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Holidays in Serbia

Understanding Serbia

Serbia is a lovely country, open for tourism all year round In summer tourists love spending their time in Belgrade and enjoy the nature of many national parks throughout the country In winter tourists are warmly welcomed to mountain resorts one of the most popular being Kopaonik featured on BBC as one of the best ski destinations in Europe There are also many spa resorts such as Sokobanja, Niška Banja and Vrnjačka Banja

Serbs are warm people especially towards tourists Most Serbs speak some English seniors, however, are more likely to speak German and/or French, so you will be able to find your way around by asking directions Most tourists come to Serbia in the summer and you can often hear German, Italian, French and English in the streets of Belgrade, while Slovenian tourists pour for New Year holidays

Yugoslavia was such a beautiful country with so many different attractive places that somehow Serbia was neglected and it is still to be rediscovered not only by visitors but by many Serbs too It is also a varied and beautiful place notwithstanding the fact that it is landlocked From the plains of Vojvodina which in winter remind of the scenes from the film of Dr Zhivago to many mountains and lakes or reservoirs and ski resorts of outstanding beauty

There are seventeen Roman Emperors born in the territory of today's Serbia and it is well known that they all left monuments and built palaces in or close to their birthplaces It may well be that the oldest ever found human settlements in Europe if not in the World can be found in country of Serbia The longest stretch of the river Danube, longer than in any other European country is in Serbia The giant hydroelectric dam of Djerdap has created a lake stretching for many miles out of the Canyon Djerdap with its famous Roman road to the East build by the Emperor Trajan Serbia is on the crossroads of European history and as such it is a mix of cultures, ethnicity and religions Its people contrary to 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 It hosted the recent Eurovison song contest and it is the home town of world names like Djokovic, Jankovic and Ivanovic; the ambassadors of New Serbia There may be more attractive locations elsewhere but Serbia has a spirit and a soul that is rare to find coupled with melange of different cultures and a gusto for good living

Climate

In the north: continental climate cold winters and hot, humid summers with well distributed rainfall; central portion: moderate continental climate; to the south: hot, dry summers and autumns and relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall

Geography

Extremely varied; to the north, rich fertile plains; to the east, limestone ranges and basins; to the southeast, ancient mountains and hills Although the region around the town of Mionica has been known for some earthquakes in recent years, these were by no means destructive

Highest point 
Đeravica 2,656 m

History

The first Serbian state was formed in the mid 9th century, expanding by the mid 14th century to an empire comprising most of the Balkans In 1389, Serbs lost a decisive battle in the Kosovo field against Ottoman empire Serbia managed to preserve its freedom for another seventy years only to be finally overwhelmed by the Turks in 1459 An uprising in the early 1800s that grew in the full scale war War of Restoration led to the restoration of Serbian independence in 1815

The 1914 Austro-Hungarian invasion of Serbia following the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand by an ethnic Serb high school student precipitated the first World War In its aftermath,in 1918, victorious Serbia gatherd all south Slav lands Croatia, Slovenia, Slavonia, Dalmatia, Bosnia and Herzegowina, and Montenegrointo the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes; The country's name was changed to Yugoslavia in 1929 Invasion and occupation by Germany and Italy in 1941 was resisted by Yugoslav Army in fatherland Chetniks, commanded by Lt-Gen Dragoljub Mihajlović and communist led guerilla partisans who eventually started fighting each other as well as the invaders The partisans, commanded by Field-Marshal Josip Broz Tito emerged victorious and formed a provisional governement that abolished monarchy and proclaimed republic in 1946 after a dubious referendum At the end of the war nearly all ethnic Germans left the country Although pro-Communist, JB Tito's new government successfully steered its own delecate path between the Warsaw Pact nations and the West for the next four and a half decades

