Serbia is partly located in Central and Southeast Europe and it is considered one of the Balkan countries. Most of the memories people have about Serbia are war-related, however, it is very important to educate yourself before you visit Serbia, and understand that Serbians have long rebuilt their nation and the country/region is now considered safe just like other countries in Europe.
Serbia permits a substituted visa; it is one of the European countries that you can visit visa-free if you have a US visa, or UK visa, or a Schengen visa.
Before You Visit Serbia:
By law, all visitors to Serbia staying with friends or in private apartments must register with the police within 24 hours of arriving in the country. It doesn’t apply if you booked a hotel as the hotel would be responsible for making this report.
Here are a few things you should know about Serbia:
Serbia has a rich history of culture, sports, science, and architecture. The diversity in its architectural structure is truly fascinating. Our Tour Guide described it as an “architectural monster”.
Belgrade is the capital city of Serbia. It is renowned as one of the cities with the best nightlife in the world. Coffee shops, pubs, and restaurants are always full. They have the right energy.
In Belgrade, I did the downtown walking tour courtesy of Belgrade Walking Tours. It was one of my favorite walking tours with a truly passionate and entertaining Tour Guide.
The Guide took us on an interesting tour around the Republic Square, the National Theater and the National Museum, Bohemian Quarter (Skadarlija), the oldest part of Belgrade with Ottoman heritage, the oldest residential house and museum of Serbian language, the only mosque in the city, Kalemegdan park, Belgrade fortress, the confluence of the Sava and the Danube rivers, and Knez Mihailova street.
I became a student of history for one night, discovering the underground secrets of Belgrade, brainstorming and discussing over some good wine at a 19th century Wine Cellar. And then I connected with some new friends and we visited a KAFANA, had local food, with some RAKIJA. You shouldn’t leave Belgrade without trying the hot wine. It was my favorite drink during my visit.
When visiting Belgrade, I recommend you take a road trip and explore Novi Sad and its neighboring towns. Visit Petrovaradin Fortress and indulge in some of the best views in the area. The fortress plays host to the EXIT Festival every summer and it is also home to the famous ‘drunk clock’, where the big hand tells the hours and the little the minutes.
Do not miss a visit to Sremski Karlovci which is considered Serbia’s prettiest town.
The region also has some of the most beautiful monasteries that date as far back as 1545. I visited the gorgeous Krušedol Monastery and Grgeteg Monastery. I also visited the Orthodox Cathedral of St Nicholas in Sremski Karlovci.
Don’t forget to light a candle and say a prayer for those you hold dear.
Food Culture in Serbia:
Are you a foodie? Serbian food culture is quite similar to what you’ll find within the Balkan region. I thoroughly enjoyed my food adventure in Serbia. Make sure you try the street food too – it is unique and quite interesting.
Is Serbia budget-friendly?
It is budget-friendly. You can find decent accommodation within the city center, have good meals for $5-$8 depending on where you dine and move around easily using taxis, or public transportation. However, beware of dishonest taxi drivers. It is best to negotiate on prices before you take the ride (even if they tell you it’s metered).
Visit a Kafana and try some Rakija:
Unique to Serbia are Kafana(s). Rakija (pronounced Rakia) is the most famous Serbian homemade drink, which is made out of fruits.
Christmas/New Year in Serbia:
Christmas lasts a bit longer in Serbia. Serbia still follows the old ‘Julian Calendar’. This means that Christmas falls on 7th January, and New Year on 14th January. You get twice the holidays – Christmas and new year.
Serbia made a good first impression and I’m happy to recommend that you visit Serbia and explore the sights, sounds, and tastes of this destination.
Have you visited Serbia before? Share your experience here.
For videos of my experience in Serbia, see the link below.