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"Reversed" tourist trap: the Belgrade Rlwy Station
It's a reversed tourist trap. As humble the entire thing is.. it actually works, is safe late evening, there is an ATM and money changer with REASONABLE fees... and if you are tired there are at least two restaurants ( price example: filled pljeskavica under 2 Euro, sopska salad 1.2 Euro, scoop of ice cream 40 cent).
Unique Suggestions: Relax, it's NOT a tourist trap! Even WiFi is working (and I am using it right now)... for free.
Fun Alternatives: Who feels brave should visit other countries with seedy railway stations, full of "blackmarket" money changers, overpriced restaurants selling suspicious meals and thieves being active even during the day... for some adventure. There is no such adventure at the Belgrade railway station.Related to:
Serbian Souvenirs made in China
Not much to say, the globalization did reach Serbia.
Unique Suggestions: Travel to Murano (near Venice, Italy), 73 Euro from Belgrade by train and buy genuine Italian glass - all made in China.
Fun Alternatives: You can travel to Pristina via Lesak and Kosovo Polje for few Euro. There you can buy genuine Albanian handcrafts - mostly made in China.
Better: Serbia is a good place to buy Transsiberian tickets, should be around 200 Euro. You can go straight to the source! Doing it, don't forget to buy genuine Russian "matrioshka" in Moscow, made in... :(
Seriously - even if what you buy looks genuine: look in the details before you pay even in a place you think is safe from "globalization" effect. There are local souvenirs made locally but the price is always much higher.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel
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Serbian Train Tickets: never buy outside of Serbia
Inafamous tourist trap. It is not about buying in Serbia but about NOT buying in Serbia.
Never buy a train ticket involving Serbian Rail outside of Serbia. Possible exception: all Balkan countries, Croatia, Hungary, Russia.
The Unform Balkan Tariff, the Serbian-Croatian agreement as well as bi-lateral Hungarian and Ukrianian/Russian agreements can yield as much discount as 60% (less than a half) from international tariff. Other countries do not have these agreements. Hence the same tickets will cost MUCH more.
Unique Suggestions: Invalidate the foreign ticket with the railway station manager before you use. Even with 10-15% penalty it is worth to return where it was bought. The local discount is much more then the loss.
Fun Alternatives: Buy tickets in Serbia, not abroad except few countries. Best place to buy: Wasteels office in Beograd at the railway station.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
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Major Tourist Trap Alert: Balkan Flexipass ticket
This is not a tourist trap of Serbia, but rather a tourist trap many travellers fall into as they travel to Serbia. The fact: Balkan Flexipass costs much less in Serbia than in the US. Do not buy Balkan Flexipass in United States or anywhere overseas.
Unique Suggestions: Return your overseas-bought Balkan Flexipass to the agency which issued it if you are still in your home country. You pay 15% "penalty" but it's still worth to do.
If you are already traveling - do NOT travel even a single day on the railpass issed overseas. If you enter Serbia on an international train and head for Belgrade/Nis/Novi Sad/etc. just act as you don't have any ticket, seek the conductor and buy a domestic ticket from the conductor (sample price: from Hungarian border till Belgrade a ticket in fast train is less, than 5 Dollars). Euro cash is usually accepted. If you seek the conductor and ask for ticket, they will issue it with a minimal handling fee. Don't try to cheat and play the hide-and-seek game. Conductors are used to the fact, many travellers have no ticket because they are either "through" passengers, boarded the train a the station without ticket office, etc. Don't worry about be without the ticket as long as you act honestly and intent to purchase it.
Once at a major station, INVALIDATE your overseas-bought railpass with the manager of the station. You will be able to return the pass paying 15% penalty.
Fun Alternatives: Buy the same Flexipass at any international ticket counter in Serbia. They will issue such passes quickly and efficiently. Stations in Subotica, Nis, Novi Sad, Beograd have international ticket counter. I found, the workers at international station in Subotica speak English, German, Russian, Hungarian. They accept cash (Dinars, Euro, USD) only, no credit cards.
