If you’ve never been to the Balkans, Belgrade is a top place to start. The Serbian capital serves up a vibrant nightlife scene, great shopping and plenty of historical sites – including Kalemegdan Fortress and the Church of St Sava, one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world. Hang out in Zemun, a picturesque neighbourhood on the Danube’s left bank. These are some of the top boutique hotels around Belgrade for an authentic city break.
Garni Hotel D10 is an oasis of peace in Zemun near the shores of the Danube. This neighbourhood is one of the most beautiful parts of Belgrade, with a rich history and distinctive architecture. A sense of calm hits you on walking into Garni Hotel D10, with sandy and sky-blue furnishings making for an attractive mix. There are just 13 rooms at this luxurious little spot, and the suites come with a jacuzzi or kitchen.
Don’t let the word museum put you off this place – this 50-room hotel is anything but dull and stuffy, with sublime magazine-worthy interiors running throughout. The look is modern and chic, with grey feature walls livened up with pops of colour. The restaurant serves up a delightful spread of Serbian delicacies in the morning, and the terrace is a great place to unwind with a glass of wine come 5 o’clock.
Mama Shelter is the cool kid on the block when it comes to the boutique hotel scene in Belgrade. If you’re familiar with this hip hotel chain you’ll know the drill – an Instagrammable rooftop, bold interiors that stop you in your tracks, DJs spinning in the bar and a spread of Italian food to keep you going around the clock. This 125-room Belgrade outpost is located right on one of the city’s most notable pedestrian shopping streets, Knez Mihailova.
Once you’ve shopped until you’ve dropped, you can roll into bed at the Eden Hotel – which is nestled between dozens of stores lining Knez Mihailova Street and Terazije. The tranquil atmosphere here is most welcome after a day of hitting the stores. Each of the 23 rooms flaunts immaculate interiors, with high design and comfort at the forefront. Some of the bigger suites feature outdoor spaces with fantastic city views.
A four-star spot on one of the most famous streets in downtown Belgrade, Life Design Hotel does all the things you’d expect from a boutique hotel with aplomb. The spa facilities are an extra boon, with a jacuzzi, a bio sauna, a massage room and a Finnish sauna on offer. The rooms themselves strike a keen balance between business and casual, while the Privilege restaurant offers a decent selection of vegetarian and gluten-free options.
88 may be a lot of rooms when it comes to a boutique hotel, but it’s difficult to deny the merits of this hotel. 88 Rooms is extremely style-orientated, and extra attention has been given to ensuring aesthetic comfort for those who choose to stay here. The location is pretty fantastic too, with a rooftop restaurant offering panoramic views of the city.
There’s something different about the Square Nine Hotel, which is part of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World portfolio. A unique seven-storey building right in the heart of the city, there are 30 rooms and 15 suites, each with the same suave ambience. Square Nine is a truly world-class hotel in Belgrade, complete with its own spa and wellness centre. The view from the terrace is truly astounding, with delicious Japanese nibbles to boot.
Hotel Mint may be slightly out of the city centre, but this four-star hotel housed within a mansion-style building more than makes up for it. This family-run spot serves up 22 rooms with bright and modern interiors. The rooms are also generously proportioned, which make this hotel ideal for longer stays. There is free wifi and parking, and the bountiful breakfast buffet is a real highlight – with a spread of delicious homemade treats to choose from.
Knez Mihailova is Belgrade’s most famous street, where all strands of the capital’s society go to be seen. Situated right on this thoroughfare, the family-run Belgrade Art Hotel offers a spa, with 30 minutes of free sauna time after each massage, while the Mosaic Restaurant serves up some must-try Belgradian specials. Organic teas, aromatic cocktails and home-made ice cream are all part of the experience here.
As one of the first boutique hotels in Belgrade, Townhouse 27 sets the bar high. The works of famed Belgradian sculptor Gabriel Glid are liberally placed around the hotel, and the 21 cream-coloured rooms have a modern and chic ambience. All include sound systems from Bang & Olufsen and Nespresso coffee machines. A unique feature of this hotel is that it owns a winery an hour away from the city. You’re welcome to visit the vineyard, or you can enjoy the produce from the comfort of your room or at the on-site restaurant.
Queen’s Astoria Design Hotel sets its stall out with its rather grandiose moniker. It backs up the haughty title with faultless design and exquisite attention to detail throughout the property. This is a boutique hotel with plenty of history, one of the few places on the continent that can justify using the descriptor of traditional yet modern.
It might have one of the most confusing hotel names in the city, but the Design Hotel Mr. President should not be ignored. Directly opposite Belgrade’s train and bus stations, this is another modern and stylish option when it comes to sleeping in the Serbian capital. The area around the train station isn’t exactly the most aesthetic in the city, meaning the class of Design Mr. President sticks out. The portraits of famous presidents that adorn each room are one of the more interesting features at this hotel .
For more accommodation options in Belgrade, check into one of the best hotels in the Serbian capital – and book your stay on Culture Trip.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
John William Bills contributed additional reporting to this article.
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