Belgrade (Serbian: Београд, Beograd, translated: “White City“)is the capital and largest city of Serbia. The city lies on two international rivers, at the confluence of the Sava and Danube in north central Serbia, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkan Peninsula.
With a population of around 1,689,000 it is the largest city in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, second largest city on the Danube river and the fourth largest in Southeastern Europe. One of the oldest cities of Europe, with archeological finds tracing settlements as early as 6th millennium BC. The city was discovered by the Greeks, founded and named by the Celts (White City, name it still bears), then colonized by the Romans before it was permanently settled by White Serbs from the 600s onwards.
Throughout history, Belgrade has been a major crossroad between the West and the Orient. As a strategic key, the city was battled over in 140 separate wars since the ancient period by countless armies of the East and West. In medieval times, it was in the possession of Byzantine, Frankish, Bulgarian, Hungarian and Serbian rulers.
In 1521 Belgrade was conquered by the Ottomans and became the seat of the Pashaluk of Belgrade, as the principal city of Ottoman Europe and among the largest European cities. Frequently passing from Ottoman to Austrian rule, the status of Serbian capital would be regained only in 1841, after the Serbian revolution. Northern Belgrade, though, remained an Austrian outpost until the breakup of Austria-Hungary in 1918. The united city then became the capital of several incarnations of Yugoslavia, up to 2006, when Serbia became an independent state again.
The historical core of Belgrade, today’s fortress Kalemegdan, is on the right bank of the rivers. Since the 19th century, the city has been expanding to the south and east, and after World War II, New Belgrade was built on the Sava’s left bank, merging Belgrade with the city Zemun. On the right bank of the Sava, central Belgrade has hilly terrain, and on the left side the land is mostly flat. The mountains of Avala (511 m) and Kosmaj (628 m) lie south of the city. The city covers 3.6% of the territory of Serbia, and 24% of the country´s population lives in it.
Climate: Belgrade has a moderate continental climate. The year-round average temperature is 11.7 C, while the hottest month is July, with an average temperature of 22.1 C.
Nightlife: Belgrade has a reputation for offering a vibrant nightlife, and many clubs that are open until dawn can be found throughout the city. The most recognizable nightlife features of Belgrade are the barges (splavovi) spread along the banks of the Sava and Danube Rivers. Many weekend visitors prefer Belgrade nightlife to that of their own capitals, due to a friendly atmosphere, great clubs and bars, cheap drinks, the lack of language difficulties, and the lack of restrictive night life regulation.