Serbia has become a popular spot on the backpacking circuit in Europe, with most people opting to stay in the capital, Belgrade, also known as ‘the city that never sleeps’ for its unique party scene.
The nightlife scene in Belgrade is deemed as one of the best in the Balkans, with floating clubs drifting down the Sava River. The city, one of the oldest in Europe, also offers a wealth of things to explore, from the romantic Kalemegdan Fortress to the beautiful Church of St Sava. If you’re hitting Belgrade on a backpacker budget, here are some top hostels serving up character, charm and great locations for less, bookable with Culture Trip.
Hostel Fair and Square | Courtesy of Hostel Fair and Square / Hostel World
Proudly citing itself as Belgrade’s first designer hostel, the Hostel Fair and Square is an art gallery and a good night’s sleep all in one. Murals adorn the venue’s walls and, as a guest, you are encouraged to leave your own artistic mark here. The common room has a world map which has been signed by tourists from across the globe. Couples can go private and solo backpackers will find it easy to make new friends in the numerous dorms.
For the intrepid explorer, the single backpacker or the digital nomad, check into the colourful Good People Hostel. Located in the trendy Dorcol district of the old town, their once-weekly walking tour of Belgrade will certainly enlighten you and familiarise you with the history and etiquette of Serbia’s proud capital. Bloggers and entrepreneurs particularly like the array of nearby cafes and bars, plus the fact that there’s a Wi-Fi zone across the street. The 12-bed dorms are a great option for group bookings.
Balkan Soul Hostel | Courtesy of Balkan Soul Hostel / Booking.com
Belgrade’s Balkan Soul Hostel appeals to both culture vultures and party people with its historic walking tour by day and its legendary pub crawl by night. Make use of the freebies too – a free shot in the bar, free tea and coffee round the clock, free towels and a free city map. After exploring the city’s charming streets or a day of cycling to picturesque Zemun on the left bank of the Danube, mingle in the common room drinking a Rakija with your hostel buddies before a night of partying in the wide range of drinking dens and bars that lurk outside.
Sitting on the banks of the Danube beyond Usce, or Friendship Park, the Green House Hostel lets you rediscover nature while sleeping within the boundaries of a vibrant capital city. You enter the hostel via a wooden jetty. The building itself is made from 80 per cent natural materials. Breakfast is equally environmentally friendly, with locally sourced products on offer. Hang out with new buddies on the balconies by the river, or in the large, airy common room.
Be ready for the sensual charms of Hostel Beogradjanka, which takes its name from the Serbian term for a Belgrade girl. She’s a family-owned hostel and lures you in with her evocative floor design, her colourful flowery décor and her global art adorning the walls. There’s also a library for the intellectual traveller. Beogradjanka doubles up as the name of the Palace of Belgrade, which, given the hostel’s Kralja Milana location, isn’t far away.
White Owl Hostel | Courtesy of White Owl Hostel / Booking.com
Constantly appearing in the lists of best hostels in Europe, the White Owl is a popular backpacker stop-off. The dorms and common areas are modern and well-designed. A retro theme runs throughout, with fun design details to mix things up. US number plates are nailed to the walls, shower curtains sport raindrops and the kitchen has an American diner feel about it. Another plus of this place is the leafy outdoor patio, which serves as a top spot to mingle with your roommates over a cold Serbian pivo or two.
NapPARK Hostel | Courtesy of NapPARK Hostel / Booking.com
The NapPARK does exactly as its name suggests. It allows guests to take a nap next to the park, but there’s no sleeping rough here. The bohemian interiors promise to charm and a cosy atmosphere runs throughout. It is the perfect spot, for single travellers, groups and pairs with a convenient location in the heart of Belgrade’s downtown area. The NapPARK is also a place where you will quickly get to know fellow guests, as there are only 20 beds. Other perks include reading lights and plug sockets for charging appliances and a fully-equipped communal kitchen.
When backpacking from city to city becomes monotonous and repetitive, perhaps a night in a floating hostel on the River Danube is required. Rock up to reception, mop up a welcome drink and admire the artsy walls while booking your boat cruise on the river. The San Art floats on the Danube by Friendship Park. Bicycle hire is available, trendy clubs and bars are a stone’s throw away and breakfast is included (whenever you happen to wake up). To cut a long story short, sleeping in Belgrade doesn’t get much more satisfying than this.
Embracing modern technology with aplomb, Hostel AMD’s special 3D walk-round video previews with some panache what to expect. To echo this modern vibe, entry is gained via an electronic card, rooms are furnished with pristine wooden bunk beds, and flat-screen TVs grace the 2020 era kitchen and common area. Special attention is given to the bathrooms to ensure guests remain clean and healthy throughout their stay. This spot is situated on the delightful streets of ‘New’ Belgrade, where the city’s Sava and Danube rivers converge.
The Hedonist Hostel is one for the quirky extrovert. Boring doesn’t exist in this hostel, which carries the motto ‘with full lungs’, and the logo features a backpacker lazing on a hammock. What you get at this place is a social vibe where the fun doesn’t seem to end. The interiors in the dorms and communal spaces are colourful and fresh and the verdant garden, complete with a barbecue, is an extra perk. On certain evenings, football matches are screened in the courtyard. Centrala, one of the most famous student cafés in the old town, is just down the street.
ArkaBarka Floating Hostel. The name is tantalising enough, right? The boats along the Danube are best known for the famous clubs and bars, but there are plenty of sleeping spots located on the shores as well. This hostel is housed within an attractive floating wooden house right next to Friendship Park, which is a great spot for nature-lovers. There are dorms and private rooms, flooded with natural light and with views of the river and park. This lodge is packed with perks, including free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, free bikes, and a one-person sauna. Yoga classes are also on offer and there’s a lovely terrace on which to enjoy your surroundings.
El Diablo Hostel | Courtesy of El Diablo Hostel / Booking.com
Established in 2013, El Diablo Hostel is located in the heart of Belgrade, which makes it a perfect place to start exploring the vibrant capital. This is a hostel as hostels used to be. The atmosphere is informal, the price is low, and the nights are long for all the right reasons. There are dorms and private rooms and all have a homely ambience. Other areas include a fully-equipped kitchen, a dining area, three bathrooms and a balcony. Lockers, bedsheets and towels are provided free of charge. Additionally, a delicious Serbian-style breakfast is served in a nearby restaurant with a significant discount for hostel guests.