Balkanska Street is a bridge of Belgrade. Not a bridge over a river, but a bridge that connects old architecture with new looks, bus and railway station with Terazije, history with future. Elder citizens used to say that this street is “first, thorny facing of a newcomer with the metropolis of Belgrade.” Just like a person who travelled from Europe to America first saw the Statue of Liberty in New York, Balkanska Street was the first sight of those who took off the train in Belgrade and went on seeking a better life in the Capital.
For everybody here, Balkanska Street is not just a street: it has a symbolic meaning for the citizens of Belgrade. It once used to be the most famous and the most easily reachable place where ladies and gents could buy goodies for their everyday life. From a hatter, bag maker, shoe maker, to a candle maker, and candy shops – you could find everything in Balkanska.
When the modernization of the city started, Balkanska started losing importance for the people living here. Slowly, most of the old shops started to close as many others opened in the malls and in the city center, and people didn’t continue on using Balkanska as a main connection from the Bus and Railway stations – there are many other city transport lines that can take you anywhere in town.
When stepping onto the pavement of Balkanska Street from Terazije, you’ll first spot a huge, modern, glass building to your right. This is one of the first “smart buildings” in Belgrade, and many well-known companies own or lease business premises here. Also, the fancy Life Design hotel operates in this street.
Still, as a reminder of the old times you can still see how the street is paved. The oldest building in the street is still there, built in 1876, with tailor scissors on the top, as a commercial for a tailor shop, placed at the building many, many years ago. The most famous building with the address in Balkanska is certainly Hotel Moskva – located at Balkanska number 1.
The bottom part of the street includes a nice park, located between Balkanska, Nemanjina and a big state building, where several courts are located. As of this year, the park is decorated with a monument of Gavrilo Princip, in life size. This is where Balkanska ends – you can go left, towards Slavija, or right, to the railway and bus stations, if you are on your way out of Belgrade.
If you are a beer lover, you can find a cool place in Balkanska – a pub named “Samo pivo” (“Only Beer”), where they serve more than a hundred different types of beer! Café “Grlica” (“A Turtledove”) is also a cool place you can visit for a coffee during the day or for a beer and a dance in the evening.