Tips for Visiting Belgrade as a Solo Traveler
Belgrade is known as a party destination for Western Europeans. Most Americans probably wouldn’t even think to consider a visit. The Serbian capital (and formerly part of Yugoslavia) was bombed during the NATO campaign of 1999. Today it is a modern city that is continuing to transform. When I visited in 2022, there is new development on the waterfront, there are still abandoned construction projects dotting new town, and the old town offers pedestrian streets and history.
- Arriving at the airport is a bit of a mess. Currently there is a lot of construction which makes it difficult to navigate. If you are planning on taking a taxi, you need to purchase a trip before getting into the taxi.
- I recommend signing up for Car:Go before you arrive in Belgrade. There is no Uber or Lyft. Car:Go offers you the ability to order a ride share AND pay in the app. If you have a US number, you will likely need to send them an email to get verified. They are very responsive and I had no problem setting up my account. These are cheaper than taxis, you are less likely to get ripped off, and you can pay in the app. I felt safe as a single person using them all over town.
- There are a lot of trams and buses that can get you all over the city. I used them but found them confusing and unreliable. I was there on a weekend and it didn’t seem like all of the routes run all the time. There is also construction, so some of the tram routes just simply weren’t running at all. It is also hard to figure out payment. I tried to use the tap payment feature with credit card, but it seems to only take certain MasterCards. Paying the driver with cash is supposed to be an option; but a lot of the time they wouldn’t take my money and just let me on for free. When they accepted my money, buses are 150 or 200 (for express) dinar.
- There are multiple train stations, so check which train station your train leaves from if you are planning on going on to Montenegro as I was.
- Serbia uses the Serbian Dinar as their currency. It is roughly 110 Serbian dinar to $1 USD. I don’t see Serbia joining the EU (or NATO) in the near future after the war in 1999. You can use your ATM card to get dinar and there are also money changing machines in the airport and around town, including at the Hyatt Regency where I stayed. They take a variety of currency at a decent rate. If you don’t need that much cash, these make sense to use as ATMs seemed to usually charge about $5 per withdraw.
- A lot of people will want to visit the Tesla Museum. I tried and failed. You have to join one of their tours and they fill up. Go early if you really want to visit or see if you can reserve a spot ahead of time.
- I did visit the Museum of Yugoslavia. It is worth a visit but realize that it is mostly a tribute to former leader President Josip Broz Tito who is buried there. They are working on (and honest about it) making the museum more inclusive of other points of view but it definitely is focused on honoring Tito.
I felt safe in Belgrade and found it more welcoming than other cities like Baku. Many people speak English and I never felt resentment over the 1999 bombings. For an American, things are relatively cheap and all the modern amenities are available.
Have you visited Belgrade? What tips do you have for other visitors?