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Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. Located at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers, Belgrade is one of the most important cities in South East Europe and links the region to the wider global economy.
Belgrade lies at the crossroads of Hungary and the Austrian Alps to the north, Croatia and the Adriatic Sea to the west, Bulgaria, Romania and the Black Sea to the east, and Greece, Turkey and the Mediterranean Sea to the south.
Due to its unique location between East and West, Belgrade is as connected to places such as the United Kingdom and Germany as it is to Dubai, Russia and the United States. Direct flights to all these destinations make Belgrade the perfect place to be within the global economy.
We’d love to! With a population of over a 1.5 million people, Belgrade is a super interesting mix of unique cultural and historical legacy. Think of it as a crazy mix of Istanbul, Vienna and Budapest — with a sprinkling of Yugoslav socialist architecture thrown into the mix!
Walk its streets and eat its food, and you will feel like you’re simultaneously experiencing the best of what the East and West have to offer. But don’t take our word for it, here’s what the Lonely Planet has to say about Belgrade:
Outspoken, adventurous, proud and audacious: Belgrade is by no means a 'pretty' capital, but its gritty exuberance makes it one of the most happening cities in Europe. While it hurtles towards a brighter future, its chaotic past unfolds before your eyes: socialist blocks are squeezed between art nouveau masterpieces, and remnants of the Habsburg legacy contrast with Ottoman relics.
It is here where the Sava River meets the Danube (Dunav), contemplative parkland nudges hectic urban sprawl, and old-world culture gives way to new-world nightlife.
Grandiose coffee houses, quirky sidewalk ice-creameries and smoky dens all find rightful place along Knez Mihailova, a lively pedestrian boulevard flanked by historical buildings all the way to the ancient Kalemegdan Citadel, crown of the city. The old riverside Savamala quarter has gone from ruin to resurrection, and is the city's creative headquarters.
More recently, Belgrade has become a regional hotbed of tech entrepreneurialism. With a thriving startup ecosystem, Belgrade is an exciting place to be. Up-and-coming designers, developers and entrepreneurs are firmly putting Belgrade on the map.
Belgrade has a moderate continental climate characterized by cool winters and warm summers. Our winters typically last from December to February, during which time the average temperature is 1.5°C/34.5°F. Our summers are from June to August and average temps then are 23°C/73.5°F.
Every year, we get about 2,112 of sunny hours (compared to 1460 hours for London and 1625 for Berlin), which means we have plenty of time to enjoy our rooftop garden and hang out at cafe terraces throughout the city!
Belgrade lies in the Central European Time (CET) timezone, which means that our local time is UTC+1. (Because of summer daylight saving from the end of March to the end of October, the local time during our summer is UTC+2). Practically speaking, Belgrade in the same timezone as Berlin and Paris, 1h ahead of London, 5h ahead of New York and 8h ahead of San Francisco. We are 2h behind Moscow, 3h behind Dubai, 8h behind Tokyo and 10h behind Sydney. We are literally in-between East and West!
The official currency in Belgrade and in Serbia is the Serbian Dinar (RSD). You can view the current currency exchange rate with the US Dollar, the Euro and the British Pound. Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks and Currency Exchange offices throughout the country. Likewise, ATMs are readily available and can be used 24/7/365.
Living in Belgrade
The official language spoken is Serbian. A language of Slavic origin (think Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, Slovene and Bulgarian, for example), it is — along with Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin — a standardized variety of the Serbo-Croatian language. Basically, this means that the Serbian spoken in Belgrade is understandable to people in Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro. (Think of the differences between American English and British English).
One interesting fact about Serbian is that it’s the only standardized language in Europe to use two alphabets simultaneously. These are the Cyrillic alphabet (similar to the Russian alphabet) and the Latin alphabet (think English). Pretty cool, right?
Sounds a little complicated? That’s no problem though because virtually everybody in Belgrade speaks another language other than Serbian. Most commonly, this will be English as it is a compulsory foreign language in Serbian schools and is taught from the 1st grade). Due to the proximity of Serbia its European neighbours, you’ll find that a lot of people also speak German, Italian and/or French.
