Belgrade has developed into a prominent European capital, its promising growth and optimism seeking to overshadow its turbulent past. The history of Belgrade goes back some 6,000 years, and is filled with tales of conflict and tragedy. But no matter the cost or devastation, the city has always bounced back and is in the midst of a cultural and creative revival.
Situated where the Sava and Danube rivers meet on the Balkan Peninsula, the beauty and charm of the city is not found in gorgeous buildings or sweeping parks. Instead, it beats with an identity layered with relics of many generations and the remaining customs of countless invaders. Decidedly Old World with a hint of the Orient, varying cultural influences and architectural styles jostle for attention in Belgrade, combining to imbue the modern city with its own unique aura.
The best place to begin understanding the city is at the site of its original ancient settlement, the hill called Kalemegdan, now a fascinating park-like complex of historic structures overlooking the Old Town (Stari Grad). Here, the Military Museum traces the history of the city's bloody past, from its first conflict with the Roman legions in the 1st century BC to its most recent conflagration, when NATO forces bombed the city for 78 straight days in 1999.
Those less fascinated by history and who would rather enjoy modern Belgrade will find myriad leisure and pleasure opportunities in the city. From the techno scene of its famed nightclubs to the restaurants and street performances of bohemian Skadarlija Street, visitors to Belgrade will feel welcomed by the warm and proud residents of this indomitable city.