Belgrade is the only European capital that lies on two huge rivers – the Sava and Danube. These rivers are the treasure of the city. For centuries they have connected the city with the world and served as borders between empires, provided the citizens with food, fresh water and recreation.
Beside these two large rivers there are 192 other rivers and streams on the city territory, along with a dozen lakes, and about 20 islands. There are three large beaches and countless of tiny inlets in the woods bordering the rivers.
The Danube is Europe’s second largest river, but probably the most important. It connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea via a series of canals and waterways, as it flows through 10 countries of Central Europe. A curious fact is that the capitals of 4 of those countries begin with the letter B (5 in Serbian and Hungarian) – Bratislava, Budapest, Belgrade and Bucharest.
Sava was the largest “national” river in Yugoslavia, connecting it’s capitals Ljubljana, Zagreb and Belgrade. It meets the Danube in the center of Belgrade, at the spectacular location known as Ušće, forming two islands at it’s delta, the Big and Small War Island.
Sava Lake (aka. Ada Ciganlija, aka. the “Sea of Belgrade”)
Sava Lake is the largest lake in Belgrade, and the favorite summer destination for it’s residents and guests alike. A century ago there was a thin island at a wide point of the Sava river just outside the city of that time. The Ada (meaning island) was later connected with the mainland by two dikes forming the lake and expanding the islands. Several kilometer long beaches and countless attractions and activities make Ada Ciganlija the coolest place to be in Belgrade at any time of year.
Big War Island
Don’t let it’s name intimidate you. This uninhabited island is an oasis of wildlife and tranquility in the heart of the city. Lido, Belgrade’s second most popular beach is located at the island towards Zemun quay. The name was given to the islands in the 18th century, since it served as a stronghold at the Border between Zemun (Austria) and Belgrade (Turkey).
Bela Stena is a popular getaway resort on an island between Belgrade and Pančevo. It is accessible only by boat. Organized boat transports are available from the surrounding ports (Ada Huja, Pančevo and Krnjača).