Belgrade is a City at the Confluence of Two Rivers – the Sava and the Danube
The Sava meets the Danube in the center of Belgrade, at the spectacular location known as Ušće (confluence), forming two islands at its delta, the Big and Small War Islands making Belgrade the only European capital that has two major rivers.
For centuries the rivers Sava and Danube have connected the city with the world and served as borders between empires, provided the citizens with food, fresh water and recreation. The rivers greatly enhance the city’s appearance and provide a natural escape from the noise and bustle.
The waterfronts in the urban area of Belgrade are 200 km long. Beside these two major rivers there are 192 other rivers and streams on the territory of the city, along with a dozen lakes and about 20 islands. There are three large beaches and countless tiny inlets in the woods bordering the rivers.
You can take a walk or ride your bike along the riverbanks, stop by for a drink or have lunch at one of the many floating restaurants. If you opt for a boat cruise, you can have a spectacular panoramic view of the city and its riverways. A boat cruise coupled with a drink, lunch or dinner delivers a relaxed atmosphere during sightseeing in Belgrade.
Islands and beaches of Belgrade rivers
Sava Lake (or Ada Ciganlija, aka the “Sea of Belgrade”)
In summertime over 100,000 people come daily to the beaches of the beautiful Lake Ada Ciganlija. It is the largest lake in Belgrade, and the favorite summer destination for its residents and guests alike. With its beaches several kilometers long and countless attractions and activities Ada Ciganlija is the coolest place to be in Belgrade at any time of the year. You can find more than 70 bars and cafés along the shore of the lake. You can have your morning coffee, breakfast or dinner at any of them. What’s more, the majority of the bars also provide night-time fun.
Lido Beach on the Great War Island of Danube
You can have lots of fun at the Lido beach which is regarded as a fine alternative to Ada Lake. For those who are curious, the Lido here – like most others – was named after the famous Lido in Venice. Don’t let its name intimidate you. This uninhabited island is an oasis of wildlife and tranquility in the heart of the city. Lido, Belgrade’s second most popular beach is on the Great War Island near the quay of Zemun, one of Belgrade’s most beautiful municipalities.
Lido itself is a small sandy beach covering just a part of the island which is protected by law from urbanization. That is why you will hardly find a restaurant or bar here. Lido is a good option for those seeking peace and quiet. However, just across the pontoon bridge you will find rows of fish restaurants, a hallmark of Zemun, as well as places offering other dishes, so you need not stay hungry.
Promenades along the Belgrade rivers
The most beautiful stretches of Belgrade rivers for a leisurely stroll are the Sava Promenade stretching from New Belgrade to the Confluence point with the Danube, where it changes its name to Danube Promenade, continuing all the way to Gardoš Tower in Zemun, as well as the Sava Promenade stretching from the Belgrade Harbor all the way to the Sports Center on the Danube in downtown Dorcol district.
For cycling by the river, there are great bike paths leading along the Sava’s bank from Dorćol (downtown of Belgrade close to the Kalemegdan Fortress) to Ada Ciganlija.
Recreation and sports at Ada lake
Thrill-seekers looking for an active and adrenaline-filled summer can try out the 55-metre-high bungee jump, as well as water skiing and the paint ball fields at Ada lake.
For those looking for safer outdoor activities, Ada boasts around 50 sports facilities, which offer basketball, volleyball, tennis courts, football, rugby, lacrosse and mini-golf. However, beach volleyball is by far the most favorite sport at Ada, so take a ball and you are bound to make lots of new friends on court.
No trip to Belgrade would be complete without exploring the riverside for a taste of life in the Serbian capital.
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