Serbia travel info

Electricity

Electrical current is 220-230 volts, 50Hz. Two-prong round pin attachment plugs as well as Schuko plugs are in use.

Language

Serbian is the official language.

Money

The currency of Serbia is the Serbian dinar (RSD), which is divided into 100 para. Dinars are not accepted in Kosovo, where the euro is the official currency. Credit cards are accepted by most of the larger hotels and shops in Serbia. Pounds sterling, US dollars and euros are the most widely accepted currencies for exchange. ATMs in the cities usually accept international bank cards, but can be hard to find in the more rural areas.

Tipping

Tipping is not obligatory in Serbian restaurants, but if patrons are satisfied with the service, a 10 to 15 percent tip will be appreciated. At bars and with taxis, it's fine to leave a tip by rounding off the amount.

Health

All eligible travellers should be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, and visitors should consider vaccines for hepatitis A, hepatitis B and tick-borne encephalitis. Air pollution levels can be high, especially in winter, as heavy smoke from coal and wood burning heaters can stay in the air, and accidental release of toxic matter from factories is common. Travellers who have asthma or any other breathing difficulties should speak to their doctor before visiting. A reciprocal healthcare agreement entitles British nationals to free emergency treatment in Serbia but, due to a widespread shortage of medicines and other essentials, comprehensive travel health insurance is strongly recommended for all visitors. Tap water and unbottled beverages should not be consumed.

Safety

Most visits to Serbia are trouble free, but it is wise to take sensible 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, and travellers are advised to keep informed of current events and avoid large gatherings, as demonstrations can quickly turn violent. Those travelling to the south and UN-administered Kosovo are advised to check the local situation before departing. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008, a move that has been recognised by almost 40 countries including the US and most of the EU, but has been opposed by Serbia as an 'illegal act'.

Local customs

Serbians are generally very hospitable people and often enjoy visiting and chatting with others. There is a strong coffee culture throughout the country, and kissing is a common form of greeting for both men and women.

Homosexuality is tolerated, but open displays of affection between same-sex couples are frowned upon. Visitors should carry their passports at all times for identification purposes, and should avoid taking photographs of any military or police buildings, personnel or operations in Serbia or Kosovo.

Doing business

Business people usually greet by shaking hands, maintaining eye contact and introducing themselves when entering the room, regardless of gender. The convention when greeting senior figures is to refer to them by their professional title, such as director, though other colleagues may be addressed by their first name. Business cards are common and often exchanged without any formal ritual; most Serbian professionals speak English, so it is not always necessary to hire a translator or translate business cards.

Decisions are often made without consultation, and managers are not always strictly required to provide an explanation as to why a decision was reached. Business relationships are valued and many Serbian businesses may prioritise them over business matters. As a result, several meetings may occur before business details are confirmed. Operations can go slowly due to cumbersome bureaucracy, so it is a good idea to allow more time for deadlines. July and August are summer holidays and it is difficult to reach senior management during this period. Business hours are 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Duty free

Visitors entering Serbia may bring the following goods without paying customs duty: personal baggage, clothing and jewellery; 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars or 250g tobacco; 1 litre of alcohol and 1 litre of wine; medicine and perfume or eau de toilette for personal use.

Communications

The international direct dialling code for Serbia is +381. WiFi can be found in hotels, restaurants and some cafes; visitors can purchase local prepaid SIM cards for unlocked phones.

Passport & Visa

All visitors require a valid passport. Visitors may be requested to show a return or onward ticket, documents for the next destination and sufficient funds to finance their stay. Entry to Serbia via Pristina Airport, Kosovo, may carry a different set of requirements, which visitors to Kosovo must check before travelling. It is highly recommended that travellers' passports have at least six months' validity remaining after the intended date of departure from their travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Entry requirements

US passports must be valid on arrival. No visa required for a stay of up to 90 days within a six month period.

UK passports must be valid for the duration of stay. No visa required for a stay of up to 90 days within a six month period. Extensions are possible.

Canadian passports must be valid for the duration of stay. No visa required for a maximum stay of 90 days within a six month period. Extensions are possible.

Australian passports must be valid on arrival. No visa required for a maximum stay of up to 90 days within a six month period. Extensions are possible.

South Africans require a passport valid on arrival. No visa required for passengers with a visa issued by Switzerland, USA or an EEA Member State for a maximum stay of 90 days within a six month period. The visa must be valid for the period of intended stay.

Irish passports must be valid on arrival. No visa required for a maximum stay of up to 90 days within a six month period. Extensions are possible.

New Zealand passports must be valid on arrival. No visa required for a maximum stay of up to 90 days within a six month period. Extensions are possible.

Useful contacts

National Tourist Organisation of Serbia, Belgrade: +381 11 655 7100.

192 (Police), 193 (Fire), 194 (Ambulance)

Embassies / consulates in other countries

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

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

Embassy of the Republic of Serbia, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 233 6289.

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

Embassy of the Republic of Serbia, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 12 460 5626.

Embassies / consulates 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.

Australian Embassy, Belgrade: +381 11 330 3400.

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

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