Meet a top Showaround local - Kristina from Belgrade
1. To start with, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
By profession I am in the HR sector and spend most of my day as a recruiting headhunter for pharmaceutical companies. I absolutely adore my job because I spend a lot of time in contact with people. I finished Serbian and Spanish studies, and when I have free time I play badminton with my friends.
2. Tell us about your favorite place in Belgrade. What is special about it?
Any place that is sealed with the Serbian spirit, that has delicious food and good music is my favorite place. But if I had to choose one, then I would say that it is Ada Ciganlija in the summer because I love to sunbathe, and in the winter the city center and the Kalemegdan fortress because there are always a lot of people there and there is always some kind of event.
3. What’s one thing that visitors can find surprising when coming to Belgrade for the first time?
People! We love tourists, we are extremely hospitable, we love speaking English and we love giving small gifts to foreigners just to remember us. An average Serb will welcome you into their home and treat you as a family member. My mother hosted many tourists in our house, cooked them lunches, spoke to them in Serbian, but believe me, at the end of the day, they understood everything. I often take my tourists to my village near Belgrade, and the locals adore them. Everyone wants to talk to them, buy them drinks, take pictures, etc.
4. If you had to choose a song that gives off the vibe of Belgrade, what song would it be?
That is easy-Ofenbach - Paradise - Very chill city, positive and happy people and "summer is always in our heads" attitude :)
5. What’s the one place that you would definitely recommend every traveler to check out? (Perhaps a relatively unknown spot that you think is underrated and deserves more attention?)
Avala mountain 25km from Belgrade. Wonderful nature, greenery, monuments of extremely important historical importance, and wonderful views. It is very close and worth every second spent there. Plus, if you like dogs, there is a restaurant that feeds abandoned dogs and they are very cute and love to be petted.
6. On the other hand, is there a popular tourist place that you would actually recommend travelers to skip?
Knez Mihailova street. The main street in the city center. It is the same as all main streets in all big cities, full of branded shops and expensive restaurants and cafes. I suggest everyone take a look at the parallel streets and those cute little streets around the main one.
7. Finish these sentences about Belgrade:
- I’ve had the tastiest coffee at "Kafic Parkic". A small local place unknown to tourists with lots of dogs around. Of course, you can conclude that I am obsessed with dogs :D
- The best place to grab lunch is "Azbuka" and I will always and forever take my tourists there because it is so connected to Vuk Karadzic, the founder of the Serbian language. Apart from the fact that it is absolutely beautiful and hidden in the middle of the city center, the food is delicious and you can learn nice things about the reformer of the Serbian language.
- On weekends I love spending my time at local bars with my friends, and visiting villages around Belgrade.
- The best spot for pictures/selfies would be Kalemegdan Fortress and Kosancicev venac.
- If I wanted to relax, I would go to Avala Mountain, Ada Ciganlija, Zemun.
- The best time to visit Belgrade is... always. Maybe it is good to avoid December and January because it can be very cold but without snow.
8. How did you discover Showaround?
It was completely random. I read a post by a girl in one of the student groups on Facebook that she desperately needed a job, and someone suggested this platform to her. It took me 10 seconds to fall irrevocably in love.
9. Tell us about your best Showaround experience.
I have 2 of them. First of them was at the beginning of 2019 when I met a lifelong friend who came to Serbia several more times after that. I consider him a member of the family. He is the person who gave me the best advice for many segments of my life, someone who is a true friend and a wonderful human being. We spent beautiful days getting to know Belgrade and its surroundings, as well as my family and friends. I will literally never forget that experience.
Second was when I met three tourists (two from Tanzania and one from South Africa). These are the people to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude for everything they taught me and did for me, treating me more like a family member than a guide. Unreal, funny, educated and witty people.
10. Do you have any tips for other locals who are just starting out?
Be polite, pleasant, professional and smile. Approach this "job" as something you really like and you will be successful for sure. You must know that most tourists need assistance and often some kind of help. Behave like a host and make those people never forget you, because as they say, it's not about the destination, it's about the journey.
Book a tour with Kristina.