Shopping in Serbia

Before You Go

So you’ve made the decision to visit and do a tour in Serbia. Congratulations! You absolutely won’t regret it. The nation is one of the most underrated destinations on the planet, let alone Europe, and it won’t be long before the world opens its eyes to the majesty of Belgrade and its mother nation. Booking.com reveals that Serbia is among most welcoming countries on Earth, according to its 2018 Guest Review Awards.

Before visiting and touring in Serbia, it helps to know a little about the country to make your time there smoother. It’s worth remarking that we found it to be much easier to travel through relative to some other Eastern European countries. Still, here are some things to know before you go so that you make the most of your tours in Serbia.

First of all, Serbia is very safe, visa free and welcoming! Capital of Serbia is Belgrade and the second largest city is Novi Sad, only 80km away. Cyrillic (ćirilica) is the typical Serbian script, so you might be confused as many of the signs in Serbia are written in it. However, people in Serbia, especially younger people, tend to speak excellent English, so you’ll have no problem finding your way while you tour in Serbia.

Serbians are loud! They are a cheerful people who like to celebrate every occasion. And they don’t keep the joy for themselves but like to spread it and share it with others. This is one of the reasons why Serbs are so fun to be around. Without devolving too far into stereotypes, there is a certain casual atmosphere to many things in Serbia. Events tend to happen at a slower pace to which some visitors might be accustomed. For people traveling to Serbia that are used to brisk and hyper-efficient service, this could be frustrating. But the flip side is that there’s also a casual and social mindset that seems to pervade modern Serbian life.

The electrical connection: Serbia uses the same electrical outlets common across Europe and 220V. Unprepared tourist are oftentimes left with empty phones because they don’t know that Serbian outlets differ from theirs. While Serbian outlets are round and made for two circular plugs to enter. Just find a simple electrical converter. Problem solved!

Traditional food in Serbia contains a countless tastes and smells, much owing to the mixture of influences of various peoples who were just passing through or were living in this region. As is the case with the culture in general, food in Serbia is a fusion of different influences resulted in originality, so that today a rich Serbian table offers unforgettable tastes that can only be enjoyed in Serbia. Serbian cuisine is characterized by highly diverse, solid and moderately spicy food, which can be roughly described as a mixture of Greek, Bulgarian, Turkish and Hungarian cuisine. The use of meat, dough, vegetables and dairy products is predominant in it.

But as Serbs love their food, meat is indeed the focal point of traditional Serbian food. So, what can you expect to dine in Serbia?

  • Firstly, various types and forms of meat, soups, hearty stews and Serbian specialties such as the cevapi, sarma, Karađorđeva schnicel, stuffed peppers, etc. Then there are the spreads which have a huge role in Serbian cuisine. Try kajmak (cream cheese) and ajvar (roasted red pepper spread) – they WILL blow your mind!
  • In Serbia, be sure to start your day with burek – the typical Serbian breakfast. This layered pastry, either empty or filled with cheese, meat, spinach, paired with yoghurt is the ultimate breakfast combo. Or if you have a sweet tooth, burek with cherries or apple is gonna be your specialty.
  • Of course, you shouldn’t leave Serbia without taking a bite out of a pljeskavica. Pljeskavica is the Serbian hamburger and the thing that makes it different is the Swedish buffet of condiments such as the beloved Serbian onion, pickled cabbage, corn salad, spring or chicken salad, ketchup, sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard… The list goes on and on, believe it or not.
  • Prepare yourself for a foodie heaven before coming to Serbia!

DRINKS

Coffee is a BIG deal here. Whether it’s Turkish or Italian espresso or “Nescafe”, Serbians are hooked on coffee! Coffee is for Serbia what tea is for England. So, don’t be surprised if someone invites you to their house to have a coffee.

Apart from coffee which is the favorite daytime beverage in Serbia, there is the famous an alcohol drink - rakija. Rakija, Serbia’s moonshine, is a fruit brandy made usually from plum, pear, apricot, or peaches. In fact, Serbia’s national drink is Šljivovica or Slivovitz which is made from plums.

Here are some rakija facts that you need to bear in mind if you’re visiting Serbia:

  • The beginner’s choice should be medovača which is “softened” with honey.
  • Rakija is usually drank from tiny glass bottles called čokanjčići.
  • Instead of “Cheers!” In Serbia you say “Živeli!”
  • Don’t let your mouth drop if you see someone drinking this alcoholic drink for breakfast – Serbs consider this “morning cap” to be good for one’s health.
  • It’s pretty strong, which is why it’s always accompanied with a glass of water, and because of its “kick” it an acquired taste.

SAFETY

For all those who are coming to tour in Serbia – worry not! Considering doing tours in Serbia should be high on your list, because Serbia is generally a safe place to visit. The only thing you may need to worry about are pickpockets and that’s only in very crowded tourist places or on public transportation. Everything else crime-related is highly unusual.

The best thing is that in Serbia, the locals are very helpful and incredibly polite. Should you need any assistance all you need to do is ask. Literally anybody.

