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  • Overview

    Those who are looking for a unique holidaydestination will find Serbia extremely welcoming. Formerly part ofYugoslavia, Serbia has been plagued by civil war and ethnicviolence, and was once one of the more politically turbulentcountries in Eastern Europe. Today, lively locals welcome visitorsto their proud country, where historical and cultural influenceshave merged to create a unique Serbian charm.

    The capital city of Belgrade, still scarred by thedevastation of a long civil war, is lauded mainly for its vibrantnightlife. Although being one of Europe's most ancient capitalsthat has seen Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires rise and fall,it boasts plenty of interesting sites.

    Serbia encompasses beautiful national parks, sparesorts, and some of the best skiing in Europe. The landscape ofthis verdant country includes alpine meadows, impenetrable forests,mountain lakes, glittering limestone caves, hot springs, and remotemonasteries. The magnificent Djerdap National Park, stretchingalong the right bank of the Danube River between Golubackigrad andthe Sip Dam, is definitely not to be missed, and the Djerdap Gorgeis one of Europe's most spectacular geographic features.

    During the winter months, those in the know head forthe mountains along the Ibar Highway to the snow-blanketed peaksaround the village of Kopaonik. Developing a reputation as one ofEurope's cheapest and cosiest ski resorts, it is ideal forbeginners and intermediates, and also features the Josanicka Banjaspa. Once defined by its dark history, this Slavic enclave iswaiting to be re-discovered and explored by adventurous andfun-loving travellers.

    Kalemegdan

    Some of Belgrade's most popular attrations for visitors areconcentrated on the rocky ridge of Kalemegdan, site of the originalfortified city, which overlooks the confluence of the Sava andDanube rivers. The neighbourhood is now split into two beautifulparks, namely the Great and Little Park, and play host toBelgarade's ancient fortress, a zoo, art pavilion, observatory,planetarium, a Roman well, the Military Museum and some lovelywalks. Throughout the year, a rand of sporting, cultural and artsevents are held in Kalemedgdam and it is a popular attractionsamongst Belgraders and visitors of all ages.

    Address: Accessed from the Knez Mihailova and UzunMirkova
    Belgrade Fortress Belgrade Fortress Erwan Martin
    Royal Palace

    The Royal Palace in Belgrade has become a popular touristattraction, boasting elegant salons, breathtaking artworks andmagnificent décor. The palace was built between 1924 and 1929, andwas designed by architects Zivojin Nikolic and Nikolay Krassnoff inthe Serbian-Byzantine style. Beautiful gardens, pools and pavilionssurround the palace, which offer superb views of Koshutnjak Forestand Avala Mountain. Today, the Royal Palace is home to Crown PrinceAlexander and the Karadordevic royal family, it is open for publictours.

    Address: Corner of Kralja Milana and Dragoslava Jovanoviæastreets
    Website: www.dvor.rs
    Royal Palace Royal Palace Nikolazstankovic
    Temple of Saint Sava

    Dominating the skyline of Belgrade is the massive Temple ofSaint Sava, one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world. Thisremarkable domed building, with its white marble and granitefacade, is dedicated to the founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church.The Turks purportedly burnt medieval Saint Sava's remains on thissite in 1595. Although construction began in 1935, the churchremains incomplete, particularly the interior. Visitors are welcometo view the church, which is set in lovely gardens.

    Address: Vraèar plateau
    Temple of Saint Sava Temple of Saint Sava Michael Angelkovich
    Skadarlija Street

    Skadarlija Street is Belgrade's equivalent of Montmartre, thefamous bohemian neighbourhood in Paris, and is one of the mostpopular tourist spots in Belgrade. The pedestrianised precinct islined with restaurants and pubs, tables and festivity spilling ontocobbled pavements, and is the perfect place to sample the localspecialities. Enjoy a good beer and conversation; unearth somesouvenirs, art and antiques; or simply soak up the traditionalSerbian social scene.

    Skadarlija Street Skadarlija Street Zoran Zivotic
    National Museum of Serbia

    A must for any history buff or art lover, the National Museum ofSerbia in Belgrade houses a remarkable collection of more than400,000 items, from Old Masters to medieval and modern art, ancientcoins to architectural models. The artefacts are split into 34archaeological, numismatic, artistic and historical collections toform the most complete picture of Serbian culture and historyyou'll ever encounter.

