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Serbia

SERBIA TRAVEL GUIDE

Serbia is at the crossroads of European history and as such, it is a mix of cultures, ethnicity, and religions. Its people, contrary to a recent stigma, are one of the most hospitable and welcoming, and recently, Belgrade was voted as one of the up and coming capitals of Europe. There may be more attractive locations elsewhere, but Serbia has a spirit and a soul that is rare to find coupled with a melange of different cultures and gusto for good living.

 

Emerging as one of Eastern Europe’s most recent ‘undiscovered’ destinations – Serbia has plenty to offer to its visitors. Take a trip to the capital city Belgrade for some of the best museums and galleries, a wide array of restaurants and cafés, and fascinating nightlife in southeast Europe. Aside from the capital city, Novi Sad is another attractive and lively city of Serbia. The city boasts of a picturesque fortress that overlooks the River Danube or you may go far north and visit Subotica – another city of Serbia that has buildings designed in secessionist architecture and boasts of a typical Hungarian character.

 

Bird-watching enthusiasts may like to visit the province of Vojvodina in the north of Belgrade that is renowned for its wetland habitat boasting numerous bird species. Take a trip to the south of Belgrade for a true countryside experience with lush, wooded valleys and hidden Orthodox monasteries, or visit the national parks that are scattered among Serbia’s more mountainous regions.

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  • Capital: Belgrade

  • Currency: Serbian Dinar (RSD)

  • Area: 88,361 sq km

  • Population: 6,982 million (2018)

  • Religion: Orthodox Christian 74%, Muslim 3%, Roman Catholic 15%, Protestant 1%, other 7%

  • Electricity: 230V/50Hz (European plug)

  • Language: Serbian 70.1% (official), Hungarian 23.8%


Useful Serbian Phrases:

Hello Zdravo

How are you? Kako si?

Nice to meet you! Drago mi je!

Thank you Hvala

Yes Da

No Ne

Please Molim


If you want to become proficient in this beautiful language, there are tons of online resources available. Free Serbian lessons, language learning apps, and language exchange groups to practice with Serbian native speakers are some examples of resources that can help you stay motivated and engaged along the way. To help narrow down your choices, we highly encourage you to use the Ling app

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BEST TIME TO VISIT SERBIA

Serbia doesn't see huge influxes of visitors, making it an ideal spot to avoid the crowds just about year-round. Serbia has a continental climate, warm and humid from June through September and cold and dry from December through February.

 

Serbia's north is marked by long cold winters and sweltering summers – plan to start your travels early in the interior in particular to avoid midday meltdown – while the south has a typical Adriatic climate. From late autumn onwards the mountain ranges become impassable; in some areas, the skiing season begins in November and lasts until April.

 

The best time to visit Serbia for good weather is during the summer months - just take note of dates for the annual EXIT Festival in early July which draws revelers from across Europe.

 

  • April - Watch winter melt away with a scenic ride on the nostalgic Šargan 8 railway.

  • July & August - Rock out at Novi Sad’s EXIT, go wild at Guča, and get jazzy at Nišville.

  • December to March - Head to Zlatibor for an alpine adventure.

Best Time To Go

SERBIA WEATHER SYNOPSIS

Serbia has a continental climate, warm and humid from June through September and cold and dry from December through February. Its climate is influenced by elevation (including the Alps) and by proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. Average annual temperature for the country as a whole is about 10.6ºC, but temperatures are substantially cooler in the mountains (average annual temperature at altitudes above 1,000 m is about 6ºC) and warmer in the central and northern regions (average annual temperature in Belgrade is about 12.4ºC). Average annual precipitation is about 741 mm, ranging from about 600 mm in the north to about 2,000 mm in the mountainous regions. Precipitation occurs throughout the year, but there is a peak in May through July. The average intensity of heavy rainfall events is 16 mm per day (95th percentile of total daily precipitation values). Dry spells average 10 days while cold spells average 11.

Serbia

SEASONS AT A GLANCE

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

Read more...

Peak Season

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OCTOBER

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BEST TIME FOR

SNOW SPORT IN SERBIA

Serbia offers a variety of snow sports opportunities, particularly skiing, with the ski season typically running from mid-November to mid-March. The best time for snow sports in Serbia is during the peak of winter, when natural snowfall is most abundant, especially in January. 


