As a digital nomad, I’m constantly on the move. That means joining game nights, checking out board game cafes, and otherwise looking for fun places to play and meet local gamers. The Where to Game series aims to cover some great places to check if you’re in the area.
Astal (Kralja Milana 27, Beograd 11000, Serbia – GPS: 44.806464, 20.464701 – astal.rs – 5pm-12am everyday)
The largest, brightest, and best-stocked place to play tabletop games in Belgrade, bar none. Plenty of room to playtest and play here. Serves coffee, beer, and some other drinks. A decent selection of games for sale. One personal drawback: half the space is a smokers paradise, and that half happens to be the half with the games and the bar. Plenty of gamers here, especially on the weekends, and many were willing to playtest games. Facebook page here.
Hydra (Hydra Tabletop Gaming Club) – Resavska 78, Beograd, Serbia – GPS: 44.801252, 20.457586
One of my favorite places to game by far – tons of Magic players call this larger space home on the weekends for tournaments. I met a fair number of gamers willing to playtest unpublished games. A few drinks for sale, and small selection of games for sale. Their Facebook page is here.
Klub Crni Zmaj (Клуб Црни змај) – Topličin venac 9, Beograd 11000, Serbia – GPS: 44.816145, 20.455358
A small club hidden in an old building’s basement has plenty of room for Yu-Gi-Oh and other TCG’s by day. Officially open from 12pm-8pm, during my time there I learned of a game night every Wednesday night that started around 8pm. This was not extremely well-attended, and may not even be happening any more. If you’re near Park Vojvode Vuka in New Belgrade, it’s a convenient place to pick up some games or sleeves.
In nearby Pancevo city, Club d20 is a worthy stop (Zmaj Jove Jovanovića 24, Pančevo 26000, Serbia – GPS: 44.873093, 20.645516 – 6pm-12am Wed-Sun, until 1am on Saturday). Good game selection and ample room to play along with a decent drink selection. You’d need to arrive by car or taxi, since I don’t think there’s any public transportation there from Belgrade.
Who to connect with?
Dazbog Games is a local association of board game designers, and their Facebook page is probably the best place to connect with them.
Board Games Room is under construction as I publish this, but aims to bring all things related to board games together – publishers, game stores, players, and more. Check out their Facebook page to stay up to date.
Where to shop?
While each of the places above has a small section, over in New Belgrade — the mid-20th century expansion to the city complete with Brutalist architecture — is C22 (Narodnih heroja 5-7, Beograd – GPS: 44.824550, 20.409143 – c22.rs). It’s a bit out of the way if you’re staying / playing in old Belgrade (east of the river), and not the biggest selection ever. It’s a worthy stop, of course, if only to catch up with some gamers in the area.
What else to see / do?
I’ve gotta say the street art around Belgrade is quite worthy.