If you are coming to Belgrade in the summertime, you will probably wonder about places where you can cool off and get away from the city heat. It is good information to obtain since the temperature in Belgrade is reaching almost tropical levels in the recent years. Thats why city moves to the river to water clubs or local name - Splavovi. Sinonim of Belgrade clubbing is completly other story so lets speak about Ada Ciganlija.
There are many swimming areas that you can visit during your Belgrade tour. Belgrade is located at the confluence of Sava and Danube River and naturally river beaches and islands are the first thing that comes to mind if you want to take a swim or cool off. Let’s start with the biggest and the most visited swimming and recreational area in Belgrade, Ada Ciganlija. Ada Ciganlija also known as the “Belgrade Sea” is colloquially shortened to Ada and is a river island that has artificially been turned into a peninsula, located in the Sava River's course through central Belgrade. The name can also refer to the adjoining artificial Lake Sava and its beach. Ada offers the rich and colorful daily content from bike paths where you can rent a bike per hour, tennis halls, golf courses, water-skiing, bungee jumping, free climbing and many other sports facilities. Also a lot of restorans and cafes from both sides of lake. You can check Red Shoes cafe, Restaurant Time out and many others. Ther is special bohemian place on the lake end, just under the new bridge, called Splav Bajka. Live music and place with warm atmosphere.
A special experience is reserved for the owners and visitors of rafts turned into holiday homes. There are several hundred of these “floating homes” allocated along its entire coast. If you are lucky to meet any one of these owners during your visit, don’t miss a chance to experience Belgrade this way. A lot of these floating homes are turned into restaurants that are mainly serving river fish prepared the traditional way with some the most beautiful views on the city.
There is also a large number of public indoor and outdoor swimming pools equipped with deck chairs, cold drinks and snacks and upbeat music. All pools are newly renovated and offer a wide range of services which can include a sauna and other sports activities such as water aerobics or swimming lessons. Outdoor pools work only during the summer season, mainly from early June to late August or early September. In addition to work during the day, some of the outdoor swimming pools are opened at night- time for some night swimming. Considering that the Belgrade is known for its long hot summers, outdoor swimming is extremely popular and often crowded with visitors.
Swimming at Ada Ciganlija or public pools is safe because it is covered with the lifeguards on duty that are watching over the crowd. If you are the more adventurous type you can visit many of the wild river beaches. Belgrade residents are visiting these beaches in large numbers and it became a tradition. Swimming on wild beaches requires a great caution, besides the fact that there are no lifeguards, showers or ambulance service the swimming in the river can be unsafe because of the many whirlpools and strong currents.
One of the most popular wild beaches is a white rock (Bela Stena), which can be accessed only by boat. It is only seven kilometers from the town of Pancevo and about ten kilometers downstream from Belgrade, at the mouth of the River Tamis. It is a weekend resort with about 150 houses on stilts, with restaurants and sandy beach and there is no electricity. There is an organized boat ride from Visnjica Marina that costs about 200-300 dinars.
Another popular wild beach is Ada Medjica, it is located in the municipality of New Belgrade.It is an oval shaped river island in the Sava river, a kilometer long and 200 m wide. It is located just north of the central part of the much larger Ada Ciganlija. It is forested and has no resident population, but has many weekend-houses owned by the residents of Belgrade. It is is accessible only by small boats. Leisure activities include swimming, walking and barbecues, as the area is nearly intact and without touristic facilities.
These are two most visited wild beaches in Belgrade, but there are many others along the coast of Danube and Sava with equally “wild conditions”.