Upon arrival, the taxi driver was a lumbering hulk with a huge back, but his cab radio spewed out Engelbert Humperdinck songs.
Communism as an economic system is gone, and the government is democratic, but still the place seems to have the character types and status markers of a communist society.
Neither Americanization nor Europeanization seems to have progressed very far here; with respect to the latter category, I think of Belgrade as the anti-Barcelona. Nothing here is very attractive, yet in a quite charming way. The place conjures up, still, some of the better sides of 1920s Europe and also 1980s communism. That said, infrastructure and services are quite acceptable. Prices are reasonable.
The food is good but not so varied or original and it seems like a waste of time to look for true peaks. There are no noteworthy or signature sights. Museums still refer to “the former Republic of Yugoslavia” and the Serbs seem to be searching for a new identity. There is lots of talk about the past. The country is stuck in the middle income trap.
I recommend this place for all those who feel they are sick of Europe, but actually are not, but who would be, unless they came here. That includes me.