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I stayed in Belgrade for over a week. I had high expectations based on the Nomad List ranking, but having been to every other capital in the Balkans, found it utterly disappointing.
The city is not particularly walkable, the infrastructure is in a sad state, and there is practically no interesting architecture or urban development to speak of, be it historical, communist, or contemporary.
Pollution is a real problem. To make matters worse, people smoke all the time, everywhere, including inside every cafe and restaurant.
Health statistic confirm the point:
- 2nd highest rate of lung cancer in the world
- 4th highest rate of all cancer in the world
- 1st highest rate of pollution-related deaths in Europe
- 9th highest rate of pollution-related deaths in the world
There are some nice cafes and restaurants through the city, but nothing wou can't find lesewhere in the region. Few have vegetarian options, and you'll get strange looks if you ask for tap water.
1 month ago
I am from Serbia.
People in Serbia are hospitable but if they do not know you by common friends or something they will treat you as an outsider in most cases, they will talk to you but not make friends etc.
Even for serbs from other cities when you go to another city, Belgrade for example, it is difficult to make friends or people to go out with . It applies much more to foreigners. Why? I do not know, we are very hospitable in general but that's the way it is.
Nightlife is not as good as it was, but it is good. Much better than in most of Europe. Cafes, restaurants and typical european culture is present at lower prices than for example in Denmark.
The women are beautiful, some are stunning, I can say serbian women are among top 5 in Europe (along with russian, ukrainian, chech etc), men are often tall and good looking.
Belgrade and Serbia are worth a visit especially if you are not from Europe and you can not afford more expensive western cities, but want to feel european lifestyle. In terms of hospitality, and good looking men and women you will get more then you would get in western Europe.
3 months ago
I spent about a month in Belgrade, and visited other cities in Serbia, such as Smederevo. People are very kind, the prices are very cheap. It was pretty safe, and will probably go back and stay longer. Belgrade is a big and dynamic city. Currently, there are some buildings under construction in the center. There are places to visit and there are lots of history behind the city. I didn't like so much graffiti on buildings.
5 months ago
I spent 4 months in Belgrade, putting myself out there quite a lot socially [PROS]- city center is quite nice, green with parks, and very walkable - low airbnb costs (but quality tends to be low as well) [CONS] avoid at all costs in colder months, every restaurant and bar becomes a cigarette hot box - nomad / expat community here is very small. only one legit co-working space (impact hub). - service in restaurants and shops is the worst I have ever experienced - night life is very overrated, none of the bars and clubs have open mingling areas / dance floors, they're just these tables everyone stands around and no one talks to each other Bottom line: Belgrade is a bit grungy but charming to walk around and explore for, I would say, a week or so. Socially, Serbia is quite a proud, inward-facing society. This, coupled with the small-to-nonexistant nomad community, can leave you feeling quite isolated.
9 months ago
I spent 3 weeks in Belgrade (July 2019) to visit a friend who relocated. To be honest, while i've traveled somewhat extensively, and leave the USA on average three times per year, I had no idea what to expect in Serbia (Belgrade). I'd never been to Eastern Europe, let alone the Balkans. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at how incredibly friendly just about everyone was. Everyone spoke english everywhere I went: cafes, restaurants, supermarket, taxis, shops, etc. My friend has very small children, and Belgrade is FULL of parks. The parks are routinely teeming with parents, as it seems there's some sort of a baby boom going on there. I was able to easily strike up friendly conversation with locals, who were extremely cordial. Even though I was there to visit friends, I spent the majority of my time alone exploring. I stayed in the city center, close to Republic Square. From there I could walk just about anywhere; the river, the mall on the other side of the river, waterfront, the old fort, etc. Taxis were extremely cheap, but often I just preferred to walk, even to Vracar from where I was in Venac , which is about a 30 minute walk, just because it was nice to experience Belgrade and people watch along the way. The AirBnb I rented had a functioning kitchen, and food in the supermarket is pretty cheap, but so is eating out (by American standards). I routinely had lunch or dinner with a drink, coffee and desert for anywhere from $11-18USD on average. I chose mostly to sit at any one of the countless open air cafe/restaurants twice a day, because it was so worth it. Is Belgrade the most exciting place on the planet? Probably not. At the same time, it's not boring either. I ended up loving the place. Between the people, the fact that I felt completely safe walking around by myself past midnight on many occasions, the great food, and typically European feel, I would definitely recommend Belgrade. Especially if you're not on a London/Paris budget, but want to experience Europe. People are much nicer also.
1 year ago
I was in Belgrade a couple of days ago. Stayed there like 2 days. My Airbnb host was really welcoming and he offered some tips/advice regarding the best cheap prices in pubs + restaurants. The old center of Belgrade is really nice + it seems the same like Bucharest in some parts of it. Loved it and more than probably I will return to check it! Be carefull with gypsies near the bus/train station.
1 year ago
A lovely city. But not the friendliest one.
I travel extensively; 15-20 counties in the last 2 years. I'm friendly and very outgoing. But in my humble opinion, Belgrade (very generally speaking) is not a terrible friendly place for foreigners or solo-travelers.
It is a beautiful, inexpensive and very safe city. Prices are fantastic, as is the food. But unless you come here with a companion...be prepared to have a rather lonely time. The local Serbs are not rude or actively unpleasant, and most everyone speaks English well.
But most of the locals don't seem particularly open to having conversations with people they don't already know.
In most of my travels, simply by being a foreigner in a cafe, restaurant or bar...you will, at minimum, at least be able to strike up a conversation with, say, your bartender or waitress. Here in Belgrade...not so much. For example: if you're sitting at the bar in a pub...the bartender, given a choice, will usually prefer to read a book or stare at their phone, rather than conduct anything more than a brief, monosyllabic conversation. It's pretty much the same in shops, restaurants, etc. And if you're used to striking up friendly conversations with fellow patrons at a restaurant, or bar, or art exhibition...don't expect that in Belgrade.
Even the cashiers in the local grocery stores seem to prefer to keep interactions as brief as possible. Fake as it may be, there is something a bit comforting about the Western retail-facade of people pretending to be happy to see a customer...especially when you encounter the absolute lack of it for weeks on end.
I'm not saying it's good or bad; it's just the way things are. I suspect it's at least somewhat cultural. I've gotten somewhat similar vibes in a few places in the Balkans and Eastern Europe before. I would not rate the locals of Budapest or Kiev as overly-friendly to outsiders, for instance...yet I found it far, far easier to meet and talk to people in those cities than in Belgrade.
There are exceptions to the above. But I will stand by it as an accurate generalization, having been in the city for 3 weeks. Perhaps if you hook up with other travelers in some of the city's co-work-spaces, you might have a better time; I don't know.
PS: I also think the "Belgrade is famous for it's nightlife" reputation is severely over-rated. That reputation might have been appropriate in the past; I heard from a couple of locals that, as of a year or so ago, a lot of new laws were passed restricting the operating-hours of most bars and clubs in the city. Most (not all, but definitely) places in the downtown area close up by midnight or 1am at the latest.
With the exception of a couple of specific nightclubs...most of the city is pretty much a ghost town by midnight, even on the weekends.
Again...a beautiful city, with lots of interesting culture, art and architecture. I think I'd likely love it if I came with someone I was dating. But for a solo traveler...it's genuinely one of the least-friendly cities I've ever been to.
1 year ago
Overall: Lovely city (quite underrated)!
1 year ago
Much, much more than expected.
1 year ago
Not a good city for long-term stays. Nothing to see, very little to do. High air pollution. However cheapest capital in Europe and most friendly and warm people of all Eastern Europe / Balkans.
2 years ago