9 Great Reclaimed Places in Belgrade, Serbia – Converted Factories, Warehouses and a Church

In Belgrade, there are over 150 buildings that have been left empty. Many have been ignored, but some have been transformed into places for culture and community. This process goes beyond just repairs.

Some of these old, unused buildings are already turned into lively places for people to enjoy art, food, and history. In the process of this urban revitalization, the focus was on keeping the character of the old while adding new life.

Let’s look at 9 remarkable places in Belgrade that have been renewed and are now important parts of the city’s cultural scene.

BITEF Theater

BITEF Theater is an avant-garde theater located in the picturesque theatrical space of a reconstructed Evangelical church, right in the heart of Dorćol.

Since its founding in 1989, the idea behind BITEF Theater has been to extend the influence of the BITEF Festival, to discover new theatrical trends in our environment, and to provide space for artists whose work represents a departure from traditional and established boundaries of stage expression.

The doors of BITEF Theater are open to all forms of stage expression that do not have a refuge on any other Belgrade stage. Paying particular attention to movement theater, contemporary dance, and the latest drama texts from the country and the world, BITEF is a theater whose repertoire develops in multiple directions.

It is a theater for young intellectuals. The OFF stage gathers avant-garde artists and troupes, giving them space for play, work, and artistic refinement.

Organized in the style of modern European theaters, BITEF Theater does not have a permanently employed artistic ensemble. Directors, actors, writers, dancers, musicians, and producers are engaged in specific projects, which has proven to be the most effective way for the theater to function.

A small number of selected people are employed at BITEF Theater, who simultaneously work on organizing the BITEF Festival and as a technical-logistical service for artists working in the theater during the season.

Besides producing plays, BITEF Theater also offers educational opportunities to the artists it gathers through various seminars, workshops, and forums. Therefore, BITEF Theater is a constantly growing theater, open to the most diverse forms of new, fresh, brave, and different stage expression. BITEF is not just a theater. BITEF is a school of thought and expression.

Within the BITEF Theater building, there is also the iconic BITEF ART CAFE. In addition to a rich and high-quality music program, BITEF ART CAFE also offers theater-cabaret forms, chamber plays, animation actions, music and poetry competitions, and as such represents a unique phenomenon in the nightlife of the capital city.


Founded in the autumn of 1977 by Ljubisa Ristic (perhaps the greatest Yugoslavian and Serbian theatre director), Nada Kokotovic, Rade Serbedzija (probably the most famous Yugoslavian and Croatian actor), and Dusan Jovanovic, KPGT is the largest theatre brand from the former Yugoslavia.

In 1994, while looking for a space for the play “Antigone,” Ljubisa Ristic decided to stage it in an abandoned factory, in ruins without windows, doors, electricity… Little by little, artists installed glass in the broken windows, brought drummers, started heating, created a theatre, and then, in agreement with the sugar factory that was there, they remained.

The seemingly inaccessible location is actually the theatre’s greatest advantage: when you step into the greenhouse through which you enter the lobby, you embark on a journey through a labyrinth that includes as many as 9 stages for performances.

On the way to them, you will pass by the theatre bar – a guest reception room, but also one of the stages –, through the actors’ dressing room and attic, visit an open-air stage, walk through the ruins, visit the old red kiosk which has no other function except to, like the rest of the ambiance, remind us of bygone times, and finally end up in the new building and have dinner in a restaurant.

Apart from theatre, in the early 2000s, KPGT was a center of alternative culture, where parties were organized with DJs from all over the world performing. David Guetta, before he became David Guetta, played here. Such events still happen here today, albeit much less frequently, although the space is without competition.

By the way, four years ago, the city bought the Sugar Factory as a monument of industrial architecture, which includes about fifteen buildings, and after 120 years, it will be reconstructed and filled with cultural content. A detailed urban plan foresees the creation of a central park in this area of the city, encompassing Ada Ciganlija, its marina, and Košutnjak.

Magacin Cultural Center

The Cultural Center Magacin belonged to the Youth Center of Belgrade and was used as a storage space until 2010.

Now, it is an alternative cultural center for the preparation and presentation of exhibitions, stage performances, panel discussions, film screenings, educational programs, and other independent cultural events.

This space is a cultural and social center where independent artists can work for free. The management of Magacin is handled by a community of users who abide by collectively established rules.

The center is not defined by a rigid programmatic or curatorial concept, but rather nurtures and supports a wide range of contemporary creative programs and socially responsible initiatives that operate in the public interest.

Artistic organizations, associations, informal groups, and individuals (regardless of age) that operate by the values of Magacin and its usage conditions can utilize its resources. This includes both the creation and realization of programs in contemporary art and culture and a broader spectrum of social practices. Magacin operates on an open calendar model, making it freely accessible to hundreds of users daily.

