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Kragujevac (Serbian Cyrillic: Крагујевац) is the fourth largest city in Serbia, the administrative centre of Šumadija District. It is situated on the banks of the Lepenica River. According to the official results of the 2011 census, the city has a population of 179,417 inhabitants.
Kragujevac was the first capital of modern Serbia (1818–39); the first constitution in the Balkans was proclaimed in the city in 1835. Further on, the first full-fledged university in the newly independent Serbia was founded in 1838, preceded by the first grammar school, printworks (both in 1833), professional National theatre (1835) and the Military academy (1837). The city was the site of a massacre by the Nazis, in which thousands of Serbs were murdered. Contemporary Kragujevac is known for its weapons and munition (Zastava Arms) and automobile industry (Fiat Automobili Srbija).
Kragujevac is an important university center. University of Kragujevacwas established on 21 May 1976, from departments of the University of Belgrade Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Faculty of Economics, which began to work in late 1960s. The University of Kragujevac consists of twelve faculties - six faculties are located in Kragujevac, while the other six faculties are located in Čačak, Kraljevo, Jagodina, Užice and Vrnjačka Banja. It also has two scientific research institutes: the Institute for Field Crops in Kragujevac and Fruit and Grape Research Institute in Čačak.
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone CET (UTC+1)|
• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
|RELIGION :||Serbian Orthodox 85%, Catholic 5.5%, Protestant 1.1%, Muslim 3.2%, unspecified 2.6%, other, unknown, or atheist 2.6%|
|AREA :||835 km2 (322 sq mi)|
|COORDINATES :||44°00′40″N 20°54′40″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49%|
• Female: 51%
|ETHNIC :||Serbs 172,052|
|AREA CODE :||034|
|POSTAL CODE :||34000|
|DIALING CODE :||(+381) 34|
The architecture of Kragujevac displays a fusion of two different styles—traditional Turkish (nowadays almost completely gone) and 19th century Vienna Secession style. Modern conceptions also appear throughout the city, firstly in the shape of post-war concrete (usually apartments designed to house those left homeless during World War II), and secondly the up-to-date glass offices reflecting the ambitious business aspects of modern architects. Some important buildings in Kragujevac include:
- The old church of Descent of the Holy Spirit was built in 1818, as a part of Prince Miloš' court. Its interior was decorated from 1818 to 1822. The new belfry was built in 1907.
- The Old Parliament was built in the court of the church where the first parliamentary meeting was held in 1859. Many events of great historical importance, such as verifying the Berlin Congress decision about the independence of Serbia, took place there. After undergoing reconstruction in 1992, the building was converted into a museum.
- The Amidža Konak was built by Prince Miloš in 1820 as a residential house. It is one of the finest examples of regional architecture in Serbia. It now houses an exhibition from the National Museum.
- The Prince Mihailo Konak was built in 1860. Its architecture blends local tradition with European architectural concepts. The building is now the National Museum.
- The High School (Gimnazija) was built between 1885 and 1887 according to designs from the Ministry of Civil Engineering. It is one of the city's oldest edifices designed in a European style, in the tradition of the oldest Serbian Gimnazija from 1833. Some famous Serbian scientists, artists and politicians were educated in this school (Svetozar Marković, Nikola Pašić, Vojvoda Radomir Putnik).
The Upper (Great) Park is the greatest park in Kragujevac. It was established in 1898. It is covered with more than 10 hectares (25 acres) of greeenery, and a dense canopy of century-old trees, renovated walkways and benches are the right place for rest, walk and relaxation. In the park and its immediate vicinity there are sports facilities for basketball, football, volleyball, tennis, as well as indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Lower (Small) Park is located in the city center, within the complex of Milos Wreath. In its center there is a monument to the Fallen People from Šumadija. Eco Park "Ilina Voda" is a legacy of Svetozar Andrejevic, established in 1900. It covers an area of 7 hectares (17 acres) , with benches, swings, seesaws, as well as football and basketball fields. There is a fountain with a small waterfall, five mini lakes connected by a small stream. There is also small ZOO with about 100 animals, mostly domestic, and a garden with various types of trees characteristic of Šumadija. The curiosity in the park is the largest sculpture of Easter eggs (3 metres (10 ft) high) in Europe and the second in the world; made from recycled metal, set in 2004. Brewer Park is located near the city center at the Brewer Hill, where once was the first brewery in Kragujevac.