The largest ski resort, Kopaonik, along with Zlatibor-Tornik and Stara Planina-Babin Zub, provide slopes for all skill levels, from beginners to advanced skiers. For those seeking a quieter experience, smaller resorts like Tara and Divcibare are ideal for day trips.

HIKING & CYCLING IN SERBIA

Serbia offers a variety of hiking opportunities, with trails that cater to all levels of experience and fitness. Notable hiking destinations include Tara National Park, known for its diverse wildlife and scenic views, and Rtanj Mountain, famous for its challenging ascent and panoramic summit vistas. 


The best time for hiking in Serbia is from late spring to early autumn, particularly from April to September, when the weather is mild and the natural landscapes are at their most vibrant. During this period, the trails are usually clear of snow, and the temperatures are comfortable for outdoor activities.

BEACH OPTIONS IN SERBIA

Serbia, while landlocked, offers a variety of river beaches that are popular during the summer months. Ada Ciganlija in Belgrade, also known as the 'Sea of Belgrade,' is a notable spot with its vibrant atmosphere and range of activities. Another destination is Lido Beach, located on the Great War Island on the Danube, which is well-liked for its sandy shores and clean water. 


The best time to visit these beaches is during the warm summer months, particularly from June to August, when the weather is ideal for outdoor activities and enjoying the waterfront. For those seeking a more tranquil experience, the early autumn months of September and October can also be pleasant, offering milder temperatures and fewer crowds.

SURFING IN SERBIA

Surfing opportunities in Serbia are quite limited due to its landlocked geography. However, for enthusiasts looking to catch some waves, artificial wave pools and river surfing spots offer an alternative experience. 


The best time to visit Serbia for outdoor activities is typically from May to September when the weather is warm and pleasant. During this period, the country's natural beauty and cultural festivals are in full swing, providing a vibrant backdrop for any adventure. 


For those seeking surf opportunities, neighboring coastal countries might offer more traditional experiences with the Adriatic Sea being within reach.

KITESURF IN SERBIA

Kitesurfing in Serbia offers a unique experience, with opportunities available at various locations, including the notable Rusanda Lake Melenci. 


The best time for kitesurfing in Serbia is typically during the warmer months, from late spring to early autumn, when the weather conditions are most favorable. During this period, the winds are more consistent, and the temperatures allow for a comfortable experience on the water. 


For those looking to plan a kitesurfing trip to Serbia, it's advisable to check local wind forecasts and connect with regional kitesurfing clubs or schools to get the most current information and guidance.

BEST TIME FOR

Serbia offers a variety of snow sports opportunities, particularly skiing, with the ski season typically running from mid-November to mid-March. The best time for snow sports in Serbia is during the peak of winter, when natural snowfall is most abundant, especially in January. 


The largest ski resort, Kopaonik, along with Zlatibor-Tornik and Stara Planina-Babin Zub, provide slopes for all skill levels, from beginners to advanced skiers. For those seeking a quieter experience, smaller resorts like Tara and Divcibare are ideal for day trips.

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TRAVEL SAFETY IN SERBIA

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Travel Safety

HEALTH RISKS IN SERBIA

Be aware of possible health risks in 

Serbia

Yellow fever - The yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. The virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no medicine to treat or cure an infection. To prevent getting sick from yellow fever, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and get vaccinated.

Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.

Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.

SERBIA TRAVEL COSTS

While still a total bargain by European standards, Serbia is not quite as cheap to discover as it once was. It remains one of the most inexpensive destinations on the continent however, and you’ll find that your dollar travels an extremely long way in the country.

 

Usually, to travel cheap, you must travel slow, and that is true more often than not. Even so, for the brief visitor to Serbia, most of the best things to see and do are absolutely free, while the ‘do’ part of that sentence invariably means ‘eat and drink’. The high-end restaurants in Belgrade aren’t cheap, but you can get absolutely fantastic meals for as little as $10 USD a head.