In the early 1990s, post-Tito Yugoslavia began to unravel along ethnic lines: Slovenia, Croatia, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia all split from the Yugoslav Union in 1991; and Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992 All of efforts to preserve Yugoslavia were ultimately unsuccessful and bloody civil wars broke out in Croatia and in Bosnia The remaining republics of Serbia and Montenegro declared a new "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" FRY in 1992 Slobodan Milosevic was elected the first president of Serbia In the late 1990s, the conflict with the Albanian separatist movement in Kosovo led to a NATO bombing campaign and direct intervention, which left the placement of Kosovo under UN administration Slobodan Milosevic, by this time elected for the president of the federation, lost Federal elections in the fall of 2000 to Vojislav Kostunica The country reestablished its membership in the OUN and started preparations to join the EU In 2002, the republics of Serbia and Montenegro began negotiations to forge a looser relationship, which led first to the name change of the nation to "Serbia and Montenegro", then culminated in Montenegro declaring independence in June 2006 More recently Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence, however this act remains unrecognised by Serbia and most other countries

Independence 
4 February 2003 when changed from Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, 5 June 2006 from State Union of Serbia and Montenegro to Serbia
National holidays

January 1 - 2 New Year's Day, January 7 Eastern Orthodox Christmas, January 14 National Holiday Orthodox New Year, January 27 Saint Sava's feast Day, February 15 Sretenje / Groundhog Day Candlemas / Serbian National Day, May 1 - 2 Labour Day, May 9 Victory Day, June 28 Vidovdan / St Vitus Day

Money

Serbia's official currency is the Serbian Dinar RSD The Serbian dinar can be exchanged in most of the banks throughout the Europe However, it is best to convert at the airport even though the rate there tends to be a bit higher or in the banks located in the towns or in the numerous and visibly marked authorized exchange offices Euro is occasionally being accepted, but prices are often overestimated when directly compared to the Dinar Belgrade is typically on pair with many European cities prices, however, outside the capital prices of almost any item are lot lower when compared to the capital Typically, 150 Dinars for a coke in a Belgrade bar, and 220 Dinars for 3 cokes in a bar outside the capital On July 2010 the exchange rate stood at 83 Serbian Dinars for 1 US Dollar, and 104 Serbian Dinars for €1

Talking in Serbia

Languages: Serbian the majority, also Hungarian in the north

English is commonly spoken throughout Serbia and the younger people tend to have excellent command They are also quite willing to practice it with foreigners Also you can try with young people talking German, French, Russian,Spanish or Italian which are taught in Serbian schools

The Serbian language similar to Croatian and Bosnian Before the era of nationalist linguistic policies and the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, they were all known as Serbo-Croatian Today people in the former Yugoslavia no longer use this general term for what remains a common language

If you speak Russian it can prove to be occasionally helpful for you Even though Serbia has never been politically involved in any way with Russia, the two languages have some similarities This also includes all other slavic languages, especially Bulgarian and Macedonian

In Vojvodina most people speak Serbian, but other languages are also used In some towns near the Hungarian boarder you are more likely to hear Hungarian There are many smaller minorities, like the Slovaks, the Romanians, Romani people and the Russians, etc who often speak their native languages

What to see in Serbia

There are two rivers which go through Belgrade: The Sava and Danube There are a lot of old buildings on all four banks, including a huge fortress Kalemegdan, that has been built, modelled and remodelled by Celts, Romans, Byzantins, Serbs, Austrians and Turks over more than 2,000 years It has a multitude of various towers and ports, and two long walking/biking paths along both rivers

Medieval orthodox monasteries – Studenica, Manasija, Žiča, Ravanica Excellent opportunity to see part of Serbian history If you are interested in art, there are excellent fresco masterpieces Recommendaion – “Beli Anđeo” White Angel fresco in Mileseva monastery


  • Petrovaradin Fortress is one of the greatest and preserved XVIII century fortress in Europe Adjacent to Novi Sad

What to do in Serbia

Ada Ciganlija is also an excellent place to kick back and relax during summer It is as locals call it the sea of Belgrade A lot of sport fields and courts soccer, basketball, golf, volleyball, etc Cafes serving ice cream and beer abound on the banks of this lake-beach park

