The Nightlife Differences Between Prague and Belgrade

Having been living in Prague for the past 2 months, I have noticed many contrasts between the two Slavic capitals, but something what has completely surprised me is the difference in the nightlife scene.

The youth in Belgrade (starting from 14-15 and up) go out at night at first to bars (nargila – shisha ones are becoming more and more famous) and then later to the popular kafanas with live Serbian music, as well as to clubs. Standards are high. Young ladies spend hours on putting on a lot of make-up and high heels because even if you are 15 or 16, you can make yourself look mature and attractive enough and go to a club easily. Almost no one looks at your ID if you look good. Politeness is a must, but a serious ‘bitch’ face will get you in more easily than a smiling one. You will do good especially if you know someone working at the venue – if you have ‘a connection’.

A special phenomenon are ‘splavovi’ – clubs floating on the river Sava – very popular in summer. Even though the price of one ‘separe’ in a splav is most of the times higher than the average monthly wage in Serbia, people who get it make sure everyone from their group of friends know it and never forget posting a dozen of stories on social media. The atmosphere in kafanas, splavs and clubs is very vibrant and energetic – everyone is dancing, singing and just enjoying life, forgetting about all the worries and difficulties they are facing.

On the other hand, I have never heard any of my friends in Prague (locals) going to clubs to party. Interesting, since one of the biggest clubs in Europe is actually in Prague. Who goes to these? Foreigners. And where do all the Prague people go? That is easy – to drink beer! Although this seems obvious, they really drink A LOT of beer – everyone! In Serbia, most of the girls stick to cocktails because, you know, ‘beer is a drink for men’.

But no wonder that everyone drinks it because it tastes so much BETTER than anywhere else, at least in my experience. The Czechs in Prague go to ‘grab a beer’ and often they go to multiple bars or pivovar-s at one night. In Serbia, we mostly just go to one place per night. People just talk, have fun, put up some dark humor jokes and enjoy spending time in a lot cozier, more relaxed pace. No worries or thoughts on how you look or if your legs hurt from heels – because women hardly wear them at night at all.

In summer, a lot of Czechs go to summer camps and light up a bonfire in the night, have a nice BBQ, drink beer (or wine) and sing traditional songs. Never in my life before CZ have I looked for wood or set up a bonfire – no wonder my host Mom laughed so much when seeing I do not know how to light up a match properly.

This is a guest post written by Kaja Kindic, a Serbian girl on an internship in Prague

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