The Avala Mountain is a favourite natural resort area just outside Belgrade, Serbia, which offers exceptional panoramic views and a few monuments at its peak, as well as jogging and walking paths at its base. Its wooded hills are home to various protected animal species and it is a favourite getaway from the city for the Belgraders during weekends and national holidays. The Avala is a good choice for all those who enjoy relaxing strolls in a peaceful environment, love completely fresh air and would like to appreciate an undisturbed view of Belgrade’s surroundings.
The Avala Tower
The Tower of Avala (205 meter high) is a recognizable symbol of the Serbian capital, which offers striking panoramic views from its two platforms. As an elevator takes you to the top in a matter of maybe 20 seconds, you’ll be introduced to some basic information considering the tower. Before you enter the elevator, though, you need to choose a preferred platform. The upper one is located 122 meters from the ground, and its entry fee is around 1.70 EUR (1.90 USD) - 200 RSD. The lower platform (119 meters) is a coffee bar, and its price of around 3.30 EUR (3.60 USD) - 400 RSD - includes a drink.
This Avala Tower was only recently completed (in 2009); its predecessor, which was erected in 1965, was destroyed during the NATO bombing in 1999. Before the destruction of the One World Trade Center in New York in 2001, the tower was the tallest human made destroyed structure in history.
Views from the Avala Tower
The favourite symbol of Belgrade is a landmark that informs travellers that they are approaching Belgrade. It’s also a vantage point from where you’ll be able to ‘hold’ the Serbian capital and its wider area in your palm. The view encompasses the city’s panorama, New Belgrade, suburban areas, southern hills and planes that fly over.
Use attached telescopes for more detailed views and don’t be afraid of occasional movement caused by strong gusts at this height.
Monuments of the Avala
The Monument to an Unknown Hero (refer to attached photo) is the work of a distinguished Yugoslavian sculptor and architect Ivan Mestrovic, and it assumes the top of the Avala Mountain. From here, you can enjoy the second best panoramic views of Avala. The monument is made of black granite, and at each side of the monument are four caryatids dressed in national costumes of former Yugoslav nations. The monument honours Serbian soldiers who lost their lives during the two Balkan wars (1912 – 1913) and the First World (1914 – 1918) War.
The location was chosen (what an irony) by the Germans, who always had their way of honouring fallen brave opponents. They placed a body of a Serbian soldier here in 1915, marking his grave with an “Unknown Serbian Soldier” inscription. One more, relatively unknown, German monument to Serbian soldiers is located in the Kosutnjak Park in Belgrade. The Unknown Hero Monument was established between the two world wars. The only shame is that a medieval Turkish fortification, which stood here for overseeing purposes, was demolished to make room for the monument.
Another monument, honouring the former Soviet Union’s higher and lower ranking officers, is located somewhat below, at the left side of the road just before you reach the parking lot. It’s the exact place where a plane carrying the Soviets to the 20th anniversary of Belgrade’s liberation in the Second World War (1944) crashed. All these people took part in Belgrade’s liberation from the Germans back then.
The rest of Avala
The top of the Avala Mountain features a couple of walking trails, picnic areas, as well as a few facilities catering to tourists. Unavoidable souvenir booths are located at the base of a monumental path leading to the Memorial of the Unknown Soldier, while stalls selling Serbian fast food (pljeskavica, cevapi, etc.) and local delicacies can be found around the Avala Tower. Two sphinxes, facing the parking area, introduce Avala Hotel and Restaurant.
Organize your visit
If you are with a car, you’ll need up to 30 minutes to reach the Avala Mountain from Belgrade centre. Bus number 400 operates from Trosarina, Vozdovac, to the Avala summit during weekends, from May to September. To tour all related points of interest at an easy pace, plus allocating some time for admiration, between two and three hours would be enough to fully see this area.
Get Trip101 in your inbox