The point is, you won’t have any problems going about your day to day life in Belgrade with English. This is especially the case in public places such as restaurants, cafes and shops where members of staff will be delighted to speak English with you. Even services, ranging from hairdressers to technical services, will more than likely speak English very well. In fact, Serbia ranked 17th in the EF English Proficiency Index, well ahead of other European countries, such as Spain (ranked 25th), France (ranked 29th) and Italy (ranked 28th).
Are you a big movie buff? English language movies at cinemas and on Serbian TV are all subtitled rather than being dubbed so you won’t miss out.
Public institutions may not be so forthcoming however, but fear not as we will take care of all your administrative paperwork for you (see answers covering our Relocation Program for more detailed information).
When it comes to Nordeus, English is our official working language. Irrespective of mother tongue, all written and spoken communication between employees is done in English. Likewise, all company-wide communication is in English and everyone must display proficient English language skills in order to be welcomed on board.
So, to answer the question, no you won’t have to learn Serbian to live in and enjoy Belgrade. But, of course, you always can if your curiosity takes a hold of you! To help you on your way, we’re delighted to offer Serbian language lessons to all our expats and their spouses.
Contrary to what many people may at first believe, Belgrade is actually a very safe place to live. For example, its crime rate is very low and this is especially the case when compared to other European cities of its size.
Belgrade is an extremely safe city to live in. No matter the time of day, it is perfectly acceptable for any individual, man or woman, to walk alone without the fear of harassment. Public spaces such streets, parks and squares are accessible 24/7 and, during the warm evenings of summer, it’s absolutely not unusual to see parks full of families with children enjoying the cool night air.
Yes, you do need a driver’s licence in Serbia. Driving licences issued in the European Union are recognized in Serbia; others must be accompanied by an International Driving Permit (IDP), on a reciprocity basis.
Moving around Belgrade without a car is absolutely possible and easy. Belgrade’s urban area is well connected with a wide public transportation network of buses and trams where a 90-minute ride costs €0.70/$0.80USD. Here is a link to Belgrade’s public transportation map.
Taxis themselves are also numerous and, comparatively speaking with other European countries, very affordable. (Fees start at 1,4 EUR/1,5USD and then charge between 0.5 EUR/0.6 USD to 0.70 EUR/0.76 USD for every additional kilometer).
Yes, it is. There are multiple bike rentals down by the rivers and at Ada Ciganlija park. Bikes typically cost 1.6 EUR (1.8 USD) per hour, or between 4 EUR (4.5 USD) to 8 EUR (8,7 USD) for the whole day. You will more than likely be asked to leave an ID or passport in order to guarantee that you will return the bike.
The cost of living in Belgrade is one of the lowest in Europe and, yet, is able to afford its inhabitants with a good quality of life. For example, the cost of rent is 92% lower than in San Francisco, 86% lower than in London and 63% lower than in Berlin.
To give you a little more context, you can expect to pay a rent of 280 EUR or 310 USD for a one bedroom apartment in the city centre or 520 EUR (570 USD) for one with three bedrooms. Utilities (including electricity, heating, water and waste management) can be expected to cost about 123 EUR (136 USD) per month for an 85m2 apartment. Internet access typically costs about 13 EUR (14,5 USD) per month for a 10 Mbps, unlimited data, cable/ADSL connection.
Sit at a terrace cafe and you can expect to pay 1.25 EUR (1,4USD) for a cappuccino or a half litre draught beer. A three-course meal for two people at a mid-range restaurant will cost around 23 EUR or 25 USD.
A one-way ticket on public transportation 0.70 EUR (0.80 USD) for a 90 minute journey or 26 EUR (29USD) for a monthly pass. Taxi fees start at 1,4 EUR (1,5USD) and then charge between 0.5 EUR (0.6 USD) to 0.70 EUR (0.76 USD) for every additional kilometer. Currently, one liter of gasoline is at 1.10 EUR (1.22 USD).
With regards to leisure activities, expect the monthly fee at your local gym to cost 23 EUR (25 USD) per month; rent a tennis court for one hour during the weekend will cost on average 8,7 EUR (9.5 USD); and a cinema ticket will be 3.7 EUR (4 USD).
The point is, Belgrade is an extremely affordable place to live, especially compared to other European countries or the United States. Added to its high quality of life, this makes Belgrade a great place to live and to save big in the process.
Things to See
There’s plenty to do for fun in both Belgrade and in Serbia! Belgrade truly is a city of discovery where new places to hang out — bars, restaurants, shops and galleries — are constantly popping up. Belgrade’s different neighbourhoods, each with their unique atmospheres, are all worth exploring!
