Travel to Serbia? My Top 10 Favorite Reasons Why
Thinking about traveling to Serbia?
Here are my top 10 reasons why you should travel to Serbia if you haven’t already
1. Serbia is a beautiful country
From beautiful mountains to rolling hills, to a bustling metropolis…Serbia is full of pleasant surprises. It’s a stunningly beautiful country that takes pride in its connection to nature, love of the outdoors, and its colorful heritage. In this respect, the geography and landscapes you will see in Serbia are reflective of where the country has been, and where it’s headed. Make sure you take a day trip to smaller villages and towns outside of Belgrade (i.e. Novi Sad) to truly experience what the country is like. Rest assured, you won’t be disappointed.
2. Serbians value the simple things
Remember how once upon a time people used to actually sit down and talk to each other without being immersed in their cell phones? Well this still happens in Serbia. And what’s more, it’s a favorite past time. Serbs value a sense of community. They even refer to each other as neighbors. I distinctly recall going into a local store and being greeted with the expression, “Hej komšija” which means “Hey neighbor”. You will hear that all the time. It’s a magical thing to be treated as a neighbor. Serbian language is a reflection of their cultural ethos, and though it may seem like a small joy, it has profoundly large implications for your travel experience.
This also applies to going out on dates. This can be insanely expensive and “over the top” in America where steak dinners, followed by miniature golf, drinks at a bar, and then a movie are common expectations. In Serbia, plan on meeting your date for a coffee in the town square, or going for a walk in the park. Yep…the simple things still live on in some parts of the world. Serbia is one such place.
3. Kalemegdan and other cultural sites
When you travel to Serbia you will position yourself to experience one of the great wonders of the country: Kalemegdan Fortress. It was built in 279 B.C. and reconstructed by the Emperor Justinian in the year 535 A.D. Rumor has it that Attila the Hun is buried underneath it. Wow! Kalemegdan, also known as the Belgrade Fortress, sits at the confluence of the Danube and Sava River and offers quite a view.
A visit to cultural sites such as these will blow you away and help you peer deeper into Serbian culture and history. Make sure that when you travel to Serbia you make time to “go back in time” by visiting historical landmarks and museums.
4. Belgrade Nightlife
When you are done visiting the cultural sites treat yourself to a night on the town. Nightlife in Belgrade is one of the best in Europe. Yes, one of the best in Europe. I would go so far as to say it has one of the best nightlife scenes in the world!
Bear in mind, the nightlife changes depending upon the season. For example, in the winter the clubs are all located in the city. In the summer the clubs are located on boats on the Sava River. These clubs are referred to as “Splavovi”. You won’t want to miss the club experience in Belgrade, trust me. But make sure you get plenty of rest. Nightlife in Belgrade doesn’t start until 12 am and doesn’t finish until the sun comes up. Pro tip: take a nap before you go out. Fatigue and alcohol are not a good combination.
5. Hospitable culture
Serbia is a very welcoming and accommodating place. Serbs love to help people in need. You can feel comfortable asking locals for guidance on where the best spots are for whatever you’re looking for. You can get help with directions. Or, you can engage in some friendly chit chat. All of this is possible because in Serbia connection is everything. It may not be the richest country in the world, but it has a big heart.
One of the local customs that I find most appealing and insightful is the custom of taking a small gift whenever you are invited into someone’s home. It can be a package of coffee, a snack, or even a thank you card. But Serbs don’t like to visit you empty-handed. Isn’t that amazing? And now that you know this, make sure you reciprocate and take a small gift if you are invited to someone’s home. No pressure, but it’s a nice gesture and a way to show that you know something about the culture.
6. Beautiful & friendly people
While this might sound like a shallow reason to visit Serbia, I don’t think it is. Who doesn’t like to see and/or meet beautiful people? Well, Serbia is full of them (across both genders). For all of the guys out there, Serbian women are some of the most beautiful women in the world. And what’s more, they are easy to approach and talk to, and are open to learning more about others. For the women who are interested in traveling to Serbia you will likely appreciate how masculine and genuine Serbian men can be. In short, from a people perspective, Serbia has something for everyone. And beauty aside, Serbs are friendly, kind-hearted and they will want to show you a good time. How cool is that?
7. A language that has the sound of history
Serbian language has the sound of history. You will hear influences from Italy, Turkey, and other Slavic languages. I personally find Serbian to be one of the most uniquely beautiful languages in the world. It’s expressive, colorful, and has incredibly dynamic sound combinations that make it fascinating to listen to. Pro tip: learn some Serbian phrases before your trip so you can surprise locals. It’s amazing how a small effort on your part to learn some Serbian will enrich your experience while you’re there. In Serbia they use two alphabets – Latin and Cyrillic Alphabet.
8. The Balkan Region
Serbia borders numerous countries and is located in the heart of the Balkan Region. This means you can travel to Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Bosnia, Macedonia, and numerous other countries in virtually no time. If you have the time to travel from Serbia I highly recommend that you do it. Utilize the proximity of neighboring countries to also check them out as well. What you will notice is that the Balkan Region is one of the most beautiful regions on planet earth. And the hospitality lives on throughout the region.
In short, while in Serbia don’t hesitate to veer out to surrounding countries. It will make your experience full of the vibrancy that the region offers.
9. It’s safe
Serbia is safe. In fact, I feel much safer in ANY city in Serbia than I do in ANY major American city. I wouldn’t recommend you wear a blindfold and earbuds while walking around at 3am. But truthfully, even if you did that you would probably still be okay. Serbia is safe for tourists. It’s is not a violent country. It has a low crime rate. It doesn’t have a gun problem like America. And lastly, people are more relaxed and less aggressive in general. As such, it’s a great place to relax, unwind, and enjoy.
10. Hospitable culture
This is another benefit of traveling to Serbia: It’s affordable. Going out is not going to “break the bank” like it can in some places (i.e. London). Clubs typically do not charge any entrance fee. If they do it will be minimal (i.e. $5). Going out to the movies will cost you a whopping $5. And going out to eat will cost you around $10. You can obviously spend more for chiquier places, but you get the point. A beer or “rakija” (local Serbian alcohol) will cost you a around $3.