Belgrade is situated at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers, and the Sava riverside is lined with boat restaurants and bars, commonly known as splavs (Serbian splavovi), from Block 70a to Block 45. Aside from the service industry character of this part of New Belgrade, it’s also a relaxing area where people cycle, roller skate or simply stroll along the riverside while crunching their popcorn.
Splavs are quite numerous, featuring various modern, ethno and ordinary designs, with interesting names. How about the Alligator (Aligator in Serbian), Old Penguin (Стари Пингвин – Cyrilic letter), Souvenir (Сувенир – also Cyrilic), Serbian Cottage (Српска брвнара)… Some of the splavs are specialized for dining, while most others feature both dining and drinking sections.
Mostly offered specialties are from Serbian traditional cuisine, and if you don’t taste chevaps and pljeskavica (flavored minced meat with french fries among other additions) while here, you missed a great deal of authentic culinary experience. However, if you prefer Italian specialties, Dolce Fiore splav is what you should look after.
All splavs feature “summer deck gardens” and some of them are located atop the boat restaurant, offering vantage viewpoints for the observation of the surrounding area and duck, geese, pigeon and gull feeding.
As you examine the related photos, don’t think you are observing a vestibule into Mordor. These photos are made in January, and the Sava River is muddy due to frequent rains. When spring replaces winter, everything looks endlessly more inviting.