Zemun – a Neighborhood in Belgrade, Serbia

ZEMUN

‘Zemun’
is the oldest neighborhood in Belgrade and is located in the north-west part of the city. And while it is part of the official 17 districts of Belgrade, some Serbians say it’s a town of its own! We found it weird, but when we got there we saw why. It is a mix of typical industrialized and urbanized suburbs together with some areas that have the atmosphere of a charming village overlooking the big city.  Zemun has a distinctively different overall feeling and
architecture from Belgrade. A more Eastern European atmosphere!

We were aiming for the Gardos Tower where you can have a great view over the river and the city. So we were told to take a bus that will take us there and wait until the last stop. And here starts a typical ‘tourists get lost scenario’. I guess the girl we ask for reassurance on the bus didn’t understand exactly my question, so we waited and waited for that last stop bypassing the place we should’ve stop and almost going out of Belgrade before we asked the driver who told us to go back. If you want to explore this part of Belgrade and want to make the journey to the Gardos tower – you are supposed to stop at the ‘Opera and Theater Madlenianum’ and have a picturesque walk up to the tower as we did at the end. Or you can take the guided tour to Zemun, but unfortunately it is not held every day. If you are visiting on Saturday, it is a good option.

With colorful houses along the narrow streets and dogs barking from every side, we had fun exploring this lovely area. The tower itself was built by the Hungarians and was under a reconstruction for a long time. You will notice that in Belgrade many cultural buildings are under reconstruction and no one knows when they will open again, though you can see an optimistic countdown clock on some of them. Now the tower is opened for visitors on the weekends and in specific hours. So we didn’t manage to go in as our initial intentions were, but still got a nice walk and view of the city.

Overall, we would recommend going on a Saturday tour to make the most of this place and the walk itself, because you would save some of your time and you will probably get a history lesson. But even self-guided during the week, every neighborhood you visit, can get you a valuable insight of Belgrade’s complexity and more complete idea of the city’s identity.

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