    Address: Republic Square
    National Museum National Museum lucianf
    Residence of Princess Ljubica

    One of few surviving buildings from the first reign of PrinceMiloš Obrenović, the stately home of Princess Ljubica was builtbetween 1829 and 1831 as a royal private residence. The building isa a prime example of the unique Balkan architectural style,incorporating some Baroque elements, and the interior has beenpreserved to showcase the luxurious lifestyle of Belgrade's wealthyin the 19th century. The residence of Princess Ljubica is animportant icon of cultural heritage in the city, and is now part ofthe Belgrade City Museum.

    Address: Kneza Sime Markoviæa 8
    Residence of Princess Ljubica Residence of Princess Ljubica Nikola Cvetkovic

    Phrase Book

    English Pronounciation

    Serbia has a mostly continental climate with cold winters, longwarm summers and rainfall distributed evenly throughout the year.Snow can be expected in the northern and upland regions betweenNovember and March. The southern part of the country has a moreMediterranean influence with hot, dry summers.

    Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport
    Location: The airport is located about 11 miles (18km) fromBelgrade.
    Time: GMT +1 (GMT +2 from the last Sunday in March tothe last Sunday in October).
    Transfer Between Terminals: The terminals are connected by a hallway.
    Getting to the city: Travel time into the city centre is about 30 to 40 minutes bybus or taxi. A minibus line runs to the city, and costs RSD 300.Tickets are sold on the minibus. The PTC Belgrade Line 72 costs RSD89 when the ticket is bought at a kiosk. Taxis are freely availableat the airport.
    Car Rental: Numerous local and international car rental agencies arerepresented at the airport, including Avis, Budget, Hertz, Sixt,and Thrifty.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are freely available at the airport. Airport taxi faresare regulated according to city zones, and the fare to the citycentre is generally about RSD 1,400 for the 20 minute drive.Passengers are advised against using these taxis for areas outsideof Belgrade as charges are unreasonably high. Travellers shouldalso be wary of unlicensed drivers and touts who routinelyovercharge tourists.
    Fascilities: The airport features a bank and several bureaux de change, ATMs,and a business lounge. There are two restaurants, as well as cafesand snack bars. Several shops are available in the main hall andduty-free goods can be purchased beyond the passport control point.Several tourist information agencies have desks in the arrivalsarea, and the airport has excellent medical facilities.
    Parking The airport has covered and outdoor parking lots.
    Website: www.beg.aero
    Money:

    The currency of Serbia is the Serbian Dinar (RSD), which isdivided into 100 para. Dinars are not accepted in Kosovo, where theEuro is the official currency. Credit cards are accepted by most ofthe larger hotels and shops in Serbia. Pounds Sterling, US Dollarsand Euros are the most widely accepted currencies for exchange.ATMs in the cities usually accept international bank cards, but canbe hard to find in the more rural areas.

    Language:

    Serbian is the official language.

    Electricity:

    Electrical current is 220-230 volts, 50Hz. Two-pronground pin attachment plugs as well as Schuko plugs are inuse.

    Entry Requirements:

    Passports must be valid on arrival. No visa required for a stayof up to 90 days within a six month period. Extensions arepossible.

    Passports must be valid on arrival. No visa required for a stayof up to 90 days within a six month period. Extensions arepossible.

    Passports must be valid on arrival. No visa required for amaximum stay of 90 days within a six month period. Extensions arepossible.

    Passports must be valid on arrival. No visa required for amaximum stay of up to 90 days within a six month period. Extensionsare possible.

    South Africans require a passport valid on arrival. No visarequired for passengers with a visa issued by Switzerland, USA oran EEA Member State for a maximum stay of 90 days within a sixmonth period. The visa must be valid for the period of intendedstay.

    Passports must be valid on arrival. No visa required for amaximum stay of up to 90 days within a six month period. Extensionsare possible.

    Passports must be valid on arrival. No visa required for a stayof up to 90 days within a six month period. Extensions arepossible.

    Passports must be valid on arrival. No visa required for amaximum stay of up to 90 days within a six month period. Extensionsare possible.