For first timers to the city, we recommend doing the touristy thing and checking out all the main sights it has to offer. At the top of the list is undoubtedly the Belgrade Fortress. Overlooking the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers, this fortress is actually the oldest part of Belgrade and its history dates back to the 3rd century. Today, it is a beautiful city park that offers its visitors unbelievable views.
Close by is the pedestrianised Knez Mihailova Street, which is today Belgrade’s main shopping street. This is the perfect place to enjoy walking around with an ice-cream in hand or enjoy a coffee and watch life go by at one of its many terrace cafes.
With its cobbled stones, the bohemian quarter of Skadarlija is the perfect place to enjoy an evening eating authentic Serbian food with troubadour musicians providing a truly unique atmosphere.
Things to Do
As a regional cultural hub, Belgrade has plenty of top quality events on offer. Other than its theatres, which occasionally put on English language plays and operas, independent galleries throughout the city curate exhibitions of all kinds. Similarly, music is a big part of Belgrade life and concerts to suit all tastes take place on a regular basis. New to the city? The Belgrade Cultural Center and the Belgrade Youth Center are good places to start.
Added to this, Belgrade is known for its art and culture festivals. These include Resonate, the Belgrade Jazz Festival, the FEST International Film Festival, the Belgrade Flower Festival, the Belgrade Dance Festival, and, of course, the EXIT Summer Music Festival.
Want to hit the nightclubs that have made Belgrade famous? Then make sure to start the evening in true, exciting, style at one of the trendy restaurants and bars of Dorćol, Vračar and Savamala. Not only will you get to experience great food in great settings, you’ll get to feel the energy that makes Belgrade what it is.
Thanks to Belgrade’s unique location, there are many options to choose from when it comes to vacations.
Enjoy action-packed weekend city breaks? All of the major European cities are a couple hours direct flight away. Vienna, Munich, Athens, Budapest, Berlin, Brussels, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Ljubljana, London, Milan, Paris, Prague, Rome, Stockholm, Zurich, Geneva, Barcelona, Warsaw and Amsterdam — the list is as enticing as it is long!
Enjoy skiing on the pristine slopes of the Alps or bathing in warm waters of the Adriatic and Mediterranean Seas? Austria, the Croatian coast and the majestic Bay of Kotor in Montenegro are all about 600 Km away. Likewise, the Greek islands are eminently reachable and are a popular destination for Belgraders.
Further afield, Belgrade has direct flights to New York, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kiev, Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Beirut, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha. Living in Belgrade, the world is literally your oyster!
Short answer — yes! Long answer: Serbs are sports fanatics and there is no shortage of places to part-take in your favorite sport. Even though the most popular sports are football, tennis, basketball, water polo, volleyball and handball, practically every other sport can be enjoyed in Belgrade.
Belgrade also has plenty of outdoor activity opportunities to choose from. Whether kayaking on the Sava and Danube rivers or running, biking and walking along their banks, there are plenty of great open spaces to have fun moving around in.
Our personal favorites include Ada Ciganlija — a park comprised of a lake and beach with all the sports facilities you could imagine — Ratno Ostrvo, which is an uninhabited forest island right at the confluence of the Sava and the Danube, and Košutnjak — a hilly forest overlooking downtown Belgrade. True oases in the middle of Belgrade’s urban area, they’re perfect places in which to relax and recharge those batteries!
Aside from what Belgrade has to offer, there are countless amazing places across Serbia that are so worth discovering for the outdoor enthusiast. Whether skiing in Stara Planina, rock-climbing in places such as Jelašnica gorge, hiking in the Tara and Djerdap National Parks or kayaking down the Uvac river canyon, Serbia’s unique landscapes will blow you away.
This is a very subjective question and the answer will depend on your tastes and preferences. Simply speaking, the most popular neighbourhoods are those of Vračar, Dorćol, Dedinje and New Belgrade. Whereas Vračar and Dorćol are closer to downtown Belgrade and are probably better suited to single or young couples wanting to enjoy the city’s nightlife, Dedinje and New Belgrade are better for couples with young families. Most of the international schools are based in Dedinje and New Belgrade borders both the Sava and Danube rivers, meaning plenty of greenery and fresh air.
