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Moving to Serbia

A comprehensive guide to moving to Serbia

Serbia, with its variety of languages and cultures, its both continental and Mediterranean climate and the rich culture, may not be hailed a top destination for expats, but it nevertheless has many opportunities to offer any expat making the move to Serbia. Learn more about the country, its people, etc. in this article.

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Relocating to Serbia

The Land and Its People

Formerly part of Yugoslavia, the Central and Southeastern European country Serbia has been an independent sovereign state since 2006. With a land area of 88,361 square kilometers and an estimated population of 7.2 million in 2014, it has a medium population density. In the 2011 census, 83% of the population identified as Serbian, with Hungarians (3.5%), Roma (2%), and Bosniaks (2%) the next largest communities. There is also a significant Chinese community, which is around 15,000 people strong.

Despite the low numbers of foreigners in the country, however, Serbian is not the only official language. Although 88% of people are native Serbian speakers, Romanian, Hungarian, Slovak, Albanian, and Bulgarian are all recognized minority languages, as are some nonstandard forms of Croatian and Bosnian. In some areas where expatriate communities from these countries are dominant, both Serbian and the relevant other language have official administrative status.

In some outlying, rural areas distinct dialects of Serbian, Bulgarian, and Hungarian are spoken. Serbian is unique in being the only European language to use both Latin and Cyrillic characters.

The Climate in Serbia

Moving to Serbia may mean adjusting to varying climates across the country, due to its location in between Central and Southeastern European climate zones. In the north, for example, its climate is considered continental, with long, hot summers, cold winters, and evenly distributed rainfall throughout the year.

In comparison, in Southern Serbia the climate has Mediterranean influences, with dry summers and long, cold winters with heavy snowfall across the mountain ranges. These varying climates are also caused by differences in elevation above sea level and exposure to wind.

Expatriates moving to Serbia should also be aware that it is is one of the few European nations to have a high risk of natural disasters, including floods (the most recent of which occurred in 2014), earthquakes, storms, and droughts.

Getting to Serbia

With 16 airports in total, five of which are large enough to be listed with IATA codes, relocating to Serbia by plane shouldn’t be a problem for expatriates looking to do so. The two largest airports are situated near Belgrade, the capital city, with the others within reach of major cities Kraljevo, Medoševac, and Užice.

Serbia is also accessible by boat, with major ports on the Danube in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Pančevo, and Smederevo, so moving furniture and heavy items by ship is fairly simple. Serbia also has a well-established train network, with direct and indirect links to many surrounding European countries including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Switzerland, Russia, and Ukraine, which makes moving to Serbia from within Europe easy.

Updated on: May 12, 2015
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