After the first part of my Belgrade travel guide it is time to show you a few more corners of the buzzing Serbian capital. Today I am taking you to an old part of Belgrade called Dorcol (pronounced as Dorchol). Dorcol is one of the oldest parts of Belgrade and is nestled under the Kalemegdan fortress and stretches all the way down to the Danube shores. This area used to be a vibrant commercial area during the Ottoman period and its name stems from their name for this important quarter: Dört Yol in Turkish mean crossroads (literally four ways) and became over time Dorcol. This area also hosted the large Jewish community until WWII with a majority of Sephardic Jews who came to this area from Spain in medieval times. Today Dorcol has preserved some of this historic atmosphere and charm – but it is a more residential area nowadays featuring some amazing places to go out: great restaurants, cafés, bars and galleries. Let me show you a few of my personal highlights.
This corner bar on a crossroads is an epitome for Dorco. It blends new and old, worn and polished and unites a very cool and urban crowd for drinks. You can sip your cocktail at the bar or – like many locals – simply outside in front of the bar. The overall atmosphere in Belgrade is very easy-going, very relaxed and pretty convivial. Having your cocktail at Kavkaz Bar will also summarize the Dorcol vibe – the leafy street is lined by old residential buildings and Belgrade’s old Bajrakli mosque. Remember that multicultural historical part I told you? There you go.
Kafe Knjizara Meduza
Two doors away from Kavkaz Bar is the café-library Meduza. This is a very comfy little café for an afternoon break or even a beer in the evening. It features books and magazines and invites the visitor to sit, sip, read and relax.
Smokvica means ‘Little Fig’ even though the fig tree that canopies this little café bar is pretty big. Smokvica is a wonderful little spot in a typical old building from the last century. The little garden terrace with an open bar can be reached via a small flight of stairs and the café interior is a sort of beautiful and spacious apartment turned into a café – with high ceilings, parquet flooring and high windows. Excellent spot for a Mediterranean like break including delicious food and great drinks.
Supernatural is in fact an environmental and social entrepreneurship based in Belgrade and focuses on a community based on a deep understanding for environmental topics and a better and healthier lifestyle. Recently they opened a lovely bar and shop in the Dorcol district where you can taste some of the delightful supernatural goods – clean, healthy and organic food and drinks to eat and drink in situ or shop for home.
Two blocks from Supernatural away you will pass by the small Blatobran Gallery. This gallery features the work of various local designers and artists with a focus on ceramics from around the country. The pieces are beautiful, one-of-a-kind, handmade and really affordable compared to similar galleries somewhere in western Europe. Do not miss the chance to get a unique piece from one of the young ceramics artists from Serbia. I got myself a cute little handpainted bowl (see it HERE).
If you continue further down towards the Danube shore, you will end up in an industrial zone with village like lanes of old, small houses. But don’t get fooled! A few steps further you will see the brand new cultural venue called Dorcol Platz that features various restaurants, cafés, a huge event stage, a cool playground and invites all people to really experiece an urban lifestyle that is typical for Belgrade. It is brand new so when I visited some parts were still in the making but this looks like a hotspot to watch!
Next doors to the Dorcol Platz a line-up of trendy restaurants, cafés, bakeries will attract yout design-loving eye. Radionica is one of those places. This bar features a raw industrial style and I can only imagine how cool it is during nights – when I visited it was a hot and sunny afternoon and pretty empty.
So if you want to boost your cholesterol levels, maybe a dinner at Holesterol will help? Maybe! I must admit I have not tested the food but walking by and peeking into the cool restaurant made me want to forget any healthy food thoughts immediately.
Coffee lovers listen up! Just after those bars and restaurants you will find a fab coffee roasters being ‘to cool for school’ or better yet ‘to cool for a name’ as Przionica simply means roasters in Serbian. Excellent coffee and a cool crowd hang out in this hot spot – I really want to go back there and enjoy more of the good coffee!
Enough already, I can hear you scream! Ok, I am off for now. But be warned: I will be back with a third part of my Belgrade travel guide. Just so you know. And next time simply join me to Belgrade. Deal?
Photography / iPhone photography by Igor Josifovic, last two gallery pics by Slobodan Hrnjak