All roads lead to Belgrade when it comes to art in Serbia, and rightly so. The capital is a real creative hub and an international centre, so it’s no surprise that the country’s finest art galleries are in the town. Belgrade is an art lover’s dream, and these spots are must-see to say the least.
A dirty lane jutting off from one of Belgrade’s main squares might not seem like the obvious spot for a gallery, but then the Serbian capital isn’t a particularly obvious city. The self-explanatory Ulična Galerija (Street Gallery) is just off Nikola Pašić Square and showcases some of the finest independent and activist art in the city. Photos, posters, collages, graffiti and the rest — there is something for everyone at the Street Gallery.
Savamala has taken a bit of a beating in recent years, but Galerija ŠTAB is one of the few creative hubs that has managed to withstand the Belgrade Waterfront nonsense and even managed to thrive. One of the coolest galleries in the city, it frequently changes up its exhibitions in order to showcase the best up and coming talent in the city along with work from further afield.
Art Gallery, Art Museum, History Museum, Science Museum
Arguably the most important academic institution in the country, the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts is understandably home to some of the most magnificent art in the entire region. Three galleries are waiting to be explored, and the Gallery of Fine Arts and Music is particularly impressive. The collection is housed in one of the finest buildings on Knez Mihailova, making it an all round joy for lovers of visual arts and architecture alike.
Located in one of our favourite Belgrade neighbourhoods, Galerija Haos might be small but it’s far from lacking in quality output. A place for lovers of art run by like-minded people, you are just as likely to embark on an in-depth discussion about all forms of art as you are to spend an afternoon gazing at contemporary and historical work. A delight, in many ways.
It probably isn’t entirely accurate to refer to O3ONE as a gallery, or at least in the traditional sense. This is most definitely an all-encompassing art space, where creative minds come together to mix and mould ideas into something tangible and alive. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but there is always something going on at this genuine hive of innovation.
Don’t be put off by the bleakness of a blue and white storage space, as this somewhat new riverside gallery showcases some of the best contemporary art from Belgrade and beyond. It isn’t the easiest to find, but persevere and an entire world of expression will open out in front of you. The immensity of the space is also refreshing. It isn’t always open, however, so do check with the relevant social media pages to see the schedule. Failing that, contact the gallery to organise a visit.
A cultural dinosaur in the city, the Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art (a mouthful, yes) exhibits some of the best art from Serbia and the rest of what once made up Yugoslavia, with visual arts taking up the majority of the space. The space itself is immensely elegant, and the years of renovations that led to its reopening in 2017 were worth the wait. It didn’t seem like it at the time, but good things come to those who wait and all that jazz.
The 1968 student demonstrations in Belgrade didn’t end particularly well, but the opening of the Student Cultural Centre three years later is often seen as a concession of sorts to the angry youths in the city. SKC has been at the forefront of culture in the city ever since, and it remains so today. A variety of visual arts are on show here, with plenty of other performance arts taking place at this famous spot.
A part of the National Museum, the Gallery of Frescoes represents a very different part of the Serbian artistic tradition. The monasteries of the country are among some of its most sacred spots, and it’s the frescoes lighting up those structures that garner the most attention. This building in Dorćol is full of replicas but the quality is clear for all to see. To tap into the spiritual artistic nature of the Serbs, make this your first stop.
There are plenty of galleries in Belgrade that occupy a whole heap of space, but Portofino 1989 proves that size isn’t everything. Located in Palilula, itself one of the most underrated neighbourhoods in the city, Portofino 1989 is a treasure trove of new and old that intrigues as much as it impresses. Opened by a mother-daughter designer combo, it has been a refreshing addition to the Serbian capital’s art scene.