Skadarlija is a street and a district of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. Skadarlija is located in the urban municipality of Stari Grad. In 2002, the neighborhood had 5,942 inhabitants. Pretty street to cross. Beautiful flowered restaurants and paved street. On the other hand, if you think of meeting the Serbian culture and its food, there it is! Although the Serbs are party-goers, no they are not at noon with live music!
Here in Belgrade, Skadarlija is often compared to Montmartre: it is the bohemian quarter, artists and musicians. It is very nice to cross because it is one of the few paved streets of Belgrade, with traditional musicians and katanas on the sides. The only problem is that it became very touristy (and therefore expensive), but you can still find good authentic and affordable restaurants.
Funny change of atmosphere by penetrating Skadarska street: pedestrian and fully paved, we find here the feeling of walking a kind of old Belgrade… rough paving, some colorful houses, graffiti on the walls, several bars, and restaurants in Attractive terraces and relaxed atmosphere, the scenery is planted: here you are in the reputed neighborhood ‘bohemian’ Belgrade! Everything is now flanked by inevitable souvenir shops, but not so embarrassing. If you like Balkan music, find out in the area, the Skadarska, the Gypsy neighborhood, regular live music…
A Brief History of Skadarlija
The district of Skadarlija is generally considered as the bohemian quarter of the Serbian capital, a bit like Montmartre in Paris. The district of Skadarlija is located northeast of the Republic Square and extends around the street of the same name. Skadarlija Street is also called Skadarska Street.
The story of Skadarlija began in the 1830s with the settlement of Roma in the abandoned areas in front of the city walls. In 1854, the Belgrade plan showed that the temporary shelters had been replaced by brick buildings in which artisans, merchants, and small employees had settled. The whole neighborhood was called the “gypsy quarter” until 1872, when the street was named Skadarska street, “Skadar Street,” after Skadar (now Albania); this name is still the official name of the street.
Skadarlija began to acquire its bohemian character at the end of the XIXth century and particularly in 1901 when the famous in Dardanelle (“The Dardanelles”) was demolished and its customers, writers, and actors, frequented the inns of the district. Great hostels include Dva Jelena (“The Two Deer”), Tri šešira (“The Three Hats”), Zlatni Bokal (“The Golden Chalice”), which still exist today. New restaurants opened as the Ima dana (“There are days”), the Skadarlija (demolished in 2006), the Dva Bela goluba (“The two white doves”), etc.
The Tri desire has hosted such famous guests as Jimi Hendrix, George HW Bush, Tito, King Juan Carlos of Spain, Anatoly Karpov, Sandro Pertini, etc.
Dura Jaksic, a famous Serbian painter, and writer lived and died in Skadarlija. His house has become a meeting place for poets and tourists who participate in the Skadarlija Nights; the restoration of the place began in 1968, according to a project of the architect Ugljesa Bogunovic (born in 1922), the painter and writer Zuko Dzumhur (1921-1989), the painter Mario Maskareli (1918-1996), the sculptor Milica Ribnikar-Bogunović (born 1931), etc.
Skadarlija is an attraction for tourists. There are well-known and more popular restaurants offering Serbian cuisine, especially grilled meat served with beer. The famous hotel Le Petit Piaf is in the district; there are also art galleries, antique shops, souvenir shops … You can hear gypsy music and see actors, dressed in traditional Serbian costumes, improvising in the street.