Cost & Spending

SERBIA TRAVEL TIPS

Travel Tips

SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS OF SERBIA

  • Marvel at Belgrade's mighty Kalemegdan Citadel and party the night away on a splav (river barge nightclub).
  • Witness the laid-back town of Novi Sad as it morphs into the state of EXIT every July.
  • Steel your eardrums (and liver) at Guča's Dragačevo Trumpet Assembly, one of the world's most frenetic music festivals.
  • Escape reality in the fantastic village of Drvengrad, built by director Emir Kusturica for indie drama Life is a Miracle.
  • Goggle at splendid surprises bursting from the Vojvodinian plains, including the art nouveau treasures of Subotica.
  • Ponder the creepy, cryptic rock towers of Djavolja Varoš.
  • Ski, hike or just take the mountain air in the magical villages of Zlatibor.

 

SUGGESTED ITINERARIES

ONE WEEK

Revel in three days of cultural and culinary exploration in Belgrade, allowing for at least one night of hitting the capital's legendary night spots. Carry on to Novi Sad for trips to the vineyards and monasteries of Fruška Gora and Sremski Karlovci.

 

TWO WEEKS

Follow the above itinerary then head north for the art nouveau architecture of Subotica, before slicing south to Zlatibor en route to traditional Serbian villages, the eerie Djavolja Varoš and the lively city of Niš.

Highlights
What To See & Do
Travel Map

Outspoken, adventurous, proud, and audacious: BELGRADE is by no means a 'pretty' capital, but its gritty exuberance makes it one of the most happening cities in Europe. It is here where the Sava River meets the Danube (Dunav), and old-world culture gives way to new-world nightlife. Grandiose coffee houses, quirky sidewalk ice-creameries, and smoky dens all find a rightful place along Knez Mihailova, a lively pedestrian boulevard flanked by historical buildings all the way to the ancient Kalemegdan Citadel, the crown of the city. The cobblestoned strip of Skadarska east of Trg Republike was the bohemian heartland at the turn of the 20th century; local artistes and dapper types still gather in its legion of cute restaurants and cafes. The once-derelict, now-dapper Savamala creative district is Belgrade’s hip HQ, with bars, clubs and cultural centers that morph into achingly cool music/dance venues come sundown. Dress codes and attitudes are far more relaxed here than in other parts of the city.

 

NOVI SAD is a chipper town with all the spoils and none of the stress of the big smoke. Locals sprawl in pretty parks and outdoor cafes, and laneway bars along pedestrian thoroughfare Zmaj Jovina, which stretches from the town square (Trg Slobode) to Dunavska street, pack out nightly. Novi Sad plays host to the annual eclectic EXIT festival – the largest in southeast Europe - with an annual tally of over 200k merrymakers.

 

Fruška Gora is an 80km stretch of rolling hills where monastic life has continued since 35 monasteries were built between the 15th and 18th centuries to safeguard Serbian culture and religion from the Turks. With your own vehicle you can flit freely between the 16 remaining monasteries; otherwise, ask about tours at tourist offices in Novi Sad and Sremski Karlovci. Public transport gets you from Novi Sad to villages within the park, from where you can walk between sights.

 

Sugar-spun art nouveau marvels, a laid-back populace, and a delicious sprinkling of Serbian and Hungarian flavors make the quaint town of SUBOTICA a worthy day trip or stopover.

 

NIš is a lively city of curious contrasts, where Roma in horse-drawn carriages trot alongside new cars, and posh cocktails are sipped in antiquated alleyways. Niš was settled in pre-Roman times and flourished during the time of local-boy-made-good Emperor Constantine (AD 280–337). Explore the Niš Fortress and the Tower of Skulls.

 

DON'T MISS

  • Novi Pazar is the cultural center of the Raška/Sandžak region, with a large Muslim population. Turkish coffee, cuisine, and customs abound, yet some idyllic Orthodox sights are in the vicinity: this was the heartland of the Serbian medieval state.

  • One of the most sacred sites in Serbia, Unesco-listed Studenica was established in the 1190s by the founder of the Serbian empire (and future saint) Stefan Nemanja and developed by his sons Vukan, Stefan, and Rastko (St Sava). Active monastic life was cultivated by Sava and continues today, though this thriving little community doesn't mind visitors.

