Tonight, however, there is no time to get stuck. They eat late in the Serbian capital, and at 23:00 we are going to the Belle Epoque for cocktails among its sumptuous decor. Then it’s on to The Tube Club, as crowded as the name suggests, and Club Magacin 3, a delicious winter hangout for Belgrade’s beautiful people.
There is less posing and more dancing at the house’s resident Bar Baltazar, and Andergraund, in the catacombs under the Belgrade fortress, has the contagious hedonism you would expect from one of the city’s most popular dance clubs.
Today’s cold light
With the sum of Belgrade’s winter nights, it’s almost a relief that at least in the colder months, sightseeing tasks during the day are minimal.
“It’s not a particularly beautiful city, but it has the soul to survive,” says our guide Dina, whose city tour is padded with a pile of public toilets.
Thanks to the Milosevic years and heavy bombings in 1999, Belgrade’s development stalled for a decade. Now, in a hurry to catch up on the lost time, everything is under construction.
The National Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art are closed due to renovations. The St Sava Temple, though open, probably should not be, or perhaps helmets should be handed out while the interior is finished. The palaces of the Royal Complex are open for business if you book in advance (how many of us are it organized?), And Tito’s tomb will take you a full five minutes.
The situation may be different in summer when you can walk in the cobbled bohemian district of Skadarlija, take the promenade from Republic Square down to the shopping street Knez Mihailova or explore Belgrade’s fortress and sit on the so-called lovers’ wall to admire the views of the Danube and Sava rivers. .
While we are there, the biting autumn wind, known as kosava, begins to blow and it is not time to stroll.
Instead, we seek refuge in a kafana – an authentic Serbian restaurant – called? (yes, that’s right, question mark). Built in 1823, it opened as a tavern three years later, and little seems to have changed since then, including the menu. The many traditional dishes on offer include hearty stews, marinated peppers, cornbread and young bulls’ gonads (or “balls!”, Which our confused waiter eventually exclaims).
Food for thought
There may be little to see at the moment, but there is plenty to eat and plenty of places to eat it.
Zaplet takes us to the other end of the dining spectrum, with modern cuisine and a clientele of writers and film directors (the name means ‘plot’).
Reka is more of a news experience. “You do not go for the food, you go for the atmosphere, the music and the beautiful people,” says Gordana Plamenac, director of Serbia’s National Tourism Organization. “It’s normal during the work week to stay there until 2am.”
“No, 5:00,” her colleague corrects, before revealing stories about the table dance and the plate mother.
There is music and dancing, but before the service reaches it, we embark on yet another adventure, starting among the antique sewing machines of the Federal Association of Globe-Trotters and ending at the Teatro, a club with a peculiar combination of vibrant turbo people and greasy. -up strippers.
Winter in Belgrade may be a different experience than a summer visit, but there is no less variation for the nocturnal ones. If you ever needed proof of the local determination to feel good, go now as the temperature plummets.