One Of Europe's Most Underrated Cities Is A Flourishing Wine Destination

Eastern Europe is generally overlooked in favor of Western Europe. It's no secret that some of the most popular destinations not only on the continent, but in the world, are cities like Paris, London, and Rome. While these are all definitely worth the visit, if you want less crowds and overall, a better bang for your buck, with an equally rewarding cultural and culinary experience, Eastern Europe is easy to navigate, whether via plane, train, bus, or automobile.

Heading to Eastern Europe doesn't mean you have to give up your European wine dreams of frolicking through vineyards like those in Tuscany and Bordeaux. In fact, there's a highly underrated wine-fueled city that is producing some great varietals, but has a fraction of the crowds and comes at a fraction of the cost. Belgrade, Serbia, which is the country's capital, is a bustling city with a wine scene that doesn't seem to have reached the masses yet. If you are looking for some unique sips of vino while exploring a vibrant city, a trip to Belgrade is in order.

Wineries you must visit in Belgrade

There are a few wineries you'll want to add to your radar in Belgrade. Cellar Panajotovic not only is one of the most popular wineries in the city, but is uniquely an underground cave-labyrinth hybrid. Because of this, it can be a bit steep and is dark inside, so it's not recommended for those with vision and mobility issues. While here, you will also learn quite a bit about Belgrade's history, while sipping some local wine, of course.

Plavinci Organic Winery is Serbia's first organic winery. Also set in a unique atmosphere, there is no tasting room, and instead, you'll be brought into the owners' home. The winery is set overlooking the Danube River, making for a seriously dreamy setting.

The best way to experience Serbia's wine scene is by booking a wine tour. What's particularly great about wine tours is you don't have to worry about getting yourself to and from the winery, as you will have a designated driver, and you will get to see more of the country and not be limited to just Belgrade. Of course, if you can't make it to a winery, simply look for local wines on wine lists at restaurants throughout the capital to still get a sampling of the country's vino.

What else to see in Belgrade

If you need a break from sipping wine, Belgrade is an exciting city with plenty to do and see. You simply must visit the Belgrade Fortress, which is a massive historic castle. St. Sava Temple is well regarded as the symbol of the city. Stunning cathedrals aren't only limited to Italy and Spain, and Saint Petka's Chapel in Belgrade is proof in the pudding with its exquisitely designed interior.

You might only associate the Danube River with cruising through Budapest, but it cuts through Belgrade, as well. The Sava River also cuts through Belgrade, and the best way to experience either (or both) is by taking a river cruise, which is highly recommended at sunset.

Wine is only enhanced if its paired with great food, and luckily, in Belgrade, the culinary scene is booming. Burek is a common pastry found in Eastern Europe, and Serbia is no exception. This flakey pastry is typically filled with meat, spinach, or cheese, and is great for a quick snack on the go. Ajvar is a Serbian red pepper spread that is simply addictive. And if you want a libation that's not wine, try locally distilled rakia, which comes in a wide array of flavors, but plum is the most common in Serbia.