Favorite leisure activity in Belgrade is drinking coffee in numerous bars, bistros and cafés especially in Strahinjića Bana street, which is known locally as Silicon Valley as it is frequented by loud, vulgar and surgically-enhanced folksingers along with their hangers-on and wannabes It is very strange, but most of places are occupied all day long - ie, within working hours You should check: Downtown café, Buka bar, Movie bar, Iron café, Biblioteka café, Monza café-boat, Bibis café-boat, and many more; People who are not in the folk and MTV music, and don't like to drink overpriced coffee, should avoid this street There are coffee bars on almost every corner in Belgrade, which offer more relaxed atmosphere and are designed with more taste that those in Strahinjića Bana street

Smederevo is a town about 50 km from Belgrade There are direct bus lines almost every half an hour and it takes about one hour to get there from Belgrade It is considered as the unofficial rock 'n' roll capitol of Serbia because of its many rock musicians and bands who live there or were born there See the largest lowland medieval fortress in Europe especially at night when its lights give a special romantic and mystical atmosphere or go to a rock concert at "Moto Club Street Fighter" which is located at the very bank of the Danube At the end of September the town hosts a traditional festival called "Smederevska Jesen" Smederevo Autumn which is a festival of vine and Serbian culture with many concerts and other happenings During the festival there is a carnival located at the end of the town but AVOID IT because it's loud and crowded and basically there's nothing to see or do Just stay in the town center Museum of Smederevo holds a lot of Roman and medieval items and collections so for history lovers it's a must-see

Festivals and nightlife

EXIT festival – Biggest music festival in SE Europe, that is happening in the beginning of July, in Novi Sad, on Petrovaradin fortress 25

Belgrade Beer Fest, which takes place at Ušće every August 26

Belgrade is very famous for its whole-night-party clubs If you are looking for a place to feel the local atmosphere and good vibes, visit bohemian street “Skadarlija” Please have a look at the Belgrade article for further options

New Year's Eve

Restaurants, clubs, cafe's and hotels are usually full-booked and organize New Years celebrations with food and live music

However, Serbian New Year's celebrations are most known for the outdoors festivities in Belgrade, and several other major cities such as Novi Sad, Niš and Jagodina As of mid-December, cities are extensively decorated and lit The decorations remain until way into January due to the persistent influence of the old, Julian calendar Throughout the region, especially amongst former Yugoslav republics, Belgrade is known as the place to be for major parties, concerts and happenings It has become common for large groups of Slovene's to visit their former capital and celebrate the beginning of a new year Especially since the mid-nineties, street celebrations grew into mass gatherings with hundreds of thousands of people, celebrating New Year on one of several locations throughout Belgrade

Also, on January 14th Serbians celebrate so called Serbian New Year, which is actually New Year's Eve by Eastern Church calender In the night between January 13th and 14th you can actually re-live New Year's Eve

Buying stuff in Serbia

Serbia uses the dinar RSD, динар, pl dinara/динара Coins come in values of 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 dinars, and banknotes are found in values of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, and 5000 dinars The banknotes, at least in Belgrade, tend to be more common than the coins, so be prepared to carry around a large number of banknotes in varying conditions

Downtown Belgrade is populated with many high-end as well as midrange shops "Knez Mihailova" is the biggest shopping street, but there are also quite a few shopping malls, such as Delta City and Ušće Shopping Center Imported western food is available in many supermarkets, especially in the Croatian-owned "Idea" In nearly all Serbian pharmacies apoteka you can buy prescription drugs without prescription

Prices tend to be on par with the rest of the Balkans

Food and eating in Serbia

When ordering a burger ask for 'pljeskavica' pronounced approximately: PYES-ka-vitsa ask for kajmak like mildly sour cream pronounced: KAI-mak it tastes way better than it sounds Stepin Vajat and Duff at Autokomanda, Loki in downtown area and Iva in Žarkovo are the best grill fast food restaurants in town Also try ćevapi or ćevapčići pronounced: chay-VAH-pee, chay-VAP-chitchee, they are small parcels of minced meat, grilled with hot spices It is considered a local fast food delicacy Highly recommended to carnivores

Burek pronounced BOO-rek, sometimes decribed as the Balkan equivalent of McDonalds due to its being sold everywhere, is very delicious It is made with a range of fillings including meat, cheese, spinach, apple, cherry Not for dieters as it is quite oily Morning is definitely the best time to eat this sometimes sold-out by afternoon

