First time in Belgrade
If you are coming for the first time in Belgrade, here you will learn everything you need to have a perfect time in White City. I will focus on some basic, but very important tips that are essentials to plan your trip to Serbia and Belgrade.
Serbia is a typical Balkan country and you should check out these general tips before you go, including also some unique aspects to traveling here that you should be aware of to make your trip go as efficiently and safely as possible.
Despite the fact that Serbia is not part of the EU or the Schengen Zone, many tourists can visit Serbia without asking for a visa in advance.
USA citizens, Canadians, Mexicans, and most Europeans can stay in Serbia for ninety days free visa. Many other countries can visit Serbia obtaining thirty days visa free. Most of visitors from Africa continent (exception of Tunisia), will need to apply for a tourist visa ahead of time.
Currency in Serbia
The official currency in Serbia is the Serbian Dinar. Exchange rate for Euro, USA Dollar and British Pound on July 2019 is: ( 1 Euro = 117 Serbian Dinar | 1 USA $ = 104 Serbian Dinar | 1 GBP = 130 Serbian Dinar ) You can also google and look for exchange rate at National Bank of Serbia.
When you coming for the first time in Belgrade, have some cash with you. My advice is bring few small Euro, USA $ or GBP notes. It can be practical for first expenses like taxi, especially if you coming by night and cannot find immediately exchange office or bank.
Important note: The Serbian Dinar is a closed currency so you cannot change it when you get out. Let this be a warning to all those who have leftover Dinars on their last day in Serbia.
More info about Serbia money, using your credit ATM’s and credit cards, or about the best place to Exchange money, you are going to find n this page!
Language in Serbia
The official language is Serbia is Serbian. It makes part of the south Slavic language group. During the period of Ex Yugoslavia it was used expression Serbo-Croatian language, as between Serbian and Croatian language there aren’t significant differences.
The difference lies in the alphabet, as in Croatia Latin alphabet is in use while in Serbia applies Cyrillic alphabet. Serbia also uses Latin letters very often.
The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet (Serbian: српска ћирилица/srpska ćirilica), is an adaptation of the Cyrillic script for Serbo-Croatian, developed in 1818 by Serbian linguist Vuk Karadžić.
What about English? I must say you will be surprised how common is English. Younger people speak very good English. If you take a tour, all tour guides speak perfect English. English is also implemented in almost all tourist signs making movements between landmarks simple.
Serbian Sim Cards
Coming for the first time in Belgrade you should decide on buying a sim card just for time you are in Serbia. In Serbia there are three licensed mobile operators – Telenor, MTS, and Vip.
Why should you buy Serbian sim card? If you have an American or Canadian phone it’s probably locked. You should contact your provider to unlock your before your trip.
Another reason is that Serbia doesn’t follow EU’s International Roaming Rate caps as not being the EU member. You can use international roaming from the United States or Canada, but it’s slower and more expensive than buying in Belgrade directly.
Which cell phone companies have the best coverage? VIP has the best coverage for web browsing in all areas including large cities like Belgrade, small cities, and on roads.
How much does Serbia sim card cost? If you have an unlocked phone I suggest to purchase a SIM card at VIP operator. It costs about 300 dinars (approximately $3 USD) for a one-week prepaid package with 4 gigs of data and 1000 minutes. Many found VIP cell service across the country to be excellent particularly in Belgrade.
Where to buy sim card in Belgrade? You can buy a sim card either at the kiosks around town or at the actual three licensed mobile operators store. Buying in the store is recommended as the entire process only took about fifteen minutes and you’ll be assisted by excellent service in perfect English.
The best place to buy sim card in Belgrade is Knez Mihajlova street. There you’ll find VIP operator store. To purchase it you won’t be asked for any kind of document. Important note: Don’t leave the store until you check that your data is working.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!
Make sure you always travel to Serbia with a valid travel insurance policy. While the country is safe, accidents can happen anywhere. If you experience an accident or theft, travel insurance will help you recover your costs and enjoy the rest of your trip. Get a quote here!
Kosovo - Don’t Talk About It
Kosovo is the Achilles’s heel of Serbia. While Serbia exists , Kosovo will never be recognized as an independent state. Kosovo is the part of Serbia. When you visit Serbia, try to avoid any discussion about Kosovo.
Just listen and learn from local people perspective. Things are more complicated than you expect. If it happens to talk about Kosovo, avoid referring to Kosovo as a ‘country’. Just, coming for the first time in Belgrade do not enter into any discussion concerning Kosovo!
From my point of view, even the locals are not very inclined to talk about the Kosovo problem. Many trust the current government to resolve this uncertainty regarding status of Kosovo.