Milica Jovanović, Belgrade’s favourite weatherwoman, reveals her hidden gems

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To share with you the best travel tips and fun spots, we engage with locals, entrepreneurs and interesting people from across the Balkans. Founder Ivana spoke to the charming Milica Jovanović, a well-known weather woman from Belgrade, who reveals her favourite spots in the city and shares her take on travel. For adventurers among us, she talks about a special place in Serbia, where you step back in time and better leave your phone at home.

Hi Mila, can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your life in Belgrade?

‘Hey! Belgrade is truly my city, even though I have been living in the capital since I was seven. I work in the public sector, but I greatly enjoy discovering small, hidden spots both within and outside the city. I often refer to it as the city of the phoenix because Belgrade has been destroyed a staggering 44 times and has literally risen from the ashes each time. It always shines beautifully by the river. A melting pot of diverse cultures, a guardian of a rich history, and a city perfect for those who don’t want to sleep much. I am a versatile person, and Belgrade always offers me a special place. I love this city because every date starts with: ‘Let’s go for coffee,’ and eventually leads to enjoyable encounters with good food, wine, and a splendid view of the Danube River’.

What makes Belgrade special?

‘With a history dating back 7000 years, it is, on one hand, a global metropolis, yet at the same time, a city that has preserved its own traditions. Belgrade is modern but remains firmly rooted in its own standards and values. There is ample space to be yourself; you can wear what you want and still be stylish because Belgrade is truly the fashion capital. Here, you can pursue your own interests without others giving you strange looks. Despite this, the connection between people persists. As you stroll through the city, you often hear compliments, it’s not as cool and distant as many other European cities’.

Okay, we’re going out with you. How does your day look, and where are you taking us?

‘If I’m working that day, you would have to get up at 3:30 in the morning. Then we would visit the building of the most-watched television station in Serbia, see how everything looks behind the scenes. After that, we would take a stroll down Knez Mihailova Street and stop for a sweet snack at Ferdinand knedle or Rice Kings/ Sutlijaš Bar. Then, we would continue walking to Kosančićev venac, where I would show you some locations where some iconic Serbian films were shot. I would also show you some historical sites and a beautiful view of the river Donau and modern Belgrade. Then it would be time for lunch, and we would sit in the oldest tavern in the city Znak Pitanja/Question Mark. After lunch, with a traditional dish, it would be time for a nap. Another day, I would introduce you to traditional tavern music’.

What are your favorite places to eat in the city and why?

Zappata because it has the best Mexican food, and I love to travel a bit even when I’m in Belgrade. Sava Sava restaurant because of the magical atmosphere, a good mix of local cuisine and new specialties, but especially because of the view and the peace brought by the river, you won’t even notice the food.Restaurant Potkovica because you can find top-notch dishes made from horse meat, and the appearance of the restaurant will amaze you, a true antique’.

You work as a weatherwoman for a well-known television channel, what do you enjoy most about your job?

‘Everything! In this job, everything fulfills me! The euphoria before the live broadcast, the entire preparation and research of the weather conditions. Often you hear people say: “Oh, what is that, you just read it,” but it’s not like that. We memorize our text, and during the morning program, we report up to 8 times, then we compose the text and information ourselves and follow the situation from minute to minute. The adrenaline that kicks in when you’re tired, sometimes even sick or in a bad mood, but you make an effort to make everything perfect because the news program carries many responsibilities, and all information must be precise and accurate. In this job, I love that I can create and make my own content outside the studio. Leaving your own mark that people recognize on the street and receive compliments for your work is truly a beautiful feeling. So, I can say that I’m one of the few who does a job they love and wakes up very early with ease’.

Mila during the broadcast on television Pink.

Besides your job, you’re also involved in fashion and create your own clothing. How did that come about?

‘Fashion is an integral part of my identity, both personally and in my public work. However, my passion for designing clothes, sewing, and pattern drafting has been inherited from my mother. As a child, I always watched her while she was sewing, and from an early age, I fantasized about what I would like to wear myself. Now, working on my own brand, it all feels very natural to me. This way, I have brought together my love for the camera, fashion, and creativity’.

On your Instagram channel, you share under #mojamilasrbija (#mydearserbia) your travels through Serbia and the many places you visit. What are your latest discoveries, and why are these places special?

‘This is a segment of my work that I conceived and produced as part of the weather forecast on television at Pink, and also on social media. Since I am in love with my country, it’s difficult to choose one specific location, but the last magical place I visited is Lazarev Canyon. Here, you can admire plants from the prehistoric era, as well as skeletons of animals that fell prey to predators like a lynx or wolf, enhancing the feeling that you are participating in a Discovery Channel show. This location is also known for a magnetic anomaly, causing your phone not to work, and airplanes never fly over it as they disappear from the radar. It is the largest habitat of the adder in Europe, yet at the same time, a very narrow, unpredictable, and often dry gorge. A bit frightening, but ideal for adventurers’.

What are the places in the Balkans you still want to visit and why?

Rosomački lonci, Arizona in Serbia, a place of Jurassic age and such magical and untouched nature. Gornja Savina isposnica, a place that looks magical but has great significance for the Serbian people, culture, and faith. Stara planina and all its waterfalls. And generally, the east and south of the country because it’s truly unexplored and wild.

What does traveling and discovering new places mean to you?

‘For me, new places represent the only money spent well and the only money that is truly mine. Traveling and discovering new places are like reading a new book! Stirring memories that never fade, and I believe I’ll be very happy someday when I can no longer travel’.

Belgrade photographed from above.

Meeting up with friends I do at …

Kafeterija, Temperament, Vinarija Zvonko Bogdan, Sava Sava restoran

Special finds I shop at …

Virtex textil, where they sell the most beautiful fabrics.

Thank you for your openness and enthusiasm to participate in this interview and may 2024 bring beautiful and exciting journeys!