    Passport/Visa Note:Visa:

    All visitors require a valid passport. Visitors may be requestedto show a return or onward ticket, documents for the nextdestination and sufficient funds in hard currency to finance theirstay. Anyone staying longer than three days must register via ahotel or sponsor. Entry to Serbia via Pristina Airport, Kosovo, maycarry a different set of requirements, which visitors to Kosovomust check before travelling. It is highly recommended thatpassports have at least six months validity remaining after yourintended date of departure from your travel destination.Immigration officials often apply different rules to those statedby travel agents and official sources.

    Travel Health:

    Recommended vaccinations for visitors to Serbia are Hepatitis Aand typhoid (except for very short-term visitors who restrict theirmeals to major restaurants and hotels). A reciprocal healthcareagreement entitles British nationals to free emergency treatment inSerbia, but due to the very basic standard of medical facilities,comprehensive travel health insurance is strongly recommended forall visitors. Tap water and unbottled beverages should not beconsumed, and food should be well prepared and well cooked. Casesof rabid foxes and dogs have been reported in parks and theoutskirts of major cities. In the countryside, visitors should takethe necessary precautions to prevent tick bites.

    Tipping:

    Tipping is not obligatory in Serbian restaurants, but if you aresatisfied with the service then leave a 10 to 15 percent tip. Atbars and with taxis leave a tip by rounding off the amount.

    Safety Information:

    Most visits to Serbia are trouble free, but it is wise to takesensible precautions with valuables, as pick-pocketing, car theft,purse snatchings, and burglaries do occur in the larger cities.Protests occasionally occur in cities such as Belgrade, andtravellers are advised to keep informed of current events and avoidlarge gatherings, as demonstrations can quickly turn violent. Thosetravelling to the south and UN-administered Kosovo are advised tocheck the local situation before departing. Kosovo declaredindependence from Serbia in February 2008, a move that has beenrecognised by almost 40 countries including the US and most of theEU, but has been opposed by Serbia as an 'illegal act'.

    Local Customs:

    It is inadvisable to take photographs of any military or policebuildings, personnel or operations in Serbia or Kosovo.Homosexuality is tolerated, but open displays of affection betweensame-sex couples are frowned upon. Visitors should carry theirpassports at all times for identification purposes.

    Business:

    Serbian business people and entrepreneurs are westernised intheir approach to business dealings with foreigners. Keep in mindthat operations can go slowly due to cumbersome bureaucracy. MostSerbian professionals speak English, so it is not always necessaryto hire a translator or translate business cards. July and Augustare summer holidays and it is difficult to reach senior managementduring this period. Business hours are 8am to 4pm, Monday toFriday.

    Communications:

    The international direct dialling code for Serbia is +381. Theinternational code for dialling out of Serbia is 00 followed by therelevant country code (0044 for the United Kingdom). There arelocal area codes in use e.g. (0)11 for Belgrade. Wifi can be foundin hotels, some cafés, and public areas like libraries, and can beused to make free international calls.

    Duty Free:

    Visitors entering Serbia may bring the following goods withoutpaying customs duty: personal baggage, clothing and jewellery; 200cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars or 250g tobacco; 1 litre ofalcohol and 1 litre of wine; medicine and perfume or eau detoilette for personal use.

    Useful Contacts:

    National Tourist Organisation of Serbia, Belgrade: +381 11 6557100.

    Serbia Embassies:

    Embassy of the Republic of Serbia, Washington DC, United States:+1 202 332 0333.

    Embassy of the Republic of Serbia, London, United Kingdom (alsoresponsible for Ireland): +44 20 7235 9049.

    Embassy of the Republic of Serbia, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 2336289.

    Embassy of the Republic of Serbia, Pretoria, South Africa: +2712 460 5626.

    Embassy of the Republic of Serbia, Canberra, Australia (alsoresponsible for New Zealand): +61 2 9362 46 37.

    Foreign Embassies in Serbia :

    United States Embassy, Belgrade: +381 11 706 4000.

    British Embassy, Belgrade: +381 11 3060 900.

    Embassy of Canada, Belgrade: +381 11 306 3000.

    South African Embassy, Athens, Greece (also responsible forSerbia): + 30 210 617 8020.

    Australian Embassy, Belgrade: +381 11 330 3400.

    Honorary Consul of Ireland, Belgrade: +381 11 263 7667.

    Serbia Emergency Numbers : 192 (Police), 193 (Fire), 194 (Ambulance)
    Serbia