Dorćol is Belgrade’s heart and soul. The small city centre district is full of animated cafes and effervescent bars, but hidden within the social side of life are a number of independent shops that demand your attention.
Belgrade is fast becoming a major shopping destination. New shopping centres spring up all the time and big international brands are commonplace, but the independent spirit remains strong in the city centre neighbourhood of Dorćol. These are its finest self-made stores.
Every scene has to start somewhere, and Belgrade’s vintage scene got its one with Jane Doe in 2012. Located in the heart of Dorćol, the original vintage shop now has a concept counterpart close to Belgrade’s only mosque a few streets away, but the quality has not been dulled by being stretched over two locations. Everything from vintage clothes to jewellery via home decor and accessories can be found here.
Not exactly a vintage store per se, Dorćol Platz is a must-visit market that takes place in Lower Dorćol every Sunday. A flea market in miniature, the tiny set-up is home to an impressive collection of creatives selling vintage clothes, books, lights and all the rest. Be sure to stop by the Fatamozgarije stand for some for the most fascinating ceramic display in the city.
Translate the name into English and you get ‘goodbye sugar’, which should tell you all you need to know about this splendid little dessert shop on Rige od Fere. If you are after moreish sweets and cakes that look every bit as good as they taste, Ćao Šećeru should be high on your list of must-visits when in Belgrade.
There is often a nagging feeling that vintage stores should be aggressively willing to embrace all things quirky and kitschy, and the denial of that is not something that can be levied at Šmizla. This small store is utopia for those who feel as though they have made a mistake by entering the 21st century, a little slice of heaven for those who didn’t want the last century to end. You won’t find many Serbs who actually wanted the ‘90s to continue, but you get the point. In Belgrade, it doesn’t get more vintage than Šmizla.
The creative lovechild of a pop star and a fashion designer, Atelje Petlja was conceived over coffee and seemingly sprung up overnight. This love for spontaneity is expressed in the shop itself, a refreshingly colourful affair stocked with handcrafted clothes and more accessories than you can shake a particularly well designed stick at.
A brand new store on Kapetan Mišina, Wolf & Chain have come together with Flame Furniture to creative a new design store full of handmade jewellery, unusual furniture and other items that are perfect for making that house a home. The two independent companies work well together, with sustainability thrust to the fore. If you’re looking for something that is undoubtedly sui generis, look no further.
It almost goes without saying, but Belgrade has changed plenty since the 1960s. Dorćol is almost unrecognisable from the days of Yugoslavia, but one little store has remained unchanged throughout the decades. Perfumerija Sava is the last of a dying breed, the final independent old school perfumer in the city, and one that acts as a time machine back to a different Belgrade. There is something truly elegant about the shop, an immensely classy place that is as much a living museum as it is a store.