Belgrade top neighbourhoods – Dorćol and Vračar
The sound of the door bell
Song of the day: The White Stripes – My Door Bell
Unless you stay for a long time, you won’t be able to get to know all the neighbourhoods of Belgrade, so we’ll focus on two of them in the city centre.
Dorćol, whose name literally means (intersection of) four roads, is a location of some of the oldest city buildings. It was a trade centre during the Turkish occupation and it was a centre of Belgrade’s Jewish community, always keeping this multinational character. Belgrade’s only mosque, Bajrakli Džamija (Bajrakli Mosque) is there, in Gospodar Jevremova street.
Dorćol is known for its beautiful streets where you can find small galleries, designer shops and numerous cafés and restaurants, especially in a ‘café-street’, Strahinjica Bana.
Dorćol is favourite meeting place of both nouveau riche milieu and groups of artists and students who spend their time gathering in cultural centres, Studentski park (Student park) and cafés that play alternative music.
It is the home of the avant-garde BITEF Theatre on the Square of Mira Trailović, Ethnographic museum, Jewish museum, Pedagogiacal museum etc. Even the hipsters love it.
Vračar plateau is one of the highest points in downtown Belgrade, and its name is derived from Serbian word vrač meaning the 'medicine man', 'healer'.
The most dominant feature of modern Vračar is the massive Orthodox temple, Hram Svetog Save (Temple of Saint Sava). Its construction shaped not just the present appearance of the plateau, but also the skyline of the entire Belgrade and it is visible from most parts of the city. Plateau has been reshaped in the early 2000s, with fountains, marble access roads to the temple with pillars and children playgrounds added, while the already existing monument to the leader of the First Serbian Uprising, Karađorđe. The plateau is also the location of the National Library of Serbia and Karađorđev Park (Karadjordje’s Park), with the craftsmen settlement of Gradić Pejton and the bohemian quarter of Čubura nearby.
Insider tip: If you visit Vračar, look for Kalenić pijaca (Kalenić green market), one of the main green markets in Belgrade, where you can buy fresh, locally-produced seasonal fruits, vegetables, cheeses, baked goods, pickles, jams and fruit preserves, as well as fresh and smoked meat, fish and everything from soymilk to organic tofu and dried seaweed.