More than 40 Belgrade museums are open for public. Some of them are legacies such as the House of Petar Lubarda or the House of Ivo Andrić, private museums such as Zepter and Macura are showcasing collections in the ownership of individual art connoisseurs, while others are public cultural institutions supported by the state. Some of them are collection driven as the Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade (MoCAB) or thematic as the Yugoslav History Museum, or research oriented as the Museum of Science and Technology.
MoCAB is still under reconstruction and hopefully will be open for public in October of 2015, also one part of the National Museum is open for public but that’s still not enough, because it’s not possible to see the great collection that reposes in the basement, therefore we would recommend our readers to visit these five museums.
Museum of Yugoslav History
This is the most visited museum in Belgrade and has attendance of 100 000 people on annually basis. Complex is located on one very special spot in the residential neighborhood of Dedinje surrounded by nature and the park with a fountain in the entrance of the building. Museum is thematic and it’s dedicated to culture of SFR Yugoslavia, one of the most controversial states of the 20th century, and its creator and lifelong president Josip Broz Tito. Museum complex includes three buildings.
The May 25 Museum was purpose-built to the preliminary design of architect Mika Janković as a gift from the City of Belgrade to Tito, on the occasion of his seventieth birthday. Gifts received by Josip Broz, both at home and abroad, were exhibited, curated, catalogued and studied in this museum until 1982. Its distinguishing feature was the permanent exhibition of batons. The museum was used for meetings of young people and artists and also presented exhibitions on topical themes from the collection. Visitors to the museum could watch documentaries on the life and work of Josip “Tito” Broz. The House of Flowers was built in 1975, designed by architect Stjepan Kralj as a winter garden with a total of 902 m2 of work and leisure space for Josip Broz, close to his Residence. It comprises a central flower garden between two parallel utility spaces. Opposite the entrance is an open terrace overlooking Belgrade. In accordance with his wishes, Tito’s body was interred in the central flower garden in 1980. Conceived and designed by architect Branko Bon, the Old Museum (870.57 m2) was built in 1964-5. It was originally used to store and display the many gifts presented to Josip Broz on his travels throughout the country and abroad and for his birthdays.
Museum showcases temporary exhibitions mostly dedicated to culture of Yugoslavia, organizes film screenings, workshops and debates, and includes museum shop where Yugo nostalgics can buy souvenirs, books and similar items inspired by Yugoslavia. Ticket price is around 3 euros.
Museum of Nikola Tesla
This is a second most visited museum in Belgrade. Located in the central area of Belgrade, in a residential villa built in 1929 according to the project of Dragiša Brašovan, a distinguished Yugoslav architect. This is a small museum and includes two rooms. The first is dedicated to the work of Nikola Tesla and the second is dedicated to his life and contains urn with Tesla’s ashes. So, this place is the closest that you will ever get to this great scientist.
Regardless of knowledge on this topic, I would recommend visitors to book a tour in English. Young and charismatic curator, who is also a scientist will explain you everything in very interesting and fun way.
Historical Museum of Serbia
This is a historical, collection driven museum. It’s a nice place to visit if you want to get informed about Serbian culture, history and heritage. Building is located in the downtown, at Nikole Pašiće square. Museum showcases a few collections: ethnographic, archaeological, historical and numismatic. Find out more about the First Serbian Uprising, what happened to Serbian royal dynasty Obrenović and similar interesting facts. The museum showcases various temporary exhibitions.
The Military museums is also one of the most popular museums in Belgrade. Since 1959 Military Museum resides in remarkable building that is one of landmarks of Belgrade Fortress Kalemegdan. It has a broad collection of weapons, flags, uniforms mostly from the 20th century in the Balkans supported by photo-documentation. Some of the archaeological artifacts are exhibited also. Definitely, this is a museum you should check out while touring Kalemegdan fortress-the main tourist attraction of Belgrade.
Museum of Science and Technology
Unfortunately, the most of the people are unaware of this cool museum. The main building is located in the ex industrial neighborhood of the Lower Dorćol. It includes a research center also and a shop that sells very interesting publications. Even if you aren’t interested in the origin of science and technology you will find this place amazing. It appears good and exhibits the first cameras, computers, old instruments, inventions and machines collected by donors. It’s a family museum, so the lower floor is made for children in a more interactive way. If you get lucky, curator will show you also the basement of the museum that includes a bunch of cool vintage items.
Dragana Kostica is the Belgrade-based editor in chief and founder of Still in Belgrade art, culture and club scene magazine. She holds a Master of Arts in Cultural Policy and Management in Arts (MA of Arts) and a Bachelor degree in Archaeology.