This may not be the best place to put a tip regarding the Danube, but since it is the latest place where I have seen this amazing river, this is where it goes for now. (If there is a groundswell of opinion, I could move, or duplicate, it in other locations.) My most enduring adventure on the Danube was a hydroplane ride from Budapest to Bratislava, at the end of which I discovered that my hostess was coming down with the flu and I had to pretty much be my own tour guide. I saw a lot but it would have been even nicer had I been able to get to know her a bit better.
The Danube is a fascinating source of diversity and opportunity from its source (wherever that may be) to its mouth.
Throughout recorded history, and certainly even before, the Danube has served as a transportation link and a border, a lifeline and a site of warfare, a challenge and an inspiration. Migration and colonization have occurred all along her shores creating a diversity of cultures and traditions which are both communicated and protected by the river.
It is the longest east-west waterway in Europe, at almost 3000 km, and the second longest river in Europe. Ten nations, four capital cities, and numerous regions and ethnicities are linked by the Danube. It has been said that traveling on or along the Danube is like visiting a museum of European history and I can heartily agree. Almost anywhere that you might choose to stop along her shores, you will find varied European landscapes, lifestyles, festivals, and other celebrations.
Countries within which I have visited and/or traveled on the Danube are Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, and Romania. Somehow, I missed Croatia, Bulgaria, Moldova, and The Ukraine. I have visited her in each of the capital cities which sit on her shores: Belgrade, Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest.
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 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, 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 so I only changed a little money to Serbian dinar but a subsequent check revealed that the rate was not too bad.
I then went to the conveniently placed tourist information desk (conveniently situated near the exit door) and the very pleasant young lady gave me all the information I needed 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.
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 caight not doing it as there are plenty of ticket inspectors about.
The website indicates a minibus service to Slavija Square but I cannot comment on this. It does, however, cost 250 dinar, so more expensive than the bus.
All in all a very pleasant way to enter Serbia.
I flew into & out of Belgrade with JAT - the Serb national airline - from/to Amsterdam.
It was fine. Cheap, but on time. The food - dry sandwiches - was not worth eating. I skipped it on the flight home after trying it 1st time around. Eat before you board.
The Boeing 737 seemed a bit elderly, but we got there.
Check-in at Belgrade was quick and efficient, but not friendly.
To quote someone who would know... “JAT is a basket case” so it may be privatised.
It was the Yugoslav state carrier, but of course now it competes with Montenegrin Airlines, BiH Airlines, Croatian Airlines, Adria and even Macedonian. Crowded wee marketplace...
Nikola Tesla Airport functioned pretty well on my 2 visits. Passport control was reasonably quick on arrival and baggage delivery too. Beware rip off taxi drivers however. The fare to downtown should be €15. Try to get your hotel to send someone.
Departure was equally painless.
When I tried to sit at the bar to drink my espresso, the barista did tell me to go and sit somewhere else. Service without a smile...
When I tried to buy an expensive bottle of Serb wine in duty free, the assistant helpfully flagged up that I might lose it at security in transit at Amsterdam. That’s good service.
Surprisingly, there is no airport hotel.
Us valiant VTers (12 of us, led by Keti) took the trolleybus from the city centre out to Šumice for dinner at Sindjelic. We had Keti (who is Serb) to keep us right, and show us how to get tickets - at a newspaper kiosk in advance.
Then you have to cancel the ticket in a machine on the bus.
All very easy, cheap and painless. The locals are obviously not used to seeing touroids on their buses, so we were objects of curiousity. Took about 30 minutes.
On the way back Fergie (VTer Planxty) and I got the last bus - slightly nervy standing in the “burbs at 11.30 pm on our own and “out of place”. We had no problems at all - either there or in the city centre walking back to our hotels.
Booked my car with Sixt via argusrentals.com.
They were friendly, helpful and efficient. The location is downtown, and convenient - 5 minutes walk from Skadarlija.
Cost me £236 for 6 days, including excess insurance. £39 per day. That was for a Renault Megane 1.6.
They are at Žorža Klemensoa 19 - its the Renault dealership.
Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport is located about 18km from the centre of the city.
