Read, Write, Run, Roam

White-hot white city: beating the heat in Belgrade


Polar bear at Belgrade zoo. Image source MSNBC

Belgrade is blazing hot right now. It’s all people talk about, so I figured I’d join the discussion. We’ve had regular temperatures in the high 90 degree range and not a cloud in sight. There are drinking water stations parked around the city and warnings for people to stay indoors during peak sunshine. I guess it could be worse; the highest official temperature in Belgrade was 110°F on July 24th 2007, according to Wikipedia. So that’s something to fear.

 

I’m not one to sit inside with air conditioning all day, so here are some RHOB tips to beat the heat in Belgrade. Leave your tips in the comments!

1. Ada Cingalija: this is the number one destination for hot Beogradjani, and for good reason. A free lakeside retreat with a fabulous cafe scene, tennis courts and bicycle paths. What’s not to like? Well, the crowds. Get there around eight am if you want to nab a prime location or enjoy a peaceful swim. Plan on waiting a good 20-30 minutes to get out of the park if you’re leaving at sunset. But why leave? At night the temperature drops, the live music starts, and the waterside party kicks it up a notch.

2. Splavs: I haven’t written much about splavs yet. They’re essentially fancy party barges on the Danube and Sava rivers. It’s a true slice of Belgrade life. You can enjoy drinks on some splavs during the day, but they are best known for their nightlife. The river gets breezy and about 10 degrees cooler once the moon rises, so it’s a nice way to experience the club scene while enjoying the weather. Beware, though: the best splavs are packed.  More people, more heat to contend with. But at least you’ll have pretty people to look at…

Splav photo source here

3. Pools: If the lake isn’t your thing, enjoy the outdoor pools at Tašmajdan Park and Sport Centar Košutnjak. If the posh pool life is what you seek, check out S Klub Hotel by the Belgrade airport. The hotel has an outdoor pool with bar service, and I’ve heard you don’t need to be a hotel guest to use the pool. Klub 17 in Zvezdara, an area outside of Stari Grad, also features a swanky-looking outdoor pool. I can’t vouch for these places but I’d love to know if any readers have been there.

4. Parks: Can’t swim? Hate chlorine? Let the natural shade of Belgrade’s big parks keep you cool. Explore  Topčider park or have lunch in the Košutnjak park area. Lots of people have barbeques in the park in Savinac by the meteorologic station, and the tree cover seems to keep things cool despite an open flame.

5. Indoor cafe life: If all else fails, find a cafe with “klima” and while away the hours the way Beogradjani do best: drinking and people watching. Might I suggest an “ice coffee” (it contains ice cream!) or fresh squeezed lemon juice?

Stay cool, readers…

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