Outspoken, adventurous, proud and audacious: Belgrade is by no means a 'pretty' capital, but its gritty exuberance makes it one of the most happening cities in Europe. While it hurtles towards a brighter future, its chaotic past unfolds before your eyes: socialist blocks are squeezed between Art Nouveau masterpieces, and remnants of the Habsburg legacy contrast with Ottoman relics and Socialist Modernist monoliths. This is where the Sava and Danube Rivers kiss, an old-world culture that at once evokes a time-capsuled Communist-era Yugoslavia and a new-world, EU-contending cradle of cool.
Grandiose coffee houses and smoky dives all find their rightful place along Knez Mihailova, a lively pedestrian boulevard flanked by historical buildings all the way to the ancient Belgrade Fortress. The riverside Savamala quarter has gone from ruin to resurrection, and is the city's creative headquarters (for now). Deeper in Belgrade's bowels are museums guarding the cultural, religious and military heritage of the country. 'Belgrade' translates as 'White City', but Serbia's capital is red hot.