Serbia is an ageless oasis of winter adventure and languid summer sessions neglected by travel guides and big-time TV shows. Do you need more than a thick winter coat to get by here? What should you do if somebody invites you home for dinner? And what is leskovački voz, anyway? You’ve got questions and we have the answers.
Australian passport holders do not require a visa to visit Serbia if your holiday doesn’t exceed 90 days. Be aware; Serbian officials will not allow travellers to cross the border from Kosovo to Serbia if you did not enter Kosovo from Serbia first. Foreigners are required to register an address of temporary residence at the local Ministry of Interior or police station. Please be aware this information is only a guideline. For updated information, contact the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in the ACT.
The official Serbian currency is the Serbian Dinar. However, hotels may quote prices in Euros and many businesses also accept the Euro as a preference. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar, the Serbian Dinar and the Euro can change dramatically; start tracking exchange fluctuations now in order to get the best conversion rate.
The hearty hearths of Serbian households produce some of the finest fare for modern carnivores – sorry vegans and vegetarians, this is the Balkans. Expect a smorgasbord of possibilities including cicvara (polenta), rose petal preserves, dried plums, beef prosciutto, spit-roasted meat, shepherd’s pie and lamb cooked in milk. Are you a restaurant foodie? One night of leskovački voz will feed you for a few days, as the Leskovac Train is an endless stream of meaty dishes and filling sides including sausages, minced meat patties, skewered meat, pork loin, chicken liver paste wrapped in bacon and Serbian veal, cheese and bacon fritters. Wash it down with rakija, a local fruity liquor. If the meat is simply too much, take a bite out of a karađorđeva šnicla – this veal steak crammed with kajmak (cream cheese) and crumbed to perfection will blow your mind.
The majority of Serbia’s cities aren’t twilight capitals – mountain lodges attract a relaxed, beer-drinking clientele and the rest pour into Belgrade. In the capital, party-goers pour into nightclubs, cafes, lounges, cabaret bars, casinos and restaurants, sending a kinetic charge through the city. Belgrade thrives on its trendy identity, offering vibrant experiences and wild nights. Skadarlija, on the other hand, revels in authentic bohemia; a little bit gritty, a little bit creative and secretly trendy. Craft beers, poetry readings, old-school restaurants and a rich history steer revellers into its artistic neighbourhoods.