I’m outdoorsy and very much so, which is yet another reason why I love Belgrade: there is a number of huge outdoor areas and one of them is Ada Ciganlija.
As its name says, it is an island in a river – in this case the river Sava. It’s been artificially turned into a peninsula, while damming a river offshoot created a 4.2km long and ca. 200m wide oval lake. It is about 4km from the city center, covers about 800ha and offers… well, almost everything.
Constantly tested and changed, the water is safe to swim, water ski (an excellent aqua ski centre at the very top of the lake!) and row, while the beach is cobbled and clean.
If you prefer to stay ashore, you’re also spoilt for choice: bicycles are available for rent 24/7 year-round (bring your ID card!) and the cycle lane around the lake is almost 9km long (I ride three laps on a lazy day. You?!) There is a football pitch, a golf course, basketball, handball and volleyball courts, and a tennis one too, while people with disabilities and children have separate fields/playgrounds. There is a crane for bungee jumping, an artificial ski slope, a picnic space, paintball arena, cafés, and many other things. Naturally, it’s quieter when it’s cold but almost everything is always available.