If you are visiting Belgrade during hot summer months there is a lot of places where you can refresh yourself and take a swim. Alongside with private pools, there are many public outdoor pools and the most visited Ada Ciganlija colloquially shortened to Ada, is a river island that has artificially been turned into a peninsula, located in the Sava River's course through central Belgrade, which is also known as “Belgrade’s sea”. There are also many private rafts that have been turned into vacation homes and are anchored at the riverbank, they come in all shapes and sizes and if you have friends in Belgrade that own one of these homes it is definitely an experience you shouldn’t miss. If not, some of them are turned into restaurants, so you can for sure get a piece of “summer afternoons on the river” experience on your Belgrade tour.
Before Ada became a popular recreation spot, there was one beach that was the most popular beach among Belgrade residents in the 70’s. Swimming area in the vicinity of today’s Belgrade Fair locate on river Sava was called “Sest topola” (Six poplar trees) and was the predecessor of Ada beach. Now, this once popular beach is dried up and is left to oblivion.
This Belgrade beach once lured the residents of the capital city, and for many of them it would be very unusual if they were to know how their legendary beach will not reach the distant future. They couldn’t of guess that it will be replaced by pools, indoor and outdoor, and that Sava Lake will appear and became today’s most important recreational spot in the capital.
Back in a day it was different, and Belgrade Fair from that time was located on the right bank of Sava River (New Belgrade coast), and the opposite side was famous for its swimming area known as “Six poplar trees”, and soon the tavern with the same name opened on the spot.
This is the place where first rowing club of Belgrade was formed in 1922, which later became “Red Star rowing club”. Nowadays club facilities are relocated to the opposite bank of river Sava.
First water polo match was played on the site of “Six poplar beach”, and visitors were using wooden pontoons around the playground for sunbathing and jumping in the water.
The tavern named “Six Poplar trees” opened at the spot where the first rowing club headquarters was and it was a favorite tavern in the 70’s. It was a birthplace of many city stories and rumors. There was hardly any politician, writer, filmmaker, nor ordinary tippler that didn’t stop by. A frequent guest was also Josip Broz Tito, as the most extinguished guest. His place was always reserved - third booth from the entrance, but with the most beautiful view of the river.
Some twenty years ago river Sava overflowed and flooded the whole area, the tavern “Six poplar trees was completely destroyed, demolished beyond recognition. After that only one poplar three remained on the site, the tavern was renovated and kept the same name and it is still on the same location.
Today it is half empty. No more of those regular guests and many other restaurants are opened alongside the river; it is not the only one anymore. It attracts mostly people from the nearby Belgrade Fair that are coming to have business lunches. The tavern kept the menu of traditional Serbian cuisine.
Very close to this site now you can find most popular Belgrade clubs on water called "splavovi" such as: Splav Bajka, Splav Bridge, Splav Leto, Splav Money, Splav Lasta, Splav Sindikat and many others.