The open calendar allows all potential users (whether they are regular or new and occasional users) to have equal rights and conditions for using the space. Although primarily oriented towards the independent and informal scene, Magacin is also open to collaborations with institutions.

In recent years, the number of regular users of Magacin has increased significantly. The presence of a large number of active individuals and associations that implement their programs in Magacin contributes to the preservation and improvement of the space, as well as its growing visibility and significance.

Thanks to the open calendar work model, over the past year, more than 120 organizations and individuals have worked in Magacin, almost twice as many compared to the previous one-year period, creating an impressive cultural production. The space is used, on average, more than 1,500 times a year, comparable to the biggest cultural institutions in the city.

The Silos in the Port of Belgrade

Significant monuments of brutalist architecture, have been given a new lease of life thanks to the Gaia Movement, a nonprofit organization that develops programs in the fields of art, education, recreational sports, and environmental protection within the Silos.

By activating this location, the Gaia Movement has created a new atmosphere in the city. Art, education, culture, recreational activities, fashion shows, a lot of music, and uncompromisingly powerful adventures define this unique zone, located just 1.5 kilometers from the city center.

Today, the Silos is a cultural center that includes an art gallery dedicated to the local art scene. It is also a venue where, in addition to exhibitions, various festivals, fairs, sports events, and other socially significant events are held.

On its summer stage, which also serves as an ethereal location for practicing yoga by the Danube, international and local music stars have performed. The Silos are also the city’s largest canvas for murals by leading artists. While they are now one of the symbols of modern Belgrade, shortly, the Silos will also have an interactive museum dedicated to the city itself.

One of the central points in the Silos is the Ponta•011 bar, which today gathers a new creative scene, as well as a range of generations visiting countless events in the Silos area.

During the summer season, Ponta has the perfect cooling and lighting system known to man, with the deep shade beneath the concrete behemoths and the freshness of the Danube opposite the green bio-reserve, complemented by the most spectacular sunset, stretching somewhere above Gardos in the distance.

Old Beer Factory

Right next to Skadarlija, you’ll find an abandoned beer factory, identifiable by its large industrial chimney. Now, this location features Klub Dvoristance, Kula Art Center, and Marsh Open Space.

What’s interesting is that during the construction of the beer factory in 1892, a human skull of Homo primigenius, referred to as the first ever citizen of Belgrade, was discovered here. This skull, along with other findings, has contributed to the creation of a picture of Neanderthal life in our area.

Beton Hala

Located right along the Sava River, is the site of some of the most beautiful restaurants in Belgrade. Before it was a warehouse in the port.


Savamala is often described as either the ugliest or the most beautiful part of Belgrade, but undoubtedly, it is the most unusual district and one of the most charming tourist attractions in the city.

Once an industrial quarter, Savamala is located in the shadow of the Branko Bridge and the old, grand buildings of Belgrade on the right bank of the Sava River. Among the old facades adorned with baroque and secession features, along spacious streets near the banks of the Sava, today lie attractive cultural amenities, numerous clubs, restaurants, and bars.

Savamala can be approached from various directions, but the most beautiful approach is from the Branko Bridge, as it offers a view that captures almost the entire area. On the left, visitors are greeted by the city’s guardian – the mural “La Santa del Belgrado” by Guillaume Alby Remeda. On the right, the bald-headed Spanish House and the red lanterns of the Cultural Center Grad are noticeable.

The Spanish House was built around 1880. At that time, it was one of the most beautiful palaces in Savamala. It has been used for various purposes: serving the Belgrade Port, functioning as a customs office, a warehouse, and as a base for the Serbian Shipping Society.

It also housed the Museum of River Shipping. Today, this roofless and windowless building is the base of the Urban Incubator project, which focuses on revitalizing Savamala. The plan is to install a glass art pavilion in it, gradually turning it into a venue for programs of the Goethe-Institut.

As Savamala was the main trading center and an elite part of the city, it is home to some of the most monumental buildings that now hold significant historical and cultural-artistic value. The most famous of these are the Geozavod building, the Bristol Hotel, and Vucina’s House.

Adjacent to the Old Customs House was its warehouse. The Old Warehouse was built in 1884, and since 2009, at the initiative of the Belgrade Cultural Front and the Felix Meritis Foundation from Amsterdam, it has housed the Cultural Center Grad.

Ciglana – Brickyard

This former brick factory is now a unique space for art, music, and alternative cultural events.

Mikser House

On the square where Mala pijaca (Small Market) once stood, Mikser House is built. Envisioned as a centerpiece of the future creative industry of the city, it is a gathering place for designers, musicians, and dreamers of a better and more beautiful Belgrade.

Inside, there is a design store where visitors can purchase products from 60 designers from the Balkans. The offerings include everything from furniture and clothing to wines and gourmet delicacies.

Mikser House also features the Mikser Canteen with delicious and specially designed Balkan dishes, a café, a stage for performances and music programs, a co-working space, and a children’s corner.