Zemun is unlike any other neighbourhood in Belgrade. The fiercely independent district was a separate town until a 20th century expansion, but it retains its own identity to create a true ‘town within a city’. It’s also a great place to stay when in Belgrade, so take your pick from the cream of the crop in Zemun.
Okay, so this isn’t part of the cream of the crop in a certain sense, but is there a more iconic hotel on this side of the river than Hotel Jugoslavija? To stay here is to travel back to the days of Tito and Yugoslavia, making it the perfect stop for nostalgic travellers. The list of iconic guests is long, featuring names as varied as Queen Elizabeth II, Buzz Aldrin, Tina Turner and Richard Nixon. If you’re talking about history, Hotel Jugoslavija can’t be matched.
City Code Vizura Garni Hotel
The name is a mouthful to say the least, but a stay at City Code Vizura Garni Hotel is a whole lot easier than remembering the order of those words. Zemun can be every bit as noisy as the centre of Belgrade, but this boutique spot is located in a quiet little street not too far from Gardoš. Each room also comes with a mini bar and TV, if you aren’t up to that whole ‘sightseeing’ thing.
Hotel Zlatnik may not possess the history of the former, but it is undoubtedly one of the top spots in Zemun today. A short walk from Gardoš Hill and the Danube River, Zlatnik’s two restaurants are recommended (if the excellent seafood in Zemun itself isn’t to your liking), but it is the undeniable class of the joint that shines through.
A brand new hotel located in Zemun, Hotel Contact is every bit as fresh as that initial descriptor would suggest. A great mix of style, comfort and personality, Contact is clearly an accommodation spot that has come into being on the back of plenty of planning. The hotel is ambitious in its aims and it manages to reach them, catering for business travellers and intrepid tourists alike.
Garni Hotel Lav
Naming your hotel after one of the most popular beers in the country is either a marketing master stroke or a disaster waiting to happen, but Garni Hotel Lav is in no danger of experiencing the latter. Located in a quiet part of the municipality, Lav offers a variety of rooms for all tastes and desires, all professionally attended to with some of the friendliest staff in the city.
Some hotels need to focus on gimmickry and pure aesthetics to mask deficiencies in other areas. Not Garni Hotel Zeder however, which is one of the finest contemporary hotels in the entire city, let alone Zemun. The hotel makes sure the boxes are ticked so you don’t need to worry about checking them, you just need to focus on checking in and checking out. There is a youthful energy here that can’t be ignored.
As the name suggests, the interior of this hotel is well and truly inspired by the theatre. It is located in the building that once housed the city’s first Puppet Theatre, and the traditions of the creative and dramatic are continued in the modern age. The location couldn’t be better when it comes to Zemun either, and everything is just a short walk away.