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Living in Belgrade
A comprehensive guide about living well in Belgrade
A proud, confident, and swiftly progressing city, Belgrade is one of Europe's up-and-coming locations. Its position between Eastern and Western Europe makes it both an important commercial hub and a mixture of cultural influences. Find out more about life in Belgrade in this guide.
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Life in Belgrade
Culture and Leisure
What Serbia’s capital lacks in outward beauty it makes up for in energy, artistic creativity and nightlife. Grand coffee houses, ice cream joints and buzzing nightspots make Belgrade a city with a significant social scene.
A major attraction is Kalemegdan Citadel, also known as Belgrade Fortress. The 1500-year-old castle rises above the city, while the surrounding Kalemegdan Park is the most popular green space among people living in Belgrade, offering walking paths, fountains, statues and scenic river views. There is an old town, Stari Grad, and for culture, Skadarska, known as Belgrade’s Montmartre, has art galleries, cafés, theaters and street musicians. The large National Museum is worth a look, and the Nikola Tesla Museum will appeal to science fans.
For sports, swimming outdoors in places like Ada Ciganlija island lake is popular, while Sports Center Tasmajdan is one of many indoor swimming options. There are many facilities and events at the Kombank Arena, and the city’s famous soccer teams have long been a feature of life in Belgrade.
Healthcare in Belgrade
Serbia’s healthcare system requires mandatory health insurance for locals; however expats may not be covered unless their country has a bilateral agreement. Without such an agreement, expats may be responsible for full costs which could be very expensive, although longer-term overseas residents can get more access to public healthcare. Employers may pay public health insurance on employees’ behalves, but this should be discussed when employment is agreed. Foreigners moving to Serbia without jobs must provide proof of private health insurance to be given a residence permit.
While medical staff in Belgrade is well trained, a lack of funding, poor equipment and poor facilities means that healthcare is not of as high a standard as in other parts of Europe. For international residents, Hospital Bel Medic should be able to provide English-speaking staff; it has a good website in English.
The phone number for medical emergencies in Serbia is 194.
Transportation in Belgrade
Without an underground rail system, Belgrade does have a problem with traffic congestion, which can become particularly bad in winter because of the snow. Since many streets have bus-only lanes, using public transport may be more advisable than driving. Belgrade’s bus system is cheap and reasonably efficient. There is also a mini-bus system of comfortable vehicles crisscrossing the city. Belgrade’s over ground urban rail network, BG Voz, opened in 2010, and there is talk of an underground rail system in the near future.
Those wishing to drive can use their international license for six months from the day of entry, after it can be transferred to a Serbian license quite simply. Expats wishing to drive in Belgrade must have a valid insurance. Foreign cars should be registered within 30 days of arrival, at the nearest police station.
Due to poorly maintained roads and vehicles, driving in Belgrade can be dangerous, but a new traffic safety law that aligns Serbian law with European Union standards has improved the situation. Vehicles drive on the right-hand side of the road.
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