A painless arrival.
I flew from London to Belgrade with JAT airlines, the first time I had ever been to Serbia. My first impression of the country, as so often when travelling was the Nikola Tesla airport and it was very favourable. It is not huge, but modern and apparently well-organised. Baggage reclaim was quick, immigration formalities simple and with a smile which is not often seen amongst such officials.
Once in the airport, everything I needed was there, including a bureau de change. I normally shy away from these in airports as they can be a ripoff (especially in the UK!) so I only changed a little money to Serbian dinar but a subsequent check revealed that the rate was not too bad. Actually, I had no choice as I could not legally source dinar in the UK and I needed my bus fare.
I then went to the conveniently placed tourist information desk (helpfully situated near the exit door) and the very pleasant young lady gave me all the information I needed, as well as several free brochures etc., in flawless English.
If you want to get into the city and want to save on a taxi, you need the yellow number 72 bus which departs just outside the door. It costs 120 dinar and runs 05:20 until 00:00 hours and departs every 32 minutes. It takes about 40 minutes and terminates beside the large market (Zeleni Venac). You can pay the driver. OK, it is just a bus but it is comfortable enough and with room for luggage.
Here is a tip for you. Like many places in Eastern Europe, you validate your ticket in a little machine. I thought this was automatic and wondered why I could not get it to work. Actually, you need to put the ticket in the slot, then pull the little black handle to stamp the ticket. Don't get caught not doing it as there are plenty of ticket inspectors about. Fortunately a helpful local assisted me which was to be the first of very many small kindnesses and courtesies afforded me by the Serbian people.
The website indicates a minibus service to Slavija Square but I cannot comment on this. It does, however, cost 250 dinar, so considerably more expensive than the bus.
All in all a very pleasant way to enter Serbia.
Bus is a mode to travel around the Balkans.
Belgrade Bus Station is situated on the corner of Zeleznichka & Nemanjina st in downtown Belgrade. Bus no 83 from New Belgrade stops there, also trams no 5,7,9.
All you need is to chek their website for traveling to other countries on the Balkans & within Serbia.
Address: Zeleznichka st 4, 11000 BELGRADE
Second link ( live) is international departure schedule .
Traveling by train
I always prefer train transport over buses and it was very convenient for me. As my father was working for Railways of Republika Srpska it was very affordable trip for me. As FIP card discount holder during my study I was able to traveling to Belgrade from Doboj, my hometown for bargain price for return rides that trough years was from 14,90 KM (about 7 euros) to 17,90 KM (about 8,5 euros). In that time return bus ride cost about 3 times more. The main train station was also be my start point for other travelings such as Skopje or Timisoara. It was good times. Since 9th December 2012 the Sarajevo -Belgrade line and Doboj - Belgrade was cancel until further notice.
Still, I like to take train for traveling. Notice that there is many train station in Belgrade. Main train station near City center serves for domestic and international transport and if you planning to take train to Sofia, Skopje or Budapest you need to come here.
I was traveling from train station in Novi Beograd to Novi Sad and it was OK.
- Budget Travel
To the city center on foot
Belgrade is realy huge city and local transport is quite challenging. Walking trough historical core in Belgrade downtown is such a touristic treat. But how to get there?! It is not so hard, just to mention that!
If you comming from BAS Belgrade bus station or from Begrade central train station there is a way to go to Square of Republic without using public transport system. Yes, it could be done by walking believe me and it is not such a big taks neider.
First let start from begining, shall we?!
BAS Belgrade bus station is probably your starting point. When you exit from your bus on one of Arriving terminals (dolazni peron) you will be see one small park-look-a-like space. Across this is main building of BAS bus station. It is next to Belgrade Central Train station. Across all that you will see many buildings, mostly hotels. Look for elegant building of Hotel President. Next to it is Park Luke Ćelovića with characteristic parking space on two level next to the street. Cross that today nice and recently renovated park. On your left side you will see nice paved steep street that is followed with the faced stairs. That is Kamenička steet that leads to green market at Zeleni venac. Then, next to green market cross the street and one more space up to next street - Sremska street. There is also and underground passage - Terazijski tunel. But you could miss it and just cross all streets and use stairs witch you could find along your way.
