When you come to the Serbian capital, Belgrade rivers, Ada Ciganlija lake, and Belgrade waterfront are the inevitable part of your experience. You will fall in love with the Danube and the Sava, two Belgrade rivers at the very moment that you see them. Walking among ghosts of old and new time that linger on the banks of these rivers that preserve rich European history, will just intensify this feeling.
The confluence of Belgrade rivers – where the Sava weds the Danube
You can witness this gracious conjoining of these two Belgrade rivers from several places. You have to see all of them in order to decide which one is your favorite. We must warn you, the choice will be hard to make.
Each of these locations you can reach by car, on foot or you can rent a bike for just a couple of euros and enjoy pedaling.
If you are feeling romantic, then you must take a boat tour and see a buoy that marks the exact place that these rivers wed and become one. Couples like to vow to each other to eternal love and marry on this spot, watching two Belgrade rivers become one as well.
You can treat yourself with a boat ride that starts from both banks and enjoy the view on Belgrade from the rivers. It is a unique experience that will make you feel relaxed and peaceful. Not to mention the breathtaking view, especially during sunset.
For the curious ones and the history lovers, the place to watch the confluence is just under the Kalemegdan fortress. If you are coming by car, you can leave it near Nebojsina kula, which you can also visit, since you are already there. This tower used to be an observation post but also a brutal jail in which many heroes endured heavy torments.
For those that prefer a good walk, you can reach this location by following the promenade on the Belgrade bank of the Sava river and follow it all the way to the Danube. The promenade goes through the harbor that has many restaurants and coffee bars that offer rich entertainment life. There you can take a break and have a drink or a tasty meal. Local finger food “mekike” and kajmak is a must-try if you like the taste of Serbia. A serving for two is less than 10 euros.
Belgrade has not forgotten those that love nightlife and clubbing. They can enjoy the confluence from the third point that is in the Novi Beograd side of the Sava river. Besides the beautiful view, this is a place that offers great nightlife in numerous clubs that are on the water.
The Sava promenade (Savski kej) in Novi Beograd
The Sava river winds alongside the blocks of Novi Beograd and is a great place for an easy bike ride or a walk. You will enjoy gentle Sava banks and take in the sounds of nature. It will be the feast for all your senses.
Every morning and evening, sports lovers gather on this riverbank and its tracks. If you are a fan of exercising, running, rollerblading or biking you can join them and immediately find yourself in a great company.
The top part of the levee is mostly used for recreation, but mums with strollers also like to walk here, because the track is wide and there is enough room for everyone.
On the lower part, right on the river, there are numerous cafes and restaurants on the water. There you can take a break and enjoy a refreshment and a cake or indulge in a tasteful and large meal that will not empty your wallet.
Sipping a coffee or a juice and watching the Sava on if the two Belgrade rivers is a priceless experience.
If you sit right next to the water, ducks will come and you can feed them with popcorn or 0bread.
From the Novi Beograd promenade, in summer, you can get on a boat and cross the river to Ada Ciganlija – a beautiful artificial lake, popularly called «the Belgrade sea».
You can buy a ticket right before you board the boat and it costs around one euro. You can buy one way or a return ticket. After about ten minutes of rocking on the Sava, you will get to the other bank. Around 15 more minutes of light walk and you will reach the lake that is a favorite swimming and resort area for the people of Belgrade.
Ada Ciganlija – the lake of the Sava river
This artificial lake is 4.2km long and around 200m wide. The depth is 4-6m and it is a reservoir of the drinking water for the people of Belgrade.
A great Serbian writer and painter, Danilo Kis, loved this lake very much. He spent a lot of time there, and it was very inspirational for him. He dedicated many paintings to this lake, but also pages in his books.
There are two banks on this lake – the Makish side and, as Belgradians call it «the side where the bungee jump is».
The enjoyment is equal on both sides. You can lounge in the sun, swim or enjoy one of the many cafes and bars right next to the water.
Swimming is allowed in the designated area. Swimming across the lake is strictly forbidden. During summer the water is warm and you can enjoy it most of the day. Right on the water, there is a rubber city where the children (but also «the big children») can enjoy it. There you can jump, climb and slide right into the water.
The beach has lifeguards and an ambulance for emergencies.
On Ada Ciganlija, all around the lake, there are two separate lanes – the one for walking and the other for riding bikes or rollerblading.
If you would like to go around the lake but are not in the mood for the physical activities, you can enjoy the ride in a small eco-friendly electrical train that will take you on a tour around the lake.
For those with a taste for the extreme, besides bungee jumping, during the summer there are waterskiing and the adventure park. You can also enjoy: rowing (kayak, skiff, dragon boat), dry skiing on a track, tennis courts, football field, basketball, beach volleyball and golf.
Those that like fishing can cast on Ada Safari, a small lake not far from the main lake. When you are already there you can visit a mini zoo where you can pet various animals. There are no exotic species but all its residents are friendly.
If you get hungry you can have lunch in a wonderful restaurant on this small lake, surrounded by flowers. Swans and ducks will be glad to keep you company.
For the lovers of geocaching, there are several caches on Ada Ciganlija lake. If you turn off your GPS you can spend all day in the fun adventure and laughter.
Zemun promenade (Zemunski kej) – The Liberation promenade
This promenade is situated on the right bank of the Danube. It begins under Gardos and goes all the way to the confluence of the Sava and the Danube. Almost all the way there are separate riding and walking roads.
Somewhere in the middle, close to the Venecija restaurant (when you go towards the confluence; during summer – from June to September) you can cross the pontoon bridge to Veliko ratno ostrvo (The Great war island). This island has a nice beach but also has a small lake and rich floral and animal kingdom. It is an ideal place for nature lovers.
Close to hotel Jugoslavija sports lovers can rent a bike and enjoy the ride alongside this promenade. You can also visit a small amusement park and have fun in rides for hours.
The part of Zemunski kej that is situated under Gardos is a bohemian part of Zemun. Here you can enjoy in an authentic atmosphere of the Danube fisherman, eat fresh fish, drink excellent wine and sing with tamburitza players untill dawn. An unforgettable experience that everyone is glad to have and carry in their heart.
Dorcol promenade (Dorcolski kej)
After you’ve seen the city center and its amazing architecture, you can walk down to Dorcol and the Danube promenade and enjoy an amazing view. Here, the sports center Milan Gale Muskatirovic will greet you as well. During summer you can enjoy the open swimming pools. During winter, there are indoor pools, warm and IR sauna.
This is a great place to rent a bike and go for a city tour since you are so close to the center and all the events.
Not far away from this sports center, there is one of the most beautiful views in Belgrade. You can see the exact place of the Sava and the Danube confluence, two Belgrade rivers, Veliko ratno ostrvo, Gardos tower and Zemun promenade. There is nothing more beautiful than to watch the sunset at this place.
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