The scenic attractions nearby include the Aranđelovac, Gornji Milanovac,Vrnjačka Banja, and Mataruška Banja, Karađorđe's castle, the Church of Saint George in Topola 40 kilometres (25 miles) away, the Old Kalenić monastery 55 kilometres (34 miles) away, the resorts of Rogot (28 km (17 mi)) and Stragari (34 km (21 mi)) with old monasteries of Blagoveštenje and Voljavca.
Tourist Information Centre, Dr Zorana Djindjica 11 (located in the strict center), , e-mail: [email protected]. M-F 8:00-20:00; S 08:00-15:00. You can also schedule city tours there and buy local souvenirs.
Early and medieval
The name of the town derived from the archaic Serbian word "kraguj", which is a name used for a particular species of hawk, thus the name means "hawk's nesting place". Kragujevac experienced a lot of historical turbulence, not always without severe casualties. Over 200 archaeological sites in Šumadija confirm that the region's first human settlements occurred 40,000 years ago, during the Paleolithic era.
Before the arrival of the Slavs, the territory of present city was inhabited by the Illyrians and Romans. This territory was captured from Byzantium by Stefan Nemanja, who consolidated the Serbian state in the twelfth century. In the Middle Ages, the area of modern Kragujevac was part of several Serbian states. Kragujevac was first mentioned in the medieval period as related to the public square built in a settlement, while the first written mention of the city was in the Ottoman Tapu-Defter in 1476.
Ottoman documents from the 15th century refer to it as a "village of Kragujevdza". The town itself gained prominence during the Ottoman period (1459–1804) as the central point in the Belgrade Pashaluk (Sanjak of Smederevo). In 1718-39, the town was controlled by the Habsburg Monarchy and was part of the Habsburg Kingdom of Serbia. In 1788, it was part of Kočina Krajina, an area controlled by the Serb rebels, while in 1789-90 it was again controlled by the Habsburg Monarchy.
Early modern period
The city has been devastated many times and has suffered great losses of life in a number of wars throughout history. It began to prosper after Serbia's liberation from Turkish rule in 1818, when Prince Miloš Obrenović proclaimed it the capital of the new Serbian State and built the Amidža Konak. The first Serbian constitution was proclaimed here in 1835 and the first idea of independent electoral democracy. The first law on the printing press was passed in Kragujevac in 1870. Kragujevac, the capital, was developing and cherishing modern, progressive, free ideas and resembled many European capitals of that time.
Apart from contemporary political influence, Kragujevac became the cultural and educational center of Serbia. Important institutions built during that time include Serbia's first secondary school (Gimnazija), first pharmacy, and first printing press.The turning point in the overall development of Kragujevac was in 1851 when the Cannon Foundry began production, beginning a new era in the city's economic development. The main industry of the 19th and 20th century was military production. Kragujevac became one of Serbia’s largest exporters in 1886, when the main Belgrade–Niš railway connected through Kragujevac.
During World War I, Kragujevac again became the capital of Serbia (1914–1915), and the seat of many state institutions; even the Supreme Army Command was housed within the court house building.During the war, Kragujevac lost 15% of its population.
The social aspect, especially theater life, in Kragujevac between the two wars was very vibrant. The first cultural event in liberated Kragujevac occurred in 1918. That was the establishment of the Theater Gundulic that worked only one season and moved to Belgrade.
Following the model of Academic Theater in Belgrade, the Kragujevac Scholars Academic Theater was founded in 1924. It was a theater that supported contemporary ideas, modern approach to stage, live word and repertoire, thus gaining the reputation of a serious art organization.There were many other cultural institutions in the city, which began to grow into a large cultural and industrial hub of Central Serbia.