Follow street on your right side. On the way you will find and Tourist information center. On the your right side, next to building Cultural center of Belgrade, turn and less then two-three minutes of walking you will find and famous equestian monument of Prince Mihailo Obrenovic at the Square of Republic.
Note: Park Luke Ćelovića, next to Economic faculty is today nice. Still I heard about warnings about this place. Watch out for your safety, especially at night! Used too was place full of "shaddy characters". There was places where whores, junkies and crazy guys sometimes can found, besides regular visitors - citizens and their dogs. Today it have and guards apparently. Still, I was walking here in the winter morning. Few people I saw that time - regular passages like me.
- Study Abroad
- Budget Travel
Traveling by bus
If you planning to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina (or vice verse) there is many bus lines daily between Belgrade and country, especially with towns in Republika Srpska.
Mostly bus lines goes directly trough highway in Croatia and that makes bus rides comfortable and fast. For example, bus line Belgrade - Doboj (Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina) via Croatia takes about 4,5 hours.
There is bus lines that bypass Croatia and it goes trough Bijeljina (Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina) that makes bus rides between Belgrade and Doboj (Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina) much much longer up to 7 hours.
Why people here take this longer ride? Its not because of scenery or some political reasons. People from Republika Srpska (and Bosnia Herzegovina in general) and people form Republic of Serbia can visited both country without passport and with using only personal ID. Note that traveling to or trough Croatia for citizens of those countries require possession of a valid bio-metric passport.
Important note: On site of Belgrade main bus station you could see current timetable for all parts of former Yugoslavia as well and 17 countries in Europe. For trips to Bosnia and Herzegovina make sure you choose option "Bosnia and Herzegovina" if you travel to Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Even here I saw many "old" names for some places in my country such as Bosanski brod and Bosanska gradiška (both belong today to Republika Srpska and today with new names: Brod and Gradiška). And option "Republika Srpska" choose if you travel to Banja Luka or Doboj and any other place within Republika Srpska etc. And it is good to know this! I understand that! My personal opinion is that this is matter of convenience and it correspond to make better relation with customers of my country not for any political reason.
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Trams, buses and trolley buses. All really, really old and bashed up. I mean really old and bashed up. But cute too, with their dayglo orange paintwork and their indecipherable Cyrillic destination plates. Thankfully the numerals are Roman, and that's all you really need. There's no underground.
The important information is that you can buy tickets from news stalls across the city, and often conveniently placed near the bus stops. You can buy tickets from the bus driver as well, but they tend to be almost twice as expensive. I'd tell you the price here, but prices in Serbia are particularly vulnerable to change. But they are cheap. About 40 euro cents per trip when I was there. There are no day or week tickets, just buy a bunch of them when you need them.
To avoid confusion when you get on, you must remember to validate your ticket. The little orange box behind the driver is there for this purpose. Realise that this is old technology we are dealing with here. Don't make the mistake I did of placing the ticket in the slot and waiting for the ticket to be automatically stamped. Here you have to do things manually: pull the black plastic slot towards you. There's instructions, but they are in Serbian. I had to ask someone.
Strangely enough I discovered they used the exact same system on some of the older vehicles on the Budapest metro, so if you've been there before, you'll probably not have any problems.
Transfer to and from the airport
We arranged for our hotel to send a driver for us, I much prefer that to trying to figure out where the legitimate taxis are in cities that are known for corrupt taxi drivers. They told me 15€ or 1800 dinar which I had read was the legitimate rate, our driver met us at the airport with a sign. On the way back we had the hotel arrange it again and they said that because of the early hour it would be 2200 dinar. The driver again handed us an invoice for 1800 dinar, I tried to give him the 2200 since that is what we were quoted but he handed 200 back to us
Either the tourist information office or our hotel desk told us we could purchase bus tickets on the bus so when we hopped on the bus to get back from Ada Ciganlija we tried to pay the driver and he laughed at us and then just waved us on the bus without taking the money. I wouldn't recommend that though, I read in the English language newspaper that they were starting to add inspectors on certain routes, on the test days the number of paying riders increased from 1600 to 6600!! Obviously a lot of people don't pay but I certainly wouldn't recommend that.