My friend and I arrived at Belgrade airport early one morning after a flight from Sarajevo in May 2007 and chose to catch the airport bus into the city rather than fork out for a taxi. The following information was correct as of that date:
- buses are operated by Jat Airways and depart from directly outside the arrivals hall;
- buses depart every hour on the hour from 7am until 10pm. Buses from the city to the airport, departing from Slavija Square, also depart every hour on the hour, from 5am until 9pm;
- a continuous stream of taxis pass by the bus stop in between buses and will wind down their windows to try and talk you into using them;
- buses operate the following route: Nikola Tesla airport – Novi Beograd (Fontana) – Central Railway Station – Slavija Square;
- we put our luggage into the bus’ undercarriage and boarded the bus. The driver then came around the bus to issue tickets shortly before departure. It is not possible to buy tickets from elsewhere as far as I could tell;
- tickets cost 160 Dinars (approx. 1.30 GBP) one way, per person;
- the journey time from the airport to Slavija Square was around 30-40 minutes;
- the names of the stops were not announced and so we stayed on the bus until it terminated at the busy Slavija Square. In hindsight, we’d have been better getting off the bus at Central Station, but we didn’t realise that at the time.
Belgrade's airport is about 18km out of town, and takes about 30 minutes. To get to the airport, take the JAT bus from outside the JAT offices on Slavia Square (on the hour every hour), or from outside the train station a few minutes later. A one way ticket is about 2-3 euros. The bus leaves for Belgrade from the airport outside the main terminal entrance every hour, on the hour.
At the main terminal entrance you will find a crowd of taxi drivers who will pester you to get in their cab. Like at the train station they have a reputation for overcharging, so you will probably want to wait for the bus.
"Nikola Tesla" airport is just 5 minutes (by car) away from Novi Beograd. It is not the biggest one you've ever seen but it is the biggest one in Serbia. It is well connected with buses and taxi service with the rest of the city.
The mostly used language with personel is English, but other languages like French and German are rather common as well.
Good way to get aroun Belgrade is by bus.This is especialy good for ceter of Belgrade, because it is not always easy to find a parking place for your car.
The ticket for one ride is 25 dinars if you buy it on the kiosk, and 35 dinars ,if you buy it in the bus.
There are also nightlines, and the price for night ride is 60 dinars.
This is a list of flights of our national company "jat"
INTERNATIONAL BUS LINES
Public transport in Belgrade includes GSP "Beograd" busses, trolley busses and tramways and privately owned busses covering nearly 100 day and night lines.
The ticket price for a single ride in daytime is 30 DIN for Zone 1 or 2 and 45 DIN for Zone 1 and 2. On night lines (00-04) the ticket price for a single ride is 50 DIN for Zone 1 or 2 and 70 DIN for Zone 1 and 2
Public transport in Belgrade is reliable and comfortable comparing to days back in the deep 90-ties. And it is improving...
If you decide to experience it, it is not likely you'll wait for your transport for ages, stuggle to find your way around, or get squeezed between unfriendly senior citizen and the door. (all, quite common sights 7 or so years ago)
GSP operates bus, tram and trolley transport. There's plenty of lines, numbers don't really make sense, so try to get in hold of a GSP booklet. City maps available at most of the bigger bus stops can also be helpful.
Don't get confused by colour or type of the vehicles. Besides decent buses/trolleys, there are some proper junks roaming around. Same tickets apply for all.
Single tickets can be obtained at the newsagents (20 dinars - 20 cent) or from the driver (30 dinars). Night fare and second zone (city suburbs) fare are slightly more expensive.
Ticket-dodging is not adviced, since inspections happen often (fine stands at roughly 15 euro).
GSP website is quite good and informative.
The airport is the international airport with two main runways and appropriate annexes that secure international airport functions of the highest quality.
Belgrade Airport has a medical service too.This includes a first-aid surgery in the terminal building and four ambulances. Its office hours are adapted to the time and timetable of aircraft flight schedules.
The pool of equipment and vehicles for winter and summer maintenance of manouvering and other areas has all the necessary equipment (snow brushes, snow blowers, sprinklers, traction vehicles for measuring the slipperiness of pavement surfaces, road cleaners etc.). It guarantees efficient maintenance and ensures continuous air traffic operations under various weather conditions.
Belgrade wait for you all year. Welcome to Belgrade!