Nikola Tesla was one of the greatest electrical engineers and inventors of the twentieth century. His story has fascinated me for as long as I can remember, so it’s no wonder that a visit to the museum dedicated to his life’s work was near the top of my list. When we were planning the stops on our 21 day Eastern Europe by Eurail trip last summer, a visit to Serbia was a no-brainer.
We found ourselves pulling into Belgrade Station one extremely hot and sweaty evening and were faced with a climb up the hill to our hotel. The choices were taxi or tram and walk. We had found it difficult to find much useful information on the public transport so our first inclination was to take a taxi, it was really not that far, the steep hill was the real issue. But when the taxi driver told us 20 euros we balked, surely we could figure out the short tram ride that would get us at least half way up the hill. To shorten the story, we did. It was easy enough, and if you find yourself in Belgrade and trying to figure out if you should take a taxi or a bus/tram, don’t take the taxi.
Finding a “Cool” Place on a Hot Day!
The next morning we woke to another one of the hottest days on record and spent the relative coolness of the morning exploring the city and its main sites. By 11 o’clock it was 107 F degrees and we needed an escape. We jumped a tram that we hoped would take us to the Nikola Tesla museum where we were sure we’d find cool air conditioning.
The museum is easy to find and well located in a residential neighborhood only a few blocks from the nearest tram stop. The building is a restored mansion from the early twentieth century, and a fitting building for a memorial to a great inventor from that time. And, yes, it is air conditioned! The woman working the reception desk was so nice, she even offered us a cool glass of water from the water cooler bubbling away in the corner.
The Nikola Tesla Museum is a smaller museum with a memorial area, a collection of Tesla’s patented inventions, a lecture room, and a hands on demonstration area. You really need to sit in on the lecture and watch the film about Tesla’s life. The presenter will demonstrate several of his devices some of which are original while others are replicas built to his exact specifications. They really like to get kids involved in the demonstrations so this is a great place for families and people like me, who are basically kids at heart!
For getting around Belgrade, I would recommend buying a plastic non-personalized BusPlus card from a newsagent, charging it with 500-100 dinar and use that for the duration of your stay. Once you get a reliable system map you’ll be able to get anywhere you need to in the city via public transportation. Once you have your BusPlus card hop aboard the nearest bus, tram, or trolley and head to Pravni Fakultet. From there it is a short walk down to the museum. Plan about one and a half hours for your visit
Bus 26, 27, 74 or Tram/Trolley 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 12, 14 are the best choices but there are others.
If you go to the museum around a mealtime, you should consider heading to the Lovac Restaurant, an excellent place to eat with a good menu of fresh and seasonal offerings. Plus, it’s only another block or two down the street from the museum.
Nikola Tesla Museum
Krunska 51, Belgrade, Serbia
Tel. + 381 11 24 33 886
Fax. + 381 11 24 36 408
Alekse Nenadovića, Beograd 11000, Serbia
Tel: +381 11 243 61 28
Author Bio: Jim Vail, is a travel, food, and video creator and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 15 years. For many years he lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands, and he’s visited over 90 countries.