The state of Serbia is initially mentioned by a biographer of Carl the Great way back in 822. As elsewhere around Europe, power moved from one ruler to another — several times. Tsar Dusan was the most powerful leader of Serbia when he ruled in the mid-14th century.
When the last Ottoman regent was chased out, Serbia’s independence was acknowledged in 1878. Following the declaration of Serbia as a kingdom, Serbia experienced a war-ridden time.
Two Balkan Wars, World Wars I and II happened before the nation became one of six republics inside communist Yugoslavia.
Serbia finally became independent in 2006.
With no direct connection to an ocean, Serbia’s climate remains continental with fairly cold and snowy winters and high temperatures in the Summer. Rainfall is around 896mm (35 inches) annually.
There are several ways to get to Serbia. Most fly from Berlin to Nis because of the limited airline choice. Nis has a small airport and as of 2018 only five airplanes a day land there. Besides the flights from Berlin, there are flights from other places in German to Belgrade, but not daily.
Taking the train from Budapest to Belgrade is popular, but the travel time is long and overnight trains are the rule.
With a limited number of trains traveling through the nation, keep expectations low. A new modern Central station is under construction (2018) in Belgrade, but small towns tend not to have ticket counters or station buildings. Even Nis, the third largest Serbian city, doesn’t have toilets in the train depot. Many trains are outdated, but the train from Nis to Belgrade is modern and regional — similar to America’s Amtrak.
The languages are Serbian or Serbo-Croatian. In the north county, Hungarian, Russian and Slovak are spoken while further south Albanian is often spoken as well.
A traveler speaking English only will be able to community good and English works well in shops and restaurants.
Reading the language may be more difficult for some than speaking. Since November 2006, Cyrillic Script is officially used. There are Latin letters also, but not many.
The Serbian currency is the Dinar (RSD).
There are few ATMs, but most taxi drivers accept Euros and most shops and restaurants accept Visa Cards. Be sure to explore the cheapest options for exchange money.
WiFi in Serbia is very good most places. Be sure to ask for the WiFi password in most restaurants and hotels. Buy a prepaid Sim card from one of the providers for strong and reliable Internet, especially in the villages around Nis and Belgrade.
Serbia uses type F sockets, so no adapter is needed for German plugs. The main voltage is 230V.
For the opportunity to step out of the routine, experience life and enjoy other cultures, put Serbia on the top of your to do list.