The prices (age groups: 26, 26-60, 60+, 4-12):
05-day pass: 48 Euro 26, 080 Euro 26-60, 064 Euro 60+, 40 Euro 4-12
10-day pass: 80 Euro 26, 140 Euro 26-60, 112 Euro 60+, 70 Euro 4-12
15-day pass: 96 Euro 26, 168 Euro 26-60, 134 Euro 60+, 84 Euro 4-12
Comments: these prices are in 2nd class. Never buy 1st class ticket anywhere in Balkans because it is less expensive to buy 3-bed sleeping car accomodation even during the day extra than pay the 2nd class ->1st class upgrade. As in many countries of Europe, many trains do not even have 1st class cars.
If there is a 1st class car on the train but you have 2nd class ticket, you always can upgrade on the train from conductor and it costs much less than the difference you would pay for 1st class Balkan Flexipass in adance. If there is no 1st class car on the train and you have 2nd class Eurail/Flexipass ticket you simply lose money. Upgrading procedure is simple: find the 1st class car if there is no obligatory reservation and wait for conductor. Tell him, you would like to remain in 1st class and pay the difference - for the particular trip you having. If the train has obligatory reservation, ask the reservatin agent for 1st class and pay the difference for that particular trip. Therefore you will pay 1st class only on the route you really need, not everywhere.
More info: http://www.zeleznicesrbije.com/active/sr-latin/home/glavna_navigacija/putnicki_saobracaj/medjunarodni_saobracaj/cene_prevoza_v01.htmlRelated to:
In distinction from the most of other languages in the World, our language is based on the rule “write as you speak, speak as it’s written”. The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet has 30 letters - one letter for every sound, which makes it quite unique compared to the other alphabets.
There are no two, three or, even, four letters for an one sound like in English or French. Also, “A”, “E”, “O”, “J”, “K”, “M” and “T” are same as in English but be careful, when you see “B” it is our “V”, “H” is “N”, “X” is “H”, “P” is “R”, “C” is “S”, “Y” is “U”, and we have some voices that English language doesn’t.
It is not heavy as I wrote and you will have some fun learning it.
Unique Suggestions: Ask some young people what you interesting for. Almost everyone speaks one of the world languages.Related to:
- Family Travel
Don't use the Exchange Office of BUS Station
BELGRADE - If you don't speak Serbian and you are using the Exchange Office of BUS Station for exchange money, probably you are being robbed by the man of this Counter...
I was robbed when was there for exchanging Euros for Dinars, and the man give me a note less. I didn't verify immediately the money as I had people behind me, but some seconds after I come back to say him his fault; but the man refuse my protest with a only phrase: the money is right(!!!). After this phrase he open a newspaper begining to read it (...) and no more answer to any of my questions, and no more look to me till I leave that local !!! After 2 or 3 minutes I had resolved come back to this Counter Office again, just to make a photo of this man, anyway he understood my intention and immediately close the counter and got down the roller- blind... !!!
Fun Alternatives: Go to Exchange Counter sited on the train station (at 200 metres), where the persons are correct and well educated.
If you are arriving to Serbia from Croatia or Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia change your money immediately on the border. You can pay high way on the pay tolls in foreign currencies but commission is 20%!!!!!!!
No credit cards.
Visiting religious places
Dress conservatively if you are visiting monasteries, at least wear long trousers or longer skirt. If not, maybe you will not enter, even, in the yard of it.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Religious Travel
Exchange the serbian money before leaving Serbia
The notes from Serbia Montenegro can NOT be exchanged in any other place.
So, you must convert in Euros again, all the serbian money you have, before leaving the country.
International phone calls prefix
Serbia and Montenegro still use the old international phone call prefix 99 instead of 00.
If you are calling from mobile phone just dial “+” .
Republic of Serbia Hotels
The Zira appears to be one of Belgrade’s newer hotels. The rooms are large and modern. There is a...more
Hotel Vojvodina is Novi Sad’s standard socialist-style hotel, although the building itself, I...more
Nene Tereze, Pristina 10 000, Kosovo
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