WWII and the Kragujevac massacre
Kragujevac underwent a number of ordeals, the worst probably having been the October massacre during World War II. The Kragujevac massacre was the shooting of 2,300 to 5,000 civilians—mostly Serbs and Roma— by Nazi soldiers between 19–21 October 1941. Staniša Brkić, curator of The Museum of 21 October, published a book in 2007 in which he listed names and personal data of 2,796 victims. As noted by Stevan Pavlowitch, Serbian and German scholars have subsequently agreed on the figure of 2,778.
The shootings were conducted in retaliation for a partisan attack on German soldiers. 50 people were to be murdered for every German soldier who was wounded, while 100 were murdered if a German soldier was killed. Among the murdered was a class of pupils from Kragujevac First Grammar School. A monument for the executed pupils is a symbol of the city. This atrocity has inspired a poem called Krvava Bajka(Bloody Fairy Tale) by Desanka Maksimović. The site of the shootings was turned into a memorial park in 1953, which covers an area of 352 hectares. At the entrance to the memorial park, in 1976 was built a monumental museum "21. October", dedicated to the victims.
In the post-war period, Kragujevac developed more industry. Its main exports were passenger cars, trucks and industrial vehicles, hunting arms, industrial chains, leather, and textiles. The biggest industry, and the city's main employer was Zastava, which employed tens of thousands people. The first car of the Zastava Automobiles car company, FIAT 750, was produced in 1955, on the basis of a license of the Italian FIAT car company. In the following three decades, around five million passenger cars (FIAT 750, Zastava 1300, Zastava 101, Zastava 128, Zastava Jugo, Jugo Florida) was produced, and exported to 74 countries worldwide. The city industry suffered under economic sanctions during the Milošević era, and was all but destroyed by the NATO bombing campaign in 1999.
Kragujevac has temperate continental climate, characterized by relatively cold winters and hot summers. The coldest month is January and the warmest July. The months with the most rainfall are May and June, and months with the least rainfall are January, February and March. Winds most often blow from southwest and northwest, while they often blow from Southeast in January, February and March. The average number of snowy days is 30.
Climate data for Kragujevac
|Record high °C (°F)||20.6|
|Average high °C (°F)||5.2|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||0.9|
|Average low °C (°F)||−2.6|
|Record low °C (°F)||−27.6|
|Source: Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia|
Kragujevac lies 180 metres (591 feet) above sea level. The coordinates of Kragujevac are 44°00'40 of northern latitude and 20°54'40 of eastern longitude. It is located in the valley of the river Lepenica. The city covers an area of 835 square kilometres (322 sq mi), surrounded with slopes of mountains Rudnik, Crni Vrh and Gledić mountains. Kragujevac is administrative center of Šumadija, region characterized by hilly - mountainous land.
Kragujevac has developed transportation infrastructure. The city can be reached by five important roadways from: a) Belgrade, via Batocina, by State road (IB class) number 15; b) the Montenegrin border, via Novi Pazar and Kraljevo, by State road (IB class) number 15; c) Belgrade, via Mladenovac and Topola, by State road (IB class) number 16; d) Jagodina, via Donja Sabanta, by State road (class II) number 170; e) Gornji Milanovac, via Bare, by State road (class II) number 176. Kragujevac is connected by bus lines with almost all cities in the country. The most frequent departures (every half-hour) are to Belgrade. The central bus station is about a kilometer away from the city center. Kragujevac can be reached by train, although the city is located outside the main railway lines. The central train Station is located close to the central bus station.
Kragujevac has been an important industrial and trading center of Serbia for more than two centuries. The city is known for its automotive and firearms industry. The former state-owned Zastava Automobiles company was sold to Fiat in 2008, with Fiat pledging to invest 700 million euros into the company now renamed as Fiat Automobiles Serbia. Weapons manufacturing in Kragujevac began in 1853 and has since grown to become Serbia's primary supplier of firearms through the Zastava Arms corporation. Today, Zastava Arms exports more than 95% of its products to over forty countries in the world. By the decisions of the Ministry of Defense of the Serbian Government, Zastava Arms became a part of the Defense Industry of Serbia in 2003. The most important partners of Zastava Arms are Yugoimport SDPR, Army and Police of Serbia, Century Arms, and International Golden Group.
