Where to have a drink with friends: The 9 best bars in Belgrade

In Belgrade, dozens of new drinking establishments open every year, ranging from classic beer pubs to trendy cocktail bars and lively disco venues with parties that last until dawn. We’ve already covered where to go for cocktails. In this guide, we’ve compiled the most authentic places with character and a special atmosphere, where it’s enjoyable to spend time in the rowdy group of friends.

Words: Daniil Korzhuev

Zaokret

Perhaps one of the main bars in Belgrade, Zaokret serves as the gateway to the art district of Cetinjska, a mecca for local hipsters, and is simply a pleasant place to spend time with friends (and potentially make new ones — the crowd is friendly). During the day, Zaokret is a good option for working on your computer over a cup of coffee at reasonable prices. However, in the evenings, it’s not a place for work: craft beers from local breweries are served, and lively parties with trendy DJs take over. If there’s not enough space in Zaokret, you can head to the second floor and sit in the spacious Sprat or opt for a more relaxed conversation in the quieter Lift.

• Cetinjska 15 • Instagram

Meduza

A cozy bar in the heart of Dorćol, Meduza has been one of the main spots for friendly gatherings in Belgrade for over a decade. Periodically, independent artists exhibit their works here, and on weekends, local DJs spin tunes. Feel free to order gin and tonics for the whole group — cocktails at Meduza are especially good, and the atmosphere will do the rest: warm light, brickwork and an abundance of flower pots.

• Gospodar-Jevremova 6 • Instagram

Leposava

Leposava Bar, located near Kalemegdan, has become a crucial point on the map of the best places for friendly gatherings in Belgrade. The recipe for success is simple: a magnificent view of the rooftops and the Sava River, coupled with an equally impressive interior — Yugoslav furniture coexists here with works by contemporary artists. On weekends at Leposava, local DJs play, and guests enjoy strong shots and simple yet high-quality cocktails.

• Velike stepenice 6 • Instagram

Chillton 

An underground bar-club near the Temple of Saint Sava, Chillton is located in the former dormitory building, and the bar itself looks like a spacious multi-room apartment — hence the impression of stumbling upon a friend’s party. Chillton has its own unique atmosphere — cheap beer flows, alternative bands frequently perform concerts, and billiards is a common pastime. In short, if you’re tired of trendy cocktail bars and crave something authentic, this is the place to be.

• Katanićeva 7 • Instagram

April

A must-visit for all occasions, April exudes warmth and coziness from miles away. The bar can be loosely divided into two areas: inside, an elegant interior with designer furniture and a curved bar counter made of dark wood, while outside, there is a spacious terrace enveloped in greenery, featuring charming swings to sit on. Grab a draft beer or a straightforward cocktail and simply enjoy the atmosphere.

• Zetska 18a • Instagram

Šupa

The main attraction at Zeleni Venac and another bar with a unique atmosphere is Šupa café. Inside, there’s an abundance of eclecticism: the ceiling is adorned with flower pots and disco balls of various sizes, the vibrant and colorful walls leave no free space, and those tablecloths! On weekends, Šupa gets packed, especially on days when DJs are spinning, but during warmer weather, you can find a cozy spot on the tiny and comfortable terrace (entrance through the window!).

• Jug Bogdanova 17b • Instagram

Mali Prag

A few minutes’ walk from the «Moskva» hotel, you’ll find the minimalist Mali Prag. The bar captivates with its atmosphere and stylish decor: retro furniture, paintings by contemporary artists, and an elegant gray as the base color of the space. Vintage markets, themed parties, and even film screenings take place at the bar. Mali Prag offers a good selection of wine, local craft beverages, and cocktails, with the added bonus of baked goods and hearty simple food.

• Kraljice Natalije 50 • Instagram

Ruke 

For industrial romance and beautiful cocktails, head to Ruke bar — a gem in the new Gastrošor cluster with trendy places. Here, you’ll find a restrained and stylish interior, regular DJ sets on weekends, all set amid the warehouses of lower Dorćol. Ruke boasts a decent bar menu with wine, craft beverages, and non-alcoholic drinks, though it’s best to focus on the main attraction: striking signature cocktails.

• Žorža Klemansoa 29 • Instagram

Idol

Tropical cocktails served in glasses shaped like Polynesian Gods, a whimsical interior filled with exotic antiques, a wonderful terrace on the quiet street of Stahinjića Bana, authentic snacks, and full-fledged meals crafted by a Chinese chef — these are the main reasons to head to Idol with friends, the first authentic tiki bar in Belgrade. The creative team here not only regularly updates the food and cocktail menu but also makes their own syrups, dries and preserves fruits, infuses liqueurs, and creates new drinks (pay attention to the extensive selection of non-alcoholic mocktails). Additionally, they occasionally host laid-back parties with DJ sets.

• Strahinjića Bana 61 • Instagram

Photos: 1, 10 –  Junona Slavina, 2 – Konstantin Kondrukhov, 3 – Meduza , 4 – Leposava, 5 – Chillton , 6 – April , 7 – Šupa, 8 – Mali Prag, 9 – Ruke 

Photos: 1 – Konstantin Kondrukhov, 2 – Meduza , 3 – Leposava, 4 – Chillton , 5 – April , 6 – Šupa, 7 – Mali Prag, 8 – Ruke, 9 – Junona Slavina

The Museum of Contemporary Art

Interesting architecture and good exhibitions