  • Kiflice KEE-flitsayare lovely little crescent rolls
  • Paprikaš PAP-rik-ahsh - stew with paprika often with chicken
  • Gulaš GOO-lash - stew with paprika with beef
  • Sarma SAR-ma cabbage rolls, similar to dolmades but made with sauerkraut instead of vine leaves
  • Gibanica GHEE-ban-itsa - phillo pie with spinach and cheese or just cheese like spanakopita or tiropita in Greece
  • Punjene Paprike - stuffed peppers POON-yennay PAP-rik-ay
  • Pohovane Paprike PO-ho-vah-nay PAP-rik-ay - paprika rolled in soya oil and wheat flower and fried in sunflower oil, for vegetarians
  • Pasulj - PAS-ooy - beans -a national specialty Often cooked for a long time with onion and paprika Delicious
  • Riblja čorba - RIB-yah CHOR-ba Fish soup using freshwater catch
  • Roštilj ROSH-teel - barbecue - the most delicious food in the world
  • Prebranac pre-BRAH-nats - is for vegetarians It's cooked and roasted beans with various spices and vegetables Usually completely meat free
  • Alva - a sweet of Turkish origin Made of sugar and nuts
  • Proja PRO-ya - a type of corn bread with white cheese A national specialty

Drinking in Serbia

  • Rakija excellent brandy that has many flavours, like plum pronounce like SHLYEE-va, quince DOO-nyah, apricot KAI-see-yah - You should know that some prestigious brand of rakija can be extremely expensive like Žuta Osa ZHOO-tah O-sah which means Yellow Wasp or Viljamovka VEE-lyam-ovka made of pear of the sort william , the most expensive and the most quality ones have a pear fruit in the bottle
  • Loza from grapes, a type of rakija
  • Voda = Water
  • Slivovitza the national brandy of Serbia, and the most common type of Rakija, very popular, variably strong alcoholic beverage
  • Beer I believe that Jelen Deer and Lav Lion are the two best varieties of Serb beer, although Nikšićko from neighbouring Montenegro also seems very popular

Tap water is perfectly safe to drink, and mainly of a good quality, too There are also many springs and fountains with excellent-quality drinking water - the most popular ones being the fountain on Knez Mihailova in Belgrade, and the many fountains in the city of Nis One must pay attention when it comes to water in Vojvodina Some regions Kikinda, Zrenjanin have heavily polluted water, that is not even used for cooking, only as technical water

Accommodation in Serbia

Hotels of all types are available throughout the Kingdom Most tourist cities ie Makkah, Medina, Taif, Al Abha will also have very affordable and spacious shigka-maafroosha short-term furnished rental apartments Shigka-maafroosha owners generally loiter in hotel lobbies Often, they will approach civilized-looking people generally families and make an offer Prices for shigka-mafrooshas and small hotels are always negotiable to a great degree Smaller hotels will only accept cash, normally in advance

Larger, more expensive hotels are abundant in all major cities After the lull caused by the insurgency in 2003, prices have been rising again, and you can expect to pay north of US$200 for a weekday night at a good hotel in any of the big Saudi cities In exchange, you usually get excellent service and the ability to work around some restrictions eg restaurants that stay open through prayer hours and daytime room service during Ramadan

Working in Serbia

There are quite a few jobs for expatriates in Saudi Arabia While the pay is good, foreigners often find that the strictly Muslim society and the near-total lack of employees' rights makes the country a most difficult place to work and live

To get a working visa, you must have a Saudi sponsor Then to get an exit visa, you need your sponsor's signature This can lead to major problems