Johnson Controls, Rapp Marine Group, Metro Cash and Carry, Mercator and Plaza Centers established their operations in Kragujevac. The most important local companies include Forma Ideale, Blažeks(furniture production), KUČ Company (dairy producer), Jagger andValentino (fashion production), Flores (brandy), Prizma (medical equipment production and distribution), Agromarket and Agrojevtic.
The Kragujevac Fair was established in 2005 thanks to the project "Support to the development and promotion of regional economy through development of City Fair". It comprises 1,600 square metres (17,222 sq ft) of area dedicated to trade and exhibitions and 1,000 square metres (10,764 sq ft) of area for other activities (administration, Media center, restaurant etc.).
Out of 179,417 inhabitants of administrative area, around 65% is of working age. Total number of employees in September 2012 was 41,457. Majority of persons of working age have secondary education (51.34%) or primary education (21,22%), while 14% have college or university degree. Around 93% of total city area is covered with water supply system, 78% with sewage system, 72% with natural gas supply network, and 92% with cell phone networks.
The city of Kragujevac is divided into the following municipalities:
- Stari Grad
List of settlements in the municipalities of Kragujevac:
Prices in Kragujevac
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€0.50|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€2.95|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€9.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€17.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€3.65|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€1.22|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€0.98|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€2.60|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€2.25|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.09|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€2.20|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€0.92|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€65.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||€27.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€62.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€0.50|
45 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
90 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
- Central bus station (Center of the city is easily reachable from the central bus station in 10 minutes.). This is the most recommendable option when visiting Kragujevac. The drive from Belgrade lasts for 2 hours and tickets can be purchased at Belgrade's bus station for about 10 euros round trip.
Train station (Железничка станица) (located next to the central bus station.). This mean of transport is, however, not recommendable, as it takes much more than by bus and there is not direct connection from Belgrade, so you would have to change train in Lapovo. Nevertheless, if you are arriving from the south of the country, train might be worth considering.
Located in the center of the country, Kragujevac has good connection to highway E-75, leading to Belgrade and Niš. Parking is not a problem in the city.
Transportation - Get Around
City center is quite compact and is best explorable on foot. All the major tourist attractions are within the walking distance, except for the memorial park Šumarice, which lies on the northern border of the city and is preferably reachable by either bus or taxi.
Taxi service is extremely cheap, even in comparison to Belgrade. Expect not to pay more than 4 euros, even for more distant destinations.
Public transport service
Kragujevac owns an extensive and cheap bus network. Tickets can be purchased at driver.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
Shopping areas are concentrated in the central streets Kralja Petra, Kralja Aleksandra and Lola Ribara and shopping malls.
- Roda Centar. A modern shopping mall in Kragujevac.
- Kragujevac Plaza 2012. A large modern shopping mall in Kragujevac with movie theatres, game center, bowling, pool tables, laser tag, rock climbing, target practice with paint ball/archery.
If you are looking for some Serbian specialties, like pljeskavica, ćevapčići orKaradjordjeva šnicla, Kragujevac is with tones of restaurants and fast food bars great choice.
- Labud, Trg vojvode Radomira Putnika. Famous place for fast Serbian barbecue specialties.
- Lepenica, Dragoslava Srejovića 44 (, near the bus and train station.).Arguably the best pljeskavica in town.
- Plavi Bik, Kneza Mihaila (Кнеза Михаила) 84. The place for Karadjordjeva šnicla.
- McDonalds, Kragujevac Plaza. Yes, we have that. Go to second floor of Kragujevac Plaza for McDonalds.
- Lovac Restaurant, Svetozara Markovića (Светозара Марковића) 17(- near the city center), . Very nice ambient and good local food.
- Dvorište Restaurant, Save Kovačevića bb (,- situated by the lake Bubanj), . the perfect opportunity to enjoy local specialties in a lovely and romantic surroundings.