However, Serbia doesn’t have a progressive taxation system meaning that the maximum tax that you might be liable to pay is capped at 15%.
Yes, there are. The biggest group dedicated to Belgrade’s expat community is the Belgrade Foreigners Club. Having said that, all sports and leisure clubs are open to foreigners, and the vast majority will be happy to warmly welcome an English speaker.
Given that there are literally hundreds of clubs and organisations in Belgrade, the easiest would be for you to tell us what activities you’re interested in and then for us to direct you to the most useful information.
Other than state-run kindergarten, primary and secondary schools that teach the Serbian curriculum, Belgrade is also home to a large amount of privately-run international schools. Most teach in English, such as the International School of Belgrade, which follows the International Baccalaureate curriculum, and the Chartwell International School, the Prima International School and the Brook Hill International School, which follow the British curriculum.
However, there are also the the Deutsche Schule Belgrad, which follows the German curriculum, the Ecole Francaise de Belgrade, which follows the French curriculum, and the Russian School of Belgrade, which follows the Russian curriculum. Most, if not all, offer transportation services to and from the schools.
Other than the schools mentioned above, there are also dedicated international nurseries and kindergartens. A short selection include the International Primary School, the International Preschool Belgrade and the International Nursery Belgrade.
We will be more than happy to recommend the best school for your child/children based on your needs and requirements.
Serbia has both a public and private medical sector. The national health services is covered through national health insurance contributions and is free to access. The private sector is very affordable and is of high quality. (In fact, with rates several times cheaper than in Western European countries and the USA, many people now travel to Belgrade in order to undertake medical interventions).
Having said all this, we offer a premium coverage medical insurance package to all our employees, as well as their dependents. This gives access to all needed medical services, as well as the best doctors and clinics in the private sector.
Internet in Serbia is very well developed. It is very common to have access to open wifi networks at cafes, restaurants, shopping malls and banks throughout Serbia.
With hundreds of internet service providers to choose from, access is available in various forms, including DSL, cable, wireless and mobile. Internet typically costs about 13 EUR/14,5 USD per month for a 10 Mbps, unlimited data, cable/ADSL connection. Likewise, the 4G connection is very good and a sim card with 4G access is actually included in our benefits package.
Because we know that moving to a new place is always a big decision, we’re dedicated to making your relocation as smooth as possible. We take care of your shipping costs, find you the best estate agents, and of any paperwork you and your family may need. Because we know that your family is so important to you, we also support your partner with their job hunt and help with selecting the best school for your children.
We also offer you two months’ temporary housing in an apartment as close to our office as possible. While you are in the temporary apartment, we’ll put you in touch with a real estate agent who will work with you on understanding your specific needs and help you find a permanent home.
Once the offer is accepted, our Talent Acquisition team will connect you with our Workplace Experience team who will work with you on understanding your specific relocation needs. They will provide info and support for you and make your transition as smooth as possible. Practically, they will work with you on the logistics of your relocation with the support of our reliable relocation vendor network - arranging your travel, temporary accommodation, and shipping. The second part is taking care of your legal status - temporary stay permit (Type D visa) and work permit. Obtaining the temporary stay permit is the first thing step, and is a prerequisite for the work permit and also for import of your belongings to Serbia. After the stay permit is obtained, Nordeus helps you get your work permit. The whole process lasts up to two months and we have a good team of legal professionals who take care of the paperwork and make sure these procedures make minimal disruption in your daily routine.
Your family also needs a temporary stay permit (Type D visa) in order to be with you in Serbia. That is a fairly uncomplicated procedure, as they would be eligible for a family reunion visa - all that is necessary is proof of family connection (marriage and/or birth certificates).
Upon your arrival in Serbia, your partner will receive a temporary stay permit, which will enable them to live in Serbia. However, a separate work permit is necessary to be able to work. This work permit can be obtained through the sponsorship of an employer.
We will do our best to support your spouse’s career. Apart from connecting them with a professional job agency, they will also have the opportunity to learn Serbian to maximise their integration.
You can find a complete list of our benefits here. With regards to healthcare, the wellbeing of our employees and their families is absolutely essential to us. For that reason, our Medical Insurance Packages ensure that all our employees, as well as their children, are covered. Inpatient and outpatient care, annual check-ups, and dental and ophthalmological coverage are all included.