The trend of the digital nomad has not passed Belgrade by, as the mass of articles written about the Serbian capital on Culture Trip suggests. The city is famous for its cafes, but what are the best spots to bunker down and get a mass of work done, fuelled by a solid supply of caffeine and reliable WiFi?
Bar, Cafe, Contemporary, $$$
Take a seat in the garden with some of Belgrade's finest. | @ Aleksandra Nikolic / Zaokret
Zaokret is hugely popular with creative types all over the city, and for good reason. It occupies some prime real estate at Cetinjska, and has brought together all the elements required for an excellent productive space. The coffee is great, the music is low key enough to provide an ambient hum, the decor is extra impetus and there is also plenty of space to go round. If the day happens to be a write off, there are plenty of decent beers available too.
A major favourite of ours, it is a rare sight to arrive at Meduza and not see someone frantically tapping away at a keyboard while the muted strains of ambient music or some excellent Americana drifts around the room. The staff are fully aware of what is going on, and won’t impose themselves during long stays inside. If you’re looking for somewhere to write a book in Belgrade, look no further (trust us, we’ve done it).
Zaokret is at the forefront of the Cetinjska revolution that has taken up the mantle of the endangered Savamala district, but that isn’t to say the entire riverfront is lost to corruption. KC Grad soldiers on obdurately, and the iconic innovative hub is as strong as ever. When the sun is shining, the garden is a splendid place to bed in for the day, putting together art surrounded by its manifestation.
There are a number of branches of the excellent Kafeterija coffee house dotted around Belgrade, and you can’t go wrong with any of them. We have a soft spot for the one down by Student Square however, with its large table and quaint outdoor area, both of which make for an excellent typing spot when nearby. It may well serve the best coffee in town as well, which is an impressive feat.
Another chain found all over Belgrade, Aviator also goes a long way to disproving the traveler’s belief that chains should be avoided. Great coffee and a real personable charm is found in spades, served at sizeable tables with consistent WiFi and a congenial atmosphere. There will be smoke of course, but you are in Belgrade — what do you expect?
If you aren’t sure where Topolska 18 is, the clue is in the name. Head up to Vračar for this underrated gem, as much a bookshop as it is a cafe and creative hub. Books are written to inspire (most of them time, anyway), and you’ll find plenty of inspiration in this colourful yet minimalist setting. The effects of light and colour go a long way to rousing inventive sentiment from deep within even the hardest of souls.
A little creative paradise up in Vračar, Kozmetičar is one of our favourite cafes in Belgrade. The colourful interior never fails to raise spirits, and the staff are among the capital’s most engaging and convivial. The comfortable seats and social environment leans towards the inspiring, and the garden is a peerless place to get a breath of fresh air. It is one of our favourites, and it will surely be one of yours as well.
From the owners of arguably the only boat club worth thinking about comes this splendid little bar towards the end of Skadarlija, further enhancing the already embedded legacy of the great 20/44. The cafe has been around for less than a year, but the importance of a trusted name shows in the social atmosphere and mass of customers. Don’t let that put you off heading here to work however, as this is a bar opened by creative individuals with creative types in mind.
Once a bookshop and a hugely popular underground club, for years what was once Plato Cafe was left as an abandoned hole, a real eyesore in the heart of Belgrade. Those days are finally over, and while the shop and club remain in the past, they have been replaced by an excellent modern cafe. Plato lives up to its past with plenty of goodies on offer and an invigorating ambience, allowing for a lot of work from early morning to early evening.
Cafe, Restaurant, Hotel Restaurant, Boutique Hotel Restaurant, Contemporary, European, $$$
While we aren’t huge fans of the sterile cafes of luxury hotels in general, we can make an exception for what is on offer at the Art Hotel. The city centre location is one thing, but the excellent WiFi, delightful coffee and marvellous views of Belgrade life make this a great place to spend an afternoon. Just be careful not to let people-watching dominate your time in the cafe.