- Stara Srbija Restaurant, Karađorđeva (Карађорђева) 7 (in the center), . specialized in local cuisine
- Paligorić Restaurant, Vojvode Putnika (Војводе Путника) 1, . - also very central and suited for trying out local barbecue specialties.
- Balkan Restaurant, Kralja Aleksandra I (Краља Александра I Карађорђевића) ~94, . You can try out national specialties and listen to live music.
- Avala, Internacionalnih brigada bb. (Near to Cathedral of Saint Sava ), . - if you can really eat a lot of Serbian barbecue specialties and still pay little, this is the place to be.
Coffe & Drink
Cafes & Bars
- Srce, Kneza Miloša 3, famous for ice-creams.
- Peron, Kralja Petra I bb., popular cafe in the train wagon.
- Caffe "Novak", dr Zorana Đinđića 13, coffeeshop owned by tennis star Novak Djoković.
- Cocktail bar "Buena Vista", Kralja Petra I 46, passage Bezistan, good selection of cocktails.
Sights & Landmarks
- Šumarice - Memorial park. This park dedicated to the memory of the victims of 21 October's shooting. All tombs in Memorial park are connected to 7 km long circular road. At the entrance of Memorial park, a monumental building of the Museum “21st October” is built in which architecture symbolic of Kragujevac’s tragedy is emphasized.
- The circle of Prince Miloš - cultural-historic complex. Includes buildings that, with their architecture and function, maintain a historic image of the city, from the period when Kragujevac was the capital (1818–1841), until the beginning of 20th century.
- Prince’s arsenal. Arsenal complex comprises factory buildings and workroom that dates back to the end of 19 - beginning of 20 centuries.
- Museum "Stara livnica", Trg Topolivaca 4 (within Prince’s arsenal), . M-F 09:00 - 14:00. It displays the history of the Kragujevac military factory in 1853 - 1973 years. There is an exhibition of modern weapons as well. Museum itself is located in the former building of the Gun Foundry build in 1882. Free entrance.
- Amidža’s Lodgings. - the only one still preserved building from the complex of Miloš’ court and it is a part of the National museum. It got it’s name after the headmaster of the Prince’s court, Sima Milosavljević-Paštrmac called Amidža (uncle). Amidža’s Lodgings was built in 1818 and it represents Balcan-oriental style. The lodgings served as a dormitory for the young men from Miloš’s escort.
- The building of Grammar School (Gymnasium). - one of the most monumental school buildings built in Serbia in 19th century. It was built in 1887 and then the first grammar school in Serbia, found in 1833, got its building. It was built in academic style. The architect is unknown. During the WW2, on October 21, 1941, German soldiers took many of the school’s students and professors to the execution. One of the classrooms was turned into the Memorial classroom, dedicated to this tragic event.
- Old Church (Stara crkva), (Кнеза Михаила). - built in 1818 by Prince Miloš Obrenović. The church is dedicated to the Descent of The Holy Spirit on Apostles. The first bell from this church rang in 1829. The old church was first bishop’s cathedral and court chapel in liberated Serbia. In the churchyard, almost all important decisions for the Serbian people were proclaimed. The First Serbian Constitution was adopted there in 1835.
- National museum Kragujevac (Prince Mihailo’s Palace (Народни музеј Крагујевац)), Vuka Karadzica (Вука Караџића) 1, , , fax: , , e-mail:[email protected]. M-F 08:00-15:00, Sa and Su 10:00-14:00. - built in 1860. The building is European with one floor, built after the pattern of Austrian classicism, modest in its dimensions and ornaments. Directory of the National museum and museum’s library are now placed in it.
- Theatre. - Dating back to 1835, this is the first theater in Serbia. It is a one floor building with a pyramidal roof cupola. In front of the building there is a monument to founder Joakim Vujić.
- City’s Market. - built in 1928/29 as the most beautiful market hall in Serbia and one of the first market hall in Europe. It contains style elements of academism and secession.
- City Hall. - built in a typical socialistic architecture, the building might be very interesting to someone used to Western culture.
- Drača Monastery (9 km, near Gornji Milanovac). Beautiful monastery with mice surroundings. It has the Church of Saint Nicholas which was erected in 1734 on the foundation of an older church.
