A growing array of style conscious craft-oriented shops, both old and new, can help you tick off the items on your holiday gift list.
DUB in Zetska 13. Photo: Srdjan Garcevic
Is there anything more festive that excessive consumerism at year-end? If Belgrade’s holiday lights haven’t lured you to the shops just yet, here are a few ideas about where to make last-minute Xmas purchases in the city. If you feel the urge to splash out rather than waste money on tacky magnets or overpriced airport souvenirs, treat your loved ones – and yourself – to some great local design, handicrafts and delicacies.
Fancy frocks to fezes
If you are after some signature Belgrade street style, look no further than DechkoTzar (Gracanicka 16). Created by siblings Nikola and Nenad Radojcic, this brand is famous for funky t-shirts, some of which celebrate Belgrade in very creative ways. The latest series is dedicated to Serbia’s rivers and Yugoslav typography and is already coveted by Belgrade trendsetters.
If you fancy more upmarket designers, Ana Ljubinkovic (Kneza Sime Markovica 10) is famous for candy-coloured frocks and quirky shoes, which celebs like Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga have worn. For more stripped down, classic women’s wear, Dragana Ognjenovic’s (Cara Lazara 9) minimalist monochrome dresses are a good choice.
Finally, if hats are your thing, visit some of the last remaining milliners in Balkanska street and get anything from a standard flat cap to a fez – all at low prices. For less gaudy pieces of Serbian ethnic wear, check out the Ethnographic Museum (Studentski trag 13), which often stocks nice traditional sashes, or the Museum of Applied Arts (Vuka Karadzica 18), which offers a selection of medieval-style jewellery.
Pirot carpets and Partizan memorabilia
You can always find knick-knacks to haggle over at the stalls at the entrance to Kalemegdan park, but you can probably find more quality handicrafts and better deals at some of the increasing number of stylish concept stores in the city.
Makadam, a shop/café in leafy Kosancicev Venac, has a great selection of local design, from traditional to modern and from locally made crockery to pillows, all with the distinctive geometric Pirot-patterns.
If you are looking for proper antiques, check out Dub, a gem of a shop in Zetska 13. It is packed with anything and everything, from ornate shawls to antique carpets, all made by housewives all over Serbia. The knowledgeable owner is keen to tell the stories behind each item.
For contemporary crafts, Belgrade Design District (Cumicevo Sokace 28), nestled between Nusiceva and Republic Square, has everything from organic craft soaps (in All-Nut) to pottery (Galerija 1250).
Finally, if Yugoslav memorabilia is what you’re after, there is no better place than the new gift shop of the Museum of Yugoslavia (Mihaila Mika Jankovica 6). There, you can find Tito-shaped piggy banks as well as postcards with photos of “the greatest son of Yugoslav peoples and nations” sunbathing and playing tennis.