  • Djavolja Varoš (Devil’s Town) in Serbia's deep south, is a trippy cluster of 202 natural stone pyramids looming eerily over bright red, highly acidic mineral streams. According to local whispers, the towers – which teeter between 2m and 15m in height and are topped with creepy volcanic ‘heads’ – were formed after guests at an incestuous wedding were petrified by an offended god.

  • Kopaonik National Park - as well as the ski-resort in the Kopaonik Mountain in southern Serbia. Kopaonik is the major ski resort of Serbia, with a total of 23 ski lifts. A national park spread over 118.1 km2 (45.6 sq mi), Kopaonik has a rich historical heritage

Serbia
What To Eat

WHAT TO EAT IN SERBIA

WHAT TO EAT IN SERBIA

Serbia is famous for grilled meats; regional cuisines range from spicy Hungarian goulash in Vojvodina to Turkish kebabs in Novi Pazar. Vegetarians should try asking for 'posna hrana' ('meatless food'); this is also suitable for vegans.

 

Kajmak - Along the lines of a salty clotted cream, this dairy delight is lashed on to everything from bread to burgers.

Ćevapčići - The ubiquitous skinless sausage and pljeskavica (spicy hamburger) make it very easy to be a carnivore in Serbia.

Burek - Flaky meat, cheese, or vegetable pie eaten with yogurt.

Karađorđeva šnicla - Similar to chicken Kiev, but with veal or pork and lashings of kajmak and tartar.

Rakija - Distilled spirit most commonly made from plums. Treat with caution though!

LGBTQ IN SERBIA

Serbia

WHERE TO STAY IN SERBIA

If you're visiting Serbia for the first time, there are several areas you might consider staying in, depending on your interests and the experiences you want to have. Here are some suggestions:


Where To Stay In Belgrade:

As the capital and largest city of Serbia, Belgrade offers a mix of history, culture, nightlife, and dining options.

  • Budget Accommodation: Look for hostels or budget hotels in areas like Dorćol or Skadarlija. Examples include Hostel Bongo, Manga Hostel, or Hotel Slavija Garni.

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: Consider hotels in central areas like Stari Grad (Old Town) or Vračar. Hotels such as Hotel Moskva, Hotel Metropol Palace, or Hotel Prag offer good mid-range options.

  • Luxury Accommodation: For a luxurious stay, explore upscale hotels in prestigious neighborhoods like Dedinje or New Belgrade. Options include Square Nine Hotel, Hyatt Regency Belgrade.


Where To Stay In Novi Sad:

Located north of Belgrade, Novi Sad is the second-largest city in Serbia and known for its historic landmarks, festivals, and Danube riverfront.

  • Budget Accommodation: Look for budget hotels or guesthouses in the city center or near Petrovaradin Fortress. Examples include Hostel Varad Inn or Guest House Fontana.

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: Consider hotels in central areas like Stari Grad (Old Town) or near the Danube River. Hotels such as Hotel Centar or Prezident Hotel offer comfortable mid-range options.

  • Luxury Accommodation: For a luxurious stay, explore upscale hotels with river views or historic charm. Options include Hotel Park, Sheraton Novi Sad, or Hotel Leopold I.


Where To Stay In Niš:

Situated in southern Serbia, Niš is known for its rich history, ancient monuments, and vibrant cultural scene.

  • Budget Accommodation: Look for budget hotels or hostels in the city center or near attractions like Niš Fortress. Examples include Hotel Zenith or Hostel Marvel.

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: Consider hotels with modern amenities and convenient locations. Hotels such as Best Western Hotel My Place or New City Hotel & Restaurant offer good mid-range options.

  • Luxury Accommodation: While Niš has fewer luxury options compared to Belgrade or Novi Sad, you can still find upscale hotels like Ambasador Hotel or Hotel Tami Residence.


These are just a few options, and Serbia has many other regions and accommodations to explore. Make sure to research and book accommodations in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.


Booking.com consistently return the cheapest rates for accommodation in Serbia. For longer stays, find unique homes worldwide on Holiday Swap, the most affordable travel platform that allows you to book homes anytime, anywhere in only a few clicks.

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