And at its centre, mired in both history and cultural significance, is Prince Michael Street (aka Knez Mihailova Street) -- a favourite pedestrian promenade with lively outdoor cafés, street performers, souvenir stands and a few shopping boutiques.
One of the oldest streets in Belgrade, it has always been the central point of the city. During its Roman rule, the street followed the same grid layout it retains to this day. Gardens, drinking fountains and mosques were added during Ottoman occupation. But once the Serbs gained their independence in the 1800s, these fixtures disappeared in favour of a more European flair. Grand buildings in the Renaissance and Art Nouveau styles soon sprung up, built by Serbia’s most wealthy and influential families. Ebullient celebrations were also held here, such as Peter I riding down the thoroughfare during his coronation. In 1870, one year after popular Prince Mihailo Obrenović was assassinated, the street was named after him (there is also a statue of the prince in Belgrade’s Republic Square – not too far away).
One of the most delightful and authentic ways to explore new places is to immerse yourself in local culture, customs and activities. While Prince Michael Street is dotted with such upscale stores as Cesare Paciotti, Swarovski and Diesel – people-watching is an absolute must. Sidewalk cafés are a perfect spot to enjoy Belgrade – as well as enjoy Serbian cuisine and wines and the stunning examples of surrounding architecture.