Serbia Travel Guide
The 20th century saw Serbia included in the socialist federation known as Yugoslavia with the Serbian capital, Belgrade, as the capital of Yugoslavia. After the break-up of Yugoslavia, Serbia was in a union with Montenegro until 2006 when Montenegro voted for independence. In 2008 the autonomous region of Kosovo declared independence from Serbia. Independent Kosovo is recognised by over 100 countries, including my own, but not by Serbia. Allowing the locals to vent the Serbian viewpoint on Kosovo and the 1999 NATO bombings will make for a very interesting conversation.
Visa: I entered Serbia through Nikola Tesla airport in Belgrade and as an Irish/EU citizen was allowed to visit Serbia visa-free for up to 90 days. Travellers must register with the police within 24 hours. Hotels will do this automatically but in private accommodation ask the host in advance if they will do this for you upon arrival.
Language: Serbian is similar to other Slavic languages such as Bosnian and Croatian. The Cyrillic alphabet is used a lot so learning it will enhance your independent travel experience. Young people took the opportunity to practice English with me and all tour guides I encountered were fluent English speakers.
Currency: The Serbian Dinar. I could not find any dinars in Ireland prior to my visit but there is an ATM machine in the baggage retrieval hall of Nikola Tesla airport in Belgrade.
A to B: Belgrade is a travel hub for the Balkans and excellent national and international transport options are available. Whilst discounts are given for return journeys you must return with the same company you travelled on the outbound journey with. The Central Bus Station in Belgrade is as organised as it is busy. You will be given a turnstile token along with your ticket to access the bus concourse.
Railway lines span out from Belgrade to the rest of the country. Belgrade was a stop on Simplon-Orient Express rail route and is now the start point of the spectacular Belgrade to Bar railway line.
Accommodation: I used Airbnb but found it difficult to find a suitable non-smoking private room – Like all Balkan countries smoking is a national past-time in Serbia. Increasing my budget by an extra few euros a night left me with a wide selection of excellent apartments.
SAFETY & SECURITY
I found Serbia to be a safe country for solo female travellers and experienced no problems there.