Belgrade

Ask a Local: Natalija Lukic

12 Sep 2019

Which hotel do you work at?

I work at Crowne Plaza Belgrade.

How long have you been a concierge?

For about one year now.

What is your favourite part of the job?

My favorite part of my job is getting to be a small part of creating a memorable experience for the guest. It’s a great pleasure and a privilege being able to do so.

Are you from Belgrade? If not how long have you lived here?

I am from Belgrade, born and raised. Belgrade is my favourite city in the whole world, there is nowhere else I’d rather be, and I always try to make our guests fall in love with the city the same way.

Where do you like to (or recommend guests) relax on days off?

For relaxing, I always recommend guests going to Ada Ciganlija, where you can have a run, walk, swim or even bungee jump (for more adventurous ones), but also have a coffee or lunch by the lake, and everything just 15 minutes away from the busy city centre. It’s a perfect escape for a day off work, without having to travel far.

What’s one meal (local dish) that every visitor to Belgrade should try?

It is definitely Veal under the bell. But also plenty of other local, traditional food, including my two favourite sides - mladi kajmak and ajvar - you will want to take these home for sure.

Best restaurant for a business lunch?

I believe our fine dining restaurant Prime is a perfect place, as it provides private area for business lunches and since we are situated in Novi Beograd which is a heart of business opportunities in Belgrade. Not only the atmosphere is right, but the food is so good it will impress your business partners. The deal will be settled even before the desert. 

And a romantic dinner?

Next to the Belgrade pear, in Beton hala district there are numerous cafes / restaurants with great view on the confluence of Sava and Danube. This is a perfect place for a romantic evening with great food and nice music.

Where can we get a great cocktail?

Our Novi Bar has an excellent selection of various cocktails that are being prepared by highly trained cocktail masters by using only the best possible ingredients for original taste and full pleasure.

And for guests who want to stay in what’s the most popular room service dish on the menu at the hotel restaurant.

I’d say it must be our Serbian burger, as it is one of the best burgers you will ever get try, made in traditional way, but our guests also enjoy our “Welcome to Serbia” selection of cold appetizers, which are just perfect for a light dinner or a snack. 

What can we do in Belgrade when the weather is Bad?

If the weather is bad I always recommend visiting one of Belgrade’s museums, my favourites are National museum which just reopened, which makes it even more interesting, Nikola Tesla museum - if you are interested in work and life of this amazing Serbian-born scientist, or Museum of Illusions for good photos and a bit of fun. 

Best souvenir from Belgrade?

With plenty of street artists in Knez Mihajlova (main pedestrian street), I would recommend you taking home a piece of local art, whether a painted photo, piece of jewellery, or a hand knitted doily you can use as decoration.

What are some of the most unusual requests you’ve had to deal with?

Organising a balloon ride across the city where a guest wanted to propose his future wife. She said yes!

Five most useful Serbian words for tourists?

Hvala - thank you (isn’t it the most important word anywhere?); osmeh - smile (because we like smiling a lot here); ćevapčići - traditional food so good you will remember this word very quickly; kako si? - how are you? - just because it’s always nice to be nice; zdravo - almost like Italian “ciao”, only you can use it for both “Hello” and “good bye”.

What’s one insider tip about Belgrade that our readers would be surprised to know? 

Try to meet local people! It is always more fun experiencing a city like a local, and going places with friends. People here are so friendly, they will be happy to buy you a drink or pljeskavica, give you recommendations, or take you home for a homemade Serbian lunch. You will feel just like home.

What’s the best thing about Belgrade?

The best thing about Belgrade is that it is so dynamic you will always find something to do, or someone to spend your time with. You will never feel alone.

The Three words that best describe Belgrade are..

Tireless, vibrant, diverse... but I’d have many more even though no words will describe it until you come to meet it’s people and feel the energy that the city is so well known for. 

What should you never leave Belgrade without experiencing?

Well, I don’t think you should leave in the first place... But if you, however, must leave - do not, unless you have visited Kalemegdan fortress and found a hidden spot overlooking confluence of Sava and Danube rivers, and enjoyed a moment for yourself. You will feel connected to this historic and over 20 centuries old city, you will take a piece of it home with you, and you will always want to come back! 
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