Cities in Serbia

ada  aleksinac  alibunar  apatin  arandelovac  arilje  azanja  babusnica  bac  backa palanka  backa topola  backi jarak  backi petrovac  backo gradiste  backo petrovo selo  badovinci  bajina basta  bajmok  baljevac  banatski karlovac  banatsko novo selo  banja koviljaca  barajevo  baric  batocina  bavaniste  becej  bela crkva  bela palanka  belgrade  beli potok  beocin  beska  bezdan  bogatic  bogovina  bolec  boljevac  bor  borca  bosilegrad  brus  brza palanka  brzi brod  bujanovac  cacak  cajetina  cantavir  celarevo  cicevac  coka  crepaja  crvenka  cuprija  curug  despotovac  dimitrovgrad  dobanovci  dolovo  donja vrezina  donji komren  donji milanovac  durdevo  futog  gnjilane  gornji milanovac  grdelica  grocka  guca  horgos  indija  irig  ivanjica  jagodina  jakovo  jasa tomic  josanicka banja  kacarevo  kac  kaluderica  kanjiza  karavukovo  kisac  kladovo  kljajicevo  klupci  koceljeva  kosjeric  kosovo polje  kosovska mitrovica  kostolac  kovacica  kovilj  kovin  kragujevac  kraljevo  krupanj  krusevac  kucevo  kucura  kula  kursumlija  kusadak  lacarak  lajkovac  lapovo  lazarevac  lebane  leskovac  lesnica  lestane  ljig  ljubovija  loznica  loznicko polje  lozovik  lucani  macvanska mitrovica  majdanpek  majur  mali idos  mali zvornik  mataruska banja  medveda  melenci  mionica  mladenovac  mokrin  mol  negotin  nis  nova pazova  nova varos  novi banovci  novi becej  novi knezevac  novi pazar  novi sad  obrenovac  odzaci  omoljica  opovo  orahovac  osecina  ostruznica  ovca  padina  padinska skela  palic  pancevo  paracin  pec  petrovac  petrovaradin  pinosava  pirot  pocerski pricinovic  podujevo  pozarevac  pozega  predejane  presevo  priboj  prigrevica  prijepolje  pristina  prizren  prokuplje  raca  radinac  raska  resavica  ribnica  ripanj  rudovci  ruma  rumenka  rusanj  ruski krstur  sabac  sajkas  senta  sevojno  sid  sivac  sjenica  smederevo  smederevska palanka  sombor  sonta  sopot  srbobran  sremcica  sremska kamenica  sremska mitrovica  sremski karlovci  stanisic  stara moravica  stara pazova  starcevo  stari banovci  subotica  surcin  surdulica  svilajnac  svrljig  temerin  titel  topola  trstenik  tutin  ub  ugrinovci  umka  urosevac  uzice  valjevo  velika plana  veliki crljeni  veliki trnovac  veliko gradiste  veternik  vinca  vladicin han  vlasotince  vojka  vranje  vranjska banja  vrbas  vrcin  vrnjacka banja  vrsac  vucje  zabalj  zajecar  zitiste  zlatibor  zrenjanin  zvecka  

What do you think about Serbia?

How expensive is Serbia?
(1 RSD = 0.01 USD)
Meal in inexpensive restaurant509.92 RSD
3-course meal in restaurant (for 2)2.22 RSD
McDonalds meal414 RSD
Local beer (0.5 draft)131.6 RSD
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 165.6 RSD
Cappuccino123.31 RSD
Pepsi/Coke (0.33 bottle)141.64 RSD
Water (0.33 bottle)77.15 RSD
Milk (1l)100.86 RSD
Fresh bread (500g)44.49 RSD
White Rice (1kg)140.09 RSD
Eggs (12) 166.97 RSD
Local Cheese (1kg) 566.93 RSD
Chicken Breast (1kg) 604.09 RSD
Apples (1kg) 94.37 RSD
Oranges (1kg) 105.21 RSD
Tomato (1kg) 123.23 RSD
Potato (1kg) 56.81 RSD
Lettuce (1 head) 46.82 RSD
Water (1.5l)46.45 RSD
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 360 RSD
Domestic Beer (0.5 bottle)70.26 RSD
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 88.35 RSD
Cigarettes276.75 RSD
One way local bus ticket70.56 RSD
Monthly pass for bus3.32 RSD
Taxi start134.22 RSD
Taxi 1km71.76 RSD
Taxi 1hour waiting594.94 RSD
Gasoline (1 liter) 169.38 RSD
Utilities for a "normal" apartment13.58 RSD
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 800.6 RSD
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 22.18 RSD
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 15.5 RSD
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 32.64 RSD
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 27.53 RSD
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