contains all kinds of organic Italian products, such as prosciutto, a choice of cheeses, sundried tomatoes, and all that can be served to you on a hot plate on the upper level which is a mini-restaurant. Eatalian is pricier than the usual supermarkets, but if you want to buy imported goods, higher prices are something to be expected.
Our last but not least recommendation is Le petite cantine, quaint French bakery in 19 Dobrachina Street. Why is this place so special? Well, first because two lovely French girls that opened it know their way around pastry. Second, because all you taste there is genuinely made by French recipes. Lastly, everything tastes delicious; we warmly recommend broccoli quiche, chocolate pastry and potages made in heaven such as carrot-pumpkin-cinnamon mix. Whatever your choice is, you just can’t be wrong.
With this ends our not so short article about our apartment for a day near Republic Square and its neighborhood. While it is quite substantial, text also provides useful information about some interesting spots and clearly shows that staying in our Theater apartment might be quite convenient and easy for guests searching accommodation in the center of Belgrade. The only remaining question is – are you one of them?