How not to ruin the trip When to come, how to move around the city and where to park a car

Words: Elvira Ibragimova
Photos: Junona Slavina

When is it better to go?

In the context of weather, the best time to travel to Belgrade is the end of spring and early autumn. In general, during these periods it is warm, but not too much, and there is little rain. It is better to avoid trips from July till August: during this period it can be very hot and humid in the city. In addition, August is a season of work vacations, when small businesses are closed for several weeks. From April till October terraces of the cafes are opened, which means that you will be able to avoid tobacco smoke inside if you do not smoke. Even in winter there are warm periods in Belgrade — with sunny weather and +15 degrees, but it is difficult to guess them in advance. In general, the period from November till March is the coldest one, sometimes there are strong winds. 

And in the matter of events? 

In Belgrade many interesting events are held all year round — festivals, exhibitions, concerts and performances. The most intense period is from April till October. There are various festivals in Belgrade: for example, in May it is „Beldocs» documentary films festival, in June — the „Krokodil“ festival of literature, the „Beer Fest“ music and beer festival and a large art summer festival „Belef“, while in autumn there are theater festival „Bitef“ and the „Bemus“ festival of classic music. Special dates that are worth arriving in Belgrade are the Days of Belgrade on April 16-19, “Museums for 10” in mid-May, as well as September 18, when the European Heritage Day is celebrated. During this period special excursion programs are organized in Belgrade and it is possible to visit some locations where tourists are usually not allowed. For example, the Palace of Serbia or caves under Tashmaydan. You can follow events on the danubeogradu.rs website, in addition to announcements of single events, the summary programme of all exhibitions and performances of the month is published at the beginning of each month. It is better to follow the concerts on ticket.rs ticket sales website. Look for relevant events in social networks of Mapa Mag, Oblakoder, City Magazine.

How to move around the city?

In central districts of Belgrade one can move on foot. To the left bank of the Sava, to  New Belgrade or Zemun — by a trolleybus or bus. There are also trams in the city, and the most useful route for a tourist is a tram number 2, which makes a circle around the historical center.

In summer of 2023 Belgrade is experiencing the reform of the public transport payment system: now you can pay for a trip using SMS sent from the Serbian SIM card. Tickets, depending on the category, are valid for 90 minutes, for a day (until midnight), for a week or a calendar month. In some of GSP points one can buy paper tickets. It is expected to launch the application, which will provide paying by card, as well as to renew the application that radars and shows the public transport.

There is no such problem in the minibuses, they still have paying in cash, but there are few routes and they do not go often.

An alternative to public transport is a taxi. The most convenient way is to use applications — for example, Cargo, Yandex taxi, Pink or Naxis. Tariffs in the city are regulated, so there is no difference in the cost among all the aggregators. But this rule is only valid if a taxi is booked by phone or through the application, or on proven taxi spots. If you take a taxi on a street, be careful: there should be a sign of a particular taxi company on the car, not just the inscription «taxi». Illegal drivers can overestimate the price. In any case, it is better to avoid taxi drivers waiting for customers at such spots as the airport arrivals, railway stations and near the Hotel Moskva.

How to get from the airport to the city? 

The cheapest way is the bus line number 72, which goes to the Zeleni Venac. You can walk from that stop to the center or transfer to other buses. The problem is that currently you can pay for a trip only by SMS sent from the local Serbian SIM card, but during the summer of 2023 it is planned to launch the application for paying in public transport. Another way to get to the city by public transport is a minibus A1 going to Slavia Square. This is a convenient option, especially for those who travel to the district of Vračar. This route has fewer stops and a ticket can be bought for cash from a driver. 

Inside the arrival hall taxi drivers are often on duty, but their services should not be used — the price of such a drive will be two or three times more expensive than the official one. It is better to call a taxi through the application or order a transfer in advance, for example, by Gettransfer or DAF.

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