The tourism office suggested that we take the E2 minibus to get to Ada Ciganlija instead of the bus, you purchase the ticket from the driver and although it said 145 dinars on it, everyone was handing the driver 150 and not getting change. The driver does make change for larger bills and he let us know when to get off the minibus. It was a quick ride
By plane from/to Belgrade
Belgrade's Nikola Tesla Airport wqas once one of the more importnat hubs in Europe but this role has vanished after the fall of the iron curtain and the Balkan wars. After democracy returned to Serbia, air connections did as well. Former Jugoslav flag carrier JAT is just a glimpse of its former self, but still the main player on this airport, linking the Serbian capital with many of Europe's most important cities. Wizzair has established a base there and is increasing the number of available destinations by adding typical low-cost destinations such as Luton, Dortmund or Skavsta. Other airlines serving Belgrade include Austrian, Etihad, Qatar, Turkish and Norwegian.
Bus line 72 links the airport with the terminal at Zeleni Venac market, count between 30 and 45 minutes for a trip depending on traffic. Tickets can be bought at newspaper stands for as low as 80 Dinar, tickets at the driver cost 170 dinar (as of 2011) which is still quite cheap. The A1 buses are only slightly faster, but are a little more comfortable. They cost 300 Dinar (2011) and run to Slavija Square. Tickets for that one can only be bought in the bus.
Belgrade bus map
Belgrade has one of the best bus networks for medium city.
GSP Beograde has done great job.
You use the system traveler need to get one of the new blue cards which work similar like Oyster card on London underground. Once is loaded with money every ride is " pinged" and 40 dinars are taken out, now you must " ping out" like in Amsterdam trams otherwise on your next journey when you " ping" you pay additional penalty of your forgetfulness.
There is 24/7 open info lines.
from 00.00 to 24.00 every day
теl: +381 11 366-4040
Use of a talking machine: +381 11 30-33-370, 30-33-371
Information: +381 11 366-4047
Sales: +381 11 366-4129, 366-4133, 366-4138
**THE Belgarde-Sarajevo train sop running on Dec 9th 2012 due to high cost to mentain the line
Most popular train Belgrade-Sarajevo and vica versa has been running for some years now.. Which is very convinient, as it was very dificult to connect both Capitals after the war.
Trains Sarejevo - Belgrade. Here are details...
Frequency: 1 direct, or change at Strizivojna-Vrpolje
Times: Direct train: departs 11:35, arrives 20:09; (via S-Vr) departs 0655, arrives 17:05)
Price: 33 KM
Zajaši ovu zvijer
U neko moje vrijeme, kad' je bilo svega i nicega, mi smo se palili na dobre pile. Nema tog' iz moje generacije koji barem dvaput nije gledao kultni film "Easy rider". A u tom filmu Harley Davidson, kojeg je jahao Peter Fonda, bio je naš nikad dosanjani san. Ova pila me malo vratila u doba te moje mladosti, bar na trenutak.
Eh da sam nesto ludji vala bih ga kupio.
the local busses are absolutely horrible..I dont think i will offend anybody by saying that but those busses would be better off at a car breaker than in the traffic..
they are full of holes, rusty and smell like somebody died in there. The positive thing about it is that the tickets are cheap only 7- 10 diners for a ride..
sometimes i see a bus and really wonder how its still driving, but sometimes they are really not .sometimes u see a "dead" bus in the roadside waiting for someone to come and remove it..
tickets are now 60 dinars for one ride. So the prices have gone a lot since my last stay!
Belgrade has quite few parking garages to be used for ppl who are visiting with their cars.
Parking in a secure garage is cheap and , great value for money.
The city has long term parking garages, where you can rent spot from anything of a week to an year..
I parked few times in Graza Zeleni Vjenac as is very close to Knez Mihajlova St (the pedestrian hart of Belgrade) & Kalemegdan park
Garaža "Zeleni venac"
Address: Kraljice Natalije br. 13
Total spaces: 306
open from: 00-24 hrs (365 days a year)
there is an lift for disabled
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