DO'S

We have to mention that Serbians like to have a good time. They know how to party! Belgrade and Novi Sad are especially known for their buzzing nightlife, with Belgrade even being named the city with the best nightlife by Lonely Planet. While traveling to Serbia, the only thing you have to choose is whether you want to have the time of your life in a bar, café, pub, club, river party barges or in the famous kafana.

However, having fun in Serbia doesn’t happen only during nighttime. There is so much to see in Serbia – sightsee! Serbia’s beauty comes from its amazing and unique natural beauties, stunning medieval castles and monasteries, charming traditional ethno villages, spas and resorts, archaeological sites and bustling cities, all of which can done while touring Serbia.

Tours in Serbia

MONEY

Please be aware that AliPay or other Chinese payments are still not accepted in Serbia. Currency exchange offices are everywhere in Novi Sad and you will not have problem getting some cash with you. It is recommended, while traveling in Serbia, to have some cash on you.

Serbian money is called dinars (RSD). You can get it at ATM, which is what we do since we get the best exchange rates. It likely won’t come as a huge surprise that visiting Serbia is a relatively affordable endeavor. This is due to a combination of a lower cost of living found throughout the Balkans. Despite Serbia being a somewhat advanced country in the Balkans, prices remain pretty good for most things. For instance, coffee could often cost less than 1€ and never topped 1.5€. Beer is also absurdly cheap (under 1€) and you should easily find meals for 5-10€.

Serbia doesn’t have a tipping culture but there are norms. In restaurants, it’s common to tip ten to fifteen percent. You won’t be able to leave a tip on your credit card at most places, so try to have small bills with you for these circumstances. If necessary, the restaurant will be able to give you change so you can leave a tip. In taxis (if paying with cash and not an app) just round up to the next hundred dinars. Do the same at bars and cafes.

With regards to accommodation, you can generally find budget-friendly private rooms for under 25€ (usually closer to 20€). Naturally, relative to the rest of the country, Belgrade will likely be the most expensive place you visit in Serbia. But it will still be affordable compared to most other European capitals.

LANGUAGE

The official language of Serbia is Serbian, a southern Slavic language. This naturally means that if you know another Slavic language you’ll have a good chance of communicating, even if some words are different.

If you do want to learn a little Serbian, which local people always appreciate, here are a few basic phrases to get you started.

They include Zdravo which means ‘Hello’; Hvala or Hvala lepo for ‘Thank you’; Izvinite for ‘Excuse Me’; Molim for ‘Please’; and Da and Ne for ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. If you say any of these words to your tour guide in Serbia, they will love you for it!

HISTORY

For instance, did you know that Belgrade was once a major Roman city? The city’s impressive fortress actually has direct ties to the Roman settlement of Singidunum. Archaeologists have found plenty of remnants of the Romans throughout the city and even found artifacts that pre-date the Romans by centuries.

Of course, much of the existing fortress dates from medieval times which speaks to another segment of Serbian history. At various times, Serbia was a principality and kingdom, before falling under control by the Ottomans and Habsburgs. Then there’s all the 20th century mess that happened with the World Wars and what followed. Point is, Serbia has a long and storied past and you’ll find yourself learning quite a bit of it when visiting.

SMOKING

One thing that will feel very retro for many visitors from the rest of the world, is that Serbia still allows smoking inside some of the restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. These places can get pretty smoky, and during the day this can feel extra stuffy when sunlight is streaming through the windows amplifying the smell.

If smoking bothers you, we suggest visiting Serbia during warm months when you can sit outside or finding restaurants that have non-smoking sections that aren’t next to the smoking section.

DRIVING

First the basics: you drive on the right side of the road like the rest of continental Europe and North America.

Driving in Serbia is surprisingly pleasant! The country has invested a lot in maintaining its roads, making driving on the highway a smooth experience. Because the country doesn’t have as many mountains as most of its neighbors, you’ll experience fewer small mountain roads and better highway visibility. There are a few things to watch out for, though. Traffic in Belgrade can be a nightmare, and the gas (petrol) prices are steep, but less than in rest of the region!

SHOPPING

Novi Sad Shopping center:

  • Armani Exchange
  • Adidas
  • Calvin Klein
  • Diesel
  • LaCoste
  • Swarovski
  • Converse
  • Zara
  • Esprit
  • Guess
  • Levis
  • Nike
  • Nine West
  • Orsay
  • Pandora
  • Replay
  • Steve Madded
  • Tommy Hilfiger and many more

Novi Sad around City shopping:

  • Sephora
  • Carters
  • Dexy Co Kids
  • Aldo
  • Souvenirs
  • H & M
  • New Yorker
  • Nine West and more

Belgrade Airport Shopping and Duty Free Shops:

  • Victoria Secret
  • Hugo Boss
  • Swarovski
  • Cartier
  • Clinique
  • Burberry
  • Prada
  • Dolce
  • Emporio Armani
  • Givency
  • DKNY
  • Elizabeth Arden
  • Bvlgari
  • Dior
  • Giorgio Armani
  • Jimmy Choo
  • Moschino
  • Lancome
  • Michael Kors
  • Gucci
  • Versace
  • Ralph Lauren and more
Tours in Serbia

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