- Divostin Monastery (6 km, in the village of Divostin. If you continue for another 3 km further along the road you can get to Drača Monastery.).One of the most popular monasteries in Sumadija region. Once it was destroyed by Ottomans and then much later in 1974 it was reconstructed again.
- Grnčarica Monastery. Built in 13-14th centuries by a king. Present day buildings are of mid 16th century when they were restored by Peć Patriarchy.
Things to do
- Big or Upper Park, Kragujevackog oktobra. - the most favorite place for walk of Kragujevac’s citizens of all ages. It was formed in 1898 and on its 110th birthday it was completely renewed. More than 10 hectares of verdure, thick treetops of the 100 years old trees, renewed foot-paths, newly benches make a perfect place for pastime, walk and relaxing. In the center of the park, there is a monument “Wounded soldier”. It is also a good starting point for visiting memorial park Šumarice.
- Eco - park “Ilina voda” (on the right bank of the river. Cross the bridge and go downstream). There are several small lakes and a zoo with about hundred of inhabitants. There is also the biggest 3 m high Easter egg sculpture in Europe, and the second in the world.
- Botanical garden. Plants from Asia, Europe and Balkans grow here. Park is equipped with information boards about trees.
- Lake Bubanj Park (Varoško groblje?) (One km away from the strict city center, the lake is situated at the entrance of the city, from the direction of highway E-75.). - only It is an ideal spot for a pastime or walk by the water. Around the lake, in natural ambiance, the benches are set and there is also a restaurant with beautiful garden.
- Jezero Sports Hall (Hala "Jezero"), (Лепенички булевар). - the venue where basketball, handball and volleyball local team Radnički performs in top divisions.
- Stadium Čika Dača, Kragujevackog oktobra (Near to 'Big or Upper Park'). - the biggest stadium in Kragujevac with a seating capacity for more than 23 000 people, home to the top division football team FK Radnički 1923.
- Aquarium "Kragujevac", Radoja Domanovica No 12, . Tu-Su 10:00 - 18:00. The first public freshwater aquarium in Serbia with more than 400 species. It is suited in the rooms of the Faculty of Science. In the aquarium you can see the living beings from the Balkans, but also from the tropical areas of Africa, South America, Asia and Australia. Within the Aquarium there is a hatchery where the rare and endangered species are being bred and raised. There is also laboratory for scientific-exploratory work related to hydrobiology and protection of water eco systems.
Kragujevac is a young and cheap city where socialising and parties are always high on the agenda. You can find a lot of pubs and bars in the main street Kralja Aleksandra and center, especially in Lole Ribara street. Many of them are opened until late in the night. Unlike Belgrade, there is no curfew in Kragujevac and the drinks are way less expensive.
- Gheto, Kralja Aleksandra I 81, famous night bar with no strict age groups. Opens at midnight, but gets packed usually at 3AM. Domestic and international pop & rock music.
- Nemam Ve De, Kralja Aleksandra I 154, club with foreign rock music.
- Twist, Cetinjska 14, popular place for live music and foreign pop & rock hits.
- Tresor, Kralja Aleksandra I 73, pop music long in the night.
- Akademija, Kralja Aleksandra I 134, a bit older crowd, selection of actual pop hits.
- Rock star, Kralja Aleksandra I 75, nicely designed rock pub, live music and rock hits.
- Casino, Kralja Aleksandra I 71, trendy place for younger generations, pop hits.
- Gotham, Cara Lazara 18, alternative & indie pub.
Safety in Kragujevac
Kragujevac is generally a very safe city. It is one of the safest Serbian cities overall. Take the usual precautions and common sense (such as don't walk in parks alone at 3AM, don't leave your wallet, camera and mobile unattended) and you will most likely not encounter any crime at all. Do not get into conflict with locals after staying out late in the city, especially if they seem aggressive or drunk. Avoid sport fan groups of local team Radnički (djavoli or devils), they tend to be drunk and aggressive. Being a foreigner will not get you into any trouble, just do not show off, but try to make a local friendship instead.