Discover the Hearth of Balkans
Serbia is quickly rising to the pinnacle of medical tourism in Europe because of its world class, modern facilities and extremely cheap prices, and coupled with the friendliness of the people, makes for an enjoyable experience. Also, Serbia is known for its natural healing environment due to its 350 mineral hot springs of various chemical compositions that can strengthen the body’s ability to heal after a medical procedure. Spas and medical centers with inexpensive (as little as $24 USD per night) but luxurious accommodations have sprouted near such hot springs and many of the spas have staff trained in providing medical services. Also, many will include visits to your room by a nurse or doctor at no additional cost. Popular procedures sought by medical tourists include cosmetic, bariatric, fertility, cardiology, urology, dermatology, dental, and ophthalmology.
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Located in southeastern Europe on the Balkan Peninsula, Serbia used to be part of the former Yugoslavia until 2006 when the country officially became a single independent unit. It is bordered by Hungary to the north; Romania and Bulgaria to the east, Macedonia and Albania to the south; and Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro to the west. Serbia is a safe and hospitable place to visit.
The official language of Serbia is Serbian; however most of people speak English.
The northern part of Serbia has cold winters and hot summer, while the upland regions have hot, dry summers and cold winters, and the mountain areas are susceptible to snow fall. In Belgrade, the climate is moderate continental with four seasons. The average temperature in January (the coldest month) is 32F (0.1C), and in July (the warmest month) the average is 72F (22.1C).
Visa / Entrance Requirements
U.S. and Canadian citizens do not require a visa for stays up to 90 days in Serbia; however a valid passport is required. Also, travelers must show a return or onward ticket and have sufficient funds in hard currency to finance their stay, and anyone staying longer than three days must register via a hotel or sponsor.
Airports in or near Serbia:
Belgrade – Nikola Tesla International Airport (BEG)
Nis – Constantine the Great International Airport (INI)
Vrsac – International Airport (VRC)
The Following Airlines Have Flights to Serbia:
Swiss International Airlines
LOT Polish Airlines
Note that you will get more amenities for your money in Serbia, because the cost of living is so cheap. Even many 3 star hotels mimic the ambiance and service of a 4 star hotel. A room in a budget hostel or guesthouse in Belgrade ranges from $17 to $40 USD per person per night; and a room in a 3 star hotel costs between $78 and $150 USD per night for a double occupancy room. On the luxurious end of the spectrum, a 5 star hotels in the capital city ranges from $150 to $376 USD per night.
The currency of Serbia is the Dinar (RSD). The exchange rate of U.S. dollars to Serbian dinars is $1 USD to 67 RSD (exchange rate subject to change).
The international access code for Serbia is 381.
Area codes in Serbia include: In order to call Serbia from the U.S. or Canada you must dial 011 (exit code), then 381 (country code for Serbia), then the area code (two digits), and then the phone number (five to seven digits). To call a cell phone in Serbia from the U.S. or Canada you must dial 011 + 381 + area code (begins with the number 6) + phone number (6-7 digits). In order to call the U.S. or Canada from Serbia you must dial 00 + 1 + area code + phone number
Cyber-cafes are widely available in major cities and towns. Many hotels and private hospitals throughout the country offer Broadband Internet connection.
Serbia has many different environments that can satisfy those who prefer the hustle and bustle of the city as well as people who would rather have peace and quiet. The capital city of Belgrade is an energetic and gritty city with many restaurants, clubs, parks, and museums. The most famous parks are Kalemegdan, Tasmajdan, Park of Friendship, Hajd (Hyde), and Pioneer. Also, the city has many public and architecturally significant drinking fountains with the most famous being Uckur, Saka, and Skadarska. The Belgrade Fortress, Saint Archangel Michael Cathedral Church, and the Tomb of the Unknown soldier are other popular tourist sites.
For the naturalist who prefers the tranquility of small towns and natural habitats, Serbia is home to over 350 hot thermal springs. The 2nd hottest spring in the world is located in Vranje, in which temperatures can reach as high as 205F (96C). Southern Serbia is rife with rolling hills, valleys, mountains, and areas of cultural significance. For example, Manasija, Sopocani, and Studenica are home to medieval monasteries, which houses Byzantine art. The mountains of Zlatibor and Kopaonik provide mediums for hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter, and Novi Pazar has Mosques mixed with monasteries and a vibrant Turkish quarter.
Serbia does not have as many high end stores as other European nations; however there is an abundance of shops selling local products and souvenirs. In Belgrade, check out the streets of Kralja Milana, Knez Mihailova, and Kralja Aleksandara, which are lined with many shops selling anywhere from clothing to books.
For the gastronomist, Belgrade has many green markets that sell fresh fruits and vegetables including Kalenic pijaca and Palilula.
Nightlife and the Arts
Ibiza and London eat your heart out! Serbia has some of the best clubs in Europe. Belgrade has a rich nightlife with many clubs located on boats in the Danube and Sava rivers, with each floating club playing different types of music including hip hop, gypsy music, techno and American pop. The drinks at these establishments are cheap compared to top dance clubs in the U.S. and Western Europe.
If you like music but hate the club scene, take a trip to Novi Sad, which hosts the world-famous Exit Music Festival held in the Petrovaradin Fortress sometime in July or August. This festival won the 2007 UK Festival Award for Best European Festival. Aside from the festival, Novi Sad is definitely worth visiting. It is described as Belgrade on valium and has many of what Belgrade has to offer, but at a slower pace.
Serbia (Belgrade especially) is home to many historical and cultural museums including the Belgrade City Museum, the National Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, the Historical Museum of Serbia, the Jewish Historical Museum, the Military Museum, and the Mining and Metallurgy Museum (located in Bor). Art connoisseurs will be pleased with the museums of Contemporary Art (locations in Belgrade and Novi Sad), African Art, Applied Arts, Naive Art (in Jagodina), and Theatrical Art. Those interested in education will enjoy the Pedagogical Museum and the Museum of Science and Technology. Serbia is also home to many theaters including the Yugoslav Drama Theater, the National Theater of Belgrade, and the Serbian National Theater. There is also the Pan Theater, the Children’s Theater, and the Youth Theater for children.